When I shared the recent update about the forthcoming Decibelics Angry Swede V2 with added Blend control I hypothesized on my ideal deluxe edition of the HM-2 style and what format that might take. I shared just a couple of basic ideas, but was further encouraged by several readers to visualize those ideas into one of my typical artworks.
So in my usual style, I have drawn together several of my favourite influences - which I will reveal in a little more detail further along - so you can play along and guess which pedals and pedal brands inspired my own idealised take on the HM-2.
You may recall that along the way I mentioned that is seemed pretty definite now that Boss would not be doing any sort of Waza Craft re-issue of the HM-2 - and certainly not in the Metal Zone style - with 3-Band EQ and Parametric Mids, and a 2-way selector with custom voicing - that a number of us were clamouring for. I wanted to therefore visualize something which could stand in for that, and perhaps even improve on it a step or two.
You can see from the above revealed overlay version - where the various influences and inspirations have come from. The general topology is closest overall to a Jackson Audio style pedal, I borrowed the knobs from Steve Demedash's latest deluxe edition of his T-120 Videotape Echo. Bar the Mini-knobs which I see really just as engineered end-caps which slide onto the plastic shafts of the typical Mini Knobs - I wanted a more quality look here, and for all the knobs to be metal and uniform. I could have gone with another Mini-knob for the Q bandwidth control, but thought I would rather borrow the 3-way Push-Button LED-rings as featured on the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone pedals. In fact the PreAmp MKII has a 3-way Q button exactly in the same way as this would be used.
The footswitches are borrowed from the Neural DSP Quad Cortex - Stomp + Rotary Actuators which I dubbed 'RotoStomps'. Partly because I wanted the hardware here to be black - ideally that sort of smokey chrome - but also because these could double up as trim-pots for further parameter tweaking / fine-tuning (hold + twist!).
I've gone with 'Grind' to mean Gain - just a typical Metal-head term. The Blend is of course borrowed from my friend Guillem Vilademunt's Angry Swede V2 pedal. And 'Sizzle' here is a sort of Boost - but gives you more of that sort of high voltage electrical sizzle that certain HM-2 setups manifest. Sizzle really is the best word for it as it is more of a sort of saturation enhancement, for sure with some degree of volume boost, but not specifically in the more gain area - which often just gives you a darker / more choked sound - I want the Sizzle to materialise more as a mini lightning strike!
I've raised the possibility of utilising Jackson Audio's 4 + 4 clipping / voicing modes on each of the footswitches - that could certainly be built in, although at this time I'm not 100% sure it needs it - it certainly provides scope for further enhancements though and future development / evolution. And for sure I would be including Jackson Audio's 25% increments 'Gain Cycling' - where hitting both footswitches can ramp up the Gain / Grind quotient as quarter steps of whatever the Grind dial is set to.
I'm of course more of a pedal enthusiast and aficionado than any kind of pedal engineer - so I'm not totally clear on the mechanics of production here - but considering everything going into this - would most likely fall into the $300-$350 RRP bracket were it ever to see the light of day. My intention is not to get this to market - although that would be nice, but rather to inspire other pedal builders to borrow and realize some of the key ideas conveyed here. Perhaps all these builder influences could come together and collaborate to realize this pedal!
In the obvious absence of this pedal's existence my 2 most favourite HM-2 variants at the moment are the Decibelics Angry Swede and the XIX Tech HMD-1 - as referenced below. I hope you all enjoyed this brief detour / tangent!