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Subject: Re: [motm] interesting modular guitar FX idea at

From: jwbarlow@...
Date: 2000-04-23

In a message dated 4/22/2000 10:46:59 PM, thudson@... writes:

>R. G. Keen has always done some interesting things. I really like his
>analysis of distortion effects.

I think you were the person who made me aware of him. I hope he starts to
offer PCBs for guitar effects again.

>This does bring up an interesting problem I've toyed with the past
>few years. I actually have one of his redesigned fuzz faces. My
>problem is that my Strats are all equiped with EMG SA pickups, which
>are active, so I don't get that original Strat->Fuzz Face sound (though
>I do get lots of killer Gilmore-esque type sounds). It is further
>complicated for those with Les Pauls or other humbucker equiped
>guitars. I would like to see input circuitry that would allow
>one to adjust their guitar output signal to match responses
>of other guitars. I don't know enough about this to actually
>design it. I do believe it is more than modifying signal strength
>or filtering to modify frequency response. It may be impossible
>to truely mimic lowly single coil pickups with active circuitry.

I liked Harry's response to this (on diy). If you've seen spec sheets from
different PU manufacturers lately, they have a lot of different ways to
compare PUs (DC resistance, impedance, resonant frequency, etc.). It seems
like there is a lot of different ways to look at PUs. I don't know anything
about EMG pickups and I don't really like active electronics onboard guitars,
but I can see why people do like them.

I'm wondering if you've (or anyone here) has tried those new emulator boxes
(Roland?) that can supposedly mimic all kinds of guitar/amp rigs. I'm
completely skeptical about the claims of these units, and I similarly doubt
that one can use a box to modify the behavior of a humbucker PU to act like a
single coil and vice versa.

I don't know how much experience you've had with other types of PUs, but my
favorite PUs in general are what are referred to as Deluxe Humbuckers from
Gibson (both reverse Firebirds and Deluxe models of Les Paul and SG guitars
used these). They seem to have much of the high frequency range of single
coil PUs but with the humbucking crunch. I think these PUs have a large
magnet that is common to both coils which helps them to act more like a
single coil PU.

>I still think about a conversation we had some time ago about
>VC distortions and the idea of a two dimensional grid where each
>corner was a famous fuzz or distortion device and two voltages
>to control the location. An addition to this would be circuitry
>to compensate for differences in various guitar outputs.
>My corners would be:
>Tube screamer Fuzz Face
>| |
>| |
>| |
>| |
>MXR Distortion+ Big Muff
>These are my four favorites. Imagine being able to use a joystick
>to move between these, or better yet, a couple of LFOs moving the
>signal around this grid. Of course these effects don't really shine
>with static input amplitudes.

Well, if MOTM releases a Dual Coupled VCA (panner/crossfader) module, then
three of them would work well for this very purpose, but then you'll need a
bunch more of these modules to pan your guitar output, and other synth voices

>P.S. Can anyone on the list tell me about Portland? My wife and
>I are thinking about leaving Atlanta. What kind of music scene,

Isn't that Trenkel country -- maybe a few others too?