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Modding a fuzz pedal for octave down Doom Metal?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ChorusCrackpot, May 22, 2020.

  1. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    I have a silicon transistor fuzz pedal, which was originally commissioned to be the "spittiest" fuzz pedal of all. It has a Gain control and Volume.

    I want to modify it into an octave 'down' pedal with distortion, that can work in an effects loop with a low gain preamp boosting it to Doom Metal intensity. Ideally I want it to sound just like this:



    (The overall sound was so loud it distorted the camera's microphone! Oh, I did not record the video clip.)

    It just needs to be one octave down.

    I want to keep the Gain knob to control the amount of distortion, and use the Volume for blending the octaved-down signal with the dry signal. Fully clockwise would be all octaved-signal.
     
  2. Warkli

    Warkli Member

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    I'm not a pedal builder and don't have a deep knowledge of circuits. May be a person that know the fuzz circuit components will clarify that. But to my understanding what you are asking is not a simple mod, instead it can be count as to build a second pedal into your fuzz pedal and I doubt that it will be efficient.

    I would go for an existing octave down fuzz pedal instead. Like MXR Sub-Machine.
    Or you can add an octave pedal to your arsenal and stack it with your fuzz.
    Safer solutions.
     
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  3. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    I don't mind just replacing the fuzz circuit with an octave-down circuit that can handle a line level signal, and maybe incorporate a distortion circuit after it. It's just that I want to use the chassis of the fuzz pedal and its switch and control knobs.
     
  4. Odieux Fonzie

    Odieux Fonzie Member

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    may i ask you why ?
     
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  5. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    Because I want to get an octaved-down doom sound like WitchCliff.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  6. ikan

    ikan Member

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    Agreed with @Warkli. I’d pair it with an octave pedal. Something like EHX Pitch Fork which can go down more if you want to get extra doomy.
     
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  7. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    I've looked into the Pitch Fork. I like it, however I want to make use of this fuzz pedal which honestly has just been a paperweight for the past few years. The reason for it incorporating distortion is that I want to use it in the effects loop of my MarkIV with the Rhythm 2 channel pushing it a bit harder. I know it will be a "distortion on top of distortion" sound but that's okay for a really fuzzy woolly sound, especially if its octaved down.

    I can get doomy and octaved sounds with my current rig, in fact I already have an EHX POG. But I want to save the POG for creamy Hammond Organ sounds rather than a straight-up octave effect.
     
  8. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    You can't just mod a fuzz for octave down, and if someone could do it, it would cost more than buying the appropriate pedal anyway. Keep using it as a paperweight... :)
     
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  9. Eveningtheme

    Eveningtheme Member

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    Is he really using an octave-down effect? I can't hear it if so - just sounds like a muff or other bass-heavy fuzz to me.

    But like everyone else is suggesting, just grab a cheap octaver and a different fuzz - my 'spitty' fuzzes are the exact opposite of this sound, when I think spitty I think all mids, gated and no low end.
     
  10. Chandyland

    Chandyland Member

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    I really can't recommend putting an analog octave pedal in your amp's loop. The tracking would be absolute garbage with that level of gain.

    It would make way more sense to put a decent digital octave pedal (Pitch Fork, Whammy, etc.) in your loop and run a distortion into it.

    Or better yet, run an octave pedal first in your chain (tracking will be best first in line, pre distortion) and EQ everything to handle the added low end.

    As others have said, I'm also not convinced there's an octave pedal involved with the sound in that video clip. I think they're probably just downtuned and using a really bass-heavy fuzz.
     
  11. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    Yeah they are using a bass-heavy fuzz for the guitar, but there would be an octave-down effect as well to get the lower notes. But what I like the most is when Holly comes in with her overdriven bass guitar and the whole thing locks together so huge that it distorts the camera's microphone!

    And yes "spitty" is the gated, middy sound. I did like that type of sound for a bit, but it didn't stick. I just can't gel with it. For my own woolly fuzzy sounds I just roll down one of the tone controls on the guitar and fingerpick while using the amp's distortion.

    I don't want to get rid of this pedal, which is why I want to change the circuit to a different kind of fuzz sound, and ideally wire in an octave effect with it, inside the same chassis.
     
  12. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    Did you contact any of the guys around here who build custom pedals yet?
     
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  13. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    No I haven't - good question though! But I am thinking about contacting the builder who did custom-build the original fuzz pedal for me. However I am hoping to see if I can modify this myself if making an octave-fuzz circuit say from BYOC etc. isn't too difficult to retro-fit.
     
  14. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    There is nothing to modify, you're gonna have to rip everything out and put all new guts in there at least. I don't know if BYOC or GGG offer any octave down stuff, clean or fuzz. Short of finding a whole new octave down fuzz, you could downtune or snag a reasonably priced baritone guitar and run it through something like a ZVex Woolly Mammoth or go nuts and run it through an octave up pedal for some more mayhem!
     
  15. Chandyland

    Chandyland Member

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    Again, I really don't think there's even an octave down effect going on there.

    I haven't been able to find any information on the guitarist's rig, so I can't confirm or deny that, but it doesn't sound like it to me.

    And it certainly doesn't sound like an octave down running in an amp's effects loop.

    I would highly recommend running a down-tuned guitar (or baritone) into a Big Muff or maybe a Woolly Mammoth into the front-end of your amp.
     
  16. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    So, there's two ways to generate an octave down:
    1. Digitally-this is truly an octave-you're detecting the pitch and reproducing it (which can give you polyphonic pitch shift-more than one note at a time without turning into sludge like your POG) or delaying a tiny loop of your tone and pitch shifting that down (like the Boss PS3, it doesn't track perfectly and doesn't do well with more than one pitch).
    2. Analog-it's a little technical, but you're using square waves to drive a clock circuit that then flips the polarity of some of the incoming signal. It doesn't tolerate more than one note well at all, and tends not to track well farther down the neck (it wants as close to a sine wave input as possible-neck pickup, tone rolled down).

    None of these are going to do great in the effects loop of your amp, sorry. By the time the signal gets to the loop, it's already distorted and they can't track. If you got a more technologically advanced one that allowed you to "detect" the pitch at the beginning of the chain, but apply the effect in the loop, that could work, but I don't know anyone who is building it. And none of them are going to be happy with downtuned power chords, except maybe your POG.

    Are you only doing doom for a few songs? Because if you're doing it for more than that, downtune, get a baritone or 7 string, or use a 7 or 8 string set on a 6 string guitar. If it's only a few songs, just get a POG mini or something.

    As to building your own octave down? Not worth it, to many parts for a simple build. Buy an OC2 and put the guts in your pedal.
     
  17. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    Bugga. Oh well then. I guess I'll just have to use my POG for octaving down and just use the amp's distortion with my guitar's tone pot rolled down a bit for the fuzzy sound. Thanks for your advice.
     
  18. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    As I listen back to the video now, I think it was when the bass comes in (before the camera lifts up and gets distorted by the PA speakers) is what impresses me the most. It reminds me of being there (I was in the back of the crowd, behind the people mosh-dancing and then patting the dog that walks through) and hearing that massive doomy bass sound coupled with the growl from the guitar.
     
  19. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    Thanks very much for that. Yeah it's only for a few songs, and to save me from down-tuning. I'd rather just transpose the notes & chords to higher string positions and use an octave-down effect. I'd need a polyphonic octave effect that tracks perfectly.
    I'm open to getting a Nano POG to just use for octave-down, and save my full-size POG for Hammond Organ creamy sounds. I just thought I could make use of this fuzz pedal which I have not used much for the last five years. I don't want to sell it though because it's one of a kind (custom build).
     
  20. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    During my pre-dawn early morning walk by the sea today, March of the Fire Ants by Mastodon burst through the headphones. It has inspired me to just try using my POG for the octave down signal and maybe use an overdrive pedal with it to push the Rhythm 2 channel on my MarkIV into high distortion. That way it's a different sound to my Lead channel.
     
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