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Overdrive Dilemma

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Davrosnomates, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Davrosnomates


    Jul 26, 2006
    Hello everyone, I wonder if any of you can offer an opinion on my problem. I am looking for some way to control my level of overdrive as I am playing. I want to be able to ramp up or tone down the grit as I am going along, without increasing the volume. I figure there are a few ways I can acomplish this;

    1, Have lots of OD pedals each set to increasingly higher gain levels, so if I want more OD I can switch one off, and the next on. This is fine, I am all up for lots of pedals, but it seems like there might be a better way.

    2, I'm not sure if some pedal exists that is something like a OD in a wah casing, i.e. the pot of the wah controls the OD level, something like how I believe the SWR Interstellar Overdrive works?

    3, Something like the Boss Dyna Drive, where from what I can tell the OD is envelope controled, so the harder I play the more OD I get (This is sort of what I am doing already, but every time I slap the hell out of the strings to get more OD the sound man leaps for the fader and pulls me right down, and I am lucky to be brought up again in the mix). This to me would seem ideal, because them the level is controled by the dynamics of my playing rather than me having to mess about switching pedals on and off all the time (which I find hard enough to do playing fretless and singing BVs after a few beers anyway).

    I hope some of this made sense, and I hope I've not missed something really obvious, but I doubt it seeing as I spend most of my life on hear reading about stuff!

  2. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Some multi-units and stomp boxes have an input for (or built in) expression pedal. With the digital stuff, you can program which parameter you want the pedal to control. Not all distortion boxes have this, of course. But I'm sure a few of the top ones do. If you want to stick with all of your current pedals, this probably isn't helpful.
  3. Davrosnomates


    Jul 26, 2006
    Thanks for replying Bob, I'm not too keen on multi effects, maybe I'm just being a snob. Are there OD/Distortion pedals that are controlable with an expression pedal? I've been looking, but maybe I'm not looking for the right thing.
  4. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I don't know of any offhand, but there must be a few. I'm sure some effects junkies will chime in soon.
  5. LowG

    LowG Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think you can get any analog pot modded to be expression controlled, as long as there's room in the casing to put in another jack for the exp. pedal.
  6. Davrosnomates


    Jul 26, 2006
    I was thinking that I could do that to my Turbo Tubescreamer, but when I turn the Drive up on it the volume increases as well.
  7. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    I'd check out the Tone In Progress Third Hand. It allows expression control for any knob.
  8. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I checked this out. $80 at Musician's Friend. It is a very corny setup that manually adjusts whichever pot shaft you install it onto. Ever see magazine ads to "make any (ancient) TV set remote controlled"? Same principle - a foot operated "grabber".

    But it might be exactly what you need to get the job done. You would only be able to use it on one knob on one pedal at a time, without bending down to adjust. I guess the same is true of any expression pedal.
  9. Kromwarp


    Sep 16, 2008
    Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Master Luthier: Ironclad Bass Guitars
    Not sure if this would work, but a Morely Power Fuzz Wah:meh:
  10. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Get a Barge VB-Jr with expression pedal input, or a Morley expression blender and use it to control the wet/dry balance of your dirtbox of choice.
  11. yeah, i beleive most boxes called 'fuzz wah' are meant to be this kind of dealy..right?
    course the thing with any of these suggestions is that dispite the possability of finding the functionality you want, you may not get the right kind of overdrive sound.

  12. The Line 6 DM4 has an expression input, and I'm pretty sure it can do what you want. Basically, you can set the toe-up and toe-down settings however you want, and it will glide between the knob settings as you rock the exp pedal.
  13. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    The Barge, etc with expression pedal will get you halfway there, by varying the wet to dry ratio. But I believe the OP wants to gradually increase the intensity of the fuzz. In other words, make it "fuzzier" when desired.
  14. bearshimmy


    Feb 14, 2005
    you could try the 3 channel sansamp
  15. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Hey, that's a great suggestion. Daverosnomates, it looks like you have a few options after all.
  16. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    Hmm, what about the EHX Tube Zipper?

  17. Davrosnomates


    Jul 26, 2006
    yeah, it is the intensity that I want to adjust. All of the fuzz-wahs I have used before are simply wah pedals with a fuzz box built into them. I acutally own a three channel sansamp, but haven't been alble to get it to do what I want, it seems as soon as you make the slightest adjustment to any of the knobs the whole thing sounds different. The expression blender sounds interesting, I might have to check out the effects blender idea, at sounds promising. I was also thinking I might try and find the most 'touch sensitive' overdrive that I can find, and put it before a compressor, it seems that might have the desired effect?
  18. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    If you don't want to go the "Third Hand" route (which is admittedly kind of cheesey), a fuzz box with an expression pedal jack (to control specifically the fuzz intensity function - not the dry, wet or output volume, etc) is probably the way to go.

    Lots of slightly higher end boxes have this feature. But again, I don't know of any fuzzes that do, right offhand. I'm sure there are some.

    If you want to incorporate it into your existing stompbox(es), doing a modification is a possibility. I wouldn't know how to do it myself.

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