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Distortion and graininess
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Distortion and graininess
theantiroman
Looking for a distortion (I use the term generally here with out regard to guitar ideas surrounding OD, fuzz...) where the graininess/ texture/ quality of the sound of the distortion is variable. So not just a grainy distortion but a system where the exact kind of graininess can be adjusted.

I think I'm somewhat thinking of a fuzz or overblown amp sound where you get a lot of square wave-ish clipping vs a smoother sounding kind of distortion. Not sure if my question makes sense. I can try to elaborate.

I've had luck getting vastly different textures of distortion with a wmd acoustic trauma, but that pedal is still just one kind of gain/very saturated but modified via the e.q.
gentle_attack
Without sound examples or anything...

Smallsound/Bigsound Buzzz is every fuzz pedal (I've used) in one. I'm sure the more specified high end stuff like AM/DAM/Pigdog are all 'sweet spots' but between the Starve knob//Germ+Si //'B' seetings, you get so many textures. It sounds awesome on Bass, Guitar, and Synth. Haven't tried it with a drum machine, maybe I'll get the PO-12 out tonight.

I love the F_CK overdrive too but the BUZZZ is probably more of what you're describing



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaqT2GpqY5E
tesserack
I just purchased one of these pedals a while back and it's a hex analogue distortion guitar synthesizer pedal complete with two low-frequency oscillators, 2 filters, assignable adsr envelope that is triggered via a midi note on message, and a complex modulation Matrix.

It also functions as a breakout box with quarter inch outputs for each guitar string.( 1 stereo output for each two strings)



It works best with a 13 pin hex pickup like a Roland gk 3 or a cycfi Hexaphonic pickup however it does except a standard quarter inch mono input.


https://www.spicetone.com/products/6appeal-guitar-distortion-pedal-fre e-shipping

It lists for a $500 but can be purchased for $425 on sale at perfect circuit, generally during a holiday sale and includes a 20-foot 13 Pin cable in a 1-foot 13 Pin cable that is used for the 13 pin output.

More information here.

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=16226.msg122099#msg12 2099
sduck
There are some 9,874 distortion pedals on the market. Give or take a few. Not to mention the 7,665 fuzz pedals, and 11,732 overdrive pedals. And quite a few (a lot, actually) combo pedals. Probably a significant subset of these will get close to what you're looking for. Rather than recommending what seems to work for me, I'd suggest finding someone who has that "sound" that's close to what you're looking for, and find out what they use.

BTW using words to describe the qualities of a distortion/fuzz/overdrive pedal is an exercise in futility - there's so much more to the sound than can be adequately verbalized.
tesserack
sduck wrote:
There are some 9,874 distortion pedals on the market. Give or take a few. Not to mention the 7,665 fuzz pedals, and 11,732 overdrive pedals. And quite a few (a lot, actually) combo pedals. .
and every one of those pedals sound like mud,imo, when you play chords due to harmonic interference between notes. A hex distortion pedal solves that problem because each string gets it's own Distortion circuit.

I tended to always play clean tones because I never found any Distortion unit that sounded good to my ears, until I discovered what hexaphonic pickups sent to an analog hex Distortion unit could do.
controlFreak
tesserack wrote:
and every one of those pedals sound like mud,imo, when you play chords due to harmonic interference between notes. A hex distortion pedal solves that problem because each string gets it's own Distortion circuit.

I tended to always play clean tones because I never found any Distortion unit that sounded good to my ears, until I discovered what hexaphonic pickups sent to an analog hex Distortion unit could do.


interested to hear what this sounds like.

I am also into doing this kind of thing, but with normal pickups, parallel signal paths and lots of pre filtering into lots of different fuzz effects.

Your way might be simpler... but i don't have hex pickups sad banana


...yet
smetak
controlFreak wrote:
tesserack wrote:
and every one of those pedals sound like mud,imo, when you play chords due to harmonic interference between notes. A hex distortion pedal solves that problem because each string gets it's own Distortion circuit.

I tended to always play clean tones because I never found any Distortion unit that sounded good to my ears, until I discovered what hexaphonic pickups sent to an analog hex Distortion unit could do.


interested to hear what this sounds like.

I am also into doing this kind of thing, but with normal pickups, parallel signal paths and lots of pre filtering into lots of different fuzz effects.

Your way might be simpler... but i don't have hex pickups sad banana


...yet


I second that! Really would like to hear this, especially if using standard pickups (nope, don't have hexaphonic either).

As for different textures/grainyness, I would go after a bitcrusher instead of a fuzz, OD or distortion - normally, a Geiger Counter - seems to fit the bill for what you are after. Been using the Meris bitcrusher (https://www.meris.us/product/ottobit-jr/) - way more tamer than the famed yellow brick of doom, but you can get some incredible fuzz-like tones from it - and the filter! Man, oh man!
tesserack
controlFreak wrote:
tesserack wrote:
and every one of those pedals sound like mud,imo, when you play chords due to harmonic interference between notes. A hex distortion pedal solves that problem because each string gets it's own Distortion circuit.

I tended to always play clean tones because I never found any Distortion unit that sounded good to my ears, until I discovered what hexaphonic pickups sent to an analog hex Distortion unit could do.


interested to hear what this sounds like.

I am also into doing this kind of thing, but with normal pickups, parallel signal paths and lots of pre filtering into lots of different fuzz effects.

Your way might be simpler... but i don't have hex pickups sad banana


...yet
here's a link to a SoundCloud example. As soon as I get some of my own examples recorded I'll post it. The SoundCloud links are from the guy who turned me on to this pedal over at vguitarforums.

I came over here because I believe modular holds the key to realize the dream of a analog signal path,hex guitar synthesizer without having to convert pitch to MIDI or convert pitch to cv in order to trigger a synthesizer. Those two conversion methods, As We Know, bring about tracking errors.

I also learned the ethic here of supporting small manufacturers who are doing innovative electronic design
Work. That particular spicetone pedal is made in Estonia by a small company who pledges to develop further hex processors if they can find some success with this product.

So far they've only sold about a hundred pedals and a
I'm trying to get the word out because I'd really like to see more hex processors. It'd be cool if they produced something similar to the old analog Roland gr 300.

https://soundcloud.com/chlorinemist/sketch-52517/s-ozOZq

https://soundcloud.com/chlorinemist/envlfos/s-tOA9F
MindMachine
MATHS.


edit - wrong neighborhood.
mrcharles
Two devices come to mind... and I have both..

Have a look at the Rockett WTF pedal. I love the sound... it has both overdrive and fuzz stages... and the fuzz circuit is adjustable and incorporates a circuit by Paul Trombetta.

The other is Elektron's Analog Heat. Very flexible with a wonderful range of sonic coloration with envelope follower, LFO, MIDI, and multi-filter...
oscillateur
You might be looking for a pedal with a bias/starve control.

Two excellent examples are the Smallsound/Bigsound Mini (from boost to overdrive to fuzz, sounds wonderful with low bias) and the Smallsound/Bigsound Buzzz (less clean but more fuzz options).
bisquick
This thread is a couple of years old now, but still the exact thread I am curious about (there are probably many more; feel free to link me if this is the wrong place)...

sduck wrote:
There are some 9,874 distortion pedals on the market. Give or take a few. Not to mention the 7,665 fuzz pedals, and 11,732 overdrive pedals. And quite a few (a lot, actually) combo pedals. Probably a significant subset of these will get close to what you're looking for. Rather than recommending what seems to work for me, I'd suggest finding someone who has that "sound" that's close to what you're looking for, and find out what they use.

BTW using words to describe the qualities of a distortion/fuzz/overdrive pedal is an exercise in futility - there's so much more to the sound than can be adequately verbalized.


I think this is a correct synopsis of the problem that OP is having.
That being said, I think pedals can generally be broken down into 3 categories:

1. older pedals that were never intended to be used with drum machines, but that happen to work wonderfully
2. newer pedals that have been designed to accommodate the larger frequency spectrum involved in drum machines, and that sound amazing (I generally don't want to remove kicks out of a mix when the pedal is fully wet, for ex.)
3. newer pedals that have been designed to accommodate drum machines, but that honestly fall flat on their face because they are too clean - many of these are digital pedals w/ analog modeling

I would like to know more about 1 and 2.

My initial descriptors for what I am looking for in a pedal was definitely close to OP's post, and I realize that everyone's definition of Fuzz/Warm/Overdrive/etc has a tendency to be slightly different.

For me the important thing in a pedal for a drum machine (again: graininess/texture/aged sounding/etc) would be that it has more options than a single pedal normally would. Like, it might have overdrive _and_ fuzz _and_ eq _and_ compression etc.

I personally find that a lot of people who have gotten into pedals relatively recently are not aware of #1, but that sometimes have great suggestions for #2. Conversely, many people who have always been into #1 might not be as up on what's happened over the years because they've stuck with their favorite pedals.

I know that not everyone can have listened to every pedal w/ a drum machine, but I personally don't find most demos to be very useful.
That all being said, do people have more suggestions and/or resources?
MindMachine
^ 1, 2, 3 - none were designed to work with anything but guitar.

Try at will and keep what works.

Imagine the time frame they were created in and what existed at that time and whether they gave a shit.

Guitars. guitars. guitars.

Hmmm.

Mix original signal with effected signal. For horrible distortion on drum machines I have used: Vox Tonebender II, DOD Grunge, Joyyo JF-13, JF-01 and feedback loops and modular preamps, etc.


edit - Guinness ftw! forgot for lame simple rhythm machines EH Mole Bass Boost and Screaming Bird Treble Boost are cool pedals.
bisquick
Your comment about #3 is not true. I'm not going to bother ref'ing every product I can think of, but have a look at OTO machines for one, at least.

Thanks for the suggestions, though! I haven't heard of most of those, so I'll go and check them out for sure!! Really appreciated.

I should also mention that I'm specifically looking for pedals in which I _don't_ have to mix wet with dry on signals, because the effect I'm looking for is 100% wet, but that allows a lot of the lower frequencies through (something that typically gets lost when people implement digital tape saturation, for example).
MindMachine
bisquick wrote:
Your comment about #3 is not true. I'm not going to bother ref'ing every product I can think of, but have a look at OTO machines for one, at least.



OTO machines are not foot pedals, but now I get what you mean. Just not rack effects.

You might want to look at a Red Panda Particle or similar. It is digital grain machine that can do a lot of things. Maybe a Hotone Krush or something.
bisquick
My bad - You're totally right.
You cannot call the OTO machines (or analog heat for example) a "pedal" since it isn't made to work with guitars, and it's not meant to work with the foot. There are also impedance differences (instrument vs line).

I suppose I need to do more research as to how many tabletop effects units are out there and who has done what before I make that particular generalization.

Thanks for the tips, but when I think of "graininess" (via OP), I'm not thinking of granular synthesis, but rather a texture in the sound that is not periodic, yet subtle.
Idunno
mrcharles wrote:
Two devices come to mind... and I have both..

Have a look at the Rockett WTF pedal. I love the sound... it has both overdrive and fuzz stages... and the fuzz circuit is adjustable and incorporates a circuit by Paul Trombetta.

The other is Elektron's Analog Heat. Very flexible with a wonderful range of sonic coloration with envelope follower, LFO, MIDI, and multi-filter...


Yeah, I was gonna recommend the Rockett WTF. Built my own, and have built many fuzz, distortion, overdrive pedals. Best silicon fuzz I've built. A lot of range, from straight fuzz to harmonically rich and warped out, and I can get great brassy square wave tones from it. It's much fuller sounding than most fuzz pedals and responds to backing off the guitar's volume pot really well. Has a permanent place on my pedalboard. I love it.

The other one that stays on my pedalboard is the Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander. It's an versatile octave fuzz but can be used as a straight fuzz and sounds darn good. Might not fit the remit of the thread though.

For drums the pedal I use is the John Hollis OmniDrive. A ton of variables in that box. I call it the Tardistortion, 'cos it's bigger on the inside that on the outside. Schematic here http://www.hollis.co.uk/john/circuits.html but I did draw up my own stripboard layout for my build.
Rex Coil 7
With a bit of imagination it's pretty easy to design/build a distortion unit that has deeply flexible "granularity" .... from fizzy/"sand sized grains" (small "grains") to massively chunky/thick "pebble sized grains" just by swapping out TRS plugs.

Adding secondary gain stages in series, each one having it's own "adjustable granularity" (described above) there's pretty much nothing you can't create regarding how "grainy" the sound is (actually, regarding how large the "granules" are).

Kid stuff. Kid stuff that I spent nearly a full decade of daily R&D on, that is.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that!

It's peanut butter jelly time!
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