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.
NB! If you buy a new 6Appeal box, it will already have the latest software, so you can immediately start using the 6Appeal Editor software.
You can change and save all parameters in real time, name, save and recall your presets, operate sequencer and LFO... Many users were asking for the app for a long while. Sorry guys it took so long! It's still a beta version, so please excuse us if there are some bugs - in that case, notify us by emailing email@example.com.
Learning the Unit & my First Preset: I read the manual about 10 times before I "got" it. No exaggeration - I have a highly annotated and dog-eared copy of the manual. The way all the features work together is beautifully engineered, logical and highly intuitive. The UI is unique, however, and has a learning curve. Over time, you get to appreciate reading a lot of info at a glance, but this will take time and a healthy set of grey matter/memory. (Having grown up in San Francisco in the '60s and '70s, I'm not sure I have the latter...)
I spent most of my time thus far in "Menu 1", the basic sound sculpting menu, learning the features & making a preset for jamming with my buddies. The unit allows you to defeat the tone knob (Menu 1.10), and doing so creates a fuller sound that was more appealing to me. I used a Peavey Wolfgang with nice hot pups and a set of 9s. I suspect that lighter gauge strings like 9s may warrant defeating the tone stack.
As much as I love hex distortion, you don't want to overuse it. Fortunately you can turn on processing of your mag pup signal (Menu 1.10). Then you can mix a bit of your processed mag pups in via the Mono pot.
THAT was an exciting discovery - the mix of hex distortion + some mag pup distortion to fill it out sounds fantastic.
Since I was driving it from a GK3 mounted close to the bridge of my guitar, I used BOTH Root Boost circuits (Menu 1.7 & 1.8 ). At the time, I was at home doing this at low volume...
A note on the manual - it uses a notation of "0On_16Off" when describing Root Boost and Output Boost settings. the "0" refers to the mono channel and the "16" refers to hex channels 1-6. Thus, to affect your mono/mag pups and your hex processing, you would use the setting 0On_16On (red).
First Jam: I've been playing with my friends for years, using various gear & software, including a GR-55, a VG-99, tube amps, Amplitube, etc... This was the first time my drummer said, "THAT thing is BADASS!"
You can't really get a feel for this unit until you *feel* it live, at playing volume.
I had no other processing - just my guitar via 13-pin to the 6Appeal to my PA. Playing over a PA, the first thing I realized was that one Root Boot circuit was plenty. I immediately disabled one of them.
The 2nd order low-pass filter is fun and dangerous. I was feeling my oats & started experimenting with the 2 frequencies & resonance at playing volume - which the manual tells you NOT to do. After calling all dogs in a 20-mile radius, my amp reset itself. I will not do that again.
Hex distortion - if you love hex distortion you'll love this unit; it's what it does...
ANALOG distortion circults, full ANALOG path through the device - a very cool rich sound
Mono mix - your mag pups add some ooomph to the Hex distortion
Two pole (2nd order) low-pass filter - lots of variability in how you roll off your highs
Sequencer - a highly configurable slicer effect, up to 24 steps of filter, panning and/or drive settings
Spread knobs & "smile" vs "tilt" - a unique idea that allows you to differentiate how the above effects are applied across the 6 strings
Envelope - there are 3 ways to define envelopes; hex envelope processing requires external note on/note off generation, e.g., via using an FTP or a GR-55's MIDI OUT.
Small company of dedicated folks - you send in a question and get a rapid response - maybe even from the primary engineer
Learning curve & UI
Bottom Line: NONE OF THE DEMOS DO THE SOUND JUSTICE. This is fully analog hex distortion. Does anybody else even try to do this? I dunno... It's pretty freaking glorious when dialed in.
The features are pretty deep. This mix of deep features & a radically unique approach to a UI means there is a steep learning curve.
Those who love exploring new gear & new sounds (like myself) will have a great time with this. I could easily see pros/techs having fun with this. Folks who want to zip thru presets will be frustrated - you must adjust settings for your gear.
I'm still getting familiar with the basic settings & the filter. As I learn the Sequencer & Envelope better, I'll share my learnings & some sound samples.
Open disclosure: Spicetone gave me a promotional discount, in the hopes that I'd get jazzed & start writing about this. Well, I got jazzed...
We are proud to present our friend Paolo Angeli playing a full concert with his fantastic custom made guitar and our 6Appeal hexaphonic pedal in Sesc, in São Paulo, Brazil.
6Appeal is mostly used for clean multichannel routing of the pickup signals from his prepared Sardinian guitar. The guitar was initally developed for Pat Metheny - read more on Paolo's website.
Besides working as a breakout box for clean signal, 6Appeal is used for fully harmonic distortion, obtainable only with a multichannel distortion device. May we suggest you enjoy the whole concert, but if you really want to hear 6Appeal distortion immediately, check out this video:
Did you notice how 6Appeal lets Paolo play these amazing harmonic overtones, which remind of throat singing (Tuvan Khoomei)? Just wow!
Or some more common distortion use here (from 2 minute):
Go to Paolo's concert! See his tour program on his website.
We have a great addition to our team. Our trainee Sander Sinijärv studies electronic engineering in Tallinn Technical University AND plays guitar, both by himself and in local metal bands. Here are two demo videos that present hexaphonic / multichannel / polyphonic distortion provided by Spicetone's 6Appeal pedal.
The first demo is more on indie / pop rock side. 6Appeal set to modulate controls (drive and volume mostly), resulting in luscious vibrating harmonics. The sound reminds a polyphonic synthesizer set to arpeggiato or sequencer mode. It's all played in one take, using Roland GK-3 on a Schecter Ultra III guitar and 6Appeal polyphonic distortion pedal. The signal goes in stereo into two tube amps, and is picked up by trusty SM-57 microphones.
The second video takes us to the rock, metal and blues territory. Sound setting has more treble in it, cuts more, but is still full of rich harmonies that only polyphonic distortion can provide. It would also sound great, if you'd pair it with drums or drum machine, or live double it with bass lines from Roland GR-55 or other V-Guitar series stuff.
SUMMER SALE OFFER valid until 31 July 2015
If you don't have a 6Appeal yet, now it's the best time to obtain one, because we have a summer sale offer + we include a high quality 6 inch 13pin cable for free! All in all you save 67.80€ (non-EU customers save around 62$). Just buy the 6Appeal without cable and use the coupon code July15 in the checkout.
One of the greatest avant garde / folk / jazz of our time, Mr Paolo Angeli now uses 6Appeal as the center distortion piece of his multichannel guitar setup.
The guitar itself is utmost original work of art. From his website:
On 1993, he was fulgurated by the encounter with Giovanni Scanu, the old guitar player from Sardinia, who died at the age of 95 and from whom he learnt the forms and the modules of the ‘canto a chitarra gallurese e logudorese’.
From this ‘fighting meeting’ between extra-cultivated avant-garde and popular tradition came his Sardinian prepared-guitar: an orchestra-instrument with 18 cords, an hybrid between guitar, baritone, violoncello and drums, gifted with hammers, pedals, some propellers at variable speed. With this singular instrument, constructed by the craftsman Francesco Concas, Paolo elaborates, improvises and composes unclassifiable music, suspended between free jazz, folk noise and minimal pop.
We don't have his new recordings with 6Appeal yet, but you can see 6Appeal used by Mr Angeli already, if you go to his concert (see tour dates here).
Do you know a hex player from Africa or Antarctica? 6Appeal is are already in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia but not yet in Africa and Antarctica. If you know anybody who'd be interested, link us:)!
Photo: On Friday, Taivo was assembling yet another patch of 6Appeal in our Tallinn laboratory.
Mr. Matthias Grob, a music tech guru and guitar hero visit us in our laboratory! Matthias lives in Brazil, so having him here was really something I'd never have expected a couple of months ago:)
Matthias is the inventor of Paradis Polydistortion, Echoplex digital, the earliest looper, Firewire guitar, many excellent VSTs and other stuff driving inspiration in musicians all around the globe.
Sure we introduced him to our hexaphonic 6Appeal pedal, and gave one of these to his enjoyment. We also got lot of interesting stuff from him:)
We spent fantastic time of exchanging information, idea, experiences on polyphonic / hexaphonic guitars, software and hardware development.
This might lead to cooperative projects, and it definately has already created a solid fundament for global partnership to help each other in development of the most interesting and innovative product for pioneering musicians!
And we took Matthias to Käsmu and other places in coastal areas. Sorry for the wind!
Our friend Joel from Cycfi is almost ready with super exciting hexaphonic guitar pickup system (see http://www.cycfi-research.com/). This is as innovative as you can get with electric guitar technology!