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Custom Blender Idea - Help me think this through

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by monsterthompson, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'm considering ordering a custom blender and I'm thinking through signal routing ideas. I'm hopping some of the TB Effects gang can help me think this through before I finalize my plans.

    I want a unit primarily for blending clean signal with dirt pedals (I don't use many other effects). I'm inspired by a few things I've seen in the wild, mainly the Iron Ether Divaricator, Brimstone Ouroboros and the CoG clean blends on their dirt pedals. My goal is to be able to blend clean and dirty signals, but primarily the low end of the clean tones with the the dirt. I also plan on going direct into a DAW, so I want a LPF to limit the nasty high end content that passes through. I know I can play with EQ and pass filters in the box, which I will probably do to "prototype" things, but I do want to have a pedal format and an analog physical knob to make adjustments.

    My current idea is as follows:

    Clean signal in from bass (possibly dry, possibly after a Noble pre) then split into two paths.
    1 - Clean channel with a LPF, so I can blend in a clean sound, but but with the option to limit it to the low end of the frequency spectrum, similar to a CoG clean blend. I'm not sure this needs to go out into an external loop for other pedals. I could run an effect through here or put the Noble pre here.
    2 - External loop for dirt. I'd like to have a gain and HPF before the effect, so I can control the level that hits the effect/dirt as well as the low end content. I'm funny about this, but I do like to hit dirt pedals with a softer signal. Then I'd like a LPF after the return, so I can roll off the nasty highs from full-range high-gain distortion. I'm not sure if this LPF should be channel specific or on the blended signal.

    Obviously some sort of level/blend control will be needed to bring the signals back together into a mono signal out.

    I'm also unsure about using a HPF and LPF vs. a crossover. My concern is that I could chunk out a valley of mids or overly overlap them, trying to blend the pass filters, whereas the crossover would handle that for me. However, I may want to be able to blend in a full range clean tone.

    From what I've read of the @Azure Skies HPF/LPF and custom work, I'm going to ask him to do the build. He's given me a "ball park" quote for price and build time that I like, but obviously bells and whistles will move those needles.

    What say you, TB? What am I forgetting or over engineering?

    Edit to include desirable suggestions and considerations:
    1 - Phase switch - add one!
    2 - How many foot switches and what do they control?
    3 - Power - 9v in converted internally to 18v is always nice, and mA draw supportable by the Noble.

    Sketched idea...
    Blender Idea.

    7/19/17 Update:
    ...Update (for the few who care).

    Now that I have a DSM OmniCab Sim, I'm revisiting this idea. I think that the LPF function I wanted is now going to be handled by the OCS. I'm now considering just testing out a Divaricator to handle blend function. IE offers a 5 day test period, which is certainly comforting vs. ordering a custom pedal I'm not 100% set on.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    hintz, Matt Dean, Embra and 2 others like this.
  2. XLunacy


    Nov 28, 2013
    If it were me, I'd personally leave the LPF to a dedicated cabinet sim, which would offer much more flexibility. I like it when a stompbox has one purpose, and does it well.
    For symmetry reasons, I'd keep the FX loop on the clean channel (I'd probably stick an EQ and/or a compressor there).
    How many footswitches would you put on that ?
    monsterthompson likes this.
  3. I like this idea. :thumbsup:

    Complex, but thorough. If it was going to sound like poopie, Josh wouldn't build it.
    knumbskull likes this.
  4. Calvera


    Feb 3, 2017
    Czech republic
    This is what you need, for €9 (PCB only, but only hardware, passives and 4× TL072 needed)
    Pro-cessor V4.2 PCB – TH custom effects
    Splitter/blender with selectable HPF/LPF for each branch.
    More info in Build instructions.
    I´ve found it only today, looking for the same thing as you ;-)
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    monsterthompson likes this.
  5. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Phase switch? To avoid loss of bass from phase cancellation when blending the processed and straight signals.
  6. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    If it was me, i'd want to have a %/level control over the HPF on the dirt pedal loop - could be a good way to tweak mids as different ODs/distortions will have varying mids content.

    Otherwise - sounds great!
    monsterthompson likes this.
  7. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Good call!
    knumbskull likes this.
  8. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I hear you on the dedicated cab sim box, but word round the campfire is that the Broughton LPF is pretty good at that.

    I've been meditating on the switching. How many and what gets controlled. I'm going to mainly use it as an on/off box, like the Divaricator. But options can be useful.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  9. Pacodelivery

    Pacodelivery Supporting Member

    May 25, 2014
    If it's not terribly complicated (and I don't think it is), you could add a switch or a footswitch that puts the two channels in series instead of in parallel, and then you could use the clean channel to boost the input of the dirty channel and get a lead boost or something.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  10. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    I just grabbed this off of a guy on Basschat, seems to be what you're looking for -- the LPF is on the clean signal. It destroys the Wounded Paw V1 I had. I'm sure Tom at Cog could make one for you if you ask.

    Edit: Well, maybe not everything you're looking for, but a lot of it :)

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    hintz, Nunovsky, Embra and 2 others like this.
  11. Noylin

    Noylin Supporting Member

    May 28, 2014
    That's a good question about L/HPF vs crossover. The FEA Photon Fuzz uses dipswitches to configure pre-set frequencies to low pass the clean channel, and high pass the dirt channel. I haven't noticed any weird effects from overlapping mid frequencies, but I'll try to mess around with these switches with this in mind when I get a chance - interestingly, you could configure it to have no signal between 110 and 220hz

    For #2, if you already have a low pass on the clean channel, I'd think you would want the post-dirt low pass to be for the dirt loop only
    monsterthompson likes this.
  12. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    That's not too bad. I've already mentioned it to Azure Skies, so I'd like to stick with him, particularly since he's on my side of the pond :)
    Nunovsky and Crazy Otto like this.
  13. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'm thinking along those lines. Though the outside thought of a band pass on the clean came to mind for keeping clean attack from the highs. But that's starting to feel overly fiddly.
  14. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    Yup makes sense...curious what he comes up with
  15. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Pedal graphic found :)
    gregmon79, CaseyJ and Matt Dean like this.
  16. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Very interesting... I'll be following this.
    monsterthompson likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    I'd be also good to have two dedicated outputs (one for each signal path) just in case if you prefer to biamp in the future.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'd considered that at one point. Probably a reasonable reason to have a "clean" loop.
  19. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    Not really a "blender" but I'm getting down with a clean DI/dirty DI. Plan on using my Noble pre-amp/DI straight away as the clean tone and Dirt Slayer from Josh as my dirty DI. I plan to mic as much as possible but the Dirt Slayer will do a couple of things to improve tone if I can't do so:
    1) XLR out will have both HPF/LPF, and
    2) Parallel Thru will only be HPF (let's cabs naturally roll off high-end).
    I should be getting it in a month or two. Kinda excited.

    Attached Files:

    monsterthompson likes this.
  20. ctpunk

    ctpunk Guest

    Jan 30, 2014
    Look at Saturnworks pedals. Pretty inexpensive and a few different options based on what your looking to do. This is the one I have specifically. I have 2 outputs out of my Boss TU2 tuner which is first in line. One out goes direct to this pedal which is at the end of line before my amp. The other out goes thru my pedal chain and then into the other input of this pedal. Can control either input with individual footswitch, and has volume control to adjust either input as well. I set my clean level 25% higher than my dirt level as the dirt tends to have higher gain anyway.

    Only downer here is when I activate my tuner, the bypass output is still active and not muted, happens to be my dirt. No biggie I just turn the dirt signal off at the Saturnworks so its just a matter of stomping 2 times/places instead of one and its only when I need to tune.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 7.59.23 PM.
    monsterthompson likes this.