We’re a curious bunch here at Silent Radio and decided it was time to start scratching that itch, so we asked Suuns guitarist and singer Ben Shemie what his favourite piece of music making equipment is. This is what he told us:


What is it?
Digitech vocalist 2.

How long have you had it?
About 6-7 years?.. I can’t remember.. maybe longer.

How does it help shape your sound?
I use it on vocals, and sometimes on synth drone pads. It has a bunch of dumb harmoniser presets that are fun, but I’ve never really used them.. too much. But it has a very transparent vocoder, that sounds more like auto tune. It has an auto tune too, which I work with sometimes too. It’s old, from the 90s, so it’s pretty basic and not very slick.. which I like.

Do you use it live?
A lot. I’m still learning new tricks.

Do you use it in the studio?
Yeah, with a lot of tweaking since it’s not a very precise piece of gear.

Suuns - Ben Shemie

What can we hear it used on?
You can first hear it on the album FELT, I use it on the song X-ALT, which is a rambunctious jam. It’s a dirty sound and works well in the lo-fi world. It doesn’t have that modern auto-tune sheen.

Is there anything you dislike about it or would like to change?
The power supply is a total pain in the ass – like so much of these cheap pieces of gear. You can buy all these rad cheap pedals, but you are a slave to their specific power supply. Digitech is the biggest offender. I use a lot of their gear. Most guitar players would understand what I mean because they have probably owned a Digitech Whammy at some point. So annoying.

If the worst happened and it broke down, could you replace it?
It’s not a boutique or rare thing. I mean, now one would just buy the new version of this. I just got stuck on the old one, but it’s not a cool vintage piece.

Any honourable mentions of other items that didn’t make the top spot?
I think the Digitech Digidelay is pound for pound the best simple digital delay pedal out there. It’s cheap and full of options. The only problem is that it’s heavy for a single switch stomp box (which on paper isn’t a big deal, but then you have to lug it around on tour and get on planes). Runner up would be the Line 6 echo park.. the little brother to the DL-4.. but the DL-4 is notoriously badly built and always breaks (Also big and heavy and ridiculous power supply). I’m sorry to the gear heads out there that my choices are so square. Occasionally I buy boutique expensive shit because they have these extra options.. I use them for a tour, then they sit on the shelf. You know what I’m talking about.

Anything else you’d like to tell the world about?
I think every piece of gear can do something cool. You can go deep on anything. It doesn’t have to be expensive or custom. I love new toys, but I always end up using the same shit from high school.


Suuns release their new EP ‘Fiction’ on October 30th via Joyful Noise Recordings . You can hear the title track below.

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