DigiTech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth Pedal

DigiTech unveils their latest synthesizer effect, the Dirty Robot, a compact pedal with two selectable synth modes.

DigiTech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth

This new feature heavy pedal is described as the successor of the Synth Wah, designed for guitarists and bassists who are looking for a versatile synth pedal that will not take too much pedalboard space.

Designing and building compact synth pedals is a challenge because of the limited space for the controls and internal components. And since synth is all about finding unique sounds, you'll want to be able to tweak as many parameters as possible. So DigiTech came up with the Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth, a compact synth pedal with seven controls and two selectable synth voices that include straight envelope-style synthesis (V1) and vocal formant synthesis (v2).

Since the Dirty Robot Stereo synth manipulates actual instead of being trigged by MIDI data, it will not require special MIDI pickups, and it also retains most of the nuances of your playing along with the tonal characteristics of your instrument/rig. This is in contrast to MIDI pickups where your guitar is essentially transformed into a MIDI controller. However, the downside is the limited synth sounds you can get compared to MIDI triggered samples, which can have as many as your synth hardware can handle.

At first glance the pedal seem to just have four knobs, but closer inspection reveals that three of the four knobs feature concentric potentiometers for a total of seven knobs. The inner MIX knob lets you adjust the amount of effect to be added to the dry unprocessed signal, moving it clockwise adds more of the effect while turning it the opposite direction lets more of your original guitar signal through. To thicken your sound, the outer MOD knob lets you add chorus modulation to the synth signal.

The outer DRIFT knob rotates to a full 360° to let you morph between sub, octave and square waveforms, allowing for a wide variety of synth sounds. The inner sensitivity knob on the concentric potentiometer lets you adjust the trigger sensitivity for the synth sweep. Higher settings make it easier to trigger the sweep, so you can adjust it according to your playing style. The outer TIME knob lets you set the time for the sweep between the parameters that are set by the START and STOP knobs, which gives you full control over the synth sweep effect.

In addition to the seven knobs, the Dirty Robot pedal lets you momentarily trigger vibrato via its single footswitch. Just depress the switch and the synth signal will modulate with vibrato similar to a mod wheel on a keyboard synth. Releasing the footswitch will stop the vibrato and change the LED color to give you visual cues. This nifty feature is useful for emphasizing certain lines and song parts.

DigiTech Marketing Manager Tom Cram said, "We designed the Dirty Robot to provide guitarists or bassists with a slew of synth effects in a small footprint. The Dirty Robot is a worthy successor to the Synth Wah, but it also has some great new features that players will dig. In addition to the obvious glut of concentric controls we are also introducing our new Drift Knob that allows you to blend Square Wave with Sub and Octave sounds for even more variety."

Finally, the Dirty Robot comes with an included StompLock, which stops you from accidentally changing the settings, and it also comes with a a pedalboard hook-and-loop pad, designed to attach to surfaces found on most commercial pedalboards.

The MSRP of the DigiTech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth pedal is $187.44, and is set for release this month. Visit DigiTech for more information.

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