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Is it me or is it the Pitch block???

vkinetic

Inspired
Just loving my new AX8 and gradually getting my head around lots of stuff - it's capable of so much. But a really big disappointment for me is the Pitch block. It might do de-tuning etc fine, I don't know because I haven't explored it that much. But all I'm trying to do, in writing a patch for Lenny Kravitz's 'Are You Gonna Go My Way', is to get an octave up. Our second guitarist isn't always able to play with us, so when he is away and we do this song I have been using an EHX PitchFork for an octave up in the appropriate (mainly mono) parts of the song. But getting a half decent octave up on the AX8 is just not happening. It sounds totally artificial and just plain crappy. It sounds like early versions of pitch shifters when they first came out. I would have thought that the computing power of the AX8 would be sufficient to get a decent octave up, even if it is only mono.

I have tried a couple of things, like delaying the octave a little but it seems no matter what I do I just can't get a reasonable octave up that doesn't have very serious artefacts, unless I turn down the octave so much that I might as well not have an octave on at all. So unless someone can point me in the direction of pulling a better octave up it looks like the only pedal I will need to retain from my previous rig will be The PitchFork.

Can someone show me what I'm doing wrong, or tell me to stop wasting my time and just use the PitchFork in the FX loop? Here is my preset so far - it is a work in progress, and the octave section is in Scene 2:
 

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yek

Moderator
Moderator
Drop CPU usage below 60% or so and the performance will improve a lot.
 

chrisjnyc

Forum Addict
Yes, plenty of threads on the issues with the pitch block. The best tone I have come up with is to remove the amp block, and just use a drive block into the pitch block into a cab block.

Also, I bought a TC Sub N Up, which is the easy way to do it;)
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Drop CPU usage below 60% or so and the performance will improve a lot.
Thanks Yek - my patch is only running at 52% so no improvements to be found lowering the CPU usage there :(

Yes, plenty of threads on the issues with the pitch block. The best tone I have come up with is to remove the amp block, and just use a drive block into the pitch block into a cab block.

Also, I bought a TC Sub N Up, which is the easy way to do it;)
Thanks chrisjnyc - I presume you're running the Sub n Up in the FX loop? I will try your suggestions, thanks for those. My PicthFork I think is very similar to the Sub n Up and I've always been very happy with it's performance. Seems so silly to have such a capable machine like the AX8, but still having to run an pitch shifter for basic pitch shifting. :confused:
 

chrisjnyc

Forum Addict
Thanks Yek - my patch is only running at 52% so no improvements to be found lowering the CPU usage there :(



Thanks chrisjnyc - I presume you're running the Sub n Up in the FX loop? I will try your suggestions, thanks for those. My PicthFork I think is very similar to the Sub n Up and I've always been very happy with it's performance. Seems so silly to have such a capable machine like the AX8, but still having to run an pitch shifter for basic pitch shifting. :confused:
I just ran the subnup in front of the AX8 and sounds fine.
 

pauliusmm

Fractal Fanatic
I use Digitech Whammy V. Its a pain to drag it to gigs, but it sounds much fatter than AX8 pitch shifter.
 

moerker

Inspired
Funny, after some time I am now only using the pitch block. Okay, I wanted to get rid of the Digitech Drop on my Gig-Pedalboard for more convenience, but I don't really miss it (but using the Drop home).

Sure, the pitch block has its shortcomings, e.g. the non steady lag (after breaks it takes more time to get a decent tone out of it than midplaying), the lag overall (phyics!), but in a band-situation with two guitars it's more me than the audience to recognize any difference.

So to say - depending on the situation it works, but in specific cases, you wish to have a little helper.
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Funny, after some time I am now only using the pitch block. Okay, I wanted to get rid of the Digitech Drop on my Gig-Pedalboard for more convenience, but I don't really miss it (but using the Drop home).

Sure, the pitch block has its shortcomings, e.g. the non steady lag (after breaks it takes more time to get a decent tone out of it than midplaying), the lag overall (phyics!), but in a band-situation with two guitars it's more me than the audience to recognize any difference.

So to say - depending on the situation it works, but in specific cases, you wish to have a little helper.
Well maybe I'm doing something wrong - as I said in my post trying to get just an octave up sounds like crap and is unusable, even in a band situation. So unless someone can show me where I'm going wrong (and I did upload my preset earlier) I'll have to resort to using the EHX PitchFork and hope that we might get a better Pitch Block for the AX8 in the future. The only thing I haven't tried, which I thought of last night, is putting the Pitch Block before everything else, or maybe immediately after a compressor but before the amps, cabs and other blocks. I'll try that tonight and see if that improves things.
 

Moke

Fractal Fanatic
Well maybe I'm doing something wrong - as I said in my post trying to get just an octave up sounds like crap and is unusable, even in a band situation. So unless someone can show me where I'm going wrong (and I did upload my preset earlier) I'll have to resort to using the EHX PitchFork and hope that we might get a better Pitch Block for the AX8 in the future. The only thing I haven't tried, which I thought of last night, is putting the Pitch Block before everything else, or maybe immediately after a compressor but before the amps, cabs and other blocks. I'll try that tonight and see if that improves things.
Try this edited version of your preset.

Shifting 'up' always adds highs, the more you shift, the more highs are added. Shifting 'down' always adds lows, the more you shift, the more lows are added. (would love it if this was compensated for automatically?)

Moved the 'Pitch' block to before the 'Cab' block, lowered the 'High Cut', raised the 'Level', gave the shifted note a bit of delay and some de-tuning via LFO 1 for some extra realism.
 

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Last edited:

vkinetic

Inspired
Thanks so much Moke - I'm honored to have your help :). Busy tonight so the first chance I have to try your edits is tomorrow night - I'll report back! Getting ready to buy a few more of your patches too - especially the She Sells Sanctuary preset!
 

Moke

Fractal Fanatic
Thanks so much Moke - I'm honored to have your help :). Busy tonight so the first chance I have to try your edits is tomorrow night - I'll report back! Getting ready to buy a few more of your patches too - especially the She Sells Sanctuary preset!
Very cool..... Let us know how it worked out.
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Am I Gonna Go Moke's Way? Absolutely. Very clever Moke and thanks so much. Maybe you can sprinkle a bit more of Moke's Magic Dust on it and sell it as one of your 'Artist Specific' presets? Mind you I don't think it needs much more magic dust because to my ears, and for my purposes I think it will be just fine as it is. Goes to show that with knowledge and experience you can coax all sorts of things out of the AX8. And while I (hope) I have your attention Moke, the JCM 800 presets I bought off you are just fantastic and form the basis of many of presets. I am indebted! Thanks again Moke :)
 

Moke

Fractal Fanatic
Glad it worked for you. The 'Pitch' block is very misunderstood sometimes. It's placement in the signal chain is very important. There is a certain logic to it once you think about what exactly you are trying to accomplish.

It would be more useful if it got some more specific 'types' added. And the addition of 'Formant' settings.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
Shifting 'up' always adds highs, the more you shift, the more highs are added. Shifting 'down' always adds lows, the more you shift, the more lows are added. (would love it if this was compensated for automatically?)
I'd never considered doing this before, but you could tie the pedal to the pitch and the knee of a HPF or LPF setup in a filter block to change the filtering as you moved to more extreme shift values. Not sure how much it'd add to the overall sound, though.
 

Moke

Fractal Fanatic
I'd never considered doing this before, but you could tie the pedal to the pitch and the knee of a HPF or LPF setup in a filter block to change the filtering as you moved to more extreme shift values. Not sure how much it'd add to the overall sound, though.
Yep, in this particular case the pitch is fixed. But I did something similar for the 'Whammy' effect in my 'Steve Vai' presets. As the pitch rises, the 'Frequency' in a (Low Pass) 'Filter' block lowers simultaneously.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
Yep, in this particular case the pitch is fixed. But I did something similar for the 'Whammy' effect in my 'Steve Vai' presets. As the pitch rises, the 'Frequency' in a (Low Pass) 'Filter' block lowers simultaneously.
I'll have to try this out later tonight.
 
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