Can I have some help setting up OD pedals? Everything sounds bad to me!

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by jonyorker, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

    Sep 15, 2015
    I will be trying that method out! Sounds like a great way to figure out if it can do what I want with a specific guitar and amp!
    telemnemonics likes this.
  2. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Just a thought. Start with much less gain than you think you need and focus on clean headroom with dynamic dirt, not squashed flat.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  3. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

    May 27, 2014
    SE Michigan
    Good stuff ^

    Play without them for a while, make sure you like the basic sound of hands/guitar/amp. Then try a few pedals, one at a time, with just one amp. Some can sound like a microscope, highlighting every mistake. Some can smooth out mistakes - but also bury you in a mix.

    Too many variables to say "do this".
  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 26, 2003
    Augusta, Maine
    I'm finicky, too. A few of ideas:

    The first OD I had that sounded good to me was the Barber LTD version 1. It was a very mild overdrive with a warm 3D sound.

    These days, Barber seems to have rolled all its various pedals together into their Gain Changer. So you can get that organic LTD sounds or more dramatic overdrives and distortions. And the layout is pretty simple.

    Another I had and kept for a few years was the Anologman King of Tone. It's two pedals in one, and the layout is like a pair of pedals side by side. It's modeled, I think, on the Marshall Governor pedal sound - kind of compressed, very crisp and articulate. The down side is the wait. The up side is that you can sell it for a lot more than you paid.

    And although I've never tried one, few people dislike the Klon Centaur. It's back in production - expensive, of course, but folks say it sounds exactly like the old ones that now sell used for four digits.

    Or how about a good old Ibanez Tube Screamer? The 808 and 9 are still in production, and folks seem to like them a lot.
  5. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    I went through this too. I've always been an amp distortion guy. turns out I still am after trying everything that I could get for a reasonable price. no KoT or Klon for me but, I did find the Blackstone Appliances MOSFET Overdrive. I don't really know what it is that makes it work for me but it kinda just does everything properly without getting overblown. its not a Swiss army knife pedal like the BB Pre or something like that but more of a tweak it till you get it, then set it, then forget it. it is a good standalone and also pushes a dirty amp well, plus is 2 channel which is nice. not saying its the one for you but more that your quest will likely land you a pedal eventually, that will never leave your board even if you don't use it much. just my $0.02.
  6. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

    Oct 6, 2011
    St Augustine, Fl
    Overdrive pedals are weapons for the heat of battle -- the sustain and pronounced mid hump let you cut through the mix when playing live -- I know good studio musicians can put them to use as well. But to me they all sound like ass when you hear them out of the context of a mix. You are using pretty big amps. You may be happy with an attenuator like the Dr. Z Brake-Lite to get the power tubes working. I have one in my BF Deluxe. Then use a boost or EQ to goose it. And when you kick on whatever overdrive you finally settled on because you got tired of trying them out, it will sound much better with the amp cranked.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  7. rickslick11

    rickslick11 TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    Turn the tone knob off 1st then dial it back in a little at a time

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 16, 2007
    Denmark Solbjerg.
    ....Sometimes it really just needs alittle ugly to work...
  9. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2012
    Lots of good advice, I won’t try to add much to it.

    One board per amp is a good idea, especially with the range of amps you have. I keep a small board for my Vox, one for the Fender and one for a Peavey. Some pedals aren’t gonna work with your Marshall but will sound perfect on a Vox.
    It’s a lot of time testing each pedal with each amp, and what stacks in front of what. It can be fun though! Enjoy!
  10. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
  11. danlad

    danlad Tele-Meister

    Mar 24, 2015
    Here and there
    I know everyone has their preferences, depends on what you are going for etc etc so far, so obvious....

    But the moment I realised with a half decent amp it is better to start with the pedal volume fairly high and the gain knob on 1 and work in slow increments upwards just to nudge the amp into doing its thing rather than all knobs on 10 and work down was a bit of a revelation.
  12. noquarter1983

    noquarter1983 TDPRI Member

    Jun 30, 2017
    If you can't get a decent sound with a soul food into a blues deluxe, then I don't think the pedal is the issue.
  13. Churchjack

    Churchjack Tele-Meister

    Oct 22, 2017
    I’ve found that to be true w/ my AC15. I use the Top Boost channel for dirt pedals anymore, and the clean side stays clean.
  14. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

    Aug 18, 2015
    Seligenstadt, Germany
    Well finding the right sound with the mix of amp and pedals is pretty much like the search for the holy grail......
    Anyway: if you're satisfied with the general amp-overdrive (apart from the volume) you have to either use an amp-attenuater to get into amp-overdrive at a reasonable volume-level, or you have toi use overdrive taht remians the amp-tone.
    The latter may exclude most -Tube Screamer style pedals as those have a prominent mid--peak.
    My Fulltone OCD has a nice overdrive but keeps the tone of my amp.
    You may have to make compromises setting your EQ - full treble and bass for a sparkling clean may sound brittle when switching to crunch/overdrive.
    My amp's EQ has rather high mids featured in mid-control, i'm able to roll back the treble, add a bit mre low end and feature the mids. That results in nice cleans (also better to cut through a bandmix) and a well-suited crunch.
    So you probably have to turn the knobs a lot (also with some od-pedals the tone and gain contols influence each other).
    I often find overdrive pedals into a clean amp a bit.....harsh and brisk. To get a smoother tone you may want to stack 2 pedals?
    I can't comment on how to dial a Big MUff, I am not into fuzz and don't use it alt all.
  15. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    May 8, 2008
    portland, or
    I see no mention of volume and tone controls ... On your guitar ...from my experience, this is a major factor ... Try backing these off to 75-80 % and see what you get ... For years, i thought diming these was correct ... I was wrong... Good luck in your quest!!

    Sorry Jvin did mention guitar tone knob adjustments.
  16. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    Yeah, I'm gonna have to state the obvious and say that if you can't get a good sound out of that list of pedals into that list of amps, either your idea of "good tone" is radically different than the rest of us, or you need to spend some more time woodshedding.
    Matt G and TelePunkJCM like this.
  17. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

    Jun 7, 2019
    Wow. A lotta all y'all seem to make this really complicated.

    Maybe set the Green Rhino and Badass aside until you have the hang of this stuff a bit better @jonyorker? They have some extra controls that will probably make things harder until you understand how volume, EQ, gain and touch interest.

    The others on your list are really simple pedals dialed in by the manufacturer to just work. Sounds stupid but try setting everything at noon and "subtracting" before you add. Meaning turn the knobs on the pedals below noon to adjust, rather than moving them past noon. At least as a starting point.

    Also, what volume are you playing? Apologies if I missed it. If you are playing at conversational volumes, it will be hard to get that gear to sound great. It's meant for stage. My experience is that most pedals need a certain amount of level or they sound "starved". Gated, fizzy, dull. I'm not saying over amp unity volume (unless your amp is at whisper level). But if you have the level knob on 8 o'clock or lower on a drive knob, most will sound "off".

    Good luck.
    Bopcat likes this.
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