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I need more drive, what do?
Old 23rd January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I need more drive, what do?

Hey guys, so here's my issue. I'm playing post rock music, and in almost all of it, I'm the one who is responsible for making things get huge so to speak. My current chain is: Gretsch G5120 - Russian Black Big Muff - Ibanez DE-7 - Loop - Boss DD-7 - MXR M108 - Vox AC15 Twin. The Muff is doing a fine job giving me the grit, but I want to put some more power behind it. I honestly have no idea what I need to do that job though. Overdrive? Compression? I don't really know.... What will power that muff and make it more driving and full?

You can hear my current setup here: Loraine

After Everything, More Than Anything - 2:50 (listen for 12th fret A, 11th fret A, 5th fret A chord progression)
Hello, Morning - 4:10 (this is the one that it needs most work on)
Heaven - 1:40 - end (the chord progression)
Old 23rd January 2013
  #2
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
A good boost pedal might be enough to push the rest of the signal chain harder.

Try an Xotic EP booster or something similar.
Old 23rd January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
so many things going on here - your amp setting, how you have your pedals set, mic used and how you're micing the amp. Right now, it's really thin sounding, but then again, so is the bass so it's hard to tell how much is the amp sound and how much is whoever is mixing it. If you can post a solo guitar track (no EQ or compression) it gives people a better idea of what you're starting with.

In general, thicker sounds are to be had from driving the power tubes of the amp and not preamp distortion. I'd make sure that the AC15 is loud and clean, and then adjust your pedals to drive the amp into overdrive - less distortion, more gain.

Don't scoop the mids; it's where the meat of the guitar sound is. May sound great on it's own when you're playing, but in the mix, it's making your guitar recede into the background.

Hope this helps as a start.
Old 23rd January 2013
  #4
I am not a guitar player but some recordings i have done have gained "meet" after we replaced pickups,used thicker strings .11 or even .12 and (this is crazy) changed to a harder pick! After considering the responses from the experts above take a look on this too!
Old 23rd January 2013
  #5
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WinnyP's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
What is being asked is a bit vaque. Do you mean live? In the studio this setup will sound pretty big as those muffs do boost the bass a fair bit. However if you want a bigger sound in the room then look at a fender twin (jack white uses one clean and loud w a US muff) or ultimately a 50 watt Marshall with a 2x12 minimum which will have some of the mids missing in the muff (the black keys guy uses a JTM45 w a Russian muff). Or just ditch the whole lot and get a Jcm800 on 11, no pedals!!!
Old 23rd January 2013
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Let me clarify, I'm looking for something that'll give me that drive live, not in the studio. I don't have the money to get a different amp.. Nor would I want to, because I need the Vox clean for the rest of the things I do for this. I need a pedal that will do that for me. That Xotic pedal looks really nice, I'll listen through some demo's later on.
Old 23rd January 2013
  #7
Gear Head
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
I've not had a chance to try the Xotic BB but I use a modded Boss SD-1 pedal to boost my Big Muffs - I have a USA and a Russian model - as it takes a bit of bass away and pushes the midrange more, even with the Drive on the SD-1 at minimum.
Old 24th January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
litepipe's Avatar
Check out Wampler pedals. He's making really nice overdrive pedals. They have more eq on them which is nice.
Old 25th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
The problem with the Big Muff live is that it sucks the mids out of your signal, which prevents it from cutting thru. The Vox helps that some by adding back miss, but probably the best solution would be to have an EQ pedal that can also act as a boost after your fuzz. Something along the lines of a Fromel Shape, the Meequalizer, the Empress ParaEQ or even an old Boss GE7 with the sniper mods. Set it up with the mids*pushed a bit and a bit of a volume bump (and keep the muff tone control in the middle).
Old 25th January 2013
  #10
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NoPro's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Less distortion. You'd be surprised how thin things sound with too much distortion.
Old 27th January 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Roll down the amp gain a little and get a nice clean boost or overdrive pedal (up front) of which there are a million possibilities.
I do not like gainy overdrives myself, a cleaner drive or boost will preserve the real tone of your guitar and improve the note articulation.

Pedals of choice for me are Wampler pedals, they always deliver. Turned a few on to the Euphoria, 3 mode drive and the Ego Compressor which is the best pedal compressor ever, it can serve as a thickener and boost to your sound as well. It has a blend for the straight signal and one can keep the compression down more to a clean boost effect.
They also have a new Decibel+ clean booster pedal. In general you get what you pay for.

Dist gain is a fun thing to be sure but the quality of such varies quite a bit. If you keep your note articulation and body of tone with the right amount of gain it is a massive sound. Scooping the mids is what it is, might have it uses but it in general "scoops" the main center frequencies of the guitar right out. All things in moderation is the rule.
Old 28th January 2013
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Update: I bought an MXR MC-401. I'll update again when I get it and try it out on whether it's what I was going for or not.
Old 31st January 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Had one of those in my last wah. A clean boost it had no EQ on the wah.
Just about anything will improve the issue. Important not to hit the front end with too much db push, slightly above unity is usually the deal.

When you hunger for more tone and options, Wampler is in the process of releasing a new dual pedal drive called the Fusion: The Euphoria and Paisley drive in one pedal with switchable order. Promises to be the best drive pedal ever.
Personally I love my Ecstasy/Euphoria drive as it ranges from a clean boost with EQ to moderate gain w 3 modes. The Fusion keeps 2 modes from each drive.

Had a million drive pedals and been happy with few for any length of time. The Wampler is cool because 1 click and you have a whole new circuit to change the character.
Old 31st January 2013
  #14
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Silent Sound's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I was in your exact same boat. I have a Big Muff (black Russian) that I loved, but it didn't cut well enough live, and sounded a bit too fuzzy and not aggressive enough. So I modded it to my liking. Now I've got the mids and I have a larger, more aggressive sounding pedal, that's not so fizzy.

There are tons of websites about how to mod the Big Muff, and it's a fairly easy circuit to work on. I added a mid knob and took the first two diodes in the signal chain and stacked them up with the last two diodes in an asymmetrical fashion (3 to 1). Then I installed some other diodes in their place. I also modded mine to have a 9v power adapter. Now setting the tone and mid knobs can be a bit tricky because they are so interactive with each other. Ever the sustain knob affects the high end a lot. But now I also keep the sustain relatively low and crank the volume and use it as a distortion/boost pedal. It works GREAT! Somehow, by backing off the distortion, I've made it sound as though it has more distortion, or at least a bigger, more aggressive sound.

All you need is a soldering iron, a few components, a computer with an internet connection, and a sound in your head, and you're just a DIY away from achieving sonic bliss!
Old 31st January 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pint07 ➑️
Hey guys, so here's my issue. I'm playing post rock music, and in almost all of it, I'm the one who is responsible for making things get huge so to speak. My current chain is: Gretsch G5120 - Russian Black Big Muff - Ibanez DE-7 - Loop - Boss DD-7 - MXR M108 - Vox AC15 Twin. The Muff is doing a fine job giving me the grit, but I want to put some more power behind it. I honestly have no idea what I need to do that job though. Overdrive? Compression? I don't really know.... What will power that muff and make it more driving and full?

You can hear my current setup here: Loraine

After Everything, More Than Anything - 2:50 (listen for 12th fret A, 11th fret A, 5th fret A chord progression)
Hello, Morning - 4:10 (this is the one that it needs most work on)
Heaven - 1:40 - end (the chord progression)
Ehx lpb-1 or one of the clean boosts mentioned. To thicken my muff tone I used to run the clean channel of my vtwin into - that is total overkill for you so would recommend a clean boost as they are cheap and can get you to 11...

Sent from my GT-P5110
Old 31st January 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound ➑️
I was in your exact same boat. I have a Big Muff (black Russian) that I loved, but it didn't cut well enough live, and sounded a bit too fuzzy and not aggressive enough. So I modded it to my liking. Now I've got the mids and I have a larger, more aggressive sounding pedal, that's not so fizzy.

There are tons of websites about how to mod the Big Muff, and it's a fairly easy circuit to work on. I added a mid knob and took the first two diodes in the signal chain and stacked them up with the last two diodes in an asymmetrical fashion (3 to 1). Then I installed some other diodes in their place. I also modded mine to have a 9v power adapter. Now setting the tone and mid knobs can be a bit tricky because they are so interactive with each other. Ever the sustain knob affects the high end a lot. But now I also keep the sustain relatively low and crank the volume and use it as a distortion/boost pedal. It works GREAT! Somehow, by backing off the distortion, I've made it sound as though it has more distortion, or at least a bigger, more aggressive sound.

All you need is a soldering iron, a few components, a computer with an internet connection, and a sound in your head, and you're just a DIY away from achieving sonic bliss!
Another key point, sometimes having the gain on your pedal up full results in a slightly wimpier sound...its all about gain staging imo

Sent from my GT-P5110
Old 31st January 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Heavy Electronics Grind Fuzz Pedal
Old 1st February 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
The weak link in your chain is the pickups in that Gretsch. I have a 5120, and the pickups don't have a really strong output compared to standard humbuckers so you're not hitting your fuzz as hard as you could be. Either a pickup swap or a clean boost in front of the fuzz will make all the difference in the world.
Old 2nd February 2013 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodebro ➑️
The weak link in your chain is the pickups in that Gretsch. I have a 5120, and the pickups don't have a really strong output compared to standard humbuckers so you're not hitting your fuzz as hard as you could be. Either a pickup swap or a clean boost in front of the fuzz will make all the difference in the world.

that's why I have a clean non EQ moderate class A clean boost up front which is also a buffer for slight pickup boost before my overdrive section when a pickup has some tone but not enough push. To me an overdrive and clean boost is fundamental for any rig even if someone hates pedals. you just can't argue with what works.
Old 6th February 2013
  #20
Gear Head
 
sheltone60's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Xotic EP Booster.

It's not a clean boost, it just makes everything sound bigger and better. It adds thickness and volume. I have one after my modulation and before delay on all three of the pedalboards I use regularly. Killer pedal and won't break the bank.
Old 6th February 2013
  #21
Gear Nut
 
qvplite's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Like another user said already, driving power tubes is the way to go. Personally I love how EL34s sag and scream when cranked, it's a perfect combination of natural tube compression with brutal harmonics speckled everywhere.

A clean boost might work, too, or perhaps throwing an octaver in there. You would be surprised how much thicker your sound can be when blending in an octave up and and octave down at the same time; if done right, it's more or less transparent, too. Just thickens everything up and adds some low end garbage on the real low detuned stuff, which can be desirable for some.

One guitarist I used to play with used to actually have his signal split from his guitar into two separate paths going into separate amps. One head powered a 2x12 ported ear candy bass cabinet, which he placed on the floor, and on top of that was the other amp -- some kind of old Yamaha with 4 10" speakers. He eq'd most of the low out of the Yamaha while boosting all the lows significantly on the head feeding into the ear candy. With his Micro POG off, the sound was balanced, clean, and fairly loud given the six speakers. When the Micro POG was ON... OMG.

It was so brutal and in your face, I haven't been able to achieve anything even CLOSE to it since I've heard it. He moved away and I was so, so tempted to buy his whole setup off of him at the time just because of this crazy thick, gnarly sound. However, I think it'd be fairly easy to replicate by just adding a 2x12 bass cab powered by a separate amp under any normal 4x12 situation, split your signal, and voila. You can even choose whether your pedals affect one or both amps in that situation if you want to get midrange/treble distortion but keep bass clean / non-effected. Cool stuff.
Old 6th February 2013
  #22
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I use a USA Big Muff Pi, and to counter the scooped mids i boost it with a turbo rat. It gets pretty gainy (not a problem for me since i mostly use this setup for stoner/sludge metal) but the mid hump is amazing.
Old 6th February 2013
  #23
Gear Nut
 
javiceres's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I run Big Muff into OD pedal so the Muff overdrives de input of the OD (wich is set with the gain/drive on tge low side) yielding a bigger sustained sound that also cuts more thanks to the tendency of OD pedals to boost mids. And you gan go from clean when both pedals are off to some hair when OD is on, to huge when also da Muff is engaged.
Id try that but there are some things to have in mind IMO:
-Scooped sounds give the impression of "big" but if a scooped sound is buried in the mix then it's goal is lost.
-The bass player must be your partner in crime when it comes to impart muscle.
-A proper cabinet/speaker set can give you more body than any hyped boutique pedal.

Enviado desde mi GT-S5570 usando Tapatalk

Enviado desde mi GT-S5570 usando Tapatalk
Old 8th February 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Better pedals have better note articulation.
Nice to have tone controls which do something.
Overdrive after a high gain changes the structure completely, smooths it out, driving a high gain with a cleaner overdrive or clean boost works very well. Not too much though just enough to add to the response.

Wampler Triple Wreck kills them. Its boost circuit is a fuzz which lays on top the high gain for solo stuff the fuzz boost is not for chording really. The Triple has massive EQ range with tons of low end and massive gain structure. Look inside it and see what the difference is from a Muff or TS circuit.

Overdriving a good tube amp with a decent wattage and cabinet is what it is, sometimes a great high gain pedal through a well adjusted clean channel, can be really fun and a massive sound while saving the wear on your tubes and amp components. I've been a fan of great sounding pedal gains and most pedals have come and gone. Real tube pedals are also very, very great sounding and articulate. Some really good ones out there with stepped up internal plate voltages. A tube at basic 9v or so level is not doing anything.

If the gain structure goes into a washout with just a massive fuzz out and high end tinny range it does not have all that great a tone. Adjust that Triple Wreck and it will get a oh my god response when you play it.
Old 8th February 2013 | Show parent
  #25
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Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoPro ➑️
Less distortion. You'd be surprised how thin things sound with too much distortion.
This. Also, play with your pickup height.

For big, giant sounds, one of my current favorite pedals is the Plum Crazy "Sqwuak". Weird controls, but monster sound.
Old 9th February 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Ditto on the pickup height thing, my tone improved so much when I started backing off the pickup height especially on the single coils. I tend to run the bridge ones up closer for more output but the neck or middle way down or about twice what one usually sees. Hint on LP and Strat if you like that mid position or in-between positions on the Strat this is increased by differing pickup heights.

Just FYI, NAMM Best in Show 2013 Wampler Fusion Drive pedal, general release March 25th, no idea of the price.
Old 9th February 2013
  #27
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antichef's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have a stock Russian black big muff, and it just destroys my sound, like a balls-ectomy. I looked at modding it - Silent Sound is right, there's a ton of info out there, but instead set it aside for now.

How's the MXR boost working out? Another thing I've noticed is that boost and especially overdrive pedals produce radically different results with different amps, and I don't have an AC-15 (are those Class A? I see a big difference between A and AB here), so my opinion's not worth much, but I have been using the EH LPB-1 recently and liking it.
Old 10th February 2013 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by antichef ➑️
I have a stock Russian black big muff, and it just destroys my sound, like a balls-ectomy. I looked at modding it - Silent Sound is right, there's a ton of info out there, but instead set it aside for now.

How's the MXR boost working out? Another thing I've noticed is that boost and especially overdrive pedals produce radically different results with different amps, and I don't have an AC-15 (are those Class A? I see a big difference between A and AB here), so my opinion's not worth much, but I have been using the EH LPB-1 recently and liking it.
I think my Muff dist was perhaps the 2nd pedal I ever had. You can mod them and all that but really why not just opt for a better unit? Good cost and you get what you pay for, but the tones man it makes a difference.

I tend to use an array of different drives and gains to range all sorts of voices from clean to uber dirt. Uber gain is cool but fuzz in general does not lend itself to chord or note articulation. For my 2 cents a versatile drive section is a complex puppy. I think I have a clean boost, 3 drives and 2 high gains in addition to my differing amp channels on my half stack. Overdrives indeed are all different and the amp guitar chemistry. I am a wattage guy myself, I do not get why gutting the watts out of an amp is a good thing. They have put out this erroneous notion that less watts is less loud as they sell tiny watt amps for the price of what normal ones used to cost. Seriously a small watt amp with little speakers is nothing like a full wattage head with 12s.

Personally if I want my amp to clip out I hit a pedal and/or switch channels, a nice sounding clean channel is a necessary thing for me. I probably use my clean channel and my dark voiced JCM sounding channel 80% more than I hit the uber gain amp channel.
Old 15th February 2013
  #29
Gear Nut
 
javiceres's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Im thinking about it. An expansion speaker cabinet is the most radical way to get really bigger sound.

Enviado desde mi GT-S5570 usando Tapatalk
Old 15th February 2013 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
35 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by javiceres ➑️
Im thinking about it. An expansion speaker cabinet is the most radical way to get really bigger sound.

Enviado desde mi GT-S5570 usando Tapatalk
4x12 is a must for me, at times I ran 2 of them.
When properly loaded and dampened the result is just better.
Bear in mind wattage potential is divided out to all speakers.
Low end punch and depth is just better in a closed back 4x12 and a larger speaker like a 12" simply via physics produces a more low end than a smaller speaker.
In the past I had some 4x12s w JBLs that my sound engineer brother, as a lark, ran a pink noise analyzer through and he was shocked the cabs were nearly flat response across the entire range of the guitar spectrum which indicates they reproduce what you give them without coloring. They were also 600watt RMS cabs using only a 100watt head, just no way you were going to blow them out or they would not handle any signal thrown at them. This was some years back in my massive gear days.

These days I use Celestion Vintage 30s (which are actually 60watt speakers) the cab has been properly dampened to stop any phase distortion or hollow box bass woofing. Great sound. Kills the Marshall stock 1960A I had previously. Some manufacturers do not dampen their cabs, for some reason (cheap costs??), which is very weird to me having experienced the hollow bass woofing and uncontrollable response, it takes so little effort to do something right. Some feel such weird sound colorations are tone, and on that matter let's just say there is "disagreement".
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