Signal chain

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by thehundredthone, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Don't tl;dr me, I don't care in that case. BTW, the GM Arts page is one of the first stops anyone who wants to know about tone should make.

    The first post confirmed some of my ideas. Later posts gave me a more technical explanation as to how what I was already doing while making patches made sense.

    It's too bad my Zoom doesn't have separate distortion and gain controls. Then again, it is a 707II.
  2. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    You cut the bass, boost mids and slight trebles for getting tight distortion. (Even if you aim is scooped-mids tone)
    That's the reason why many artists prefer el-cheapo Boss and Ibanez pedals before their amps (and they don't use the overdrive on those pedals).

    If you increase the bass before distortion - you get fuzzy tone.
  3. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Any ideas on how I can get (even a caricature) of that tone using my Zoom and SS amp? I've started using the drive channel on my amp, it responds to my volume knob to some extent. Adding some low gain pedal distortion to that channel sounds better than the same through the amp's clean channel, for some tones anyway. However the distortion models don't have separate distortion and gain settings, hence I the only way to have different distortion levels is the inherent level of the different distortion models which is less than satisfactory, but I guess I've gotta live with that.

    Both the Zoom EQ and amp EQ come after the distortion module. Pre distortion eq isn't possible because of this, so I guess I can only turn the tone up all the way? I'm going to try it when I get the time and see how it sounds.

    I might be able to acquire a compression pedal or an EQ pedal. As far as EQ goes it will only be a Dan Electro Fish n' Chips, can't afford an MXR 10 band, the Boss gets bashed. Compressors, I haven't been able to decide on one. What's the better first pedal?
  4. shailm

    shailm New Member

    That whole trend of using pedals as boosts, i think, was all SRV. He used his Ibanez TS-9/808 to boost his tube amps,(with very little, or no gain at all on the pedal, the volume knob doing all the work). He sometimes used a TS-9/808 to boost another TS-9/808. He single handedly started the whole craze about tube screamers. Also if you are using a tube screamer as a boost, its going to add a little bit of compression, and going to accentuate the mids.
    The Boss SD-1 mentioned in the above article is a great pedal, essentially the same circuit as an Ibanez tube screamer, but the clipping is asymmetrical as opposed to ibanez's symmetrical. Its a retardedly cheap pedal, more open sounding than the ts-9/808. But these pedals by themselves cannot do high gain stuff, unless used to push a tube amp. And can get noisy with single coil pickups. Theres like a trillion pedals based around this circuit.
    Great little john mayer bit -
  5. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Oh, nice, thanks for the info fellas.
    (I never quite understood what the deal was with pedals (never used them or a tube amp), till now.)
  6. shailm

    shailm New Member

    @ thehundredthone- I have never used a zoom, so dont know how it works, but if theres an amp modelling section, does the amps volume section control the distortion?, i.e. more the volume on the amp, the more the distortion, cause thats how tube amps work. If it does work that way then, you can use the whole gain staging thing.
    As for first pedals, it entirely depends on the sounds your looking to get, i personally wouldn't suggest either eq or compression. There are a lot of people that don't really care for compression, it's a relatively subtle effect (as compared to other effects). It can make your sound "squishy" sounding (think funk type stuff), and can improve your dynamics. Used with a distortion pedal, it can give you a lot of sustain. But a lot of compressors are noisy at extreme settings. The two most popular compressors(in the cheaper segments) are the boss cs3,and the mxr DynaComp. I personally use the boss over the dynacomp cause-
    a) most importantly, the mxr has just reallly really really bad bypass, i.e. when the pedal is off, your tone will suck.
    b) the boss comes with more knobs, you can control tone, and attack volume, while the mxr just has volume and compression knobs.
    But a lot of people swear by the dynacomp. so compare the two, see which one YOU like.
    For eq, the main issue with the boss is that its pretty noisy, analogman mods these pedals to reduce this, if you can find someone here , that can mod them to his specs, it would greatly improve pedal. Otherwise the danelectro isnt a bad choice at all. In fact im sure ive read somewhere, there was a guitarist i really liked who was using it.
    For your pedal needs, try some Behringer products, yes they are pretty flimsy, and yes they are knock-offs of other pedals, but they get the job done. I personally use the digital delay (excellent), and the multi-fx(only for the pitch shift function), and have not had any problems with them. Theymake an eq pedal, and make a dynacomp clone.
    check youtube for comparisons
  7. shailm

    shailm New Member

  8. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Pushing a tube amp when it's clean versus pushing a tube amp on on the verge of breakup versus pushing a tube amp which is already driving hard are all very different sounds. And then you have to factor in the poweramp distortion if your master volume is up around 7-8 or more.

    Do all tube amps clean up this well? (This one's SS btw)

    I just remembered that my Zoom has a Gain and a Level option. So I'm guessing technically that means the Gain is the distortion and the Level is the actual gain in terms of the signal output. Something new to play with.
  9. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    The amp modelling is part of the drive section. You can either use amp drive or pedal drive sounds, you can't drive an amp with a pedal. Then again, it is only a 707II. As mentioned in my previous post, there is a Gain and a Level setting. The gain setting controls the gain to the amp/pedal model, meaning that there is not separate distortion level control for the amp/pedal. The Level is a master volume, without the poweramp characteristics of course (it's not going to saturate). But in terms of a signal chain, going into the drive channel of my amp, Gain will act like the distortion level and the Level will act as the gain control.

    What would you suggest I get then? Don't say new amp. It's a gift, it has to cost around GBP50, and it's only tentative. I already own an EHX Metal Muff with Top Boost. I have a Washburn WI64D (Mahogany) going into a 707II going into a Laney LX35R. I play a lot of metal but with the band the originals are a little less high gain. The solo project is mostly softer clean stuff. I don't want to invest in modulation and drive because I can't test the pedals with my rig, and the trade/resale market here is non-existent. Maybe I should just change one of my pickups.

    My multi-fx has decent modulation so I'm okay with that for now (reason as given above). But I'll check out the demos.
  10. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Link is a 404.
  11. flood

    flood New Member

    i use a TS10 that i'm possibly going to mod to TS808 specs, currently got the opamp out and put a socket in its place instead so i can fool around with different chips first.

    i'm not a big fan of the honkiness of the tube screamer, but i have to admit that it sounds awesome going into an already-hot tube amp set to the edge of crunch.

    on the whole, my (green box) nobels ODR-1 is an excellent overdrive that i modded for more gain, and i prefer it to the TS. not hating on the TS - it's a simple, good design on which pretty much every retardedly expensive bow-teek overdrive is based - the YATS (yet-another-tube-screamer) syndrome.

    @shail: good to see you back here - have you been getting my mails?
  12. shailm

    shailm New Member

    "i'm not a big fan of the honkiness of the tube screamer, but i have to admit that it sounds awesome going into an already-hot tube amp set to the edge of crunch"
    time for a KLON then? kidding. though i'd really like to try one at some point to see what the hype's all about.
    also what id be interested to check out is the keeley baked mod, seems interesting when i read about it, but havent heard any clips yet.
    "on the whole, my (green box) nobels ODR-1 is an excellent overdrive that i modded for more gain, and i prefer it to the TS. not hating on the TS - it's a simple, good design on which pretty much every retardedly expensive bow-teek overdrive is based - the YATS (yet-another-tube-screamer) syndrome. "
    yeah, im not a huge fan of them, but with humbuckers, i really like the stock sd1 going into a practically clean amp, just adds that tiny bit of hair on chords,with single coils(low output) though, theres just not enough going on.
    i recently got to play an earthquaker devices hoof, and compressor-->analogman sd1( gain at like 75%)-->hoof(fuzz at midway), and HOLY SHIT, sustain for YEARS!!and great tone!
    the hoof was just ****ing great man, it doesnt sustain like my BMP w tone wicker, but still some serious mojo! though i have a feeling it might not work that well in a mix, but i didn't use the mids shift knob too much.
    Ive been getting your e-mails, just out of the country right now, so will get back to you when back.
  13. flood

    flood New Member

    perhaps not a klon; i am prototyping an 18V maxon design that i adapted for a small circuit board soon though, so let's see how that works out. potential customer wants a clean boost that is more transparent than and doesn't sound like a tube screamer/RC booster.

    the honk of the tube screamer isn't the problem actually; however, at least with the TS10, i feel like things are a bit muffled. i helped a friend with a DIY TS808 and that sounded a LOT better to me. also, the opamp choice makes a world of a difference.

    compressor into SD1 into hoof?! that's a LOT of sustain for sure. did a couple of muffs recently in an attempt to emulate the pig mine - came up with two very different and very awesome beasts. one is going to the person i built it for, the other one is mine for now.

    mine sounds a bit more complex and has a bit less clipping going on, i guess, somewhere between a muff and an overdrive with the gain maxed. with the sustain up high it's a rich, complex muff tone. deviates substantially from other muff circuits, using mismatched LEDs for asymmetrical clipping in the second stage and a tone stack mod. still have to use it in conjunction with other effects, particularly going into an overdrive.

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