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Electric Mistress Emulation - Axe-Fx III

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Hi Everyone:

The Electric Mistress Flanger is one of my very favorite effects of all time. With a Strat, wow...grew up as a teenager in Louisiana, listening to Robin Trower's "In City Dreams" and also "Caravan to Midnight" records, and then of course Andy Summers with The Police...

Over the years this effect has proven quite elusive to "clone," but after a lot time invested and careful listening based on a MOOER E- Lady, I've gotten super close!

First is the Flanger layout. Use an Analog Mono, before an amp (I like the JTM45 set up clean with a hint of grit). Here are the Flanger Block settings (see Axe-Edit III screen shot below).

The LOG LFO type is crucially important, as is turning AUTO DEPTH off. The "sweep" is kinda of like a song verse pattern with 8 beats, as you will hear (if listen carefully) that the flanger sweep is different on beats 1-4 (lower range sweep) and then goes an octave higher in the sweep on beats 5-8 -- and then repeats! Turn FEEDBACK up and you will hear it.

The FEEDBACK is the E-Lady's COLOR Control. It is very sensitive in real life and on the Axe-Fx Flanger block -- try it carefully between 60% and 79%.

The DEPTH is the E-Lady's RATE control. I set it at 19.4% as I listened to the sweep, going A/B against the real deal... If you change it to higher values, you will hear the sweep does not reach as high, and going higer eventually it gets "warble-ly" and out of tune (also fun).

Another secret: Put the overall Wet/Dry mix at 67% wet, and play with that from 60% to 85% - you will perceive it sounds like it also interacts with the overall feedback setting . You need a big blend of the flanged sound with the original signal to replicate it convincingly here.

Another MUST-DO: You also have to set up an LFO CONTROLLER page (separate, see second screen shot) that controls the sweep from 0.10ms to .335 ms as the range. You access the Controllers page button is at the top 1/3 left of your Axe-Edit III screen.

I'm attaching the actual blocks you need to try this out as well. If you use them, go to channel B for the Analog Mono flanger - that's the main E-Lady one. You can play with channels C and D for Stereo, I had to quit for the night....

This is the kind of useful stuff I want to include in a future comprehensive Axe--Fx III Effects Library TonePack project...already done some drive and delay blocks....later half of the year maybe!

Enjoy, and thanks to Admin M@ who encouraged me on this one!

ELECTRIC MISTRESS/E-LADY EMULATION IN THE AXE-FX III

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 11.40.09 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 11.38.37 PM.png
 

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aens

Inspired
Wow, I haven't heard that Trower record before! That flanger sounds a lot like something I've tried to replicate for a long time. Not trying to copy Electric Mistress in particular, but it seems I've been using almost the same settings as you posted. Without the LFO controller and with 100 % mix, but everything else looks familiar.

Thank you for the settings. I must do an A-B and compare my old block. Or have the best of the both worlds and assign the LFO controller to be used on a particular channel and use both flangers. Oh how much I love my Axe FX III.
 

DLC86

Forum Addict
Hi Everyone:

The Electric Mistress Flanger is one of my very favorite effects of all time. With a Strat, wow...grew up as a teenager in Louisiana, listening to Robin Trower's "In City Dreams" and also "Caravan to Midnight" records, and then of course Andy Summers with The Police...

Over the years this effect has proven quite elusive to "clone," but after a lot time invested and careful listening based on a MOOER E- Lady, I've gotten super close!

First is the Flanger layout. Use an Analog Mono, before an amp (I like the JTM45 set up clean with a hint of grit). Here are the Flanger Block settings (see Axe-Edit III screen shot below).

The LOG LFO type is crucially important, as is turning AUTO DEPTH off. The "sweep" is kinda of like a song verse pattern with 8 beats, as you will hear (if listen carefully) that the flanger sweep is different on beats 1-4 (lower range sweep) and then goes an octave higher in the sweep on beats 5-8 -- and then repeats! Turn FEEDBACK up and you will hear it.

The FEEDBACK is the E-Lady's COLOR Control. It is very sensitive in real life and on the Axe-Fx Flanger block -- try it carefully between 60% and 79%.

The DEPTH is the E-Lady's RATE control. I set it at 19.4% as I listened to the sweep, going A/B against the real deal... If you change it to higher values, you will hear the sweep does not reach as high, and going higer eventually it gets "warble-ly" and out of tune (also fun).

Another secret: Put the overall Wet/Dry mix at 67% wet, and play with that from 60% to 85% - you will perceive it sounds like it also interacts with the overall feedback setting . You need a big blend of the flanged sound with the original signal to replicate it convincingly here.

Another MUST-DO: You also have to set up an LFO CONTROLLER page (separate, see second screen shot) that controls the sweep from 0.10ms to .335 ms as the range. You access the Controllers page button is at the top 1/3 left of your Axe-Edit III screen.

I'm attaching the actual blocks you need to try this out as well. If you use them, go to channel B for the Analog Mono flanger - that's the main E-Lady one. You can play with channels C and D for Stereo, I had to quite for the night....

This is the kind of useful stuff I want to include in a future comprehensive Axe--Fx III Effects Library TonePack project...already done some drive and delay blocks....later half of the year maybe!

Enjoy, and thanks to M@tt who encouraged me on this one!

ELECTRIC MISTRESS/E-LADY EMULATION IN THE AXE-FX III

View attachment 54955 View attachment 54956
Hi, glad to see someone else loving this pedal and trying to replicate it in the axe, I've studied it quite a bit too in the past (here is my old block).

But there are some things in your block that don't seem right to me.

Firstly, the electric mistress (the original one at least) has inverted polarity on the feedback path, so you might want to set the feedback to negative values in the axe.

Then you say the depth control is the rate knob on the mooer but it should be the range knob actually (it is on the ehx mistress).. maybe this is just a typo?

I agree about the log waveform but I don't get why you attached an external LFO to the delay control if you're already using the internal LFO of the block.
The original 9v and deluxe mistress only have one LFO and it can be fully replicated within the flanger block, just set the delay at the minimum value the pedal reaches and then find the max value of the depth knob to match the lowest point on the sweep of the pedal, with the range knob set at max (and rate not too high, see below).

It's true what you say about the rate knob that kinda limits the depth of the sweep when set at higher speed, that's due to the LFO circuit that can't keep up at those speeds. To replicate this behaviour just use the LFO hi-cut control in the axe (to match my mistress I had to set it almost all the way down).

There's another detail to consider: the BBD chip used on the original Electric mistress is a SAD1024 which IIRC has 2 delay lines of 512 and 513 stages respectively. In the mistress those 2 delay lines are summed in parallel and the slightly longer delay on one of those lines (caused by having one more stage) makes them slightly out of sync.
You can partially replicate that by using the LFO phase parameter, values around 0.2-0.4 degrees sound right to me.
(EDIT: I checked the SAD1024 datasheet again and I didn't remember correctly about this one, the stages are 512 on both lines but their clock is out of sync by half clock cycle. I'm not sure now what's the effect of this and how I ended up to the conclusion above, I have to re-read a bit more about it cuz I don't remember the reasoning I did a few years ago.)

I always assumed the dry/wet ratio was 50/50 on the pedal, but maybe I overlooked the fact that the BBD chip could have a higher gain than the dry signal (in a few versions there's also a trimpot for that IIRC) and the two mixing resistors don't have the same resistance, so the higher mix might be a good catch. ;)

One last thing I wanted to do but never managed to do was to disconnect the dry path from the circuit and measure the frequency response and distortion of the wet signal, so that I could set lo-cut, hi-cut and drive accordingly to better match the pedal.
Maybe one of these days I'll do it.

EDIT2: attached my updated block for the axe fx III, channels A and B are my favourite settings (A should be close to Gilmour settings), C is roughly matched to my real mistress with all knobs at minimum, D matched with all the knobs at max.
 

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Scented Meat

Veteran
Thanks, AustinBuddy! I can't wait to try this out. I've had a long obsession with the EM; I still have an original 1977 version which is magical as you know. I also have all manner of clones, including the Hartmann, Mooer, and even a Deluxe EM modified by its inventor, Howard Davies, to sound more like the original, but none of them really match THAT sound (lacking, of course, the SAD1024). M@'s emulation comes awfully close (and is so much less noisy than the original ;)).
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Hi, glad to see someone else loving this pedal and trying to replicate it in the axe, I've studied it quite a bit too in the past (here is my old block).

But there are some things in your block that don't seem right to me.

Firstly, the electric mistress (the original one at least) has inverted polarity on the feedback path, so you might want to set the feedback to negative values in the axe.

Then you say the depth control is the rate knob on the mooer but it should be the range knob actually (it is on the ehx mistress).. maybe this is just a typo?

I agree about the log waveform but I don't get why you attached an external LFO to the delay control if you're already using the internal LFO of the block.
The original 9v and deluxe mistress only have one LFO and it can be fully replicated within the flanger block, just set the delay at the minimum value the pedal reaches and then find the max value of the depth knob to match the lowest point on the sweep of the pedal, with the range knob set at max (and rate not too high, see below).

It's true what you say about the rate knob that kinda limits the depth of the sweep when set at higher speed, that's due to the LFO circuit that can't keep up at those speeds. To replicate this behaviour just use the LFO hi-cut control in the axe (to match my mistress I had to set it almost all the way down).

There's another detail to consider: the BBD chip used on the original Electric mistress is a SAD1024 which IIRC has 2 delay lines of 512 and 513 stages respectively. In the mistress those 2 delay lines are summed in parallel and the slightly longer delay on one of those lines (caused by having one more stage) makes them slightly out of sync.
You can partially replicate that by using the LFO phase parameter, values around 0.2-0.4 degrees sound right to me.
(EDIT: I checked the SAD1024 datasheet again and I didn't remember correctly about this one, the stages are 512 on both lines but their clock is out of sync by half clock cycle. I'm not sure now what's the effect of this and how I ended up to the conclusion above, I have to re-read a bit more about it cuz I don't remember the reasoning I did a few years ago.)

I always assumed the dry/wet ratio was 50/50 on the pedal, but maybe I overlooked the fact that the BBD chip could have a higher gain than the dry signal (in a few versions there's also a trimpot for that IIRC) and the two mixing resistors don't have the same resistance, so the higher mix might be a good catch. ;)

One last thing I wanted to do but never managed to do was to disconnect the dry path from the circuit and measure the frequency response and distortion of the wet signal, so that I could set lo-cut, hi-cut and drive accordingly to better match the pedal.
Maybe one of these days I'll do it.

EDIT2: attached my updated block for the axe fx III, channels A and B are my favourite settings (A should be close to Gilmour settings), C is roughly matched to my real mistress with all knobs at minimum, D matched with all the knobs at max.
I tried many of the things that are “technically right” that you mention, like negative feedback, but that changes the sweep range I found in a way unlike the ELady pedal I am A/Bing against and thinned the sound out, positive feedback thickens it with my settings.

I am using my ears not eyes because Cliff’s block design may not correspond to the EM flanger value for value. Matt and I started one a year or two ago, that is the basis.

I like to use the Controller LFO so I can see the sweep range and more precisely control the LFO curve/shape options.

This one is as close as I’ve gotten, took about six collective hours, but I agree it’s not exact. Always open to better ideas. Traveling next ten days but will try any other submitted flanger blocks here!
 
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austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Thanks, AustinBuddy! I can't wait to try this out. I've had a long obsession with the EM; I still have an original 1977 version which is magical as you know. I also have all manner of clones, including the Hartmann, Mooer, and even a Deluxe EM modified by its inventor, Howard Davies, to sound more like the original, but none of them really match THAT sound (lacking, of course, the SAD1024). M@'s emulation comes awfully close (and is so much less noisy than the original ;)).
That 1977 version IS magical! Noisy but beautifully so. I so wish I still had mine. I have three E-Ladys and they are not perfectly identical, oddly. But it gets very close!
 
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DLC86

Forum Addict
I tried many of the things that are “technically right” that you mention, like negative feedback, but that changes the sweep range I found in a way unlike the ELady pedal I am A/Bing against and thinned the sound out, positive feedback thickens it woth my settings.

I am using my ears not eyes because Cliff’s block design may not correspond to the EM flanger value for value. Matt and I started one a year or two ago that is the basis.

I like to controller LFO so I can see the sweep range and more precisely control the LFO options.

This one is as close as I’ve gotten, took about six collective hours, but I agree it’s not exact. Always open to better ideas. Traveling next ten days but will try any other submitted flanger blocks here!
Yeah, neither mine is 100% spot-on, the real one has something else happening on the low end that I can't put my finger on.
Though my block is the closest I could get to my pedal.

The problem is that probably you can't find two ones that sound identical. Too many different versions and the clock/LFO circuit is very sensitive to internal trimpot settings and components' tolerances.
Today's clones don't even use the same BBD chip, the Mooer for example is based around the MN3207 and that is not a direct replacement for the SAD1024 so the circuit has probably been redesigned to work with that chip (probably they just copied a famous diy project on the web).

What's sure is that it's nice for us fractal users to have different versions available as blocks to try out (yours sounds good BTW), and I hope more people will do the same with their real pedals in the future.
 

spagthorpe

Inspired
One last thing I wanted to do but never managed to do was to disconnect the dry path from the circuit and measure the frequency response and distortion of the wet signal, so that I could set lo-cut, hi-cut and drive accordingly to better match the pedal.
Maybe one of these days I'll do it.

EDIT2: attached my updated block for the axe fx III, channels A and B are my favourite settings (A should be close to Gilmour settings), C is roughly matched to my real mistress with all knobs at minimum, D matched with all the knobs at max.

I love pedal geeks. Awesome thread.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
The flanger block certainly takes some tweaking but I agree that very nice results can be obtained. I previously had an e-lady and Hartman flanger which I felt I could really reproduce when I owned my II, always kept the hardware flanger in a loop. With the III, and maybe some enhancements to the modulation in various firmware updates, it’s now at the point where I feel I can match the tones I’m after, lush swirly chorus type Gilmour style and a really resonant hollow jet mod, to the point where when I a/b’d with the hardware I was able to gladly let the hardware go (reticon chip Hartman went for nice money too) and not feel I’m missing anything.

Never owned a real 18v EM, but I think the Axe does it well enough that I don’t want to anymore... too pricey, fragile, nosiey, volume drop etc, just doesn’t make practical sense.
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
Man, when I see posts like this I realize I really do not know WTF I am doing with the FX on the Axe, parameter overload. :) Thanks for sharing this AB!

Would love to see more people doing/sharing custom FX blocks like this. Will have to look at FracTool from @AlGrenadine ; I think it can convert blocks now... I have a good library of them from my II where I copped settings from some of the folks that are really master FX guys like @fremen and @simeon who have been kind enough to share things with the community as well.
 

Eliju

Veteran
Man, when I see posts like this I realize I really do not know WTF I am doing with the FX on the Axe, parameter overload. :) Thanks for sharing this AB!

Would love to see more people doing/sharing custom FX blocks like this. Will have to look at FracTool from @AlGrenadine ; I think it can convert blocks now... I have a good library of them from my II where I copped settings from some of the folks that are really master FX guys like @fremen and @simeon who have been kind enough to share things with the community as well.
Can it now? I’ve been waiting for that
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Man, when I see posts like this I realize I really do not know WTF I am doing with the FX on the Axe, parameter overload. :) Thanks for sharing this AB!

Would love to see more people doing/sharing custom FX blocks like this. Will have to look at FracTool from @AlGrenadine ; I think it can convert blocks now... I have a good library of them from my II where I copped settings from some of the folks that are really master FX guys like @fremen and @simeon who have been kind enough to share things with the community as well.
I don't find there is any real secret, just have to pretty much twist knobs, take a listen, swap back to the real pedal, take a listen, and repeat til it sound about right. I don't know what half the parameters technically do, but I can get an idea of sonically what is happening, and if its in the right direction of what I'm after.

Often what seems like it would make sense does anything but... for example, I would of thought I wanted a good bit of depth to the effect, but like 15-20% is more than enough, gets super crazy sounds past that range, BUT, on so many hardware pedals I might run something like depth at 80%, though on the Axe, maybe 20% equals 80% or more, as a parameter can have a much, much wider possible range. Point being, you really have to throw convention out the window sometimes and just adjust with what your ears are telling you, not what "seems" like a reasonable setting per hardware.

The tones are certainly in the Axe
 
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