Empress Zoia


So is this primarily for guitarists? I’m in the market for a weird all-in-one pedal!


You’ve got at least two sax players on this thread. Cuckoo’s video is made with a drum machine running through it… I’m pretty sure it’s for anyone who’s ever purchased more than one patch cable for any reason.


Thank you very much for this info. Extremely helpful.


Well concerning CPU usage i guess the same kind of patch would have maxed my Nord Modular G2 CPU if i was using a custom quality reverb (not the included one ).
If the Ghost Reverb is the same algo as their reverb pedal 40 % cpu usage is ok for me. It really depend of the quality of the included FX.


I guess many of their reverbs from their reverb pedal can be recreated to some degree with clever use of the modules. But they are pretty funny though, so some might require specific algorithms. The different ZOIA reverbs are very nice starting points. The Ghost Reverb is super nice, but sometimes the Room works better, or the Plate in other cases. There’s also a low cpu Reverb that is a bit dithered, but will work nice for some type of sounds (perhaps not percussive sounds).


Wow, I’m more interested now.


Lots of useful information to mull over today, with especial thanks to @cuckoomusic for the cpu usage insight. I can definitely see ways that this could be super-useful and awesome for me but not one for the immediate future as I’ve other musical fish to aurally fry if you’ll forgive the torturing of that particular metaphor.


That’s how i’ve used my H9 too - try to get the patches gig-ready, then just load and play my instruments with as little param tweaking as possible. I paired it with an EHX Deluxe Memory Man as my live-tweakable friendly delay pedal. I did however learn and practice using the H9 in Expert Mode for emergency tweaks as part of my gig prep.

Lately however, I’ve gotten into trying freeze-inspired patching with an expression pedal for dynamic control. After I feel like I’ve explored what I could of this stuff, I might look more seriously into the Zoia.


@cuckoomusic said it well. It’s not hard to break the CPU limit. But it depends very much on what modules you use.


Really wanted one of these and may still at some point, but for some reason, the more videos I watch, the less I want one :confused:


Ordered one. I hope this becomes popular so the community grows - it’s always more fun with this kind of gear.


Totally agree. Norns and Organelle and the like, while interesting communities, are way too complicated for me. This seems complex enough and would like to partake in the fledgling community. Plus the idea of hybrid synths / guitars will be imo an interesting dynamic. We will see…

For much smarter people than myself: can platforms, coding, algorithms such as what Empress is doing be optimized visavis CPU later on?


To a certain extent, optimization can be done after the fact. However, it is not transparent how much of it has already been done and how much potential there still is. Generally optimizing for CPU load often means using more of other resources, e.g., memory or adjusting quality. I wouldn’t expect changes by orders of magnitude with future patches.


The cool thing about the H9 is how slick the iPad interface is. If you are able to tweak live (i.e. have free hands, not playing guitar) it’s a brilliant way to control an fx unit realtime.


Nice video. I like the contrast showing off the great colors and lighting of the Zoia.
It sounds really great. Those distortion modules are really nice.


Cool. Thanks.


I am thinking good: small for live setup, fully programmable.
but as a Kaoss user, I really need real time fx tweakability. So with all those buttons, isn’t there a bit of fx parameter locking of each algo? (like chorus/ddl feedbacks) Or would this where MIDI/CV comes in?
Still I prefer hands on.


Damnit! I made another one.


So the Control Port (1/4 inch TRS on the back) can be configured for your choice of multiple functions. It can be one of these:

  • A MIDI in/out port.
  • A connection for an expression pedal.
  • A connection for CV – One in and one out.
  • A connection to either a momentary or a latching switch, likely another stomp switch.

It’s not fully clear to me regarding the Control Port MIDI connection.

The manual says:
Note that when the MIDI ports are in use, the Control Port will only be able to send MIDI out, and not accept MIDI in.

This confuses me slightly. I think the first “MIDI ports” in this sentence refers to the standard built in MIDI connection in the Zoia. So my guess is you are allowed up to a max of two MIDI out connections and one MIDI in connection. That’s 32 device channels out if i read this correctly.


Anything involving looping is it for me. Excellent stuff; this is the reason I got the Zoia. Can’t wait to make up some daft looper tools with it.