I consider myself fairly proficient with the Schism, so I'll try...
First, the Schism is not an EFX MKIII+
, so don't try to use it like one.
I tried, and was disappointment immediately.
The Schism is a parallel effects blender.
Think of it as 3 clean channels, 2 of which you can add whatever you want to.
So for instance, I used to have mine set up...
- Channel 1: filter > phaser
- Channel 2: fuzz > eq
With this set up, I'd mix a cleanish filtered-phase noise with a dirty eq'd wall of fuzz sound.
The results where pretty amazing.
I'd also flip on Channel 3 sometimes, turn it's volume down a bit, and introduce a tiny bit of my clean bass signal to add some definition.
I always run the Schism first in my chain, always engaged, and always have it set so both channel 1 and 2 can be heard even while independently disengaged. This gives a decent clean boost to my signal. I also have channel 3 on most of the time too, again, at only about half volume and only for the purpose of maintaining some note definition. I would turn it off if I wanted to go all green muff uber fuzz though.
Sadly, since I sold of most of my pedals, my signal chain is much smaller, but for now it's:
in > Schism > fuzz > filter > delay/reverb > looper > preamp
Schism ch1: drive set to full wet
Schism ch2: distortion set to full wet
Schism ch3: always on at 1/2 volume
The current fuzz I have doesn't play nice with others, and must be by itself, so I can't run it like I did the TFR in one of the Schism loops.
So the schism is being used as a distortion controller.
If I want just the drive (which is set to high frequency chimeyness), I leave ch2 off.
If I want just the distortion (which is a full range almost-but-not-quite fuzz grindstortion), I leave ch1 off.
If I want to go crazy and saturate the hell out of the signal with distortion, I have both channels on.
So I use the Schism to engage/disengage drive/distortion flavors.
It works best when used like this.
Now, let's say I had two effects like filter > phaser that sounded good in series, and I wanted to blend them with fuzz > eq, but didn't want to tab dance every time I switched from both distortions to the above, I'd just put the filter > phaser in a small loop, and the loop in channel 1, and put the fuzz > eq in another loop and that loop in channel 2. That way I only have 2 switches to press instead of 4. Of course, another Schism set after the first would work better, but that can get expensive, which is why some people opt for the Wounded Paw Blender v.4 which is like the Schism's bigger brother.
I only need 2 parallel channels and I like the Schism's footprint, otherwise I'd have gone with the Wounded Paw myself.
Anyway, the bottom line is to experiment and find out which effects sound best parallel blended with which other effects, and which sound best in series. This will take some time, so make some coco and settle in for a day of plug in > twang-twang > unplug, wash and repeat...
I hope this helps, and I'm happy to elaborate on any point as well.