Stompboxes with modular gear
There’s a huge world of incredibly affordable guitar pedals out there that offer plenty of tone-shaping and FX. They work great with synths, and even better with modular synths as traditionally pedals come after the output of a synth and before the mixing desk or recording chain.
But with modular, the pedal can sit anywhere in the signal path. Want to take an oscillator through a chorus then into a filter and VCA? You can do it. Or take your sampler module into a delay then back into the modular for some distortion? Anything’s possible. In any format, with any instrument, you can play around with pedal order and routing, but modular truly lets you rip open up sound generation, modulation and processing to place a pedal anywhere you link.
In order to integrate pedals fully with a modular system, we need to think about signal levels. Guitars are low-output passive devices, and most pedals are designed to work at those low levels. Modular synths output a very high level, way above passive guitar and also way above studio line levels too, so level control is important. We need to attenuate the modular signal on its way out, then boost the pedal’s signal back up on the way back in.
We’ll be making use of the ALM SBG, which offers a dry/wet blend control, level control in and out of the modular, and it also goes an extra mile to convert modular CV signals to two types of expression pedal signal. Modulating pedals with CV makes them feel like an integrated part of the system. So let’s get into some patches and get started.