Alexander Pedals Syntax Error
The Syntax Error from the sonic scientists at Alexander Pedals has finally landed on UK shores, we’re stoked to have the Syntax Error on the shelves at Guitar FX Direct. At summer NAMM the guys at Reverb.com reported that the Syntax was the number one requested pedal for video content by customers.
Alexander Pedals have dubbed this the first pedals in their “Neo Series”and the technology represented in this pedal is outstanding. This platform condenses the features of a typical “Super” pedal into a small size with simplified control-sets and an unbeatable price at £199. While the pedal functions simply without any advanced settings or other accessories, deep within is a powerful effects engine that hosts 4 presets on the device, 16 more via its MIDI jack connectivity as well as access to 6 controls all of which are simultaneously sweepable via an expression pedal.
The Syntax Error takes your tones back to the dialup era, when video games were measured by their bits and telephones were wired to your wall.
The guys at Alexander Pedals have been working overtime to cram the most pedal into the smallest box, and now present the Neo Series! Each Neo Series pedal incorporates an advanced 32-bit micro controller adding presets, expression, and MIDI capability.
Sample (Bonus): Adjusts the sampling rate of the audio computer system. Sampling rate is minimum / most degradation with this knob clockwise. Hold the select button and turn this knob to set the Bonus parameter, which controls a different function in each mode.
Code: Controls a different parameter in each mode. In Stretch mode, this knob controls the sample clock direction and speed. In Cube mode, this controls the gain of the distortion. And in Ring mode, it adjusts the speed of the modulation sample-and-hold.
Mix (Volume): Controls the amount of effected signal. Turn fully clockwise to “kill” the dry signal. Hold the select button and turn this knob to set the Volume of both wet and dry signals.
Tweak: Controls a different parameter in each mode. In Stretch mode, this knob controls the length of the sample buffer. In Cube mode, this controls the cutoff frequency of the low-pass filter. In Ring mode, this sets the depth of the sample and hold filter modulation.
Select Button – tap to choose a new effect mode:
Stretch: This one will really mess with your drummer’s head. We sample the incoming audio and stick it in a buffer, then play it back. Pretty standard, right? Wrong. Turn the Tweak knob to set the length of the buffer, then set the Code knob to adjust the sample playback clock. The clock speed adjusts from +1 (normal speed) to -1 (reverse playback!) Use the Bonus control to change the feedback into the delay line for trippy echo tones.
Hint: Set the Code knob near noon to completely break everything.
Cube: This is probably the most normal sounding thing in here. The Code knob controls the gain and mix on a cubic distortion algorithm. Here’s how we do it: (abs(INPUT^3))^3. It sounds great, if you like math. Every distortion circuit (or program!) needs a tone control so we added a resonant low-pass filter. The tone filter is bypassable, just turn the knob fully counter-clockwise. The Bonus parameter controls the resonance of the filter.
Ring: This mode combines a ring modulator with a sample and hold LFO. Code controls the speed of the sample and hold, while Tweak controls its depth. Set Code to minimum to disable the LFO for a “normal” ring modulator (is that a thing?) The Bonus parameter controls the EQ of the modulated signal.
Freq: Shifts the frequencies of the input signal by a fixed amount. This one will change the pitch of incoming audio but unlike a traditional pitch shifter it doesn’t maintain the intervals between the notes you play into it. The Code knob adjusts the amount of frequency shift and the Tweak knob controls the amount of signal that gets fed back into the shifter. Want more options? Use the Bonus knob to change the time delay of the feedback, for comb filtering and flanging textures. This mode ranges from beautiful bubbles to gargling nightmares, and don’t forget you can add in the crush effects from the Sample knob to grunge things up!
The Syntax Error features a buffered bypass using a soft-touch footswitch. The dry signal path is digital, because computers.
Expression and MIDI:
The EXP port on the left side of the Syntax Error can function as an expression pedal, foot switch input, or a MIDI input.
Expression Pedal: Set the expression pedal to the heel down position, then adjust the knobs to your preferred setting. Sweep the pedal to the toe position and set the knobs to a different setting. Now the Syntax Error will allow you to seamlessly morph between the two settings!
Foot Switch: Connect a momentary foot switch to the port with a standard patch cable. Set the knobs like you want, then tap the foot switch and set them again. Every time you tap the knob the Syntax Error will sweep between your two knob settings at the speed you set in the configuration mode.
To configure, power on while holding the center Select button and release when the program LEDs start to flash.
Tap the Select button to choose Expression (upper LED green,) Foot Switch (upper LED orange,) or MIDI (upper LED red.)
Turn the Mix knob to select the Foot Switch Ramp speed – Lower LED green fast, lower LED orange medium, lower LED red slow.
Turn the Tweak knob to set the main LED brightness.
If you wish to assign the Syntax Error’s MIDI channel, simply send a program change message from your controller on the correct channel while in this mode. Hold the Select button to save the pedal settings.
The Syntax Error MIDI port requires the use of either a MIDI converter box such as the Disaster Area / Chase Bliss MIDIBox or a MIDI controller that supports 1/4″ devices such as the Disaster Area Gen3 series. The Syntax Error defaults to using MIDI Channel 1.