gumbilicious, on january 18, 2010 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: alpha music virginia beach
Ease of Use: The Electro Harmonix HOG, Harmonic Octave Generator, anything from a octave pedal to a crazy tone factory. It's a fairly large pedal with tons of sliders, lots of potential and one printed page on instructions. It is pretty much up to the user to figure out what's what, but this type pedal should attract the informed buyer and a capable individual should have no problem manipulating these mostly-intuitive controls.
On the surface, interfacing with this monstrosity can seem overwhelming, or at least discouraging after finding something you like and realizing you will never remember all the slider settings. This is a problem but it has been addressed with both MIDI capability and/or an optional footswitch which holds 6 programmable presets. Footswitch is highly recommended.
The HOG really comes with 3 sections, the harmonizer section is quite intuitive with each optional Harmony assigned to a dedicated slider. A level and mix slider are included in this section. There is also an expression pedal section, where you can assign whammys, volme, wahs, lp filters, and gliss effects to the signal via an expression pedal or onboard switch. The 3rd section is the 'synth' section, wherein you can change the attack, decay, and resonance frequencies of you signal.
Don't expect to love every option on this pedal, but be prepared for pedal you may never exhaust it's applications. I must say, the hardest thing to do with this pedal is transition from a HOG signal to clean signal smoothly. // 7
Sound: After figuring out all the options, you are free to dial in very lush tones with a staggering amount of control. This pedal is quite capable on it's own, but I find it much easier to use and much more interesting when used with other pedals. Running Overdrive or fuzz before the pedal has little more effect than a bit more volume and sustain(when not blending a dry signal with the wet). My favorite effects to use with the HOG are a chorus, a phaser or delay. These effects can create incredibly ambient and dense sonic landscapes. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Analog circuitry with digital controllers lend for good sound and reliability. The pedal is pretty light and doesn't feel overly robust, I can easilty see this thing getting chewed up without some special attention.
The labels on the face the pedal are also painted on, this is a fairly big contention with some HOG owners as they don't like thinking their 400+ dollar pedal's labels will wear off. Tracking is top notch though. // 5
Overall Impression: This is a work horse for trippy, psychedelic, keyboard tones from hell. The low pass filter has potential to be absolutely funky and thick tones. The whammies are insanely smooth. The gliss very interesting. The harmonizers are warm smooth. I have owned many such effects, and while this one is quite unique, I feel it sits above the competition in it's niche. Have been playing for 13 years and have to say this is a great find.
If lost or stolen, I'd prob have to buy another, because there is nothing else quite like it. Some people may also want a DigiTech Whammy with a HOG or in leu of a HOG. // 8
Shady Weezul, on june 26, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 425
Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use: Okay, ease of use... I'm going to have to try to stay on topic for this one. I rated it a little lower than I would have liked to because it does take some getting used to. The sliders are pretty straightforward when it comes to the octaves, fifths, and thirds. Where it gets tricky is the envelope and the attack/decay settings. Also, the expression mode button in the top center is kind of weird, as well. I would have preferred each expression mode to have had it's own button for each setting but then space would become an issue on an already oversized pedal. The fact that it has an input gain level further complicates things. Not so much as to make anything inundating or terribly difficult, but it's something you have to factor in when integrating with your rig. // 7
Sound: The sound... Well, it's all subjective, really. I personally like most of the sound that I can eke out of this thing. Where it gets a little dicey is on the upper register, three octaves and above. It begins to have a very distinct digital "chirp" sound to the higher pitches so I tend to not use anything above 2oct+3rd on this. It does sound amazing if you integrate a small bass amp (nothing fancy, just a combo) into this so the lower register really comes out. Dialing in a tone you really like is kind of a pain in the ass, I'm not going to lie. You could spend all day fiddling with it to get something that really strikes you as gold. That's why I recommend getting the footswitch for this, as well. Recalling and dialing in the tones you liked from memory is really difficult given the amount of buttons, sliders, and doodads on this gizmo. The Wah effect is pretty weak but that's to be expected. Don't buy this and think you're getting rid of your standalone Wah pedal. My WD7 still has it's place on my board. The expressions that I use the most (and I imagine most people will) is the octave and pitch bend. It has a freeze+gliss mode that is nifty if not a bit novel. Overall the soundscape that this thing can produce (especially with a nice reverb and delay pedal for you shoegazers out there) is pretty amazing. One thing that I will tell you is that the description "synth" is extremely misleading. It's not referred to as a guitar "synth" because it converts your signals to sine/square/saw waveforms in the manner as a real synthesizer. It uses the term "synth" because it has a synth envelope you can use. It's on the far right side of the pedal, the four sliders. // 9
Reliability & Durability: It stays pretty safe on my board. I used it in a band a few months ago but never gigged super hard with it. To be completely honest, it feels a bit fragile. As though the only thing inside this huge metal box is one thin circuit board. It doesn't feel as substantial as the price and size would suggest. I personally wouldn't recommend beating it up but I know that there are some touring guitarists out there that use it on stage regularly (Jake Snider from Minus The Bear). It's hard to say if I'd have a backup for this because it's so damn expensive. I would just say buy it, register the thing, and don't beat the hell out of it. // 6
Overall Impression: What style of music do I play? Well, shred mostly. Thing Paul Gilbert. Does it match well with that style of playing? Not really. But as most guitarists are (or should be), I do play other kinds of music. I wanted this thing 1) because I've always wanted it and 2) so I could be more experimental. If it were stolen I would definitely buy a new one because you can get sounds from this one pedal that you can't get anywhere else. Period. A POG is not the same thing so I don't want to hear any arguments on that. It's also brighter sounding than a POG. What I hate about it is 1) the price and 2) how hard it is to fine tune the sound you want. You'd think it's simple with sliders but the reality is that because it has such a diverse palette and each slider makes such a huge difference, you have to be really anal retentive and move those sliders in MILLIMETERS. My favorite feature is the synth envelope. I have done some cool string instrument sounds with it. I compared it to the Pigtronix Mothership but decided this was FAR more useful because it's POLYPHONIC as opposed to the Mothership which is monophonic. Overall, I'd say that I'm quite pleased with it. I'm glad I made the purchase. // 10