Bowed String/volume swell effect

Hey everybody! I just got my DUO in today and was running through all the pedals. I’m trying to see if I can use it to totally replace all my other pedals. I am currently using a POG2 for many different effects, and I’m trying to see if DUO has, or will have, a volume swell effect that is polyphonic. I tried out the SlowGear, but I can’t get it to let me do volume swells each time I hit a note while doing fast runs. My main goal here is to do the violin/cello sound.

Any advice?

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Hi @Treelemon,

Did you try using a noisegate before the SlowGear? If I remember correctly, the SlowGear only retriggers if the volume drops below a certain level. Perhaps @brummer can explain the inner workings in more detail?


I haven’t tried that yet. It will be slow goings in my trials. I’ll let you know what I get.

The SlowGear is basically a Noise gate, so I guess a Noise gate before wont help you much.
So what is it? Well, let’s take a look at the new interface I’ve made for it,

and let’s take the name into account. It’s a ssslllooowww gear, slow, play it slowly claim down, ooooommmm, …
Well, it is a noise gate with a slow attack/release time, that’s what strip away the attack from strings and let it sound like a bow, but, it is monophonic, hence you’ve to use it slowly.
To make it work like you wish, we could put a frequency splitter before and let it act on the different bands, however, I guess we will fast running out of processing power if we do so.



Thanks for getting back to me on that! I now better understand what Slow Gear does.

Also, I found that I can get the effect I’m looking for through some of the reverb plugins (Plate by CAPS being the one I like the best right now). I just mix it so it’s only the wet signal.

I’m still very new with my pedal (got it 2 days ago), but I’m loving it. Lots of exploration still yet to do!

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So apparently I lied to myself. Initially I thought I could get the strings sound I wanted through a reverb, but after actually hooking everything up with my rig, it just didn’t work out like I wanted. (While looking I was just working at my computer for alone, not through my amp)

Anybody know about any plans to make an “attack” effect similar as what is on a POG2?

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Hello again everybody!

Still loving my DUO. It makes me wish I had the smarts/experience to attempt to program an effect for it. But alas, I do not.

I was wondering if I could put out any interest to program what I am looking for? Which is the title of this post.

I’d really love a polyphonic volume swell effect. I am aware that such an effect could likely take up quite a bit of CPU, but that would be ok for how I’d be using it.

Any interested programmers out there? LOL

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I don’t understand why SlowGear is monophonic… If it’s a gate then it’s just letting through whatever sound it detects. It shouldn’t matter what that sound is whether a chord or single note or just noise…

Am I missing something here?

could you find a youtube clip or sound sample of what you are going for? I’m not sure what its supposed to sound like?

I suspect that its either possible to do with a combination of the Gx Slow Gear + reverbs OR its going to be difficult to do without maxing the CPU because the number of pitch shifters it will require.

Well, you could say its monophonic in the sense that if you hit 1 string and let it ring then hit the 2nd string, the slow gear will already be “open” so you’ll hear the sharp attack of the 2nd note rather than a 2nd bloom. So it can only shape 1 “voice.” But I’m not sure if thats what he means either.

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I’ll try and get a little something recorded later today to give you all an example of what I’m looking for. I’ll try to give a bit better description for now…

I want to be able to arpeggiate a chord and want each single “new” note to come in with that “bowed instrument” effect, all the while still having the previously played note continue to sustain.


I want to be able to do a really quick little phrase, but the effect works quick enough to make each of the “attacks” turn into the bowed sound.

I guess, what I want is something of a volume swell that only hits attacks and not the entire collection of sound coming from my instrument. As I said, I’ll try and do a little recording for later today.

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I think I get it now…

So… I think it’s very difficult… but not impossible… for a plugin to detect a new note within a sound that is already being played. Jam Origin’s software probably does this but that’s a whole other program…

Maybe using a hex pickup will work. I’m not familiar with the GK3 or the Fishman Tripleplay. They may have patches within their hardware that can do the bowed sound by picking up each string individually. You can use the Tripleplay to trigger a bowed synth sound.

The other idea is to use something like a Transient Designer…

Another idea is to use an expander.

But as I write and think about this I think if you can set the threshold of the Slow Gear at the right place, have a slow attack (open) and fast-ish release (close) with a reverb, I think you can get the effect you are looking for.

A tight gate or expander in front of the SlowGear can help clean up the sound so that miscellaneous noises don’t trigger it.

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So I have another idea which will require a new plugin…

The new plugin needed is a kind of switch (1 in and multiple out) that switches the output when the level goes over the threshold. The number of outputs may need to correspond to the number of notes in the arpeggio.

Each output of the auto switch will need to be sent to it’s own slow gear plugin. This means that each time you hit a note, sending a new peak, the switch will send out the signal to the next output and a different slowgear swell.
Route all the outputs from the slow gears into a reverb unit and it should start to combine the tails of the notes.

It does mean that if you have a note held down and you hit a new note, sending a new peak, when it switches to the next output you will have a chord swell… but that may not be too bad since you already have that other note in the previous output.

This switch can be cool…
Put all kinds of different effects on each output and it can scroll through them as you hit a note… new sound for each note…


It seems that you are looking for an ASDR effect that controls a VCA.
code would be:
gate to create a trigger threshold
Trigger starts ASDR
Audio goes into VCA that has it’s gain set by the ASDR
Audio shaped by ASDR is the output.

You could add multiple thresholds to do things like speed up the Attack when you play louder on the guitar.

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Here are some examples I recorded of what I’m wanting to be able to do. I have my bass running through a POG2 with the the attack just a little enabled. Here are the examples of what I want.

Faster run:

Arpeggios where the swells only occur on the newer played notes:

These are pretty poor recordings from my phone. You can hear the snare drum rattling in the background. Hopefully this communicates what I’m looking for?

I think the first one really just requires a careful setting of the threshold of the slow gear. Make sure you have the downtime really short too so that it will reset between notes. That sounds really cool, btw.

The 2nd one, I’m really not sure I hear exactly what the POG2 is doing, perhaps this is also possible with the slowgear.

I’m unlikely to have time to play with it this weekend, but if I get a chance to play with my MOD next week I’ll see if I can create some similar sounds.


Thanks. I tried out the slowgear in the past, but couldn’t get it to do what I wanted. However, I didn’t really know it’s setup very well at that time either. I’ll go back and try it out some more again.

I will admit that I dont fully understand the technical terms you are using. I will look them up!

Perhaps you could try filtering your sound into multiple different signal paths, and running each path into a slowgear for a polyphonic-ish result?

Example: use a bandpass filter to select a specific frequency band, apply slowgear for swell. Repeat for as many frequency bands as you like.

I’ll try this out later if I have some time!

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I won’t lie. That sounds kinda complicated! For now I’ll stick with my POG2 for that effect.

I am interested in what your suggestion would sound like.