[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

RE: EH Space Drums?

Well, it's no big loss, really.  Although most EH pedals had a peculiar
personality, they were all made with shit parts and were very noisy.
Hunting down the same effects by other manufacturers should make up for
        The Space Drum was one of the family of percussive effects.  The 
Space Drum
was supposed to be played together with the others.  All it does is produce
a sine wave-like pitch-changing note, ostensibly to simulate the way a 
player can change the pitch of the drum by moving his hand over the skin
after hitting it.  It had that sensitive pad and you played it with sticks.
The most vociferous uses of the Space Drum was in some disco hits in the
late seventies that will go unnamed, but which were annoying to say the
least.  Now, if you had a bunch of Space Drums, you could simulate a bunch
of drums really well, everything from big timpani to tom-toms, plus, all 
spacy effects you could come up with.  It was kind of uncomfortable to
change the parameters at the same time as playing it, hence the need to 
a few of them to play with.  Since you were supposed to hit them with
sticks, they broke down quite often.
        The Simmons drum set was supposed to take up the slack, but since 
the Space
Drum was a lot cheaper, it did last a few years until EH itself croaked.
        The other effects were variations of this idea, and I remember 
fondly the
"Rolling Thunder," which sounded like nuclear explosions, especially if you
put some echo or reverb on it.
        EH also had a very simplistic drum machine, with a few grooves on 
it, and
the Space Drum had been incorporated into some of the grooves.  You had a
tempo knob and another knob to change the patterns.  It was said to have
been programmed by some of the "best" drummers in the world.  It was funky,
kind of.
        I treasure an EH pedal called "Attack Decay."  This one was 
marketed to
simulate how Hendrix could play "reverse" licks on his records, so you 
sound live as though you were playing reverse.  All it has is a bunch of
filters and some very good and sensitive slow attacks, and can mix your
guitar sound together with some oscillator-like tones (a la
Microsynthesiser), which can get quite Frippy.  Because the oscillator-like
thing has its own tone, your guitar can appear to have more sustain than it
actually has.  This one is really cool, especially with lots of echoes,
chorus, flange, etc.  The tone can only be attenuated as though with a
"treble" control -- there are no synth-like "wah" filters here.  Of course,
this was no Roland guitar synth for sensitivity -- you had to work with it.
        Also, if you see a "Memory Man," pick it up.  At the end of an 
chain, before the stereo begins, it can give the whole mix a nice spacy,
wide sensation, and the echoes are very analoguey, meaning, low quality, so
they mesh up together to be rather like a reverb field.
        Another cool pedal I remember is the "PolyChorus," which was a 
Chorus" on steroids.  It had many more controls over the chorus effect, and
did sound a lot better to my ears than the Small Chorus -- less noisy -- 
even better than the DOD or MXR chorus effects going around at that time.
However, when the TC Electronics and Boss chorus effects came out, that 
the others out of the water; plus, the PolyChorus was no longer made then.
        Other people have mentioned the famed EH "Guitar Synthesiser," and 
I do
remember some sweet colors and tones coming out of it.  However, the thing
was very fragile, and it was very easy to make it stop working.  They did
try to improve the design, but by that time it was going to be too
expensive.  EH always tried to aim the things at the "poor" musician, if I
recall.  It was OK if Jimmy Page didn't use EH stuff, for example, but they
wanted all musicians in the little towns in the USA to use EH pedals.
        Come to think of it, did Page ever use an EH thing?

  | -----Original Message-----
  | From: James Pearce [mailto:jamesrp@statenet.com]
  | Sent: Friday 03 September 1999 9:01 AM
  | To: Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com
  | Subject: EH Space Drums?
  | Ok, so I went to the music store to buy strings and there was
  | an individual
  | selling a large amount of pedal effects, one of which was a pedal by
  | Electro-Harmonics called the Space Drum(s) (?) - anyone know
  | what the hell
  | this does? This guy was selling all these to the store so I didn't feel
  | comfortable about trying to get him outside and sell some to
  | me. I'm sure the
  | store ripped him off quite well, seeing as the guy didn't even
  | know what any
  | of teh stuff he was selling did, just wish I coulda hit him up
  | BEFORE he got
  | inside there.
  |  [.jamesrp@statenet.com.]