The folks at Pigtronix have always put out wildly innovative, sonically-pleasing and sometimes futuristic effects, that are always surrounded by questions like, “Who makes that pedal?” or “How did you get that sound?” The purple piece of gear we’ve got today for you to check out and listen to is their newest creation, one that works wonders in both the guitar and bass worlds (and other, too, we’re certain). The Mothership 2 Analog Synthesizer takes the original version and all its glory, squishes it down into a much, much smaller aluminum enclosure and simplifies the parameter section just a bit, but leaves no sign of taking a backseat to its predecessor, or slowing down in any which way, shape or form.
The Mothership 2 plays two roles: scary and pseudo-intimidating machine with lots of knobs, and awesome, adventurous, can’t-wait-to-dig-into-this pedal with lots of knobs. Both are correct, by the way. When you look closer at the (seemingly) only 5 parameter knobs present, you’ll notice they each have TWO controls, one inside and one outside, for an instant doubling of what you thought you were getting yourself into. Add on a couple of toggle switches and 2 1/4″ jacks on each side, and you’ve got your work cut out for you.
As for the actual controls, here we go: up top, you’ve got a Square Wave voice and a Sub-Octave voice, as well as adjustment of your Clean signal and the volume of the VCO (voltage-controlled oscillator). Move down a row to discover the Master Volume knob, plus the Glide parameter, which determines how long it takes for the aforementioned voices to move from one note to another. Next to these lay Dynamics (how the envelope responds to how hard you play) and Tune, which lets you fine-tune the Square Wave and VCO voices.
The Sync toggle turns on the Sync mode, surprisingly, and that is controlled by the Timbre and Sweep knobs, which adjust the texture and pitch of your waveform overtones, respectively (these are ONLY active when Sync mode is turned on). A Tune switch selects from three tuning ranges for the voices: Octave (an octave above the pitch of your input signal), Manual (ranging from a major 3rd to a minor 6th fifth above) and Unison (same pitch as your input). Finally, use the Sub Out jack as an aux for the content created by the Sub Octave voice, and the Expression jack to control pitch bend, for a whole lot of sonic enjoyment.
With synth, ring modulator, sub octave and pitch-bending capabilities, the Mothership 2 is an absolute musical anomaly, defying the laws of what we know and love about music, throwing them to the wind and opening up an overabundance of new and exciting exploration into the vast world of analog synth tones, without having to take up 2/3 of your pedalboard for just one effect. There’s so much to unearth here, we decided we had to do two demo videos, one for guitar and one for bass, which are right below – please check out both to hear how different and useful the Mothership 2 is one each instrument, regardless of which you may happen to favor. Thanks to everyone at Dave, Peter and all at Pigtronix for another musical gem, please keep ’em coming!