This here be the story of a custom pedal.
I designed it and had Saturnworks Pedals make it for me! I recommend you check out his wares – Bryan makes good stuff.
All things considered, none of the internal parts are particularly complicated or novel but their arrangement is, as i could not find similar anywhere. But it is first useful to mention that i Bi-Amp, have been doing so for some years, and to explain what that means. By splitting your signal, you can use two (or more) amps to achieve a number of different goals. Add in different chains of effects and you can really broaden that sonic difference to either expand the total frequency output, or to double up on one specific tone. Using multiple amplifiers is an age old practice, although usually they are the same exact amp spitting out the same signal.
Less common is the use of different amps to reinforce different frequency ranges of the same signal – an 18″ driver for the lowest end, maybe 2×15″ for low-mids, 4×10″ or 12″ for mids and so on. Above is one of Al Cisnero’s many rigs, this from his early OM days.
However, and by far the least common, is to have two (or more) different amps running two (or more) completely different signals. Above is Gavin Perry’s rig – of Holly Hunt – of which he runs what seems like hundreds of pedals, and into at least two different amps. Usually these are broken out by frequency – low end, which tends to be cleaner, and high end which carries most of the effects. Pedals, for whatever reason, tend to primarily focus on on one sonic range so, for instance, your classically crunchy distortion tends to be higher end, but the brunt force of low end tends to be wiped out by most distortion pedals, and thus bass-oriented pedals often have a wet/dry mix to let some of that ‘pure’ signal through.
I am thoroughly parked in that last camp. As you can see in the leader photo at the very top, my signal comes in on the bottom right and immediately hits a passive splitter, effectively giving my devil guitar a bifurcated tongue. My trusty 1994 Tex-Mex Tele – Baron Von Riffenstein – now puts out two entirely different signal paths, care of both many pedals but also a lack of ability to find any two of the same vintage amps: in chronological order i have a ~1965 Valco Airline (all tube); a ~1975 Acoustic 270; and a 1983 Acoustic b120-115. All excellent finds in their own right, and all with their own native tone.
During the eternal quest for El Sonido Nuevo (The New Sound) i had developed the above, what i call “The Heart” – an Electro Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi (BBMP) which dumps directly into a Boss Bass Overdrive (BOD). The BBMP is semi-secretly a sleeper reissue of the Green Russian Sovtek version of the BMP, with a few more features, and the BOD comes with both a bass boost and a wet-dry mix knob which collectively deliver the bidness. Or as Christian Lembach of WHORES says of his BMP-based key tone – and who is also an avid bi-amper – it delivers “the heavy-heavies“.
So at some point i realized being able to control which amp i send the bidness signal would be useful for a number of reasons – it allowed me to alternate between bolstering the same signal akin to Al Cisnero’s setup which focuses on the amps tonal variety, and separating out two signals which then would allow me to apply a looper to one and / or solo on another, or add another melody line and so forth.
And thus this diagram came to be. The pink box encapsulates the function i needed to perform, and below it a diagram of the pathways is on the pedal-to-be. Its at this point i realized the straight-swoopy-straight lines of the pathways vaguely resembled the Eye of Horus icon, which i quickly adapted, produced and applied.
A custom designed pedal, with custom designed graphics – something im very proud of!
Above a photo of ‘Horus integrated into the chains, although on my old pedal board whose journey we will visit another time…