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Here are some new things we've created for you this week!
New Blog this week: "How we go about naming and designing a pedal"
New Chasing Tone Podcasts:
Lastly, we have just a couple more Cranked Overdrives left: http://www.wamplerpedals.com/limited/crankedOD/
I'm often asked about where the names and look for the pedals come from for Wampler. It's sometimes an extremely stressful and complicated process and other times it falls into place really quickly, here is a snap shot of the process into the first design I did for Wampler, The Paisley Drive, over 4 years ago and then a comparison to the last design I did, the Latitude...
Paisley Drive First a little history, I have no design background or anything vaguely official that qualifies me as a graphic designer, I just make it up as I go along - as Brian calls it - "Throwing some rice at the wall and see what sticks"! I had been working on updating the website for Brian (before I worked here full time) when he sent me an email that had the immortal line "you know that overdrive we are doing for Brad Paisley, want to have a shot at the logo?" - As I was working in the most miserable job imaginable (front line of the unemployment office in the UK) I jumped at the chance, I'd be mad not too! I started calling it the "Paisley Drive" straight away and we knew Brad's favourite colour was Blue (although the proto was pink and everyone thought it was going to be that color)... that was it, that was all I had to work on.
So, what do you do for Paisley? There had to be a couple of Paisley's on it, that was obvious... I wanted a telecaster style headstock on it, again for me that was obvious - at that time the printers were doing the labelling of the knobs and switches (unlike now: you will notice it's become part of the design on later pedals) So, I drew the headstock, found a font that would fit within it (this is often the most time consuming issue) and then started to tweak it around until everything fell into place - I mock everything up into photoshop so we can all look at it on screen and get a good idea of how it will look.
So, left to right: Prototype, the actual artwork used for the logo, the photoshop mockup, the first screen print test on the basecoat and finally Mr Paisley holding his Paisley Drive (a proud moment for me)
Note: The design has since been updated to include his signature.
Latitude Fast forward four years... The first step these days is that I get with Justin Simpson (who traces out the PCB's and is the technical lead within Wampler, a PCB genius) to discuss the control layout. I am always pushing us to move away from the safe layout of our earlier models and make them more interesting. So, I look at the number of knobs, switches etc and tell Justin where I want them to be on the pedal. He then comes back and tells me if it's possible and we work together to give it an interesting layout that in no way compromises the technical layout and operation of the pedal. This can sometimes be a long process as I'm only interested in the look, he's only interested in the internal layout - as always though, he wins as tone is everything, I never let him win easily though, we always find the best compromise!
So, the design. It was a really hard one, we wanted to have a marketable theme for it but it's kinda hard when all the best names had all been taken (yes, MojohandFX and Flux Effects, I'm looking at you)... As always, it ended up as a four way discussion in Skype with Travis, Brian, Max and myself. We wanted something watery for a marketing angle and it's appropriate considering the sound of the effect. Travis brought Whitecap to the table quite early, we all dug it but it didn't work on the pedal (I had even mocked up a couple of versions) to test it and it just didn't work... so it was put to one side... not sure Travis has quite forgiven me yet! So, it got to the stage where we were just saying random words out loud in the vein hope that something would jump out at us... It got to the point where I was losing the will to live and was just sat there staring at the screen thinking it would never happen, and then Brian said "Latitude"... I saw it then in my head straight away, a map. A pirate map with swirly writing and a compass at the back. Within an hour I had the design in photoshop (.psd) and within 2 it was vectored in illustrator (.ai) and submitted for production.
1: Original prototype. 2: Mr first proposed layout (using a knob for waveform selector). 3: Justins response as to where things can and can't go. 4: "Whitecap" (note layout is now confirmed with sub divisions on a switch). 5: TremoH2O. 6: Latitude. 7: Base color tester. 8: The finished article!
Podcast 25 is up! Between sniffles and coughing, “Zee-Vampler”, and Travis’ talks of his 15-second hip-hop abs workout – we actually managed to talk about some gear! Not my most enthusiastic podcast ever – but we covered some good stuff.
This week a major topic we talked about was – should delay come before or after your dirt. In most all cases – after your dirt. Why? Great question – because it sounds better. Haha. But in all seriousness – as Brian explains in the podcast - your delay should be placed after your dirt. – This will allow your distorted/ overdriven signal to get the repeats – not the other way around. If you are running a reverb pedal with a delay pedal – we like to place the reverb after the delay pedal for smoother tones.
Check out the podcast below!
This coming Friday (November 28th) – Black Friday if you will – Wampler Pedals will be releasing a limited number the Cranked OD.
As far as Wampler Pedals staff goes I am still kind of the new guy. As of today I have been with Wampler for just over 1 year. So when it came time to rerelease the “Cranked AC” (Re-named the Cranked OD) I had limited knowledge of the original or what it was all about. So while the boss was in the office, I decided to pick his brain about both the original and the new versions of the Cranked.
The original Cranked AC concept was born from Brian’s love of cranked up British AC30 type tones. While the original pedal sounded great – it was just missing something. A few years ago we sold through our stock and Brian decided to discontinue it while he concentrated on other designs. Since it’s discontinuation, numerous customers have asked Brian to rerelease the Cranked – but Brian knew he couldn’t rerelease the Cranked AC as it was, with out making some tweaks first.
Enter the Cranked OD. The Cranked OD pays homage to the original Cranked AC – but now with new features like a 3 band active EQ and more of that great authentic full cranked up British AC chimey tone that has become so iconic on so many famous records. The new Cranked OD can now go from lighter overdrive tones to full on distortion around 12:00 and then achieve a creamy fuzz once it’s rolled up past noon.
This Black Friday, the Cranked OD can be purchased directly from this website for $199.97. Since this is a limited run, get one while you can.(ALL products on the Wampler site will be discounted Black Friday through Cyber Monday.)
We are proud to annoce that the winner of our #1000'th post competition on Instagram was won by @zachdaymusic !! He posted pictures that contained literally hundred's of Wamplers! He is now the proud owner of a Clarksdale overdrive! We had to send something to an extremely worthy runner up, @kennycarlile who posted well over a hundred! We sent him a goodie bag that contained a shirt, a cable and and PSU.
Keep your eyes open for more competitions, you can find out about them first via our newsletter!!
When Brian plays a gig, he is constantly swapping pedals on and off his board, testing new prototypes, etc. Variety is the spice of life right?
However, there are a few types of pedals that never leave his board. Brian can always be seen with the Ego Compressor, delay pedal(s), or the Plexidrive (version 1 – or the prototype of Version 2.) Mostly the additional dirt pedals get swapped around a lot depending on the gig – or as Brian likes to joke – from set to set.
Check out the video below as the man behind the tone curtain takes us through his current gigging pedal board and shows us how he achieves some of his favorite country style tones. Keep an eye out for the plate-style reverb prototype!
To mark the milestone of us posting 1000 pictures of our dogs, guitars, pedals, amps and stupid meme's, we are running a competition on Instagram and the winner will received a free Clarksdale Overdrive valued at $199.97 (USD)!
To enter, just follow the instructions in the thread!!
Happy Veteran’s Day from Wampler Pedals to all of those who have served: past, present, and future! Many of the finest men and women have served in America’s Armed Forces – people from all walks of life, race, creed, and as it turns out – musical backgrounds. I was genuinely surprised to find out just how many famous musicians who have served our Armed Forces.
The following is not a complete list by any means, but here are some famous musicians that served in the American Military:
Jimi Hendrix (U.S. Army/ Airborne), Billy Cox (U.S. Army – stationed with Jimi Hendrix), James Maynard Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle (U.S. Army), Johnny Cash (U.S. Air Force), John Coltrane (U.S. Navy), Jerry Garcia (U.S. Army), Elvis (U.S. Army), Kris Kristofferson (U.S. Army), B.B. King (U.S. Army), and John Fogerty (U.S. Army Reserves).
To each and every Veteran, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for your service!!!
- Max Jeffrey
In the last blog we talked mostly about pedal order/ how to get the most out of your pedals. Most of the pedal setup I talked about was with the pedals being ran through the front of your amp. Well, what about the effects loop? What pedals should/ shouldn’t be run through the effects loop? Well let’s break some groups of pedals down:
Boosts/ EQ’s: Boosting and EQ-ing in the effects loop will definitely shape your tone. In the loop, a boost will add volume without boosting the front end of the amp. This will create less of an overdriven/ distortion effect and more of just a clean volume bump. An EQ Pedal, in the effects loop, will help shape the tone of the amp itself – rather than shape the overdrive/ gain texture of the amp. When you run an EQ pedal through the front of the amp – lets say after your tube screamer – it will help shape the tone of the gain structure. (On a side note: you can also “fuzz up” a crunchy gain channel by setting the EQ to be very bass heavy.)
Delays and Reverbs: I get asked about these two pedals all the time. A good rule of thumb is – that if you are using your amp’s dirty channel – you will want to put your delays and reverbs in the effects loop of your amp. The main reason for this is because – well… delay and reverb BEFORE your dirt/ distortion channel sounds kind of terrible…. It might work for some – but in every application we have ever tried it – it just didn’t sound good at all.
As discussed in the first part of this two-part blog – results will differ from rig to rig. We are all tone chasers and what works for one person, may not work for another. Tone chasing is a lifelong pursuit for most of us and I encourage each of you to get out there and see what works best for you!