Empress Zoia & Euroburo ... modular in a stompbox

Just saw Knobs post about this new Empress pedal that seems to be not only a super rad multi effect box but also somewhat of a “modular” system depending on how you program. Really interested in knowing what all the building blocks are and how possible it would be to make complex chains. And the price is only $450 which seems quite low coming from eurorack land.


Hah! I was just starting another thread. Beat me by seconds.

Yes, this looks very interesting. I was interested in their Reverb and Delay pedals due to the quality of the algos. This might be a more fun way to go for studio-bound folks like me.


ha! i was honestly suprised to see no one had gotten to it yet.

i just recently added the empress echosystem to my modular setup (an aux on my k mix), and i am honestly blown away by the thing. sound quality is hi fi, the algorithms are beautiful and inspiring, and it feels like a well refined pedal for studio use. my expectations for the zoia are high becuse of this and i think curiosity will be too strong for me to not try one out. what a world!


“Multithing” is an apt subtitle for this one. love love the review format, knobs is changing the game.

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This thing looks pretty Empressive :sunglasses:


This reminds me a lot of the glory days of Vsig: https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/software/algorithm-editor/vsig

If this makes the same level of power and creativity available to the user as an H3000 running Vsig, I’ll be in line to get one for sure!

Super interested in this.
Seems to have a similar way of building things from little units like the ER-301.


Wow! That looks amazing. I kind of sold most of my high end pedals to finance my way into modular. This looks like a super cool unit.


@dude this was the thing I was banging on about

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more in depth video
thank cuckoo


After checking out all the videos it seems very interesting! I only have one big doubt, I can see myself getting lost very quickly in this UI, while the grid does make sense to see the “modules” you have in a patch, it does a very poor job at showing what is connected to what (at least as far as one can tell from the videos). This might work ok for smaller patches, but for big ones (like the big polysynth patch that is shown in one of the videos) it quickly gets hard to backtrace your steps after some time.
The other thing I have doubts about is: it feels very much like a “set&forget” thing. While this probably explains why the above issue is probably not as important, since you might not have the need to actually figure out what you have connected where once the patch is done and works fine, it opens up another big question: how much tweak-ability does this offer? Or is it more something you just switch on/off?

I’m not really sold on the UI either, but you can come up with your own color scheme, that might help things. If there was a way to upload custom modules it would be great.

as tweak-ability i think has some potential
i understand you can assign the three stomps to whatever you want and there are some “modules” as controllers (like a small keyboard or a sequencer or momentary)
but we have to wait :frowning:

Seems like the MOD DUO does the modular effects pedal thing a bit better (i.e. more modular)?

The MOD due relies heavily on having a computer of tablet to make all the connections. You can create ridiculously big patches in it but they all the big bottleneck of relying on two rotary controls for parameter tweaking (or having to use the computer/tablet)
From that point of view, I do like that the ZOIA does work fully standalone!


Yeah, that’s true. Don’t think that’s necessarily a problem, the MOD seems to embrace the fact that patching many things into many things is inherently somewhat complex, especially being able to present it cleanly to the user.
It’s interesting to see another take on it from Zoia where they are trying to really simplify this and present it in a generic way using a grid, but I do feel that it’ll be difficult for the user to really grasp the actual details of the patch using just a grid (pretty much what you explained here Empress Zoia... modular in a stompbox?)

They could have given h9 users a lightweight vsig… this zoia box looks great!

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I really wish they had! It’s a phenomenally capable little stomp. It’s a shame vsig only runs on (older) versions of Windows, too. That’s a toolkit that really needs an update.

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For me being a guitarist mainly playing in rock bands this could potentially be a game changer and an intuitive way to incorporate electronic music without needing a laptop on stage.

One thing that is pretty inspiring is seeing how a grid based interface can be used in a modular building block format. Setting inputs and outputs in something of a different way than a matrix mixer.