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Effects 101Lots of Effects-related info


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#41

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 12:09 PM

It's always cool to go shopping for stompboxes when you have no particular thing in mind. Then you are free to try out a bunch of different stuff and experiment until you find something you really like. That's how I ended up with a Scholz Distortion Generator.

#42 skm

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 02:21 AM

Paulward - If you've got nothing in mind, then try out a whole bunch of different effects. The bluesbreaker is okay, but it may not leap out at you as being a bit different. It sounds like you want a more versatile or unusual pedal, so I'd look at flangers, tremolo pedals, delays... that kind of thing. Hopefully something will leap out at you. Bear in mind that this kind of pedal could also be used subtley on electro-acoustic... whereas things like distortion or wah would be harder to use in that setting.

IwishIwasgood - EQ... is equalisation. This is what shapes your tone. A basic tone control on your guitar will cut the higher frequencies as you roll it back, the same as the tone knobs on stereos worldwide. This goes one step further on your amp, which will have separate tone controls for different "frequency bands" (ie. lows, mids and highs). Only when you get to a proper equaliser can you actually boost a frequency (tone controls can only cut) as well as cut. You can use this to make your sound richer, 'scooped', toppy, bassy or any of the other adjectives often applied to tone. You can also use it to control feedback by cutting the resonant frequency that's causing trouble.
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#43 halfmoonbay

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 02:55 AM

On 2003-03-25 06:23, paulward wrote:
i was looking at a bluesbreaker, are they any good, they sound nice, but only have one effect?



For 45 they're not bad, you can get some pretty nice tones from them. And the boost mode is very useful if you're playing live....... sometimes all you need is a bit more kick. However, I much prefer the TS9 as an overdrive, most people reckon it's worth shelling out the extra cash for one. The Boss BD-2 has also grown on me lately, it has a bit more clout than traditional overdrive units.
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#44 iwishiwasgood

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 06:34 AM

Thanx skm, now I understand.

#45 skm

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Posted 01 April 2003 - 07:12 AM

*Bumped to top*
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#46 corec

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:16 PM

I think it would be helpful to give examples of songs or include links to audio clips in which some of these effects are used. It's hard (for me at least) to visualize some sounds that are just described in words.

#47 thesumschick

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 05:40 AM

Hey, speaking of effects and stuff,I was wondering, i wanted to get like, a kind of Ska sound on my guitar, right. If you have ever listened to a band called Five Iron Frenzy, or Mighty Mighty Bosstones, in the song The Impression That I Get, you know what I'm talking about...But I don't know how to get thats sound. Would I need a foot switch or pedal or something?

#48 warped_guitarist

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 03:43 PM

Would you please be able to describe what happens to the sound wave when you fiddle with the EQ on your amp? IE: LOW, MID, HiGH.
It would be of great help.

#49 skm

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 02:39 AM

QUOTE
On 2003-05-07 18:43, warped_guitarist wrote:
Would you please be able to describe what happens to the sound wave when you fiddle with the EQ on your amp?  IE: LOW, MID, HiGH.
It would be of great help.

Okay, I haven't been around for a while 'cos I've been mentally busy, but here's a quick answer:

It depends on whether you have tone controls or a parametric EQ. If you've just got three tone pots, all your amp can do is cut from these frequencies. Setting everything to maximum will let everything through. ie. If you roll off the bass, you cut the low end (where the cutoff frequency is depends on the manufacturer).

If you've got a graphic equalizer on there, then it'll behave differently. There you have a little amplifier circuit operating over a set bandwidth (say 20-100 Hz for the lowest channel). By moving the slider you can either cut OR boost that frequency.

The effect it'll have on your sound is different because you can highlight certain frequencies which may not normally shine through. Realistically, the best way to understand how it affects the sound is to play with it.
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#50 skm

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 05:43 AM

Bumped to top...

Andy, what do you reckon to taking some bits of this and making an Effects 101 sticky, to save the basic questions?

Also:
Here's something I posted a couple of years ago, before the Effects forum existed. I found it as I was clearing out some files at work. I've removed the technical bit, since the description on page 1 is much better.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Gain, Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz. The official answer?!?!

Less Technical Explanations:
Okay... your guitar's pick-ups give out a signal from the plucked strings, I'll call this the input signal. Any signal added on to it to change it's shape I'll call the imposed signal. Any signal you get out of the pedals/amp I'll call the output signal.
GAIN: This takes your input signal and makes it bigger. How is this different to volume? Well, gain multiplies your signal before it hits the main amplifier circuits. This means that the harmonics (which are always present when you hit a string) are amplified more than the main pitch of the string, so you get a more 'ringing' sound.
OVERDRIVE: When the gain is pushed too high for the amp (or the transistors inside some pedals) to cope at any given volume level, the input signal will start to deform. This changes the sound by cutting the level of the main pitch - allowing the harmonics to sing through better.
DISTORTION: This is where we start artificially altering the signal. The input signal is 'squared off' by the electronics, a more pronounced version of the effect described for overdrive. This is designed to give a similar output signal to an overdriven amp... only it gets done before it hits the amp, so it's easier to get a more pronounced effect. It also breaks the signal up a bit making it sound 'crunchy' on the low notes.
FUZZ: The most extreme of the pedals - it takes the distortion pedal, throws in a mixing control (the 'filter') so you can almost totally deform the input signal. On top of this it also has a gain circuit... Harmonics will just fly out of this beast, and your low notes will just growl at you.

I realise that these are very much simplified, and through that have lost a little technical accuracy, but if you got through that okay then page 1 holds all the answers. smile.gif
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#51 halfmoonbay

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 01:21 PM

QUOTE
Bumped to top...

Andy, what do you reckon to taking some bits of this and making an Effects 101 sticky, to save the basic questions?

I was looking for this post yesterday so I could do the same thing. Didn't find it. smile.gif
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#52 atlas_101

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 05:58 AM

could you please explain how a whammy works and what sound is creates.

#53 skm

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 02:00 AM

Atlas... I'll try to get round to your question soon. I haven't forgotten, I'm just a tad busy!


Sound Levels:
The decibel (dB) is used to measure sound level, but it is also widely used in electronics and signals. The dB is a logarithmic unit used to describe a ratio. The ratio may be power, voltage, or anything else.

(Here comes some maths... scroll down if you don't want to see it!)
Ok, suppose we have two loudspeakers, the first playing a sound with power P1, and another playing a louder version of the same sound with power P2, but everything else kept the same.

The difference in decibels between the two is given by

10 log (P2/P1) dB (where the log is to base 10).

If the second produces twice as much power than the first, the difference in dB is
10 log (P2/P1) = 10 log 2 = 3 dB.
If the second had 10 times the power of the first, the difference in dB would be
10 log (P2/P1)= 10 log 10 = 10 dB.

So we use decibel scales because they can describe very big ratios in power using fairly small numbers.


Sound pressure, sound level and dB. Sound is usually measured with microphones and they respond (approximately) proportionally to the sound pressure, p. Now the power in a sound wave, all else equal, goes as the square of the pressure. The log of the square of x is just 2 log x, so this introduces a factor of 2 when we convert to decibels for pressures. The difference in sound pressure level between two sounds with p1 and p2 is defined as:
20 log (p2/p1) dB

When the decibel is used to give the sound level for a single sound rather than a ratio, then a reference level must be chosen. This is usually taken as the lower limit of human hearing, i.e. O dB is practically no sound. There is still sound there, but too quiet to hear.

That's on an ABSOLUTE scale. So 0 dB does not mean no sound, it means a sound level where the sound pressure is equal to that of the reference level. This is a small pressure, but not zero. It is also possible to have negative sound levels: - 20 dB would mean a sound with pressure 10 times smaller than the reference pressure. If you have an EQ slider, that's going to work on a RELATIVE scale. The volume of the channel when the slider is at zero is the reference and the variations are relative to that. The same thing happens with, say, compressor pedals. If it says it gives a 6 dB boost, that means it takes the input level as the reference, then applies 6 dB.


Also, not all sound pressures are equally loud. This is because the human ear does not respond equally to all frequencies: we are much more sensitive to sounds in the frequency range about 1 kHz to 4 kHz than to very low or high frequency sounds. The ear is capable of hearing a very large range of sounds: the ratio of the sound pressure that causes permanent damage from short exposure to the limit that (undamaged) ears can hear is more than a million. To deal with such a range, logarithmic units are useful: the log of a million is 6, so this ratio represents
a difference of (6x20=) 120 dB.



Recap:
Decibels measure ratios. When we're working with sound, an approximate doubling of the sound level will be +6dB. That doesn't necessarily mean twice the percieved volume though, because the ear has different sensitivity to different frequencies.

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#54 weonlywonfiveone

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 02:43 AM

Great post, pity about all the broken tags in there (the [img] ones) but good job, very helpful biggrin.gif

Was onwdering if you include (If you haven;t done so already) a small post on how an electric guitar actually works. I have read on this before but have since forgotten tongue.gif

Cheers.

#55 skm

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 04:31 AM

QUOTE (weonlywonfiveone @ Sep 4 2003, 10:43 AM)
Great post, pity about all the broken tags in there (the [img] ones) but good job, very helpful biggrin.gif

Was onwdering if you include (If you haven;t done so already) a small post on how an electric guitar actually works. I have read on this before but have since forgotten tongue.gif

Cheers.

Have now fixed the tags... admittedly some image links are now dead, but that can wait.

I'll stick the electric guitar on my "To Do" list... right after "Finish Thesis" and "Get New Job" ohmy.gif

Admittedly I've done something before (I think) so if you wanted to rummage in (probably Q&A) and post a link here...
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#56 atlas_101

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (skm)
Atlas... I'll try to get round to your question soon. I haven't forgotten, I'm just a tad busy!


Okay biggrin.gif

#57 xplizit

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 12:44 PM

nice thread! you really know you're stuff! cool.gif


could you explain how to build an effect pedal ? (or give me some links)
what pedal doesn't really matter, as I just want to have a pedal that I made myself. (preferably the easiest one to begin with though biggrin.gif )
I understand most the technical stuff (resistors, transistors, diodies, how to solder etc..)

Thanks smile.gif
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#58 Rock N Reverb

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 01:06 PM

Could anyone explain the difference, if there is one, between reverb, echo, tape slap and slap back?

#59 onstandby

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 10:13 AM

can you explain what exactly the leslie effect is?

#60 indyguitarist

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 08:53 PM

I'll jump in here real quick, to give a few basic mods for boss pedals. Take your basic boss overdrive or distortion (sd-1, ds-1, od-3, bd-2, etc.). Find the input and output caps. double the value of these, using metal stack film caps, if possible. Change 2 of the diodes to led's (spongieness), 1n4001's (more distortion), or germanium's (more fuzzy). In a sd-1, double the cap values at c1, and c2 for more bass. For an od-3, experiment with the resistors going into the op amp. For a bd-2, change the cap on the tone pot to a .047uf, remove c9, c17=.1uf, c27=.22uf.

Give those a try if you have some time on your hands, and let me know what you think! Brian@indyguitarist.com

Brian



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