Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Zoom G5

Last year, I played around with a Zoom G5.  I subbed the stock preamp tube with a 12ay7 creating a FANTASTIC clean effects machine.  I sold it some time after as I wasn't gigging regularly.  You can hear the clean sound with a sweet pitch delay here.

While an amazing unit with great effect sounds (I liked it more than the Line 6 M series stuff), I couldn't fit in on a pedal board with a Lone Wolf Harp Break distortion pedal and my wireless.  I am seriously rethinking this, as the unit sounded great straight to PA for clean tones.  See my notes below from last year:

 This is the first bank I created for general playing purposes.  Rather than using a patch for an amp model, I chose to experiment with using the boost as my "amp" tone.  I will also be using a Tech 21 Sans Amp Para DI for "amped" tones.  I prefer to run a relatively clean rig with just a bit of added warmth and EQ to my mics...which include an Ultimate 57 and Electro Voice RE10.  I occassionally use a custom bullet mic from Greg Heumann, but have not used it with the G5.

I tried to utilize the Z Pedal on the G5 as to not have to spend much time scrolling between patches if playing live.  This almost worked as planned, but not all the effects, like the rotary, have a "Mix" level.  In otherwords, some effects are all or nothing and will cut your signal should you use the Z Pedal to control the "Level" setting.

As it stands now, the Z Pedal controls the effects in the picture on the right.  I leave the analog delay on all the time and use the footswitches to control the rotary, wah, pitch shift, and phaser.  The up/down of the Z controls the HD Reverb.  If I turn it to the left, I can control the mix of the long digital delay.  If I swing right, I add the pitch delay.  This is a huge thing for me as I was chasing down a way to do some of the pitch delays that John Popper does via Eventide H8000.  So far, the closest I have ever gotten is a pitch delay set to +1 octave plus reverb.  This is not the same as the Octo effect on the Line 6 M series stuff.  This effect on the G5 is similar to "shimmer" or "crystals", a common ambient guitar effect.  The pitch delay has several repeats with a medium delay time.  By itself, it sounds tinny as the the original pitch goes +1 octave to +2 octaves.  The added reverb smooths out the sound and causes more of a wave of sound.  Very cool!

My next bank will focus more on pitch shift effects and the added use of chorus and flang.  I am stealing ideas mostly from guitar players, but am trying to pin down one other Popper-esque effect.  On the live version of, "All Hands Left On Deck", from, "What You and I Have Been Through", there is another pitch delay effect that seems to have an octave or -2 octave effect.  I will try stacking pitch delays to achieve this.  I would also like to work on using the synth to create the illusion of playing in tandem with harmonica.  I will post clips of the above effects some time this week (January 14-19).

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