Sound Sculpture Switchblade ST

From the Sound Sculpture website...

"The Sound Sculpture Switchblade is the most powerful and advanced rackmount switching system in the world today.

If you use multiple effects, instruments, or amps, you need a switching system to unite your gear into a single, easy-to-manage rig. Fact: it takes a variety of top products to get the best of all possible sounds. The Sound Sculpture Switchblade puts all of your gear--from simple stomp boxes or the most complex processor--under the control of one all-powerful interconnected brain. A switching system is the only way to create a consolidated rig.

No other product outperforms the Switchblade or offers the same degree of control, flexibility, and power. It preserves the purity and integrity of your tone--even IMPROVES it, as unused effects are entirely removed from the signal path instead of just switched off.

All Switchblade models offer features and functions that are deep yet simple to use. With multiple user presets storable in memory, you can create a path through any number of connected devices, for instant recall whenever needed.

The Switchblade even allows MIDI control of levels so you can build in variations like pan and volume for use with a pedal, sequencer, or other midi source.

Tap the power to instantly wire, rewire, mix, mute, bypass, blend, split, merge, re-arrange--and more, in mono, stereo, quad, you-name-it.

The Switchblade changes everything: flexible, powerful, programmable, MIDI controllable, all in a single rack space, and at a fraction of the price you'd expect for such a product.

At the core of this powerful system lies the Matrix which rewires your entire rig on the fly according to settings you create and save as presets in user memory. True matrix switching networks are recognized by the industry as the most powerful type of switching arrangement possible. With a 16 input/16 output matrix (8/8 for the Switchblade 8, 8B, and 8F) you can connect any input to any output simultaneously with other inputs and outputs. Full mixing and distribution at each connection. Create series, parallel, or wild interconnected networks in single or multi-amp setups, all without ever touching a patch cord.

All this power would be meaningless without quality. That's why the audio signal paths in the Switchblade have been engineered with performance and quality in mind. The frequency response, signal to noise ratio, distortion and phase properties allow crystal clear passage of your instrument sound through your effects. The channels in the Switchblade are so clear it's as if there is no switching system in your signal path at all.

Besides interconnection, the switchblade offers powerful mixing capabilities. The volume level of every connection or "patch" is independently programmable over a 48dB range in calibrated increments. This gives you the power to adjust the level of the signal going to or returning from your effects, instruments, and amps to control the balance between effects, control the drive to and from preamps, control noise levels and even pan signals in stereo or multi-channel images. Exciting new sounds can be created as never before by tapping the signals at various points in the effect network, remixing to new levels and assigning the final mix to other outputs. It's a realm of flexibility and power that takes your stage rig or studio rack to an entirely new level of use.

Each Switchblade preset includes two built in realtime controllers which can be used to independently control the input or output gain for any number of patches simultaneously. When used in this fashion the results are truly impressive. One controller can be used to crossfade between effects in a network, increasing or decreasing their individual "presence" with respect to other effects in real time, while the other controller can be used to "cross-pan" effects or instruments across a stereo image or to change overall volume. An internal "Auto Sweep" function can be used in place of one of the controllers for hands off automatic sweeping. Several different Auto Sweep functions are available with adjustable times to over 12 seconds. The Switchblade also incorporates an exclusive circuit we call "Seamless Sweeping" to remove zippering noise when used with even low resolution continuous controllers. An intelligent algorithm monitors each input signal and only allows gain changes during zero crossing times, effectively removing the steps that create zipper noise.

The Switchblade allows you to store up to 125 presets (75 for the 'Switchblase 8 and 8B models), any of which can be loaded instantaneously by MIDI program change. An advanced switching algorithm offers the most musically transparent switching of any system available, utilizing an intelligent analysis so that any patches that are the same between the two presets are left untouched for glitch free operation. And whether you need instant switching or long blends, the Switchblade will meet your exact needs. Switching time is programmable from zero to 1000 ms. With longer times the signals ramp down and up for new patches or make smooth gain sweeps if the patch remains the same.

Even without midi program changes, you can use a single momentary footswitch to cycle through a list of Switchblade programs. And of course there's always the front panel.

An alternate mode allows you to operate the Switchblade by sending Sysex messages to the Switchblade to clear or create patches on the fly. For more on this advanced operation, download the Switchblade manual.

The Switchblade not only responds to MIDI Program Change and Control Change messages, but can also be set to transmit Program messages to other MIDI gear whenever a preset is selected. This greatly simplifies synchronizing your gear and is a great aid when using the Switchblade with simple MIDI controllers that can only transmit one Program message as a time.

Throw out your footswitches! The Switchblade has dedicated jacks that use relay contact closures to replace common mechanical footswitches that attach to most amplifiers. The relay states can be programmed into each preset, automatically changing the reverb state or channels of your amp when you change presets on the Switchblade. Four footswitch simulators are offered on the GL model and two are offered on the Switchblade 8, Switchblade 8B and Switchblade 8F.

The programming menus of the Switchblade have been created to be user friendly. You can operate the unit from logical menus at the front panel, or use the highly intuitive BladeEdit Software with your PC to design and upload (or download) your preset scenes. It might be inclined to think that with all the features and power in the Switchblade that programming would be difficult, but you will find quite the opposite to be true. In a nutshell, you assign names (such as "Guitar" or "Reverb") to all the inputs and outputs in the Setup Menu and from that point forward all programming is done by connecting device to device by name and setting the gain. It couldn't possibly be simpler.

Let's face it: this is not a piece of gear for a garage band, so we built the Switchblade to be EXTREMELY rugged and durable. A solid chassis and securely mounted audio jacks ensure the Switchblade will withstand the trials and rigors of even the most brutal touring schedule. Highest quality audio components and thorough factory testing ensure the Switchblade won't go down when you need it the most. A look at the community of professional players and artists who depend on the Switchblade serves as evidence towards its quality and reliability.

The Switchblade's high integrity audio paths and MIDI capabilities give it tremendous capabilities in the studio environment. As an advanced patchbay, it allows routing "on the fly" with Sysex from your sequencer or control surface. Separate commands are available to clear the entire matrix, create and delete individual patches and assign controller numbers to each patch. In fact, when used in this fashion, each individual connection can be assigned 2 controller numbers (a linear curve and a log curve) allowing both panning and gain change using the pan pot and graphic faders of your favorite software or hardware control surface. As with preset changes, all remote switching commands are handled intelligently to insure glitch free operation. With this power to instantly patch all audio signals in your studio and control individual gain levels as well, your entire studio can be fully automated.

All Switchblade models also have a VU bar graph menu allowing the user to select and monitor the audio levels (in dB) of the individual inputs. This metering function can also be sent out in real time over the MIDI OUT port for computer programs that can monitor such activity. With the ability to monitor the input levels, maximum signal to noise ratios can be achieved and headroom can be monitored carefully when required.

Check out every other switching system on the market and then take a close look at the Switchblade. Regardless of price, you won't find another system offering the features and quality of the Switchblade. Not even close!"

Reviews here...

One small problem is that when I first got it I used a cheap patch cable which came apart in one of the inputs. It could be removed, it's just lodged in the socket.

Totally fantastic piece of gear, ridiculously possibilities limited only by your imagination. As used by The Edge, Muse, John Paul Jones, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Wayne "Wing" Sermon (Imagine Dragons), Dweezil Zappa, Dave Matthews (Dave Matthews Band), Walter Becker (Steely Dan), Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Don "Buck Dharma" Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult), Radiohead, Steve Rothery (Marillion), Paul Crook (Anthrax), John Czajkowski (Hectic Watermelon), Chris Wolstenhome (Muse), Roger Hodgson (Supertramp).

Located in Baltinglass, County Wicklow. Collection only.

Note: Please do not offer to buy this item unless you are prepared to follow through. Once a bid is accepted, the bidder is obligated to purchase as per Buyers House Rules . A reneged bidder will likely receive negative feedback.

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