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Old 03-14-2017, 08:09 AM   #1
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Boss SD-1 pedal, general volume questions

I have an SD-1 pedal that I use with my Telecaster and my amps; I alternate between a Vox Pathfinder 10 and a Fender Champion 110.

I read some recommendations somewhere about getting the UABRS sound with the SD-1: Tone generally high (2 pm), drive very high (4 pm), and level at medium (12 pm).

Here are my questions:

1. For getting Edge's light distortion (more crispness than heaviness) on stuff like Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year's Day (or even the mild drive on A Sort of Homecoming, etc.), are these generally the right settings? If not, what would you recommend with the SD-1? Generally, I like the drive sound of the SD-1 more than my amp's drive channel.

2. How should I cross-manage the volume levels on the SD-1, my amp, and my guitar? Right now, I find that, with the SD-1 level at 12 pm, the overdrive is way too heavy for U2. If I dial it back to 8 pm, that seems to take away from the effectiveness of the effect--there's not much overdrive at that point. Are there rules of thumb for where I should set the volumes/levels relatively on the SD-1, the amp, and the guitar?

3. BONUS / SHOT IN THE DARK: I also like to play Britpop and Radiohead stuff where, again, the distortion is more crackle and crispiness than outright heaviness or fuzziness (I have a separate pedal for fuzz). For songs like the intro to The Bends or maybe Optimistic—which are slightly more overdriven than a lot of U2 stuff, any suggestions on how to get there with the SD-1?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:36 AM   #2
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can't you turn up the gain on the amp and adjust other things like volume of your guitar and level of your SD-1 accordingly? I think judging your tone with your ear (actually comparing your actual sound with these live albums) is better than just doing number games.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #3
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during War era (at least for live), Edge used strats, Vox AC30 and some effects (at this pt i think he had Korg SDD3000 and Furman EQ to boost the front end of an amp). I'm sure he had Dynacomp to even out and push amps even harder.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:05 PM   #4
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Re: Boss SD-1 pedal, general volume questions

That's where I've been struggling....

I set the amp gain, guitar volume, then get the SD-1 to what seems like the right ballpark for Edge's overdrive tone. But that is too loud relative to everything else, and the distortion is too heavy even for something like SBS.

So, then, I try backing off the SD-1 Level. At that point, the overall sound doesn't sound right anymore in the other direction -- it's weak; it doesn't have enough distortion; and, tonally, it doesn't seem right anymore even though I'm only messing with the Level.

That's why I feel like I'm missing the point of how to use this pedal properly. And I know the SD-1 was in Edge's mix for years. Any help on setting me straight would be appreciated.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slt8576 View Post
That's why I feel like I'm missing the point of how to use this pedal properly. And I know the SD-1 was in Edge's mix for years. Any help on setting me straight would be appreciated.
Doesn't mean he actually used that pedal for SBS.

Level and gain controls on drive pedals are usually interactive. This is logical as they're basically two volume controls. Gain controls the volume of your signal going into the pedal, level the volume of your signal coming out of the pedal. So you turn up the gain, it's usually smart to turn down the level, you turn up the level, it's usually smart to keep an eye on the gain. So if you think the overdrive is too much, maybe you should turn down the gain a little and compensate by turning up the level.

Another option you can explore is by turning down the volume on your guitar, as that tends to clean up your signal that goes into a gain pedal or dirty amp. In fact that was how guitarists controlled their clean and dirty sounds before the advent of multi-channel amps. Many still do it like that. Since Edge had a very basic rig up to the War tour, boosting his overall signal into a single channel AC-30 into overdrive it stands to reason that he used his guitar's volume knob if he wanted a tone that was less crunchy,
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:47 PM   #6
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Many thanks for your help--your description of the interaction between gain and level really cleared up a lot for me.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:47 PM   #7
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I've never experienced overdrive as crisp and detailed as I have when I set an amp on the edge of breakup and then hit it with an overdrive pedal with the Volume/Level high and the Gain/Drive low. Depending on the interaction between the amp and the speakers, an amp on the edge of breakup will just compress more and break up more with more volume pumped into it while the actual volume won't go up much. The problem is that it takes significant volume to get into that territory (even with a 5 watt amp) and most of us can't get there at home without making enemies of the people living around us.
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