Pigtronix Ringmaster Analog Multiplier
With the second offering in their newest series of pedals, Pigtronix brings us the Ringmaster. This pedal is the sibling of the Mothership 2 and was even built to be used in conjunction with its sister pedal. The Ringmaster, a high quality, pitch tracking, ring modulator, can make some CRAZY sounds. This exceptional sound making machine can give the user an incredibly wide range of sonic expression, from whacked out, oscillating, high-pitched synthy sounds, to suble understated distortion-like colors, this pedal can unlock some truly unconventional but musical sounds to add to your arsenal.
External Control: Carrier Input/CV Out
Although this pedal sounds fantastic, it can be frustrating to use. Like the MotherShip 2, there are A LOT of parameters (10 knobs and 2 switches). This makes the learning curve quite steep. What makes things potentially difficult is the lack of visibility of the secondary knobs. It can be very heard to see what position the outer knob is, as the indicator dot is somewhat obscured. In keeping with the themes of the Mothership's interface, there is no option for presets, which on a complicated, vastly manipulable pedal, would make this a much easier box to use live.
The range of sounds that this machine can produce is nothing short of impressive. Its ability to track pitch makes it one of the most uniquely well suited ring modulators for horns. There are high pitched warbling tones, deep bass heavy distorted tones, and everything in between. Whether you want to sound like a robot or make your horn absolutely scream with electricity, this pedal can do it all. When it comes to electrified, non-conventional, extreme sonic colors, the Ringmaster is at the top of the list.
Clarity of Effect: 4/5
This pedal saturates beautifully. It is surprising that it reacts to a signal from a microphone so well. The cluster of mix knobs is incredibly useful and can take your acoustic sound completely away if needed. This pedal speaks beautifully. Its only limitation seems to be with the lower end of the tonal spectrum. When used with a bari sax, the sonic options seems to become more limited. The effects tend to fuzz out and lose their integrity with the strong low end that the bari feeds into the pedal.
Live application: 2.5/5
If you are looking to sound like an angry robot, or an electrified monster, than this is your pedal. Its use live, however, can be limited by its complexity. With so many parameters, this pedal might have to be used for one or maybe two sounds in a live context. There is simply too much work to do in order to change the settings to your liking for a secondary sound. Presets would be a major boost for this pedal. The difficulties with visibility can also be a hindrance, especially on a dark stage. With those limitations in mind, this would still be a great pedal for someone looking to add this level of sonic intensity to their setup.