Iron Ether Oxide volume question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Toastfuzz, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hey dudes. So I just got an Iron Ether Oxide fuzz pedal... I finally had a chance to plug it in today, and I'm finding this thing is super hot. I'm playing an active Ibanez Soundgear bass, and my pedal chain right now goes Tuner -> Octave -> Overdrive -> Oxide Fuzz -> VT Bass (used as pre).

    When the Oxide is turned on the volume of the signal seems to double or triple, because I cant even run it into my VT, it got WAAAY too loud. I generally pump a weak signal into effects and pre-amp it with the VT, but this thing pre-amps itself. Even with the VT off though, the pure volume coming from the Oxide swamps any clean or slightly dirty tone options in my pedal chain... does not make for an easily fuzzible solution to kick on during a gig at this point.

    I'm thinking at this point to try bringing down the volume on my amp, and bringing up the volume on the VT bass, so at least when either VT or Oxide are on, volume will be around unity. I know that at one point I'm going to kick on the Oxide while the VT is still on and fart a loud soundclip to my band or audience or whoever is unlucky enough to be present.

    Other than the volume jump, the thing sounds sexy. Kicking on the Octave before gated fuzz in the Oxide is synthy and thick as you could ever imagine, and the Brassmastery tones on the other side are just the ticket for thickening up songs like Mississippi Queen and Heartbreaker, if I could only figure out this volume issue in my signal chain. Ideally I wish I could leave the VT on at the end. Maybe theres an internal master volume pot or something? Maybe its an inherent characteristic of gnarly fuzz pedals?
  2. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    or you could solve the problem with an A/B pedal ...

    put the VT on A and when its time to fuzz up, click on the B channel and it will automatically switch out the VT and just have the oxide on.

    in my case, i run a Rusty Box and a Depth Charge... my solution was to have the RB on all the time and just adjusted the Depth Charge along with it... its just myl uck those 2 pedals are very compatible.
  3. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I experienced something similar with my active fender. The Oxide has a very large amount of gain. The best bet is to keep the fuzz and clean volumes verry low. I keep my fuzz under 9 oclock and the clean to taste. Dont be afraid to crank those to knobs waaay down. The upside to this is the fact that you can dial in some boost for those times when your fuzz tome isnt cutting through or you wanna play a solo or something.
  4. tink9975


    Aug 10, 2006
    MoCo, MD
    I run my oxide the same way, fuzz and clean around 9 or 9:30. That gives me unity gain or a very slight boost.
  5. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sterling, I'll try that. On its maiden voyage I was trying to keep the fuzz cranked pretty high but it may not be necessary. I could tell that the Clean was best used to dial in more bass when needed, more than actually introduce a parallel clean tone. I didnt wanna dial back EQ either as it took the edge of that salty delicious fuzz.

    Hopefully I can get to practice early today and mess with it some more. I'll dig around for a cheap A/B too, as that could be alot of fun to run dual signal chains. I'd need a small one though, preferably that doesnt need a power source.

    EDIT: Just out of curiousity, where do you guys put your Drive?
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I've wondered how many dB of gain the Oxide has as well. I like everything in my rig kept at unity gain, so I keep the Fuzz knob at or below 9. It could felt faces if dimed.
  7. wolffman


    Oct 2, 2008
    Philadelphia PA
    Beta Tester: Red Panda Labs
    I had my drive maxed and fuzz down below 9 like others have said. I also put a compressor at the end of my chain to help with any unwanted boost.
  8. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've talked to Taylor about the drive and he said it kind of acts as a input gain. So, if you have a very high output bass (like me), you're gonna have to keep it pretty low to avoid clipping the octave up circuit. I keep mine under 9 o'clock as well in most applications.
  9. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I guess alittle goes a long way.

    Hey, just noticed you're in Pittsburgh. Heads up for a PM
  10. chaosmic


    Feb 6, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I have an active bass and second all of this......fuzz volume around 9 or 10. I usually run my clean volume around 11 or 12. I like to keep my drive really low too, like around 10. This gives me a really thick sound, especially with the voice switch up (boosted mids).
  11. wolffman


    Oct 2, 2008
    Philadelphia PA
    Beta Tester: Red Panda Labs
    i ran a passive bass into the oxide & I usually had the morph at 8-9:00 with a really tight square wave gated setting. To me it sounded like turning the drive way up added some thickness into the burst of fuzz and made it fatter than with the drive turned down, but now that toastfuzz has my oxide I can't experiment with it any longer.
  12. Ginsly


    Apr 1, 2010
    Funny, I had just posted about fuzz volume a couple days ago. My settings all seem to be much lower than everyone else's (which is surprising because I play a passive bass), but in this case I set my Oxide levels about where you guys do - around 9 o clock. I'm just having trouble retaining enough low end, even with the clean volume mixed in. Maybe it just isn't a good fit for my band (a three-piece) - oh well, at least I know I could always sell it pretty easily if I wanted to. It really is a great pedal - very aggressive!
  13. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I will experiment it to the fullest, you have my word :hyper:

    Been thinking more about IncX's suggestion of using an A/B/Y pedal, as I found a nice simple write-up for a passive true-bypass DIY box. I'm just new to this multi-channel madness and can't figure how you bring the signal back into one single amp input, or if this is even recommended. Would a simple Y splitter re-combine the signal? Assuming the channel volumes are controlled via VT bass in one and Oxide in the other to unify volumes (so no need for a blender and another pedal on my board.)

    This is how I envision it:

    ------------------------> FX25 low pass -> PD7 OD -> VT Bass
    Bass in -> Tuner -> ABY -----------------------------------------------------> 2-to-1 adaptor -> Amp input
    ------------------------> MXR Octave -> Oxide -> 105Q wah -> DD-7 Delay

    Can it damage my amp to run these 2 channels in Y mode? Assuming volume spikes negated / general care is taken. For this setup, I'm actually happy that the individual channels will get a volume boost and the blended Y channel will balance each other out. Unless its a really drastic volume drop in Y mode.
  14. wolffman


    Oct 2, 2008
    Philadelphia PA
    Beta Tester: Red Panda Labs
    for one input you'd use a looper like the boss ls-2, badger schism, etc.

    an ab/b/y box is for 2 amps or 2 channels, or some amps can do your standard input & effects return (on my amp this bypasses the preamp). also passive a/b/y boxes can cause hums & unwanted noise.
  15. alec


    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    I also have my levels set at 9 or lower.

    My drive knob only seems to change the tone up to about 10-11. After that it has no effect. Is that normal?
  16. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    I think perhaps some confusion comes from the fact that the "Fuzz" knob controls the volume of the fuzz, rather than how fuzzy the fuzz signal is (Drive controls how fuzzy the fuzz is). There just wasn't room to call Fuzz "Fuzz volume".

    Both the clean volume and fuzz volumes go from silence to quite loud, so no external boxes are needed to turn the fuzz volume down - just turn down the Fuzz (think "Fuzz Volume") knob if the fuzz is too loud. :)

    There are a few reasons for having all of that boost available: a lot of players like to use the Oxide in front of a tube amp to slam the tube inputs with an already fuzzed signal. Additionally, some really extreme settings will tend to be quieter (Morph CCW, Voice down, Strangle up) so having that gain available ensures that you'll never have to deal with volume drops.

    There are also some other pedals, where if you place the Oxide in these other pedals' effects loops, there can be a volume drop due to the way the other pedal's loop works. The extra volume is just there so you're covered for any scenario. You can always turn down if it's too loud, but you can't always turn up if there isn't enough volume.

    Here's a link to the Oxide manual if you bought the pedal used and didn't receive a manual. I know that nobody reads a manual for a fuzz pedal, but it genuinely does have useful info when getting started with the Oxide - things that won't be obvious just from looking at the pedal.

    Hope that helps!
    oZZma likes this.
  17. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Very much so Taylor, thanks for taking the time to comment! I didn't realize the true purpose of the Drive and Fuzz knobs, that explains it much better and will probably help me dial in better in this band. I wanna say too that the tones are AWESOME, my ONLY issue was figuring out volume balance. I wouldn't be trying so hard to make it work if the tone wasn't there, it'd be right back up in the classifieds. Thanks again for an awesome design and killer pedal!
  18. yaksonator


    Apr 16, 2011
    Carthage, MO
    So Im resurrecting this thread because I got my second oxide recently and I have to turn the volume up on fuzz and clean to about 3 o'clock to get unity. Sounds like I know the oxide sounds for sure, but reading all these comments about levels under 9 o'clock make me wonder.

    Any input?

    I'm playing a passive pbass and the oxide is in my drive loop on my schism. Compared to my tafm it has barely any gain at all...
  19. JBNeedsBeer

    JBNeedsBeer Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New Brunswick, NJ
    On my ric, after running it into a compressor, I had to run my clean at just shy of noon and my fuzz at around 10:30 to get unity.
  20. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If I have the strangle switch engaged on mine, it definitely has a lot less gain on tap. But yeah, if it isn't on strangle mode, it has an obscene amount of gain available.
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