Pitch effect (pitch shifting)
From Axe-Fx II Wiki
The information on this page supplements the official manuals.
Pitch: supported by which Fractal Audio products?
- Axe-Fx II: yes.
- AX8: yes.
- FX8: yes.
X/Y switching in the Pitch block
- The Pitch block in the Axe-Fx II, FX8 and AX8 supports X/Y switching.
Position of the Pitch block
- Cliff's comments:
- "When going direct, pitch shifting often sounds best when placed BEFORE the Cab block. The factory presets may have the block doing the shifting (pitch or multidelay) after the Cab block. Try moving the pitch before the Cab for smoother results."
- Forum member Bakerman: "The pitch block basically shifts the entire cab freq. response up/down if it's after cab. A slight detune might sound about the same either way but with a half step, whole step, etc. the difference becomes more apparent."
Pitch Economy mode
- Some types in the Pitch block in the AX8 and FX8 provide an Economy mode. This offers comparable audio performance with lower CPU requirements.
Pitch Track parameter: Poly or Mono
- The Pitch Track parameter (Fixed Harmony and Whammy modes only) offers these settings: Off, Poly, and Mono.
- Poly: works best for shifting chords and/or lower amounts of shift.
- Mono: works best for shifting single notes and/or larger shift amounts.
Pitch Source parameter: Global or Local
- This parameter determines which signal the Pitch block uses for tracking:
- Global (default): the signal at the input of the grid. This will usually do, unless there are specific demands or when the CPU load is high (see below).
- Local: the signal at the input of the Pitch block.
Pitch block and CPU load
- Cliff's comments:
- "Once the CPU usage crosses a certain threshold (which could happen if you are streaming audio) the pitch detection will slow down as the global pitch detector necessarily has a lower priority than the primary audio processing. If you change the Pitch Source to Local then the local pitch detector runs at the same priority as the audio." source
- "Pitch detection has a lower priority than audio processing. If CPU usage is very high the pitch detectors won't run often". source
Pitch Learn mode
- The Pitch block has a Learn function. Turn it on, play a note and hold it: the device will now set the key according to the note you played.
Pitch: harmony scales
- Harmony scales are explained in the Axe-Fx II manual.
Creating an Arpeggiator effect with Pitch
- The Arpeggiator mode uses 16 steps. Here's how to expand to 32 steps.
Creating an Octaver effect with Pitch
- There are several ways to create an Octaver effect (octave down voice):
- Set the Pitch block to Fixed Harmony, 1 octave down.
- Set the Pitch block to Octave Divide.
- Use the Ring Modulator effect in Tracking mode.
Creating a Detune (micropitch) effect with Pitch
- Pitched detuning is a great alternative to a Chorus. There's no "swirl", associated with that 80's chorus tone. Use it in stereo for a very wide effect.
- In general: detune up and down the same amount, between +/-5 and +/-10, delay the voices for more width (let's say 7 ms), set mix at 25% or lower, put the block after the Amp block but before the (stereo) Cab block, and pan the voices for a wide stereo effect. Beware of phase cancellation when running a mono rig.
Creating a Whammy pedal with Pitch
- Optimizing the curve of the expression pedal.
- You can engage a Whammy on the fly without using Auto-Engage:
- Put a Pitch block in line, set to Classic Whammy. Source: Global. Bypass Mode: Thru.
- Assign the Control parameter to your pedal's external controller.
- Assign the same external controller to the Mix parameter. Set Mix at zero. Modifier menu: Start 40, Mid 100, End 55, Slope 0, Scale 10, Offset 100.
- Make sure the Pitch block is engaged and save the preset.
- Demo of the Whammy settings above.
- Increasing the Scale parameter in the modifier menu a little creates some "flat" space at the top so the octave arrives earlier and stays put.
Simulating dropped tuning with Pitch
- Use a Pitch block at the start of the grid and set it to Fixed Harmony. Select the desired voice. Mix: 100%, Tracking: On, Pitch Track: Poly.
- If you can't stand the latency (there always will be some), try Simeon's ADSR trick, explained here and here.
Creating a Shimmer effect with Pitch
- The Shimmer effect raises the pitch of notes and reverberates them. Pioneered by Digitech (IPS 33 and other devices) and used a lot by U2's The Edge, among others.
- You can use the Pitch Shifter's Crystals mode (set to Reverse Feedback) or Fixed Harmony (with delayed voices). Alternatively use Plexi Shift or Plexi Detune in the Multi Delay effect.
- Limiting the high frequencies helps to keep the dry signal clear and separate from the direct signal.
- Use Input Diffusion to remove the separate delays.
- "Diffusion controls the cross-coupling of the delay lines. Input Diffusion is a diffuser on the input." source
- Attach an external controller to Input Gain or Envelope to fade in the effect with a pedal.
Creating a dive bomb effect with Pitch
- To simulate an automated dive bomb or rising pitch effect:
- Create a preset with a Pitch block.
- Set Pitch mode to Classic Whammy, Up|Dn 2 Oct., Pitch Track: off, 100% mix.
- Enter the Modifier menu of the Control parameter in the Pitch block. Set Source to one of the externals. Set Damping to 750, for starters.
- Enter the Modifier menu of the Bypass parameter in the Pitch block. Set Source to the same external controller as above.
- Save the preset.
- On the floor controller:
- Program a switch to send the external controller's CC.
- The switch can be latching or momentary, whatever works for you.
- To operate: select the preset. Press the switch (press and hold if it's a momentary switch) for the effect to kick in. Press again (or release) to stop, and bypass the Pitch block.
- You can also use your expression pedal instead of a switch. Use the corresponding external controller.
- Instead of a switch, you can also use Auto-Engage.
- You can adjust the length of the dive through the Damping parameter, use another Whammy mode, make it even more dramatic by adding a Flanger, etc.