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2019 Pedal-Chain Musings and Experiments

Analog.ManAnarchy AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCoda EffectsDecibelicsDelayDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEarthQuaker DevicesEmpress EffectsFlangerFuzzGlitchMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPladask ElektriskREVV AmplificationTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsUni-Vibe and VibeZvex+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkI700-min.jpg

At the end of 2018 / beginning of 2019 - I start thinking ahead for the year and considering what pedals I would like to swap-out or rotate-in on my pedal-chain. The long-awaited Empress Effects Zoia did not materialise in 2018, and is now expected as one of the major Winter NAMM launches - I see that as being one of two larger (monetary) acquisitions in the year - along with the Line 6 HX Stomp. I kind of did not figure out the HX Stomp until fairly recently really, where I have deemed it to ...

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Pedal-Chain State of the Union Autumn Harvest & End of Year Upheavals

Abracadabra AudioAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCustom TonesDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezel AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPower SuppliesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPXSKSignalChainMkVII700-min.jpg

UPDATE 1 - It’s often the case that just after you publish, something big happens which forces a change of stance. On this occasion it was the release of the truly amazing Wampler Pantheon Overdrive which has immediately found its way into Slot #10 of the chain. In fact I have sort of swapped slots #10 and #12 around - relegating the Spaceman Aphelion to a supporting role for now.

 

UPDATE 2 - Still no word from Jackson Audio on the delayed Bloom Compressor etc. - which means the ...

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Pedal Mania III - Pedal Chain State of the Union, February 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSinvertekStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkPAR700

It’s always amusing to set your pedal goals and targets right at the start of the year, and then have to amend them right after the various Winter NAMM announcements. In fact I did a status update at the end of last year, and at the start of this one - which is not a whole lot of days really, but so much as happened in the interim!

 

I kind of got inspired by heavier tones over Christmas - which prompted me to acquire another heavy distortion pedal - in the shape of the MI Audio ...

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2018 Guitar Pedal Goals and Wishlists

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyCustom TonesDawner Prince EffectsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMKV700

So by the end of 2017, my chain was in a particularly good place and numbering 36 strong. In one of my more recent posts I had set out a rough future phase plan, but as always that got somewhat bounced with the unexpected arrival of the Hamstead Odyssey Intergalactic Driver - which turns out to be a superbly versatile OCD+ replacement / swap-out for my chain. Over Christmas I discovered a new favourite band - in the guise of In This Moment, which led to my acquiring my second MI Audio pedal - ...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Large Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmptweakerBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixElektronEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFree The ToneFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLooperMarshall Style DistortionModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationSonuusSubdecay EffectsTech 21 NYCTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed WahWhirlwind EffectsXotic EffectsZvex+-
2017AfBlg20LargePedalType700

This article completes the fourth part of the quadrilogy which started with the compact pedal overview and was triggered by the 40th anniversary Boss article. If you’re going to go with a large enclosure pedal, you really need it to be of the all-singing and dancing variety, otherwise why would you be sacrificing so much pedal real estate. Traditionally large pedals have meant the big all-in-one workstations - i.e. your classic big box Eventide and Strymon, and now Boss solutions. ...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Medium Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDual-DriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLooperMarshall Style DistortionModulationMorley PedalsMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePhaserPitchReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTremoloTunersTWA EffectsUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2017AfBlg20MediumtPedalType700

We’ve covered off Key Effects Pedals per Compact and Mini size, and here we go up a category to Medium. When I think of medium-sized pedals, the makers that immediately spring to mind are Strymon, Empress , Carl Martin and Way Huge (Dunlop) - for whom the medium-size enclosure forms the mainstay of their product offerings. All the newer Orange Amps pedals have been of medium size and same goes for Stone Deaf FX, and I guess in the early 70’s - before Boss came along with its ’...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Mini Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEQEWS EffectsFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperModulationMooerMulti-DriveMXRNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchReverbTC ElectronicTremoloTunersUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlg20MiniPedalType700

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of mini pedals and feature right now 6 of that type in my active studio pedal chain (of 35). All of these are exceptional at what they provide, and they all sound great, and are amongst my favourites. Somewhat ironically, of those 6 - one has already been marked for replacement. My much-loved Mooer Blues Mood which is a clone of the celebrated Keeley-modded Boss Blues Driver BD-2 - has somewhat added competition in the guise of the new Boss Angry Driver...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Compact Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDunlop EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJackson AudioLooperModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchReverbReverb WorkstationTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2017AfBlg20CompactPedalType700V2

Following my piece on 20 of the Best Boss Compact Pedals, I decided to do an overview of 20 of the key different pedal types by approximate pedalboard sort order - to see which brands in my opinion fared the best across all 20 categories - in terms of preferred compact pedal per type. This is of course all hugely subjective, but there are several practicality concerns here too, and some pedals perhaps that would be selected almost regardless of any size restrictions. In every slot you have ...

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6 of the best Double Tracker Pedals for Your Consideration

BossChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigiTechDouble TrackingElectro-HarmonixKeeley EngineeringStrymonTape DelayTC Electronic+-
2017AfBlg6DoubleTrackers700

Double-tracking is a classic studio technique evolved in the 60’s in recording studios like Abbey Road. In essence you use a short delay - typically between 10 and 50ms depending on your tone / saturation - to thicken up your sound, and make the recording sound like there are more than one guitarist playing. Heavy Metal recording artists have used this technique for the last 40 for years - particularity for rhythm guitars. And virtuoso’s like Randy Rhoads also liked this effect on ...

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Pedal Mania - Tone Anxiety Pt 2

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMooerMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOneControlOverdrivePedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTone AnxietyToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlgSKSignalChainV5700

UPDATE - Game Changer! Boss launches MD-500 and RV-500 Strymon-killers - with dual split channel effects - more in a later blog!

 

As you might expect, and not long after I delightedly announced the completion of Phase 1 of the Pedal Chain, I was already working on Phase 2 and beyond. In fact, in my usual manner - Phase 2 is a little more complex and detailed - with a real overview of the key pedal decision-making choices available.

 

One of the most remarkable being the ousting ...

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