Jacques Fat Burner - sort of a review
I've had this pedal a few years now, and it has become one of my favorite and most often used pedals. I was playing with it today and felt like I should finally post something about it here. I don't really want to write a comprehensive review, but instead talk about some of the things I do with it that I don't think are typical uses for a compressor. For a more complete review by someone better at writing them than I am, go to Ovnilab.com.
As you may know if you've even just heard about this pedal, it's not at all subtle as far as compressor's go, and it's very good at heavy compression as an effect. It is so "effecty", that I find myself turning it on and off for different parts with in the same song, which is something I wouldn't have thought to do with a compressor before I tried this one.
Sometimes I set this pedal to a choked sort of blanket effect. In a song from one of my old bands, we had a chorus at the end that got really huge. Even though it was technically the same part as the regular chorus, I wanted to create the effect of something new happening dynamically. I ended playing the whole song with the compressor on with this choked down sound, but in the last chorus I turned it off and the sound got really open and I was able to ramp up dynamically with the drums and cello. I thought it sounded really exciting because the audience couldn't quite put their finger on what had happened, but it was very noticeable.
My favorite and most used effect from the Fat Burner, is a super emphasized staccato effect. With the "Muscle" knob set on the low side, the compressor lets out a volume spike on the attack and then clamps down. It's sort of like the classic "dip and swell" effect, without the swell. I know a lot of compressors can do something like this, but I haven't found another one that gets there so easily, and I feel very in control of the level, length and emphasis of the "spike" with the Fat Burner. The best thing about it is that it can almost do that Hammond B3 click attack, and in conjunction with other pedals, it's really good at dry synth/key bass sounds which I find are much harder to get than wet ones.
Another cool thing about this pedal is the boost out. If you use this feature and set it to unity gain it makes a great buffer and it's active even in bypass.
So there are my musing the Jacques Fat Burner. I hope they weren't completely dull, and can maybe even be helpful to someone. One disclaimer I should make, is that while I find I can do a lot with this pedal, I don't think most would call it a versatile compressor. It really doesn't do subtle or transparent, and you don't have independent attach and release controls. I also thought before getting this pedal that it might help with the tracking of my Boss OC-2, and I found that this was not the case. Not to go on a tangent in a post that's already too long, but so far I've found that the best thing for tracking before the OC-2 is nothing. Even killing the active circuit in my bass seems to make it track better.