OK...TC Nova Drive. Thoughts?

Calaban

Member
Messages
2,944
I'm very intrigued by this pedal.

Analog OD/Dist with digital control, 18 presets, MIDI capabilities? What's not to like? (except maybe the sound lol)

I dug alot of the tones I have heard in the videos and I feel I could make it work for me. Just to have that much control and variety....

Any owners past or present care to give opinions?
 

jlagrassa

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,389
I thought the video's were good as well and got one based on them, When I got it I thought it was good but nothing special to me was also a bit noisy when the gains were cranked. I sent it back I felt for the money I could do a lot better, the preset concept was cool but thats also is a feature I can live with out!

It's still worth checking out there seem to be plenty of happy people that use them!
 

Calaban

Member
Messages
2,944
Thanks J!
Anyone else have the same experience?

I want to love the thing but I have to admit I'm a bit skeptical.
 

davehorten

Member
Messages
13
I have to say that I love the unit. I really like being able to use the OD and Distortion in parallel or run one before the other. It really makes for some very cool tones.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,417
Nifty concept in concept but left me flat in the 20 minutes I fiddled with one. I much prefer stacking my DS1 with my Menatone Blue Collar.
 

raph

Member
Messages
1,468
Overdrive is TS9-like, distortion is similar to a RAT. I could make some comparisons to a DS-1 but it doesn't have the crunch IMO. Anyway, it has tons of gain on tap. Great feel, very forgiving to play through. Quite noisy stacked at higher gain levels but a total sleeper pedal. The ability to switch saved presets via midi is awesome, awesome, awesome. Highly recommend. :aok
 

Reckedtrek

Member
Messages
1,107
I'm really enjoying mine quite a bit. You can get some really great (and varied) tones from it, and of course with the memory locations, you can save them and call them up in an instant. It replaced 3 pedals on my board (dist, OD and boost) and sounds great in a band setting or on its own.

I expected to like the OD into dist (which I do), as I did that with my previous gear, but much to my surprise I really like the Dist into OD, and the gain isn't as high as I would typically have it and the sound is cleaner, but plenty of sustain and power.

The ability to swap OD>Dist, Dist>OD, or have the two parallel is really nice. The OD has a clean blend, so with the clean blend used in the OD, parallel with the distortion, it can create 3 different tones at the same time, giving a nice big fat sound. Some (many) people want a simple 2 or 3 knob dirt box, which is understandable, but I love to tweak and this unit with all its sounds- is time well spent, tweaking.
 

rsm

Senior Member
Messages
14,081
Very happy with my Nova Drive. It does exactly what I want, and with the presets provides many variations and options. I use mine in front of a Fender Deco Tone (all tube) amp as part of a small board (see sig). Haven't found these tones in my M9, though even if I do, I have no plans to sell my Nova Drive. Its a keeper for me. YMMV.
 

Calaban

Member
Messages
2,944
Dredging this up....

I mainly favor classic rock/blues sounds (although I like many od/dist sounds). Can Nova Drive cover that territory convincingly, without sounding harsh/fizzy/80's?

I am really thinking of getting one, but I need more convincing.
 

trsU2

Member
Messages
161
I bought it to integrate it with my G system. As a stand alone pedal, it's pretty good. I find the OD to be pretty light. I agree there are probably better individual OD and dist pedals out there. It's useful b/c you can toggle between an OD setting and Dist setting or use both together, which depending on your settings can get noisy...but that's expected. For me, I program different settings and call them up via the G system, which is great.
 

forum_crawler

Member
Messages
7,308
I tried it and really liked the sounds in it. I would say this pedal isn't meant for high gain settings as it gets very noisy, especially when stacking. The midi is a great feature if you have a midi rig.

As your main distortion/overdrive I would say that you can do better with individual pedals, but spend more money in the process.

If you use it in front of a multi-channel tube amp, then it may make much more sense since you can use to push each of the distortion channels accordingly (using different OD presets), and still run it in the clean channel to do your slightly dirty, bluessy stuff without having to use another pedal for that.

I think I may have to check it out again since I only have one overdrive on my board which I use for pushing the two gain channels, but it is unusable when I just want to use a bit of gain on a clean channel.
 

Calaban

Member
Messages
2,944
I'm thinking I'll just pull the trigger on this pedal. I'm not too worried about noise because I don't play at very high gain levels.

I want to hook it up MIDI style but I've never used MIDI in my life so I'm a little intimidated. My Musicomlab EFX MkII has MIDI capabilities and I'm hoping I can control the Nova Drive with it. Anybody know if this is possible? I'm assuming it is but again I am a MIDI noob....
 

raph

Member
Messages
1,468
Dredging this up....

I mainly favor classic rock/blues sounds (although I like many od/dist sounds). Can Nova Drive cover that territory convincingly, without sounding harsh/fizzy/80's?

I am really thinking of getting one, but I need more convincing.
The Nova Drive is smooth and compressed, nice sustain and string feel, definitely not harsh or fizzy. Is that 80s? Kind of, IMO.
 

SteveO

Member
Messages
16,659
I have one, but I haven't used it since I bought my Mark V. I think I should dust it off and see how it does with this amp...
 

sweetpeeeeeee

Member
Messages
82
Hi all,

I own this pedal and like it a lot. I have an old 80ies Digitech Progrmmable Distortion, a Digitech Grunge pedal, and a Radial Tone Bone Hot British. The D-Prmmble is noisey, but old, so I'm not surprised. The Grunge...I can't get "a bit of hair" type sound with it. It's all out distortion from the jump...but it was a package deal so... I found the Hot Brit to be noisey as well and I didn't feel the EQ section was all that great. I was using a Gibosn Firebird with Lollar Firebird PUPs, but have since switched to his Mini buckers, so the noise might have been the single coil Firebird PUPs more than the pedal.

The above pedals are what I have for comparison. I ordered the NDR-1 online, took it out of the box, plugger her in and got some weird read out on the pedal and it didn't work. WTF??? I had it plugged into one of the power supplies on my SKG Stage 5 pedal board. Took it off the board, plugged it directly into an outlet box...still nothing. I was about to ship it back when I did a search online and found that some of the units shipped in "test mode". Good to know that the pedal from this online merchant was brand new, but it would have been nice to get some kind of message saying that you had to set it up by following directions online.

It was like: "plug unit in, turn X knob all the way to the left, then all the way to the right, followed by Y knob...etc....etc..."

Mind you, this is NOT in the manual at all! I had to find it online. Did what they instructed and it worked fine. So good in fact, that even after changing my PUPS from FB's to MiniB's I haven't even tried the other distortion pedals I have. An idiot could program this unit. I read the manual once and that's all it took. It is by far the easiest programmable effects unit I own.

I am driving a Genz Benz Black Pearl all tube amp. I like that the overdrive is blendable with the original sound, add to that a bit of distortion in parellell and you've got a pretty complex sound. It's not an end of the world type of overdrive. I use it to drive the tubes just past break up. You could add more overdrive if needed, but then you're going past break up into distortion...I like to add the distortion part of the pedal for that sound.

There's been some talk about this unit being noisy. I don't have a problem with that, I use a noise gate and it's silent, but even if I didn't, you can choose to have the pedal in buffered mode or non buffered mode. If that doesn't seem to cut out the noise, I'd try using the OD and Dist in parellell...this worked for my single coils.

I don't try to get any more volume out of the Distortion level. I use the distortion to distort, not increase volume. I use the boost for that. I started out with a clean sound on the amp, adjusted the distortion at the same volume as the clean, then adjusted the OD to give it a boost. This works for me YMMV.

On one preset, I have the distiontion cranked up with no OD and it sustains beautifully. It's really a great sound. When I want to crank that sound up, I hit the OD. Again, you may want to look elsewhere for the over the top super gain sounds. To my ears, this sounds like a very open pedal. With my set up, part of the problem with just about all of the other units I've used was the amount of compression added when distorting or overdriving the signal. I don't have that problem with this pedal and for this reason alone, I'm sold on it. It's all about tone and with this pedal, you can add a little bit of color or a lot. The only other downside that I have besides the "shipped in testing mode" mentioned earlier, is that, similar to the Hot British, my pedal board does not provide the correct amount of power. I plug this pedal and my pedal board into the same outlet box.

J.P.
 
Messages
5,109
I'm REALLY interested in integrating this unit into my G-System rig!
Being able to hook it up to the G and just control all the parameters via the G itself is super handy, being able to recall presets on the fly would be something that's really interesting, especially for live use!

The thing I'm wondering is, though:
Can the unit do a 'clean' boost? I don't mind some frequencies being boosted with it but I want a boost that can be clean, without any grit/fizzle. If so, then this would be the ULTIMATE add-on to the G, seeing as it doesn't do real boosting on its own.

Answers would be appreciated!
 
Messages
5,109


This is just a really small demo of the t.c. electronic Nova Drive, showing how it cleans up. I didn't feel like miking it all up, so, I just decided to grab the cam for a sec and shoot how well this thing cleans up, even with both the OD and Distortion on! You can see the settings on the video itself, I didn't change anything nor did I bypass the Nova Drive with a TB looper or MIDI.

I switched to the middle pickup position of my XP Tele and rolled the volume back from 10 to 8 and got this clean sound that can easily get a hair on it! I switched to the volume at 10 and the bridge position for the distortion sound. I do have to mention that I played with my fingers for the clean part and switched to a pick for the distortion tones.

Don't mind the sound itself, it's NOT a fair representation of this pedal, especially because the cam was on TOP of the amp and I had the volume quite low (you can even hear the pick). The Nova Drive actually really rocks, it's far above my expectations! I never actually thought it could do metal and palm-muting stuff, but the secret is the OD (which is basically a Tube Screamer) into the Distortion (series, of course). Voilà! It handles it quite well.

Anyways,
I don't really plan on doing a full demo on this because I've seen quite a lot on YouTube etc. I just wanted to show this drastic change in sounds with just the usage of a guitar itself.

I didn't use anything else besides the XP Tele, the t.c. electronic G-System (nothing is used though), the Nova Drive and the Koch Powertone's Drive channel (with the drive barely up - I just use that channel because my clean channel is set really bright).
 






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