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Jacques Fat Burner - sort of a review

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mingus Addict, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. I've had this pedal a few years now, and it has become one of my favorite and most often used pedals. I was playing with it today and felt like I should finally post something about it here. I don't really want to write a comprehensive review, but instead talk about some of the things I do with it that I don't think are typical uses for a compressor. For a more complete review by someone better at writing them than I am, go to Ovnilab.com.

    As you may know if you've even just heard about this pedal, it's not at all subtle as far as compressor's go, and it's very good at heavy compression as an effect. It is so "effecty", that I find myself turning it on and off for different parts with in the same song, which is something I wouldn't have thought to do with a compressor before I tried this one.

    Sometimes I set this pedal to a choked sort of blanket effect. In a song from one of my old bands, we had a chorus at the end that got really huge. Even though it was technically the same part as the regular chorus, I wanted to create the effect of something new happening dynamically. I ended playing the whole song with the compressor on with this choked down sound, but in the last chorus I turned it off and the sound got really open and I was able to ramp up dynamically with the drums and cello. I thought it sounded really exciting because the audience couldn't quite put their finger on what had happened, but it was very noticeable.

    My favorite and most used effect from the Fat Burner, is a super emphasized staccato effect. With the "Muscle" knob set on the low side, the compressor lets out a volume spike on the attack and then clamps down. It's sort of like the classic "dip and swell" effect, without the swell. I know a lot of compressors can do something like this, but I haven't found another one that gets there so easily, and I feel very in control of the level, length and emphasis of the "spike" with the Fat Burner. The best thing about it is that it can almost do that Hammond B3 click attack, and in conjunction with other pedals, it's really good at dry synth/key bass sounds which I find are much harder to get than wet ones.

    Another cool thing about this pedal is the boost out. If you use this feature and set it to unity gain it makes a great buffer and it's active even in bypass.

    So there are my musing the Jacques Fat Burner. I hope they weren't completely dull, and can maybe even be helpful to someone. One disclaimer I should make, is that while I find I can do a lot with this pedal, I don't think most would call it a versatile compressor. It really doesn't do subtle or transparent, and you don't have independent attach and release controls. I also thought before getting this pedal that it might help with the tracking of my Boss OC-2, and I found that this was not the case. Not to go on a tangent in a post that's already too long, but so far I've found that the best thing for tracking before the OC-2 is nothing. Even killing the active circuit in my bass seems to make it track better.
    Driven Crane likes this.
  2. ryansalmond


    Nov 21, 2007
    Thanks for posting this (considerably well-written) review!
    I've just been wanting to find sound samples of them somewhere for the longest time and there just aren't any.
  3. You usually won't see sound samples for compressors online because they're a subtle effect, and in fact, they are usually compressed again by the upload process. There's also the fact that the feel of playing is very important to a compressor and that can't be communicated online either.

    I suppose the Fat Burner might make a good exception though. If I have time next week I might try and put together some samples.
  4. ryansalmond


    Nov 21, 2007
    Yeah, I think they're quite appropriate for compression-as-an-effect because it's almost impossible to convey in words. But you're right- normal, utilitarian compression does not do well with sound samples.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Very cool descriptions! If you ever get a chance to try out a Taurus Tux, I think you might dig it too, for similar reasons/effects.
  6. Thanks Bongo! I love the Fat Burner, but sometimes I get the hankering to try something a little different that can still achieve my goals. I demoed a Pigtronix Philosophers Tone, and I liked it, but then I realized I was constantly trying to tweak it to sound more like the Fat Burner. Would you push me more in the direction of the Black or Silver or does it matter?
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The Silver one has a wider range of that effect you described. But do "try before you buy" if at all possible, or get it from a place with a good return policy. I like the Taurus a lot, but not so much that I'd tell you to take a big gamble on it.
  8. blizward


    Feb 21, 2013
    Rennes - France

    I wanted to post a tribute to this pedal. It's probably the one I kept for the longest time and it's allways been on my board.

    I've used it with a bass and double bass to fatten the sound and give it a bit more presence overall.
    I've used it as a buffered splitter and discovered the joys of layering overdrives.
    I've used it as a feedbacker of sorts to induce whailing sounds at bedroom volume.
    I've used it as an headphone amp with mild success.
    I've used it to tame obnoxious filters and unrully feedback loops.

    I did all that but after all these years, I still can't figure what to do with the "muscle" control...