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Electro Harmonix Superego Synth Engine Guitar Effects Pedal
- Auto mode lets you capture and freeze notes and chords as you play, and sustain them indefinetely
- Controllabe glissando
- Effects Loop allows external effects to be inserted into the wet signal
- Latch Mode with layering feature allows stacking of sounds
- 9.6VDC-200BI power supply included
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|Item Dimensions||7.25 x 3.25 x 6.2 in||6.75 x 5.25 x 3.25 in||7.8 x 4.3 x 4.3 in||20 x 25 x 20 in||5 x 1.5 x 3.5 in||8 x 8 x 5 in|
The polyphonic SUPEREGO Synth Engine reinvents sample and hold, performs fluid glissandos and creates oscillator-like synthesizer effects. It can stack sounds or create infinite sustain, it even lets you tweak attack and decay, or use its effects loop to invent novel synth patches. Indulge your guilty pleasures!
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For the first 15 minutes or so experimenting with it I didn't think it was too musical; the sounds were either abrupt, buried or difficult to trigger or repeat. I was running a humbucking Telecaster into Tech 21 XXL drive into a Boss Hyper Metal into the Superego, with a Danelectro Dan-Echo on the other side of it into my Fender Mustang I v.2 amp on the orange Twin/clean setting. Then I remembered that I hadn't engaged my Dunlop Rotovibe in the Superego's effects loop. I popped that on, dialed the rotary up to max, swept the pedal and a whole new world emerged. And that's the key with the Superego--you need to think of it as an element in a typical synthesizer signal chain--it really does function as a synth-engine of sorts. Once you provide it with a time-based, modulating signal (i.e., an oscillator like a tremolo, vibe, phaser, flanger), add a filter (wah, etc), put some nasty waveform (drive/distortion) at the front & a delay at the end, what you end up with is unique, often beautiful, dramatic, at times hypnotic, still somewhat unpredictable but generally in a good way.
If you dial up the Speed knob (in Auto) it'll sample/repeat forever; the Gliss at maximum morphs the sounds slowly & seamlessly. I don't know what's under the hood but it doesn't sound particularly digital. If you work the Dry & Effect knobs in conjunction with each other you can achieve a relatively un-effected tone floating over an undercurrent of sound that's as placid or stormy as you wish--it's really gorgeous. If you step on it as you give it a chord, you can play a melody over the sustained/evolving/disintegrating bed of sound until you release it for the next chord, and do a whole song. It's kind of like a looper that way, without having to remember what part goes where in loop A, B, C, etc. Some other things to consider:
1. It's best used live, maybe not all the time unless you're doing ambient sorts of things; it might be hard to repeat a given sound when you're recording. If you need a sound, write down all your settings, for everything.
2. It needs a fairly strong signal to trigger. Put some kind of a gain/boost/distortion in front of it, or put it in your amp's effects loop so the preamp will feed it. I'm not sure where I'd put a compressor in relation to it. It does a lot of ADSR on its own.
3. It distorts in unpredictable ways as the harmonics crash into each other. Bending a note or playing with vibrato produces very dramatic transitions at the higher effect levels. Make sure your amp isn't set too high or limit it in some way so the volume doesn't unexpectedly become excessive when this happens.
4. Try it with something other than a guitar. I have a keyboard with some good synth patches but limited hands-on controls, so it's a natural extension there. It can easily function as a module for whatever instrument you happen to play if the signal is strong enough to trigger it.
5. If you can, run it in stereo. You can use the Send as its own Out to a second amp rather than bringing it back to Return.
6. It does not take a battery, only an AC adapter (which comes with it purchased new).
7. It's plenty sturdy, but the painted indicator lines on the tops of the knobs look fragile & are a little hard to see.