Finally got a Brain

Discussion in 'Pedal Pushers Forum' started by a willingham, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    56
    Nov 30, 2016
    Tennessee
    I had some Guitar Center gift cards laying around and wound up snagging a used Atomic Brain online. It is a small box, gold sparkle. Haven't had a chance to mess with it much, I briefly plugged it in during my lunch break, but it honestly wasn't what I was expecting. This isn't to say it is a bad pedal, I completely get why people use it as an always on pedal, and that may be how I use it as well because it improves my clean sound significantly. I guess I was expecting it to yield more dirt.

    I am running a modded 5420 (TV Jones Setzers, Compton, bone nut, etc) into a Fender PRRI FSR with a 12" Cannibis Rex. I did have to make adjustments to my tone knobs on the amp as I had been running the treble on about 7.5 and bass on 5.5 and brought those down to 6.5 and 4.5 respectively. Volume typically stays on 4-4.5.

    I'm going to keep messing with it, but if anyone has any tips on how to get the best out of it I would appreciate it. Maybe I had it hyped up in my mind that it was going to be instant Setzer grit, but so far I haven't found it.
     
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  2. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Its not an OD but if your playing with some volume and you hit the Abby switch it'll get you some grind, it also works well in line with a OD. I have two Atomic's, i think you'll love it once you spend some time with it. Ive got a El Pesco on order now, can't wait!
     
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  3. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    56
    Nov 30, 2016
    Tennessee
    I think you're correct. Gonna play with it a bit tonight. I just found the manual on Tavo's site, gonna give that a good read. Just to be sure, I SHOULD put my OD pedals AFTER the Brain correct?
     
  4. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    I had od's after the Brain for a long time, works great like that.

    Currently, I leave Normal on all the time, right around three o'clock. I turn the amp volume down to about half what I'd have it at going straight in. Never mind what the amp sounds like without the Brain on, just leave it on. It should be comparable volume wise, but richer than what the amp sounds like going straight into the amp like before you got the Brain.

    This method did require that I put drives before the Brain.
     
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  5. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Try setting the amp at the edge of break up and then using attack or volume to decide how hard to push the amp. even more so with Abby mode.
     
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  6. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Try both ways, see what you like.
     
  7. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    63
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Perhaps a conversation with @TV the Wired Turtle could help . There his pedals ( I have the El Pescadoro .....WOW ! is all I can say )
    here's his link also ........
    https://www.thenocturnebrain.com
     
  8. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    56
    Nov 30, 2016
    Tennessee
    Yeah I knew Tavo was the creator. I’ve creeped here long enough lol. Just got done playing some more, and this is how I’m running it currently. Guitar>Fulldrive 2>OCD>Brain>Analog Chorus>Carbon Copy. I definitely prefer it this way. Turning the amp up to around 5 with the Brain set to about 2:00 is awesome. Loud, but awesome. The fulldrive seems to pair well with it, the ocd I don’t know that I like with it, maybe some more tweaking in order.
     
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  9. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    That's generally a good position for it. It's main function is to push the front end of an amp, so that's what you're doing when you put your overdrives after it - pushing that overdrive a bit. But there are no rules. Try it the other way around!
     
  10. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    That is totally backwards! You know the rules say you can't get a good sound out of that!
     
  11. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I run my ODs, Boosts, and Fuzzes before my brain. I have 2 Mystery Brains for 2 different pedalboards and they're last in the chain on both.
    Personally, I like the preamp volume just a tad over unity gain, bass cut at zero, and abby always on. I've been using it like that for a few years now.
    But that is after a LOT of experimentation, trial, and error.
    You'll find your sweet spot.
     
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  12. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Synchromatic

    619
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    This!
     
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  13. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    56
    Nov 30, 2016
    Tennessee
    Just to make sure I’m understanding, running the ODs before would mean guitar>ODs>brain>amp correct?
     
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  14. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Yeah, but a lot of people like having their brain preamps before everything else. I’m sure that works great too.
     
  15. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    Good find at GC!
     
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  16. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    Hi, The Brain preamp is the preamp from the RE-301 space echo that Brian Setzer uses, but the "grit" you hear from Setzer is not an overdrive, rather its from the preamp pushing the Blonde bassman's normal channel into clipping along w the vintage 30 speakers to garner that response in a fairly loud manner. The Re301 space echo's preamp is a 70s full range preamp and has no clipping circuit in it, and the Atomic Brain is a replication of that vintage preamp.
    For smaller guitar combo tube amps, I'd suggest turning the Atomic Brain's bass contour all the way back to 11 oclock, put the pedals "abby mode" on and then adjust the volume/gain knob on the right to push your amp. I find that bringing the guitar amps bass level down significantly works better so that the speaker gets pushed in the mids more. If you want more low end, then begin turning up the bass contour on the Atomic Brain. When its dimed to the right, that is the full EQ of the RE-301 space echo, as it has no EQ of its own in the preamp. A side note. I did design the DC fluid drive pedal to sit after the Brain preamp, and it "does that Setzer thing" at any volume, but the Fluid drive is a transparent overdrive unlike the clean nature of the Brain preamp / space echo preamp. hope that helps a bit in dialing in your sound, tv
     
  17. 64ChevSS

    64ChevSS Gretschie

    191
    Dec 24, 2016
    Innisfil, Ontario
    While on the topic of brains - would someone please explain what the switches do?
     
  18. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    56
    Nov 30, 2016
    Tennessee
    Mine doesn’t have switches. Just the knobs.
     
  19. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    One turns the Abby mode on/off, one turns the whole pedal on/off.
     
    slickfaster likes this.
  20. 64ChevSS

    64ChevSS Gretschie

    191
    Dec 24, 2016
    Innisfil, Ontario
    The newest version of the Atomic Brain on the Nocturne website shows two toggles switches as well as the two stomp switches.
     
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