Isn’t Anything — a fuzzy shoegaze sound

MBV was, obviously, an inspiration for this patch, but I wouldn’t call it a MBV patch. A source of inspiration, not an attempt to recreate some mysterious sound.

A stereo signal path travels through a plate reverb into parallel envelope down vibratos. From there, one passes into a Muff-style fuzz and the other into a Marshall-style distortion, then both pass through a tone control and out of the pedal.

The vibratos use the same envelope, but at slightly different strengths in an attempt to approximate some of the double (and beyond) tracking employed by MBV. The use of two different distortions is intended to provide fuzz-style “wall of sound” (Muff) with some note clarity (Marshall). The tone control cuts lows and highs and boosts mids.

STOMPSWITCHES:

Left, latching: vibrato on/off.

Middle, momentary: introduces a feedback loop in the distortion channel.

Right, latching: introduces a tremolo after the reverb but before the vibratos. I think it makes the sound more “swimmy” and gives it some movement.

PAGES:
0–The major effects chain. To tweak the sound, I would look at the tone control first, but play around as you like. The vibratos use the same delay time, and if you decided you wanted to explore different ones, I would save first.

1–Envelope. The rise/fall rates will affect how the vibratos respond. If you want to change their depth, adjust the connection between the envelope and the delay lines.

2–Feedback. Not a ton to see here, but you might adjust the slew limter if you want the feedback onset to change, or its connection to the VCA on this page to adjust its onset. I tried to dial in a level that’s just at the edge of feedback.

3–Tremolo. There’s a value module that functions as a depth control. The LFO’s rate will determine speed, and you could change the LFO’s shape from triangle if you wanted to.

SOUND CLIP:

(Um, loud. Also, some intentional feedback.)

0:00-0:42–Just some strumming in its default setting.
0:42-1:30–Tremolo on. It’s a subtle effect (as set).
1:30-2:05–Vibrato off.
2:06-2:43–Feedback on.**

**I tried a filter in the feedback loop, which gave a different character to the feedback (read: less shriek-y) but it was a CPU casualty. If subsequent optimization in the firmware gives me room to breathe there, that is probably the first revision I would make.

Please note the irony of the name, and also note, I’m not that interested in a purity battle or a bunch of “Well, actually…”‘s. It’s a sound, and I like it, and you might, even if it’s not “the” sound.

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