Designed with the most adventurous instrumentalists in mind, the Electro-Harmonix Superego+ is a pedal capable of creating a multitude of effects, including glissando, infinite sustain, pitch shifting, organ-like shimmer, and much more. It builds upon the synth-engine of its predecessor, the Superego, in several ways. The original's SPEED, GLISS, DRY, and EFFECT parameters are still on hand, but added to mix are ATTACK and RELEASE knobs, as well as a THRESHOLD parameter that allows you to control the onset of processing with your dynamics.
You’ll also note a knob giving you access to 11 onboard internal effects, including flanging, phasing, rotary, tremolo, low-pass filter, and others. Each internal effect responds, in specific ways, to corresponding RATE and DEPTH knobs. A MODE footswitch provides five different freeze settings, most which can be controlled by the BYPASS switch, as well as your favorite, previously purchased expression pedal.
In many modes, the effect section of the Superego+ operates on your “freezes”—i.e., on sustained notes/chords that you’ve created by means of holding down the BYPASS switch. This way, you can strum a chord, hold down the BYPASS switch, causing it to sustain; then, an onboard effect is applied to the frozen signal as you solo over this cacophonous sound-bed with your normal, unprocessed tone.
However, LIVE EFFECTS mode will allow you to run dry sound directly through the effects engine, foregoing the freezing altogether, and giving you dramatic, immediate effects on stage. Thus, you can use the pedal similarly to Electro-Harmonix's Freeze pedals, or as a direct modulation effect.
An external effects loop can be routed into the pedal by means of 1/4" send and return jacks. You can also opt to send processed signal from the send jack to another destination, such as an amplifier, or an impedance-appropriate mixer channel. When the signal is split in this manner, your freezes and processed notes will be directed out through the send jack, while unfrozen signal will route to your main amplifier.
When you use the Superego+ with an expression pedal, you can set up presets that sweep through different settings programmed into the heel and toe positions of the expression pedal. For a deep dive into this operation, as well as the effects and controls provided by the Superego+, please peruse the features section.
Controls at a Glance
EFFECT Knob: This controls the volume of the processed signal. Set to its lowest value, the knob will remove the effect signal entirely. Set fully clockwise, and you’ll hear maximum effect. This control operates before the send jack in the signal chain, and can be sent to a dedicated amplifier by means of this output.
ATTACK Knob: This controls the fade-in speed of the frozen signal. When set fully counter-clockwise, the frozen signal starts immediately. As the knob is turned clockwise, the frozen signal fades in more slowly. Adjust the ATTACK knob to create swell and pad effects.
DECAY Knob: This controls the fade-out speed of the frozen signal. At minimum values, the frozen signal fades out quickly. As the knob is turned clockwise, the fade-out time increases. When set to maximum, this control ensures that the frozen signal plays indefinitely until a new freeze function is triggered.
THRESHOLD Knob: This controls how sensitive the Superego+ is to the input signal. THRESHOLD is least sensitive when set fully counter-clockwise. At this setting, the input signal has to be quite strong to trigger the effect, so it will only respond to your loudest playing. As the knob is turned clockwise, the Superego+ becomes more sensitive, and the effect becomes increasingly easier to trigger. When the knob is set to maximum volumes, even light playing will trigger the effect.
LAYER Knob: In SUSTAIN, AUTO, and LATCH modes, use the LAYER knob to set the level of previous freezes as new ones are introduced. When set fully counter-clockwise, the previously frozen signal will not be present in a new freeze. At a setting of fully clockwise, 100% of the previously frozen signal is present. The LAYER knob works in a similar fashion to the feedback knob on a delay, or the overdub parameter of a looper pedal.
GLISS Knob: This controls the speed of the glissando effect. The glissando/portamento feature glides the pitch of one frozen sound into the next. This function is suitable for adding texture and smoothness to transitions.
EFFECTS SELECTOR Knob: This selects which of the 11 effects will be applied to the frozen/processed signal when the EFFECT footswitch is engaged.
RATE Knob: This controls the rate/speed of the selected effect. For effects that do not utilize a rate control, the RATE knob will have an alternate function. To provide a handy reminder, this alternate function is printed in purple below the effect name on the EFFECTS SELECTOR knob.
DEPTH Knob: This controls the depth/amount of the selected effect. For effects that do not need a depth control, the DEPTH knob will have an alternate function printed in green below the effect on the EFFECTS SELECTOR knob.
BYPASS Footswitch: This enables or disables the Superego+ pedal. Depending on the mode, this footswitch can function as a freeze trigger, or an auto trigger enable/disable switch.
EFFECT Footswitch: This turns the internal effect section of the Superego+ on and off. In LIVE EFFECTS MODE, both the EFFECT footswitch and the BYPASS footswitch engage/bypass the Superego+.
MODE Footswitch: This cycles through the five modes indicated by the mode LEDs.
SEND Jack: If you would like the frozen signal to go through an external effects chain, use this 1/4" jack to connect to the input of an external effect. Alternately, you can use the Send jack as a “wet-only” output. When you do so, the freeze signal is muted at the Output jack. The EFFECT knob always controls the volume at the Send jack.
RETURN Jack: If you're using an external effects pedal (or loop), plug the ultimate pedal into the Return jack provided here. The signal present at the Return jack is then mixed with the dry signal and sent to the Output jack. If no signal is received by the Output jack, the Superego+ will default to using signal carried over the Send connection as a “wet-only” output.
EXP (Expression) Jack: Connect a standard TRS expression pedal or (control voltage (CV) pedal between 0 to 5V) to the EXP input, and you'll have external control over the ATTACK, DECAY, RATE, DEPTH, THRESHOLD, LAYER, and GLISS parameters. An EXP preset can be saved for each effect setting, with the SUPEREGO+ taking a “snapshot” of all 7 knob parameters at the heel-down position, followed by another snapshot at the toe-down position. Thus, the expression pedal can sweep between the two settings. You can also use an expression pedal or other CV source without programming a preset. Each internal effect has a default expression control range that is set by the factory, or after erasing your previously loaded, expression-pedal preset.
EXT (External Control) Jack: Use a TRS three-button external/auxiliary switch (such as the DigiTech FS3X, available separately) to remotely control the Superego+’s footswitches.
Effects at a Glance
ECHO: This provides pristine repeats. An expression pedal can control delay time.
DELAY: This gives you warm, analog-sounding repeats with modulation. Feedback has been preset, while an expression pedal can control delay time.
FLANGE: This gives you an Electric Mistress-style flanger with filter matrix, rate, and feedback control. DEPTH controls the feedback amount. The RATE knob controls both the filter matrix and the flange rate. With the RATE knob fully counter-clockwise, the filter matrix is at minimum. The filter range increases to its maximum setting at about 11 o’clock on the RATE knob. As you turn RATE past 11 o’clock, the flange will begin to oscillate very slowly; modulation speed increases to maximum when RATE is set fully clockwise. An expression pedal can control the RATE.
PHASE: This effect offers Small Stone-style phase shifting. An expression pedal can control the RATE.
MOD: Here you’ll find pitch-based vibrato or chorus. RATE controls speed of the chorus. DEPTH is 0 at noon. Noon to fully counter-clockwise controls pitch-vibrato depth, while noon to clockwise controls chorus depth. An expression pedal can control the RATE.
ROTARY: Here you can engage an organ-like rotary sound. Use the DEPTH knob to control tweeter/horn balance. Turning the DEPTH knob counter-clockwise adds more horn and reduces the tweeter. Turning the DEPTH Knob clockwise adds more tweeter and reduces the horn. An expression pedal can control the RATE.
TREM 1: This is your subtle sine-wave tremolo, with an expression pedal controlling RATE.
TREM 2: Here is your dramatic, start-and-stop square-wave tremolo. As above, an expression pedal can control RATE.
PITCH: This effect provides pitch shifting. The RATE knob at noon is unity. Turning the knob clockwise steps up the major scale (also including minor 3rd and minor 7th) to +1 octave. Conversely, moving the RATE knob counter-clockwise steps the pitch down to -1 octave. An expression pedal can control a +1 octave whammy-style effect over the unity-affected signal.
FILTER: This is a resonant low-pass filter. RATE controls frequency of the cut, while DEPTH controls resonance. An expression pedal can control frequency externally.
SUSTAIN mode works similar to a piano's sustain pedal, freezing the signal—and all future notes—from the moment you depress the footswitch to the moment you release it.
AUTO mode automatically freezes notes when the pedal is on; holding down the BYPASS footswitch in this mode will prevent new signals from being frozen and processed, allowing you to lay unprocessed solos against a frozen backdrop.
LATCH mode freezes your signal the moment you hold down BYPASS, but continues to generate frozen signal even after you release the footswitch; double-tapping on the BYPASS footswitch in this mode will initiate a fade-out of the frozen signal.
LIVE EFFECTS mode disables the ability to freeze, passing your dry signal through the internal effects engine. In other words, this mode lets you apply effects to your direct signal, as you would with any other stompbox.