Digitech DSP Pdf User Manuals. View online or download Digitech DSP Owner’s Manual. Digitech DSP Plus, Music Technology, May The manual claims the abbreviations are printed on the top of the unit – but they weren’t on the review. Digitech DSP Plus, Sound On Sound, Apr There’s no indication in the DSP Plus manual of just how the signal is routed from one effects section .
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In the multi-effects processor wars, Digitech’s DSP Plus distinguishes itself with comprehensive facilities and little sound colouration. Ian Waugh treats himself.
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Continuing the search for the ideal digital multi-effects processor brings us to Digitech ‘s DSP Plus – how does it measure up? Its predecessor, the DSP without the Plusis capable of producing three effects simultaneously.
The Plus is capable of producing four. The effects are applied in series and their parameters can be assigned to any MIDI continuous controller. Both the DSP and the Plus will store programs – so no prizes for guessing the derivation of their names. One thing to be said about all multi-effects processors is that even a couple of years ago, finding such processing power in one unit and at such a price was all but unthinkable.
Long live progress, I say. Since then, musicians have realised that being able to apply reverb and delay and EQ -and something else – to a sound digitecu a good thing.
Consequently we’ve seen quite a spate of multieffects units appearing in recent months. In the light of these rapid advances in technology, what have the boys at DigiTech come up with? Like other units in this price bracket, the Plus has a bit analogue-to-digital converter.
Its quoted frequency response is 20Hz to 20kHz with a signal-to-noise ratio of around 85dB. It will take quite a hefty signal before peaking. If that was the greatest noise source in my setup, I’d be a very happy man. With the unit patched into a mixer and instruments DI’d into it, there were no problems operating the 28 Plus at the dB level. The power supply is built in. It has three rotary dials on the front to set input and output levels and the mix between the dry signal and the processed signal.
An Effect button kills the processed signal but the volume of dry signal it allows through is dependent upon the setting of the Output Mix knob the QuadraVerb Bypass button works in a similar way. If it is set to Wet you won’t hear a thing. What’s your objection to letting through the full dry signal, guys?
In practice, to kill the effect I found it far easier to turn the Mix control to Dry. The programs are displayed as numbers, not names, and the parameters are shown as cryptic two-letter combinations.
LEDs may be cheaper than LCDs and use of the unit does breed familiarity with it, but I’d rather pay the extra and get some info up front. The LED display can be varied so that as you change parameters they scroll into the display area or pop into it. Scrolling is neat but it takes time and after the novelty wears off you’ll probably plumb for pop up display. The display will also show changes made to a a parameter’s values from a MIDI controller – a useful function.
Next door to the display are four cursor keys which are used to access the programs and change the parameters. After holding down a key for a few seconds the speed at which the parameters scroll increases, minimising sore-pinky time.
Further left along the panel is a four by three grid which shows the range of effects allowed by the current algorithm coming up. In the absence of program names, this is really useful. As the range of effects is dependant entirely upon the algorithms, I’ll list them here: Large room, Delay, Chorus, Filter 2. Large room, Delay, Flange, Filter 3.
Medium room, Delay, Chorus, Filter 4. Medium room, Delay, Flange Filter 5. Small room, Delay, Chorus, Filter 6. Small room, Delay, Flange, Filter 7. Filter, Chorus, Multi-tap Delay 8. Flange, Multi-tap Delay 9. Gated Reverb, Delay, Filter Reverse Reverb, Delay, Filter Parametric EQ, Chorus, Delay Parametric EQ, Flange, Delay The Ultimate Reverb Nine-band Graphic EQ The parameters are represented by one- and two-character abbreviations.
In true LED style, “v”s look like “u”s, and “t” looks like a capital “E” with the top line missing. Not particularly friendly, to my way of thinking. The manual claims the abbreviations are printed on the top of the unit – but they weren’t on the review model. I suspect the casing was manufactured before the list of parameters had been finalised – but then what if you wanted to place the unit directly below another in a rack? But don’t get the idea that all this makes the Plus’ parameters difficult to manage; it’s a simple matter to recall the factory presets either individually or for all the programs.
I do, however, wish there had been a Store function and perhaps a Compare function, too to allow you to make an alteration to a program without committing it to memory. As it is, any edit you make takes effect immediately. With all those abbreviations floating around it’s quite easy to alter a parameter and move on without intending to or perhaps I’m just clumsy.
As there are so many parameters it helps if you know what they all do. The manual gives some details, although a few more pages and a little tutorial section would not go amiss.
Many parameters will be self-explanatory to most musicians but some, particularly those used with reverb, may not be so obvious.
These include Decay Time the amount of time it takes for the reverb to disappearPre-Delay Time the length of time between the original sound and the beginning of the reverbReverb Level intensityEarly Reflection Diffusion controls the amount of diffusion of the early reflectionsEarly Reflection Delay the amount of Pre-Delay for the early reflections and Envelopment determines the width of the stereo image.
As you can see, reverb isn’t just a question of bouncing the sound around a large tiled bathroom. By carefully choosing the parameters you can determine the size and absorbency of the reverb environment as well as the position of the listener in relation to the sound.
The modestly-named Ultimate Reverb algorithm uses ten parameters to produce some extremely effective and impressive reverb effects. A smattering of acoustics and psychoacoustics? These are under control of an overall feedback rate and amount.
Put the lot together – in any one of a number of permutations – and you can produce some very clever effects indeed.
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You can make the sounds do more than just bounce from left to right – they can circulate around the stereo image. If you use a high feedback rate you can build up little pieces of music, a la Terry Riley, for difitech.
The maximum delay time varies according to the algorithm used, as this determines how much processing power is available for each effect.
The first six algorithms the only ones to allow four effects at once have a maximum delay time of 0. Each delay in the Multi-tap effects may run to. The Chorus and Flanging effects range from the sublime to the digitceh. At maximum settings you get out of tune instruments.
Tone them down a little for a honky tonk piano and manuzl just a touch for a warm chorus or a subtle flange. For fattening kanual, add some reverb and a little delay. I found the first six algorithms ideal for thickening sounds. One algorithm is dedicated to a nine-band graphic but with no effects. Well, EQ is handy to have around but the DSP is primarily an effects unit and I personally wouldn’t worry too much about EQ facilities feel free to worry if you wish.
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I’d go so far as to say that I’d rather have another effect than EQ on a multi-effects unit, but EQ seems to go with the territory. All programs contain factory presets which use the above algorithms. They are an assorted bunch, although many are simply variations on a theme and I don’t think they show off the unit to the best of its ability; odd, but then some synths come with poor factory presets. However, it’s quite easy to create your own effects once you get the hang of the parameter abbreviations.
If the perfect signal processor should do its job without adding any colouration to the sound, the DSP comes pretty close to perfection. You can obviously colour a sound with chorusing, flanging and so on, but the quality of the output vis-a-vis the input is pretty pure.
The inevitable consequence of this cleanness is that the output lacks character. Some effects units sound thin, others warm. Is one better or more desirable than the other? Time to dust your ears off and put them to work. Any of the algorithm parameters can be assigned to MIDI continuous controllers. These are global assignments allowing you to control pre-delay, reverb time or any of the other parameters – there are 44 in all – in real time from a master keyboard or from a sequencer, for example, by recording the controller data onto a spare track.
You may need to exercise a some caution here, as running through a range of values on the fly can produce glitching, but this is not unique to the DSP.
This control is limited to continuous controllers so note velocity, aftertouch and the like are not catered for. The Plus responds to incoming patch-change messages by selecting the corresponding program number. What is lacking, however, is a table to let you assign a program number to any incoming patch change message.
This is a sad omission as it means you have to configure your other equipment to the DSP and not the other way around, as it should surely be. As the programs aren’t named you’ll need to keep careful track of the numbers when organising the programs.
The Program Copy function transfers the contents of a program to a new location and that will help. You can dump the programs to a MIDI storage device many sequencers can now handle this so if you create more than programs you can save them to make room for some more. You can’t save or load just one program, however, so if you wanted to combine programs from two separate banks you’ll have to note the values of the parameters of one set and enter them manually, but that shouldn’t take long.
The manual even contains blank sheets on which to write the parameters of new programs you create.