Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

dying battery

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by fenderx55, Jun 22, 2005.


  1. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    a while back i posted that my ehx ddouble muff was doing weird stuff and was thusly informed that it was due to a dying battery. Then, in the flea post, eveyrone keeps talking about a mutron with a dying batt. Why is it that the dying battery, while just making my boss pedals stop working, make EHX freak out?
     
  2. Firstly, the 'Flea used a Mutron with a dying battery' story might just be an urban legend which serves to explain his kickass tone in Sir Psycho Sexy. Honestly, I attribute it to the production genius of Rick Rubin.

    Some pedals are able to sound halfway decent even with a slowly dying battery. My Boss's would sound great and then quickly fade out when the battery just didn't have any juice left. I'm sure it's because Boss pedals require fewer milliamps than a big old Mutron. Even with a little bit of juice left available, a Boss pedal can sound how it's supposed to sound. EH pedals are probably different...I don't know, I'm just guessing...maybe they draw more milliamps and require more power to reproduce their sounds. They'll still make some noise when battery power starts to wane, but the effect will be noticeably different.
     
  3. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    Thanks, I have all my boss's daisy chained now, but you're probably right. But does anyone know the actual scientific reason for this? bassystra you're an electrical engineer right?

    Rick Rubin is, with no exhaggeration, my production hero.
     
  4. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    I always thought distortion was created by running the signal through a series of capacitors then blending it with the original signal, but I'm not sure about that. If the power supply wasn't regulated, then when the battery was dying the capacitors would work in a slightly different way giving a crazy sound, but I don't know anything about distortion or pedals so don't take my word for it
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Most solid state distortion is created by diodes. Capacitors act as filters in AC circuits, i.e. a musical instrument effect.
     
  6. Secondhandloser

    Secondhandloser

    Mar 28, 2005
    A dying battery can definately make some pedals freak out, my band recorded a guitar solo once running the guitar in stereo through a russian big muff with a power supply designed to simulate a dying battery, and ran the other side through a homemade fuzz box that actually had a really low battery, albeit not intentionally... anyways, the distorion was a lot raunchier than it would have been otherwise, and when we were going through the takes the differecne was pretty apparent. I don't know why this happens though, so I can't be of help there....
     
  7. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Power Supplies with dying battery features are awesome, because obviously the power won't run out. But yeah, the dying batteries obviously dont have enough power to properly power the pedal, so the components function differently as not enough power is available. I need to get one of these "Dying Battery" emulators, as I wanna try it with my Q-Tron, to try out this "Sir Psycho Sexy" legendary sound, and to see if it sounds like it did on the record.

    Anyone know any power supplies with this feature on it?
     
  8. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    Higgie, try the Pedal Power 2...

    The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 is a universal power supply for all battery-operated guitar pedal effects. New features include two outputs that will power Line 6 modeling pedals and two outputs that can have a variable voltage "sag" to emulate dying carbon batteries. Like the original Pedal Power, each of its eight outputs are completely isolated, short circuit protected, regulated and highly filtered. The Pedal Power 2 comes complete with cables, detachable AC power cord, is hand made in the U.S.A. and carries a 5-year warranty.
     
  9. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Ah yes, I forgot about that. Shame they don't do a UK plug...Only US or European...Or is that the Godlyke one? I can't remember these days :p Thanks for reminding me of that though. :)
     
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    A dying battery in say a delay, makes it freak out because the chips stop working right.

    But a dying battery in most fuzz units causes the unit to have less headroom, usually asymetrically so. This causes *more* distortion of the good sort :bassist:

    As Secondhandloser found, this can be good if you want real raunch, thus the dying battery mode on better effect power supplies. I don't think you will find this feature on audiophile power supplies any time soon :D
     
  11. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    I had an interesting experience with my first Active Bass too. Plugged it in and instead of it being dead I had some harsh kinda distortiony tone due to a dying battery. 'Twas cool. I had a sound file, but I think I deleted it. Knew I was gonna need it :mad:
     
  12. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    you wouldn't happen to work for voodoo labs do u? lol