Author Topic: SpiceTone 6APPEAL: Hex Fuzz, poly Tremolo/Pan, Break Out Box, MIDI Controller  (Read 5421 times)

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Offline Elantric



http://www.spicetone.com/products/6appeal-polyphonic-overdrive-for-hexaphonic-guitars

6Appeal User Manual (version 1.0)  and Flow Chart (PDF)
( see attached below)

6APPEAL: Polyphonic Overdrive for Hexaphonic Guitars





Hexaphonic overdrive, distortion, fuzz, modulation, sequencer, filter & stereo pan pedal. Superb for guitars with hexaphonic pickups (13pin output like Godin or Roland GK, Cycfi Neo6 or Ubertar pickups), excellent for all electric guitars. Two LFOs and a sequencer for modulations. 6x24 customizable preset memories. Instant circuit mods (root boost pre and post effect, tone circuit on/off, different clipping styles). All-analog sound processing.

"If only Bob Dylan had one of these when he went electric."
Mr Nigel Cassidy, BBC News. See more at BBC.com

To get the most of 6Appeal, you need a guitar with divided pickups and 13pin DIN type output. Please understand that 6Appeal is a complicated device with 6+1 audio channels and over 1000 components, and we're a tiny bunch of enthusiasts, hence the hefty price. The sound 6Appeal delivers is truly unique and natural. It's your chance to stand out and conquer new tonal grounds.

NB! There is NO power adapter included, as you can power 6Appeal with a common guitar pedal adapter (9v-12v, 300mA min, 2.1mm plug).

Product Highlights:
Polyphonic (Hexaphonic) Overdrive and Distortion
Full Analogue Signal Path
Overdrive, Crunch And Fuzz
6x24 Preset Memory Slots
6 Banks for Presets
3 Footswitches and 10 Illuminated Pots
Tone Stack In/Out
Parameter Spread And Tilt (More Effect on Higher or Lower Strings)
Per String Settings (Effect On / Clean / Mute)
Stereo Filter Section (two low pass cut-off points, adjustable resonance up to self-oscillation)
Root Boost Circuit (Pre and Post to add glorious amounts of low end punch)
Dry Signal Blend (for tonal transparency and attack)
Mono Signal Blend (mix hex with mono pickups)
13PIN IN and OUT (to chain with 13pin effects like Roland/Boss GR/GP series)
MIDI IN, OUT/THRU
3 Stereo/Mono ¼” Jack Outputs
High quality JFET opamps and Alpha pots
Sturdy Enclosure (Maritime Grade Anodized Aluminium)
Made in Estonia, Europe
Other remarkable features:
Breakout Box (6Appeal can output 6+1 channels from hex pickup to ¼” jacks)
MIDI Control In (control 6Appeal with MIDI)
MIDI Control Out (use 6Appeal as a MIDI controller for your DAW or MIDI devices)

2 LFOs (syncable; sine, triangle, pulse, saw up, saw down, random)
Parameter Modulation (modulate any pot with LFO)
Panning Modulation (per strings stereo panning modulation)
Filter Modulation (auto wah-wah and rhythmic resonance)
Syncing (synchronize tempo with DAW or MIDI device)
Sequencer (sequenced modulations, can be tempo synced)
Envelope (in next software releases)
Tap Tempo
Suitable for Bass (no low end cutoff, can mute unused channels for 4string)
Software updates (mini USB)

- See more at: http://www.spicetone.com/products/6appeal-polyphonic-overdrive-for-hexaphonic-guitars#sthash.Czc9DeRv.dpuf


« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 10:33:38 PM by Elantric »

Offline spicetone

Thanks for posting!

We're the developers of 6Appeal. One idea is to have a six+summed channel analog distortion/overdrive in front of Roland 13pin processor or DAW, so one can apply further processing. 6Appeal works as a breakout box (with effect or clean).

Hopefully we manage to arrange some videos soon, showing 6Appeal with Roland devices.

All controls on 6Appeal can be modulated (synced or with internal LFOs) - there's envelope modulation, too, that takes envelopes from Roland devices (we use GR55).
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:28:23 PM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2/15276193-initial-feedback-from-enda-bates
Initial Feedback from Enda Bates
September 02 2014
Mr Enda Bates, a musician, composer, producer and academic based in Dublin, Ireland, is one of the first users of 6Appeal. He was so kind to provide detailed feedback and comments. Here they are in full length. No cuts or editing from Spicetone, as we're enthusiasts, not spin doctors.

"The Build Quality is really good; it feels quite sturdy and the cable connections are strong (13-pin connectors can be tricky like that sometimes, but not here).

The sound quality is, on first impression, fantastic (I really love that analogue distortion) and I can easily imagine this being used in mono-output mode for recording heavily distorted guitar tracks (stuff in the style of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins would sound great with this type of distortion).

Perhaps what I examined most on this first look was the breakout box functionality, and I have to say, this is really quite a dramatic improvement on the breakout box I was using previously. When using a passive breakout box the hexaphonic signal is quite low and requires a significant amount of gain to be added to the soundcard inputs (such as on the MOTU Ultralite used here). This can cause significant amounts of hiss to creep in, which isn’t too troublesome for live performance work but is actually highly problematic for recording purposes (a problem I've encountered before). Straight away there was a significant gain boost with the 6Appeal which meant I could lose about 6dB of gain on the soundcard inputs. When i added in the Output boost function I could take about another 10dB of gain off the soundcard inputs, which is hugely impressive (and left me pretty much at unity gain on the soundcard). Effectively this pedal is also a dedicated hexaphonic preamp and I can see this pedal being used as high end recording device for hexaphonic guitar. I've been planning just such an album and I can definitely see myself using the 6Appeal as the primary preamp for recording the hex guitar.

The Root Boost functionality is also very useful and really improves the sound of these types of pickups which are inevitably mounted in the bridge.

The 6Appeal also worked straight out of the box with both my RMC equipped Godin, and my Roland GK-3 equipped Les Paul. This was actually an issue with my previous setup, as the Roland requires power from the breakout box, but the RMC doesnt. In fact, the RMC could be damaged if supplied with power in that way so using both guitars was always left me slightly nervous. With the 6Appeal though, it was very easy and just required a change in presets on the soundcard to compensate for the slightly different pickup gain structures.

The method of indicating what the current KNOB value is, relative to the current physical position of the KNOB is nicely done and fairly intuitive.

The more detailed programming and the adjusting of parameters in the menu took a little while to get used too. It’s definitely a very efficient means of allowing access to a lot of parameters from a small number of controls, but this does also require quite a lot of research to get to grips with. I’m not sure how feasible this is, but if these menus could be programmed using a computer application and the USB connection, that would pretty much eliminate this issue as you could have a simple graphical display which would make things much clearer.

The one thing I would perhaps question is the number of physical jack connections. For example, would having an extra, dedicated mono-out simplify some of the menu settings a little.

On a similar note, while using Y-cables and stereo, jack connections for the individual string outputs is very neat and tidy, I wonder would it be better just to have 6 individual mono outputs. Perhaps this is not physically possible internally for space reasons, but I think it would actually simplify things. For example, I don’t have any Y-cables right now so I’m still using the 13-pin output from the 6Appeal, into my old breakout box. Now as I like the 6Appeal a lot, I will now pick up some Y-cables but these are not always that easy to find. For example, if I was playing a show and one of my Y-cables failed, it could potentially be tricky to replace right there and then."

So, this is the first long third party feedback:) For the Y-cable thing, yep, using stereo outputs is a limitation cable-wise; there was a hard decision if we make the box even bigger than it is, to accomodate more jack. We decided not, as the box is already about the size of an iPad, which is quite enough for a guitar pedal.

Thank you for reading! As we have already told the people who've gotten 6Appeal already - your feedback and references is highly appreciated!


- See more at: http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2/15276193-initial-feedback-from-enda-bates#sthash.wJMlK7QY.dpuf
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 01:22:44 PM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

Quote
On a similar note, while using Y-cables and stereo, jack connections for the individual string outputs is very neat and tidy, I wonder would it be better just to have 6 individual mono outputs. Perhaps this is not physically possible internally for space reasons, but I think it would actually simplify things. For example, I don’t have any Y-cables right now so I’m still using the 13-pin output from the 6Appeal, into my old breakout box. Now as I like the 6Appeal a lot, I will now pick up some Y-cables but these are not always that easy to find. For example, if I was playing a show and one of my Y-cables failed, it could potentially be tricky to replace right there and then."

So, this is the first long third party feedback:) For the Y-cable thing, yep, using stereo outputs is a limitation cable-wise; there was a hard decision if we make the box even bigger than it is, to accommodate more jack. We decided not, as the box is already about the size of an iPad, which is quite enough for a guitar pedal.

I find this TRS snake handy to have on hand for breakout box use with the Spicetone 6Appeal
Hosa Cable STP804 Snake Insert Cable, 1/4 Inch to 1/4 Inch
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068O2R/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:28:33 PM by Elantric »

Offline spicetone

And for the Y cables, stereo to doubli mono jack adapters also fit perfectly:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/635mm-stereo-plug-to-two-635mm-mono-sockets-adapter-l36az


Max MSP midi setup:

http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2/15330525-max-msp-patch-for-6appeal



Max MSP patch for 6Appeal
September 07 2014
A contribution from Enda Bates:

"I've created a Max MSP patch that demonstrates how to use MIDI to control the 6Appeal. The patch, as well as some screenshots are attached below. I've tested this in Max MSP 6.1.8, however I havnt checked it in the free Runtime version of Max yet. I imagine it should work there in exactly the same way (although you wont be able to edit or modify the patch). I've included controls for the presets, all of the main Pot controls, and a small selection of the most common menu items. If you want to access other menu items, you can just copy and paste an existing control and tweak the MIDI note number to the new value."

Here's the file:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0253/7907/files/6Appeal-MIDIcontrol.maxpat?1044

And here are two screenshots:





By the way, if anybody has 6Appeal and Ableton Live with Max, the patch might be of great interest, too.

 

- See more at: http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2/15330525-max-msp-patch-for-6appeal#sthash.4GCDCZkI.dpuf
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:28:46 PM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

Ive had the SpiceTone 6APPEAL for a little while and its an Extremely deep GK 13 pin pedal which can add real time control to augment your VG/GR 13pin rig.
http://www.spicetone.com/products/6appeal-polyphonic-overdrive-for-hexaphonic-guitars

It has Far more features than simply a clone of the old Roland G-808  Poly Fuzz circuit - also allows MIDI controlled Tremolo functions and more!

If you have any questions I'll try to answer them !

* 2 LFOs (syncable; sine, triangle, pulse, saw up, saw down, random)

* Parameter Modulation (modulate any pot with LFO)

* Panning Modulation (per strings stereo panning modulation)

* Filter Modulation (auto wah-wah and rhythmic resonance)

* Syncing (synchronize tempo with DAW or MIDI device)

* Sequencer (sequenced modulations, can be tempo synced)

* Envelope (in next software releases)

* Tap Tempo

* Suitable for Bass (no low end cutoff, can mute unused channels for 4string)



« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:28:57 PM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2/14749181-big-muff-vs-6appeal
Tested our 6Appeal versus legendary Big Muff by Electro Harmonix.



Here's the Hohner Orgaphon 41MH. It has 2x10" Eminence Deltalites and a 1x12" cab with Eminence Delta.



Tried to dial in as similar sound as possible, the only difference being hexaphony (polyphonic distortion). Ain't saying one is better than other,  but there sure is a big difference in terms of harmonic content. Amp's reverb is turned to zero but you still might hear it a bit. I play clean-Muff-6Appeal sequences. Not a guitar hero or sound master, sorry:) The guitar is a standard Godin electric with built in divided piezo pickups with 13pin output. The signal is analog all the way until MOTU soundcard. - See more at: http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2/14749181-big-muff-vs-6appeal#sthash.2bd89a1T.dpuf




http://youtu.be/yRVPpmNXwbk?list=PL_ZxCdKwI5-Fk11ifcAyMhZKRdXSOXu8U

Songwriter Aapo Ilves experimenting with nylon strings and hexaphonic overdrive; recorded 30 July 2014 in Spicetone's laboratory. Godin Multiac Nylon 13pin - Spicetone's 6Appeal - Hohner Orgaphon 41MH + VHT Special 12/20 - a bunch of mics, including room mics.

http://youtu.be/DjNzHjUuAGY?list=PL_ZxCdKwI5-Fk11ifcAyMhZKRdXSOXu8U
The main part is 6Appeal LFO modulation in panning mode, near the end some LFO modulated filter effect is added. The LFO in 6Appeal can be synced to external tempo from any MIDI out, but this time I set the modulation rate manually, as I'm lousy in keeping up to tempo anyway.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:29:16 PM by Elantric »

Offline spicetone

One more demo - this is how stereo guitar with modulation fills the background of a folk singer:



<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zNL5ovOLY5g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:29:29 PM by Elantric »

Offline spicetone

And now a demo of 6Appeal as a Breakout Box for 13pin guitars:



It's just a short test ride of how to use 6Appeal as an active breakout box for a 13pin guitar. This means you route each string separately out from your guitar, into your soundcard (or mixer) and are free to apply panning, amp models, subharmonics, make true surround guitar mixdowns, and go really crazy with postprocessing.

Offline merman93

See video below, article here http://guitarnoize.com

Don't know if it's worth $595.00, but it's still cool. Btw, there is a 10% off code on the above site for purchasing, through December.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:29:46 PM by Elantric »
Ibanez RG 1520 GK
Ibanez RG 420 GK
Ibanez RG 920 (GK KIT)
Ibanez RGA 121 (GK 3)
Fender Deluxe Players Strat (GK KIT)
Roland GC 1/G 505/G 707
Hamer Phantom A7 (24 pin)
BX 13 (24 -13 pin converter)
GP-10
FishmanTripleplay (2)
VG 88 2.0
Apple Imac/Logic 9
MOTU Utralite 3
Kemper (2)
Gemini 2 Active FRFR

Offline mojo thorne

Looks like a very cool pedal.  Indeed a little pricey, but does seem to have a lot of cool options for control.  Mostly, it's just really great to see more folks stepping out and up to support the hex guitar concept.  I'm sure the return on investment for those companies is quite small unless they sell a bunch of them, hence the higher price.  Still, I'm not sure that you could build a breakout box and six fuzz boxes with midi control for $550, even without enclosures.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:29:56 PM by Elantric »

Offline spicetone

Looks like a very cool pedal.  Indeed a little pricey, but does seem to have a lot of cool options for control.  Mostly, it's just really great to see more folks stepping out and up to support the hex guitar concept.  I'm sure the return on investment for those companies is quite small unless they sell a bunch of them, hence the higher price.  Still, I'm not sure that you could build a breakout box and six fuzz boxes with midi control for $550, even without enclosures.

Thanks! And yes, we hate the price ourselves, too, but this really is the best possible, as we're using quality parts only. By the way, it's even seven fuzz boxes, as there's one channel for mono, too:)

Offline spicetone

NB! If you're planning to buy 6Appeal, here's a discount code for VGuitarForum. It's valid until 24 Dec 2014:

VGuitarForum14
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:30:06 PM by Elantric »

Offline MusicOverGear

    Webster's defines Spicetone 6Appeal as the quality or state of one having owed to the properties of...

    Hmm... no, that won't work.

    The Spicetone 6Appeal is Jurassic Park meets Game of Thrones.

    No, that's not it.

    The Spicetone 6Appeal is like a digitall-controlled, all analog GR-100 that is completely unlocked in some respects, but is missing an internal envelope trigger.

    Getting there, but not quite.

    The Spicetone 6Appeal is a hex fuzz with filter, LFO, and step sequencer that can be controlled digitally via MIDI. It's like a vintage got thrown into that box from the Transformers movie that turns simple devices into sentient monsters. This makes it a powerful sound design component for hexaphonic guitar that is a throwback in a lot of ways: 1) it is meant as a core component in a larger system, 2) it is very hands-on, with knobs and buttons for every control - a welcome relief for those who complain about the 1980's LCD screen paradigm that still rules mainstream guitar gear  3) it can be the starting point of monster sounds, and 4) it will require some learning and experimentation for the end user in order to work with it deliberately - with purpose, and 5) people like me, seeing it without a firm frame of reference will struggle to pinpoint exactly what it is and what it's good for.


    I'm going to start describing this unit with some lists, the second of which is features. I'm doing this because potential owners of a 6Appeal are going to have to evaluate the unit as it functions as part of a whole sound design system, using additional tools of choice, with which the 6Appeal will easily integrate - it is designed well in that regard.

    Simple Demo
    • First, consider this simple demo, which uses nothing but a generic Logic drum track, the 6Appeal, and a few effects in Logic (e.g. Guitar Amp). Here is the list of steps I took to create this very basic track:
    • The real first step was the choice to make a very conventional-sounding demo. Listening to the demos already in circulation when I reviewed this device, it seemed there was a kind of generic synthiness to the demos in general. While I'm the biggest synth geek I know, including all my keyboardist friends, I wanted to show that the 6Appeal can be used as part of a deliberate sound design toolset, driving it in any direction the user chooses. Therefore I chose to make a demo of utterly conventional sounds.
    • Plugged in a GK-3 equipped guitar with no traditional pickups connected - just the hex pickup
    • Pad Sound
    • Started with a clean patch and added Fuzz
    • Lowered filter cutoff to very low level for a generic string pad sound
    • Added an additional filter with envelope (auto-wah) in Logic for a little movement
    • Added chorus
    • Looped 16 bars a few times until I had tracked an acceptable, generic verse-chorus
    • Bass
    • Started with clean sound again
    • octave down effect in Logic
    • Bass Amp plugin in Logic
    • low cutoff again - not as low as the pad
    • higher resonance, which accentuates the way the timbre of the plucked string develops - like particularly vocal jazz bass
      track bass part
    • Rhythm Guitar (under verse 1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Having spent way too many hours and days out of my life building my own pickups, I'm pretty familiar with the response curve of some of my favorite pickups and pickup combinations. Most guitar pickups have a very pronounced midrange hump and a fast falloff above that, so a relatively high resonance helps sound more like a traditional guitar, if that's what you want. I opened up an instance of Voxengo Span to see the effect of turning the filter cutoff knobs and shot for a curve that looked to me like it would a good rhythm sound.
    • Added Guitar Amp plugin in Logic
    • Melody Guitar verse 2
    • Tweaked cutoff and resonance for Strat bridge/middle type sound.
    • Used the 6Appeal Clock interface to select Drive Menu and pressed the center knob/button to select Overdrive
    • Dialed in Drive, Gain, and Tone
    • loop 3 takes of unsatisfactory improvising LOL, settled for the last one because it was too depressing to listen back to the other two
    • Melody Guitar verse 3
    • same as guitar 1, but with a lower peak (low wind PAF type) and Fuzz with Drive and Gain set higher. A very wide range and variety of clipping is available.  I wish now I'd spent more time on this sound. I was growing impatient after the time I spent reading the hefty manual.
    • Melody Guitar verse 4 (fade out)
    • This is the sound of the GK in bypass mode on the 6Appeal - it's just buffering and summing the 6 pickups on the GK into a mono signal and feeding it into the same Guitar Amp plugin in Logic. I probably should have turned off the Guitar Amp plugin so you can hear how really full-range and plinky is the uneffected sound.
    Here's what it all sounds like:



    Features
    Here is a list of features in order as they appeal to me personally. There may be some/many I'm leaving out. For the complete list, consult the PDF manual (halfway down the page: "User Manual and Flowcharts") - or peruse the Spicetone website to get a bigger picture.
    • All analog audio
    • A very nice interface that maintains both hands-on, buttons-and-knobs analog interface and the power of digital communication/storage.
    • A very malleable filter section
    • 3 Types of clipping: overdrive, crunch, fuzz. They all sound good with plenty of character, yet they are easy to mix.
    • 2 LFO's that can be timed/synced just about any way you can imagine for extreme creativity, and they can control any audio parameter.
    • Very comprehensive I/O of audio and MIDI. You can route audio out via 13-pin, mono 1/4", 6 individual mono signals (one per string, which can each be effected differently in a single patch), stereo, or probably any way that your imagination/patching allows. The MIDI implementation is deep, so you can receive a MIDI clock, CC's from a foot controller or sequencer... actually it's silly to try to imagine all possibilities - my impression from my quick tour is that you can control any parameter with any MIDI source. Someone even built a makeshift patch editor in Max (no librarian tho) that will run in the free Max Runtime  (like Java for music).
    • Root boost circuit - emphasizes the fundamental. I meant to try this on my bass patch but forgot.
    • There is also an internal sequencer. This will be useful to some. Others - maybe most people - will be using the 6Appeal with a computer in which case a desktop sequencer - e.g. Ableton - will be more practical for most things IMHO
    • It uses the contemporary standard 13-pin connectors so it can interface with popular gear like a Roland GK-3 pickup for input.
    • The 6Appeal runs acceptably quietly from a single, standard Boss-type PSU, which must have taken some real work to make happen. It's the kind of thing I would complain about bitterly if it weren't so. I'm going to take a moment right now to imagine being saddled with an additional non-standard PSU and be grateful that the 6Appeal uses any 9v center negative adapter.

    What's Not in the Box?
    The thing that most foxed me regarding the description of the 6Appeal was the omission of a complete envelope generator, which is an essential component of a sound design toolset. You can get away with no envelope generator if you are using the 6Appeal as a sort of analog Variax/dirt box, or if you limit your sounds to very unobtrusive background pads, but beyond that you are going to run out of options very quickly. After the filter, which the 6Appeal has on lock, envelopes are used to craft the most characteristic aspects of sounds.[/li][/list]

    You do have envelopes with the 6Appeal, just not envelopes directly triggered by performance. Right now if you want an envelope for every time you play a string, you have to split your GK signal into an additional device - the Spicetone manual details how to do with a Roland GR-55 - and trigger the 6Appeal's envelope with MIDI from the Roland device. If I'm going to have to wait for the Roland latency anyway, personally I'd rather have Roland's vastly more expansive sound design toolset. So the envelope situation on the 6Appeal at present is complicated.

    I will say that Spicetone is working on an external envelope generator. This is what really reminded me most of the wild frontier era of the 1940's and 1950's, when people were building components and patching them together for the first time. Additionally, they have made a sort of kludge provision for triggering envelopes with MIDI. Finally, you can trigger an envelope with an LFO, which, now that I think about it, I could have used in my demo on the pad sound - sync LFO to whole note using MIDI clock from Logic, and I could have had a very usable envelope for that sound.

    Actually that's probably the perfect anecdote for illustrating my overall impression of the 6Appeal: it's deep-yet-incomplete as a full sound design toolset without complementary devices; it is wonderfully playable owing to its analog, literally-the-speed-of-light audio path, yet it will take some non-musical, careful thinking ahead of time to set up sounds. This is a box for tweakers, not preset users.

    The 6Appeal could use a global setting for per-string sensitivity. As it stands you really need to adjust the Gain parameter for each individual string in each individual patch to get good string-to-string balance. My hunch is that this unit will appeal to hardcore tweakers who are spending a lot of time programming individual patches, anyway, so that may not be a huge issue for the target market.

    I also wish the 6Appeal had a built-in 7- or 8-channel USB audio interface. As it stands you have to route 6 audio outputs into the audio inputs of your own interface, which makes it instantly non-portable by my criteria (one trip from the car for all gear for any show) - but most people have much higher tolerance for gear bulk. I have a flight case from an old rig that holds a 15.5" notebook computer and a 2U rack that could easily accommodate a 6Appeal/computer rig. The USB port on the 6Appeal is just for writing to the PIC (i.e. firmware).

    The manual could be organized better. If I were creating a manual for this device I would simply identify the piece of similar gear I had mastered fastest in the past and imitate the logical organization of the manual for that product. All the information is there, and it is competently written in English, but the order and flow of material made so that I personally had to read the entire manual to get the big picture, then find particular information during my test drive of the 6Appeal. Others may have an easier time than I did.

    Finally the 6Appeal could really benefit from some presets that highlight its ability to function in an established musical style. This concern was the motivating factor behind my own audio demo - the stock presets sparked no recognition or inspiration for me personally.

    Who Would Like It?
    Writing this review, I'm developing a lot more empathy for the magazine writers I previously thought of as lazy for falling back on the story of their own experience - As I waited in the lobby of the Four Seasons to be ushered to the suite of the notoriously difficult actor... I think my difficulty trying to classify the 6Appeal may be instructive to potential buyers. When I first heard about the device on V-Guitar Forums, I listened to the demos and thought, huh, these are amateur musicians, but who is this device designed for - certainly the makers didn't throw their lives into the production of such a piece of engineering just to play Sweet Home Alabama at the corner bar? So I read every page of the small website, specifically looking for the disclosure of the design philosophy - you know, what question does this device answer, we made this with XYZ type of musician in mind, etc. The features are well represented, but nowhere do they state what was their mission when they set out on long journey of hard work that was beautifully realized in the 6Appeal. I read every word of the manual with that question close to the front of mind - what exactly is this thing supposed to be? If the makers of the 6Appeal have published any statement regarding their inspiration or mission, I haven't seen it. To me that mystery is part of the beauty.

    The 6Appeal exists because it is badass, bitchin', cool, awesome, superlative. It is a very complete sound design component, not a complete sound design system. Before trying the 6Appeal I never even considered the possibility of a computer-controlled, analog hexaphonic guitar rig; now I'm trying to keep the idea from my mind for fear that it will take root and I'll spend a year out of my life mainly tinkering with neat-o analog sound tools. Again.

    Here are some ways I can imagine the 6Appeal being effective for musicians:

    A sort of all-analog pickup modeler with OD/Dist/Fuzz, feeding into a conventional guitar rig. With very capable filtering the 6Appeal can emulate both familiar response curves and unfamiliar ones to feed into additional guitar pedals and amps
    A polyphonic, analog guitar synth that fits on a pedalboard.
    A guitar effect in a large, computer controlled production.
    Futuristic solo guitar. Lots and lots of performance possibilities using a DAW/sequencer without giving up the immediacy of analog processing. An obvious one is splitting two or three lowest strings with different filtering and octave down effect for Charlie Hunter style guitar without a specialized instrument.
    A central component of a digitally controlled, all-analog sound design rig. That envelope issue is vexing in this case. Once they crack that nut, sky's the limit in the universe of subtractive, 1960's and 1970's type synth sounds.
    An organic-sounding front end to notoriously non-organic sounding Max mad science projects. All the 6Appeal's strengths lend itself to computer integration, and its good-sounding filter could be a good complement to Max's apparently intrinsic grainy, computery sound
    Conclusion
    The Spicetone 6Appeal isn't going to expand the palette of sounds for someone who already owns a VG-99, GR-55, or GP-10. The 6Appeal isn't a sound design monster. It moves the hexaphonic guitarist ahead by providing deep computer control of an uncompromisingly playable analog hex fuzz with good sounding filters. The lack of an internal envelope trigger is a limitation, but I'm fond of the idea of limitations as an aid to creativity. When Spicetone - or some industrious DIY'er - releases their external envelope generator people will have a legit analog sound design kit for guitar with digital control. I'm sure someone has built something previously that would fit that description, but AFAIK, Spicetone is the very first to offer it in a small, pedalboard-friendly box that integrate easily into any 2014 music rig.

    Do I recommend buying it? I don't know. I highly recommend thinking about it, reading the manual, and considering whether the 6Appeal could help you with your current musical goals. If you are already using digitally controlled analog gear then you probably want one. If you are a traditional magnets, wire, and tubes type guy (still?!) then this is about a gentle intro to synth shock as you're going to get - basically just filtering a distorted signal per string - and all the digital control you absolutely need is built into the 6Appeal itself, with presets, programming, bypass, etc.

    Or think of it this way. Imagine having a GR-100, every parameter of which you can modulate with Ableton, MainStage, Max, or whatever you use (plus the internal LFO's and sequencer). If that gets your juices flowing, go to Spicetone right now and pick one up. EDIT: better yet there is now a group buy discount for VGuitar Forum: http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=12104.0

    Personally I've already committed to the dark side (digital). I have a room in my basement full of amps and it is with mounting dread that I'm realizing I may never again put any of them in the trunk of my car or on a trailer - I may never even record with them at home. Someday I'm going to have to let go and sell most/all of those amps to musicians who will use them. Same thing with pedals and a collection of guitars. Roland really set the hook in me with a relatively complete sound design universe in a stomp box. I can imagine a scenario in which I would build a new, badass analog rig with the 6Appeal at the center and Ableton Live as the control/interface, I just don't see myself doing it right now.

    I guess the bottom line is as follows. The 6Appeal is, AFAIK, the best that has ever existed when it comes to digitally controlled hex fuzz. If you can imagine something to do with that, then the 6Appeal will make it possible to realize your vision. When Spicetone finishes the envelope component, replace possible with easy.
    « Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:30:17 PM by Elantric »

    Offline spicetone

    Spicetone published a white paper, explaining the concept of hexaphonic processing and polyphonic distortion, especially in the analog domain. The paper is focused on the technology behind Spicetone's 6APPEAL™ hexaphonic guitar pedal.

    (review is here:)
     Spicetone's 6APPEAL
    http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=12104.msg88081#msg88081


    The 13 page illustrated paper is free to download as a pdf file:
    http://www.spicetone.com/pages/white-paper-on-hexaphony

    We also encourage other developers to further explore the rather "understomped" grounds analog hex guitar pedals! Thanks to powerful microcontrollers and digital potentiometres, it is much easier to build multichannel gear - comparing to 1970s, early 1980s, when there were several analog multichannel guitar processors.

    Along with the white paper, a series of short demo videos are published in Youtube.
     
    First of the videos demonstrates analog polyfuzz, also called hexaphonic distortion, with a Roland GK-3 divided pickup mounted on the bridge of a Fernandes guitar. The 6Appeal pedal is used for a panning effect, too:

     
    Second video shows a how to correct the sound of a Roland GK-3 pickup in analog domain. Mounted by guitar's bridge, it tends to lack lower frequencies, but can be beefed up with analog root boost circuits in 6Appel pedal:

     
    Third video demonstrates a Godin "Synth Access" equipped guitar with analog polyfuzz, stereo panning applied in 6Appeal. A selective amount of drive and dry signal mix, and some modulation is used:


    There is one more video to present power of post processing in DAW (Ableton Live):


    Hexaphonic overdrive with a custom magnetic hex pickup:

     
    The last video of the series is focused on making and saving a custom preset for the microprocessor controlled 6Appeal pedal:


    « Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:04:35 PM by Elantric »

    Offline Elantric


    White Paper and Demo Videos on Hexaphonic Processing
    http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=13004.0

    Offline shawnb

    Great product!   Very tempting...
    Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

    Offline shawnb

    I missed this thread first time thru.   What an excellent product.
    « Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:05:03 PM by Elantric »
    Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

    Offline Elantric

    http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2

    SPICETONE
    All You Need to Know about Multichannel Guitar
    December 19 2014

    All you need to know about multichannel guitar: http://tinyurl.com/pj6bnms

    We published a white paper, explaining the concept of hexaphonic processing and polyphonic distortion. The paper is focused on the technology behind Spicetone's 6APPEAL™ hexaphonic guitar pedal. The 13 page illustrated paper is free to download as a pdf file:

    http://www.spicetone.com/pages/white-paper-on-hexaphony

    Hexaphony is one of the very few underexploited innovations that guitar players have yet to discover. The cutting edge of the technology is to combine fully analog sound with post processing capabilites in a digital audio workstation like Ableton Live, Cubase, or Logic Pro. Along with the white paper, a series of short demo videos are published in Youtube.

    First of the videos demonstrates analog polyfuzz, also called hexaphonic distortion, with a Roland GK-3 divided pickup mounted on the bridge of a Fernandes guitar. The 6Appeal pedal is used for a panning effect, too:



    Second video shows a how to correct the sound of a Roland GK-3 pickup in analog domain. Mounted by guitar's bridge, it tends to lack lower frequencies, but can be beefed up with analog root boost circuits in 6Appel pedal:



    Third video demonstrates a Godin "Synth Access" equipped guitar with analog polyfuzz, stereo panning applied in 6Appeal. A selective amount of drive and dry signal mix, and some modulation is used:



    The last video of the series is focused on making and saving a custom preset for the microprocessor controlled 6Appeal pedal:



    The best known feature of multichannel guitar processing is hexaphonic distortion effect. Musicians describe it as “orchestral”, compared to classic distortion. For 6Appeal pedal, hexaphonic distortion is a native feature.

    Besides full harmonic range, 6Appeal, as an example of a multichannel guitar processor, lets you to pan individual strings in stereo, so you can fill the stage and amaze your audience with a full spatial effect. Building a complex surround guitar system is no obstacle. Set to breakout box mode, 6Appeal serves as a middleman for your 13pin guitar and soundcard - both clean and distorted. All strings can be routed separately to your mixer or computer.

    Everything in 6Appeal can be controlled by external MIDI, including the tempo of modulation effect, which it also incorporates. It is also an outgoing MIDI controller - you can send MIDI messages from 10 pots and 3 footswitches.

    The truth is there are no other analog multichannel guitar processors at the moment, only some breakout boxes and vintage gear. Spicetone's founders are hoping there will be other gear soon. The company encourages other developers to further explore the understomped grounds analog hex guitar pedals. Please see the white paper on Spicetone's input to the field.

    6Appeal is currently available is Spicetone’s webshop. The international retail price is EUR450 (USD595). Here's a 10% discount code valid until 31 Dec 2014: HEX14.

    More demos, a full list of specs and a user manual of 6Appeal are available at http://www.spicetone.com

    Spicetone is a music technology startup from Estonia, driven by experienced engineers with IC design background, who have previously worked for Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor. Spicetone’s goal is to help musicians in exploring new frontiers of analog guitar sound. These horizons are only accessible through advanced engineering and strong belief in the everlasting glory of guitar rock.

    We have Edison working with us!
    December 04 2014



    Intel Edison, Rein & Taivo @SpicetoneFX

    Multichannel Guitar: Standard Godin Synth Access and GK-3 Divided Pickup
    November 28 2014

    We invited our friend Mart Pauklin over to shoot some quick demos. Thanks Mart! Only standard gear used, no boutique hand made pickups or strange pickup positioning.

    First of all a jolly Fernandes guitar with a Roland GK-3 pickup system attached. No permanent modification need, not a scrath on the guitar. And the positioning of the pickup is standard, close to the bridge. The sound a is rather thin in that position, but this is not the end of the world! Just plug it to our 6Appeal analog distortion/overdrive, and switch on our Root Boost circuit that adds tons of fundamental harmonics.

    So, a divided pickup (hex or hexaphonic pickup) is not only for MIDI syntheziser and so on, but it also opens up the gates to multichannel guitar processing! In this video, the strings are panned in stereo; you don't have to pan it so hard, but this time I did just to make the difference.



     And now for Godin electric guitar with standard built in RMC pickup (piezo bridge).





    What you need for this sound: a "synth access" Godin guitar with RMC bridge pickups or any guitar with non-destructively mounted Roland GK-3 divided pickup and 13 pin preamp (hexaphonic pickup), 6Appeal pedal by Spicetone, a soundcard with stereo input and any DAW that can run a convolution reverb plugin. We used these fantastic very real sounding impulses by Gregor Hennig (Studio Nord Bremen; http://www.grgr.de); Vielen Dank Gregor! I did cut off the very low and high and applied a limited plugin; also, Youtube compresses the sound quite a bit; but all in all no gimmicks or secret processing tricks. Multichannel guitar is here to stay!

     

     

    Fantastic Metaphors:)
    November 26 2014

    It appears we've made the Mercedes of Hex Fuzz Boxes. Really impressive way to make a compliment here on Carvin Forum:

    http://tinyurl.com/qdzeclu

    We are flattered! Thank you!

    PS Hopefully it's OK that I copy the original text:

    "There's a reason Roland's GR-D hex distortion is being blown out for $99. The GR-S is a steal at that price to me, but many think of the D as the far weaker twin of the two.

    But, you say you want SERIOUS HEX DISTORTION done the RIGHT WAY? Are you addicted to the BEST? Do you get to screen your credit card bills before your wife sees them???
    Look no further:

    http://www.spicetone.com/products/6appeal-polyphonic-overdrive-for-hexaphonic-guitars
    http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21507-spicetone-releases-the-6appeal-polyphonic-overdrive

    Impressively pricey at $595, but built by crazed artists chasing rainbow ponies in the clouds.
    From Estonia, no less.

    Features a fully analog signal path of fuzz tones with hex string separations and processing. For the right person, this is IT, MAN!

    It brings a tear to my eye for the sheer artistry of the effort. It's like reconnecting with your high school buddies to work up a version of Free Bird that takes you weeks to get right only to play it once at a back yard barbecue with your wives admiring and your kids holding their ears.
    Beautiful."

    Boutique hexaphonic pickup in action
    November 18 2014



    Mr Mart Pauklin jamming with hexaphonic analog distortion effect pedal 6Appeal (by us, Spicetone), using an ESP Viper equipped with a handwound hexaphonic pickup by Luthier Halvo Liivamägi.

    It's a direct recording through a MOTU soundcard. Panning and cabinet models are applied in DAW (Ableton Live).

    Guitar Noize
    October 21 2014

    And we're in the excellent Guitar Noize online magazin:

    http://tinyurl.com/nd9e9k2

    Me gusta aunque no sepa usarlo
    October 16 2014

    I'm not too good with Spanish language, but it seems these guys like us. Muchas gracias!

    http://www.adictosalgear.net/t6151-spicetone-the-6appeal-polyphonic-overdrive

    - Bueno mas que overdrive, es un fuzz, polifónico, con octavas muy parecido a lo que obtienes con el microsynth de ehx, dije similar, en realidad el demo me recordó al efecto en el sinte de Jump, la marca es de Estonia, esta muy bien logrado, es para música experimental, a algunos les podría interesar.

    - Se ve chingòn, aunque algo aparatoso pero obligadamente estético, nada mal.

    - El diseño está mamalon, me gusta aunque no sepa usarlo...

     

    - esta shido para experimentar y explorar sonidos mientras se aprende a usarlo aunque eso puede llevar buen rato.

    SonicState
    October 08 2014

    And we are featured in supercool SonicState.com: http://tinyurl.com/pyj9v7u
    Premier Guitar
    October 07 2014

    We are featured in ever great Premier Guitar: http://tinyurl.com/q7qhcld

    Hit It - Fairlights (6Appeal hexaphonic distortion MIDI synced demo)
    September 26 2014


    "Hit It" by Fairlights (Enda Bates)

    Spicetone's 6Appeal hexaphonic distortion, routed to DAW and synced to a drum track with MIDI from computer.

    Gear List
    Godin LGX electric guitar with RMC piezo-style hexaphonic pickup
    Spicetone 6Appeal (breakout box mode)
    Motu Ultralite multichannel soundcard
    UAD Stereo Reverb + Delay plugins
    Time Freezer VST plugin

    Description
    The track uses three presets on the 6Appeal. The first one is a fairly full-on distortion setting with the Gain and Tone turned up full. The strings are panned across the stereo field with the low strings quite central, and the two middle strings panned about halfway left and right. The melody is played solely on the top two strings which are hard-panned left and right to give the impression of two distinct melodic lines, with a rhythmic backing from the other, more centrally panned strings.

    The rhythmic pulsing in the opening is created by tapping the back of the guitar neck with the right hand while holding a chord with the left. In the first half of the track, the melody is played on the top two strings using hammer-ons and pull-offs (as the picking hand is occupied tapping the neck).

    In the second half of the tune a new, modified version of the initial preset is used. This has a tremolo effect on the lower three strings which mimics the tapped pulsing effect from earlier but using modulation, which now frees up the right hand for strumming and picking. This was done using LFO2 which is tempo-synced to the drum machine track using MIDI clock from the DAW.

    Finally, the end section just uses a clean preset with the same stereo spread. Apart from the 6Appeal, the only other effects are simple things like some stereo delay and reverb. The one exception is the Time Freezer plugin (which is very similar to the EHX Freezer pedal), thats used to create a sustained drone from the top three strings towards the end of the track. No amps or amp modelling was used.

     

    The same with a promo video (and with Youtube compression, sorry):

     

    - See more at: http://www.spicetone.com/blogs/spicetone-2#sthash.mBcb8Ne9.dpuf

    Offline Elantric

    New demo videos up at Spicetone for the 6Appeal Hex distortion / MIDi control unit
    http://www.spicetone.com/



    http://www.spicetone.com/




    « Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 04:06:18 PM by Elantric »

    Offline Elantric

    Now available: a standalone control app for both Mac OS and Windows! Using the the software, you can control everything in 6Appeal with a Ableton-style GUI. You need a MIDI interface or a MIDI equipped soundcard and two standard MIDI cables.

    See how to take full advantage of 6Appeal using Editor:
    http://www.spicetone.com/pages/6appeal-editor-and-firmware-update

    The main screen looks like that:


    Among other things, the editor gives an excellent overview of what 6Appeal does and can do further.

    Actually there are two things that 6Appeal users have told they've been not so happy with:
    1) price - we cannot do much there, because it's a very ambitious enthusiast project - it just costs so much to produce one that even this price is a give-away (not joking here),
    2) learning curve - this is something we could fix, and this is where the editor comes in! You can just click the settings, move from tab to tab instantly, and it's really intuitive now:)

    Oh, and don't forget:
    Use discount code 10%OFF to get the pedal 10% cheaper.
    Discount is valid until the last day of December!

    See more at: http://www.spicetone.com/

    PS We hope you don't mind us posting here in VGuitar; 6Appeal is an analog device unlike modern Roland devices (which we like very much also), but on guitar side, it's the same tech needed = a divided pickup, be it GK-3 or anything else.

    Oh, and a new demo. God save the Queen!


    Offline chrish

    It's best to buy direct from Spicetone
    yes I see that they have a reseller in the United States. I called them and was able to get a 10% off code.

    edit to add from spicetone.

    "We do have a few other modules in mind. But, these make sense only if our first module finds support from musicians.

    If the analog hexaphonic signal processing is going to take off, we may think also of an analog guitar synth based on our electronic technology. A special feature of our approach is that if we create other 13pin boxes, too, these can be daisy chained just as conventional guitar pedals."
    « Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 12:21:54 PM by admsustainiac »

    Offline chlorinemist

    Thought I read a gr 300 comparison. Will the wave shaper do a similar waveform and what other waveforms can be produced.

    It'd be cool to support a small company like this with their hex products. Any chance for a large group buy?

    Maybe one day this company will be producing an all analogue VG 99 quality synth without the amp and Strat, Les Paul, etc, imitation guitar models but with analogue effects.

      And it would be nice if it had pitch CV and gate trigger outputs derived from an audio input source.

    And digital control of the analogue audio path features such as Reverb parameters and delay parameters. And responding to MIDI CC numbers. Is that too much to ask for?

    The 6Appeal actually does everything you mentioned. Well, except CV/Gate outs, but it has MIDI and individual string outputs, so it can be achieved using converters, etc.

    Even the thing you mentioned about "digital control of the analogue audio path features such as Reverb parameters and delay parameters", even though it doesn't have internal delay and reverb effects. It has a fully programmable MIDI control mode that enables it to function as a custom 10 knob midi controller for external gear.

    A midi hex analog delay would be reallllly cool. With multi timbral architecture and modular synth-style deep modulation routing. Unlike the Moog MF-104MSD, I'd actually consider spending $1K+ on a superdelay like that... A hex analog phaser, flanger, chorus, or compressor would be amazing too.

    The 6Appeal really is pretty comprehensive though and covers a huge range of analog fx. What I think is really needed is a digital counterpart. Something that can do advanced pitch fx hexaphonically with a 13 pin out that passes on all 7 processed signals, to do all the effects that really need to be done before distortion (pickup modeling, tuning shifts, etc) and then feed that to the 6Appeal.

    Then send the 6Appeal to another multichannel processor for hex filters, hex modulation, hex delays, hex reverbs... and you have a totally new approach to synthesis that is rife with sonic potential and is nearly totally unexplored at this point

    Offline aliensporebomb

    That Queen demo was terrific.  Crazy good.  Can you imagine pulling that out at a jam session?
    "this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
    More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

    My VG-99 based music projects:
    http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

     

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