Monday, December 28, 2009

A Sound so Sweet

:::Artist Spotlight:::
SWEET JANE



There aren't many bands out there I would say are revolutionary. If you look at what sits on the surface of today's popular music you'll notice it's nothing but a swarm of lifeless, wishy-washy, unimaginative so called "rock bands". Now the first time I heard Sweet Jane it was a different story, the feeling that there was still hope for rock'n'roll sprung up inside me, and brought a rush of inspiration along with it. Sweet Jane's music is straight to the point, straight from the heart, and full of that rock'n'roll spirit that's lacking in today's artists. Listening to this band brings back the joy of discovering something special, that feeling one gets when he/she comes across a new favorite. I recently had a chance to rap with Sweet Jane's Lydia Des Dolles about the band's influences, their future, and the gear they use to achieve their sound.



Danda: Lead Guitar/Vox
Lydia Des Dolles: Vox/Perc
Ruairi Paxton: Bass
Donagh O Brien: Drums






Analog War Cry:
Before we get started I just want to say I am a big fan of the tunes and as a musician it is inspiring to hear someone taking it in the direction you have. Where would you say your inspiration for writing tunes comes from?


Sweet Jane:

Oh thank you, thats so nice to hear, Danda is the main song writer for our band, its really only while we were laying down some demos for new material in the last year or so that I've started to take a little bit more control in the direction the vocals are going. I dont know where Danda gets his initial inspiration from, I dont ask, our music is pretty emotional so I think it speaks for itself, and I dont like to pry with him, I just listen to it, and you pretty much know where his head was at when he wrote the song, hes very direct with music and lyrics, he doesnt hide their interpretation.

AWC:
Where was the band born, how did it come about, and how long have you guys been at it now?


Sweet Jane:
I was living in London in the United Kingdom working on some music and doing some living, then I moved to Dublin, when I got there I met Danda at about 6am at a houseparty, he told me he had some songs and was looking for a female singer for them, and then he asked me to try out, I hadn't told him I sang, and he hadnt heard me sing, but he was really confident that it would work so I decided to try out. When we heard the outcome we started the band and then Ruairi asked to come play bass with us.


AWC:
What's the line-up right now? Are there any new members we should know about?


Sweet Jane:
Sweet Jane is a trio, Danda, me & Ruairi, thats the solid band, sure, myself and Danda started this but Ruairi is just as validated in Sweet Jane as we are now.


AWC:
I could sit here and pick out where I think some of your influences come from but I'm quite curious to hear what you guys have to say. Can you tell us a bit about what drives your sound?


Sweet Jane:
This is such a weird one because we get put into this Jesus & Mary Chain / Velvet Underground box and it just doesn't seem to fit us. I mean we have to respect it in a way, because those bands are institutional, but its not like we sit at our studio trying to recreate that sound, our influences are really varied and so thats the music we make, I think alot of the music magazines & media in general have only got our debut EP to go on, and we recorded that a long time ago, our new material has a slight change to it, but let me just say those comparisons are not the worst by a long shot, so we cant complain.


AWC:

How would describe your sound? If you could warp into any era which one would you land yourselves in?


Sweet Jane:
We were given the title ''dream-pop-rock-n-roll'' by the Irish media, I like that one, so I'll use that. I guess era wise y'know the 70's, look at the caliber of bands that have come from that era, and the guitars, dont get me started on vintage guitars!!


AWC:
Could you give us a rundown of everyone's rigs, what type of guitars. effects. etc... you all use?


Sweet Jane:
OK Danda's guitars are a 1971 gibson es 320-td and an Eastwood Classic 6 Re-wired w/ vintage p90 pickups, his pedals are a Big Muff Fuzz Pedal, a Holy Grail Reverb Pedal, a vintage tubescreamer, a custom Vintage FX pedal and a 1970s Vox Wah, his amp is a Fender Deville. Ruairi plays a Rickenbacker Bass with Vintage FX ColorDrive and Rat Distortion Pedals which go through an Ash Down Head / Ampeg Cab. I please a vintage 70's Epiphone EA 250, with a vintage FX Distortion pedal, and my amp is a Fender Deluxe.

AWC:

How do you approach the songwriting process for your tunes?


Sweet Jane:
For the new record myself and Danda have locked ourselves away with some guitars and some little keyboards, and he'll come up with a guitar part and we'll work out a melody and then lyrics, or vice-versa, then we usually record them onto our 10-track and take it into the studio and work it out with the full band.

AWC:
The first run of tunes you guys wrote I heard on Myspace for the first time. Is that a record that's available? How did that project come about and who dreamt it up?


Sweet Jane:
Those songs are on a 5-track EP called ''Blackboots & Blackhearts'' which we released at the end of 2008, I think it was a natural progression we were starting to tour alot but we didn't have a release, and the more shows we played the more people were after material, so we decided to just get it out there, we didnt didnt anticipate any type of reaction, so when the reaction was good we were really pleased, naturally.


AWC:
Are you guys working with any other bands or musicians on other music projects?


Sweet Jane:
Theres a couple of artists & bands who have asked me to sing on some material which Ive done, and which I still have to do, but I don't think I'd publically announce what bands or make it into something big y'know, I like having my voice out there on other projects that people dont know about, I really dont want to take any focus off of Sweet Jane, because I work so hard at it.


AWC:
What are some of the bands playing right now that have had an influence on you, and are there any good bands coming up in your town we should know about?


Sweet Jane:
Where we are right now, there are so many great bands, really its been like this unbelievable surge in new bands making great music, but Id be lying if i said that any of those bands influenced me, they dont, I still have to go back in time to get influenced, y'know its like a life thing, you are always inspired by the people or artists that have gone before you, because theyve already conquered what it is they set out to achieve. Imagine if one of our records was in teenagers collections in 30 years time, just amazing!


AWC:
Is there a tour in the works, where you're playing right now, how are the shows going. etc...?


Sweet Jane:
We spent last year pretty much on tour, it seemed like we only saw each on stage rather than in our studio, so we've started to spend some more time just writing and setting up new material, we have two shows for October, and a festival at home. The shows have been getting better and better, you start to see new faces in the crowd, and you see the old faces singing all the words, y'know were building an empire in a sense, and were still so new, so were growing and learning.


AWC:
Any interesting or strange things happen yet, memorable gigs or moments you'd like to share?


Sweet Jane:
We've had a pretty trippy couple of years so far, I think what most people find fascinating about our band is how relaxed is it, nothing is forced y'know, you see so many bands get desperate, and that in turn is weakness, you have to be confident about your band, and be confident that with time, all your hard work will pay off, which is where we are right now, were working, really hard! The weirdest stuff to happen to us, for me, is the reception from bands that are in the eye of the storm right now, emailing and calling us saying ''we really love your music'', i just hope its an eye opener for whats ahead for us.


AWC:
What music do you guys listen to when you're on the road? Is there anything in particular you jam to before a gig? I know my band does.

Sweet Jane:
We dont really have any kind of team bonding thing before our shows, were all usually off doing something different, and just before we go on, we'll have a beer together and run over the setlist or something like that. Its usually a quiet affair until were off stage.


AWC:
New record in the works?


Sweet Jane:
Of course we're always planning our next releases, were speaking to some labels right now about the possibility of releasing something in the new year, another EP, to build some repetoire for our album which will hopefully see a summer release.


AWC:
When are you guys playing LA?


Sweet Jane:
You wouldn't believe the support that we have gotten from America, especially L.A its been kind of over whelming, but for us as a band to get over there to tour it would cost us money that we just dont have unfortunately, hopefully that will change and soon, we have alot of friends in bands in L.A that have let us know how wonderful the music scene is over there, so it is definetly on the cards, for sure.


AWC:
For the guitar players in the band. Favorite stompbox of all time?


Sweet Jane:
I asked Danda what his was and he said the ''Octavia Fuzz''


AWC:

Nice choice. Anything else you'd like our readers to know?


Sweet Jane:
Um, I guess if any of your readers have ever supported our band in any way, we'd like them to know that we truly are grateful, I mean really, we are super-appreciative of any one who's came to a show, or bought a record, or got a friend to visit our website, it really does mean alot, and I dont think that we'd be where we are had it not of been for the public recommending us to friends, spreading Sweet Jane's music, y'know, so thank you I guess.


AWC:
We look forward to seeing you guys play soon and wish you the best of luck on your adventure into this music thing.


Sweet Jane:
Thank you so much, long may it last, right? [laughs]




For more info on Sweet Jane visit their Myspace at www.myspace.com/officialsweetjane Make sure to also check out their videos on their Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/OFFICIALSWEETJANE

BOOKING / MANAGEMENT / MEDIA
PLEASE CONTACT :

OFFICIALSWEETJANE [AT] GMAIL [DOT] COM


LABEL / RELEASE INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT :

INFO@REEKUS.COM

WWW.REEKUS.COM




Sunday, December 27, 2009

DLS Effects... Ready for anything



What better way to enter into the New Year than with a top-notch delay unit, lord knows if there's one effect we cannot afford to skimp on it's delay. Whenever I think of the cream of the crop effects pedal companies DLS Effects is always one of the few that comes to mind. Think amazing quality, splendid sound, and endless features and you have DLS Effects. DLS's specialty is bridging the old with the new, what you get in the end is a pedal with a vintage vibe and modern features. These are stompboxes you can use in all applications, whether it be studio, live, practice, or experimental. Where I've been able to get the most use out of these pedals though is in live situations, this is where these pedals absolutely shine, when working them on the fly. If you're looking for a collection of effects pedals you can keep around forever, that will deliver what you want when you want them to, DLS is the way to go.



DLS Effects
EchoTap


CONTROLS:

* Echo 1 Delay Time: 16 Positions/50ms-3 seconds
* Echo 1 Volume: Controls Echo 1 volume
* Tap Tempo: Tap in from 30ms-3 seconds
* Tap Volume: Controls Tao Echo volume
* Echo Repeats: Sets number of repeats
* Echo Tone: Adjusts echo tone only
* Echo 1/Tap Tempo Footswitch: Switches between Echo 1 and Tap Echo
* On/Off Footswitch: Switches between On and Bypass

ELECTRONICS:

* Technology: Hi Quality Analog and 16 Bit electronics
* Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz, 256x oversample
* Power: +9vdc Input for 9-13.8vdc/works with any polarity

FEATURES:

* Truebypass Switching
* Stereo In & Outs for number of options
* Analog instrument signal is maintained
* Steel Enclosure/Steel Pots/Steel Jacks
* Powder Coated Enclosure
* Designed and Built in the USA by engineer/musicans
* Every unit is tested
* Internal adjustment pots for Input and Output level


_____________________________________



The first of the DLS Effects collection we will be looking at is the world famous EchoTap. When it comes to ultimate features, user friendliness, and a fantastic sound... the EchoTap takes on the job perfectly. The overall vibe of this pedal is quality, quality, quality. The EchoTap will take you everywhere from vintage analog unit warm tones, to sparkling clear digital repeats. As a delay pedal alone the EchoTap is a remarkable unit, the quality of the delays and the fact that this pedal leaves your root tone untainted has made this one of the top choices for many pros and everyday players. Where I've found this pedal to work best for me though is through my amp's Effects Loop. I don't know how many great sounding delay pedals I've ran through my Effects Loop only to find out they sound awful, too noisy, or down right muddy. For years I have been on the hunt for a delay unit I could use through my amp's Effects Loop, something that both works and sounds great. I'm happy to say that the EchoTap has beautifully taken over that job for my setup, and has been providing me with impeccable delay tones ever since. Before we get into some of the sounds I've been able to get out of this pedal let's first take a closer look at it's features. On the back of the unit you will find a Duel In & Outs and a +9VDC power input. The Ins and Outs can be used in a number of combinations which include stereo in/stereo out, mono in/stereo out, and of course mono in/mono out. This makes for a wide range of interesting delay sounds. The EchoTap's power jack will work with any polarity which makes it a dream for those of you who use 9V powered pedalboards or 9V power daisy chain supplies. The control panel consists of universal Echo Repeats and Echo Tone controls, Echo-1 Volume, Tap Echo Volume, Echo-1 Delay Time knob, Echo-1/Tap Echo switch, and On/Off switch. On the inside of the pedal you will find adjustment pots for Input and Output levels. All together this make for a seriously wide variety of sounds and options. The pedal let's you flip between a dialed-in preset delay and tap-tempo option. This means you can set your universal delay with the Echo-1 option and flip into the Tap Tempo mode when wanting to take the delay sound elsewhere. The Echo-1 option works as a preset delay that is controlled by the universal Repeats and Tone knobs, it's own Volume knob, and a 16-position Delay Time knob. The Tap Echo delay is also controlled with the universal Repeats and Tone knobs and has it's own volume, only the delay time is set with Echo Tap switch. Echo-1 offers 50ms-3 seconds of delay, and Tap Echo offers 30ms-3 seconds. With these two delay options you can dial in two entirely different sounds and toggle back & fourth without loosing your preset Echo-1 setting. The Tone knob is also really quite special and one of my favorite features on this pedal. With the EchoTap's Tone knob you can dial-in both perfect crystal clear or warm tape echo like delay sounds. Another great feature of the Tone knob is it only affects the delay repeats leaving the tone you've worked so hard to get intact. With the Tone knob all the way counter-clockwise (in it's crystal clear setting) you can get just about infinite repeats, this makes for some wild-out space echo madness. The Tone all the way clockwise will produce a more vintage feel delay sound, less sharp and defined. For a pedal with so many options you'll find it's really quite easy to use. Now that we tapped into some of it's controls let's go on to some delay tone goodness.

Like I said before, the way I've been using this pedal is through my amp's Effects Loop, not that the EchoTap doesn't sound equally as good straight through the front of my amp, but this way I don't have to worry about where to place it on your board or how it's going to affect the other pedals. First up to bat was the Echo-1 mode, I used this to dial in a nice general delay sound I could use with all my playing. The pedal delivered a perfect universal delay sound that cut through the mix just right and trailed off just enough to not get in the way of my playing. I found the 350ms and 400ms delay times worked best for this application. I set the delay's tone slightly towards the warmer side so that it would project as subtle as possible, and set the volume just behind my amp's tone so that it wouldn't overpower it. The end delay result wasn't too strong or too weak, it was just enough to let you know it was there. To get a more aggressive delay tone all you do is simply flip the Repeat knob a bit longer and run the Tone knob counter-clockwise for more defined echo repeats. I also dialed-in a killer slapback echo that had my partner's jaw on the floor, he's a big time chickin' pickin' and rockabilly freak. Anything from 50ms-150ms sounded great for slapback sounds. Again because of the EchoTap's wide range of tonal options you can sit and work out as precise a slapback as you want. Once I had few good general delay settings worked out with the Echo-1 mode I switched into the Tap Echo option. One thing you'll dig about this pedal's tap switch is how spot-on it is, it's easy on the foot, smooth, and latch-free. This makes tapping in on the fly a pleasure and not a drag. Next I unplugged from my amp's Effects Loop and plugged into two amps using the stereo In & Outs. We ran two equally measured CoreX2 solderless cables into a Deville and Twin. I set the EchoTap's overall tone to a sweet balance between warm and bright, ran a high number of repeats to make things fun, and kicked into the higher delay times. We set both amps at equal volume only set one warmer than the other to make the ping-pong effect more dramatic. This produced a springy and spacey delay effect that filled the air with a wave psychedelic trails. Next I rolled the Tone knob all the way counter-clockwise, set the repeats to 100%, and all of the madness you can imagine just broke loose throughout our entire studio. Each echo repeat came and went with perfect ease, fading smoothly without any sharp edges. The fun didn't end there though, no sir. Next we broke out a few of our favorite modulation pedals, overdrive pedals, and noise boxes. Then went to town dialing in a symphony beautifully odd delay sounds. I was able to get a great worn-in tape delay sound by adding a little bit of chorus and running the EchoTap's Tone knob warm. Running a hint of phaser also worked really nice to help with the flutter and warble effect. While in stereo mode we dialed in the most epic delay sound ever, U2's The Edge would've been proud. Before calling it quits I went back to my universal delay setting and added in some overdrive. This got me a beast of rhythm tone that accented my chords perfectly. The echo sound filled the atmosphere without getting out of control or getting in the way of my playing. With fuzz pedals and a long delay setting I was able to get some bugged out, out of this world sound effects. Everything I threw at this pedal sounded killer, oscillators, noise boxes, keyboards, you name it. Really I see no limit to what you can do with this pedal, it all depends on how wide your imagination is. If you're looking for that last delay unit you'll ever have to buy the EchoTap makes for a great candidate. If you're someone who uses more than one delay unit to get all their sounds this pedal will work wonders for you. The EchoTap takes care of it all, makes thigns easy, and frees you up from lots of unnecessary work. I am super stoked to bring you guys more from DLS Effects so please keep your eyes peeled, you'll be glad you did. The Echotap is a delay pedal built for one thing and one thing only... to serve you to the fullest. Go out and check one out!!!





For more info on DLS Effects go to www.dlseffects.com or click the direct link in our sidebar. Make sure you keep an eye out on new releases coming soon from DLS and more features from this wonderful company here on Analog War Cry. Dig it!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

T-Rex Tonebug Overdrive Giveaway Winner!!


Tone Bug Overdrive/Gear Giveaway


Italic
Alright kids, here we go. First we want to say thanks for everyone for their support and please continue to keep checking in for more of these awesome giveaway's. The winner of our T-Rex Tonebug Overdrive has been posted below, the winner has been notified,and he has responded to Analog War Cry to claim his prize. Again thanks for participating and stay tuned for a bunch more killer gear this month, Dec is not over.


--------------------------------------------------
:WINNER:
Evan Marder
Mar Vista, California
(Here is your prize friend)


T-REX TONEBUG OVERDRIVE
In there beginning there was overdrive...
Not distortion, certainly not fuzz, but overdrive - that almost miraculously warm, saturated sound of one vintage tube amp pushing the next one just a little too hard. It's what the blues are made of, and it's what created rock and roll. In fact, it's the first foundation of just about every style of guitar playing out there. And now it's yours in the Tone Bug Overdrive.
- T.Rex Engineering



For more info on the Tonebug Overdrive or any of T-Rex's killer products go to www.t-rex-effects.com Stay tuned for more awesome posts from T-Rex and make sure to keep a look out for more giveaway's here on AWC in the near future.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Splendid Ear Torture




Attention all you wicked visionaries, audio madmen, and fiendish tone hounds. Looking for a way to bring about all those sick and twisted sounds that hide inside the dark corners of your mind? Let us introduce you to Electro Faustus, a group of gifted madmen with a knack for designing some strangely beautiful and off-the-wall musical gadgets. Let's face it, in all of us there lives that hunger to create something unique and different. It's those odd little undertones that we incorporate into our music that gives our sound that something special. Sometimes we may shy away from noise boxes, oscillators, and other strange gizmos simply because they can be a pain to dial in or operate. The cats at Electro Faustus have put an end to this annoying ritual by coming up with a collection of straight forward, easy to use gear that not only sounds great, but covers a wide range of tonal possibilities. As a fan of cats like Zappa, Naked City, Fantomas, Pink Floyd, and Hawkwind, I found this gear to be quite exciting and dead on the road to psychedelic heaven. We will be taking a look at all of the Electro Faustus gear one gadget at a time, exploring their possibilities, and taking things to the next level. Let's proceed on this journey shall we?



EF101
(Duel Oscillator)


* Output: Feeds to amp, other effects, etc...
* On/Off Switch: Also works for machine gun effects
* Rate: Controls Speed of oscillation
* Frequency: Controls oscillation frequency
* Power: Runs on single 9V battery



There couldn't be a simpler, better sounding, easy to use oscillator out there. In the time it took me to pull this thing out of it's box and plug it in I was creating bugged out screams, screeches, and freakazoid squeals. You're instantly transformed into a musical mad scientist with this fantastic gadget. It seems lately more and more players have been in touch with their experimental side, me included, and gear like this is perfect for working out trippy background ambiance. Like I said, it didn't take much to get this going, simply plug in and let your imagination go. The first thing I did was plug it straight into my amp to see how it sounded on it's own. Once plugged in I realized it had lots of output, you definitely don't have to worry about having this baby heard when you gig with it. I ended up adding a volume pedal to control the output which gave me the ability to do swells and what not. The Rate knob will go everywhere from slow beeps, squeaks, and chirps, to laser gun effects, howls, and psychedelic space ship noise. The Frequency knob covers a huge range of tones that will let you dial the EF101 into whatever key your playing in, or just use it to go back fourth from high and low tones. Once I got a hang at getting what I wanted from it (which was faster than all hell) I broke out my guitar and mixed it into the EF101's sounds. First I dialed in a steady pulse to the tempo I was playing at, then matched the key I was in and that was that. It made the acoustic guitar and myself sound much more interesting and gave us an entire new vibe. This eventually gave me a bunch more idea's for killer sounding background noise and I was off to the races. I plugged in a phaser after it along with the volume pedal which totally worked beautifully. I set the phaser's depth at 100%, slowed the rate to an eerie wave, and controlled the overall sound with the volume pedal. The sound was unbelievable! More importantly that I was able to get that cool of a sound that quickly is what really impressed me. In fact I think I emailed Electro Faustus right after that to let them know how cool of a gadget the EF101 was. From here my mind started racing and I took the thing and went bananas. Next to go in the chain was a wah wah pedal, this combined with the phaser and EF101 got me some twisted sounding arpeggiator effects. All I did was set the beep of the EF101 to a medium tempo, matched the phasers rate to the tempo with the depth all the way up, through a bit of reverb on the amp, and rocked the wah back and fourth. The end result was freakin awesome! After this I found insane ways to use this thing with delay pedals, fuzz boxes, reverb units, tremolos, and even to trigger other effect units. One of my favorite ways to use the EF101 was with a delay and volume pedal. What I did was set the rate as far as it would go so that it becomes and endless tone, like the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sound your TV makes when you get the "This is a test of the american broadcast system...." announcement. With the delay and volume pedal you can slap in, swell it in, and crank out some of the most hellish sounds you'll ever hear. Every way I used this thing was pretty elementary, I'm sure there are much more complex and twisted ways to use an oscillator. This just goes to show how quickly and easily you can get great sounding usable sounds from it. A few days after the EF101 arrived I ended up using it in a solo acoustic gig I played. I set some marks to show me where the keys were for each song, brought a bunch of pedals to plug into it, and had it plugged in to the venue's PA system. It ended up being one of the coolest shows I'd ever played. I had everyone's attention, strangers, friends, other acts, and even the club promoter came up to compliment me on the sound. All I did was add in a little of the EF101's magic. Just goes to show how much a little noise can do for you. After that the EF101 quickly became a regular tool for my music, my band's, and our little recording studio's. There really are no limits with this simple little box, everyday I figure some cool way to add swirling layers, artistic noise, or splendid ear torture to my music. Behind your tunes as an accent tool is what makes this gadget so cool, and really where the EF101 shines and works it's best. I will be making some videos of the Ef101 in due time and once I do I will make sure to share them with you. I want you guys to see just how killer of a tone-tool this thing really is, you can't loose. For it's price ($39.95) you cannot beat this thing. It makes for a perfect gift to give your music buddies, and an affordable way to own a great sounding oscillator. Analog War Cry is going to make it their mission to go through all of the Electro Faustus gear and make sure to share the info back with all of ya'll. So make sure to check in with us in a few and until then make sure to check out the Electro Faustus video demos on Youtube and EF website. There are also some really really cool audio demos with graphics on of all the gadgets on the Ef website. I highly suggest you check out this gear, you will thank me for it. So to all of you screamers of the night, tone wizards, space rockers, and musical alchemists... Here is another way to get your rocks off.




For more info on Electro Faustus go to www.electrofaustus.com or click the direct link in our sidebar. We will be looking at more of this wonderful gear in the near future so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. We'll be back soon with some more EF fun.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fuchs



If you've ever had the pleasure of plugging into a Fuchs amplifier you know just how much attention to detail goes into their sound, build, and design. Of gear that has landed on our doorsteps in the last decade or so I can honestly say the Fuchs Audio Tech is amongst the top 10 names available today. So who's responsible for this dream-tone building machine? The name's Andy Fuchs, and he ain't no ordinary tone chasing freak. This man is a true artist of the game, an audio archeologist, and a tone architect of our time. Andy's ability to design gear capable of reproducing yesterday's golden tones is mind-blowing! Within the Fuchs line you will also find a handful of gear with Andy's own touch, gear that many of today's heavyweight's choose to use in their setups. When I first discovered the Fuchs name I remember saying to myself "If only these cats had their own pedals..." So when the Plush FX line came rolling out of the gate a few years back you can only imagine how stoked I must have been. Just like the Fuchs amplifiers every pedal that comes from the Plush FX line is outstanding. All pedals are built from the highest quality components, and are capable of an array if tones that will keep you busy busy busy. We're gonna be taking a look at two of AWC's favorite Plush FX pedals, the Extreme Cream overdrive, and Good Verbrations reverb unit. If you guys aren't up on these killer pedals this is a great place to start. Dig it!


----------------------------------------------------


Extreme Cream
overdrive


* Cast Aluminum Housing
* Industrial Powder Coat Finish
* Heat Cured Silk Screen Labeling
* Cliff 3PDT True Bypass
* Neutrik Connectors
* Metal Shaft Controls
* Mil Spec Circuit Board Construction
* 5 Year Warranty
* Made in the USA


I'll tell you one thing, they nailed the name of this pedal dead on the spot. When it comes to a smooth, lush, creamy overdrive, there's no better place to stop than this bad boy. The Extreme Cream is the overedriver for the player looking to get all his dirt tones from one box. The pedal offers two identical 3-knob channels that produce a handful of sweet sounding tones. The "Hot" channel is voiced more heavier overdrive, all-out distortion, and searing lead tones. The "Warm" channel projects more of a rhythm tone, giving you subtle to crunchy overdrive tones. The Extreme Cream's two channels when combined with your root tone will cover just about everything you'll need for the stage, recording studio, and band practice. Both channels sport Level, Tone, and Gain knobs. The LEDs are super for bright which make this a killer pedal for gigging outdoors or on dark stages. The Extreme Cream's circuit consists of high quality IC's and hand selected FET's, this gives the pedal it's organic tube-like tone and keeps the noise level at a minimum. The overall design is very sleek and intelligent, making east use of this pedal and handing you quick usable tones from one minute to the next.

Round #1:

Like all overdrive pedals that come through AWC there is one guitar's test they must pass, and that is my beloved Lady, my candy apple red custom Tele. The first amp tone we set up was a sparkling clean Hot Rod Deville sound, plugged into the low channel with everything at 7 except the bass knob between 4-5, and reverb level at 2. I set the Extreme Cream's Warm channel with it Level knob matching the amp's output, the Tone at about 10'o'clock, and Gain at 9'o'clock. The Hot channel was set a bit hairier, it's Level knob a touch above the amp's output, Tone at noon for more bite, and Gain at noon. We felt these two settings would be a perfect starting point for getting an taste of what the two different channel are capable of and an idea of how they work together. I started with some simple rock riffing with the pedal bypassed, the sound was crispy clean no sign of mean. Once engaged the Extreme Cream's Warm channel produced a buttery, semi-clean dirt tone, just like a tube amp on the verge of break-up. The sound could easily be tamed by lightening my strumming or rolling back a click of my guitar's volume knob. Adding in the Hot channel dished out an entire new flavor, everything became more intense, saturated, and compressed. The little extra output I dialed into the Hot channel along with it's more aggressive voicing made it sound huge. I had a spot-on classic rock tone, and with Lady's tone knob rolled back and neck humbucker switched on I was able to get a killer woman tone. Any pedal that's capable of giving you a woman tone through a Tele and Fender Deville is rockin in my book.

Round #2

For some more extreme settings I pulled out the Les Paul and Stratocatser, I wanted to hear the differences between both of the guitar's characters. I used a couple of classic reissue amps with each guitar, a Bluesbreaker and Princeton Reverb (thanks to my buddy's awesome studio). The first setup was the Les Paul through the Princeton, with the amp set to a low volume super clean tone. The Extreme Cream was set hotter for these runs, the Warm channel with it's Level at around 2'o'clock (to push the amp a bit), Tone at 10'o'clock, and Gain at 2'o'clock. I played some bluesy lead runs with the pedal bypassed first, picking lightly and smoothly to get as clean a tone as possible. I kicked in the Warm channel and BOOM! Everything jumped out and bit like a angry rattle snake. The pedal broke my amp into a Brown Sugar Stones tone, my chords rumbled with perfect balance and clarity. What's really sweet about this pedal is that it responds to your pick attack just like a tube amp does. All of the little undertones and overtones you can get from a overdriven amp as possible with the Extreme Cream. Next I stepped on the channel switch and engaged the Hot channel. The Hot channel was was set exactly the same only the Gain was set between 3-4. The second I switched it in all of my frequencies bloomed into fat'n'saturated lead tone. Each note was extremely pronounced and velvety. The amount of control I was able to get from the overdrive sound was unbelievable. I was able to manipulate every little nuance, bit of feedback, and vibration. How the hell Andy pulled this off is beyond me, I would absolutely kill to apprentice under this man. Next up to bat was the Strat through the Princeton, same amp and pedal settings. Now there was a difference in the sound of course, but the attitude and character of the pedal's tone was still there 100%. With the single coils there was much more of an bounce and edge to the overdrive. Through the Warm channel it reminded me of a jazzy Stevie Ray Vaughn tone. The sound was warm, round, gritty, and grimy, a very clever sound for pulling off a bunch of different music genres. With the Hot channel thrown into the mix it is was Hendrix city all the way. I added in my wah and had the drive screeching and wailing, every rock of my foot sizzled the Extreme Cream's tone higher and angrier. I added in more amp volume to make things even louder and to my delight the pedal stayed quiet and kept. By this point I was stunned at cool of a pedal this is. Last I would just have to say I see no way to wrong here, I found no bad tone out of this monster. Everything I threw at this pedal and every application I put it up against worked out beautifully. I would imagine all of the Plush FX overdrive and distortion units sound this killer. I would love to hear what else Andy has up his sleeve, or hear what his delay units sound like. This is no hype friends, these are pro-to-the-fessional sounding stompboxes. We will be looking at more of these awesome pedals in the near future so please stay tuned. The Extreme Cream has officially been chosen to appear on our next record too, we will share that with you once we get some takes recorded. Can you dig it!!?


For more info on Fuchs Audio Technology or Plush FX go to www.fuchsaudiotechnology.com Whether it be amp or pedal, you will find something remarkable on this website. I am saving up for a Fuchs amp I'll tell you that much. Peace friends.




Take a Walk on the Wild Side




THE SAN DIEGO PEDAL CO.

San Diego, California
Builder/Designer: David Loo
Years in the Game: 5
Influence: The Dark Side of Man


I'd like to introduce you to the new kid on the block. New on the scene this company may be but that means nothing, this little outfit is producing some of the most innovative and awesome sounding pedals we've seen all year. David Loo the creator and man in charge of SD Pedal Company has one mission to accomplish... to bring the pedal world a refreshing and exciting collection of stompboxes. The first run of pedals from this company is based around the 7 Deadly Sins, a collection of unforgivably freakish, stunningly different stompboxes with some sounds only God could forgive. What better theme for a line of pedals, with today's world I say it's a perfect source of inspiration. David has already taken care of Wrath, Lust, and Envy, and will be knocking out the rest of the Sins in due time, just be patient and commit one sin at a time. With everything that came out of left field this year this is by far some of the best gear to hit our studio. I can only imagine what David will come up with next, and what will come once he's done with his 7 Deadly Sins collection. Like my man Lou Reed says, "Take a walk on the wild side."



wRaTH!

* Mosfet Overdrive
* Tight switch = creamy OD
* Loose switch for growling dist
* Bass Boost switch for single coil stack compensation
* Handmade w/quality components
* Individually biased and tesed

Wrath, the most brutal of all the sins. A rush of anger is an emotion that can drive any man to go from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds. Now it may not be the smartest of emotions to jump in to if you want to keep yourself out of trouble, but when it comes to your guitar's tone there's nothing better than being able to quickly go from subtle to all-out mayhem. The San Diego Pedal Co. Wrath overdrive/distortion is the perfect tool for driving your amp from Jekyll to Hyde, Ying to Yang, or Day to Night. The reason for the Wrath's wide range of tonal option is it's slick layout of controls. The knobs consist of a Volume-Mids-Treble-Drive, and toggle switches are Tight/Loose, and Bass Boost. The Wrath can be powered by 9V battery or 9VDC adapter. Finally the pedal is topped off with high quality parts/components, a bright red LED, an army ready enclosure, and sick art graphics. This combined with the pedal's tonal abilities makes this a very desirable stompbox.

We ran the Wrath through a few different guitars but the pickup setup the pedal absolutely dug the most were a duel humbucker combination. Through single coils the pedal worked fantastically and sounded great, but it was the character of a great set of buckers that were able to really pull the most out of this pedal. We set up the low wattage 15/7 watt head through a 2x12 cab, dialed it in for a semi-clean tone, and flipped it in the 15 watt option. The Wrath was set up straight up the middle except for the Drive knob which we set at a quarter of the way up, the Bass Boost off, and set in the Tight setting. This setting produced a sparkling, gritty, 50/50 tone, with lots of clarity and spank. This setting didn't take much to clean it up either, all I did was roll the volume knob back about 25%. When rolled down to a clean tone the pedal maintained all of the amp's warmth and brightness. I kicked the Drive knob up to 50% and this is where the pedal started showing me the beginning of it's attitude. This point in the Drive knob is where the pedal really starts to saturate, and where the tone starts going from overdrive to distortion. The way I always test tube-like characteristic in a pedal is by lightly palm muting whole chords, harmonics, bends, and double stops. These are always the little tricks that produce the most undertones and overtones. The Wrath sounded great through all these applications and definitely passed with flying colors. By snapping in the Loose and Bass Boost settings I was able to get an entire new sound out of the same knob settings. The two mini toggle switches are the real genius of this pedal, they have the ability to give the pedal a bunch of different pedal characters. With the Drive knob from 75-100% you get nothing but an all-out Rock to the Roll tone. I was able to dial in a perfect Angus Young distortion with the Treble rolled back to 9'o'clock, the Mids at 3'o'clock, Bass boost on, and Loose switch engaged. With the Drive all the way up you get a perfect combo of distortion rhythm and lead tones. With the Drive maxed you can also get a pretty mean classic heavy metal tone, just roll the Mids almost to zero and Treble almost 100%. The Wrath will dish out everything from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Motorhead metal sounds, very cool stuff. To drive the pedal into a more modern metal tone I threw a booster in front of it, this drove all of the pedals frequencies into a slammin' distortion of anger and fury. Last I brought the Drive knob back down to a minimum, set the EQ and volume to noon, and set the amp to 7 watts. Now this got us some wickedly compressed tones. Being able to crank the amp all the way into a healthy overdrive and pushing the Wrath through it really created some off-the-wall overdrive and distortion sounds. With a flip of my guitar's volume I was able to go from overdrive, to semi-clean, and all the way back into a sickening distortion. Overall the Wrath sounded great through a low watt amp.

Now it was time for some high gain fun. For this we broke out the Super Lead, of course, and set it pretty damn dirty. I bumped every knob on the amp as far as I could go without it sounding too extreme. I swapped guitars into a triple mini-humbucker guitar and reset the Wrath for a mild overdrive. I set the Volume just a tad above the amp's, Mids at about 2'o'clock, Treble at noon, Drive at 3'o'clock, Bass Boost engaged, and Loose switch on. With the amp already overdriven the pedal got us one of the most insane distortion tones we've ever heard. The sound was so freakin rich'n'creamy it made it hard to stop playing. I got so excited I actually threw the pedal into my gigging board to see how well it work with all my pedals. It worked great! The comp I use is always on and sometimes I get overdrive pedals that don't sound good through a bit of compression, this was not an issue with this pedal. The Wrath with a bit of compression through it gave the sound a more focused and clear sound, this made the overdrive and distortion that came out of it even more fantastic. Everything I fed through it or put after it sounded huge, especially my overdrive and clean boosters. A really awesome combination I discovered was running the compressor, a BB Preamp, and the Wrath all at the same time. Talk about rock and roll heaven. This gave us a tone with lots chug, ooompf, and mucho howl. A perfect tone for laying doen some mean rhythm guitar tracks with. One thing I had to do while I had this tone dialed in was snap the wah in to see how well it work it. The Wrath handled the wah beautifully, and I don't setup my wah in the traditional position in the chain, I actually use my wah last. When you use a wah last in an effects chain everything you put through it comes off extremely powerful. If your sound isn't on point it will show and show loudly. To get more great tones from the Wrath all I had to do was play with it's Drive knob and flip the toggle switches. Through the Super Lead we got everything from blues tones, heavy lead tones, classic rock tones, heavy metal sounds, and even some authentic Eddie Van Halen distortion. If you sit down with this pedal long enough you can get every dirt tone you'd ever need for a gig. In the end this is just a overdrive/distortion beast, there is literally no way to get a bad sound from this pedal. Each knob responds really well and the sweep of the drive is huge. The pedal being able to work great with your guitar's volume alone is enough to make this a keeper. Throw in everything else and a bit of imagination and you have one super hip stompbox. For a cat who's only been at it for about 5 years David is highly talented, but more important he has a great ear and is very imaginative. A good ear and creativity will get you far in this game. It's builders like these that always produce the most memorable gear, the most usable gear, and the gear you see in people's rigs. It's really cool David will be working all 7 Deadly Sins into effects pedals, it makes them a bit of a collectors edition and gives everyone who owns one of his pedals something to look forward to. We will be looking at more of these killer stompboxes and will be keeping track of San Diego Pedal Co's progress. As a matter of fact the Envy envelope fuzz pedal is now available for order and will ship asap. In the next few months David will also give light to the Greed pedal, which is a germanium transistor based fuzz pedal with a voltage starve option. We will welcome all of these bad to the bone pedals with open arms and make sure to report back to you to the fullest. Keep your eyes peeled these next few weeks for another of these amazing creations, and remember to support the artists of our scene. These are the cats giving us the ability to sound original. I proud to have such a killer pedal company here in Southern Cali. Check'em out!


For more info on San Diego Pedal Company go to www.sdpedals.com or click the direct link in our sidebar. We will be looking at another of these pedal in the near future so stay tuned. See ya then kids.


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