- Boost (footswitch)
- Distortion (footswitch)
Uncle Ernie's Effects
The design of this pedal is unique in that it is actually two pedals in one box, a simple and also brutal Boost and a Hard Clipping Distortion.
The Boost although very simple is also very useful and effective. It can give a clean slight boost up to a loud distorted sound. The Boost features a Bright switch that turns the Boost into a Treble Booster. With the Bright off the Boost has a flat tonal response.
The Distortion is a Hard Clipping single stage distortion with a flat tonal response. It's very simple in design and use and is most effective when used for hard rock and metal. This is great in front of a higher gain tube amp, i.e. Marshall. If you want that 80's distortion sound it's in here. For the modern metal sound then the pedal will hammer your amp and being a flat response allow your amp to handle the tone and not have a stacked EQ thing going on.
Sometimes simple is best.
The two circuits combine in such a way that the Boost doesn't stack loud on distortion but rather a push over the edge without too much increase in unpleasant stacked distortion. If this was designed to be loud on distortion then the end result would end up sounding horrendous. The upper order harmonics would introduce too much noise and lower note clarity.
As to modifactions, to add tone controls into this pedal would also mean adding more opamps or transistors to make up for losses created by adding either active or passive controls. This effectively makes the pedal another thing altogether. It's not that it can't be done it's just going to be a full on custom job and won't be a LiveDriver when it's done. The LiveDriver is a straight forward and highly effective design that allows the amp to be part of the sound and not just the thing that drives the speakers. Other Metal pedals are really more of a preamp that defines the whole sound and don't make much use of the amps sound. These pedals are effective with a smaller solid-state amp but you don't pay $1500 for a Marshall or Boogie head to have your sound determined by a $80 Chinese made stomp box.