Empress Zoia


Someone else will have to answer about how good the tape delay is (although given that it’s Empress, the algorithms are likely to be excellent) and your questions about what it features.

You could change parameters to set values (or a rise/fall at any speed you want) via the 3 stompswitches, or set min/max and ramp speed to an expression pedal, or external MIDI, or place a button on the grid linked to what you want to change, or use a sequencer controlled by any number of different methods… there are loads of possibilities and I’m sure I haven’t listed many of them! But yes, the Octatrack could do it.

Or use the big controller knob if you’re happy changing things one parameter at a time.

Ping pong delay has its own separate module. You could even switch between ping pong and stereo on the fly using the aforementioned options if you set up 2 delay modules (one stereo, one ping pong) and established some kind of control link between them.


Really cool. What kind of threshold do you have on the envelope follower? Does it trigger the parameter changes constantly? That’d make for some pretty mad modulation…!


FWIW, I’m sure using an external controller is very useful, but I haven’t bothered to even try yet. The funnest and most intuitive thing for me is to simply create my own UI and controller directly on the grid. The sequencers, loopers, keyboards, pushbuttons, stompswitches, pixels, etc. can all be set up fairly easily to do precisely what I want, with plenty of “push button and turn knob on the fly to make 12 parameters do something completely different”, like the crazier things you can do with Elektron menu surfing in real-time. You built it yourself so it fits your mental flow already, and it’s a natural step from building and patching your instrument/effect. Very satisfying. This is what people love about programming their Monome Grids, but there’s nothing immediate or simple about doing that in Max/MSP, whereas here I’m having too much fun to even notice if what I’m doing is hard or easy.

One of the things it’s hard to quantify with any creative device is whether it gets you in a “flow state” - this one succeeds very well at doing so. Many people will be having all-nighters in front of it without even realizing what time it is. I have ADHD so I’m acutely aware of and highly prize that state of mind. It’s one of the primary things that gets me so excited and evangelical about this box.

(Two quick examples of UI - someone’s made a keyboard layout template that works like how the Linnstrument is set up. Someone else explained how to set up a chromatic sampler a la Digitakt. Just the beginning!)


Anyone know how to hide cells? For example if I set up the keyboard and once I connect the pitch and gate outputs to the destinations I don’t want them on the grid after that, I just want the keys, one of the factory patches has it like this so it is definitely possible but can’t find the info in the manual.


This should do it… source


Thanks @vaporlanes


Chromatic sampler a la digitakt? What do you mean by that? Sounds interesting though :cool:


Ok, i guess it is playing chromatically a sample… :slight_smile:

I am trying to do a sampler like the Octatrack” direct sampler to sequencer” thing. Having a lot of fun with it, don’t know if it’s going to be possible though.


In regards to the tape delay, I think it sounds great, but the preset delay types are fairly limited in their options. You can choose between tape and old tape, and you get mod depth and speed, so no real wow and flutter, age, or crinkle controls.

That being said, you can certainly make a delay with all of those things using eq, lfos, envelopes, filters, and drives effecting the delayed signal. I’ve got some work in progress patches mimicking the dTape in the Timeline and they’re sounding great so far. The sky’s the limit :cool:


HOLY SH**. That’s IT. Magic.


I might need to mute this thread or I’ll end up ordering one.


I believe you can also put such non needed stuff on an additional page, can’t you ?


I’ve edited the printable Module Index to get rid of the 11 pages of wasted space at the end of the file. I’m really hoping nobody wasted the paper and ink on that! Apologies for the mistake. Updated file here:



How are the reverbs? Can they hold up against a Eventide Space for example?


The pre-built ones are tasty as you’d expect from an Empress machine. For me, there are no better 'verbs than on my BigSky (the Cloud machine is my go-to) but considering how much bang for buck you’re getting with the Zoia, it’s near impossible to complain about anything with it!


Strymon and Eventide are best-in-the-world caliber, let’s be real. But yeah, my feeling is “world class pre-built effects, you wouldn’t blink at any of these being housed in its own exclusive boutique pedal”, I would say up there with anything short of Strymon and Eventide, which works for me. The “ghostverb” is especially nice (I believe it’s lifted directly from Empress’ Reverb pedal, so no surprise). What really sends it over the top, though, is how much modulation and routing you can set up for those pre-built effects. Which approaches (surpasses?) something like Strymon Magneto in eurorack for flexibility + sonic quality as a combo. You can get VERY WEIRD with these reverbs if you want to, or syncopated with your beats, with very complex tails weaving in and out of your mix, etc.


Of course, you can listen yourself. I think Benn & Gear had a video letting you hear the quality of the reverb.


Out of curiosity: what is a pixel in Zoia’s terms?


It puts a colored block on the grid. The brightness can be controlled by CV or audio. Pretty simple module but a great building block for grid UI/controller stuff.


Thanks @vaporlanes and @Waves. Background of my question is if i could settle with a reverb from the Zoia and sell my Space (as in: less gear). And in the meantime enjoying all the possibilities of the Zoia in other situations (which i can think of a lot!).