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Which overdrive/distorion for synths ?
Old 30th June 2009
  #1
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Which overdrive/distorion for synths ?

Im looking to pick up an analog overdrive/distortion pedal to push my synths into and drum machines...WHich pedal/box offers the best textural versatility, without just turning everything into a wash of noise ?
Old 30th June 2009
  #2
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Pschelfh's Avatar
I have a couple of them :

Boss GL-100 : All analog Boss overdrive/distortion pedals in a rack + speaker simulation and eq added, sounds great but a bit noisy.

Adrenalinn III : Not analog, but sounds great when you put drums through the amp simulations, filters and effects.

Soon to arrive : Sherman Filterbank 2, a class of its own for mutating drums and synth sounds!!

Peter.
Old 30th June 2009
  #3
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Damn ya, that Sherman Filterbank sounds mad. If you got the dough go for the Filterbank, it's much more flexible than just being a distortion too! I have Filterbank Lust right now

I run things through a pro-co rat sometimes. I like really mid-range distortion, especially for synths. Gives it balls in the ranges that people usually forget about.

Also try running through a tube guitar amp and slam it a little bit, that always gets me good results! Generally I have found that running a synth through a distortion pedal and then direct sounds kinda like ****. But through an amp it gives the pedal room to start sounding dope.

Lastly there is always bit crushing that imparts funky distortion onto things. There is that Frostwave Sonic Alienator, and the Alesis Bitrman. both of those are pretty funky. I didn't really like the Bitrman too much, but it did what it did well! I use REAL 8-bit machines...
Old 30th June 2009
  #5
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bleepbleep's Avatar
 

goto - byoc.com and check out the modded rat clone - pure analogue and a lot of diversity

btw - its called the mighty mouse - and its pretty cheap too
Old 30th June 2009
  #6
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What about the electro harmonix units ? Any good overdrives/distortion ?
Old 30th June 2009
  #7
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electro-harmonix are OK, but not particulary tweaky

the Z-Vex Fuzz factory is a lot more interesting - can go from saturated warm to totally xxxing freaked out and squealing like a pig
Old 30th June 2009
  #8
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CircusofMind's Avatar
 

+1 on sherman filterbank 2. I use mine frequently on synths.

I also use the Malekko B:assmaster.

Though I don't own it, the Wooly Mammoth is a good distortion pedal...
Old 30th June 2009
  #9
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nikseven's Avatar
 

cosign on the pro co RAT.

also the MXR blue box can make higher arpeggiated parts sound pretty insane. distorts the **** out of the part and adds in a sub octave 2 octaves below the source. monophonic only though.
Old 30th June 2009
  #10
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Akai MFC42 Distortion Button.
Old 30th June 2009
  #11
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kreeper_6's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by insect1 View Post
Im looking to pick up an analog overdrive/distortion pedal to push my synths into and drum machines...WHich pedal/box offers the best textural versatility, without just turning everything into a wash of noise ?

"textural versatility"
Old 30th June 2009
  #12
the Malekko is on my grocery list. (along with the delay and probably the anti oscillator to complement my M15)
Old 30th June 2009
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeper_6 View Post
"textural versatility"
yeah now that's what I like in a girl
Old 30th June 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CircusofMind View Post
+1 on sherman filterbank 2. I use mine frequently on synths.

I also use the Malekko B:assmaster.

Thought I don't own it, the Wooly Mammoth is a good distortion pedal...
That Malekko B:assmaster sounds like ass. I like it!
Old 30th June 2009
  #15
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Any recommendations regarding a low noise tube distortion , preferably rack mounted ?
Old 1st July 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumse View Post
Any recommendations regarding a low noise tube distortion , preferably rack mounted ?
3 words... Thermionic Culture Vulture.
Old 1st July 2009
  #17
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Doktorfuture's Avatar
 

My favorites:

For more power and amazingness: Thermionic Culture Vulture (great, cuz it is a Stereo processor).

Next, I often use the Schippmann Ebbe und Flut, which is more work -- one needs to use a Midi->CV, and sometimes a sample delay to compensate for the Midi -> CV latency if I'm getting very picky. The Schippmann's are so great I bought two (again, the stereo side of things).

I really like the Pendulum Audio Quartet as well. But you need two of them to do stereo, so the price is steep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by insect1 View Post
Im looking to pick up an analog overdrive/distortion pedal to push my synths into and drum machines...WHich pedal/box offers the best textural versatility, without just turning everything into a wash of noise ?
Old 1st July 2009
  #18
Plus one for the Bitrman!

And I really (REALLY!) like the Behringer MIC100 tube mic pre amp as a distortion box.

Cheers,
Bert
Old 1st July 2009
  #19
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memedesigner's Avatar
 

Zvex Mastotron has adjustable input impedance which is handy ….. it's pretty inexpensive as well.
Old 1st July 2009
  #20
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Any opinions regarding the Metasonix R-51 as a tube distortion in a modular system ?
Old 1st July 2009
  #21
Gear Head
 

I buy distortion pedals all the time for cheap from ebay. If I like one then I keep it, otherwise it goes back on sale on ebay. It keeps things interesting.
Old 2nd July 2009
  #22
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aeonlux's Avatar
 

I use the following pedals with synths to generate overdrive, distortion, and fuzz:
  • Analogman Sunlion
  • Barge Concepts BP-1
  • Diamond Fireburst
  • Diamond J-Drive TR
  • Foxrox Hot Silicon
  • Foxrox ZIM (w/VT, CS, BB, T+, H9, FF, and BM ZIMcards)
  • Lovetone Cheese Source
  • zvex Fuzz Factory

The Foxrox ZIM in particular is excellent because of the ZIMcard feature. Try other colors and styles of drive, but with a low price as contrasted with getting a whole new pedal. The dual engine design, cut/boost voicing, multiple I/O, and insane build quality are other great features.

Another thing to consider is a Tech21 NYC PSA-1 rack. Works on a lot of sources, and has memory slots.


cheers,
Ian
Old 2nd July 2009
  #23
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squigg's Avatar
 

Landmine Distortion sounds amazing on synths.
+1 for the Fuzz factory as well, although I have noticed that there are sound differences between some of them. Used 3 on the same sounds and noticed a difference in each one. Sadly I disliked the sound of my own pedal the most.
Old 2nd July 2009
  #24
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badmark's Avatar
Blackstar HT-Distortion pedal is good . Not rack-mounted though.
Old 5th July 2009
  #25
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culture vulture way too expensive for my needs...any other guitar pedals anyone would recommend ?
Old 5th July 2009
  #26
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cosmos's Avatar
 

im really intrested to hear Sansamp PSA1.1 samples on synths .. does anyone have it and can share with us ?
Old 5th July 2009
  #27
Gear Head
 

I like to chain distortion pedals togather. Zvex machine makes a good starting point for that, followed by whatever for flavor. I like the gate on the zvex box of metal for percussive sounds so you don't get much of a distorted 'smear' for lack of a better term tailing off of your little percussive noisy burst. DoD deathmetal is also pretty good, if powernoise is your thing. I've been accused of "attacking people with treble" in the past, so your mileage may vary.
Old 6th July 2009
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmos View Post
im really intrested to hear Sansamp PSA1.1 samples on synths .. does anyone have it and can share with us ?
yeah, me too, in tech21 stuff in general.


few bass players i know praised the new character series VT Bass. it supposed to emulate SVT cabinets/amps and other vintage ampeg stuff. i'd really like to try this on a bass synth. some bass synths form early 80s were tracked thru a miked SVT..




damn the economy, if i had money to burn, i'd pick up the wolly mammoth and analogman sunface straight away.
Old 21st March 2018
  #29
Gear Head
 

my 2 cents : look at bass pedals. overdrive pedal seems to cut all your lows. distortion keeps more of them but still cut a lot of it.
chorus is fine, because it works on basses too. my experience is just with cheap pedals here though.
Old 22nd March 2018
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by naos View Post
my 2 cents : look at bass pedals. overdrive pedal seems to cut all your lows. distortion keeps more of them but still cut a lot of it.
chorus is fine, because it works on basses too. my experience is just with cheap pedals here though.
The thread is only 9 years old

Happy I found it though, because I was about to make a new thread praising the ART MPA II preamp I've just acquired. Even with the stock tubes it made my Bass Station 2 and Electribe ER-1 drum machine sound a lot punchier and more present/defined. With the Telefunkens I replaced the China tubes with, it sounds even better. Gotta love that +20 dB gain button. Sounds different from adding 20 dB of gain with it switched out. I got the best results when boosting the signal with a Metric Halo ULN-2 pre in front of the MPA. I was surprised at how much of a difference it made. The MPA sounds good being fed directly from the synth/drum machine too, though.
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