The core effects I use are Wah, Overdrive, Distortion, Compressor, Chorus and Delay so I'm looking for something new to inspire me that could get a reasonable amount of use in a Rock covers band. I was looking at an EHX B9 but as the other guitarist in the band already has one, there doesn't seem to be much point. I'm also wary that while it's a lot of fun to play with, the novelty of using the B9 may soon wear off. As an alternative, I thought about some sort of pitch shifting/harmony pedal might create some interesting improvised solos or am I wrong. There are some things that would certainly appeal to me:

1) Blending in 2 or 3 part harmonies
2) Using up to 2 octave harmonies
3) Having a range of harmonies available that aren't simply based on octaves
4) A pedal that tracks what I'm playing so that if the key changes in the song, the harmonies will automatically change with me

The killer is that although I am prepared to buy second hand, I don't want to spend over £150. So far I've come up with the Digitech Whammy (You Tube demos never seem to show blended harmonies as the effect seems to be either on or off so I'm unsure it will do that), the Boss PS-6 (the harmonies don't appear to be 'intelligent') and the EHX Pitch Fork (I'm not sure if this even works as a harmonizer, intelligent or not!).

So, I have two basic questions:

1) Which pedal is best suited to what I'm after?

2) Will a pedal like this actually be useful in a twin guitar Rock covers band or would I be better off looking at something else like a Flanger or something?

I think out of them pedals you can't go wrong with the Whammy. It's tracking it's 'almost' perfect. It's made very strong and will last forever! Also there's so many settings you'll never get bored with it. All the harmonies settings are great. Btw am talking about the 5th gen one.

I use it a lot as I play Audioslave, Kings of Leon and Buckethead stuff. When your playing a note that rings you could pitch shift it which adds another texture. Also if your guitar doesn't have a whammy bar you could use it instead. I couldn't live with it. You've pretty much got all the other main effects so I'd say go for it. It will really make your solos SCREAM!!!
Will the Whammy allow me to play a lead line with say two different harmonies and blend all three lines together equally? I've seen demos of the PS-6 and Pitch Fork doing something like that but never the Whammy.
The whammy will let you do 2 lines - your guitar and the pitch-shifted one - it won't do 3 harmonies at the same time.

On the 5th gen you can select the "classic" tracking which is a little glitchy like the earlier whammy models or a "chords" mode where the tracking is less glitchy.

I got a 5th gen one on amazon for about £100 the EHX pitchfork is about the same price but you'd have to buy a seperate expression pedal to be able to do the same as the whammy with it.
So in many ways, the Whammy, PS-6 and Pitch Fork are all much the same in that they all do octave pitch shifting and harmonies? Thinking of the differences between them, how accurate are these assumptions?

The Whammy is the most complete all-in-one solution for the price

The PS-6 and Pitch Fork will do 3 part harmonies while the Whammy will only do 2

The PS-6 is not an intelligent harmonizer while both the Pitch Fork and Whammy are

Can anyone summarise just what the differences are between these three?
Best thing to do its look at their manuals and compare them. Looking at them the pitchfork has the least settings.
I've been doing some research today so I think I'm a bit further on. The Boss PS-6 looks great for harmonies and I love the fact that I can create a 3-part harmony with it but it seems like a real pain in the backside to have to manually select the key I'm playing in rather than simply play. The EHX Pitch Fork will also do those wonderful 3-part harmonies and I wouldn't have to manually select the key I'm playing in AND it's cheaper than the Boss so it does look like a really good buy. The main thing I don't like about the Whammy is that it won't do 3-part harmonies, which is a real pain because I would love to have that feature but in every other way it's a real winner. There are loads of possible settings, it's true bypass, the expression pedal is included, it's built like a tank and you can buy one for somewhere between the EHX and Boss. If you include expression pedals in the price it's probably the cheapest.

Based on this, I think the Boss PS-6 is out of the running so I will choose between the EHX and Digitech.
Sadly not and I'm not sure I would even if I could, partly because I don't think my meagre talent justifies such expense and partly because I'm not at all sure yet how much use this effect will get. I am, however, a bit confused about the effects I have already mentioned so I really would appreciate some help.

The Boss PS-6 makes you select the key you are playing in, presumably to make sure that the harmonies actually work and I saw this as a bit of a pain in the backside. The EHX and Digitech both appeared to be better because it looked like I simply played and the pedal sorted everything else out for me. I have since read a number of comments online that suggest this isn't the case and if for instance, I was playing in the key of Am and chose to play things like the Am pentatonic and/or A natural minor scales, some of the notes I hit would achieve a discordant result rather than a harmony. If this is true, what's the point of having a pedal that is supposed to be a harmony pedal if it doesn't always harmonize properly? Is this right and if so, would this suggest that the PS-6 is a better option after all?

My other question relates to the EHX Pitch Fork as I've read a number of reviews online that complain about an awful lot of hum coming from the pedal when connected to a 9v power supply. This is a concern to me because all of my pedals are powered in this way. Is this an issue with the Pitch Fork and if so, is it possible to get around it?
my issue is that the tracking sucks on most of the ones i have tried. if you have one that can specify key i don't think you woudl get the bad notes from some intervals, however i am not positive on that.

i have a proctavia (octave up and fuzz), and it has relatively poor tracking. if i am in a quick lead it gets lost. and then there are dumb intervals that don't go. i have done the same thing with others too.

its one effect that as far as my experience is that it is not cheap.
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Having spoken to both EHX and Digitech, it turns out that neither the Pitch Fork or the Whammy are harmony pedals at all, despite what is claimed in their videos. The Whammy even says 'harmony' on the pedal controls but Digitech tell me it is, in reality, just a pitch shifter so the 'harmonies' will inevitably go out of tune from time to time. To their credit, Digitech did say that their recently discontinued Harmonyman would provide perfect harmonies without any problem. That would appear to leave me with just two choices at a vaguely reasonable price:

Boss PS-6
I still find having to select the key manually to be a pain and the S-Bend feature just sounds horrible but it is a proper harmonizer and it is polyphonic so will deal with chords as well as single notes.

Digitech Harmonyman
Sounds better to me and has many more features than the PS-6 including a tuner and the ability to identify the key by itself but it's not polyphonic so will only track single notes.
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This pedal is meant for vocals, and requires an input from an instrument playing chords. But it might work. It has a few 3-part variations.

My DigiTech RP-155 has a single harmony line blender, called "Digitech Harmony Pitch" which I guess is along the lines of being based from the HarmonyMan. The RP-155's Harmony has to be set to a key and an interval, and it also has a level mix. It needs straight clean tone, though, or you'll get nasty glitching. You could set the presets to other keys.

The HarmonyMan seems a lot more promising. Look into it, it has a 3-part harmony (2 lines above your playing if I'm correct) and can have 4 presets.
Last edited by Will Lane at Nov 22, 2014,
boss ps-6 and digitech harmony man are the best for guitar harmonies.

Whammy does NOT do smart harmonies (harmonies in a key) it just adds a pitch shifted version of what you play on the top according to what semitones you've set it to.

Synthetic harmonies are tricky and you're usually limited and can't really change key, but I think the Harmony Man does if I recall a video of it correctly.
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