Home Technology Poly Effects Beebo review | Engadget

Poly Effects Beebo review | Engadget


Picture Credit score: Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Alright, however crucial half is what’s inside: the software program. Regardless of just a few warts, it’s largely successful. Sure, the UI is usually a bit gradual to reply. And sure, it’s a lot simpler to chew by the DSPs energy and max out the CPU than you would possibly anticipate. However the modules are all fairly helpful, simple to make use of and sound nice. There are 97 of them starting from easy VCAs, to amp emulators, to ports of Mutable Devices modules like Plaits and Clouds.

There’s clearly no method to cowl all of them, however let’s discuss just a few highlights. The ports of the Mutable Devices modules are all glorious, however I discover Grids (known as Drum Patterns) and Clouds (Granular) to be probably the most helpful. Clouds is a granular “texture synthesizer.” In brief, it chops up incoming audio in realtime and spits it again out as an nearly unrecognizable mass. Till now, should you needed to get Clouds in your pedalboard it could have meant sticking one thing extraordinarily fragile like a eurorack case or an Organelle on there. So this can be a massive deal for guitarists with a extra ambient or experimental bent.

Poly Effects Beebo

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Grids is a type of automated drum sequencer, and it’s nice for shortly placing collectively rhythms. However you should use its outputs to regulate something that can settle for a CV (management voltage) enter (which is many of the modules). So you might create rhythmic interaction between a delay and a bitcrusher the place totally different parameters are accented at totally different instances.

Talking of bitcrushing, the Bitmangle module is gorgeous. It makes among the greatest sputtering and ugly noise I’ve heard. It’s not a normal bitcrusher, and as an alternative combines cross modulation with the same old bit-based degradation. Only one factor to concentrate on: It’s loud. It’s extremely really useful that you just mix with a compressor, noise gate and a VCA after the actual fact to maintain your ranges in examine.

The perfect factor about these modules is all of them play good with the inner CV controls so that you add LFOs, or a 16-step sequencer, or the Chaos Controller so as to add motion to the parameters, so your results by no means keep static. And sure, you’ll be able to even mix these modules with Grids continually altering patterns of parameter modulation. (For instance, an LFO can slowly change the drum sample on Grids, which in flip rhythmically maxes out the time on a delay in an evolving approach.)

  • On this fundamental instance and LFO is getting used to pan between two totally different results — a pitch shifter and a refrain. The primary half is a gradual sinewave LFO the second a part of the demo is a sq. wave at 320bpm with a temp ratio of 320x, creating an nearly ring modulated impact.

Poly Effects Beebo

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

My one gripe is that there’s no visible suggestions as to what the modulation and sequencers are altering. When you join an LFO to the time of the delay, you don’t see it change, the slider simply stays the place you left it. This implies you really want to trace down any downside areas along with your ears.

Maybe the issues I used probably the most had been the amp sim, cab sim and convolution reverb modules. The 2 energy amp sims are fairly respectable. They’re not the perfect amp simulators I’ve ever heard, however they’re not unhealthy both. I’d like to see Poly Results develop and enhance on these choices. Nonetheless, between these and the cab sims, the Beebo makes a strong DI (direct enter) field. I don’t know that it may utterly change my amp, however it’s undoubtedly higher than the builtin amp sims in Ableton.

The cab simulators are IR- based mostly, and Beebo comes loaded with a complete bunch of IRs to get you began, together with these recorded from basic amps like a Fender Bassman and a Vox AC30. However you may as well load customized ones that you just’ve downloaded and even recorded your self.

The identical is true of the convolution reverb unit. There are a bunch of impulse responses already included from classic analog and digital reverbs, to actual areas just like the London Palladium and Pool of the Black Star in Winnipeg. You may as well simply discover free reverb IRs on-line to load your self. Or, if you wish to have some actual enjoyable, you’ll be able to load any 48 kHz .wav file and use that as a reverb. Your outcomes will fluctuate, relying on the pattern you utilize, however I had a variety of success with a bong rip harvested from Elektron’s free New Zealand sound pack and a recording of an odd rhythmic HAM radio broadcast. You need to use a drum break and get a patterned delay, or run drums by the reverb with a melodic pattern loaded as an IR and get chaotic cascades of no matter you’re utilizing as an IR.

That is the true power and pleasure of utilizing Beebo: the power to experiment and do issues that simply aren’t doable (no less than with out 1000’s of {dollars} value of substances) in the true world.

The one obtrusive gap within the module lineup is the shortage of a looper. There’s a looping delay module, however it’s fairly barebones. Poly Results is engaged on a relatively robust looking multi-loop module, however there’s no concrete timeline for when it’s anticipated to land.

Considerably surprisingly, I discovered myself much less drawn to the synth facet of Beebo than I anticipated. That’s not as a result of it’s unhealthy; I simply have extra handy methods of getting lots of the similar sounds. My MicroFreak has among the oscillators from Plaits (Macro Osc) and the Organelle has a port of Grids that I can load up with my very own drum samples. When you’re solely a guitarist, however wouldn’t thoughts having a method to dabble on this planet of modular synthesis with out dropping a bunch of cash, this can be a nice method to do it. However, I doubtless would not purchase it for the synth sounds alone.

Whereas you should use the pitch monitoring module or the built-in 16 step sequencer together with the quantizer to play the resonator or macro oscillator, it actually calls for an exterior MIDI controller to take advantage of it. This provides a complete different layer of complexity to the equation that you could be or might not be able to embrace.

This implies both going all in on MIDI integration in your board or leaving the Beebo in your desk. Neither is improper, however it’s one thing to concentrate on. I just lately took the plunge and rigged my pedalboard as much as make the most of MIDI, however the Beebo nonetheless discovered a house on my desk most of the time. And that’s largely as a result of I discovered myself utilizing it fairly otherwise than I’d the ZOIA.

With Empress Results’ modular pedal I usually discover myself loading it with new presets as soon as each couple months. And I design a brand new patch about as typically. However with the Beebo I used to be way more more likely to begin from scratch every time. The interface is way more instant and it’s simpler to navigate complicated patches and make tweaks.

Empress Effects ZOIA

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Which brings us to the large query many individuals are in all probability asking: Do you have to purchase the ZOIA or the Beebo. And the reply is… each? This would possibly sound like a little bit of a copout however, regardless that they’re comparable in idea, the execution and have record is totally different sufficient to say it’s not essentially an either-or situation.

However, should you have to choose (and I get it, they’re not low cost), right here’s what I’ll say:

If you need the world’s strongest multi-effects pedal, with an insanely energetic neighborhood sharing new presets each day, go together with the ZOIA. There are individuals way more proficient than I’m constructing new and distinctive results and sharing them on patchstorage.com — practically 800 as of this writing. Its reverb algorithms are second to none, it excels as an experimental looper, and it simply serves because the MIDI grasp of an adventurous pedalboard. ZOIA is an ideal end-of-chain do-it-all pedal and would undoubtedly be on my desert island record.

Poly Effects Beebo

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

However, should you’re extra eager about exploring modular on a small scale and plan to continually tweak and customise patches, go together with Beebo. Its interface is way more conducive to on-the-fly digital rewiring. It could actually principally change your amp and the IR-based reverb is a supply of limitless enjoyable. Plus, the ports of Mutable Devices Eurorack modules are among the many most original issues yow will discover in a guitar pedal.

Beebo isn’t good. It may be buggy. And regardless that the interface is intuitive, it’s nonetheless a posh system. However, it’s additionally an entirely distinctive and unbelievably highly effective piece of music gear. For the relentless sonic experimenter its draw shall be plain.


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