Friday, September 12, 2008

What you say what you say what you say what?

I've been wanting a Digitech Whammy pedal for a long time, and this past week I finally scored one from Ebay. The big brown truck of happiness brought it a couple of hours ago. I'm one happy little guitar slinger.

It's a harmonizer/pitch shifter. It has a variety of applications, including:

  • Harmonizing your melody lines in ways not otherwise possible on the guitar.
  • Creating chorus-like effects by subtly detuning your signal.
  • Transposing your signal one or two octaves in either direction.
  • Swooping wildly one or two octaves in either direction.
  • Mimicking the dive-bomb stuff you can do with a vibrato bridge (very handy if your guitar doesn't have one).
  • Making a lot of unearthly noise.
  • Making a lot of REALLY unearthly noise.

It's going to be a fun weekend. Oh, how my neighbors love me.

One of my favorite guitarists, Tom Morello, has made the Whammy an integral part of his style. Check this out:


An Briosca Mor said...

Very cool. But I just got more cowbell. So there.

T said...

Yay! Better than more cowbell, for sure! Now, what would that do hooked up to a vocal mic, per my question a few weeks ago?

Have you heard the new Metallica yet? I'm waiting to get an actual physical copy rather than downloading it, so I may not get around to that until Monday or of my students says that it's better than St. Anger, which brings a sigh of relief....

Rob said...

It would modify the pitch of your voice any way you'd like. It's made for guitar, so it might also modify the timbre of your voice insome way. But you've heard Laurie Anderson's stuff where she used a harmonizer to drop her voice an octave? The Whammy can do that. To do the classic death metal vocal style, you'd probably still have to do some palatal grinding on your own though.

I'll be interested to hear what the new Metallica is like. I actually liked the rawness of St. Anger. I hope they've kept some of that energy. The producer on the new album, Rick Rubin, is one of the greats. Fingers crossed.

Rob said...

And I mucked about earlier this morning with putting cowbell on Carrickfergus, but the idea sounded more interesting than it, um, sounded.

An Briosca Mor said...

Yeah, I think the cowbell thing is not really set up to handle Irish music. I put only 4% cowbell and 32% Christopher Walken on my track, and look how it turned out. Like cowbell on speed. I shudder to think what >50% cowbell would have done. OTOH, I was a little impressed with its ability to pick up the rhythm of the tune. Better than the large majority of bodhran players who show up at sessions (ours excepted, of course).

And I know squat about metal, but Rick Rubin? Yes! The Johnny Cash Unearthed CDs he produced are incredible.

T said...

I did like Hetfield's vocals on St. Anger--something about the timbre was different, though I don't know the collected works (or, for that matter, St. Anger itself) well enough to really say what. But what my student tells me is that Hetfield's voice sounds pretty shot on the new one--so we'll see.