Microbrute Meets Stompboxes

Digitech Polara, EHX Holy Stain and DM-2 Waza Craft Delay   18-Mar-15


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SonicState Guitars Editor Richard Beech and resident modular botherer Edd Butterworth show what happens when two worlds collide...

While in Anaheim this year for the annual NAMM show, I have to admit I caught the synth bug.

It all started when I plugged a Microbrute into a Strymon BigSky and after that moment all I could think about were all the various guitar pedals I have amassed over the years and what they might sound like if you passed a synth signal through them.

So when I had finished reviewing the new Digitech Polara reverb pedal, my colleague Edd Butterworth and I decided to plug a Microbrute into it.

Not only that, but we also put a BOSS DM-2W Analog Delay, EHX Holy Stain (tremolo, pitch shift, fuzz, drive) and a BOSS MO-2 Multi Overtone in the mix.

What ensued was a completely off-the-cuff synth jam: partly good; partly bad; largely ugly (but that's just me and Edd).

Hopefully you enjoy it! The plan is for Edd and I to do more of this sort of thing by combining his modules with my guitar gear and seeing if we can create some interesting sounds.

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14 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

Potentialbuyer    Said...

Been waiting for this since you mentioned it at NAMM. Good work and look forward to seeing more! Could you comment at the end of these videos on how well each pedal worked with the synth. Any impedance issues, noise etc.

18-Mar-15 08:00 AM


Eric NS    Said...

That was really inspiring and stimulating ! Thanks guys. I always like analog synth sounds with heavy dose of delay and reverb.

18-Mar-15 09:32 AM


Garak    Said...

Wow! I'll have to go back and look at that polar a review!

18-Mar-15 10:21 AM


GTRman    Said...

Such talented musicians. NOT, don't quit your day job boys.

18-Mar-15 11:25 AM


Genjutsushi    Said...

Brilliant demo guys. Really enjoyed it. Great idea to use a plectrum to hold down the key on the Microbrute! I have been using a Yoda action figure myself..

18-Mar-15 12:08 PM


zawinul    Said...

This is really good and by the smiles on faces a lot of fun to do!

18-Mar-15 01:39 PM


emgees    Said...

Beautiful and inspiring! (And I'll assume GTRman's day job is neither music critic nor comedian.)

18-Mar-15 03:25 PM


P0lyg0nW1nd0w    Said...

Wow this is fantastic and really inspiring. Can I ask how you have everything connected and is a mixer involved? Sorry I am new to this but after watching your video I'm definitely going to get a Microbrute and some pedals.

19-Mar-15 04:56 AM


Richard    Said...

Hi P0lyg0n!

We took a line out from the synth, into the pedals, then the output from the last pedal is running into a mixer, so that we could hear what we were doing through monitors while also recording the signal.

19-Mar-15 06:01 AM


Maxidingue    Said...

Nice I hook my MicroBrute on Eventide H9 and it's rock too

19-Mar-15 03:51 PM


Woo    Said...

Great video. I'd love for sonicstate to consider keyboard players when reviewing stomp boxes! There are a couple of good, old threads online about using stompboxes with synths, like these two: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/145720-best-guitar-pedals-synths.html https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/165703-guitar-pedals-synths.html A sonicstate primer could be very handy especially wehen discussing not frying your synth (and when you'd need to use something like the impedance matching Pigtronix Keymaster to protect your gear). Also would be nice to discuss since many guitar distortion pedals don't always work well on synths (boxes cutting the lows, for instance), so having a resource for synth players would be pretty sweet.

19-Mar-15 05:55 PM


P0lyg0nW1nd0w    Said...

Thanks very much for explaining that to me Richard. It looks like in the video you have the pedals running right to left in order.

I am definitely going to get the same setup you guys have once I get my Microbrute (same pedals I mean). I'm really looking forward to it and maybe throwing my Microkorg and Monotribe into the mix as well.

20-Mar-15 02:33 PM


Fatbob    Said...

speaking as a gay man - this is the gayest synth jam I've ever seen 10/10

24-Mar-15 03:28 PM


Chris    Said...

I'm running my Microbrute into a TC Hall of Fame reverb and TC Flashback x4 delay/looper in a band that I've just joined. We're running it straight into a line in on the desk. I've also used it happily into a bass guitar amplifier (although I'd be careful with this as it can throw out some really extreme frequencies). It's definitely a very pedal-friendly unit.

I come from many years as a guitarist so have accumulated a pile of pedals that I can play with. One thing that I've not needed is added dirt - fuzz/overdrive/distortion - as this actually weakens the sound. Modulation, though, works fantastically.

26-Mar-15 11:22 AM


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