"Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedals

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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby vvv » 30 Apr 2014, 07:14

Here´s an example of the decay in Soulsonic´s Hunny bunny. It´s very interesting that the nature of decay is so similiar in all the builds though they are so different designs. Here you can hear that it´s not so obvious with single notes (in fact, you can hear that the clipping doesnt sound right in single notes too), but as soon as a chord is fading you can say right away that its not working as it should.

http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=002 ... 8514449989
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby Greg » 30 Apr 2014, 07:25

I believe it's a characteristic of the circuits you've named.. but it's subtle and generally not noticed in a band situation IMO.
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby vvv » 30 Apr 2014, 08:19

Greg wrote:I believe it's a characteristic of the circuits you've named.. but it's subtle and generally not noticed in a band situation IMO.


I´d say it´s definitely not so.

You´d be amazed how much bands spend time fixing and adjusting MUCH smaller sound details in studio. These are definitely not charasteristics as there is no such problems in orginal pedals when A/B tested and I can´t see how there could be, nobody can be that blatant to commercially sell something working that bad.

It´s also kind of a bad thing for those who buy clones from Ebay etc. when sellers/builders think they are selling a working pedal...

And how does it affect the reputation of the orginal pedal if people think the clone is working like it should and thinking that "it´s just charasteristics of the orginal"?
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby Nocentelli » 30 Apr 2014, 10:52

Why not trace your original hot cake so you can be sure your clone uses exactly the same parts?
mmolteratx wrote:absolutely zero commercial use allowed. If I find anyone selling these, I'll fly to your house and kick you in the nads. And you may or may not find yourself in trouble.

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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby Greg » 30 Apr 2014, 11:18

vvv wrote:
Greg wrote:I believe it's a characteristic of the circuits you've named.. but it's subtle and generally not noticed in a band situation IMO.


I´d say it´s definitely not so.

You´d be amazed how much bands spend time fixing and adjusting MUCH smaller sound details in studio. These are definitely not charasteristics as there is no such problems in orginal pedals when A/B tested and I can´t see how there could be, nobody can be that blatant to commercially sell something working that bad.

It´s also kind of a bad thing for those who buy clones from Ebay etc. when sellers/builders think they are selling a working pedal...

And how does it affect the reputation of the orginal pedal if people think the clone is working like it should and thinking that "it´s just charasteristics of the orginal"?

It may not describe the problem you have, but I'm telling you a slightly fizzy decay is a known characteristic of these pedals, and that I've had originals of each of these pedasl in the past and heard it.

Do a Google search on Hotcake decay.. some of the comments you'll come across, on a multitude of sites, include:
-Note decay is buzzy and not realistic sounding.
-There will be a decay of fizz that is noticeable enough to warrant mention.
-The fizz is an artifact that really bothers some people because it doesn't sound "organic", compared to other overdrives.
-RE: the "fizz decay" thing... Yeah, you'll never hear it in context of a band.
-I like it a lot, although there is a bit of fizzyness on the note decay.
-The part I really couldn't stand was this spitty decay at medium to high gain ...
-It sounds very nice, however i notice that when the notes decay it doesn't sound very smooth.
-One of the things that REALLY bothered me with the Hot Cake, and both of mine had this problem, was the unatural, unmusical deacy to a sustained note. If I just hold a note or chord, I want to hear a smooth sustain and decay as the note fades away. The Hot Cake spat, sputtered, farted and seem to jump between clean and distorted as the note decayed - unuseable for me.

If you do search on this forum, you'll even find a thread about the Hotcake decay: http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15720&p=217783&hilit=hotcake+decay#p217783

The Honey Bee and SHOD both have clipping to ground (as does the Klon), and consequently they have some of the characteristics of a Fuzz pedal, including a slightly fuzzy decay.
There's info about this here too if you search.
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby DrNomis » 30 Apr 2014, 11:26

It could very well be that the reason why your builds haven't been sounding right is that they're self-oscillating at a very high frequency that you can't hear, when this happens gain based effects tend to sound dirtier than they should be and the sustaining part of the tone tends to sound gritty, what I would suggest is to buy yourself an oscilloscope, at least one with a 10Mhz Bandwidth, and use it to trace the signal path of your builds when you're not sending a signal through them, you should see no signal on the output if your builds are working correctly, if you see a very high frequency signal on the output and you're not sending any signal through your build, it indicates that the circuit is self-oscillating, if you turn up any gain controls note what effect it has on the output..... :thumbsup
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby vvv » 30 Apr 2014, 12:01

Greg wrote:
vvv wrote:
Greg wrote:I believe it's a characteristic of the circuits you've named.. but it's subtle and generally not noticed in a band situation IMO.


I´d say it´s definitely not so.

You´d be amazed how much bands spend time fixing and adjusting MUCH smaller sound details in studio. These are definitely not charasteristics as there is no such problems in orginal pedals when A/B tested and I can´t see how there could be, nobody can be that blatant to commercially sell something working that bad.

It´s also kind of a bad thing for those who buy clones from Ebay etc. when sellers/builders think they are selling a working pedal...

And how does it affect the reputation of the orginal pedal if people think the clone is working like it should and thinking that "it´s just charasteristics of the orginal"?

It may not describe the problem you have, but I'm telling you a slightly fizzy decay is a known characteristic of these pedals, and that I've had originals of each of these pedasl in the past and heard it.

Do a Google search on Hotcake decay.. some of the comments you'll come across, on a multitude of sites, include:
-Note decay is buzzy and not realistic sounding.
-There will be a decay of fizz that is noticeable enough to warrant mention.
-The fizz is an artifact that really bothers some people because it doesn't sound "organic", compared to other overdrives.
-RE: the "fizz decay" thing... Yeah, you'll never hear it in context of a band.
-I like it a lot, although there is a bit of fizzyness on the note decay.
-The part I really couldn't stand was this spitty decay at medium to high gain ...
-It sounds very nice, however i notice that when the notes decay it doesn't sound very smooth.
-One of the things that REALLY bothered me with the Hot Cake, and both of mine had this problem, was the unatural, unmusical deacy to a sustained note. If I just hold a note or chord, I want to hear a smooth sustain and decay as the note fades away. The Hot Cake spat, sputtered, farted and seem to jump between clean and distorted as the note decayed - unuseable for me.

If you do search on this forum, you'll even find a thread about the Hotcake decay: http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15720&p=217783&hilit=hotcake+decay#p217783

The Honey Bee and SHOD both have clipping to ground (as does the Klon), and consequently they have some of the characteristics of a Fuzz pedal, including a slightly fuzzy decay.
There's info about this here too if you search.


Hot Cake may be not so good example as there has been many versions of it during the decades it has been on the market. Those comments you copy-pasted seem to be about clones mostly. It seems like nobodys got the bufferless clone to work perfectly (many get oscillation too, others only with some guitar pickups or only if guitars volume was rolled down certain amount (all features that just cannot exist in a commercially sold pedal)), but I personally havent heard a fizzy buffered orginal Hotcake. But I have never tested orginal TBP-Hotcake. Some bufferless tubescreamer-style pedal could be a good one for me to make a couple of builds with different quality components and do some research that way.
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby vvv » 30 Apr 2014, 12:14

DrNomis wrote:It could very well be that the reason why your builds haven't been sounding right is that they're self-oscillating at a very high frequency that you can't hear, when this happens gain based effects tend to sound dirtier than they should be and the sustaining part of the tone tends to sound gritty, what I would suggest is to buy yourself an oscilloscope, at least one with a 10Mhz Bandwidth, and use it to trace the signal path of your builds when you're not sending a signal through them, you should see no signal on the output if your builds are working correctly, if you see a very high frequency signal on the output and you're not sending any signal through your build, it indicates that the circuit is self-oscillating, if you turn up any gain controls note what effect it has on the output..... :thumbsup


Ok, that sounds interesting. But what can cause the oscillation?
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby Greg » 30 Apr 2014, 12:48

vvv wrote: Those comments you copy-pasted seem to be about clones mostly.

No they're not.. I think you'll find all these links are about original Hotcakes.. It's pretty commonly known that the Hotcake has a slightly fizzy decay, but IMO it's still a great sounding pedal.
I know a number of people who use it live or for recording, and the final note decay really doesn't affect them.
It's more the bedroom players who hear it and worry about it.

http://www.musictoyzforums.com/showthread.php?29883-Baby-Blue-vs-Hot-Cake
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1280834
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1110054
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/stomp-box/294155-crowther-hot-cake-opinions-needed.html
http://vintageamps.com/plexiboard/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18639&start=15
http://namm.harmony-central.com/t5/Effects-Pedals-Multi-Effects-and/Crowther-Audio-Hotcake-and-Paul-C-Timmy-question/td-p/26895553
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XNRzlI0yaU
(Read YouTube comments).
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby DrNomis » 30 Apr 2014, 13:07

vvv wrote:
DrNomis wrote:It could very well be that the reason why your builds haven't been sounding right is that they're self-oscillating at a very high frequency that you can't hear, when this happens gain based effects tend to sound dirtier than they should be and the sustaining part of the tone tends to sound gritty, what I would suggest is to buy yourself an oscilloscope, at least one with a 10Mhz Bandwidth, and use it to trace the signal path of your builds when you're not sending a signal through them, you should see no signal on the output if your builds are working correctly, if you see a very high frequency signal on the output and you're not sending any signal through your build, it indicates that the circuit is self-oscillating, if you turn up any gain controls note what effect it has on the output..... :thumbsup


Ok, that sounds interesting. But what can cause the oscillation?


Basically, it's caused by the high-impedance input picking up signals from the output and feeding it through the circuit again, the circuit starts acting like an oscillator rather than an amplifier...... :thumbsup
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Re: "Broken radio" -like note ends with 3 different OD pedal

Postby matt239 » 31 Jul 2014, 02:38

vvv,
I must take exception to some of what you say; (maybe you didn't intend to offend? but,,)
- You say your builds have problems, but immediately dismiss the idea that you have made mistakes in your builds,
and assume, and state, that ALL D.I.Y. / hobbyist builds must have the same problems, but we D.I.Y-ers MUST ALL have TIN EARS, and be oblivious to it..

Um, you might get more help if you didn't BEGIN by INSULTING the forum members, ENTIRE D.I.Y community, and our hobby.

- D.I.Y-ing pedals is kinda what we do around here, in case you didn't notice, so saying that it's all pointless, and only "commercial" pedals could ever sound good, and THAT WE DON'T CARE WHAT OUR STUFF SOUNDS LIKE, - might be thoughts you would want to just keep to yourself..


Then, you insist that D.I.Y. designs and clones produce this artifact, but "commercial" pedals never do.

- I suggest you listen more carefully.
- I HEAR WHAT YOU HEAR. - EVERYWHERE. - I hear the fuzzy, splatty, uneven decay some circuits produce. Others here, and around the web have complained of it too.

- True, it doesn't bother a lot of people very much, but that isn't because they don't care about good sound, - but because -
- you don't hear this artifact unless you play big chords, and let them decay for a really long time.

- In many (most?) styles of music, this never happens, so you don't notice this artifact much.
It's more of a question of the style in which you play through the effect.
(and of course MANY people LIKE fuzzy, rough, rowdy, breaking, broken, sounding drive. - It's part of the sound of rock & roll..)

If you listen closely, YOU CAN HEAR THIS ARTIFACT IN MANY, perhaps most, COMMERCIAL DISTORTION/OVERDRIVE UNITS . AND if you listen VERY CLOSELY, you can hear it on quite a few popular recordings.

So the phenomenon exists, but not just in a few hobbyist projects.

Perhaps you didn't mean what you said to come off quite the way it sounded? (and I don't want to start a fight..) - and I DON'T LIKE THAT ARTIFACT EITHER.
(specifically, I don't dislike fuzzy/rough, but I want to CONTROL whether it's rough or smooth), and
(A STRANGE SPLAT AT THE END OF A NOTE DOES SOUND LIKE AN UNINTENTIONAL, UNPLEASANT ARTIFACT.)

So, what can we do? - - - In order of likelihood (IMO) I suspect your problem is caused by:

1: (most likely, IMO) There is nothing wrong with your builds, or the documents you built them from, and you're just not a huge fan of the way those circuits sound.
- and you are listening more critically to the ones you built, than the commercial originals.
(I know you have an original for one, but if, for some of the others, you're relying on, say, Youtube videos, the player may not hold onto chords as long as you do, or the artifact may fall below the noise floor..)

2: You made some simple error, or there is some small error in the build documents. - A wrong pre-clipping filter, or coupling, cap value can change the overdrive sound considerably. etc. Or a cold solder joint. - Mistakes happen, we all make them.

3: Actual BROKEN components. - Expensive, "mojo" components make no improvement in sound, (in some cases, worse; carbon-comp resistors just add noise..)
any decent quality components should sound just fine, UNLESS you have actually overheated, or over-volted something. (transistors, I.C.s, caps..)
or are using USED parts that may have similar damage.

4: Oscillation caused by layout/proximity problems. - (As DrNomis described.) - Unlikely if building simple circuits from known, verified layouts, and following basic, standard wiring procedures..

What I would suggest:
- First, re-evaluate the original commercial pedals yourself. For ones you don't have, can you borrow them? or try them out at a music store? Does it really sound as awesome as you remember? Can you get it to make the decay artifact?

If you are still SURE your builds sound substantially different from the originals, then troubleshoot each one, step by step. There is a troubleshooting section here where you can find help and info, and in the threads relating to each individual D.I.Y pedal build.

If the "commercial" pedals are having the same problem, then you may want to look at;
A: Build/use different circuits.
B: Modify circuits.

Circuits/techniques to consider:

1: I think circuits employing "soft clipping" are least likely to have the rough decay artifact. "Soft clipping" in this case meaning diodes in the feedback loop of an op-amp, (similar to tubescreamer, and it's variants/offspring, and a thousand others..)
-Or, carefully, gently, overdriven tubes, or even more carefully, gently, overdriven mosfets or jfets, in multiple stages.

2: -Careful TONE SHAPING, especially pre-distortion, and inter-stage. - - Trimming bass pre-clipping helps tame roughness, and trimming treble, before and after, helps tame "fizziness"
- This is reported to be part of the secret of the success of the Tubescreamer; trimming the bass and treble (and "soft clipping") contributes to a smooth sound.
- Of course in the Tubescreamer, the mid peak is left intact, and the overall sound is mid-boosted; part of it's charm for some, detested by others.
(Read R.G. Keen's article "Tecnology of the Tubescreamer.")(And Jack Orman's articles on clipping, and creating distortion, at AMZ)

Specifically to avoid uneven decay, and if you don't want a mid-boosted, or treble-boosted sound, try CUTTING BASS pre-clipping, and BOOSTING BASS after.

3: Try using diodes reported to clip more softly, such as Germanium (like 1N34s) and/or LEDs. I think these sound good. - Germainums clip at a lower voltage than silicon, LEDs at a higher voltage. -You might have to use two or three Germaniums in-series to get a similar clipping threshold to one or two silicons. (see "clipping threshold" or "proximity to clip" etc.)

4: Series resistors. I've had good luck adding resistance in series with clipping diodes. This way, the signal doesn't go from full to off, but full to attenuated. (This should show a more gently rounded waveform on a scope, vs. diodes alone, but I've never tried it..) - An example of this can be found in the Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal.

Good luck in your quest!
Let us know what you discover!

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