a preamp and DI box with a wooden front... and an amazing smooth sound!
No, we do not think that any electronics can sound like real wood or replace the inpredictably organized chaos... or whatever you believe that brings life to anything...
...but we managed to imitate one of the important characteristics of many sound conductors like wood, air, transformers... !
wooDi's secret is its unique sound refiner - unlike classic tone shapers, its frequency response stays totally flat but gets spread over time. doing so, basses move slower than trebles, and that is exactly what nature does within acoustic instruments. the result is a sweet sound experience of natural acoustics even at high amplification.
here is the original flyer
spreading peaks without reducing their energy:
Piezo pickups and other good pickups bring a very hard attack - because thats the energy the musician puts onto the string at once!
its transit-time-correction on low frequencies is a delicious tiny task away from wow!-effects. however it perfectly does its job for those with musical sensitivity. when it comes to 'electric' sound, musicians and most engineers think in terms of frequencies and amplitudes, which results in soundcontrol by equalisation and compression. but: the secret of 'natural' sound transmission hides in the dynamics of sound dispersion through resonance materials and air boxes. neither eq nor compressor can affect this field. wooDi acts on the time flow of tone, similar to the behaviour of a resonance body.
not only guitarists have discovered the sweet "wunder effect", bassists like John Patitucci or André Pousaz don't want to perform without this little gadget that is capable of pure sound reproduction. wooDi suits all kinds of acoustic instruments that use a transducer directly attached to the sound source.
Paradis happened because Rolf had heard that some Matthias works with some hexaphonic pickup and sent him this letter in 1983 asking about hexaphonic distortion. somehow he had heard I had a prototype and since he wanted the most advanced for his guitar...
so when Matthias wanted to move from Zürich to Winterthur, Rolf was the only person he knew in the region, and coincidentally he was moving to that lovely farm house near the forest... so they first lived together but then soon started to create the first guitar with polydistortion built in: the legendary red strat, made for Mark Knopfler whom we never found... the guitar is still with us...
Thomas Diethelm used it for many years to add a color to his nylon guitar. with the pedal he swelled in chords like a brass group: listen to Penguin in Love, Diethelms first album using Polydistortion
only 10 pcs were made of this product! we realized that for the rock musicians it was not dirty enough and the others did not even try anything related to distortion :-)
we observed hundredes of musicians at the music fair:
usually they approach fascinated by the design,
then when they hold the guitars they are amazed again how light it is and alive, because they are so hollow
then the next smile is because they play so easily
but the real wow comes when they plug it in and the bass is so full!
what produced the bass of the Paradis instruments is a multiple octaver - one per string, a polyeffect. never copied!
very different from an ordinary octaver, its sound does not really appear, it only adds a lower octave to the natural string sound
and very different from a pitch shifter, this wave added is in phase with the original, so its not a sound on top, but makes part
additionally, there is a priority function which lets only be octaved the lowest played string so there never is a bass confusion, always one line.
the first prototype was made in 1985 but only 1990 the first 100 were made as 19" rack version with single string outputs and pedal control
here is the manual with better pictures
in 2005, Rolf made the smd version so it could be built into the Paradis
in 2015, Tom discovered that its possible to replace one of the RMC boards in his Godin Multiac and we started to redesign the Polybass so that it works with a simple 9V battery. this was a huge work, since we also had to recreate the preamp to achieve a no noise low power consumption. Philipp Scheidegger brought the knowledge and made it all work! So in 2017 the Polybass will be sold all over the world for Godin and any instrument where someone has the patience to build in a polyphonic pickup and our board...
the first livelooping tool that had a record and overdub function and a lot more in 1992 ! only 100 were made because the first time it was shown at the Frankfurt Music Fair, Keith McMillen who then worked at Gibson Western Innovation Zone came up and said he has observed us for years and he had build such a prototype, but since our product was ready, he suggested to license it to Gibson - which made it cheaper and better and an industry standard, but brought a whole lot of new problems, delays, the pre-owned brand Echoplex... and finally little money... again the lack of experience...
quite some LOOP delays are still around and searched for since it had most abilities of its offspring Gibson Echoplex.
on the home page of this site we explain why it is connected to the Paradis concept (as opposed to Gibson that showed it only once at Frankfurt Messe: upside down in some pile... :-)
in colaboration with BridgeCo and Axon, the electronics for the Diguit and the version for the Paradis were created and worked reasonably well.
a huge effort with an amazing result:
a modular polyphonic piezo pickup and preamp system to be built into accoustic guitars
the following modules came to work and are installed in a few instruments:
- supply (from 3 AA batteries or 13pin DIN)
- FET preamp for each string and body piezo... with vol control
- polybass as designed by Matthias long ago, but only on the 2 lowest strings (originally 3 and in Paradis guitar 4) with effect vol
- GK with its standard controls
the system did not reach serial production maturity and I am not sure whether and how we could continue with it...