lo fi quest.. help?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by minorseventh, May 31, 2008.

  1. minorseventh

    minorseventh Member

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    ok...so a few weeks ago I heard a zvex lofi looper, and the tone of it really stuck in my head. not the looping aspect, but i mean the actual warmth and degraded sound of the notes. then I picked up a danelectro reel echo.. and wouldnt ya know it, but some of long delays get in that zone too.

    i just got a j. everman lofi pedal and now im trying to achieve that same thing with my straight overdriven guitar tones, i.e. not loops, or delays or any modulations.
    so far i am not finding it. im getting interesting tones for sure, but no where near that warm, soft and slightly sad sound thats in my head.

    I also have a cheap behringer parametric eq that i havent tried for this yet, but thats my next step. Im thinking frequencies must be shelved but im not sure of how to do this.
    any suggestions?

    guitar is a tele into a superchamp XD... and yes, the neck pickup helps!
     
  2. teardropexplode

    teardropexplode Member

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    Effector 13 used to do a 'Lo-Fi' pedal which would have been perfect. They're hard to come by though. On the bright side, if one pops up on ebay they're not very expensive
     
  3. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    I find this funny, yet applaude someone seeking for lofi sounds instead of "transparency" etc. Overall, can't you do just the opposite of what is suggested in every thread around here? Like, use cheaper cables, ignore true bypass.

    EQ should be easy. Start with rolling off the highs. Maybe some lower mid frequency should be boosted for warmth. etc/C
     
  4. mrecho

    mrecho Member

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  5. dB

    dB Member

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    I would think that the Catalinbread Varioboost would be the right EQ pedal for this sound. It lets you dial in the half cocked wah/AM radio sounding tone.
     
  6. puddinstone

    puddinstone Supporting Member

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    maybe cutting highs and lows...and if need be, boosting mids?
     
  7. erksin

    erksin Member

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    And you can add some grit as well with the Gain knob.

    Some non-Muff fuzz pedals can work nicely for this stuff too if you set the gain low enough.
     
  8. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

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    I find that folks tend to confuse 'lo-fi' and 'cheap' when it comes to audio, especially guitar. I love the lo-fi aesthetic.

    For me, the Trotsky Drive does it really well. I turn the gain down relatively low, below 9 o'clock, and then set the volume for either unity or just a bit of boost. I've found that the switch reacts almost opposite when your using single coils vs humbuckers so I just set it for whatever sounds best. At this setting its just a little grainy, adds a bit of hair when you dig in, and is definitely warm. Then I just soak the whole thing in reverb and call it a day. The pedal can definitely do more drive, but this is the way I'll set it up to add a lo-fi feel to my tone.

    You could even set it up like I described and run either a boost or another drive pedal in front of it to have clean and dirty lo-fi tones. It gets along well with other pedals.

    BTW, the Trotsky is being built by Nate at $uperpuma Small Time Circuitry these days. According to his Myspace it's currently $119 for the standard and $179 for a deluxe version with extra mods.
     
  9. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I really want to try the Trotsky someday - seems like it has a fairly unique sound going on...
     
  10. thiscalltoarms

    thiscalltoarms more gadgets than Batman. Gold Supporting Member

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    ibanez LF-7 is very versatile... and sounds pretty good all things considered.
     
  11. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

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    What I've come to believe about the trotsky is that its a very very very low gain silicon fuzz that acts like an OD. At least thats how it sounds to me. I dig it. I want to build one myself so I can have two on the board, one for the super low gain setting, and one to use for more drive.
     
  12. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Cool - how's the volume knob dynamics?

    Thats what I love about my Screw Driver - I use it in very much the same way as you describe using the Trotsky. It does a killer grainy/gritty low gain dirt without getting flabby.
     
  13. minorseventh

    minorseventh Member

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    thanks for all the replies. i might have been confusing in my question initially, as i am not looking for an AM radio sound, or any kind of raspy or ratty effect.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ5o0ga04d4

    here in the zvex demo he is hitting the tone at about .31 seconds in to .50, and then again from 1.46 to about 2.02... it is REAL warm, almost muffled. with the vibrato going its absolutely dreamlike, and thats exactly what im looking for.

    on the zvex site it says the looper doesnt respond over 2.6hz. so... where is 2.6 in my tone controls!!?

    i wish someone would build a pedal that makes you sound like an old cassette recording.
     
  14. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    You don't really need a pedal to sound like an old cassette recording. What kind of amp are you playing? Start with your amp, I would say. Get yourself an old low-wattage tube amp, and don't spend much. An old Valco Airline or something. There's your sound. You can boost it some with fuzz for higher gain stuff. But a number of old, small tube amps sound awesome when cranked all the way up. Awesome in a lo-fi, cassette recording kind of way.
     
  15. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    ^ Having said the above, that z-vex looper is an awesome sounding pedal! Still, get yourself a little old tube amp that sounds gritty and dirty and nasty, and may even have tremolo built in, and you can do everything that pedal does, minus the looping of course.
     
  16. minorseventh

    minorseventh Member

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    yes i totally need some tremolo now too. it never ends!
    back to ebay i go
     
  17. the.spine.surfs

    the.spine.surfs Member

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    Aggreed, which is a shame.

    I get good lo-fi sounds through a combination of different fuzzes, OD's, and boosts, all run fairly quiet, with not much gain. They each have their own way of mauling and degrading the signal a bit. With a nice long cable run, I can get some of that "sadness" that was described in the origional post.
     
  18. michael dukes

    michael dukes Member

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    Besides the Skreddy Screw Driver, or pushing the envelope a bit further, you might look at a filter like the one Frostwave makes. It lets you define the highest and/or lowest frquencies that get through, with variable resonance for both the high pass and low pass filters. Plus the whole unit just drives really well. You can achieve textures and tonalities that in my experience no EQ unit can touch. Really well built too, though it runs off of 16 volts AC so it always needs its own special wall wart.

    This doesn't address the modulation side of your question, my first suggestion would be a Boss VB-2 or maybe better yet one of many modulated delays currently on the market.

    Best of luck with your quest.

    www.frostwave.com
     
  19. minorseventh

    minorseventh Member

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    this sounds exactly like what im looking for. unfortunately it looks like hes not making them for awhile..
    the search continues
     
  20. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    I managed to program an old American idiot type low-fi radio effect on a magicstomp. It's at the end of this vid:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1mMzwBCoZ0

    It covers most purposes and I can sweep it manually for recording purposes, it even gives me a very authentic low fi 12 string for those 'Wish you were here" intro moments:AOK
     

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