(Drum) Distortion & Process Unit: TA-GOD

erikb1971

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Slowly, very slowly Iam starting to make progress on my "drum distortion & process" unit. The drive part will be based on my mid 90's distortion pedal the Rocktron Austin Gold. Hence the name: GOld Distortion: GOD. TA just because it sounds funky and because the street where I live is Tigris-something and A is for audio. Tigris Audio TA-GOD. I used the austin gold pedal a lot years ago on snare and kickdrums, so I figured it would be a nice start.

GOD will consist of a number of segments. Drive is the first one. It will be two austin gold overdrives per channel. I want to use two so I can split the audio in two at a certain frequency so I coul distort the low frequencies different from the higher frequencies. Both overdrives will get a blend function so the distortion can be applied parallel as well. Maybe I could use the drives in series if Iam not using the split function, for more distortion.

So far, I have managed to retrace the austin gold schematics and Iam working on a pcb layout. I have found a nice little blend board on guitarpcb.com: http://www.guitarpcb.com/apps/webstore/products/show/1320462. It shoul be very easy to adjust it for just a blend function. I have searched for small blend boards on this forum but have not been able to find anything confirmed tested working.

At the far right side of GOD, you see two segments I want to have in, but apart from drawing them, I have no clue yet. I want to have a blend function for paralel compression, and as simple as possible controls for the compressor. Iam looking at a number of stompbox based compressors, but maybe some of you have suggestions, ideas, or? The filters are needed imho to be able to put the distorted sounds a bit nicer in the mix, to control the harmonics.

As you can see in the attached front panel layout (I have to imagine what a machine looks in order to think of what functionality I want to have in it), there are some empty sections. Maybe a bitcrusher would be nice. Or a tube warmer (although with my skills a tube circuit is a life and house threatening plan). Or a tape simulator. Or maybe some of you have a suggestion. Always welcome.

I was thinking of using the whole unit on the insert of my just finished EZ1290, which has a JLM go-between so it could be used with a line level input. I do not know why I have this Idea, but something tells me it will sound better this way. Correct me if Iam talking complete nonsense here.

As you can tell by now, my dreams are big, my progress little and my skills and knowledge even smaller. Eventually, I will make this work. Any input from you will be highly appriciate though.

Cheers

Erik

 

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erikb1971

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Almost a month has passed since my first post. I have made quite some conceptual progress.

First of all, the blend for each distortion is out. The distorted signals will be blended with the original signals to avoid mixing too many clean signals together.

Second, in the above post I was thinking about two frequency bands. I have been looking for a frequency splitter / crossover filter and especially members John Robberts and Balijon have given a lot of input (half of which I did not understand at all and the other half just vaguely). The whole discussion can be found here: http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=45282.0 As it stands, Iam experimenting with a cheap second hand Behringer crossover CX3400. It splits the signal in three bands, at two adjustable frequencies. I will quote from the previously mentioned thread the outcome of this experiment:

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

I have no other way to describe the fun I just had the past hour! What happened? I connected my Ipad to my little soundcraft mixing console. With a modified insert cable, I managed to get a copy of that sound in my behringer crossover. The low output from the x-over went through my Rocktron Austin Gold distortion and then into the console. The mid/high went through my Ibanez tube screamer and into the console. On my Ipad I started the DM1 drum-computer app. And then: FUN! and sh*tloads of it! I had all these knobs to play with : the xover frequencies, the distortion and tone controls of the stompboxes, the levels of the mixing console. I was The prodigy and The chemical brothers in one!  For a moment I was even the one The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers ask for advice about distorting drums! Give me this set up and I could do main stage on Glastonbury! With just one 4 bar drum loop :) For three days!

So was it any good you might ask?

You might not believe this, but I have a slight tendency to overreact when Iam enthusiastic about something. I will have to see how useful this will be on real drums mixed in with real music when more subtle effects are needed.  Or on single drum hits. Or on guitar or vocals.  so I am far from sure that this will be the go to unit for colouring drums. But as an inspirational tweeking tool, or a live tool for DJ's or electronic drums based bands.... so far, this ROCKS!


So Multiple frequency bands it is.

Thirdly, I have found a nice stompbox for another frequency band: the harmonic sweetener. Mark Hammer at DIY stompboxes has helped me out greatly with this: http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=93061.msg800087#msg800087. He has an enormous amount of interesting stuff going on at: http://hammer.ampage.org
I still have to decide whether this harmonic sweetener will be another freq band or an ffect on the complete sound or on the complete clean unprocessed signal, but more experimenting (or you guys) will surely shine more light on this matter.

I have also been lucky to obtain one of Ian's poor man's EQP1's with tube gain make up stage. I will try to insert that somewhere in GOD.

So, slow but steady progress!

*edit* just been playing around a bit more and I just realized why it is so much fun: by changing the crossover frequency, you change two frequency bands (lowering the low freq crossover makes the low band narrower but the mid hand wider)! That produces quite eehhhh complex effects and eehhh how to call it.. heavy(?) effects! Fun!
 

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erikb1971

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I am making progress, slowly but steadily. Tomorrow I will update this thread with actual content of the progress...  but for now a midnight design idea. With every step of the way I was wondering how to get this ever growing project into a 19" unit. An then I thought: this machine is going to be all about hands on tweaking. Why not make it a desktop unit? Yeah, why not? Left the channels, right the different effect controls. Note the different inserts for normal channels versus the master channel.
 

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AMZ-FX

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south Louisiana
It sounds like you are headed toward something like the Quadrafuzz:

http://paia.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=89

Four bands of distortion with mixing levels for each band.

regards, Jack

 

erikb1971

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Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
398
Location
Holland
AMZ-FX said:
It sounds like you are headed toward something like the Quadrafuzz:

http://paia.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=89

Four bands of distortion with mixing levels for each band.

regards, Jack

Yeah it definitely has a lot of overlap with the Quadra Fuzz! Tnx for the link! What I am trying to achieve is more flexibility in terms of different distortion units on different parts of the frequency spectrum. With the high an low pass filters I hope to be able to define 3 independent frequency area's that distortion can be added to. But I have still got a very long way to go.
 

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