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.
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).
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!
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 accommodate more jacks. We decided not, as the box is already about the size of an iPad, which is quite enough for a guitar pedal.
Update: Good advice from Elantric of VGuitarforums:
6Appeal got a heavy all evening live testing on 10 July 2014, Liivi muuseum, Rupsi, Tartumaa, Estonia, during poetry seminar/minifestival Lätete pääl ("On the Sources").
Multitalented artist Kiwa is playing a Fender Squier with Roland GK divided pickup into Spicetone's 6Appeal effect pedal that is plugged straight into a mixing desk. A pair of active PA speakers. Vocals are amplified with Shure Beta 58A mics. A the rage is recorded with Yamaha Pocketrak W24 pocket recorder that has buiilt in XY mics (no signal from mixing desk used). Video recorded with a cheap Sony camera. 6Appeal both drives and modulates the guitar sound. Mixing desk's effect section is off. The signal path is all analogue until it enters the Pocketrack recorder.
Punk legend Villu Tamme (J.M.K.E.) came to check out how 6Appeal sounds. Even though he's not gearhead and does gigs with the same Musima Lead Star since 1989, he said he really digs the sound and the possibility to get jazzy with complex chords.
Sorry for video and sound quality, it's just a 99EUR camera.
Can't resist sharing the anthem of Soviet collapse (you can see both Musima Lead Star guitar and bass here):
Mr Steve Hackett, one of the greatest guitar players of all times, gave a superb concert in Tallinn. Good old Genesis stuff, excellent backing band, Nokia Concert Hall fully packed, people standing up and applauding for ages.
We had a unique opportunity to meet Steve in backstage. Rein gave him a little souvenir from Tallinn - a signed 6Appeal pedal from Spicetone. Steve gave it a try immediately.