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EQ before overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by the low one, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    I'm getting the impression from more than a few threads that it's a good idea to roll off the high eq before the overdrive pedal.

    Any thoughts?

    I use a Boss ODB-3 and a P bass. I've discovered that if I turn the tone knob down half way on the bass and leave the eq's flat on the pedal I get a much better sound without the fizzy tone.
  2. Basstyra

    Basstyra Commercial User

    Apr 3, 2005
    CTO @ Two notes Audio Engineering
    I've arrived to the same conclusion as you. Getting a EQ before an OD is really, really great.

    But unfortunately, some distortion don't really react to this, because they cut too much stuff at the input. No matter what you put in, the same sound comes from output (Big Muff for example, which is a fuzz, so i's a bit normal...). I don't even dare to think of modelisation units (I may be wrong on this one).

    I'm building my own OD on those observations. ;)
  3. personally i like the high end, it adds plenty of crunch, but for me when i need a little more bass i turn that up on my amp, because the bass is only applied to thickening the fuzz, not the blend (if that makes sense)
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I've been downright freakin' lately over the great distortion tone I get now that I have BOTH a CS-3 (first) AND an Aphex Bass Xciter (second) just before the ODB-3. Yes, it's a little noisy (and I do mean 'a little', considering the big, hairy amount of compressed gain and distortion it's giving me!) -- but the tone is SO good that I'm planning on getting a Boss NS-2 noise supressor NEXT.

    That NS-2 is pretty cool, actually. It's set up with these in/out and send/return input and output jack-pairs; this turns out to allow a pretty powerful gating technique, where the gate actually GATES the whole sh'bang of pedals, but the threshold is triggered by the pure-as-the-driven-snow, direct-from-the-bass signal. This all means that -- especially when having real-noisy pedals going-on in the loop -- the threshold can (should) be set well-BELOW the pedal noise floor (way-down at a point just above the BASS' noise floor). This should mean (I haven't tried it yet; I'm just speaking theoretically...) that the noise itself wouldn't be able to 'tickle' the detector threshold, and make false-trigger gate-chatter, like gates so-much like to do - You'd have this relatively-wide, 'forgiving' range of signal level that's higher than the quitest you'd want a note to ring-out from the bass, and still lower than the hiss and/or buzz that's sitting there at the effect outputs! So now I picture it: the gate has 'extra time' to open, because it's triggered-open by the bass signal at a point when said signal is quieter than the noise anyway. So by the time the signal IS up there above the noise, the gate has had time to open all the way...

    I think I'm picturing that right (?)...

    I'm going to try it!

    Oh... Back on-topic: I actually BOOST the treble on the CS-3, kick up the 'high blend' on the Aphex, and usually crank the tone-pot on the bass to a pretty-darn-trebly estate - this is BEFORE the ODB (there IS a certain smooth, freaky distortion-tone inwhich I use the bridge pup with the tone rolled-OFF all-the-way; I've been experimenting with that a little bit agian lately). But that's different, I think, than when you're running the bass directly into the ODB. Also, I have the Big Bottom (low-frequency compression) 'low blend' on the Aphex pretty-much up-there too!

  5. no offense dude, but you can put whatever you want on a p-bass and it won't feedback much at all
  6. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    I've never had a feedback problem with my p-bass, I just want to tighten up the OD tone. I find that keeping the high eq up on the pedal, but cutting the high's from the bass really helps.

    I love the sound that flatwound strings give with an OD too.
  7. I use a Fulltone Bass Drive II, it's the best I've ever heard!
    I think if a pedal needs any tweaking it aint for me. That said I run my Bass Balls into the Bass Drive then into the Aphex acoustic exciter pedal then to the PA bord and amp. The Fulltone sounds great where ever it's put. The bass balls sounds good by itself, but adding additional drive and the exciter it enhances the sound. The fulltone had a boost and I tell you when you do Rages Killing in the Name of, it just screams, I just get smiles in the audiance when I kick it on!
    My 2 cents.

  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    OK - here are my settings. This sounds very controlled and powerful and synth-like, but the Aphex all by itself before the distortion sounds great too...

    I'm saying that the 'real trick' to putting some oomph into an ODB is some kind of compression before it. Now keeping in mind that the 'Big Bottom' that's built into the Xciter is a low-frequency compressor - both units together (CS-into-Xciter) sound super-good; either one by itself makes tons of improvement, but I'd say if I could only choose one of the two for this distortion-box pre-processing, it'd be the Aphex.

    I spent about two hours messin' around to come up with this; it's set up provide a FINE clean bass tone by ONLY bypassing the distortion box!

    Boss CS-3 (looking 'clockwise'):
    Level = 10:30
    Tone = 3:00
    Attack = 1:30
    Sustain = 12:30 (this has to be adjusted for your individual instrument; adjust it for how long you need the synth-like distortion tone to hold steady as a note dies-away on the bass)​
    Aphex Xciter (per knob-marker numbers):
    Low Tune = 4.5
    Low Blend = 8.5
    High Tune = 6.5
    High Blend = 8.5​
    Boss ODB-3 ('per clockwise'):
    Level = 9:30
    High = 7:00 (full-CCW)
    Low = 1:30
    Balance = 12:00
    Gain = 1:00​
    Now a very cool bonus to running all three like this -- and the reason why the CS-3's "Level" control is backed way-off to 10:30 (more-like 12:00 would be better for a 'no volume-change bypass' for my bass and playing) -- is that you can turn this killer synthy-fuzztone into a nice, natural, realistic 'overdriven head' sound by turning just two knobs on the ODB (I never bypass the CS-3, so it's OK if it attenuates a little)...
    Level = change from 9:30 to 12:00
    Gain = change from 1:00 to 7:00 (full-CCW)​

    I hope someone else here is able to give this a try, and report-back. I think this is a VERY good bass distortion tone!