EVERYONE LIKES TIGHT RHYTHMS.
Unfortunately, stompboxes don’t always
listen to the drummer! Tap tempo is a
big improvement, but amp sims—when
used as plug-ins in a sequencer—take the
art of rhythm one step further with sync-to-
tempo options. This feature allows
rhythmically related controls (such as
delay time, flanger rate, and vibrato
speed) to follow the tempo at the rate
you specify (quarter-note, dotted eighth-note,
etc.). These plug-ins follow the
sequence tempo automatically, but you
often need to enable synchronization.
With IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 3,
a BPM switch enables sync-to-tempo.
When you rotate the Delay knob, the value
window shows the delay as a rhythmic
value. If BPM isn’t enabled, the window
shows delay in milliseconds.
Many processors in Native Instruments’
Guitar Rig 4 have a button (circled) that
opens up a space below the rack with
advanced parameters. Here, you’ll find a
Tempo Sync button (outlined toward the
left). When enabled, the Delay Time readout
shifts from milliseconds to rhythmic
3 effects have a
BPM switch to
Guitar Rig 4 offers tempo sync, but you’ll need to
open up the advanced parameters. This is a Quad
Delay module that also lets you sync delays to
Click on the Sync button in the Waves
GTR delay stompbox, and, again, the display
shows a rhythmic value instead of a
include a Sync
button for enabling
Line 6’s POD Farm works similarly,
but goes one step further. When you
enable sync, the display shows both the
rhythmic value and the corresponding
time in milliseconds. That’s handy if
you want to set devices that don’t have
tempo sync to the appropriate number
POD Farm not only offers a
sync button, but displays
time in both milliseconds
and the corresponding
ReValver MkIII doesn’t have sync to tempo, but you can click on
the Tap Tempo button, as well as set precise tempo values.
Finally, Peavey’s ReValver MkIII
doesn’t have sync-to-tempo, but does
offer tap tempo for some effects (which
is particularly useful for live performance,
where there’s no host sequencer),
and it includes a readout that shows the
delay time in milliseconds and as a rhythmic
value. If you rotate Delay while
holding Shift, you can dial in precise
Some processors—such as stereo
delays—let you set the tempo sync independently
for each channel. This can
give some great synchronized pingponging
echoes. And don’t just stick to
the usual eighth- and sixteenth-notes—
dotted values impart a feeling of motion.
Tremolo speed is another ideal candidate
for sync-to-tempo, as is chorus rate.
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