The Maestro Sample/Hold from the early to mid-70s is one of Tom Oberheim’s more interesting effects. It features not only vibrato and tremolo but also rhythms with added patterns that can be far beyond typical. The filter is a classic low pass that sounds incredibly smooth, and the controls allow you to tweak the rate of the sample/hold as well as the frequency of the filter.
Our Master Sampler & Hodler is a clone that maintains the original’s soul and offers modern versatility by adding three potentiometers and a Reverse Sweep Switch.
You should watch some of the many demos out there to get a taste of what this pedal can do!
When we think about the pedal’s history, it’s quite amazing that just a handful of manufacturers carried the pedal industry on their backs. Electro-Harmonix and MXR usually get credit for their contributions but one company often forgotten is Maestro, which with products like “the FSH-1 Filter Sample/Hold,” made a huge impact on the music enterprise.
This pedal is two-in-one, with the option between Envelop Filter and Sample/Holp. When Filter is selected, the pluged instrument automatically activates an envelope follower that contours the modified low pass filter’s response curve according to the dynamics of the input. This gives a controllable dynamic effect that’s slightly more subtle than an “auto WAH”.
In the Sample/Hold position, the filter’s response is controlled randomly, but with an overlying rhythmic element determined by the controllable LFO (Speed control).
- Filter Range: This controls the sensitivity of the envelope follower to picking dynamics as it is turned clockwise.
- Attack: This controls the intensity of the envelope attack as it is turned clockwise.
- Decay: This controls the time decay of the envelope/swept filter as it is turned clockwise.
- Resonance: This controls the filter resonance from dark and full to thin and resonant.
- Speed: Controls the speed of the sample/hold effect.
- T1, T2: These trimmers (inside the pedal) are used to adjust the Sample and Hold function behavior.
- Filter Sample/Hold: Switches between Envelope Filter or Sample/Hold modes.
- Reverse Sweep: reverses the direction of the sweep.
The Attack, Filter, and Decay controls work only in Filter mode. They do not influence the Sample and Hold. However, the Resonance control works in both modes. It is less significant in Sample/Hold, but it will produce a range of different resonant peaks as the S/H operates.
For further analysis on this circuit take a look at this thread on Free Stomp Boxes Forum.