It came to me in a dream

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fuzzjunkie
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It came to me in a dream

Post by fuzzjunkie » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:54 am

Sorry, I dream about Fuzz. Sometimes it’s the only way for me to fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Otherwise I dwell on other things for hours.

This one was a little different. Instead of dreaming about modding a Tonebender circuit or tweaking a Buzzaround, I settled on something Craig Anderton did years ago.

He built something called a Quadrafuzz. The idea was to split the guitar signal into 4 frequency ranges and fuzz each individually before recombining them. He thought it would result in a smoother more sustained fuzz that would not disappear in a mix. I have no idea if that was true or not, but the idea didn’t really catch on. I have a Fairfield Four Eyes that does a little of that over 3 frequency ranges, but the execution (the circuit) and results are completely different.

My idea, or dream rather, is a little different. In my dream the guitar signal is split 3 ways, but not dependent on frequency.

1- runs into a silicon transistor fuzz. 2-3 transistors like a Fuzz Face or Tonebender. Running full gain and volume.
2- runs into an octave up. Something simple like a Green Ringer.
3- runs into an octave down. Again, something simple, an octave divider like the MXR Blue Box.

These all run in parallel with 3 knobs that control the level when they are mixed back together through a 3-to-1 mixer. Fuzz mix level, Octave mix level, Sub-octave mix level. All run 100% inside their respective circuit, no other controls other than the guitar volume and tone that feeds them.

After the mixer, there is a final stage with a Tonebender MK-3 style tone filter - like a less scooped Big Muff - and a volume control.

With the 3 mixed at 0% you could shape your clean tone with the filter. Then you could have a straight up silicon Fuzz tone set at 100% that you control with the guitar volume or add less distortion at lower mix levels. Or you could have a completely clean octave up and/or down like a COB - Clean Octave Blend without any fuzz.

Mix fuzz and octave up for Hendrix, or just a little fuzz and treble filter to cut through. Mix fuzz and sub-octave for Doom and add a little bass filter. Add all 3 for synth leads and roll the fuzz back for some faux organ tones.

The only pedal that I can think of that does that is the Electro-Harmonix MicroSynth, that does filter sweep as well, so this pedal would be much simpler.

Anything else? I haven’t built a pedal in years but I still have a soldering iron and a circuit building board.

Anyone else have a dream pedal that they would build or buy if they could?

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by fuzzjunkie » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:08 am

I’d be down for a Flange-Tremo-Verb too, but that’s a different story.

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:59 am

The Spaceman Nebula sounds nice. Excellent fuzz, octave blend, but extra tone controls and no sub-octave. Same with the Orange Fur Coat fuzz.

Foxton Octron has the octave and sub-octave blend, but no fuzz. There’s a direct signal blend. Too bad there’s not a silicon Fuzz Face hooked up to that. Sounds really good with an overdrive or fuzz after.

Then there’s the MicroSynth. I always liked that pedal. It just does more than I was thinking. Not as simple.

All 3 are around $300, so can’t make the decision on price and none are 100% what I envisioned either. I guess if I want one I will have to build it myself?

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by Gavanti » Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:35 am

Sounds fun. I wire circuits in my head when trying to get to sleep sometimes. I’m imagining you have a few of these fuzzes on hand, so maybe you could grab a used parallel mixer first to try it out that way. Or just go for it.

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by jorri » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:28 pm

Not a true analogue answer, but i have done this a while with the ana-sim octaves on my Subnup. The bottom more like an OC-2, the top is like a clean octave fuzz. Parallel to different fuzzes is a bit different.

Would make sure the pedals actually produce clear octaves after a splitter, maybe using an unbuffered one, as when i made some oscillating blue box sounds the buffers just switched them off. Not sure of the actual mxr.

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by CorporateDisguise » Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:43 am

Not quite the same, but similar idea is the empress multidrive. It has an Od, distortion and fuzz circuits all in parallel. Each can be high passed or low passed, and it has a very flexible 3 band eq. I had it for a while and it was fun, but I ultimately sold it because I needed a fuzzier fuzz. The overdrive was really great, but the fuzz a little to polite for me.

The parallel octave circuits sounds fun. And while I know analog octaves aren’t totally clean, my worry would be they would be to clean sounding when mixed with the fuzz. I’m sure it would sound fine with low octave mix rates, but when the ocatves are mixed more prominently, it might be a bit jarring.

The EQD bit commander does something similar as well. It has -2, -1, base, and +1 octaves all in parallel, but then puts the fuzz circuit after the ocatves.

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sun Mar 07, 2021 6:06 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:54 am
1- runs into a silicon transistor fuzz. 2-3 transistors like a Fuzz Face or Tonebender. Running full gain and volume.
2- runs into an octave up. Something simple like a Green Ringer.
3- runs into an octave down. Again, something simple, an octave divider like the MXR Blue Box.

These all run in parallel with 3 knobs that control the level when they are mixed back together through a 3-to-1 mixer. Fuzz mix level, Octave mix level, Sub-octave mix level. All run 100% inside their respective circuit, no other controls other than the guitar volume and tone that feeds them.
sign me up for one!

i don't think they do anything like this atm , but it is the kind of pedal fjord fuzz might come out with

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:51 am

CorporateDisguise wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:43 am
Not quite the same, but similar idea is the empress multidrive. It has an Od, distortion and fuzz circuits all in parallel. Each can be high passed or low passed, and it has a very flexible 3 band eq. I had it for a while and it was fun, but I ultimately sold it because I needed a fuzzier fuzz. The overdrive was really great, but the fuzz a little to polite for me.

The parallel octave circuits sounds fun. And while I know analog octaves aren’t totally clean, my worry would be they would be to clean sounding when mixed with the fuzz. I’m sure it would sound fine with low octave mix rates, but when the ocatves are mixed more prominently, it might be a bit jarring.

The EQD bit commander does something similar as well. It has -2, -1, base, and +1 octaves all in parallel, but then puts the fuzz circuit after the ocatves.
I have looked into the Bit Commander before. It’s on my list for an experimental pedal board.

The Green Ringer, like a lot of simple circuits, uses clipping diodes to create the octave effect, so not entirely clean.

The Octron that I mentioned sounds like this, the octave up has a bit of clipped distortion. The octave down sounds clearer. It sounds like I imagined when a fuzz was added after. I could probably take that and add a simple fuzz circuit to the direct blend channel, but it’s a $300 pedal.

So, yeah, the MicroSynth or Bit Commander sounds more interesting if I have to pay that much for an off the shelf solution.

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Re: It came to me in a dream

Post by Ftoronado » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:15 am

It reminds me I need to get this EHX Switchblade Pro. I need to get my Smallsound out of its box. I need to run it in parallel with my bigmuff (Basic Audio Tri/Ram). I need to rock the neighborloud.

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