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Dirt Pedal Demos: I feel lied to. Are they really going direct with no EQ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by monsterthompson, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Minor rant here. I frequently see youtube demos of dirt boxes (fuzz, overdrive, distortion, cantaloupes, etc.) where the reviewer indicates they are plugging right in with no eq or cab sim. Just bass > box > interface > DAW. I will listen and thing things sound good. Then I run my own dirt box direct and get terrible high frequency crackling, fizzing, buzzing distortion.

    I've been slowly moving more into the recording game recently and working on how to record a good dirty tone. I'm aiming for sounds between doom and industrial. I've yet to get a tone I like. Frustrating because my pedals sound great going through my Barefaced Super Compact (no tweeter 112).

    Tonight, I ran my Blower Box and Wren & Cuff TFR pedals (individually) into my DAW and started playing around with the inserts for high-cut filter and LPF. With the "raw" dirty track, I got what I expected in terms of high frequency ugly sounds. With each pedal and each filter, I moved things around until I had the cut at about 3,500. About there is where the pedals started sounding like pedals do in online demos.

    It makes me wonder if they really are going direct in the demo vids, or if youtube compression plays games with the highs, or if there is some other factor (or combination of factors) to account for. Your thoughts, please.

    (for purposes of my rant, I listen to the demos, generally, through the same sound system I use for playback/monitoring)
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Seems like almost all the dirt pedal demos I've seen were done with a miked tube amp.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  3. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Could be. I've seen several of those too.
  4. adamaarts

    adamaarts Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    I do all my demos of pedals direct, no EQ, and little to no compression. Obviously you have to filter through what demos are 'trying' to sound good for the sake of either coolness or sales, I don't care about either, so I play long boring demos that show what the pedal does, good or bad. It may not earn me much respect from bass shredders, or from the pedal companies, but I know what it's like to want to hear a demo of something in looking to buy and all I get are different forms of crap, whether it be way too much talking, poor audio, obvious product 'enhancement' , slap bass, or way too much shredding/solo stuff to really get an idea of anything about the actual effect. Any way rant over.

    That being said, Even when I play them through headphones or through my monitors there is a sound difference. Then playing live there's another change with the in ears we use, then again with the FOH sound as well as the broadcast mix.

    Other variables are different output basses, differences of newness of strings, amp settings, other pedals, playing style, etc.
  5. you may wanna check the recording forums
  6. Try a bigarse long cable?
  7. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'm comfortable with the length of my cable :)
  8. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn

    Aug 3, 2010
    Maybe you are, but it's not clear from your post if you are comparing apples to apples. Is your fuzz the same fuzz that you are comparing in these demos? Does this particular fuzz have a tone control(s)?

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