08 September 2007


As people may or may not know I just love effects and processors, in fact it's pretty much a fetish. I started using (and buying) effects in 1968-69 when I was about 15 or 16. I scrimped and saved and bought myself a WEM Copicat and a few pedals: a Cry Baby, Fuzz Face and a wah wah pedal whose name I've forgotten that included sound effects (a siren, sea surf etc.). They were fed by a small reel/reel tape deck and an industrial signal generator going through an Eagle mixer. But once the bug had bitten I also started making pedals for myself and friends. Then in 1977 I discovered Boss pedals. The PH1 phaser was my first Boss pedal purchase, followed quickly by a DS1 distortion and a BF2 flanger, and I still have those original pedals (and all modified, by me). Since I bought my first Boss pedal I've probably owned and used around twenty or so of various types, sizes and configurations, plus of course a whole load of Roland effects units (actually it's even more if I include using many of Cosey's 30-year collection). I'm not entirely sure what it is but there's something about the sound and aesthetics of Boss (& Roland) effects that I really (really) like.
Naturally with this compulsion for effected sound I've had (have) many other effects gadgets too: mainly Korg, Zoom, Yamaha, Arbiter and a couple of Behringers. Now I come to think about it they're all mainly Japanese or European units. It's not that I'm anti-American or anything, in fact I always wanted some MXR pedals but was always put off by how expensive (like for like) they were in the UK. But either way no effects come as close to the satisfaction I get from playing with and using, and owning, Boss (& Roland) effects (like I said before, it's more like a fetish). Although I must say Korg comes pretty close when it comes to things like the Kaoss series, particularly the KP3 and miniKP pads, two of my current favourite effects gizmos. Of course I get the best of both worlds by mixing and matching all my pedals and effects units, this is doing the 'modular' thing in its purest form I guess. But... now I only have half a dozen or so Boss effects left. I sold the bulk of them in a moment of madness a few years ago when I though 'down-sizing' our studio seemed like a good idea. It was a brief mental aboration (I also sold my Roland modular system!) and I no longer talk about that period of my life.
Anyway... what with rediscovering my old 1970s' circuits and then recently a few more pedals that escaped my 'night of the long knives' purge of madness I've started combining and using them again with my other remaining bits of ancient gear (keyboards, drum machines etc.). And I have to say I'm very encouraged at the kinds sounds and textures I'm producing, which I also find hard to describe. It's a sort of conglomeration of lo-fi digital and analogue effects, but not in an 'industrial' way, it's too slow for that. I'll post some early stage CCCL audio clips here before Xmas.


This has been my CCCL workflow recently.