Creativity and functionality, these two ingredients feed music creation with synthesisers. The Alter Ego has bags of both.
'Fantasia on the theme of sanity' [right] is a fairly simple piece of synthesis driven to a strange and constantly shifting place with the Alter Ego. I had an idea of shifting delayed sounds being stimulated from groups of notes with one bar gaps between them. However, that was just an idea. Making it happen in another thing all together.
The Alter Ego helped me make it happen by offering enough modulation options to the delay but not just a blanket 'you can do anything'. Using the tone print editor I had to play with settings and listen and play and listen. The restrictions of the pedal keep all the sounds musical so it is hard to get completely lost. Rather, one can wonder around in a garden of sonic possibilities but never stray beyond the fence into the wider world of just noise.
But there is something else, something that is simply missing with a stand alone audio processor or even most software. Making sounds with the Alter Ego is done in three steps.:
1) Create a setting (chorus, depeth, vibrato, flanger, delay filters, delay saturation etc)
2) Map key aspects of the effect to the three control knobs on the pedal.
3) Tweak those knobs to fine tune the sound for your piece of music.
|The Alter Ego X4|
Going from 1 to 3 is a lot less musical than going through step 2. That is the genius of this process, the careful mapping of several modulation parameters to the knobs turns a software processing experience into a musical instrument experience and allows an exact matching of the sound to what one hears in one's own head.
It was a lot of fun - Thanks TC Electronics.