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A Good Pedal for Sustain (Getting Notes to Ring out Longer)

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Crunchy, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Crunchy

    Crunchy Member

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    All that I'm really looking for, is a pedal (when coupled with a fulldrive or similar distortion/overdrive unit) that can give me very long sustain, notes that ring out endlessly, notes that do not stop sounding until I manually mute the string by stopping its vibration with my hand.

    I dont want to mod my guitar with a sustainer or anything, and I do not want to use an e-bow.
    Instead, should I use something like a big muff or cornish soft sustain, or should I get some sort of compressor (keeley/boss?)
    My current equipment consists of a fender custom shop strat (single coils), a fender twin reverb, a fulldrive 2, and a damage control womanizer.

    I usually picture most gilmour solos or santana songs when I am thinking of this, such as Europa or the solo from Mother, where the notes ring out indefinitely.

    Thanks.
     
  2. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    I would change your amp.

    Of course, there are many to choose from.:AOK

    I can get that enless sustain thing from the amps that I have chosen. I dig a woody and dynamic clean sound.

    Using something like a Fuchs OD30 or whatever they are called is another good way to go.

    I chose mine for the open voice that will feed back at low volumes. Of course pedals help there as well.

    Yeah, I would go with an amp that has a bit more of an open voice. M.E.
     
  3. trucks

    trucks Member

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    Keeley comp will give you sustain.
     
  4. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 on the Keeley compressor. Great sustain and pretty transparent. You can preserve your picking attack better than most compressors IMO.
     
  5. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    First things first: make sure your guitar is set up as well as it can be- tighten up the bridge and neck screws, and check the nut slots for optimal action. There is no electronic substitute for natural sustain and resonance. Also, and this might sound obvious but please don't be insulted: how often do you change your strings? A fresh set can substantially change both the feel and the signal strength of your guitar.

    Next: trying to get the Gilmour EMG or Santana humbucker sound from a set of vintage-wound Strat pickups is no easy trick. If you can't get very long sustain from the FD2 with the boost kicked in, it's time to think about a Big Muff- DG has used them for many years incl the "Wall" sessions, the right one ought to do the trick (and by "the trick," I mean a good thick sustained tone which still has some dynamics- not sure how well a FD2 + compressor will do that). Skreddy and Euthymia make well-reviewed "boutique" versions, though you might run into a cherry USA RI, too.

    Edit: just looked up that Damage Control pedal, it's high gain and has an opto-comp built in! That won't do it? Maybe it's time to think about the amp. What are the details about the Twin re. circuit and speakers?
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I like the Squeeze Factor Orange Squeezer clone and CompROSSor Ross clone. You might try spending $25 or so on eBay on one of the "vintage" Walco Chord & Note Sustainers. It's a loud, noisy compressor with no controls. It's compression is huge and there is a big jump in volume (offset in my setup because it's in a switchable loop with another pedal that can take the signal down a bit from unity gain so there's not a huge bump in volume every time I use it). It also causes held notes to feed back onto/into themselves. This in turn creates volume swells. No attack will be preserved, well, for the most part, anyway... I use it with the POG in a loop in front of my amp driving a Leslie cabinet for organ tones. The CompROSSor in front of the POG going into the Walco to the Leslie is a cool sound, especially with the Deluxe Memory Man creating a short delay for a percussive organ sound. The Walco also further removes the dynamics from my standard guitar sound, making the organ sounds even more different sounding, increasing believability maybe that it is an organ playing the parts. It might not be what you need, but it's the only thing that I found for endless sustain rather than adding one of those Fernandez Sustainer units/guitars/pickup rigs or the Sustainiac. They are cool, just too much $$$ and gear to do one thing and I don't want to put that on my PRS. I do have an eBow, which you should try. You can get endless sustain, violin tones, there is a harmonic setting that feeds back instantly (good for a little GnR maybe), synth-y sounds. It basically has a little blue light at the bottom that creates a magnetic field the size of about one string that causes it to vibrate, voila. You can get cool dynamic effects by backing off and getting closer to the strings. Really easy way for me to nail that organ lick where there's a groove going and one note is sustained above everything else while the Leslie is being ramped between fast and slow (Vibrato/Chorale)... of course I either have to rely on other musicians or looped parts to provide whatever is under the high sustained note, but that's not too bad. You can't use the eBow to vibrate more than one string at any time, there is a learning curve to smoothly and accurately switching strings. Turning the tone knob down really gets a great violin/cello sound. I think you're only supposed to use the neck pickup. I could be wrong, but that's the one that sounds the best, so I always use it. That's where the "sweet spot" for vibrating the strings is, and it's right over the pickup usually. Make sure and get the one with the normal and harmonic modes if you get one, they're about $85-90. They do take a lot of practice to get really good with them, I'm not quite 100% at it just yet (trying to work up Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude from classical rep to electric guitar with eBow to sound like a cello playing it, maybe about 75% "there" on that one)...

    I went these two routes because I wanted to be able to get the sustain with my clean sound, from what you wrote, it sounds like you may be after a distortion that creates a feedback or such a harmonically rich sound that the notes sustain forever. I think a lot of guys do the "playing guitar while walking over by your speaker cab" thing to get feedback and to sustain notes. Pinch harmonics can feed back if your tone is dirty enough (train yourself by listening to Billy Gibbons on "La Grange" for 200 hours straight). So, whatever you come up with, good luck. If you find a higher quality/less noise pedal solution that does something akin to what the Walco Chord & Note Sustainer does, please let me know. I think there's a Boss digital pedal of some sort that you can "hold" a note, but I think that's like sampling/replaying and it's a non-latching function that only plays the tone heard at the moment of pressing the pedal and then lets it go when you lift your foot. PS-5? Not sure.
     
  7. Crunchy

    Crunchy Member

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    Thanks for the great responses guys.
    First things first:

    wgs1230 - my guitar just got set last week, and my strings are brand new 11's. My amp is a blackface twin (42-1 circuit) with jensen speakers. I do not intend on buying a new amp (my budget is around 200-300 dollars for getting a pedal that can sustain my tone.

    Right now, I'm thinking about getting either a keeley comp or a big muff.
    Which one would bring me more sustain if it was coupled with my womanizer?
     
  8. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I went looking for just this thing with a Vintage AC30 (run sparkling clean) that I'm using at church. I ended up with a couple of different effective ways to do it:
    1. The Big Muff and clones work very well, but they're noisy as hell (the Sustain Punch Creamy Dreamer is discontinued but seems the apex of this approach to me). If the hiss isn't a problem in your setting, you're done.
    2. Stacking pedals-I found a couple of stacks that'll give me infinite sustain-Comprosser into FDII into Barber Burn Unit, Klon into Sansamp (original model), Korg PME40x with distortion and OD modules or even better 2 ODs and a distortion all set differently (this is the quietest solution since they're well grounded and well shielded but it's big). With what you've got, have you tried the FDII into Womanizer or vice versa? The biggest problem with stacking is unpotted pickups howling (enough gain and the slight movement of the coils is amplified).
     
  9. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    Either can substantially increase sustain, but they'll also introduce more compression into the signal on top of whatever you're getting from either of your current boxes. Probably overkill. The Muff on its own is such a strong flavor that mating it to anything other than a clean boost is usually overkill, too. I don't know the Womanizer at all, but the FD2 already has a fair amount of compression and high end roll-off. Have you tried placing a clean booster in front of either pedal, something simple like a Micro-Amp? Raw, uncompressed gain into one of the other boxes might be the ticket.

    Also: there's a simple mod you can perform to input 1 of either channel on the Twin. All the bf Fender circuits come stock with a 68K gain pad on the input; you could swap in a lower value resistor, say 22K, to allow more of your signal to hit the preamp. Might be the right move (and it's easy to reverse).
     
  10. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    It takes a bit of volume, but I can get some really good sustain with a Barber Tone Press goosing a Zendrive.
     
  11. Crunchy

    Crunchy Member

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    drbob1 - I have tried Fulldrive into womanizer, the the result was an undesired amount of feedback, and yes, I have tried adjusting settings to no avail

    wgs1230 - what kind of big muff would I use to obtain that classic dave gilmour sound? there are so many types, I've seen vintage usa muffs, usa reissues, sovtek reissues, and vintage army-green sovteks?

    I have tried clean boosts, but they can not induce enough sustain. I'm still thinking keeley comp or muff, and yes, I know they can introduce more compression, but it might not necessarily be overkill...what are the pros/cons of using each?
     
  12. trucks

    trucks Member

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    Gilmour sound - Euthymia ICBM for Comfortably Numb Era and Skreddy Top Fuel for later stuff.

    I get good sustain from the Keeley without a great deal of compression. One of the nice things about the Keeley is that it can be set so you notice the feel more than the affect of your tone. Look at Steelbender's review. Sums up my experience as well.
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Member

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    +1 AnalogMan Mini Bi-comp :AOK very versatile and you have alot of options with your pallet of compression and sustain!
     
  14. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    He's used at least 3 different versions of the circuit (in conjunction with Boss EQ pedals in concert), so it really depends on the album/tune you have in mind. (Also, before "WYWH" the fuzz was mostly FuzzFace or Orange Treble/Bass Boost.) I've always liked the late 70s/early 80s IC-based version, should never have let my old one get away. The Euthymia is a clone of that circuit.

    Check out this thread, lots of useful info:
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=124223
    Also, have you seen the gilmourish.com site?
     
  15. Entztrix

    Entztrix Member

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    Definately go with the analogman bicomp...
    just listen to any phish guitar solo....trey is the epidome of sustain:AOK
     
  16. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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  17. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    There are lots of good suggestions here, but in the end you can't get blood from a turnip. There really is no substitute for acoustic feedback, I'm afraid. When playing at low levels, I move in really close to the amp.
     
  18. jman

    jman Member

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    Aside from that sustainer thing you mentioned or the ebow(same concept i think?) i don't really know of any other device that will cause a string to keep vibrating on command...as mentioned,the right amp/guitar/pickup/OD and or compressor combo will go a long way to that end but i don't see any one combination working the same for everybody.
     
  19. Senor Blues

    Senor Blues Member

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    I actually find the opto compresor that is built into the Womanizer is all I need, just twist the knob :)
     
  20. TMoran

    TMoran Member

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    Did you see this month's GTR PLAYER?? It had a pc. on the FERNANDES
    SUSTAINER.. this sounds like what you may be looking for. You have to replace the front pickup on your guitar with the Sustainer; the effect is
    switchable from Regular PU to sustainer- I've not really had much experience with them, but notes supposedly sustain forever, long E-bow
    type of sustai... The tricky thing is finding a guitar with the unit IN it!!!
    Good luck!!!
     

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