“Always-on” pedals

Discussion in 'Pedal Pushers Forum' started by calebaaron666, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Ha! You’re not “supposed” to do anything! No rules here. Just curious what people use.
    Merc likes this.
  2. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    On my one board that uses only actual pedals and no modeling funny business (and ironically, it's not on a board), two pedals are always on, three if you count the tuner, but I don't, because it's not in the signal chain, maybe four if you count the reverb in whatever amp I'm using. But the two are: the Atomic Brain and an Aphex Acoustic Xciter. The Brian has become an essential part of my sound/tone, to the point where I don't like the sound without it. The Xciter, while intended for "exciting" acoustic instruments, is some kind of expander, to me it's a "tone suck remover." With all the cabling involved in my "rackabilly" pedal system, I don't deny that I'm losing some of the liveliness the sound might otherwise have, and this pedal fixes it. It's got four knobs to adjust how the low- and high-frequencies respond, and I twiddle them around until I get something I like. The Brain is at the front of the chain, the Xciter is at the end.

    I'm not sure I've ever used it with an actual acoustic guitar, there's a Fishman Aura Spectrum in this rig that pretty much negates the need for any other acoustic processing, but that's only used for acoustic instruments or piezo-saddle-equipped electrics.
  3. Trailpro

    Trailpro Electromatic

    Apr 11, 2019
    St Petersburg, FL
    Dyno Brain, on most of the time.
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  4. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Synchromatic

    May 1, 2018
    I get that, by itself it’s fine but can get a little buried in a band setting. I would say one pedal I like for some real cut, though not always on, would be the boost function on my JHS Milkman; that’s like a “more is more” setting lol.
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  5. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    It's actually a bit of both. the BBE is an input signal harmonic phase correction tool with slight to moderate dynamic expansion. set everything at 12 o'clock and it basically just gives you a clearer "MORE" (for lack of a better term). the knobs allow you to enhance or de-emphasize the high and lo spectra of the signal. However, judicious use is recommended. If you dime everything, it can become too "MUCH" instead of "MORE". I use it to give my input tone a little more sparkle and a little more depth. The effect is subtle but noticeable when A/B testing with/without it. Too much and you end up with uber-bottom end and icepick highs.
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    It amazes me how many things are possible, with regard to signal manipulation.
  7. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Yes, from what I've heard of you so far your signature tone is that clean, very bright, trebly, in your face one that you'd need a treble booster like the Brain to deliver. So I can understand why it's always on for you.

    For me, I've never once dialed up your tone and never tried to acheive it either.
    I imagine on a Mark V it would be easy to get using both EQ sections and a little touch of gain.

    I have a medium sized pedal board and they are all just used sparingly as required.
    Tuner only gets turned on when I'm tuning, light reverb only on for clean tones, never reverb on overdrive or distortion, compressor never, delay only for selected songs etc etc.

    With Mesa amps no one needs any overdrive/distortion pedals cos none of em get anywhere near the quality of the amps. And the parametric EQ section on Mark amps also doubles as a treble booster, mids booster, V mids cut, or clean volume boost for solos.

    If I owned Fender amps though I'd be forced to revert back to pedals on mostly.
    And that was one reason I sold my last one 20 years ago - a Twin Reverb :D
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  8. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I had a milkman for a while and that boost is excellent!
    Chmason85 likes this.
  9. TubeLife

    TubeLife Synchromatic

    Jan 23, 2020
    Definitely see your point, and Mesa’s are good amps. For me though, I like to try different flavors of overdrive. I like Klons, Timmy/Fluid Drive, Analogman SD-1 etc. I’m also on the waiting list for some Kingsley overdrive pedals which are probably better than some amps built in overdrive.

    I also like stacking overdrive pedals which then makes my tone different from someone else’s. So pedals for me are a way to expand my horizons :D

    It all starts with the basic core, an outstanding clean tone which all my Fender amps deliver in spades.
    Always on? Timmy, Fluid Drive are my top two currently. Mystery Brain and ElPesky also.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
    Waxhead and calebaaron666 like this.
  10. Dave Murray

    Dave Murray Gretschie

    Feb 27, 2016
    Indio, CA
    What is a "blanket" . . . I know very little about amps, except how to plug the cable in, and I have never heard that term before. I have several amps, two Marshalls (one modern and one old Plexi), a Fender Blues Jr., a Roland JC-120, and a top-of-the line Supro among others. Do they have "blankets"?

    And another question, how can I crawl out from under the blanket on a cold winter morning?
    pmac11 and calebaaron666 like this.
  11. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Basically it’s just a nonsense saying.
    Sometimes there are just certain pedals that in combination with certain guitars and amps make the tone more magical.
    For my part, I love the sound of Filtertrons, but in the middle or neck position sometimes the sound gets buried in a band setting, and I favor the middle position.
    But with a clean boost or an overdrive or an EQ pedal etc etc, it can help add a little something special to your signal that helps tighten it up.
  12. GreTschocaster

    GreTschocaster Synchromatic

    Feb 11, 2013
    I have the following on all the time.
    -Atomic Brain
    The following are on most of the time
  13. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    I've heard the "blanket" term often over the years.
    I always thought it was meant literally - like puttting a heavy blanket over the amp/speaker.
    Like listenning to any youtube video - makes it dull and lifeless :rolleyes::D
  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Plug an ES-175 into an old Gibson GA-50 and roll back the tone so that most of the overtones are lost and you’ll be there.
    Exactly. A muted, dull sound.
    Waxhead likes this.
  15. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I can’t tell if you’re just kidding around or if you’re trying to sell us on a concept. I’ve had three Mesas. They do overdrive and distortion well and don’t need pedals to push them there. They are/were essentially hot rodded Fenders. But they’re too singular in their overdrive. You get one signature sound and you end up needing pedals to get anything but that one sound and even then, they tend to sound strained when the front end is pushed. My F50 had a killer clean channel. But it was really noisy on clean. And the drive channel was cool but there was no edge of breakup with that amp.

    The Lonestar series was the first and arguably only Mesa that I thought tried to address edge of breakup and subtle overdrive. Subway Blues was sort of meant for that but it wasn’t versatile and lacked high end. Not to mention the massive hum and required board replacement after warranty.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
    TubeLife likes this.
  16. mister rain

    mister rain Gretschie

    Apr 23, 2020
    new orleans
    not to start a new hate thread - but mesas never once sounded good to me
  17. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
  18. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    There are many flavors and you might find one you like. And they're really well made solid amps. But not everyone will love one.
  19. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Oops - replied to the wrong message.

    Meant so say: "There are many flavors and you might find one you like. And they're really well made solid amps. But not everyone will love one."
    Henry and Dave Murray like this.
  20. Outlaw

    Outlaw Country Gent

    Jul 13, 2011
    Nocturne brain, love that thing!
    And lately my home built Surfy Bear reverb has joined it!
    What a sound!!!
    calebaaron666 and TubeLife like this.
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