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Tremolo, but affects gain?

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
I was just noodling around with the gain knob on a Swollen Pickle fuzz pedal, and was wondering: has anybody ever made an effect that was similar to tremolo, but affected gain instead of volume? I can see how the sound of a note rapidly slipping in and out of distortion might be useful, especially if you get good sustain from your instrument.
 

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
Yes, but wouldn't that still affect the volume as well?

I mean, is there some way to have the gain go up and down rapidly without doing the same to the main volume?
 

EricHOH

Member
Messages
64
I could see this working if you had some kind of tremelo pedal that you could adjust the amount that the volume goes down and then back up and set it so the tremolo never competely mutes the sound and put it in a loop with a boost pedal and then run that into a dirty amp or into another dirt box. I guess you could do the same with a volume pedal as well as long as the signal that you are adjusting is hotter than your standard guitar output.

I like the idea of that though. Short of all that you could just use some sort of midi programable distortion effect and adjust that vidi a midi pedal maybe.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
I was just noodling around with the gain knob on a Swollen Pickle fuzz pedal, and was wondering: has anybody ever made an effect that was similar to tremolo, but affected gain instead of volume? I can see how the sound of a note rapidly slipping in and out of distortion might be useful, especially if you get good sustain from your instrument.
I think you're misusing the term "gain." Gain is a measure of the ability of a circuit to amplify. A circuit has X dBs of gain, meaning if you send a signal into the circuit, the signal level can be amplified from unity (no amplification) to +X dBs (and usually can also go to negative gain) -- that is the circuit's gain.

Gain has nothing to do with distortion; usually for a given level of signal input there's only so much gain you can add before you overload something causing distortion. So MV amps that have a knob marked "gain" in the preamp stage allow you to turn up the gain in the first preamp stage in order to overload the second preamp stage. But gain isn't the same as distortion.
 

midwayfair

Member
Messages
2,046
I think you're misusing the term "gain." Gain is a measure of the ability of a circuit to amplify. A circuit has X dBs of gain, meaning if you send a signal into the circuit, the signal level can be amplified from unity (no amplification) to +X dBs (and usually can also go to negative gain) -- that is the circuit's gain.

Gain has nothing to do with distortion; usually for a given level of signal input there's only so much gain you can add before you overload something causing distortion. So MV amps that have a knob marked "gain" in the preamp stage allow you to turn up the gain in the first preamp stage in order to overload the second preamp stage. But gain isn't the same as distortion.
This, but I'll add the following:

Add more gain to get more distortion and you'll almost always get more volume.

If you want a tremolo pedal to swish between distortion and clean, you'll have to put it in front of something that cleans up and distorts with small changes in volume without increasing in volume unduly. Basically, something exceptionally compressed and very little headroom. There's probably some way to do it with a tremolo + pickup simulator + fuzz face. Either that or an envelope on the tremolo blending between clean and dirty. But it makes for a very limited use effect and I can't imagine anyone going through the trouble of making it, because you could get extremely close just by putting a trem in front of a clean-up-able fuzz.
 

FreqboxPedals

Member
Messages
53
its actually a piece of cake to make a trem-drive as i would call it. I m just feeling there is no point since you can just stick your favorite OD-drive or distortion after a any tremolo..
 

yeahyeahyeah

Member
Messages
1,121
Here's a more "modular" way to do it:

You could use a panner to split and pan between two "loops" in which you could put any pedals you please, gain or otherwise. Then use a passive ABY, to mix the "loops" into a single output.

This gives the option of dirty to clean trem with no volume loss, OR you can set the volume of the pedals in the panning "loops" to differing levels to have a shift in volume as well as trem-stortion.

You can also use this technique to trem between different types of effects, virtually any combo could be used, not just Dirty/Clean.

Of course with this method you have to now keep signal phase in mind, as pedals that invert phase will cause cancellation if mixed together with un-inverted signals.
 

AXXA

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,145
Putting a tremolo in front of a Big Muff (like your Swollen Pickle) is probably the simplest way. Muff's are compressed enough to keep the volume pretty consistent, and they work fine with a buffered signal, which the tremolo will be providing. Using a trem into a fuzz face might not work so well because the buffered signal of the trem would prevent the fuzz face from cleaning up with the amplitude changes. Of course, you wouldn't want to use a trem that's 100% wet (meaning purely on/off stuttering). I bet you could get close with some experimentation.
 




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