Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
EE Times-India > Embedded

Freescale, Line 6 team develop guitar DSPs

Posted: 02 Nov 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSPs  guitar effects  guitar effect processor  USB 

DSP is making sweet music—or in this case, a rocking one.

During a tour with Velvet Revolver, the band Sparta's lead guitarist, Keeley Davis, was able to quickly switch from the distortion-drenched tone on "Erase it Again" to the sweet vibe of "Air." The answer is not that roadies are running around connecting different amps between songs, but that the lead guitarist is harnessing a Freescale Semiconductor Inc. DSP in a guitar effects "POD" from Line 6 that instantly swaps preset tones.

"The unique collaboration between Line 6 and Freescale is not just using DSPs to convey guitar music, but is actually at the heart of the calculations creating these tonal landscapes," said Erik Tarkiainen, director of product marketing for Line 6.

Line 6's most recent guitar effect processor using Freescale's DSPs is the Pocket-POD, but during last month's Audio Engineering Society convention, Line 6 announced its Tone Core Module Development Kit. The kit enables third parties to program the same Freescale Symphony-based guitar presets into an interchangeable program module that plugs into a Line 6 Tone Core Pedal.

Line 6 switched to crafting guitar tones with Freescale's Symphony family of DSPs for its flagship POD 2.0 (Line 6 used Texas Instruments' 57070 DSP for the POD 1.0). Recently, Line 6 did a repeat performance by using a low-power version of Freescale's Symphony DSP for its battery-powered Pocket-POD, which enables musicians to craft preset tones anywhere.

"The Pocket-POD takes advantage of the lower power requirements of Freescale's newest 56364 DSP," said Tarkiainen. "We were able to build a portable effects processor that has all the features of the AC-powered POD 2.0, but in a smaller, pocket-sized version that runs AAA batteries. Plus, we have built in a chromatic tuner. Musicians can now tune up and tweak their presets anywhere—even on the tour bus."

Besides having lower power requirements, Freescale notes that its Symphony DSPs also have 24bits of dynamic range, compared with 18bits for the POD 1.0, and can execute 100MIPS, compared with 10MIPS previously.

"We've been working with Line 6 since they switched to our DSPs several years ago," said Sujata Neidig, Symphony Product Marketing at Freescale. "Now they have our DSPs in their whole range of guitar products, from their modeling guitars to their amps to their effects processors."

Even though it's called the Pocket-POD, it's usually clipped to the belt to simplify routing cords into and out of it. The controls are also simplified—just four knobs down from 10 on the POD 2.0—but by connecting the Pocket-POD to your computer's USB port, all the missing knobs become available for tweaking tone as craftily as on a big POD 2.0.

You can also use your USB port to upload presets into the Pocket-POD from popular bands. For instance, the bands that served as beta-testers for Line 6's Pocket-POD—including Sparta, Maroon 5 and 311—all crafted presets that anyone can now download.

If you prefer the one-effect-per-device of a traditional guitarist's "stomp box," you may want to check out Line 6's Tone Core Module Development Kit. The kit enables a single preset tone to be programmed into an interchangeable module that plugs into a Line 6 Tone Core Pedal.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

Comment on "Freescale, Line 6 team develop guita..."
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top