Alexander Syntax Error – Modulation Pedal


Alexander Syntax Error

Glitchy 1980s dial-up type tones. Midi controlled, the Syntax Error give a myriad of modulated and experimental tones

Requires 9V DC centre negative supply providing at least 80ma

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Alexander Syntax Error

The Alexander 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. Inside, the primitive sounds of microchips await.

It’s time to blow the dust out of your cartridges and plug in your controllers. Set your modem for 14,400 baud and let the games begin.

Neo Series:

The sonic scientists at Alexander Pedals have been working overtime to cram the most pedal into the smallest box, and we now present the Neo Series!

Each Neo Series pedal incorporates an advanced 32-bit microcontroller 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.


Controls a different parameter in each mode. In Stretch mode, this knob controls the sample clock direction and speed. Cube mode 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.


Controls a different parameter in each mode. In Stretch mode, this knob controls the length of the sample buffer. Cube mode 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:


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.


Set the Code knob near noon to completely break everything.


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.


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.


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!

Bypass Switching:

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, orange medium, lower and 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 the pedal is in configuration mode. Hold the Select button to save the pedal settings.

The Alexander 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.

You can see some Syntax demos here,  and click here for full manual.

Power Supply:

The Syntax Error requires a 9V DC power supply with a 2.1mm pin, center negative, 80mA. It  is not designed to be powered on supplies higher than 9V and does not use a battery.

The Syntax Error should work fine on a multi-pedal “daisy chain” connector, but if you encounter excessive noise or hum try a separate power supply.

Additional information

Analogue or Digital





80 mA



Pedal Type


Power Connection Type

Centre Negative

Silicon or Germanium





Syntax Error


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