Overdrive pedals educate me

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drumsound
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Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by drumsound » Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:26 pm

I'm somewhat pedal ignorant. I bought a Danelecro distortion at the pawn shop, and have a couple of phasers and that's it.

I was cutting some accent rhythm guitar last week using my Vox AC15. To get it to break up with an ASAT special I had it CRANKED. I had it in iso because it would have killed the player otherwise. It still didn't have a TON of drive, but it sits well in the mix.

I'd like to get some driven guitars without blowing the shit apart.

So, tell me what's cool and affordable.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by losthighway » Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:45 pm

Oh god, there are way too many. I have way too many. I want more.

I have 3 that sit in that almost clean boost to almost compressed distortion, range:

Catalin Bread Dirty Little Secret- supposed to sound like an old school Marshall. It's warm. It seems to have a generously wide space between barely clipping, just a little more and so on up to AC/DC excitement. Silicon and germanium, slightly different flavors. For this reason it lives next to my racks because I can always seem to dial in the perfect amount of grit to something in the mixing process.

Earthquaker Devices Talons- This one gets gritty a little faster. It can enter into Mesa Rectifier, modern Marshall territory when the gain goes past 2 o'clock. Has a mid and a presence knob as well as the typical high, low, volume and gain. Pretty handy and my main big rock sound on my pedal board. Sometimes I bump the mid knob with my foot and it can really suck away the width of my sound.

Fulltone Plimsoul- two gain stages. One is in the Blues Driver, medium gain range, the other the heftier distortion type clipping. They kind of interact. This one was given to the studio and I haven't quite used it enough to really know it. I've gotten some great tones out of it.

I had an xotic AC Booster that was similarly versatile.

If you want something that can add only a pinch of its own gain and drive the amp, while keeping tone nice I'd also look in to The Dude or an Archer by J. Rockett, Sarno Earth Drive, or Earth Quaker's Westwoods. None of those can get too punk/metal on their own, but they have nice tone and can push the front end of your amp more.

You could do the clean boost thing, which can sound lovely, but they tend to make things almost as loud as when you're jacking the pre and post volume on a master volume amp, or just the volume on a simple one.

I'm sure someone on here can name like 10 other pedals.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:48 pm

My Oh My.

1. Boss Overdrive (the yellow one) - cheap and a standard. Does not get crazy distortion. Not supposed to
2. ElectroHarmonix Soul Food - newer type, one of my favorites. Can get dirtier than the Boss.
3. Ibanez TS9. Technically a distortion pedal, but can do overdrive really well.
4. My Fender Deluxe III amplifier's drive circuit. Love this, sadly it gets loud and since I do not yet own the Bonanza Ranch, well
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by drumsound » Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:52 pm

Thanks, guys!

Keep 'em coming.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by kslight » Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:17 pm

There’s some choices for subtleties and some choices for more up there.

I’m a pedal junky so my opinion may differ.

I like something tube screamer-ish for shaping a clean or dirty (mesa amp) tone..I don’t usually set one for a lot of gain as much as it is kind of an EQ/emphasis sort of thing. You don’t know it’s missing till you turn it off. Klon somewhere around this too.

DOD grunge is (imho) kind of underrated, I sometimes like that distortion if I’m going for relatively clear distortion (can still hear notes, non-fuzz like) from a pedal.

Big Muff/double muff is cool for mild/medium fuzz/drive sound, not as extreme as other fuzz, closer to distortion.

I just got a Third Man Plasma Coil and that is super cool, but getting into some level of blown out / fuzz territory.

I also have an Elektron Analog Drive which has like 8 different common distortion circuits and EQ and presets built in.

It goes without saying that having multiple gain stages is useful, sometimes just using amp distortion or just using a pedal is not as good as combining a few to get the right shape.



If I had to buy a clone/tube screamer/etc today I’d probably lean towards the Earthquaker devices camp because I like those guys and I like the switches they use, reasonable price point.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by vvv » Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:18 pm

This is a fave topic, endlessly debated on the guitar and bass forums.

I'm something of a dilettante, have too many to list.

There are some categories, in order of distortion/sustain; they overlap at the edges:

Boost: allegedly clean without coloration, designed to push the amp including into preamp distortion (TC Spark, Exotic EP, KLON, SHO) - most do have a little baked-in EQ, often brightening a little bit, which can help in the mix
Drive/Overdrive: gettin' some grit via the pedal itself, as well as from pushing the amp (Timmy, OCD, Tube Screamer, Blues Driver) - these have their own sound to some degree, where like a Tube Screamer into a given amp is a Tube Screamer
Distortion: this is where you might have a lot of grit and break-up, going into sustain (Muff vs. Rat vs. Distortion + vs. Boss DS1 vs. DOD Gunslinger vs. various Walrus Audio and MXR) - these can actually be somewhat less identifiable even as they seem to bring the amp to or at hi-gain
Fuzz: this is where you have a lot of sustain, often 'smoother" than distortion (Muff vs. Rat vs. Superfuzz vs. various Malekko and Zvex pedals) - this can reach the sound of an amp about to blow, or be gained down some to be closer to like a distortion

I tried to give some examples of easy-to-get pedals - you likely can't afford a KLON (I sure cannot) but there are a ton of "klones"; you will note that the Muff and Rat appear twice. Most pedals can operate at at least the gain stage below - Overdrives can be boosts, Distortions can mimic overdrive, etc. And like the Klon, most of the seminal pedals are available as clones or variants; there are some very good Chinese Rat clones, for example, and Ibanez does a Muff, etc.

EHX a cuppla years ago came out with about 10 clones of popular pedals; the Soul Food does a KLON, I think the East River Drive is a Tube Screamer, etc. - you can often find 'em for about US$50 used. I love the Hot Tubes - and on bass, also, - altho' it's not a clone of anything but earlier versions.

A traditional pedal on a Vox AC might be some kind of Treble Booster (think Brian May), and there are many variants - the EHX Screaming Bird is pretty cheap, but you can go right up to boutique and then to vintage like the Rangemaster. Another trad on AC's is the Tubescreamer, BTW.

The great thing about these types of pedals (often called "grit" pedals) is that most have a pretty big range of sounds and so are pretty flexible. I do have an old Rocktron pedal that sounds the same no matter what ...

When you really get into it, you can get variants such as MOSFET, Germanium, IC and real tube pedals. Some will do both. The Rat has had various chips over the years - the LM308 is the classic and usually worth more on the used market than a couple new ones. The actual EHX Muffs have tons of options. The current mini line is truly great, with the Green Russian and the OP Amp my current faves, altho the silver one is also good.. Personally, I have never heard a bad Muff or bad Muff clone - there are some pretty terrible Rat and KLON clones, etc.

But if you do run into a bad-sounding pedal, stack it. A too bright pedal with a dull pedal can be magic ...

Then there's modeling ... the Tech 21 Character pedals can be truly awesome (VTB, American Blond, Oxford) but expensive. But Joyo cloned some (the goldish American pedal is particularly good on guitar and bass) in the analog realm, and Digitech/DOD and Vox and Boss and MXR and ZOOM all have some relatively reasonable multi-effects, with varying degrees of accuracy and success. And you can only go up from there, from to POD's to full on shite like Line 6 and Kemper and Fractal.

Finally, you can find boost through compressors (I use the Meek Floor Q and the Toadworks Mr. Squishy this way on bass) - and even options up to distortion on things like Pigtronix compressors and Source Audio filters - or sometimes just by slamming filter pedals or EQ's, etc.
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:45 pm

A few days ago I picked up an Amptweaker Tight Boost locally for $25. They seem to be pretty expensive new, but the last used sale I could find on ebay was $69. Lots of clean boost, and cranking the Mid & High knobs seems to add some distortion within the pedal itself. Pretty versatile pedal.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by drumsound » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:20 pm

I've been watching a bunch of videos. Geting really good ideas.

Thanks so much everyone.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by drumsound » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:20 pm

I've been watching a bunch of videos. Geting really good ideas.

Thanks so much everyone.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by digitaldrummer » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:16 am

as another drummer, I'll just say I have an 80's RAT and a more modern Tube screamer(I think it might be the "turbo" model). it does the TS thing. But I also have a few different amps. I can put either of the above into a Blues Junior and it can be great, or I also have an Egnator Tweaker 15 with all kinds of knobs and toggle switches that go from clean to nasty. combined with the pedals it can be even nastier (and more so than the blues junior can). it's great for recording, but has no built in reverb. most guitar players tend to have some pedal reverb/delay anyway (if not 7 or 8 of them...and I have one as well or I can add it in the headphone mix so its never been a problem).
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:20 am

drumsound wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:26 pm
I had it in iso because it would have killed the player otherwise....I'd like to get some driven guitars without blowing the shit apart.
I can't recommend this thing highly enough.

To call it "life-changing" seems a bit much, but I could never sit right in front of a guitar amp before and now I can, and it's really been wonderful to be able to play/record with the amp "cranked" and it's at conversational volume in the room.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by lysander » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:51 am

For Vox AC amps, a good Proco Rat will be perfect. The other pedal that gets associated with ACs a lot is the Crowther Hotcake, which was designed by — a drummer! The Split Enz old drummer to be exact. Made in New Zealand. I have an AC15 too, and with pedals it really prefers the Normal input over the Top Boost side. You can get some really great overdriven sounds with either of those pedals through an AC15, at reasonable volumes.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by drumsound » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:39 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:20 am
drumsound wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:26 pm
I had it in iso because it would have killed the player otherwise....I'd like to get some driven guitars without blowing the shit apart.
I can't recommend this thing highly enough.

To call it "life-changing" seems a bit much, but I could never sit right in front of a guitar amp before and now I can, and it's really been wonderful to be able to play/record with the amp "cranked" and it's at conversational volume in the room.
I hadn't even thought of a power soak device. More food for thought. I think I even have something I got with my Dual Rec.
lysander wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:51 am
For Vox AC amps, a good Proco Rat will be perfect. The other pedal that gets associated with ACs a lot is the Crowther Hotcake, which was designed by — a drummer! The Split Enz old drummer to be exact. Made in New Zealand. I have an AC15 too, and with pedals it really prefers the Normal input over the Top Boost side. You can get some really great overdriven sounds with either of those pedals through an AC15, at reasonable volumes.
Now that I think of it, my buddy Dave Bassett, back before he was 'co-writer to the stars' used 2 RATs with his vintage AC30 (which Billy Zoom used to keep running).

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by floid » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:00 pm

I too love a RAT. I've nodded mine some, being able to select the type of clipping diodes or take them out of circuit is super useful imo. It can work as drive, distortion, or fuzz, all depending on how it's used. I've tried plenty of other pedals and always come back to it
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by vernier » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:28 pm

drumsound wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:26 pm
I'm somewhat pedal ignorant. I bought a Danelecro distortion at the pawn shop, and have a couple of phasers and that's it.

I was cutting some accent rhythm guitar last week using my Vox AC15. To get it to break up with an ASAT special I had it CRANKED. I had it in iso because it would have killed the player otherwise. It still didn't have a TON of drive, but it sits well in the mix.

I'd like to get some driven guitars without blowing the shit apart.

So, tell me what's cool and affordable.
Seems the tube screamer and various knock-offs are popular ..and certain boutique like klon centaur.

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