Help with Pedal Tone and Volume Settings Please

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Slim Chance, Apr 15, 2019 at 2:12 PM.

  1. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

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    I am fairly new to the world of pedals and would like some tips on setting the parameters where there are similar controls for tone and volume. My current pedal board from guitar to amp consists of a Keeley Compressor Plus, EHx East River Drive OD, a Machine Head 72 Degree OD, and a Caitlinbread Topanga reverb. For now, the Machine Head is being used as a boost only option with the EHx supplying OD. The Keeley is the newest and I'm still experimenting and learning what it can do. I play mostly at home through blackface amps (Vibro Champ & Vibrolux Reverb). Music is primarily blues and 50s-70s rock.

    All four pedals have both tone and volume controls and I'm not quite sure where to set them. I'm especially unsure about the tone controls. Is there a neutral position.

    I apologize for a somewhat unarticulated description and appreciate any advice that may help me to get the most from the pedals.
     
  2. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    Every pedal has it's own quirks and interacts with the guitar and amp in some unique ways. I might start with all knobs at 12:00, then see what happens as you turn each up and down on it's own, or in pairs.
     
  3. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    double post. Disregard.
     
  4. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    For Volume, find the spot where the level is the same when the pedal is on or off. Then adjust it so it sounds how ever loud you want it to be when it's on vs. off. As for Tone, do you want it to sound brighter or darker? Adjust each pedal one at a time and then in combinations. Take your time.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  5. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Tele-Afflicted

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    If I assume you bought all four pedals at the sane time, then you have four pedals in front of you with four volume controls to deal with.

    An issue that crops up, at least for me, is how loud is the amp going to be? I find that at extreme low volumes, I often run the pedal volume controls higher than I would if the amp was louder, so be careful. If the amps on “2”, and the pedal is on ”5”, once you turn the amp up to “5” the pedal will sound like it’s on “10”.

    Try turning the amp up, turn on the first pedal in the chain, and control the overall loudness with the first pedal. It can be tricky this way as well, and sometimes you may find “almost” loud enough is 9 ‘o clock, and TOO LOUD is only a tiny hair more on the pedal volume knob. It’s a balancing act for sure.

    But start with one pedal at a time. It will always be best the louder you can play. (Of course!) The different volumes will be much easier to match (when loud), because you will have more room to turn the knobs without surprises.

    You have two medium gain dirt pedals, which I find good for stacking. Want high gain? Run the two pedals into each other (stacking), and maybe add the compressor, which can push the next pedal after it into even higher gain. Also more sustain.

    Usually if the compressor isn’t set for at least the same or a bit higher volume than the dirt pedal following it, you don’t get enough “oomph” to get enough dirt out of that second dirt box.
     
    telepraise likes this.
  6. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Lots of good advice here. I think it depends on how you want to work with them. Some players will use the guitar's volume control to clean up the overdrive for rhythm work; others keep the guitar wide open and use multiple pedals like presets. The 72 works well with the volume knob approach.

    The East River Drive is a Tube Screamer clone and a proven winner as a dirty boost with the gain off and the volume turned up. Think SRV. Place boost before OD for more gain. Boost after OD for more volume.

    The compressor might be most useful to you for clean strummed parts or funk rhythm. Dirt pedals also compress the signal and I personally don't see the need to add more of it to overdrive tones but it works for some.

    I'd probably start with all tone controls between 10 and 2:00 and experiment.
     
  7. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I will continue to experiment, with my short term goal being a general balance between the pedals and my sound, which can be tweaked for a particular song. I'm not one to want to twiddle knobs and don't foresee any additional pedals in the near future.
     
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