Pigtronix has announced its new Ringmaster Ring Modulator Synth Pedal. The new analog ring modulator synth is designed to create analog harmonizer and tremolo effects that can be made to follow the notes you play.
Expanding on the “Intelligent Ring Mod” found in the original Mothership pedal, the Ringmaster adds LFO and Sample + Hold modulation sources, pitch following tremolo and wave shaping for both inputs to the analog multiplier circuit at the heart of the modulator.
In the Ringmaster, Pigtronix's real-time pitch-tracking technology is used to make the carrier signal follow the notes you play, and produce musical harmonizer effects. The Follow function in the Ringmaster can also be switched off to achieve a range of the atonal, metallic and bell-like tones found in vintage ring modulators.
With the Ringmaster, musicians can modify both the input signal and the carrier signal, before they are multiplied together. The Source control blends between clean instrument signal and a pitch-following square wave feeding the multiplier, to increase harmonic content. The Gain control pushes the carrier signal into saturation—producing aggressive, non-linear slewing effects and brass sounds. Further warping and manipulation of the carrier signal is achieved with independent, on-board LFO and Sample + Hold function generators. These dual modulation sources can be used to add several layers of motion to the Ringmaster’s selection of harmony, ring-mod and tremolo effects.
The Ringmaster also features a Trem function, which divides the rate of the carrier oscillator down into the LFO range to create tremolo. When combined with the Follow function, the tremolo will speed up as the pitch of the input signal goes up, tracking the notes you play and automatically adjusting the rate of the tremolo instantly. This function works well with monophonic playing but can also produce dramatic and unconventional amplitude modulation effects when chords are played, essentially confusing the pitch-tracking circuit, which will jump to whatever note is loudest at any given moment.
The control voltage coming from the pitch-tracking system—as well as the CV signals coming from the LFO and Sample + Hold function generators—can be used to modulate outboard gear via the Ringmaster’s CV output jack. This 1Ž4” CV output can be used as an expression controller for other pedals such as the Pigtronix Mothership 2 pedal, or any synthesizer that allows for external CV control. The Ringmaster also allows for an external carrier to be injected into the multiplier, enabling cross-modulation of multiple instruments within a single pedal.
The Ringmaster will be available in April for a retail price of $249.
You can preorder it, and learn more at pigtronix.com.