The best Shoegaze distortion (My Bloody Valentine, Lush...)

spiritofeden

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Please suggest me the best distortion pedals to achive the classic Shoegaze feel...

Rat?
DS-1?
Ibanez Sonic Distortion?
 

Pale Rider

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BOSS Heavy Metal
Belinda and Kevin used them
as far as newer, Sanford & Sonny Bluebeard
 

spiritofeden

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Oh my God Boss Heavy Metal in my pedal board! I can't imegine it...but if it's the only option I'll have to surrender...
 

Grandnoise

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I think kev actually used either a Marshall Guv'nor or Shredmaster (I know one is a rumour that is wrong) which by the way I have both for sale ;)
 

bwc3000

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258
MXR Distortion +, especially the old block logo ones. Bob Mould was using them for all of the Husker Du records, if I remember right, and those albums had a huge impact on some of the shoegazer bands. The old Boss Heavy Metal pedal is also very cool and sounds great! You can get them pretty cheap these days.
A lot of the sound, too, is the chord voicings they were using. I think MBV used a lot of alternate tunings, but using suspended chords should also get you there. The open strings on tunes like Ride's "Vapour Trail" (my band used to cover that one in college way back in the early '90s) really add a lot to the sound even with light overdrive or distortion.
Some of my favorite recent shoegazer-inspired albums/sounds have come from Justin Broadrick's new band Jesu, especially "Conqueror." Back in his Godflesh days I remember reading that he was using the Boss Heavy Metal pedal but I don't know what he's got these days. I caught Jesu live last year and they were epic-sounding...!
 

bwc3000

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I just remembered...! Brad Laner from Medicine (great shoegaze tones on their debut album "Shot Forth Self Living") used a cassette 4-track as a pre-amp and then overloaded it to get his distortion. You can hear it on the first track of that album...it sounds like a giant insect!
 

Mixoso

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My old band Velocity Girl made a few decent shoegazery records...we used rats and the orange boss pedal. nothing special....the bigger secret was an spx-90 or a quadraverb rack mounted multi effect unit to tweak it out with delay. Also doubling or tripling parts parts up high on the neck so all the over tones are a little out of tune. For distorted bass the best thing we found was putting the bass through a Rockman. Of course that was the early 90's...kinda pre boutique.
 

georgeb4

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I'd be thinking more along the lines of fuzz. The Shin-ei wasn't exactly a refined sounding fuzz so the clones are probably pretty nasty as well. A Big Muff would probably do just fine. Skreddy has a number of muff clones, I think the Mayo has been his most popular so far. The Devi Ever / Effector 13 Shoegaze might be another one to check out. The sound clips are quite good.
 

fuzzinator

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296
My old band Velocity Girl made a few decent shoegazery records...we used rats and the orange boss pedal. nothing special....the bigger secret was an spx-90 or a quadraverb rack mounted multi effect unit to tweak it out with delay. Also doubling or tripling parts parts up high on the neck so all the over tones are a little out of tune. For distorted bass the best thing we found was putting the bass through a Rockman. Of course that was the early 90's...kinda pre boutique.
Cheers, Mixoso. Dug the Velocity Girl records, especially the EP on Slumberland. Great fuzzy wall of sound!

I've had tremendous luck with Silicon Fuzz Faces to achieve MBV rhythm tones. There's something about rolling back the volume on the guitar when a Si FF is dimed gain-wise that gives you "that tone."

But seriously, any high gainer - a RAT, DS-1, Boss Heavy Metal, Marshall Guv'nor - what-have-you, through a wound up amp with your guitar tuned to achieve beating frequencies, will get you the tone.
 

jgyn

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I remember Velocity Girl! Some of my favorite songs were 'Forgotten Favorite', 'Crazy Town' and 'Sorry Again'.
 

dr.circles

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the bigger secret was an spx-90 or a quadraverb rack mounted multi effect unit to tweak it out with delay.
As I understand it, Kevin Shields used the spx-90 quite a bit as well.

Did you guys layer tracks of the same guitar parts in the studio?
 

Serious Poo

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IIRC, Emma used both a Lovetone Big Cheese and a DS-1 on a lot of Lush's stuff, and I'm pretty sure Brian Futter from Catherine Wheel used a Metal Zone. The guitarist from The Jesus and Mary Chain is well known for using a Shin-ei fuzz, too.
 

Andy J.

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I've had tremendous luck with Silicon Fuzz Faces to achieve MBV rhythm tones. There's something about rolling back the volume on the guitar when a Si FF is dimed gain-wise that gives you "that tone."
+1, I play in this two-man band/sideproject where we relive the sounds of our youth (MTV's "120 Minutes" with Paul King!!!), and for our first EP the silicon Fuzz Face with rolled-back volume pot sounded marvellous! Of course, my go-to sound for shoegazer is my old small-box Rat and loads of reverb...
 

Pale Rider

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I just wanted to chime in-
Velocity Girl was so great!
I must have seen y'all at least 5 times-my favorite being a tour with Superchunk-

MBV did use some tunings-especially the layered acoustics-there was a great dual interview in Guitar Player back in the day with J. Mascis interviewing Kevin Shields where for most of the interview J. had a pizza box in his chest so the food would have the shortest possible distance to travel-
any way
VELOCITY GIRL! my forgotten favorite!
 

fyler

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1,426
also, MBV used a ton of midi triggered samples live.

AND, i want to add that Velocity Girl was indeed awesome.

but to the original question: if you find yourself wanting to get something more corksniffer approved than the Boss HM-2, and RATS that most of those bands used, try out the ZVEX Box of Metal. don't be fooled by the name, it does that super-saturated distortion perfectly. it also costs a lot.
 

onyxrhino

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2,403
To add my two cents of knowledge - alot of the british shoegaze bands used boss distortion (DS-1, OD-2, HM-2). But not Kevin Shields, from what I've seen. On tour, he used the Marshall Guv'nor, the Rat, and both Mayer's Mongoose and Axis Fuzz. Of course, most of MBV's live sound came from the Marshalls and pure volume.

I'm very interested in this topic. I got a Jazzmaster a couple months back and I've been trying to get a shoegaze sound. I have two problems thus far - when using alot of fuzz (Big Muff cranked) to approximate the shoegaze tone, my low end seems to drown out the high end and those open chord "shoegaze" voicings that should be ringing, just sound sort unclear. My second problem is that it's hard to approximate any of the effects shoegazers were able to coax out of maxed out amps and tons of gain at the volumes I'm stuck playing at in my suburban home. Are there any magic pedals out there that will solve my problems?
 

fyler

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1,426
I just remembered...! Brad Laner from Medicine (great shoegaze tones on their debut album "Shot Forth Self Living") used a cassette 4-track as a pre-amp and then overloaded it to get his distortion. You can hear it on the first track of that album...it sounds like a giant insect!
i've actually thought about doing that before..i HAVE to try it now!

the guy from the swirlies was playing through some cheap little keyboard as a preamp when i saw them many moons ago.
 




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