Originally Posted by modularjack
for whatever reason I prefer the lower tone/darker distortion on synths. Probably cause my synth patches already have tons of higher harmonics (I like pitchey/modulating sounds) so normal distortion makes things a bit too messy in the mids/highs for me.
that's also might be impedance mismatch. most pedals "expect" to see high output imp. of a passive guitar (100k+), and have then even higher input imp. to accurately transfer the signal (i.e. prevent loss and loading down). 1MOhm or even much more... what you describe with mids/highs typically happens feeding a synth signal (1kOhm) into such distortion/fuzz pedal expecting 100 times more.
i had the same experience with woolly mammoth. fantastic pedal...with passive bass and guitar... yet with a synth or beatbox signal.. it went to all out harsh fuzz wth screeching highs and hi mids.. same with active bass.
so, ive read about solutions, and seems most ppl mention two ways to deal with pedals+synths:
1. if you get a pedal meant for passive instr, place a REAMP device in front. examples: woolly mamooth, memory man deluxe, most BBD chorus/flanger pedals on 9V, many od/dist/fuzz pedals. their input imp is in several megaohms.
2. get a variation or similar pedal that is confirmed to work with active pickup bass guitars too. impedance is <=1MOhm. less the better. it still may require lowering your signal. examples MXR Phase series (500k), Small Stone, Mastotron (has load control).
anyways, i chose Iron Ether Oxide Fuzz, and then probably LittleLabs Redeye 3D (DI and REAMP at the same time). Oxide works with active pickups, and demos of both bass and guitar just blew me away... ill give it a shot.
another that caught my ear, for classic smoother warmer tone, that il tryout locally is: Neo Germanium Fuzz. even has LOAD control to acommodate passive and active.. and there is Mastotron by Zvex. similar to Woolly, but also with LOAD control. and cheaper.
PS there are some really nice BYOC and GGG kits for BIg Muff and FuzzFace... that is also an option to save a few bucks.. if you have time.