Electro-Harmonix B9 Organ Machine! So cool...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RiverDog, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Have had my B9-pedal for a week now and I agree with the reviews here. Adjust your technique and avoid minor 2nds in your chord voicings (I think to mimic the B3 sound it adds one or more sinuses to the note that start interfering when intervals are too small). A compressor in front of it is indeed a really good idea.

    Haven’t played it in my keyboard-less quartet yet, but I’d like to add my experiences from home use:

    - putting my MXR Micro Chorus after it in the most extreme position sounded great! Like a Leslie at top speed :D

    - playing a jazz standard like Misty or Georgia in a solo guitar chord-melody arrangement is waaaay cool! You need to indeed adjust your technique and chord voicings – I found that playing with my fingers and using my thumb as a foot-bass yielded the best results.

    - I do feel a slight latency (especially when you cut off the dry signal), but that gives no problems, in fact it forces your timing to be more precise and laid back and prevents noodling ;-)

    Great pedal!
     
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Folks who have the pedal: any difference in usability with SC versus HB pickups?
     
  3. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Only in signal levels-hotter signal=better tracking, at least in my experience. My Guild Starfire IV tracks best, with my telly not far behind. Strat, not quite as much...

    Franc Robert
     
  4. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    which is why I'll be using a compressor to keep the input up and a volume pedal at the end of the chain so that I can keep the guitar's volume all the way up.
     
  5. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I appreciate the reviews as I'm very interested in the pedal.

    Thanks!
     
  6. bigbean

    bigbean Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I got to try one out today.

    Very cool, the tracking was great. The sounds are quite good. It's got it's own set of playing rules to sound "organy" there are definitely things not to do.

    I used two different guitars a Gretsch electromatic G5620 semi hollow and a Ernie Ball sub series. It worked best with the Gretsch.

    I'm on board. I'll take one home tomorrow and work it some more.
     
  7. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    I've played a couple more Monday nights with my B9 and here are some further observations. I got a high-pitched background whine when using it with other pedals (not counting the passive volume pedal), so I scrapped the compressor idea for now. I'm using just the B9 with my guitar's volume and tone and the B9 volume all the way up and controlling the level with the volume pedal.

    This worked pretty well, and I used subtle volume swelling on almost every attack to smooth things out. There's definitely a lack of ooomph in the higher registers (top three strings, 9th fret and up) and swelling the volume up also compensates for that, while taming the rough sound of the un-attenuated pick attack.

    Comping is pretty smooth at this point - two and three-note chords with few bass notes sounds great and full. Complemented the piano nicely. Soloing is still a work in progress. Sounds better in the lower register and with fewer notes mixed in with held partial chords. I need to keep listening to the approach taken by Smith, Patton, Jones, McDuff et al.
     
  8. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    I forgot a couple notes and a very funny story. Audience reaction last night was very positive with multiple compliments and questions about the pedal.

    Funny story: last week we did our grand experiment - Light My Fire. It went fairly well for a take with charts but no rehearsal. Afterward, one of the regular waitresses came up to us and said, "you know, I really can't even put into words how much I can't stand that song, but the way you guys did it was pretty cool...just do me a favor and don't ever play it again when I'm working!"
     
  9. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Classic EH behavior ... sometimes.

    I have had similar experiences (intermittently) with various EH pedals at different venues. Whether I use batteries, iso'd power, dedicated and proprietary EH pwr sply or a 1 spot. Funky power at the club - ?
     
  10. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I still can't seem to get my hands on one. I have cash in hand and nobody to give it too.
     
  11. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    I got mine a couple weeks ago, I love it. I'm not a pedal guy, last one I bought was a TS-9 in '87 or so. I think it sounds great. Not all the pre-sets, but some. I like the Big&Fat, the Classic Rock, and the Cathedral. I agree with others it works best with 2 or 3 note chords. I took it to band practice a couple times, the guys liked it, but it's easy to over-do it, best used selectively.

    Technique issues: I found you can't strum normally, pick and hold is the way to go. For me the biggest challenge is predicting how loud a chord will be; the box sort of locks onto whatever volume level it detects at the first attack, if you let the strings ring, you cannot adjust the volume (downwords, at least, I haven't tried swelling it louder). A compressor may help with this.

    I think it sounds great with a Tele or Strat, through a DR or SCXD, I'm not sure why some reviewers are saying it sounds crappy. Highly recommended!
     
  12. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    No, did it at home, as well. I tried different outlets and pedal configurations. Did it with the xotic SP and with the Barber Tone Pump. I think the volume pedal is all it needs anyway. It's very quiet by itself.
     
  13. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    This is exactly why I'm using a volume pedal. Even if I could get it to play nice with a compressor, having a volume pedal last in the chain is what is making it really useable for me.
     
  14. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've noticed this issue with using the pedal as well and was wondering if it was a problem with my particular pedal but obviously not. I really don't want to have to buy a volume pedal as well (I've got way too many pedals as it is!!) and I think I'd find it harder to be continually playing the volume pedal as well to keep the volume constant and concentrate on what notes to be playing!

    For now I think I'll just focus on keeping my picking attack consistent and see if that solves the problem.
     
  15. DougF

    DougF Tele-Meister

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    Hate to be such a newbie, but I have very little experience with these kind of things. How do I run the dry output on the B9? I have the guitar plugged into the input and have the organ output plugged into the amp. How do I hook up the dry output to bypass the organ effects? I love the B9, had a great time figuring out 96 Tears last night. Great device.
     
  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hi Doug, I think you have to use a separate amp for the dry output. Or else, a separate input on an amp that has switchable inputs. Keep on rockin.

    I used my B9 this weekend at a "cowboy theme" party. I only used it on 4 or 5 songs. I don't think people knew what was going on; I got some interesting looks, head tilted like a dog looks, when I hit a organ chord and let it ring. Big fun.
     
  17. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Finally got one, will be using it this weekend. As others have said; only on a couple tunes. I don't plan on becoming the keyboard player for the band but it will be cool used sparingly.

    It does take a little getting used to. There are a lot of settings plus getting your playing technique down to produce the best results.
     
  18. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was playing with this pedal last night and found a really cool setting which should be very useable in a gigging situation where you want to hear your guitar coming through stronger than the organ sound but where the organ is still in the mix to flesh the sound out.

    Guitar volume set at around 3 o'clock, organ volume set at just under 9 o'clock with the modulation control set to give a bit of rotating speaker simulation.

    You can play full barre chords or gentle arpeggios and the organ sound just sits nicely under the guitar but still quite prominent in the mix. And in sections where you stop strumming or picking the organ swells are still going so it really is almost like two instruments working with one another.

    It doesn't seem to work so well if you then try to play a solo as both 'instruments' are playing the same melody rather than complementing each other so you'd have to either have to switch the pedal off (which would mean you'd lose the organ tones) or else you might be able to move the guitar volume knob on the pedal up with your foot if you're very dexterous (or barefoot!).

    Just thought I'd pass this tip on for those who haven't worked it out yet - like myself prior to last night!
     
  19. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I ordered one 3 weeks ago from Sweetwater., but still on backorder.

    I showed the guys in my band (trio - bass, guitar, drums) the video demo at rehearsal yesterday and they went ape-crazy!

    All sorts of ideas on new songs to learn, and where to spruce up existing ones.

    I normally don't jones this much for a new piece of gear, but the wait is killing me.

    I think the first tune we're going to try is "Whiter Shade of Pale" and then maybe Ambrosia's "Biggest Part of Me". Should be fun, can't wait...

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
  20. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I jumped on a solo with mine over the weekend. Twilight at the zoo, great event to play. Anyway, it definitely got wide eyed looks. It sounded spectacular.
     
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