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Introduction to the Firebird X
Best In Class Onboard Effects—Goldtone FX™
NYC Press Event
The Firebird X dry acoustic guitar emulation, using only the piezo pickup and no effects. The sound is very similar to an electrified Gibson J-45.
This is almost the same acoustic sound as AcousticDry, but with Hall reverb added. Halfway through, the distortion Tog Pot is rotated to full distortion—yes, distortion on an acoustic guitar sound can sound pretty cool when it’s done right.
American Dual Amp
This amp sound by itself (no effects) emulates an open-back tube amp with 10” speakers, giving a funky, vintage amp sound with an accent on the midrange and highs.
The Firebird X reverb has several algorithms. This is the Cathedral sound; note the purity and lack of “flutter” in the looooong reverb decay—unusual even in pro-level, studio-quality processors.
One of Firebird X’s more unusual effects, Dynamic (Ducking) Delay hides the echoes when you’re playing—but as soon as you stop playing, the echoes appear and “bloom.” Thanks to the Firebird X’s Tap Tempo feature, the echoes match the song tempo.
This is similar to Dynamic Delay; the reverb hides when you play, but appears when you stop playing. Some call this a “center stage reverb effect,” because this is very much what reverb sounds like when you’re onstage. You hear the room reverb only when you stop playing, as your playing masks it otherwise.
This flanger sound adds a bit of resonance, but sharp-eared flanger aficionados will recognize that the Firebird X does true, “through-zero” flanging that re-creates the sound of tape flanging. In other words, the flanging time differential can go all the way down to 0 seconds, just like tape. Most flanger effects can’t do this.
Heavy Power Chords
This has no processing other than an amp/cabinet emulation, and gives the sound of a big, bright stack. It’s a timbre that works well for metal.
Here’s a lead guitar amp sound with added echo. Note that unlike many amp simulations, there’s no aliasing or foldover distortion in the lead sound—it’s clear and clean.
The Firebird X delay is set for 4 out of a possible 10 seconds, allowing extended looping. This example starts off with some finger-picked chords to create a “bed,” then the reverb Tog Pot adds reverb for the two lead lines and the final, repeating strummed chord.
Check out that single-coil pickup sound, augmented by a brash amp simulation and echoes spaced at the same delay time as old tape-based delays. However, also note the sound is exceptionally pure and clean—hence “modern” rockabilly.
This is based on a sound similar to the Heavy Power Chords example, but with a beefier low end and scooped midrange.
Nu Metal 2
The Firebird X faders can change sounds slightly, or make major alterations. This sound uses the faders to take the NuMetal 1 sound and make it just a bit brighter, so it can really cut through a mix. You can almost hear the speakers straining...
This is just one of many sounds you can get from the Firebird X phaser. This example has a somewhat “thicker” phasing sound, but it’s also possible to add resonance to make it sharper, as well as widen the range (higher highs, lower lows).
Here the echo section is set for a really short delay—so short it becomes an actual audio frequency, and imparts that frequency to whatever you’re playing. Resonant delays are an exceptionally useful technique for drones.
If you always wanted a Dobro, here’s your chance. A combination of EQ, resonant delay, bottleneck slide, and an open tuning (courtesy of the Robo-Tuner technology) creates a convincing resonator guitar emulation. Fun!
Travel back in time to the 1960s, when backwards tape effects were all the rage. Now you can get those sounds on stage, in real time, without having to lug a tape recorder with you. A little phasing has been added to the sound, just to make it a bit more ’60s.
Super Chorus - Drop D Tuning
The deliciously low D is thanks to an alternate tuning, and the chorusing uses two choruses in series: the Modulation section chorus, and the Echo section’s Analog Chorus/Delay set primarily for chorusing. Using two choruses avoids the periodic whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of standard chorusing, creating a more watery, interesting, randomized effect.
Time for that funky, swampy, vintage tube amp sound: A little slapback echo completes the picture.
Unlike digital delay, tape echo usually had a slight dulling of high frequencies with subsequent repeats, and of course, there tended to be some wow and flutter. One of Firebird X’s several echo options provides this type of sound.
Tremolo + Echo
It’s great to have tremolo back...but it’s even better when you can sync echo to it using the tap tempo option. There’s also some distortion to give it more of that authentic “1950s tremolo” sound.
Vibrato + Reverb
As these audio examples show, the Firebird X effects range from vintage to futuristic. This one brings back the sound of those ancient Magnatone amps that featured vibrato instead of tremolo; the vibrato has been enhanced with a touch of spring reverb.