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"Clean" fuzz... do I need a gated pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by takfar, Apr 7, 2009.


  1. takfar

    takfar

    Dec 21, 2008
    Hello, TB effect gurus! So, yea. I just got a Bass Big Muff a couple days ago, and I love the thing.

    However...

    There's a tone that I want to use for a couple songs that I can't seem to get out of it. I want the buzzy, almost sinthy texture of the fuzz applied onto the fundamental note, but none of the crackly high harmonics that come along with it (and add up to, almost, a white noise background when you play a lot of notes reasonably fast). Can I somehow summon that through a BBM, or will I really need a gated fuzz??

    Adding to that second question... I could presently get a good Woolly Mammoth clone for a reasonable price. However, I play with an active bass (Active pups+active circuit), so that would pretty much defeat my purpose of having one (since the sound gets harsh and the pinch won't work on an active system), right? What other fuzzes could I use to achieve that result? The Brown Dog seems to work for that, but it's a bit on the expensive end, especially considering I already have the BBM for most of my fuzz needs and an OD pedal for other dirt. Are there other options?

    so...? :help:
     
  2. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    i've had the same problem with every fuzz i've owned, but found that adding a compressor before the fuzz and noise gate after can help cut down on the spittering between notes.

    i tried the woolly mammoth with my stingray and it sounded like woolly dung. a spitty, jagged mess lacking definition.
     
  3. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    IOD. it adds fuzz to a clean channel so you never lose the bottom end IMO
     
  4. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    The silicon Fuzz Face and it's variations all lack note definition which is why some people love it or hate it. Try using the BBM with a filter, wah or auto wah. Also turn the sustain down. Turning it down will help attenuate the amount of signal going into the gain stages.

    Are you sure you even want a fuzz pedal?
     
  5. takfar

    takfar

    Dec 21, 2008
    I did think about getting a noise supressor or noise gate pedal... compressor might help. At that rate, however, I might be better off getting the brown dog itself (might be a tad more expensive, but if it's the right tool for the job and it takes up less pedalboard space, it might be worth it)


    I'm not really worried about bottom end here. I just don't want the *crshhhrshhschhh* type of sound that accompanies the *bvzzzzz* when playing with a fuzz. I was able to alleviate it, with the BBM, through technique, knob tinkering and preamp eq on some situations, but if I have to play fast and hard, it invariably comes up, and adds unwanted noise to my sound.

    So far, the Brown Dog seems to nail it, but I'd like to hear from someone who might have tried it in a similar setup (active emg humbucker+active emg preamp) and can attest it won't crap out, like the Mammoth does...

    It'd be even better if someone could point me to an effect which will give me that specific tone at a lower price, even if it won't do any of the other cool fuzz tones (plenty of which I can already get out of my BBM)

    I'll try the wah as soon as my Weeping Demon arrives (it's in the mail, should be here in a week or so :) ). I'll see if it helps with the tone when used as a pass filter, but I have no interest in having wah-like dynamics in this situation, tho.

    I've tried keeping the sustain on a minimum, but the crshh is still there when playing hard. What Fuzzface variant would you recommend that can approximate the clean synthy sound I'm looking for?

    Truth be told, a synth pedal *might* be more adequate to this one tone I'm seeking. I've bought a Boss SYB5 a couple months ago, but the tracking can't really keep up with the fast playing, which is exactly when the crackling is worse using a fuzz (besides, it adds all sorts of automatic envelope-ish effects which I don't really want). The Bass Micro Synth might come closer to the tone, but I'm really turned off by having to mess around with sliders on a made-for-stage pedal. And, to be honest, I don't want to deal with tracking pedals, good as they may be.

    For all other intents and purposes, however, I *do* want a fuzz. My BBM is going to see a lot of use in occasions when the fizzy crackle is acceptable and/or desirable.

    The tones I'm looking for would be similar to what we hear from 3:28 to 3:40 on Grygrx review of the brown dog
    (link: )
     
  6. LowG

    LowG

    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    Is there a recording of this sound you can point us to? I have a hard time figuring out what you're describing. Are you looking for something like the Devi Ever US?
     
  7. takfar

    takfar

    Dec 21, 2008
    See grygrx's review I linked above. The tone I'm looking for is around 3:28 to 3:40. The opposite of what I'm looking for is whenever he says the knob is turned to full "sloppy" (especially at 4:00).

    I've listened to the Devi Ever on bassfuzz.com, and it's *very* crackly... not what I'm looking for.
     
  8. LowG

    LowG

    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    I don't mean the Bass Fuzz, There's one called the "US" that has a hard gate built in. It'll let the notes ring out, but then there's a ultra-hard cutoff when you stop the strings.

    edit - wow - yeah, I just listened to the DeviEver Bassfuzz - I don't like that much either.
     
  9. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    from what i undestand, the brown dog doesn't do hi gain fuzz. at least, not the level of agro i like. somebody correct me if i'm wrong, cos i've wanted to try it. compressor or a limiter before fuzz is the only way i've managed to keep tremolo or quick tempo attack stable without killing gain.
     
  10. takfar

    takfar

    Dec 21, 2008
    The description is nice, but it's hard to know what to expect without hearing it on bass. Based on the guitar samples I've just heard, it's not quite what I'm looking for, tho... still sounds kinda fizzy

    (I'm almost adding the Brown Dog the the GAS list... dammit, Grygrx!)
     
  11. MetroBass

    MetroBass

    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    I think you may be looking for more than one pedal to get the tone you desire. If you noticed during the demo the gate and drive knobs were cranked all the way, so you may not have the bandwidth left you're looking for the fine adjustments. I'd say you need a moderately gated fuzz and a synth effect to go along with it. Doubt you'll get 100% there with the Brown Dog.
     
  12. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    This might actually be an appropriate scenario for the MXR Blowtorch. It’s a synthy, buzzy, active-friendly fuzz pedal that’s not gated (but still very controlled in a “gated” sort of way) and can get pretty aggressive (although not over-the-top like a traditional Big Muff).

    I don’t have any decent samples, but look around on TB for some video demos of it… see if it’s up your alley. Bryan R. Tyler did a two-part video demo of it which he posted on TB and YouTube.
     
  13. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    Also, you can build a little circuit to change the impedance if your bass signal so that your active bass will play nicely with fuzzes like the Wooly Mammoth.
     
  14. takfar

    takfar

    Dec 21, 2008
    Mmm. Interesting. I never thought about trying that because it's usually labeled "overdrive/distortion", and not fuzz (which is what I expect to wield my intended result). I'll look around for clips. The price is certainly more attractive than the brown dog's.

    edit: just listened to the youtube review... Really like what I hear. Not too keen on the 18v requirement, tho... Is there any way to adapt two 9v plugs off a daisy chain to work with it? (I hate using batteries, btw)

    Don't know how to build one, don't trust anyone I know to be able to get one right, don't even know if I want my impedance changed in order to work with a specific pedal.. I've given up on the mammoth, pretty much.
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    It's definitely not labeled well- it's all synthy fuzz. I picked mine up used for $70.
     
  16. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    Here's the circuit: http://www.muzique.com/lab/pickups.htm

    Contact Arger and get them to make you one. Here's the one they made for Excane:

    capri-impedance2.

    It has a true bypass stomp, and an adjustment knob to vary the output to emulate a passive or active bass. I think he got this to use with the Mammoth and said it worked a treat!
     
  17. takfar

    takfar

    Dec 21, 2008
    Thanks, danny. I'll take that into consideration. At this point, my choices are either buying a blowtorch or a mammoth clone+one of those circuits (sorry brown dog, you're too expensive...).
     
  18. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    I've got myself a Mammoth clone also, but play a P-Bass so I don't really need to worry. Although, I would like to try the OC-2 before the Mammoth, where I think this little box would really help out.

    The good thing is that if you play an active bass, it would open you up to a whole new world of fuzz!
     
  19. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Not as-is... you'll need one of these:
    • Godlyke Power Pump - a special adapter plug for a single output on a daisy chain. It has a switch to produce 12V, 18V, or 24VDC. It will significantly decrease the available current on your daisy chain, but it works! I've used it before on my Blowtorch.
    • GigRig Virtual Battery - Apparently, it can create an isolated output on a daisy chain. Two of them would allow you to power the Blowtorch using your current supply. I've never used these, but they're supposed to work.
    You could also consider moving to a power supply with isolated outputs:
    • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+
    • BBE Supacharger
    • T-Rex Fuel Tank Jr.
    Any of these will power an 18VDC pedal if you use a Y-cable to link two outputs. These aren't cheap, but they're very useful for odd powering scenarios.
     
  20. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    Diago do 18v adaptors like the Godlyke Power Pump too. UK based though... But that's good for me as I couldn't find a Power Pump anywhere over here!
     

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