Empress Zoia

This is hot on our list of things to do. Mostly cause we mentioned supermodules when we first announced and ZOIA still doesn’t have them. Being able to copy pages (and ranges of pages) between patches seems like a good compromise.


My only complaint with the Zoia is that my life is seriously getting in the way of my ability to continue exploring it the way it deserves to be explored :drunk:

By that I mean. I haven’t had time to make drums yet. But it certainly can. I’m sure there are lots of awesome and deep ways to make drums in the zoia. You have FM, the granular module, sequences for parameters and notes, LFO’s and envelopes that can be routed to anything, just for starters. I guess I need to find some time to make some Zoia drums…

I will say it won’t be as quick or intuitive as a dedicated drum machine or the Elektron sequencer, but there are lots goods onboard for percussion if you’re willing to put the time in. I’ll report back with my findings after I’ve had a chance to dig into some Zoia drums :thup:


I messed with pinging a filter to make drums, very easy for bd, toms, congas etc, add noise for snares etc. For hihats and cymbals just use 3-6 square waves at enharmonic frequencies eg 500, 625, 740, 800, 1000, 1200hz then hi pass filter to remove most of the bottom end, then an envelope to shape the filter cutoff so that after the strike the cutoff rises as the amplitude decays.

As usual I’d recommend the SOS drum synthesis tutorials found here (plus a ton of others)



and after that mayhem this lovely piece


(Reformatted but i think you er get the picture)

The Zoia is an absolute joy to use. Children playing in a pool, birds, planes overhead all become worlds of sound with it.

I personally found my way around the interface smooth like buttah with few hiccups (and after a rtfm or two quickly back on track). I was making and editing my own patches in no time. The buttons feel great. Lights dont show up well in the sun - and for my purposes this is a bit disappointing - but I recognize very few devices (if any) do this well. Im not very familiar with pedal build but it seems robust. Interconnects go in solidly. I fear for the butt of the sd card tho. Its got a stunning look and as. eported smaller than thought.

I am not an expert on quality of fx but to me the provided algorithms sound great (and kudos to empress for providing them). I have yet to really dig in to them standalone…and I’m not sure i ever will tbh. Its not a reverb or delay pedal. Its a Zoia. “Sum of parts” has never been more appropriate.

Very little to complain about provided modules. If i think hard enough (wavefolder) I feel a bit greedy honestly. There’s so much provided. I hope empress shows it love for a long time tho.

Bottom line: the depth of this pedal is unfathomable plus it’s inspiring and easy to execute ideas. A masterpiece of gear.


Jump on it! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

so how would one go about creating a threshold based looper (punch in)?
I am using an onset detector to trigger the loop IN, but it detects another signal just a sample later and the looper now switches instantly off again so that I’m getting a loop that is only one sample long.
I mindlessly noodled around with the comparator module and different detection thresholds but to no extend and feel rather clueless … how can i use the onset detection just once. long envelopes?


Sadly im not at it right now but my off hand guess would be to use some control module after the onset detector to latch to value 1?

1 Like

Same - especially since there are so many interesting ways to build your own wavefolder from existing modules! What a great learning opportunity. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Do tell! I mean my simple understanding is that its basically a clipper…

very good idea, the CV flip flop does such thing it seems and I have made some progress away from the sample long loops. the trick seems to be finding the threshold sweet spot - or tbh, I still have no clue but fun

100% this. I don’t think I’ve been as inspired (and daunted) by a piece of gear in a very long time. We are but limited by our imaginations (and knowledge of CV logic… :joy:)


I’m still learning, too, to be clear, but there’s some good knowledge in this thread among others.

1.04 firmware got released the other day - now we can rename modules which should come in handy for me to make the non sense i patch up easier to decipher


Just ordered an Empress Zoia from Perfect Circuit and I’m hoping it gets here before the 4th!

1 Like

Just ordered an Empress Zoia from Perfect Circuit and I’m hoping it gets here before the 4th!

Might be worth mentioning that Perfect Circuit has some of their deepest discounts of the year (including sitewide discounts) during the July 4th weekend. Might wanna cancel and buy in a few days instead!


Yeah! I need to update…

My first impressions with it are very positive. I thought the UI would annoy me but I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s simply a joy to use.


Glad you’re diggin’ it. What are you thinking of using it for?

This is my very first hardware pedal, and it comes with no power cable. Ugh!