Watch the Ring Modulation online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission
As clearly stated in both segments for ring modulation—this is a naughty sound. So, I hereby officially relinquish myself of any responsibility when you inevitably get fired for switching on your ring mod (set to full wet signal, of course) during the father of the bride’s dance with his daughter.
Once again probing into what lies beneath the surface I discovered ring mods can be very vocal sounding—more alien-like, sure, but vocal nonetheless. Setting the internal oscillator to a triangle wave and playing on the higher strings in and around the 12th to 15th position I can get some vowel-like phrases. Given the fact that when you have a ring mod set to full mix, as I often do, any semblance of actual pitches in our 12-tone system are obliterated. With that in mind, I can play whatever is most comfortable to my fingers when going for that sound as I did when I improvised some fills in-between Pogo Stick.
To give you yet another taste of ring mod-made textures, I included a tune from a freely improvised live solo CD I did called Solitaire. The track is called “Contact” and it has myriad ring mod moments. One thing to keep in mind while listening: I use a resonant filter called the Resonator made by an Australian-based company, Frostwave, throughout the piece to provide a backdrop. But, alas, that is processed with a second ring mod, my Lovetone Ring Stinger. So as I play the single note melodies starting at 0:36 with the Frantone, I tweak the Ring Stinger in-between the licks. Again, there’s no looper.
Look for more tunes from Solitaire as it’s packed with examples that support the concepts I’m presenting from here on in.