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 Sean Pierce's All-Purpose Pedal Thread 
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God Of The Sun
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Post Sean Pierce's All-Purpose Pedal Thread
Alright...so I have gotten several requests for help with effects pedals and such. Because of this, I decided to start this thread.

This thread will focus on several different things:
1. The constant evolution of my pedalboard with pictures and details on settings, etc.
2. YOUR pedalboards. Upload pictures of your pedalboard with questions about anything.
3. Got a pedal you're interested in? Looking to get into "boutique" effects? Chances are I've tried it and can give you some tips on where to go.

There's a lot more that we can talk about, so let's get started.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's my most recent pedalboard, taken last Saturday 1/31/09:
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Here's the order:
Guitar>Ernie Ball VPJR. 25kOhm pedal>Boss TU-2(in Tuner Out)>MXR EVH Phase 90(w/Script switch on)>MXR Phase 90>Fulltone OCD V.4>Way Huge Electronics Fat Sandwich>Orange Rockerverb 100
Effects Loop of Orange:MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay>Boss DD-6 Delay

Here's what's going on:
Months ago, before I got my Orange, I was relying on distortion pedals for ALL my dirty sounds. Mostly I relied on a ProCo RAT.
For years, I read magazines and articles saying that Distortions/Overdrives should be placed first in the signal chain. However, I found that the sounds of my effects were harsher and not as smooth and "well-blended" as I had remembered.
Finally one day I as so displeased with my sound I tore apart my chain.
Then I thought...my amp is distorted and the effects go INTO that.
So I switched the order and BOOM!!! I got the sound I was looking for.

The delays to me...sound better and cleaner in the effects loop. Looking at in terms of an Audio Engineer, this is most logical as time-based effects processors are usually inserted the Aux Sends and Returns. Basically an Aux is like an amp's effects loop.
Try placing your delay in front or your amp with the Level control up. Throw on you distortion...if you're using it from your amp and you'll see what I mean.
BUT...if you're using Distortion pedals, it's a little less complicated. Putting you delay after the distortion is usually the best result.

DISCLAIMER: All this is subjective. Don't take my word as the gospel. I'm simply trying to offer my experience and advice to those of you who are interested in effects but don't know that much. Or those of you who have been using effects and have one you'd like to hear about or tell us about.

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Hi...my name is Sean. I'm a pedal addict.


Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:08 am
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Godzilla
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Thanks for that Sean.

Just to add with regards to compression:

Compression takes the signal coming in and strengthens it (if the level is up) and squashes it to make a consistent sound. If you put a compressor before distortion you are putting a strong signal into the dist. and getting a strong, distorted sound. If you put the compressor after the distortion, then you are distorting a standard signal and any lack of signal/tone will come out and into the compressor, which will then boost those inconsistencies.

This would mean that as a general rule of thumb compression should go before any distortion or overdrive. As always though, if it sounds good to you, go for it.

The same applies to reverb and delay. For example: If a delay is set to give a standard decaying echo and you put a compressor after it, you will be boosting the decaying notes to make them closer to the volume of the original note, which will kill the decay. Compressor before the delay gives a strong signal for the delay to work with and doesnt affect the actual delay/reverb generated by the pedal.

Hope that makes sense. I spent a while playing with my Boss CS-3 and reading stuff on the tinternet to figure out the best thing to do with it.


Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:58 am
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Motorman
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I do that too supernaught. Ive tried everything and ended up with:

tuner -> compressor -> OCD -> chorus -> flanger.


Now i got a question for you sean! Im looking to buy a delay. Not for "echo song" purposes, but to help me fill out my live sound. My guess is i need dynamic delay so it doesnt go 100% quiet if i fuck up on a solo, but doesnt repeat everything all the time like some of pauls solos at NAMM. What do you think? Ive been looking at the TC nova delay.

Great initiative by the way. If dino is Hermione Granger i guess we can call you the Sirius Black of the rx forum =p You know whats going DOWN. You can teach us how to SURVIVE OUT THERE MAAN!! (lol jk =p)


Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:39 am
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Superhero
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I'll help with this too Sean. I've tried literally thousands of pedals, so between us, I think we have most of it covered :)

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:15 am
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God Of The Sun
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i dont own any pedals, iv had a DS1, a tubescreamer, and a dunlop wah....all seemed a pain in the ass TBH, i liked to focus on my PLAYING as im a guitar PLAYER

anyway, my mate just got a keely moded tubescreamer, thats the DOGS! he chose that over the zen drive

i plan on picking up the Jemini at some point soon, but other than that i dont really know what to get

looking at a big pedal board like guthries makes me sick... i mean...i cant afford that!!!!

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:52 pm
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I know chorus is cool for BIG chords (choruses and stuff). It's also pretty cool for clean tones.

I also know phaser is killer! (like "Individually Twisted" solos or the one Paul used on SOD dvd). I'm pretty sure some part of Technical Difficulties was recorded with a little bit of phase too!



BTW, I already asked that question and never got any question - are compressor and equalizer any good? And what do the DO exactly (as far as I know - compressor gives longer sustain =o ).


Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:59 pm
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@ Orsvend, check out the EH Deluxe Memory Man. I just got one last week and its amazing. This guys a bit pants, but its a good demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fosr3B0p79A


@ Nowak, compression basically takes a signal and reduces the maximum volume and increases the minimum volume, thereby making a consistent strong sound. You lose dynamics and get a punchy, squashy kinda sound. If you listen to a fat twangy country sound, thats generally compression.

Its used more in studios or on desks, rather than live, to give a more even sound and reduce volume spikes & drops. Guitarists tend to use it to get a squashy clean sound, and to even out volume and give a boost during solos.

This explains better than I can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tytuOtfk ... re=related


Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:11 pm
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Thanks a lot :P Speaking of dynamics, my guitar + multi effect + headphones = no dynamics :lol:

Everything sounds EXACTLY the same, no matter if I hit the string really hard or just with a tip of my pick :?


Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:27 pm
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God Of The Sun
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orsvend wrote:
Now i got a question for you sean! Im looking to buy a delay. Not for "echo song" purposes, but to help me fill out my live sound. My guess is i need dynamic delay so it doesnt go 100% quiet if i fuck up on a solo, but doesnt repeat everything all the time like some of pauls solos at NAMM. What do you think? Ive been looking at the TC nova delay.

Well i've got a couple things I can recommend.
The EHX Memory Man is definitely a good choice. Very classic sound and at lower feedback settings can border on "reverb". You can get the repeats but you can mix them so that the repeats aren't as lound as the original note.
A personal favorite of mine is the new MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay. The Mix control can dial in the Wet-to-Dry ratio very well. I set mine around 10 o'clock for a good "solo" delay.

Quote:
If dino is Hermione Granger i guess we can call you the Sirius Black of the rx forum =p )

Well...if you insist...I'm down.

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:50 pm
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Sean Pierce wrote:
A personal favorite of mine is the new MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay. The Mix control can dial in the Wet-to-Dry ratio very well. I set mine around 10 o'clock for a good "solo" delay.


That's the shit right there! Great, great pedal!

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:53 pm
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Hey Sean, Have you ever tried the MXR Distortion+? I have a 10w solid state, and I am boosting the signal with a DS-1, I want to try some other pedals, I considered the Distortion+. Do you recommend it? Thanks :mrgreen:

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:09 pm
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Superhero
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Some nice pedalboards on here.

I have a Boss ME-50, that's it!

http://jerrys-music.com/catalog/images/ME-50_lg.gif

Its not a tone machine but it is sufficient for my hobby. The lack of digital settings and the presense of lots of knobs to fiddle with means making ray gun sounds is a joy.

You can buy one for £130-150 now, and I would recommend it to any beginner.

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:13 pm
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Motorman
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Heres another one for you!

Youve got a cranked Marshall 100w superlead with a hotplate and you wanna get a volume boost for a solo. What do you do?


Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:05 pm
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Only volume?

Keeley Katana.

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:14 pm
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It depends, a superlead is going to get more and more compressed and overdriven the more you crank it up. Its going to get to a point where boosting isnt going to give anymore voume, as the tubes are running pretty much flat out.

But Superleads dont have effects loops or anything (the good ones anyway) which means the only way to boost them is through the front end, by means of an EQ or clean booster or preamp or something simular.

I use an old DOD eq pedal from the 70s, it makes the signal 8 times louder which adds a nice amount of overdrive and sizzle.

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:16 pm
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orsvend wrote:
Heres another one for you!

Youve got a cranked Marshall 100w superlead with a hotplate and you wanna get a volume boost for a solo. What do you do?


you go to eleven! :D

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Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:11 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Quote:
Hey Sean, Have you ever tried the MXR Distortion+? I have a 10w solid state, and I am boosting the signal with a DS-1, I want to try some other pedals, I considered the Distortion+. Do you recommend it? Thanks


As a matter a fact I have. If I had to compare it to another pedals I would say that it most closely resembles the DOD 250 Overdrive. Their circuitry and layout, and in SOME case sound, are similar. Honestly, I want EVERY MXR pedal. They're well made and very reliable. You'll get a lot out of it. Randy Rhoads would use this in front of his Marshalls. It has been a while since I've played one but I do remember liking it. I will say that it's good if you're simply after boosting gain and volume and not altering the EQ of your amp.
Try it out if you get the chance.

ReXiX wrote:
orsvend wrote:
Heres another one for you!

Youve got a cranked Marshall 100w superlead with a hotplate and you wanna get a volume boost for a solo. What do you do?


you go to eleven! :D


Well played Robin...well played.

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Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:20 am
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God Of The Sun
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Sean Pierce wrote:
Quote:
Hey Sean, Have you ever tried the MXR Distortion+? I have a 10w solid state, and I am boosting the signal with a DS-1, I want to try some other pedals, I considered the Distortion+. Do you recommend it? Thanks

As a matter a fact I have. If I had to compare it to another pedals I would say that it most closely resembles the DOD 250 Overdrive. Their circuitry and layout, and in SOME case sound, are similar. Honestly, I want EVERY MXR pedal. They're well made and very reliable. You'll get a lot out of it. Randy Rhoads would use this in front of his Marshalls. It has been a while since I've played one but I do remember liking it. I will say that it's good if you're simply after boosting gain and volume and not altering the EQ of your amp.
Try it out if you get the chance.


Thank you. I will try it :P

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Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:16 am
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Hey Volkan, if you're getting a Distortion +, get an old one, I tried a new one recently, and it's horrible. Either get an old +, or a new Zakk Wylde Overdrive, it's basically the same as the old one, only with a little more gain, and much better sound! :)

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Really digging on Michael Hedges. And Shawn Lane. And Pat Metheny.


Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:27 pm
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Sean Pierce wrote:
ReXiX wrote:
orsvend wrote:
Heres another one for you!

Youve got a cranked Marshall 100w superlead with a hotplate and you wanna get a volume boost for a solo. What do you do?


you go to eleven! :D


Well played Robin...well played.


it ONE more... ;)

haha =)

Seriously, Sean you should check out the Blackstar HT-Dual, its a KILLER distortion pedal who got the gain to play heavy metal and the gain to play rock and roll. And Blackstar pedals have a unique feature called the ISF where you can choose if you want an american sound(mesa and stuff like that) or if you want a brittish sound (like Marshall)

i just got mine tuesday! its awsome =)

I think that it would work well with your bands music aswell :)

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