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After having discussed with many bass players, and tested a few pedals (Glue Fuzz, MetalFest, Zorgverdrive deluxe) on bass. I tried to prototype a multiband distortion. The idea is the following: I cut the signal in three parts: bass, mids, trebles. Each part goes into it's own gain stage with a pair of clippers. One can thus change the amount of gain separately on each part. Each part generates different grain of distortion (the grain of the bass part is very cold and acid, whereas the grain of the treble part is more tubby). Then all three signals are blended back together at your will. With such a process, one can get heavy distortions without loosing precision, or decide to loose precision... So, it's pretty funny!
For now the following controls are mandatory:
  • Gain on each frequency bands (x3).
  • Volume on each frequency bands (x3).
  • Global volume and low pass filter (To get rid of some trebles).

And I think of some more controls :
  • A 3 position switch to calm down the treble separately on each band (x3).
  • A 3 position switch, or a pot, to change the position of the mid frequency (But 9 pots are a lot!).

So now, I'm searching bass players to try the prototype, comment or send ideas. So don't hesitate to comment this post if you have any good idea!

PCBs

Comments  

# Wolle 2016-01-09 01:45
Hi Zorg!

This pedal really got my attention. I can't wait to give it a try.
I've got two questions for you though: Why did you implement the frequency selection with three fixed settings? Could the 78k resistors be replaced by a stereo pot to achive continuus frequency selection?
How does the gain stage sound with asymetrical clipping (i.e. one diode and one LED back to back) ?

Cheers from Germany
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# Zorg 2016-01-09 07:36
Hi Wolle,
You can totally change the switch for a stereo pot. I chose to put a switch because I wanted to put it on a 1590BB box and 9 pots on such a box is a lot and there's no much space left (I use 16mm pots). Also for lots of musicians, 8 pots and 1 switch on a box is a nightmare and allows for too much tweaking!
I also thought to make the filter resonance available and the possibility to sweep the frequency with and expression pedal... Or the possibility to use the pedal as a crossover. But I preferred to kept it simple!
One diode and one led clipping is cool! But I don't know how to describe it!
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