Polytope



Moderator: Taylor Livingston

Re: Polytope

Postby phantasmagorovich » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:39 am

MSUsousaphone wrote:I fucking hated chorus pedals, too. Made me daydream back to Adrian Paul and Highlander shit. The show was cool. But the music sucked ass. Fretless basses suck ass. Anyways, the Chroma Chorus converted me because it doesn't have those wabbles. This thing blows the Chroma Chorus away. I don't really need all the wacky stuff it does (95% of the pedal) but that subtle (5%) is so freaking beautiful.....it just rocks. Totally changed my mind on chorus.

These are some nice demos (sEQ is tearing it up) but they're still a little less shimmery and subtle than I used the polytope for. I'll try to get a demo or two up.



Please do, I'd love to hear someone demo the subtle side of this pedal. Not that it will change me wanting one badly, but that's beside the point.
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Re: Polytope

Postby MSUsousaphone » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:09 am

Here's my suck ass subtle demo.

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Re: Polytope

Postby Taylor Livingston » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:30 am

Great demo, MSU!
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Re: Polytope

Postby madmax1012 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:01 am

i think I'm confused as to what the Polytope actually is. I love how it sounds, but what exactly is it? it definitely doesn't sound like a straight up chorus?
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Re: Polytope

Postby Taylor Livingston » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:33 pm

The website tries to explain that, but perhaps my description there isn't very enlightening? Imagine a pedal that has four pitch shifters (like four Whammy pedals). They can shift the pitch of your instrument continuously (in cents) rather than just by whole intervals. You can have between one and all four of these happening at the same time, and they all shift the pitch by slightly different amounts. This creates an effect like multiple instruments or oscillators playing the same thing together.

Then you can add in the LFO. That means that the shift amounts of all the pitch shifters are constantly changing, up and down. The depth of this movement is controlled by the detune knob and the speed, by the speed knob. Then you can also blend in your original signal, so you can have up to five versions of your note, slightly detuned from one another.

If you only use one voice, and set the mode switch to M (for modulation), then the Polytope acts more or less like a standard chorus. Two things make it unique and different from every chorus pedal:
1. It has four voices, rather than one like nearly all chorus pedals. This means that it can sound like five simultaneous instruments rather than 2.
2. The detune mode allows you to get the thickening of a chorus without the up-and-down wobble. A standard chorus is just a delay line being wobbled up and down. Because of that, it can only ever cycle from up to down in pitch, over and over. If you turned off the LFO on a chorus you would not have any effect. So the ability to get the fatness and shimmer that people like about chorus, without the wobbly seasick cycling, is what the Polytope does differently. Of course, if you want to get wobbly seasick sounds, it can do those in spades as well!
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Re: Polytope

Postby madmax1012 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:44 pm

ok i think i got it. it is a pretty complicated sounding contraption, but it looks/sounds amazing and i've decided i want one :)
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Re: Polytope

Postby phantasmagorovich » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:06 am

Taylor Livingston wrote:The website tries to explain that, but perhaps my description there isn't very enlightening? Imagine a pedal that has four pitch shifters (like four Whammy pedals). They can shift the pitch of your instrument continuously (in cents) rather than just by whole intervals. You can have between one and all four of these happening at the same time, and they all shift the pitch by slightly different amounts. This creates an effect like multiple instruments or oscillators playing the same thing together.

Then you can add in the LFO. That means that the shift amounts of all the pitch shifters are constantly changing, up and down. The depth of this movement is controlled by the detune knob and the speed, by the speed knob. Then you can also blend in your original signal, so you can have up to five versions of your note, slightly detuned from one another.

If you only use one voice, and set the mode switch to M (for modulation), then the Polytope acts more or less like a standard chorus. Two things make it unique and different from every chorus pedal:
1. It has four voices, rather than one like nearly all chorus pedals. This means that it can sound like five simultaneous instruments rather than 2.
2. The detune mode allows you to get the thickening of a chorus without the up-and-down wobble. A standard chorus is just a delay line being wobbled up and down. Because of that, it can only ever cycle from up to down in pitch, over and over. If you turned off the LFO on a chorus you would not have any effect. So the ability to get the fatness and shimmer that people like about chorus, without the wobbly seasick cycling, is what the Polytope does differently. Of course, if you want to get wobbly seasick sounds, it can do those in spades as well!



This description makes me inquisitive.

How far apart from each other are the four additional voices? Are they all down or up from the original signal? Can you control that somehow? Is the detune relative to the OG signal? Could I tune the knob to a certain position and it will stay the same relation for each note I play on the guitar?
I might not be explaining this too well.
What I mean, does the detune knob go from f.ex. -00.1% to 50% or is it -1Hz to -130Hz?
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Re: Polytope

Postby Taylor Livingston » Tue May 01, 2012 4:03 am

The Polytope page talks about this a bit. Voices 1 and three are above the original pitch, and voices 2 and 4 are below. The detune knob controls the shift amount of all four voices simultaneously and proportionally. In other words, with all voices mixed in, if you have the detune knob detuning one semitone, then voice one is one semitone up from the original, voice two is one semitone down from the original, voice three is 2 semitones up from original, voice four is 2 semitones down from original.

So, the distance between all voices is not static - it changes proportionally with the detune knob. I attached a picture to help illustrate.

The detuning is proportional, like a whammy pedal or pitch shifter pedal, so if you shift up one semitone when playing a low note, that will still give you a semitone shift on high notes. The highest shift amount is several semitones, so you can get some huge tone clusters if you're into that kind of craziness. :) But it can also go down to zero shift, so anything from slight thickening to massive weirdo chords-from-a-single-note are possible. To make it easier to describe, I'm imagining that you have set the detune knob for one semitone, but in reality this would be a pretty extreme setting, of course.
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Re: Polytope

Postby Eric! » Wed May 02, 2012 9:59 pm

My Xerograph is lonely.......
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Re: Polytope

Postby jrmy » Wed May 02, 2012 10:14 pm

Taylor Livingston wrote:...massive weirdo chords-from-a-single-note are possible.


I'd LOVE to hear some good examples recorded of this in particular! It is, as they say, relevant to my interests.
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Re: Polytope

Postby Waterpilot » Thu May 03, 2012 12:38 am

This is the second time I've seen "LFO" in the last couple of days but I still don't know what it's short for. Can someone help me out please?
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Re: Polytope

Postby Chankgeez » Thu May 03, 2012 12:43 am

Waterpilot wrote:This is the second time I've seen "LFO" in the last couple of days but I still don't know what it's short for. Can someone help me out please?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-frequency_oscillation
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Re: Polytope

Postby Waterpilot » Thu May 03, 2012 12:49 am

Thank you!
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Re: Polytope

Postby SmallEQ » Thu May 03, 2012 10:41 am

Eric! wrote:My Xerograph is lonely.......


Dude, its such a fun combo, the effect a little detuned fuzz has on the Xero is really cool. May try to do a clip this weekend.
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Re: Polytope

Postby Eric! » Thu May 03, 2012 12:26 pm

SmallEQ wrote:
Eric! wrote:My Xerograph is lonely.......


Dude, its such a fun combo, the effect a little detuned fuzz has on the Xero is really cool. May try to do a clip this weekend.


It's YOUR fault I want one to match. And the fact that this has been a dream of modulationz for me for a while.
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