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Swollen Pickle Pairings?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rob8675, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. rob8675


    Sep 13, 2015
    So on my board ive got a Digitech whammy> Mxr M80 preamp> Swollen Pickle> Mxr Phase 90> Bass Big Muff Pi> Biyang Tri Reverb> Boss RC 3 loop, im running into a fender rumble 200, and i use a peavey knock off pbass, epiphone eb3, or a stagg electric upright bass depending on the gig (right now im primarily doing 2 bands, 1 jazz rap band, and another thats more like a mac demarco meets floyd psychedelic band. But also play other stuff in my own time and plan on expanding with jazz or more doomier metal) I really enjoy the swollen pickle, i have it set to a nice psychedelic smooth rhythm fuzz similar to jack bruce in cream or like mikal cronin in ty segall thats fine cutting through and its a nice smooth fuzz sound, i bought that because i originally owned the big muff and it wasnt cutting through for me because of the mid scoop, now i tried using both of them with the big muff dry switch on to try and set the bass big muff for a more lead type of tone thats less bassy, because i got the idea from michael league of snarky puppy however upon thinking the two together would make a nice huge aggressive sound...the bass big muff does not cut through at all unless its practically cranked which in return really messes with the volume of everything, ive tried various things like maxing the amps low and high mids, putting the pre amp after to make up for those mid loses, swapping the order putting the big muff before the swollen pickle but that just doesnt sound right and you dont even hear the big muff once the pickle is turned on, at this point im probably going to sell the big muff, however what can i get that'll pair through with the swollen pickle? Right now im not sure if i should buy an eq pedal and try that with both pedals, or just sell the muff and go with a more mid rangy distortion like a tube screamer and put it after the swollen pickle, or even just buy a foot switch and mess around with the amp overdrive? I guess im looking for something that can be smooth like the pickle but more mid and treble, less bass on its own, but when i pair it with the pickle, it'll make a rounder sound and might sound more aggressive. Suggestions?
  2. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    Edit: Sorry, I just went for the headline and couldn't be bothered with reading through the massive wall of text at first, and assumed OP wanted any possible useful suggestions of what might sound good paired with a swollen pickle. Apologizes for this misunderstanding.

    I have had great success with stacking the much maligned Boss MT-2, which I agree with most people is an awful sounding pedal on it's own, in front of an EHX Tube Zipper used only as fuzz.

    Doesn't sound too great with bass, but on guitar I get this thick creamy, crackling out of control fuzzy wall of doom with the finest and most soothing rich grain patterns I ever heard coming from any dirt pedal when used for slow chord work, and for single notes I get this psychedelic flute or wind instrument on drugs like tone that has a slight quality of a heavily fuzzed out solo guitar put in reverse, tons of all sort of weird fuzzed out beautiful harmonics added to your tone either way.

    If you got a Boss Metal Zone lying around anyway it might be worth a shot to try stack it in front of a Swollen Pickle as well, to see if you can get near similar tones.

    As I said I haven't had much luck with finding the MT-2/Tube Zipper Fuzz combination useful for bass, but it might work with the Swollen Pickle.

    If you get even close to what I achieved at least and happens to sometime dabble with playing guitar as well, it would be a certain way to the doomy depths of fuzz hell in any possible good sense of that, at least.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  3. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    Swollen Pickle -> MXR M109 6 band eq :thumbsup:
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  4. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    ssbs Mini or DOD Carcosa or 5th Gear into Pickle, or even a W. Mammoth clone like Mooer Fog into Pickle all work well, Pickle stacks well because it lets through lows. You don't have to crank the first pedal at all, just push the Pickle a little. Don't go tube screamer, once you loose the lows, they're gone. All the pedals I mentioned are great without the Pickle on too, so there's that.
    rob8675 likes this.
  5. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    If you want to crank your smooth fuzz to leadsville, pair it up with an analog octave-up fuzz to make it rip!
  6. Jakeman


    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    My solution to this would be to sell the Bass Muff and get a Rat-style distortion to feed into the Pickle. Fuzzrocious Cat Tail, Idiotbox Blower Box - there are great ones out there and good threads to research. Overdrive could work well too. I've never made Muff -> Muff work well before.
    rob8675 likes this.
  7. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    Yeah, misunderstood OP at first cause I went strictly by the headline and couldn't be bothered reading through the massive wall of text, my fault totally, though you might want to work with using paragraphs to divide your text into smaller sections as well as trying to utilize more punctuations.

    I don't say this with any ill intend whatsoever, and I know I am not your English teacher, but for your own sake to increase the chance of people actually bothering to do an effort to understand what it is you are trying to say or getting help with.

    Anyway I got through it, and although I realize it is hard to describe a tone, and even harder to pick up for other exactly what it is you mean, I would say Crguti is on the right track, an EQ set right will change your tone drastically and is incredible useful for shaping the character of a dirt unit if put right after.

    And while the MXR M109 is a really good EQ, I owned the bigger M108 10 band EQ previously, but for economical reasons and since I was stupid enough to sell the MXR at a time where I had no use for it, I now use a Behringer BEQ700.

    I know Behringer has a bad reputation, but this particular pedal is not noisy whatsoever like many of their other plastic enclosed clones of famous Boss type stomp pedal effects, and it actually does exactly what it is supposed to.

    I know it looks crappy and that it is plastic, but it is also dead cheap and works perfectly as intended.

    The Behringer BEQ is a graphic EQ pedal designed specifically for the purpose of working well within the bass frequency spectrum, which means the bands are set at crucial key points for bass tone.

    This also means you should be able to cut some of the Pickle's bass, by cutting a bit of the 50 Hz band, a lot of the 120 Hz band, possibly letting the 400 band be, boosting the 500 and 800 band significantly as well as applying a little boost to the 4,5 Khz band and probably either letting the 10 Khz band be or cutting it a bit, and adjust overall volume slider accordingly.

    Now this is very much based on guess and approximation to what you described and what the pedal I suggested is capable of, what I can say for sure though, is that you would be able to add the guitar version of this pedal as well getting additional 5 set frequency bands to play with and that still at a lower price than the MXR equalizer would have cost you.

    Actually just checking the Behringer graphic EQ designed for guitar Behringer EQ700, I think the seven bands on that would be considerably more useful for your application and for manipulating the tone of drives in general, as it has more bands to offer in terms of both the very low mids and the highs.

    So here is my revisited advise to you, inspired by Crguti's advice:

    Get the Behringer EQ700 7 band graphic equalizer (yes, it is plastic and looks like crap, but it actually works flawlessly as intended, and doesn't make any unwanted noise whatsoever, what can't be said about most of Behringer's other plastic pedals. Also it is really dead cheap), which have sliders for the following frequency bands: 100-200-400- 800 Hz and additionally 1,6-3,2-6,4 KHz.

    Now what I would do in the first instance was to try this:

    Cut the 100 band significantly to get rid of the lows of you Pickle
    Cut the 200 band quite a good deal as well to get rid of some more lows/lowest mids
    Boost the 400 band some to boost the mids
    Boost the 800 band a bit more than the 400 band to gain some more high mids
    Boost the 1,6 KHz band a bit less then the 400 band
    Maybe just ever so slightly boost the 3,2 Khz band as well
    Probably let the 6,4 Khz band be, or maybe even cut it slightly

    Addjust the overall volume slider accordingly.

    Now this is a pretty rough estimation, and should more be seen as an attempt to give you an idea of how to approach it, than be taken for granted as exact knowledge or a precise instruction.

    Keep in mind that I do not know the tone you use, and am not familiar with the Pickle other than I know it's a fuzz.

    Anyway, good luck getting the tone that you want!

    Rock on! :bassist:


    How ironic is this piece of poopie, here I try being a wise ass about writing messy walls of texts on internet forums, and then I end up doing almost the exact same mistake as I advise against and in the same self post.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    crguti and rob8675 like this.
  8. Things I use with the Pickle and why:

    Boss HM-2: HM-2 goes before the Pickle. Set gain to zero, low all the way up, high *almost* all the way up, volume to taste. You get a bit of the weird aggressiveness from the HM-2 distortion character but all the wooly fatness from the Pickle. This is a super aggressive kind of blown out sound, great for doom or garage rock

    Behringer Superfuzz: SF can go before or after. All 3 modes and a variety of settings can work well in context. Walls of fuzz and gain on tap, if you put the SF after the Pickle you can tame a lot of the sub lows.
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  9. rob8675


    Sep 13, 2015
    Actually yeah ive been debating on getting the behringer eq, definitely going to see what everyone else is recommending before i make my decision. Also sorry for the wall of text, i dont usually make threads on here.
  10. I always boost my muff type pedals..I have an old walco signal booster...the type with the male plug on one end and it is super aggressive... definitely cuts through

    I also use a hovercraft ionostrofear into my muffs gain set low volume up a little ,tone to taste. I feel like muff type pedals take boosts nicely and you can get a whole other range of tones from them when boosted.
  11. Adienn7


    Jan 26, 2007
    Try a distortion 2 from mxr. it goes well with my blue beard. a Morley power wah boost. a whirlwind 10band eq.
  12. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Riff-finder General Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Springfield, MA
    I use a Fuzzrocious Demon to drive my Swollen Pickle and it sounds super aggressive. It's a very low-mid focused overdrive and is definitely more treble-y than the Pickle on its own, and it doesn't detract from the Pickle's massive bottom end when the two are used together.

    The Demon is based on a Fulltone OCD and there's tons of clones on the market, so I'd try out a couple and see if it get you close to what you want. (I have a Dunwich ODB on the way and I'm very curious to see how it sounds with the Pickle as well.)
    rob8675 likes this.

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