A distorted reverb based on the greatest and most underrated reverb pedal of the last decade, the Keeley Gold Star.
An homage to the pedal’s “Distorted” setting, I didn’t try to change or improve this classic so much as capture its essence and (importantly) make the signal path true stereo. But what an essence!
Even though Keeley made a pedal marketed specifically for shoegaze, the sound of the “Distorted” setting on the Gold Star reminds me of nothing so much as the incredible album, “Psycho Candy” by the Jesus and Mary Chain, a shoegaze landmark. If you’ve not heard this pedal, check it out, or download this patch. If you’ve not heard that album, then you have more pressing concerns than some silly patch.
The signal passes through parallel delay lines to preserve stereo integrity. These provide a pre-delay, which you can adjust from the starred value module on page one. I left it rather long, because I like the sound of the distortion coming on late. The pre-delay enters a room reverb, where the highs have been slightly rolled off and the decay has been set at a moderate length.
After leaving the reverb, the signal path enters a pair of distortion modules, using the “edgy” mode. The distortion modules are identical and the audio passes through them in parallel. After leaving the distortion, the path enters a fairly heavy-handed stereo compressor. This is part of the effect’s charm. The compression squashes the dynamics of the distorted reverb, leaving only a squall of noise.
On the 0th page, you will find the overall mix between reverb and distortion, the pre-delay control (value module), and the mix between unaffected reverb and distorted reverb.
The only thing I really added to the original’s functionality is that if you press the left stompswitch, the mix between unaffected reverb and distorted reverb will max out, favoring squalls.
Gold Standard V2 revision notes:
I have created a front page to make changing the patch around easier.
It features the same controls as on the Keeley pedal:
Decay — reverb decay
Pre-delay — this goes quite a bit longer than the original (which still had a very long pre-delay, ~200 ms); up to ~850 ms; check out the explanation of the footswitches for more on this change. Note: Because of the scaling of the delay lines, the pre-delay stays very short for much of the control’s travel (~2/3rds) then begins to get longer over the last third of the travel.
Distortion mix — the mix between the distortion reverb tails and the clean reverb tails
Mix — a wet/dry mix
I also added some functionality to the stompswitches:
The original footswitch assignment for the left stompswitch remains the same — it momentarily increases the gain of the distortion and the distortion mix of the reverb tails, allowing for distorted swells
Middle stompswitch — maxes the decay of the reverb, effectively freezing the sound
Right stompswitch — turns the pre-delay into a delay by adding a feedback path; with short pre-delays, this doesn’t produce much of a difference, but with longer pre-delays it can give a sense of waves of distorted sound