More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

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More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by JVG » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:36 pm

Over time i find myself gravitating towards pedals with less knobs and switches.

My experience has been that more knobs can be fun if you’re getting experimental, but can also make it harder to find the sounds you like.

I recently bought a Phase 90 in the Black Friday sales, and i can’t wait to play with it. I’m really excited by it’s one-knob simplicity. Perhaps i’m just boring and backward-looking!

Where do you sit on knobs?* Do you like options, or simplicity? Or doesn’t it matter?


* Unintentional double-entendre

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by Nick and the Noise » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:44 am

Less is more. Because else it becomes sound design and not necessarily playing guitar. Which is also a cool I guess but it's quite a different focus.

That Phase 90 (I've got the "script with LED") is one of my favourite modulation pedals. It's amazing you can get a whole bunch of different sounds with just 1 knob and changing up your playing technique. Post-distortion space rock swirls, faux tremolo, univibe like cleans and sometimes it's just a little movement in the sound you need.

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by zhivago » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:51 am

I like less knobs...I am not a fan of internal trimmers/dip switches either.
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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by stevejamsecono » Sat Dec 05, 2020 4:40 am

I think it depends on how well designed the pedal and control scheme are. I'm admittedly more moved by purposeful simplicity in pedal design vs menu diving/deep functionality, but at the same time its nice to have the flexibility to dial something in if you need to. Especially if that flexibility is responsive amd controllable vs oversensitive and requiring a lot of fine tuning.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I'd say I prefer 'more' on stuff that is feeding into my base sounds (compression, gain, chorus etc.) so I can get it just right, and less on 'effects' (phase, flange, trem, etc.) that are just going to be used momentarily or for specific passages.
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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by jvin248 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:27 am

.

Most famous simple guitar ever made.
Pickup > Volume knob > Jack
It was also made from scrap "seconds" guitar body/neck, with a salvaged (but later found to be 'favorably' broken) pickup, owner rattle-can painted, and relic'd. That guitar and player changed the music industry.

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by peterherman » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:40 am

zhivago wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:51 am
I like less knobs...I am not a fan of internal trimmers/dip switches either.
I would extend this to the external trim-pots that have become so popular as well. I don't need 2 extra bands of EQ on a fuzz. Just give me a good, usable "tone" control, thanks. Looking at you, Mk II and later versions of Way Huge pedals.

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:54 am

Generally less. I feel the same way about amps. I’d rather use something that’s been well voiced by the maker vs. something I need to fiddle with a lot to get a good sound out of.

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by Gavanti » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:13 am

I don’t generally care how many knobs something has. What I want live is something That allows me to access a few core useable sounds quickly using one knob or switch. So my Meteore has 4 knobs and 2 switches, but with my band I generally just use the mix knob to move between adding a little atmosphere and surfy spring. On my Benson preamp, the only knob I really mess with live is the gain, and I put a booster in front of it so I don’t have to do that. Sometimes that means I have more pedals than I theoretically need on the board, but I also generally dump pedals that require more attention. If there are more sounds available when I’m just messing around at home I’m ok with that, but they still need to be accessible—not hard to see/reach dip switches or hidden menus or reboots. Sometimes though I’m playing loop based stuff where I have time to make adjustments on the fly. Then having more knobs is fun if they really do something.

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:43 am

Knobs are ok, but dip switches and trim pots must be external, and no pedal of mine shall have a screen

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by Yasawas » Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:33 am

Less. I cringe when I think what I’ve frittered away over the years before realising my two Ultimate Pedal Commandments:
  • Less knobs generally means more experimentation and use
  • The weirder the noise generally means less experimentation and use, with regret and resale shortly thereafter

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by JVG » Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:18 pm

Same here - i spent a lot of money over several years on boutique stuff which lured me in with knobs and switches.

My moment of clarity came when i bought the Boss Waza Chorus. 2 knobs, 1 switch, and it is perfection. :)

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by jorri » Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:56 pm

I have a row of pedals i wish had minimal knobs.
And a row of pedals i wish had more knobs, footswitches, presets.

So that's all the drive and modulation and simple delay i finds a setting and maybe only change a speed, or volume or gain.
I built my own drive pedals filled with 'mod' switches that never need changing, and things like delay feedback just get 'knocked'.

The rest I am building songs off a preset. Multi type ambience pedals and loopers. Pressing shift or a menu option is annoying, so it seems like more would fullfill their actual function.

Because there's an amount of functions and variability a pedal has and the knobs should meet that! The TC dimension clone or small stone don't need extra really.

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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by soggy mittens » Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:11 pm

MORE

I like being able to dial in the sound I want and not have to compromise, also being able to get different sounds out of the same pedal. I really dislike menu diving so having a dial right on top ready to go is perfect for between song adjusting. I like to think I have a good memory and passion to keep at it. I do adjust a lot of pedals as I go mostly delay presets, modes/tap divisions, gain on distortions, volume on my amp (instead of on my guitar), reverb modes and decay/mix. I like creating different sounds for different songs and trying to make sure they don't all sound too similar with rehashed ideas.
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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:44 am

depends. some pedals have sounds they're really good at. like maybe 1 sound they're super amazing at. some pedals have lot's of different sounds they're good at. i'll give you an example though.

EHX lpb-1. it's a simple as hell circuit with 1 knob. honestly, i always felt like i wanted more control over the sound. hence why i based my MuLove design on it. the big issue with the lpb-1 is it's not super clean and it's not dirty. it's in the middle, which always kinda bothered me. i also didn't like the character of the breakup i always got with them. MuLove 1 was me playing around with the tone stack and finding i liked the frequency response of the 22nf caps more than the 100nf caps. i also changed the transistor to one with a lower breakup. then i used a pot to control the bias of the transistor. now it's kinda perfect for what i do and all i needed to do was change half the circuit and add 1 pot. honestly, having the bias to control the gain/breakup really helps with that circuit.

i'm in the middle of building a TuLove which is 2 in 1 mulove. the idea is so i got more of a trashy clean and a pure clean.

i think some circuits dont need all the knobs. as much as i respect companies like walrus audio, does anyone need that much control over the sound?
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Re: More knobs or less knobs - what are people into?

Post by Dave » Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:21 pm

What does it sound like? If it works with one or no knobs, hook me up.. if there is magic buried in the settings then I’ll find it... no one size fits all answer I don’t think.
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