Care to recommend an analog overdrive pedal?

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jonkull
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Care to recommend an analog overdrive pedal?

Post by jonkull » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:10 pm

I'm looking for an overdrive pedal to use with my modular. I want something that will add some bite to basses/leads but I'm not looking for all out wall of noise type stuff. Since my googling has revealed that there are hundreds of different types of overdrives out there I figured I'd ask for some recommendations so I can narrow my search down.

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Kent
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Post by Kent » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:56 pm

DOD Overdrive/PreAmp 250

Various B.K. Butler Tube Drivers

Interfax Harmonic Percolator. Although it is a bit of a freak and has a really high input impedance. Everything going into it comes out sounding 'harder'. Very stiff attack.(click it):

Image

This mofo. The total opposite of the Harmonic Percolator. Smoother & the jacks are the correct way around unlike the HP. (click it):

Image

These are my favorites without getting too expensive or getting into the realm of fuzzes. The DOD is closer to a distortion box when pushed though. I've got an old one & have no idea what the current ones are like.
Check out the Danelectro offerings as well. They make some cool stuff, but I don't know the overdrives well enough to recommend them outright at this point.
Last edited by Kent on Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Echidna » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:01 pm

Electro-Harmonix English Muff'n-based on the Marshall and Hiwatt amps of England in the 60s.

Sansamp Bass driver-I use one for a Hammond. great Jon Lord type things with a lot of versatility

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Post by jonkull » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:33 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take a look at them.

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A Dingleberry Monstrosity
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Post by A Dingleberry Monstrosity » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:53 pm

not a pedal, but oh man sherman filterbank 2

you will technically never need another distortion effect again.

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Post by Ranxerox » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:04 pm

I'm keen to get a Maxon OD-808:

http://www.legendarytones.com/maxonod808.html

Yer basic tube-screamer type overdrive (cough). Funky kermit green.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:13 pm

I don't know what format modular you have but the MOTM-510 works really well as a distortion device. Go to https://www.synthtech.com/ and listen to the various samples in the new Demo Player.

Here's a couple YouTube vids I did that use the MOTM-510 as a distortion unit:




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Post by thetwlo » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:16 pm

Kent wrote: Interfax Harmonic Percolator.
nice! the Steve Albini pedal, does it play well with the modular? (assuming the levels/impedance are matched)

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Post by jonkull » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:32 pm

JohnLRice wrote:I don't know what format modular you have but the MOTM-510 works really well as a distortion device.
I'm a Eurorack user...

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:55 pm

STG WaveFolder, Metasonix VCA/Distortion, CGS Tube VCA,
one of the MoogerFoogers with the effect mixed to dry (nice drive knob),
a bass/studio preamp (I use Phil Jones P-1)...
There are so many options that do more than just overdrive, but are plenty capable of nice overdrive and or distortion.

How could I forget Malekko Assmaster?!!

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Ranxerox
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Post by Ranxerox » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:04 pm

On the topic of the Sherman - I have a MAM Warp-9 filter, clone of the EDP Wasp filter. It has a distortion effect that, unlike the Sherman, you can actually switch off. Don't know if I'd recommend it generally though...

Cat-a-tonic, what the hell is your avatar? I can't make it out, but it looks vaguely... rude :omg:

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Post by felix » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:14 pm

FWIW, I've found that fuzzes, transistor ones in particular, do a better job at adding a nice present bite to synth sounds than an overdrive. So long as they aren't a "bassy" fuzz. The Devi Ever BIT will add bite to a synth that will almost literally tear your face off.

It's weird, because it's like of the opposite effect than what you get with a guitar, but that's what I found.

The transistor fuzzes however, can zap a little bass when adding the bite, but this might happen with an overdrive as well.

If you feel like a little DIY - the BYOC offerings are pretty nice:
http://buildyourownclone.com/fxkitindex.html
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Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:56 pm

i love my maxon od9 pro+. i've had it for about year.

http://www.maxonfx.com/Nine_OD9Plus.php

it's a pimped out tube screamer with all the mods usually done to the old vintage ones (so you don't have to do them!)

it works flawlessly with line and guitar levels (as do all the modern maxons i have tried), so you can use it directly with the sends and returns of a mixer, and don't have the reamp/d.i. rigmarole you do with some old boss pedals.

it sounds like a wet dream too. ;)

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:11 pm

Ranxerox wrote:Cat-a-tonic, what the hell is your avatar? I can't make it out, but it looks vaguely... rude :omg:
:hihi: This isn't the first time someone has wondered about that.
This thread explains the avatar.
viewtopic.php?t=1483&highlight=salvador+dali

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Post by NV » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:38 pm

Since you're planning on interfacing it with your Eurorack modular you may want to consider the Malekko B:Assmaster module, which recently began shipping. A fuzz can work as a great overdrive if used conservatively, and as felix said, a guitar-oriented overdrive often won't add quite as much punch to a synthesizer as you may hope - the harmonics of a guitar signal tend to cooperate with subtle overdrives better than most synthesizer signals. Sometimes "over-the-top" for a guitar can be just right for a synthesizer.

There's also the joystick series of pedals from Devi Ever, which can be fun to mess with. The Bit Mangler and Synth Mangler are the most synth-oriented, and the Bit Mangler has some very unique qualities to it. It can be a bit picky at times with settings, but with patience it can yield some phenomenal results.

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Post by felix » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:01 pm

my only two pedal demo videos. no synths used, but you get the idea:

[video][/video]

[video][/video]
dress yourself for the public. you now must exit your home and acquire a dental mirror and lubrication!
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Post by jonkull » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:45 pm

Those are cool but I'm thinking a little more um...subtle. I've been listening to overdrive/fuzz demos all afternoon. It's making me want to pick up the geetar.

The Devi Ever Year of the Rat is kind of cool.

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Post by jonkull » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:51 pm

Babaluma wrote:i love my maxon od9 pro+. i've had it for about year.

http://www.maxonfx.com/Nine_OD9Plus.php

it's a pimped out tube screamer with all the mods usually done to the old vintage ones (so you don't have to do them!)
This one is nice too. So's the Blackstone Kent suggested.

I'd like to stay away from modules since I also want to be able to use this with other gear.

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jonkull
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Post by jonkull » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:57 pm

NV wrote:Since you're planning on interfacing it with your Eurorack modular you may want to consider the Malekko B:Assmaster module, which recently began shipping. A fuzz can work as a great overdrive if used conservatively, and as felix said, a guitar-oriented overdrive often won't add quite as much punch to a synthesizer as you may hope - the harmonics of a guitar signal tend to cooperate with subtle overdrives better than most synthesizer signals. Sometimes "over-the-top" for a guitar can be just right for a synthesizer.
Well I guess this is something to consider. Maybe I should look at more over the top fuzz pedals then.

I wish there were more synth/overdrive demos out there. It's kind of hard to tell what something will sound like when I'm listening to guitar wankery.

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Post by Kent » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:11 am

I've got to 2nd Cat-a-Tonic's Moogerfooger suggestion. The 'Drive' control sounds pretty damn good. On the delay, you can roll the mix control all of the way to 'dry' and then the 'grit' is bypassable... and hey, free echo!

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Kent
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Post by Kent » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:20 am

thetwlo wrote:
Kent wrote: Interfax Harmonic Percolator.
nice! the Steve Albini pedal, does it play well with the modular? (assuming the levels/impedance are matched)
I may well have the time to run some things through it for you today. If so, I'll post 'em here.

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Post by Tronman » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:30 am

My favorite fuzz box is the new Wattson Super Fuzz. It's a clone of the old Univox Super Fuzz (which I used to own two different versions of). I think it's actually better than the original.

http://www.wattson-fx.com

Some other interesting fuzz boxes are the Zvex Fuzz Factory and the Wolly Mammoth. I see that they're releasing a couple of new pedals in April.

http://www.zvex.com/

I also like the DigiTech Synth Wah. It has a nice sub-octave effect.

http://www.digitech.com/products/Pedals/SynthWah.php

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Post by elemental » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:01 am

Dont know if this helps or not,
but a few years ago I got a custom valve/tube distortion box built by this guy:
http://www.tube-electronics.co.uk/

I use it an almost every track I do to this day, usually for subtle saturation effects, sometimes for crunch and kill kind of effects. Wouldnt be without it.

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Interfax Harmonic Percolator Demo

Post by Kent » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:52 pm

thetwlo wrote:
Kent wrote: Interfax Harmonic Percolator.
nice! the Steve Albini pedal, does it play well with the modular? (assuming the levels/impedance are matched)
For my Dearest Friend 'thetwlo' :hug:

The Run Down:

The Demo is done in chunks. Be careful of the volume levels with this stuff.

Chunk 1: You hear the full drum sequence but only the Analogue Solutions BD99 is going DIRECTLY into the pedal. First few bars are bypassed. Then I bring the pedal in. I alternate between bypass and engaged throughout the demo. It should be pretty obvious which is which.

Chunk 2: Starts @ 40 seconds. The BD 99 is going into an analog mixer, then properly gain-staged into the Little Labs PCP Distro. From the PCP Distro into the Interfax then into the soundcard.
The PCP Distro uses custom transformers to match levels and impedances between nominal +4dBu and stompbox levels & then back again. Hence the name "PCP" Professional --> Cheezy --> Professional. My soundcard has a built-in high-impedance input so I used that.

Chunk 3: Staccato Vostok sequence into the PCP Distro --> Interfax --> Soundcard. I narrate this one feebly. Should be fairly self-evident.

Chunk 4: Make Noise Electronic Music Box #4. Self evident demo. Just for a different flavor as the Vostok is staccato and has some ring-mod on it. This is a softer synth source.

Holy shit! Just listened on my crappy computer speakers. My voice just disappears in the narration. Sorry about that guys. Busy weeks these last few. No time for mixin' proper-like.

http://www.upload.muffwiggler.com/kent/ ... unk1&2.mp3
http://www.upload.muffwiggler.com/kent/ ... Vostok.mp3
http://www.upload.muffwiggler.com/kent/ ... k4EMB4.mp3
Please also keep in mind that the Interfax is one of the most unusual characters out of my lot of stompboxes. As I previously mentioned: It is a freak. The other units are much 'smoother'.
Last edited by Kent on Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Kent » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:15 pm

I'll try to squeeze in a Blackstone demo as a contrast.

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