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Yet another lost soul in the effects forum...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rayzak, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Well, i'm very close to getting my pedalboard together, however.... like many before me, I have questions (and it's sooo time-consuming trying to sort through the search function:rolleyes: ).

    Right now I have these pedals:

    Boss TU-2 tuner
    H.B.E. Hematoma
    E-H Little Big Muff
    Analogman Clone Chorus(on it's way)
    Toadworks Mr. Squishy(on it's way shortly)

    Saving a space for a Prunes & Custard and an envelope filter.
    I need an EF with a fairly small footprint.
    Right now it's between the EBS Bass IQ, Emma dcmbultr, Maxon AF9? something like that. Any opinions between these? Any others?

    How should I power all my pedals? Should I consider a looper? What order. Basically, where do I go from here? Any suggestions whatsoever would be a huge help.
  2. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I'd hold off on a loooper unless you are certain that some of the pedals will cause signal loss while off.

    If all the pedals are 9volt, get a One-Spot, or Godlyke. I have a godlyke on both of my boards. One has 9 pedals, the other has 5 and I don't have any problems either way. If most of them are 9-volt, use the same power supply, and stick a power strip on the board so you only have one power cord coming off your board.

    As for order? It's really to taste. There's a HUGE range of what people say needs to come first.

    With your set-up, I'd go as follows:
    Bass -> Tuner -> Mr. Squishy (compressor, right?) -> Distortion -> Envelope Filter -> Chorus

    In terms of the order of your distortion trio (nice set-up, too), determine if you are going to do any cascading Distortion. I've found that cascading a smoother distortion into a grittier distortion usually makes for a better sound. On my board, I cascade my Hot Tubes into my Russian Muff on occasion... ok that sounded dirty.. but you get the picture ;)

    So in your case? Prunes -> Muff -> Hematoma might be the best option. Again, it's really all up to taste!
  3. LOL :p
  4. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Yes... I realized it after I posted...

    Oh well.. maybe it will be a sig at some point...
  5. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    the compressor should not go before a dynamic filter. it reduces the dynamics for the dynamic filter :)

    put the compressor last
  6. Of the envelope filters you're looking at I would definately recommend the Maxon AF9. And for your order I would suggest starting with the Little Big Muff, followed by the envelope filter, then the Prunes and Custard, then the Mister Squishy, Hematoma, Chorus, and then the tuner at the end of the chain. I like to have a gain stage before and after my envelope filter. But I would experiment with whether the Prunes and Custard is more useful before the envelope filter to overdrive it or after it to get the enveloping into the front end of the Custard. And I would put the tuner at the end of the chain to ensure that you have a hard bypass of any sound coming through all the effects just before your amp. I'm sure it will be fun trying different combinations.
  7. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Excellent replies fellas, thanks.
    How about powering 'em. I'd like to make it as uncluttered as possible since i'm trying to fit all of this on a Pedal Train Jr. board. Thanks.

    The only negative I hear about the Maxon is the volume jump. Do you find this to be true? Thanks.

    Any other input is greatly appreciated as well.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    As far as order goes....it's really a very personal thing and dependent on what qualifies as "your" sound. You have some great advice, but that's not written in stone....experimentation (while time consuming) is a BLAST!!

    Now for the EF.... IMO, the EBS Bass IQ is the joint, hands down
  9. The Maxon's volume jump isn't as dramatic as people make it out to be. I never found it to be a problem when was using it. You might want to try one from a place which has a good return policy just to make sure it isn't an issue. Even if it is an issue, it's worth a workaround for how well it responds and how good it sounds. Envelopes seem to give different results based on the signal coming out of your bass and the playing dynamics of the player, so what works for some may not work for others. Some people swear by the Emma unit, but I could get a good tone of the thing for the life of me. You may need to try out a couple to find out what works best for you.
  10. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks again,
    I would love to try different evelopes out, but I have no clue of anywhere that carries any of these brands around here.

    I actually change my mind hourly about what pedal i'm going for. At this moment, i'm leaning towards the EBS, if for no other reason than size.... not to mention they're reputation. Although, I have heard great things about the Maxon.

    Does GC carry Maxon?:bag: I only ask because they just had a grand opening here in town. I'll have to check it out this weekend.

    How about wiring? If I used a Godlyke powerall, would I still need a power strip?
    What are the little adapters I see some using around here without any line, just connectors? Do they work good?
    I'm so lost in this respect. Thanks.

    Oh, and the Little Big Muff kicks major booty. I'm having a blast with this thing. It'll complement my Hematoma wonderfully.
  11. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    GC does sell Maxon, but as my new favorite saying about bass gear goes...

    "If you can't sell it to a 15 year old, they don't sell it in town."

  12. Sometimes that's a desireable effect!

    Just goes to show you that, like what GSPLBASSDC said, it's all just personal taste.

    So, I'm adding to my mantra(s) "no such thing as the best ____" and "no such thing as the correct pedal order."
  13. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    My prunes and custard sounds awesome into my discombobulator. but i reckon it sounds even better into a Maxon AF9 i tried
  14. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
  15. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    Just because a compressor might be before an envelope filter doesn't mean that they have to be on at the same time. It's really up to you to experiment. What works for me might not work for you. Good luck.
  16. ...which, as I said, is sometimes desireable. And the effect of compressing before the envelope filter is vastly different to just turning down the sensitivity. A compressor reduces the dynamic range, alters the attack, increases sustain etc etc - a sensitivity knob just shifts the trigger point.
  17. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    As far as I know this is incorrect - you are decribing the effect of changing your instrument's volume. the sensitivity knob does exactly what i described, which is change the "sensitity" to the dynamics, which is exaclty what a compressor does.

    Don't forget that this is an envelope follower -> filter. the sensitivity knobs changes the ratio of the signal from the output from the envelope follower into the filter control circuit.

    the sensitivity know narrows (or widens) the band of dynamics that affect the filter. The sensitivity knob is actually like a mini-compressor/expander.

    putting a compressor (or expander) before the envelope filter does exactly this.

    I've got a lot of experience with modular synthesis (which I have done for MUCH longer than playing bass), and I have build envelope following filters many times, and if you a a "sensitivity" CV between the following circuit & the filter, you are basically compressing/expanding the CV going into the filter. adding a compressor does exactly the same thing

    you are right, though - that the attack & release etc is affected & could make a big difference to how an envelope follower works..

    in fact the question was "Any suggestions whatsoever would be a huge help. " ... i think my SUGGESTION of not putting the compressor before the envelope follower is still a sound place to start, as putting it before might cause problems & make it a bit frustrating to use as i already described.

    of course this is a bit beyond the point of the discussion,... but in the final analysis someone can put the compressor wherever they want.... the point being was that putting the compressor afterwards would yeild itself to more useability.
  18. I would tend to believe a synths sensitivity controls do as you describe, but lets not forget that guitar effects are renowned for their, lets say, inventive descriptors! :meh:

    It's worth noting that the sens control phenomenon you describe only has an effect on the envelope and not necessarily on the audio signal path which is not the case with the pre-compression method. Compressing before the filter, given that you can shape the attack into a more consistent form, can result in a more consistent and therefore more flexible and usable sound IMO.

    It is an interesting point that you bring up, and one that I haven't ever thought of in depth before today.
  19. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    yep, all very true... especially "not forget that guitar effects are renowned for their, lets say, inventive descriptors" :)

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