At Last, a Digital Whammy Bar!

  • Monkey_Man

    Changed the title of the thread from “About Time - Digital Whammy Bar! 8)​​​” to “At Last, a Digital Whammy Bar!”.
  • it is cool!

    since I use 2 expresson pedals, (one is always assigned to wah, the other one, depending on the Rig, is assigned to a Pitch Shift or a Morph function),

    I wonder if there's a tool like this that could work wireless and could be Assigned to anything as an expression pedal Can be.

    Basically a wireless Expression pedal with the shape of a tremolo.

  • Quite a cool idea, means you can use something like an Evertune set to 'You can't even bend a note' and still have trem expression, although I'd want to try one to see how close it can get to behaving like a trem rather than a whammy pedal. The other thing that concerned me is the data wireless being 2.5ghz, if it doesn't do active management then it may well fight with other networked stage equipment.

  • I watched a review on this today and the main question I had about it was latency. He enthused several times that there was zero lag, but it was a sponsored review so credibility is suspect.

    He was connected via Bluetooth, and the unit is doing transposition, pitch bends, etc. In the Kemper, whose technology I have much respect for, I can't transpose down lower than a semitone without a latency that is uncomfortable for me, and that's pure signal processing, let alone any wireless latency. So, while anything is possible, I'm wondering how this unit could have "zero lag."

    Has anyone actually played one? Technology always advances, anything's possible, so I'm curious as to whether the absence of latency is fact or marketing.

    Of course, that aside, this is a very cool looking gizmo.

  • I watched a review on this today and the main question I had about it was latency.

    Same here Brother Chris.

    I'm wondering how this unit could have "zero lag."

    It can't. Period.

    Technology always advances, anything's possible, so I'm curious as to whether the absence of latency is fact or marketing.

    It's gotta be marketing, the caveat no doubt being that it's "not-perceptible"; that's the best they can hope for IMHO.

    Transposition sans latency simply isn't and will never be possible... IMHO.

  • I also just realised it has no Midi integration, that's a real shame. I currently run a Whammy DT to alter between four different tunings in my band, my patch changes send Midi messages so I can use banks of sounds for different tunings.

    If this had the same or better latency than the Whammy and Midi then it would have been a no-brainer, especially because I could switch to all Evertune guitars and benefit from the added tuning stability but still use tremolo dives in the couple of places I need to do them.

  • Forum users’ experiences and discussions can be found here:

    Virtual Jeff VG guitar forums

    Thanks for the link, man.

    Strange forum software. They reeeally don't want you searching the forum, as the search feature includes an image captcha as well as a question. Not for posting - just to search.

    After filling in the captcha requirements, there were zero results on searches for both lag and latency. You'd think, positive or negative, that these would be somewhat common topics of discussion.

    Of course, this is all just idle curiosity in my part. I have Strats and a PRS with tremelo arms and rarely do alternate or dropped tunings. Mostly just window shopping because I'm a geek guitarist and it's fun to look at shiny objects.

  • Well, the members of that forum are very sensitive to issues like that, so the lack of talk about latency, etc., tells me there is no such problem that is noticeable. Every one of my solid bodies have trems, but I have been tempted to put one on my acoustic, or jazz guitars.

  • Would latency really effect this? Ignore the virtual capo part, if you using it as a whammy bar, do we do so whilst picking? It's when you do stuff with a prominent attack, like a choppy riff that I really notice latency. But I don't do that when grabbing the bar, I'm bending something already ringing.

    Who knows? I won't be getting one either way, not until it looks like it belongs and also comes down in price.

  • There's two kinds of latency at play here, no?

    The first one, let's call it "control latency", is the lag between the player's manipulation of the physical whammy bar and whatever the floor unit needs to do in response. I imagine this should be very close to zero, as it only requires a relatively "lean" control signal to be transferred and processed. Wiggle the bar and the floor unit should react virtually instantaneously, even if the connection were wireless, as there's no audio stream passing between the whammy bar and the floor unit.

    The second kind of latency, let's call it "audio pitch shifting latency", happens entirely within the floor unit and is inherent to any pitch shifting algorithm. You would theoretically notice it when picking notes while holding the whammy bar down, for example (like chu says, not something you would traditionally do a lot), or using the "virtual capo" feature.

    It's entirely possible this device has less pitch shifting latency than the Kemper, although I personally think the Kemper's is not bad at all. However, "zero lag" seems like marketing hyperbole when it comes to this kind of latency: real-time pitch shifting simply takes a non-zero amount of processing time. Like Monkey_Man said, the best you can hope for is "not-perceptible" (which is good enough, of course!).

    That said, I would be interested in this without the on-board audio processing in the floor unit, just as a (preferably wireless) control device. Make the floor unit simply output a MIDI cc or expression pedal voltage signal and leave the processing to the Kemper!

    The only challenge would then be that the Kemper expects a traditional expression pedal, which is unipolar, i.e.: it goes from zero in the heel position to 100 in the toe position. To use this as a whammy bar, which goes both up and down, you'd have to be able to define a middle position in the Kemper where the guitar signal is unaffected, which could take a bit of tweaking to make it correspond to the whammy bar's physical middle position. But it would be cool to use it for morphing!

    Edit: I guess the latter issue could be solved if the floor unit acted like two separate expression pedals, one for pressing the bar down and one for pulling it up. Connect it to the Kemper using two TRS cables and you can control two different effects, depending on the direction!