Mid-heavy clean boost to put in front of distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by GeoKinetic, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Hey guys, I'm after a relatively affordable boost that I can use in front of my distortion pedal (Big Game Solace State) to push the mids. I'm using a Boss SD-1 at the moment, which is good except that even with the drive knob all the way down I can hear it kind of smooth out my signal, and it seems like it's actually taking away from the distortion. Basically trying to get more high mid aggression out of my distortion. So far I've found a few potential options:

    Earthquaker Devices Arrows - I've read a couple of threads about this here, but mostly concerning the effect on a clean signal. It's described as tightening the lows and pushing the mids, which is what I'm after.

    Earthquaker Devices Bows - Haven't found any threads of someone actually trying it on here (maybe I haven't searched hard enough). The treble side (which is apparently more of a high mid boost) may be what I'm after, bit pricier than the arrows. It seems like it might be similar to the Phat Phuk so I'm digging for sound samples of that to hopefully get in the ballpark.

    TC Electronics Spark Booster - This is a pretty common bass pedal, the mid switch may be what I'm after, not totally sure.

    EHX Steel Leather - This seems more like an envelope filter that just peaks your mids on the attack, rather than being an EQ. Thought I'd add it here anyway in case I'm wrong.

    If anyone has any experience with any of the above, or can think of something else that will help me out would love to hear it. Thanks!
  2. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I think that the best option is an eq pedal.
  3. I thought about an EQ, and after looking at different ones that I thought were suitable for me, I didn't think the frequency sliders ever really lined up with what I was after, so I figured getting a pedal with a built in high-mid focus would alleviate that, rather than fidgeting with sliders that don't quite line up.
  4. For no fuss the arrows seems good... I have a mini 66 that kinda does a similar thing in i boost lows and then clean blend with minimal gain on the OD..
  5. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it.

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I’ve got a Fulltone FB-3 for sale. That should do the trick.
  6. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Have you looked into the BMC? (Bass Mid Control) - that's all it does, IIRC!
  7. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    The Nathan East Magic Box is also an option. I don't think they make it anymore, but there's a clone kit for sale out there.

    EDIT: Forget it. I thought that it also boosted the frequencies but it's a notch cut parametric filter.
  8. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Buy the cheapest Klon clone you can and keep the drive down to almost nothing. Klon's into anything make it sound more mid-focused.
    Gabbs, Orion1985 and Beheroth like this.
  9. Sgt. Rock

    Sgt. Rock

    Apr 10, 2010
    First thing that came to mind. I *love* mine. I have the first gen model. Never want to be without it. Runs at 9/18v, gives a perfect mid boost right where I want it. And can be used as a scoop if you want.
  10. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Tech21 Q/Strip gets my vote.
    MDBass and andrew like this.
  11. Orion1985

    Orion1985 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2010
    Grass Valley, CA
    +1 to this. I’ve got a Wampler Tumnus that does a very good job of what you are after. It isn’t ultra expensive but it would be up to you if it would be considered affordable. I think they’re about $180 new.
  12. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    Also the first thing that came to my mind.
  13. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Yup BMC is a good solution.

    For a dirty push, I would say get the Fifth Gear, it does a good job of pushing dirt pedals the way you may like.
    MDBass likes this.
  14. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    +1. I also use and like the BMC but the Q Strip is really good for tweaking mids in the specific way you want.
    MDBass likes this.
  15. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    I prefer an EQ pedal, and put that after the dirt for more control.
    ThrewSilver and Nunovsky like this.
  16. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    This is the right answer. I know a bunch of people who love the BMC.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    A parametric EQ like an Empress or Broughton would let you zero in with surgical precision. But it’s an expensive solution for what you’re doing.

    You might try a high pass filter and roll off everything starting from around 60-80Hz on down depending on where the sweet spot is for you. That will eliminate the unnecessary low freq gunk and really tighten up the bass end while leaving the mids untouched. Net result will be the mids will seem boosted.

    I’ve got a Spark and an MXR Micro Amp as utility infielder devices. They can do nice things for your signal and sound and find use in a lot of different situations. But I don’t know if either would exactly accomplish what you’re looking to do. So I’ll have to yield the floor to someone else on that question.
    MattZilla likes this.
  18. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Agreed! Excellent suggestion. :thumbsup:

    Based on playing my Solace State, I think that your plan, though not actually unreasonable, is missing the spirit of this pedal's voice.

    There are exceptions, but usually when I reach the point of saying "I wish it sounded like itself, but with [more || less] X", it turns out that what I'm looking for is something to replace that thing (pedal or other device).

    Fuzzrocious understands midrange for saturated bass guitar sound very well. Did you ever play any Fuzzrocious dirt pedals? The Cat Tail, Cat King, or Demon might do the trick for you. I know that this is about texture and feel, not just spectral response; but I would consider Fuzzrocious a good bet.
  19. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
  20. I've never played any fuzzrocious stuff. The cat tail is probably a bit out of my price range, but I've the MXR M85 was made in conjunction with fuzzrocious to be like a cat tail. They both seem kind of fizzy as the distortion goes up though. Maybe it's just me.

    I'm using the Solace State for Death From Above stuff, which is why I really wanna push my mids, but keep the drive tone of this pedal.