Last week Guitarist970 asked about a alternative to the Electro-Harmonix HOG guitar synth (HOG stands for Harmonic Octave Generator). I wasn’t too familiar with guitar synth type pedals and wanted to take a look.Â I was pretty blown away by what this pedal is capable of, and I could really see why people go nuts for this thing.
You can also purchase the HOG Footswitch, which seems like a necessity. It allows you to save/store 6 HOT presets and have them activated by foot controller.
It’s pretty interesting that you can use this for various octave tones, but also for weird droney organ tones. I also found two videos that I would like to present since they both show interesting aspects of this pedal.
First, here is the official HOG description:
Blast off to a whole new universe of sounds with the Electro-Harmonix HOG, a polyphonic guitar synthesizer with NO special pickup required. It gives you complete control of up to 10 interval pitches including fifth and third intervals, glistening filter sweeps, and insane pitch bends. Dedicated filtering and envelope control, with numerous setup options, make the HOG a must-have performance instrument.
The HOG can simultaneously generate multiple octaves and harmonics from your input signal. Whether you play single notes, arpeggios or full chords, the HOG will track every note you play. In addition, the HOG has seven expression modes that enable you to modify your sounds using a standard expression pedal, a MIDI controller, or the expression button on the HOG itself. There is also an amplitude envelope and a 2nd order low-pass filter with resonance. The optional EH foot controller allows you to store and load six presets.
You have control over the HOG’s basic audio circuitry with an input gain slider (with clip LED), a dry output slider, and a bypass switch. Audio I/O includes 1/4″ Hi-Z input, 1/4″ output, and a buffered direct output jack. The voice controls let you access the polyphonic synthesizer section. There are 10 voice sliders on the HOG, each with a white cap with a black line that controls the output volume for its voice. The ten sliders let you generate notes two octaves down, one octave down, the incoming signal, a fifth up, one octave up, an octave up plus a fifth, two octaves up, two octaves up plus a third, three octaves up, and four octaves up. The selectable envelope section controls the amplitude attack or decay of the voices, with separate sliders for the lower five voices and upper five voices.
The Spectral Gate button activates circuitry that emphasizes the loudest frequency or harmonic and reduces the volumes of all other present frequencies and harmonics. The filter frequency slider controls the cutoff or peak frequency of the low pass filter, while the filter resonance slider controls the Q or peak of the filter.
The HOG’s seven different expression modes are selected consecutively by the expression mode switch: bend one octave, bend one step, volume, freeze plus gliss, freeze plus volume, wah-wah, and a filter. There is also an expression reverse mode and you can control the expression modes externally with an expression pedal or modulate any of the expression modes using MIDI pitch bend.
Here is a EHX demo by Dan Miller:
Next is another video by lengthwise11 which goes into some of his various presets.
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