Boss RV-5 Modulate Mode

I recently got a Boss RV-5 reverb pedal. I got it specifically for the modulate mode. So far, it delivers on what I expected. I recorded a little demo this morning. I’ll admit, this is not my best work, but it gets the idea across. I don’t know what that scratchy noise is at the beginning of the track – I guess I need to have my amp checked out.

I start out clean, then add the reverb. I play with the level/time settings a little bit, and I add the DL4 for the volume swells around the 1:40 mark.

DL4

I decided that I didn’t really care for the Catalinbread Montavillian Echo – at least, not in the context that I was using it. It seemed to overlap too much with the tones that I get out of the Brigadier. It excelled at spacey, atmospheric self-oscillation. It sounded really good at those settings, but not as warm as what I can coax out of the Brigadier. There are lots of other settings of course, but I wasn’t really pleased with it. Also, there was a substantial volume boost when the pedal is active that I just didn’t bond with. Since I was within the return/exchange period over at Tonefactor, I decided to return it.

I ended up buying a used Line 6 DL4 over at TGP. I know that these things are getting kinda long in the tooth, but they’re still on a lot of boards. I’m gonna give it a shot. I had one for about 5 minutes a couple of years ago. It was an early model (one that still had the tone sucking capacitors in the post-delay section) and I didn’t bond with it. I liked the way that it sounded, but it didn’t work out due to the volume drop when the pedal was engaged.

The one that I have is a more recent revision, and I don’t really notice a volume drop. However, I decided to be proactive and replace the switches that are failure-prone. I bought some SPST momentary switches from Small Bear Electronics and switched them out. The new ones feel much better and should never break on me. I may end up doing other mods to it down the line if I decide to keep it.

It’s too early to really say anything definitive, but I like this pedal so far. I like the fact that you can have three different presets available at any given time. I prefer separate switches for presets as opposed to the way that other pedals such as the DD-20 handle it, where you have to scroll through your settings. Most of the models sound really good, and they are extremely tweakable. You can go from really subtle, conservative slapback delays to truly chaotic noise-pop settings. Of course, I live somewhere in the middle of those worlds, and it seems to suit me just fine.

One reason that I wanted this pedal was for it’s capabilites as a looper. I’m not very good at live looping just yet, but it’s good enough for me to use as a composition/practice tool. I wish that it had slightly longer loop times (without using the 1/2 speed trick) and I wish that it had an undo function. If you make a mistake, you have to start your whole loop over.

Anyway, it’s a cool piece of gear, and I hope that it’ll work out for me. If not, there’s always something else around the corner.

New Radiohead!

King of Limbs

Radiohead has been working on a new album for a while now, and they have been pretty secretive about details such as when they’re going to release it. On Monday, they announced that it’s available for presale and will be ready for digital download on Saturday.

It’s $9 for the MP3 version, and $14 for the WAV version. Buy it, because it will be awesome. It has to be.

Link

Gear updates

In my previous posts, I talked about the acquisition of a couple of new pieces of gear: the Line 6 M9 and the RJM Mini Amp Gizmo. It should come as little surprise that both of those things are no longer in my possession. They were both quite nice, but I ultimately decided that I didn’t enjoy the tones that I was getting from the M9. Since I was using the M9 to control the Mini Amp Gizmo, it had to go as well.

As a result of selling this gear, I bought some new stuff. First of all, I re-bought a Presonus Firebox recording interface. I used to have one of these, but I sold it to fund an amp purchase.

I also got a Strymon Brigadier (another repurchase). In case you don’t know, the Brigadier is a really nice digital delay that does a really great DMM-inspired analog delay imitation. It’s pretty freaking great. Here’s a little clip that I recorded tonight with the two pieces of gear that I just mentioned.

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I also got a Catalinbread Montavillian Echo. This is another digital delay, but this one is kinda tape-flavored. It has the typical time, mix, and feedback controls, but it also has a cut knob. The cut knob lets you control the EQ of the repeats, so you can make it really dark and muted or fairly bright. The cut knob has a huge effect on self-oscillation. At the lower settings, it self-oscillates really quickly. I’m currently using it to create an indistinct wash of sound in the background. I’m still kinda on the fence about this one. It’s cool, but I’m not 100% convinced.

Lastly, I added a DIY pedal to my board. I bought a Mudbunny PCB from madbeanpedals.com, which is a clone of the classic Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi pedal. This particular layout has a mod for a mids control, which solves one of the biggest problems with these pedals. Stock muff pedals were really scooped, which pretty much guaranteed that they would disappear in a band mix. The mids knob on this layout lets you dial those frequencies back in, giving you a pretty wide range of tones to choose from. This is probably my best build yet. I think that I will probably hang on to this one. Famous last words, I know…

Family updates

It’s been a while since I posted anything here. I guess it’s time to take care of that, as well as (hopefully) explain the reasons for my absence. For those of you who know us personally or follow my wife on facebook (or read her blog), this will be old news.

A lot has changed in the Hintze family unit in the last couple of months. In November, we had two boys – Jackson (8) and Mikey (4). Jackson is our biological son, and Mikey was adopted. We got him when he was two days old and we legally adopted him 15 months later.

Anyway, everything was cool until we got a surprise phone call from CPS. I was on the way home from the grocery store when I found out that Mikey has two sisters (ages 2 1/2 and 1) who are in CPS custody. We went back and forth, but we ultimately decided that they needed to be with their brother. They have been with us for about 6 weeks now. I’m bad with dates, so that number may be a little off.

It has been quite an adjustment, and we’re still not used to this situation. It’s really hard going from two to four overnight. I guess that should be pretty obvious. I mean, I knew that it would be hard, but not quite this hard. I think that my expectations were probably more realistic than Jenny’s, but it’s still kinda shocking.

Anyway, there hasn’t been much time for extra stuff lately, which (hopefully) explains my absence from this blog. Don’t worry, though – I am still 100% guitar geek and I have plenty to offer in that particular field of interest.