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Re: m13 - m9

On Jan 22, 2011, at 10:39 PM, Mark Hamburg wrote:

On Jan 22, 2011, at 2:51 PM, Gareth Whittock wrote:

I'm thinking of getting one of these for psychedelic/ambient textures, (in combination with laptop looping and special effects).
I'm currently using Guitar rig 4 for this.
What's the verdict guys? Pro's and cons?

Very nice delays. The other effects are reasonably good but not that psychedelic/ambient. Some interesting material in the filter models -- e.g., random filters -- that might be interesting piped into a good delay, but you would probably want to set this up on a parallel effects loop which it isn't really set up to do. The Octo and Particle Verb reverbs are interesting but not stunning.

For ambience, I would probably check out the Eventide Pitchfactor and Space pedals, but I haven't actually played with them.

I'm coming to more deeply appreciate the Korg AM8000R again. Step modulated phaser into pitch shifter with feedback into a fairly dense delay makes for a great ambient background. (I can thank Mark Landman for having programmed this stuff in before I bought mine from him. I probably wouldn't have discovered it otherwise.) I actually like it so much, I have two. However, I'm really only using one so I'm thinking I should sell the second one. You have to be willing to deal with a rack processor, but it's a stunning source of creative ambiences.

As Jeff Duke demonstrates, you can get really interesting ambient effects out of it.

And I played my entire Y2KX set using the M13 plus a few upstream stompboxes.

What's missing for me with the M13 relative to the AM8000R from a signal flow standpoint is if I want to get some straight signal in addition to the ambient effects. There are definitely interesting effects to get by cranking the mix to fully wet on the earlier effects and reprocessing with the later effects and this isn't really viable with the Line6 effects if you also want some dry signal since each effects section just feeds into the next. If you've got even a simple mixer available, however, that problem goes away and with the M13 you could use the effects loop to basically get two separate runs of effects. So, it's a little less flexible than having one really powerful box with an overall wet/dry mix, but unlike the Korg unit, I don't end up needing a rack and it's a lot easier to tweak on the fly.

Now, I just need it to offer some things like feedback on the pitch shifter... The Octo/Shimmer sound is nice, but sometimes I like having the pitch descend down rather than up.

On the space front, if buying again, I would probably buy an M9 rather than an M13 and try to find space for it on my pedal board. Right now, the M13 sits off the pedal board though the expression pedals are on the peal board. That said, when I'm designing my dream looper, I've been using the M13 as a target point for a reasonable hardware configuration allowing easy access to core features in a reasonably portable form factor. Maybe the LP-3? (For all of the feeling that I diss the Looperlative here, it is a very nice piece of kit. I just feel that when people ask "why would one choose anything else" -- and that question does get asked a lot -- it's a challenge to people who do find themselves choosing to use something else for a variety of reasons.)