Pedal Taxonomy

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by stratovarius, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    If there is enough interest I will continue updating this first post with your contributions. We can eventually take it all the way down to individual models. Propose it, debate it and I'll update it. This first pass is just a straw man to get started. I have a feeling some of this is going to get complicated!


    Kingdom Gain
    _Phylum Clean Boost
    _Phylum Overdrive
    _Phylum Distortion
    _Phylum Fuzz

    Kingdom Dynamics
    _Phylum Compressor
    _Phylum Sustainer
    _Phylum Volume

    Kingdom Frequency
    _Phylum Equalizer
    _Phylum Enhancer

    Kingdom Repeat
    _Phylum Reverb
    _Phylum Delay
    _Phylum Loop

    Kindom Modulation
    _Phylum Tremolo
    _Phylum Vibrato
    _Phylum Chorus
    _Phylum Flanger
    _Phylum Phaser
    _Phylum Vibe
    _Phylum Rotating Speaker
    _Phylum Ring Modulator
    _Phylum Wah

    Kingdom Signal Processing
    _Phylum Buffer
    _Phylum Switcher
    _Phylum Noise Supressor
    _Phylum Tuner
     
  2. Don Rusk

    Don Rusk Gold Supporting Member

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    What? Whos King Phylo?
    We aint edutaterd enuff to git this ;)
     
  3. DocRock

    DocRock Supporting Member

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  4. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Dang it, I knew I shouldn't have said "thats a great Idea!" You can blame this Librarian for this. :crazyguy that being said, it's gonna have alot of variables that must be decided from the get go. Do we do it by era of tone: 60's vs 70's vs. 80's or do we do it by the types of tone produced, Wooley fuzz vs. Sustain fuzz vs. Modern Fuzz vs. etc. Do we base it on what amps/pedals its sounds good with? Difficult choices to make.

    Personally, I feel the best way to break things down are for example:

    Kingdom Gain


    _Phylum Overdrive -> Tone (compressed, non-compressed) -> varieties (TS/Rangemaster/Etc) -> pedals

    _Phylum Fuzz -> tone (Wooley, Modern, Sustain, etc) -> Varieties (tonebenders, Beebaa's, super fuzzs) -> pedals


    that doesn't sound perfect, and is open to debate, but would be the easiest way I can think of....
     
  5. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Maybe a tree would be better, this way clones or "inspired by" pedals would be able to be traced to their ancestors. It would also solve the era question as the older pedals would obviously come before the modern ones.
     
  6. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Thats more of what I was originally thinking... its tough to do. Basically we should probally start with one line, and trace it through, then move from that to the next, to the next. for instance, starting with Fuzz (since that what begot this whole Idea) we can begin, and trace from Maestro and tonebender and move along til we hit on everything that has followed. Personally, I think it sounds like months (or years) worth of research and work... Is this sort of thing available already?
     
  7. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Ah, more like a Geneology! That might be interesting. I guess either way would yield similar results - ontogeny recapitualtes phylogeny and all that!

    I thought it might be useful to have to have some common reference when we talk about this stuff, but I can definitely see things getting out of hand.
     
  8. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Yea, I think the problem with doing it the original way is one must develop specific traits, where as doing it linear (like geneology) the traits are revealed through the line of development, without having to define them from the get-go.

    Im gonna do some research and see what books I can get my hands on... I'm not sure it can be done without some signifigant research.
     
  9. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    Agreed on both points - this would be a huge project, but very very very rewarding.

    There's a great and well-known hand-drawn "rock'n'roll family tree" graphic that would be a fine model... but I can't seem to find it on the web. I know it's out there...
     
  10. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Kings Play Chess On Fine Gold Squares! :D
     
  11. gearitis

    gearitis Gold Supporting Member

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    I learned it as King Philip Came Over From Germany Smashed!

    It's stuck with me 'til this day. However, I can't post the phrase here that my first guitar teacher used to help his students remember the order of flats without getting suspended. ;)
     
  12. Amptone

    Amptone Member

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    EQ is the most misunderstood and underestimated. An EQ pedal that has Volume and band levels is a combination of literal clean boost and distortion voicing, the latter particularly when EQ is placed before a distortion stage. EQ pedals have an intimate relation with overdrive/distortion pedals. Every guitar rig has the implicit or explicit processing chain: pickup's eq response > preamp distortion stage > interstage eq > preamp distortion stage > amp's tone stack > power tube distortion > speaker cab eq response. Simplified, this amounts to eq > preamp dist > eq > powertube dist > eq > guitar speaker (including speaker distortion). Each EQ stage, whether implicit or explicit, directly controls the distortion voicing. So EQ pedals must be kept nearby the od/dist category.

    -- Michael Hoffman, Amptone.com
     
  13. mezcalhead

    mezcalhead Member

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    This is quite a cool idea.

    I'm not sure I quite agree with this .. I think you need to break this kingdom down a bit further. For example, subgroups like slightly delayed out-of-phase signals (chorus) and moving notch filters (phaser, wah) .. ?

    Also, tremolo (volume variation) isn't really that closely related to the other modulation effects. I guess it depends on whether you're classifying by the effect on the signal or the perceived effect on the sound. If you're going by what it actually does to the signal, it might be better classed with volume pedals.

    Wow, this is nerdy. I like it!
     
  14. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    Wow, very interesting premise

    Maybe we need to get some of those pedal kits and make our own gear page "Kingdom Series"
     
  15. walpow

    walpow Guest

    If the taxonomy idea is followed through, I'd suggest making it Kingdom Pedal, making the phyla Gain, Dynamics, whatever, and having the classes be Overdrive, Fuzz, etc. Then, if it ever gets completed, you can start on Kingdom Amplifier.

    Nathan
    http://walpow.com
     
  16. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    This is a good point, but we have to live with some compromises in any sort of classification system we choose. I think we need to decide whether we use a taxonomy, a geneology or something else. My intent was to come up with something that would help us have a common reference for discussions just such as this.

    I really love your site, by the way - many thanks for your efforts!
     
  17. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Yes, I thought of those things. I just wanted to throw something out there to get the discussion going. It could end up being quite a large effort by the time we're done.
     
  18. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    Dynamics should be within Gain. Because that's all a compressor really is, it varies the gain depending on the input signal level.

    Same with noise supression, which again varies gain depending on input, and a buffer, which is gain (of 1).

    Phasers and vibes are the same thing. etc. etc.

    You might want to check this document out for more info:

    http://geofex.com/effxfaq/fxtaxon.htm
     
  19. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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  20. cerebralpaul

    cerebralpaul Member

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    Wouldn't it be:
    Kingdom= musical instruments
    Phylum= guitar
    Class= electric
    Order= signal processors
    Family= footpedals
    and then subdivide?

    That said I like the family tree idea better anyway :)
     

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