Bob Craypoe (also known as R. L. Crepeau) is a musician, writer, webmaster, 3D artist, and creator of the Punksters comic strip series.
The DigiTech Mosaic guitar effects pedal is an effects pedal that emulates the sound of a 12-string guitar. Just plug your 6-string guitar into it and turn it on to get the sound of a 12-string. You could use it for an electric guitar or an acoustic/electric guitar. The unit works great for both.
A Little About DigiTech
DigiTech manufactures a variety of guitar effects pedals. Sure, a lot of effects manufacturers offer a variety of effects pedals but DigiTech really shines in the area of pitch shifting. They, quite frankly, put a lot of other companies to shame in that area because they offer, what I think, is the best overall quality of sound with their products that do pitch shifting.
DigiTech makes the Whammy pedal, which simulates the sound of a whammy bar on a guitar and then some. You can shift to a specific pitch, do dive bomb effects and shift up an octave like you would if you were a keyboard player using a pitch shift wheel. They also make the Drop, which allows you to do drop tunings on your guitar, electronically, as opposed to having to tune your guitar down manually. I believe that DigiTech has really set the standard for pitch shifting effects.
Using the Mosaic
The Mosaic pedal is very simple to use. It has just two knobs on it. One knob is for the effect level and the other is a tone knob. My own personal preference is to set them both halfway for most songs for which I use it. I tried both knobs at various settings and have concluded that it works and sounds best when used in moderation. Cranking the knobs all the way does not really provide the best sound.
The first thing I tried were various Classic Rock songs I knew were played on a 12-string. Songs like Pink Floyd’s “Wish you Were Here” and Bonjovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” I was very satisfied with the sound. Then I tried out a few of my original songs that I had originally played on a 12-string guitar and I liked how they sounded too.
Now, does this sound exactly like a 12-string guitar? No, it does not, but it does come pretty close. Probably the next best thing to using a 12-string guitar. The unit comes with a power supply but I use the same power supply that I use for all of the other pedals in my pedal board.
I would not use this pedal on every song, obviously. I would just use it on the songs that I normally would use a 12-string guitar for. 12-string guitar works nice for a lot of songs but there are definitely some songs where it may not really work out so well. But that is something you can play around with in order to determine which songs to use it for. Also, some songs may work better with certain settings. Some may sound better with a higher effect level and other songs with a lesser effect level. That’s where experimentation comes in.
You can also use this with a distorted guitar. It acts much like an octave pedal that allows you to combine your original signal with the sound an octave higher being played along simultaneously. However, you may want to play around with the settings a bit to determine what works best with a distorted guitar. Probably not the same settings you would use with a clean guitar.
Why Buy This Pedal?
There are a couple of good reasons to buy this pedal. My primary reason for buying this pedal is so that I could do gigs using just one guitar instead of having to bring a 6-string and a 12-string. It means I have one less guitar to drag around to gigs. The other reason might be if you would prefer not to have to buy a 12-string guitar at all. Maybe your house is a little cramped for space or you don’t want to spend the additional money that a 12-string would cost you. Well, here is both a money saving and space saving solution.
I play out as a solo performer, I play guitar and sing. It’s nice to have a variety of sound options for a single guitar, since I have nobody else to help me fill out the sound. This pedal just gives me one more sound option and it’s nice to have options. It’s also nice to mix things up a bit with your sound or tone, instead of using the same sound or tone for every song.
Using it With Other Pedals
The Digitech Mosaic plays nice with other pedals. It works well with modulation effects. Although, you may want to turn down the effect level on some of the modulation effects because if you have too much going on at the same time, your sound may start to lack clarity. As far as using it with reverb and delay goes, you could really just use the same settings you normally would with a 6-string.
I have the DigiTech Drop pedal, which allows me to do a drop tuning digitally. Combining the Mosaic with the Drop didn’t really sound as well as I would have liked. My hope, by combining the two pedals, was to create the sound of 12-string guitar being tuned down a whole step or so. It just did not sound natural to me at all. So I probably won’t be trying that again.
I have some Electro-Harmonix Pedals that work very nicely with it though. I have the Mel9 pedal, which emulates the sounds that the old Mellotron keyboard used to have. My favorite sounds on it are the strings and cello sounds. Using the Mosaic with the cello sounds on the Mel9 pedal sounds great. It sounds like I am playing a 12-string guitar while being backed up by a strings section. It is a very full and clear sound. The Electro-Harmonix synth 9 pedal works great with it too. I even use the Mel9 and the Synth 9 pedals simultaneously with the Mosaic.
I like to use a bit of reverb and delay with my guitar. I normally use both while using the Electro-Harmonix pedals I just mentioned. Now I add the Mosaic to it and, believe it or not, with all of that going on at the same time, it still sounds great and provides such a full sound for one instrument. That obviously works well for a solo performer.
Then I tried adding modulation effects with all of the others. That’s when you have to be a bit more careful as not to muddy up the sound. You may want to use the modulation effects sparingly when you have a lot of the other effects already going on. My favorite modulation effects are chorus and phase. I notice that when I use the chorus with the mosaic, I don’t need as much as I would normally use without it. With Phase, I could probably use about the same amount. But a little experimentation might help you find all of the right combinations, especially for your own personal tastes and preferences.
So, like I stated above, it will not sound exactly like a 12-string guitar but it helps get you a bit closer to the sound of a 12-string guitar. It works well when combined with some pedals and not so well when combined with others. Settings on it may vary, in order to get the best sound, from song to song. The settings also may vary when combined with other pedals. Overall, I like the unit and I am very happy with it. Right now I am going over my set list and playing the songs while trying to determine which songs to use it for. You can find demo videos online, in order to check out how it sounds for yourself. So check them out.
© 2019 Bob Craypoe