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Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by heavyfunkmachin, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    I’m a fuzz user, love the dirt but sometimes I miss being able to have some dynamics with my fuzz… but the nature of fuzz squashes your playing dynamics. Thinking about it I had an idea:

    Expander + Fuzz: the expander “reads” the dynamics of your playing before the fuzz, the fuzz adds it’s dirt and then, when the signal is fully fuzzed, the expander expands your signal according to your playing dynamics. Having the best of both worlds: fuzzy tone + playing dynamics!

    Is this doable?

    I have ZERO experience designing pedals, but maybe someone here can tell me if it’s a good idea, doable and worth a try!
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The Creation pedal looks cool but it doesn't seem to be similar to what the op was talking about.

    Yes it can be done; yes it is a very good idea. It's such a good idea I would be surprised if somebody hasn't made one already, but I don't know of one.
  3. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
  4. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    Thinking about it, it would be great to have an expander with input/send/return/output so you can actually plug your favourite fuzz (or wahtever) to it, adding dynamics to your favourite pedals!

    ej: Bass>expander input(dynamics are "Read")>Send to your pedal(s)>Return to the expander>output to the rest of your chain or amp
  5. cloclo


    Dec 13, 2009
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Or something like the Doubleback compressor, but then a fuzz instead of a compressor, not too many knobs yet lots of sounds ...
  6. R.A. Penfold published a schematic in his Music Projects book (1994) of something called the Fuzz Unit, which is supposed to do this exact thing - a dynamic fuzz.

    Here's the article

    It doesn't use an expander, rather a VCA (LM13700). In addition, the article goes on to say, "A useful byproduct of the envelope shaping is that a noise gate action is obtained." :cool:

    I might try breadboarding the circuit to see how it works/sounds.

    ~ Charlie
  7. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    I've been thinking that something like this with a loop would be great. Any pedal that destroys dynamics could delivers its tone, and you could play with dynamic sensitivity.

  8. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    I wish I could design it!
    an expander with a loop... sounds promissing... I just have no idea about electronics.. :(
    I only have the NEED, maybe someone here can achieve it... I think it's an idea worth investigating... maybe theres some FX builder around.... ;)
  9. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
  10. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    You could achieve the same effect with a clean blend. Dynamics is the major reason I like blending my fuzzes, rather than using a blend to bring back low end. If you hear too much detail in the clean sound making it sound like two separate voices, you can put a low pass filter on the clean side, like the Team Awesome Fuzz Machine!
  11. Skrogh


    Jan 28, 2010
    is't this somewhat what that FEA Growler does?
    Compress signal -> apply distortion -> expand

    The problem with the
    Bass->envelope detector->fuzz->VCA
    is that it is difficult to design a proper envelope-follower for this...
  12. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    It has been done....

  13. Skrogh


    Jan 28, 2010
    As I recall it, that one either cross fades between loop and clean depending on either envelope or a set threshold. I can't remember which, but in any case that is different. (I might be entirely wrong though...)
  14. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    OK… but it has 99% of the circuitry to get the desired result. All that is needed is an additional switch to disengage the clean signal to the output mixer. Or a volume pot for the clean signal to the mixer. These are extremely simple mods that 1000’s of modders would have no problem with.

    There are other expressive switching pedals that may allow even more creative options… one off the top of my head is the Kane ES-1.

  15. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
  16. Skrogh


    Jan 28, 2010
    Ha that's actually quite cool, looks expensive though.
  17. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i can't find it anywhere... Does anyone know anithyng about the company? they have no store... and last news were form Namm prototypes... Any comercial releases?

    I started to think that maybe I can mod an existing pedal to do what I need ...

    The thing is that I cant be the only one with this need?! Am I??