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Do you use fuzz pedals live?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rotren, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. rotren

    rotren Member

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    I think fuzz pedals are fun to use at home, but I find that the sound kind of disappears in the mix when using fuzz pedals for playing live. Anyone else feel the same way?

    As a result, I don't use any of my fuzz pedals live, but instead I have a couple of distortion pedals or an overdrive + distortion pedal for a variety of gain tones.
     
  2. Clumsy Fingers

    Clumsy Fingers Member

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    I've heard plenty of players complain that the fuzz factory is 'too shrill, too trebly, too...', but I've found that it cuts through a band mix like a hot knife through butter.

    I own pedals that I like better when playing at home, but if I want to be heard, there's one fuzz that cannot be denied.



    YMMV, naturally.
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I think there are a few different strategies for using a fuzz live.

    In ALL of them, I also think it is really important to first learn the fuzz characteristics at home, and especially to try it out in band rehearsal at gig volumes.

    A couple of ways to fix the problem...

    - Get the amp volume up, back off the guitar volume. This is a real "use your ears" thing, and cannot be a mark on the fuzz "this setting works for me" as the interaction is too iffy...a millimeters difference on guitar volume makes the difference where you can clean up, but also you can have "fuzz" (really fuzzy too) but still cut through at some setting of fuzz knob and guitar vol....maybe even it is a moving target depending.
    Point being, Hendrix mostly played with three man bands, yet had no problem cutting through, listen to other 60's and 70's bands that have more instruments and still some are able to cut through easily.

    - Use an EQ pedal, OR an OD with mids, high-mids, after set more to boost (or use a boost pedal)....something that can tone shape a little and help the signal get through the mix.

    - Try fuzzes as Clumsy Fingers mentioned, like the Fuzz Factory, that may sound trebly alone, but in a mix smooth out and cut through.

    - Arranging....arrange songs so that when you use the fuzz, there maybe are less instruments playing getting in the way, OR work with the band on letting fuzz guitar have it's own sonic space...by having the band go down in volume, or EQ so there is a niche for the fuzz...

    - Soundman...mic the amp, let the sound man bring you out in the mix?

    Those are six ways (or any combo of them) I think that one can cut through...
     
  4. coolhand78

    coolhand78 Supporting Member

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    I use 2 Ge sunface and london fuzz 2 (Si)... And a tube driver (its kinda like a fuzz)...

    I use them all stacked with my blues devil and RC Booster...

    The sunface for the vol roll off thing and the london and tube driver for leads... No trouble cutting thru but i play real loud... :)
     
  5. Bobster

    Bobster Supporting Member

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    hmm, i face the same problem as rotren, hence i sold all my fuzzes away and have a huge drive section for my tonal variety. Come to think of it, i may try a fuzz live someday..
     
  6. gold_soundz

    gold_soundz Member

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    I use the fuzz factory in a band mix and it can be heard no problem.

    For about 4 years I used an old big muff and managed to cut through (3 piece - you have little chance with 2 guitars if your fellow is playing a cranked plexi). But you have to be prepared to adjust your amp settings from what sounds good in the bedroom. Bass way down, mids well up. I still had to use a super duper / super hard on for the solos though. Not needed with the fuzz factory.
     
  7. xcycle

    xcycle Member

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    The Keeley Fuzzhead gives you what you need. Just played all night on the Fuzzhead with a 808 and RC booster to bump for leads last night in a 6 piece band (two guitars) and had no trouble cutting through at all, I use the extra mod cap that they send with the unit that makes it bright and roll off a bit on the guitar tone. The secret is that they blend a distortion sound with the fuzz to get more clarity...it works. You can also change the blend with an internal trim to taste.

    I was using a Strat , JTM45 clone with a weber BlueDog ceramic.

    Cheers
    Eric
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Member

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    I absolutely love my Sun Face NTK, but I have found my MI Audio Neo to be much better live. Why? Because it has great control over the EQ, including midrange.
     
  9. rotren

    rotren Member

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    Thanks guys. I guess I end up playing mostly blues and roots music live, and I mostly find it hard to fit that fuzz tone in most of the songs.
     
  10. Steven

    Steven Member

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    A fuzz face can give you lots of great sounds just by backing of on the volume knob on the guitar.
     
  11. sfdoyle

    sfdoyle Member

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    maybe the fuzz is just not for you...?
     
  12. thewex

    thewex Member

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    ahh i had major plans to use my Sunface last gig, but crapped out during soundcheck. so i guess i'll never know how it would have worked out :) but i think given the right application, it will sound great
     
  13. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Live I use a Keeley FuzzHead mostly, but I also use a Fulltone 70 too sometimes and I can assure you both of these are able to cut the mix great.
     
  14. Soothsayer

    Soothsayer (Paul) Supporting Member

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    +1

    Try running a nice fuzz face in front of your set up, roll off your guitar volume to taste, and bam...sweet TS style overdrive.
     
  15. rjs6700

    rjs6700 Member

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    I never understood how anyone could use a fuzz, but people were doing all the time.

    THEN...I finally rolled the volume on my guitar down..now I use a fuzzface all the time. I do find it a little tricky to record though.
     
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    My bands plays some Neil Young songs like Cinnamon Girl, Hurricane and Hey Hey My My. I use a Durham Crazy Horse which gets close to Neil's exploding amp tone with humbuckers and is also a great all-round fuzzz pedal. Also use it on many other songs

    Cuts thru the mix just fine with my band for leads etc. The other guitarist uses a Crunchbox on rhythm guitar. I'll often stack an Analogman mod'ed Maxon TS-808 tubescreamer into the Crazy Horse as a boost for searing leads :cool:
     
  17. kidmandude

    kidmandude Supporting Member

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    I use them live and they do require some adjusting to the room and tempature. But once you nail a good live room setting you'll be good to go all night. cuts thru nicely to. I use batteries only in my fuzz pedals... I have 2 units on board, Gas Pedal Betty & a Pro Analog MKIII...
     

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