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Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

'distortion', Fuzz & O.D

My electric guitar is really just a reason for me to obsess over effect pedals and processors.....as for 'distortion' type effects my guitar can utilize everything from digital and anaglogue effects plus a 5watt vintage combo tube amp.
I also have an ART tube-MP, a tube pre-amp box that makes all the difference in the world to the final tone I create....the signal path is: out of guitar->art tubeMP->Boss VF-1 digital multi-FX/24 bit->EH-qTron->danelectro drive->danelectro fuzz->boss loopstation 20xL....
The Boss VF-1 is a superb digital processor....everything is inside this orange half rack box.
The ART tube MP has a +20 db button which is best with a guitar, then you crank up the input gain knob, and I've found that keeping the output knob at 12 o-clock position produces a fine overdriven tube tone, which then goes through the Boss vf-1(bypass), then into the electroHarmonix Qtron envelope filter which is a topic for a future blog posting, now we reach the pair of danelectro pedals from the cool cat series; FUZZ & DRIVE....coloured in Orange, and Silver respectively....the FUzz is my most recent pedal aquisition, and I have yet to experience all of it's charm, so far I have figured out how important the volume on my guitar affects the dynamic response of the Fuzz pedal....it creates thick and screaming fuzz tones straight from hendrix & led zepplin .... it's cliche but heck it's true!
I also own the MXR blue box, which is a strange octave/fuzz device that almost seems like it is useless cause everything that goes through it get's 'mangled' to the point that it sounds unpleasant....well, not that unpleasant, i guess i just haven't used it correctly....and now the danelectro DRIVE pedal is the one i first bought in this series, and I love the dynamic response it provides, deep bass swelling rumble and even when I use it with the 'drive' knob at zero, the tone knob helps roll back high frequencies and smooth out an otherwise harsh sound while providing a clean boost in overall volume.
The previously mentioned Boss VF-1 has all of Roland's 'cosm' modelling processes inside of it....Amplifier models like the Marshall's and Vox's and of course the Roland JC-120 is here, as for distorition, there are digital models of the turbo overdrive, the DS-1 distortion, overdrive, blues driver, Fuzz 1 and Fuzz 2.....which is a handy arsenal of tone tools....
One other important tool I use with my distortion and overdrive effects chain is "compression", either with a compressor, or a Limiter....I have two DBX163x compressor/Limiter's, and two Alto alphaComp Compressor's plus the Boss VF-1 has both compression and Limiter effects included....
My Roland Studio workstations (VS-840 & CDX-1 Disc Lab) have 24 bit digital effects processor's built in, and generally I process even a live recording through the onboard multi-band compressor of the Roland CDX-1 Disc Lab....I always keep this in mind when I am getting into 'distortion' and volume dynamics processing with tools like the compressor.
Guitar isn't the only instrument to benefit from a distortion circuit....my digital synthesizer's like the Roland D-20 and the Roland D2 GrooveBox sound incredible when the are fed through an overdrive unit....electronic drums are especially great with the tight crunch of the kick drum after it's mildly distorted.
I have read that my Danelectro Fuzz pedal is very similar to the ElectroHarmonix BigMuff, in fact i was recently told that they are replacing all the original pedals in the "cool cat' series with 'Version-2' models....I am going to look into this more, but the reason I was told was that there were copywritten circuit design's in the original pedals, so a court ordered that danelectro stop making them....
like I said i am going to look it up and see if it's true.
and on that note I'll say good day!