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interesting use for overdrive pedal and input requested

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by shwashwa, Jul 3, 2020.


  1. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    so I have been at home doing covid isolation remote recording collaborations with my friends, like many of us have. I am a jazz upright bass player. I have a pretty nice solid state mic preamp and a pretty nice condenser mic. It gets very good sound but it’s a very “modern” sound. Super fast transients, almost too much weight to the front of the note. I feel that sometimes it boggs down the time feel. I have been messing with compressors in the DAW and have had some success, so I know that taming the transients is what I am looking for. But I am an endless tweaker and the compressor in my daw is super tweakable. I have an old xp machine, so I don’t think any of the new great and “simple” compressor plugins would be available to me. It occurred to me that the kind of sound that I like, from the 50’s and 60’s, had a lot of tubes and transformers in the signal path from the tube mic, to the preamp, to the console to the eq to the tape machine. Even though these guys were trying to record “clean” I think the sound was definitely not clean. Here is an example of the kind of sound that I like (by the way, yes, I already do use gut strings):

    if I am not mistaken I can hear tons of color on that tone and maybe even some aspect of the chain is being overdriven .

    it then occurred to me that I have a bunch of overdrive pedals. I wonder what they would do? So I split my signal and ran one super clean and modern and put another through an overdrive pedal. Ill be darned if I don’t like the sound better through the overdrive pedal! I set it on the verge of breakup. Mostly clean… when I listen back I can hear its doing what I want with regard to smoothing the peaks and you can definitely see it on the wave form on the screen. The OD wave form is less peaky and fills the track more, and for me, is more like what I am wanting to hear.

    Now this woked to varying degrees with different pedals. The ideal pedal was one that didn’t change my tone at all but just compressed it slightly and gave me some soft clipping perhaps?

    My first pedal was the pork loin. From what I read, the clean side is based on a neve pre. Is this true? The pork loin did the best job taming the transients and smoothing things out in a pleasing way. It did this very early in the range of the gain knob, not needing to go beyond 9:00 on the dial. Unfortunately, it also colored my sound the most. No matter how I tweak it, it just slightly muffles the highs I think. If that’s the only track I listen to, then it doesn’t bother me so much, but if I compare it to the clean signal and even to the other overdrive pedals that I am going to write about next, it becomes immediately apparent.


    Next was the micro red dragon. Really a great sound. Uncolored, beautiful edge of breakup overdrive that happened late in the gain knob range, around 3:00. The tilt tone control is amazing for subtle adjustments and keeping my tone true the the clean side. You can definitely see the wave form fatten and slightly compress on the track, but maybe not as much as the pork loin, and I don’t feel the smoothness in the transients as much as the port loin.


    Next was the barbershop another great pedal. With the sag control fully clockwise I didn’t get what I was looking for, but when I turned it back from max a bit, maybe to 2:00-3:00 the wave form compressed nicely on the track and I got very nice subtle overdrive (I don’t even know if that’s the right way to describe it. Harmonic richness?) the barbershop retained the lows, and maybe even added to them. Very nice pedal but still didn’t tame the feel of the transients as well as the pork loin, although I’d say over all I like the barbershop better.


    Next was the rc bass booster. Had to max the gain knob to get even subtle breakup. Actually I think I wish it went even more, but still a very good sound. Kept treble flat and rolled off bass ever so slightly to 11:30 and kept my tone intact that way.


    Next aguilar tone hammer pedal.

    Will come back to this one. Going to test it again now



    Broughton studio one. Great pedal, but does not give me what I need in this application. Even with the red gain knob maxxed it does not break up, and it has way more tone shaping that I need for this application. I basically want my straight, clean, uncolored microphone tone to be clipped a bit I guess. The studio one is my main preamp for electric bass and upright bass for live playing. It’s a must have. I never want to be without it, so it stays in my gig bag. I am looking for something that I can leave at home connected to my computer.

    So just wanted to put that out there for the collective wisdom but also to give an idea of what I am looking for. As you can see I have not looked at these types of pedal in about 10 years or so and there seems to be a whole bunch of new and interesting things on the market, and if you’re reading this thread, you’re probably a cork sniffer like me. Ideally, I’d like something that gives me the transient control / smoothing of the pork loin but leaves the tone uncolored like the other pedals.


    I am going to post the names of the most recent pedals that have caught my attention and would greatly appreciate input on how these may function in my desired application.



    Effectrode blackbird

    Blackbird Vacuum Tube Preamp - Effectrode

    looks great, I bet I can get slight overdrive from both channels. Its real tubes, but the fender tone stack might be challenging to get a “flat” uncolored microphone sound from. I know the theoretical flat position of the knobs in that stack, but in my experience, still not totally flat.




    Crazy tube circuits locomotive

    Locomotive — Crazy Tube Circuits

    also real tube. Demos sound great. Is it really flat? Can it do low gain? Its European, so may be difficult to get.


    Hudson Broadcast.

    BC-24V-USA – HUDSON ELECTRONICS UK

    This one really interests me. Its based on a recordin console circuit. It has an output transformer, which is what the neve sound comes from. The one with the toggle appears to do low gain. Will it smooth the transients? Is the distortion to harsh for what I want?


    Pettyjohn lift

    https://www.pettyjohnelectronics.com/lift-mkii

    this one looks super interesting to me. Has some sort of harmonic thingy happening in the circuit. No bass samples available online though. Will I lose low end with this pedal?



    Bearfoot uber bee

    BearFoot FX Über Bee OD - BJFe-inspired

    looked like it could give me some uncolored low gain. John K likes it!



    Supro drive 1305

    Drive

    it has a transformer (like a neve)! With it smooth transients? Based on a guitar amp. Can it handle low frequencies? No bass reviews that I could see.


    Spaceman atlas III

    Atlas III

    advertised as a transparent clean gain that increases harmonic richness as you increase gain. The knob looks like a classic mic preamp. Are they trying to tell me something?

    chandler germanium drive
    Germanium Drive | Chandler Limited
    based on their mic pre which is awesome! but its a guitar pedal. how will it function in this application? will it sound like the rack pre? is there a transformer? i couldnt really tell
     
    amper and Zbysek like this.
  2. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    Hmmm, no responses in an overdrive thread which is usually a Hot topic on TalkBass. I might just have to bite the bullet and get a Neve style preamp. Was hoping to avoid that though
     
  3. StayLow

    StayLow

    Mar 14, 2008
    Maybe the JHS Pulp 'n' Peel V4?

    BearFoot / BJFe Blueberry Bass OD, since the Über Bee interests you... though I guess they're the same with the Bee having a bit more versatility(?).

    Good luck in your search.
     
  4. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    the Studio One is a Neve style pre so I don’t think that’s what you are looking for.

    I think you should look into the Pork Loin mod that makes it more transparent. It sounded like that pedal did everything you wanted minus the transparency and the mod (which is said to be super easy) fixes just that
     
  5. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I do think a very well executed Orange Squeezer like the Analogman one could do what you wanted as well
     
  6. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I think that experimenting with mic placement and possibly putting more room between the mic and the bass might work?
     
  7. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    Pork loin mod you say?
     
  8. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Just out of interest and not to de-rail, But...how would you compare the micro red dragon to the Barberschop?
    I've been interested in SFX for a long time, hence the question.
    Thanks and sorry!
     
  9. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    I have a mark bass compressor do you think that can do it? I had it hooked up a while ago but I didn't like the sound of the compressor working. You could hear it.
     
  10. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Have you tried a compressor?
    I just did a recording with just a dirty compressor between bass and interface. Less transients but still sounded very good!- Even upright-ish in certain ways.
     
  11. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    I'll try my compressor again but I did like the sound I what does overdrive pedals do emulating the old console sounds like in that recording
     
  12. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    Well they're both great pedals, just a different flavor I would say, like chocolate and vanilla. The micro red dragon unfortunately I don't think is made anymore. If it is please let me know because I would get a second. The overdrive is subtle, and it is transparent. Doesn't change the sound of the upright microphone in the room. Tone control is wonderful. The barbershop is great also but you need to spend some time figuring out how to drive in the SAG interact. Gets a big sound, keeps the low end and can get much more distorted than I would ever need but can also do low gain. honestly I'm glad I have them both. I'm going to switch them back and forth and just do recordings with both of them whenever I feel like changing it up I'll switch. but I would definitely say you need both :) just because you have one doesn't mean you need the other because they are kind of different
     
  13. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    yeah - search the effects forum and it should be easy to find. People call it the johnk mod
     
  14. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    yeah I just spend some time reading about it. I'm going to mess around with the internal trim pots a lot today and see what that does first. Also I see there's a new version of the pork loin out. But no one can confirm if the mod has been incorporated into it from the builder although they have mentioned in the past that they like the mod
     
  15. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I haven’t heard a person who regretted doing it
     
  16. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    looks like i cant edit my original post. tone hammer didnt give me what i am looking for, although i love it with electric bass. wish it had a HPF though
     
  17. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    Well I think with the pork loin all the way to the clean channel it opens the tone up a little bit, at 3:00 I can bring them in a little bit of the drive , between that and blending in I completely clean sound from my preamp I'll be good to go, although I still might get a Hudson broadcast pedal just because...
     
  18. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    running it through a fender bassman 100T in silent record mode gave interesting results. made everything sound a little more distant, less immediate. definitely took the bite off my transients, but i think i'm going to work on getting a little more focus back into the sound now using the eq on the modern channel! giant channel strip with tubes and transformers :)
     
  19. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Yes. All of this. I use a Boss BB-1X Bass Driver for this task, currently. Although the BB-1X is not great at high gain settings, it actually sounds great at "just starting to saturate" settings.

    I might suggest you try the new One Control/BJFe Blackberry bass overdrive. That's where I'm likely to go next. The first demo videos that have come out are very promising. It's essentially an upgraded version of the original BJFe Blueberry bass overdrive, but made with precision Japanese manufacturing. Bjørn added a new eq control to the circuit.

    Also, the tc electronic Spark booster is very good for this. In the past, I used a Mesa/Boogie V-1 Bottle Rocket tube overdrive/preamp, another great option, if you don't mind the size and weight and the 18V AC power requirement (comes with a *large* transformer).

    Many, many overdrive pedals will do this job well. You just need to find one that works for you.
     
  20. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 17, 2021

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