All You Need to Know about Multichannel Guitar

We have published a white paper, explaining the concept of hexaphonic processing and polyphonic distortion. The paper is focused on the technology behind Spicetone’s 6APPEAL™ hexaphonic guitar pedal. The 13 page illustrated paper is free to download as a pdf file:


Hexaphony is one of the very few underexploited innovations that guitar players have yet to discover. The cutting edge of the technology is to combine fully analog sound with post processing capabilites in a digital audio workstation like Ableton Live, Cubase, or Logic Pro. Along with the white paper, a series of short demo videos are published in Youtube.

First of the videos demonstrates analog polyfuzz, also called hexaphonic distortion, with a Roland GK-3 divided pickup mounted on the bridge of a Fernandes guitar. The 6Appeal pedal is used for a panning effect, too:


Second video shows a how to correct the sound of a Roland GK-3 pickup in analog domain. Mounted by guitar’s bridge, it tends to lack lower frequencies, but can be beefed up with analog root boost circuits in 6Appel pedal:


Third video demonstrates a Godin “Synth Access” equipped guitar with analog polyfuzz, stereo panning applied in 6Appeal. A selective amount of drive and dry signal mix, and some modulation is used:


The last video of the series is focused on making and saving a custom preset for the microprocessor controlled 6Appeal pedal:


The best known feature of multichannel guitar processing is hexaphonic distortion effect. Musicians describe it as “orchestral”, compared to classic distortion. For 6Appeal pedal, hexaphonic distortion is a native feature.

Besides full harmonic range, 6Appeal, as an example of a multichannel guitar processor, lets you to pan individual strings in stereo, so you can fill the stage and amaze your audience with a full spatial effect. Building a complex surround guitar system is no obstacle. Set to breakout box mode, 6Appeal serves as a middleman for your 13pin guitar and soundcard – both clean and distorted. All strings can be routed separately to your mixer or computer.

Everything in 6Appeal can be controlled by external MIDI, including the tempo of modulation effect, which it also incorporates. It is also an outgoing MIDI controller – you can send MIDI messages from 10 pots and 3 footswitches.

The truth is there are no other analog multichannel guitar processors at the moment, only some breakout boxes and vintage gear. Spicetone’s founders are hoping there will be other gear soon. The company encourages other developers to further explore the understomped grounds analog hex guitar pedals. Please see the white paper on Spicetone’s input to the field.

6Appeal is currently available is Spicetone’s webshop. The international retail price is EUR450 (USD595). Here’s a 10% discount code valid until 31 Dec 2014: HEX14.

More demos, a full list of specs and a user manual of 6APPEAL are available at http://www.spicetone.com

Spicetone is a music technology startup from Estonia, driven by experienced engineers with IC design background, who have previously worked for Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor. Spicetone’s goal is to help musicians in exploring new frontiers of analog guitar sound. These horizons are only accessible through advanced engineering and strong belief in the everlasting glory of guitar rock.

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