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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, new to me.

Wanted an envelope filter of some sort for my planned Guitar Pedalboard.
Found a used Electro-Harmonix Micro QTron for a great price--so picked that up

And a PedalTrain with soft case for a greta price as well.

So now the rest of this week will see experimenting, lining stuff up & setting up the pedalboard.
I should have enough cables & stuff--so should be able to get that done.
Then I'll post that.

But for now, here's the pedal...
 

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Nice. Autowahs are kinda my thing. As far as I know, the Micro Q-Tron is essentially a stripped-down Mu-Tron III. No hi/lo range, no up/down switch. Apart from that, the same. Congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice. Autowahs are kinda my thing. As far as I know, the Micro Q-Tron is essentially a stripped-down Mu-Tron III. No hi/lo range, no up/down switch. Apart from that, the same. Congrats.
Thanks,
They are stripped down Mu-Trons--but try finding a Mu-Tron, and if you do, the cost is more than I can pay.
At least that's been my experience.
I don't use it a lot, but it's nice to have it when you want it--and this one suits what I was looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's a possible pedalboard layout.
the pedals aren't really ataached--so they are off kilter in some ways--but the general layout is there
All the cables & power supplies fit & work...
Order is Octaver>passive volume pedal>DS-1>Q-Tron>Empress Distortion> DOD Classic Tube Distortion>Corona Chorus>DOD EQ>Strymon Brigadier Dealy>Reverb

This works & I can hit the on/off with out knocking anything else.
I might make some changes, so nothing is set in stone--so to speak.

Any comments or questions--go ahead.
 

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@zontar Just curious about the placement of the octaver and eq, is this a common placement? I don't have either, so I have never tried different placements.
 

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Thanks,
They are stripped down Mu-Trons--but try finding a Mu-Tron, and if you do, the cost is more than I can pay.
At least that's been my experience.
I don't use it a lot, but it's nice to have it when you want it--and this one suits what I was looking for.
Personally, I was never pleased with the down-sweep on many autowahs, Mu-Tron included. I had a Fernandes Funky Filter - licensed clone of the Mu-Tron III - back in the '70s. Got rid of it, and replaced it with an MXR Envelope Filter. The variable Attack made a huge difference in usability.

Obviously, pedal order does not mean that everything before pedal X will be on whenever one goes to use pedal X. But, that said, locate your Q-Tron wherever the guitar dynamics are most likely to be preserved, so as to get the most expressiveness out of it. I've never tried one with a DS-1, so I don't know if putting the DS-1 after it yields anything pleasing. We know that wah-before-dirt and wah-after-dirt can yield different, and equally pleasing, products. But wah does not depend on signal dynamics the way that autowah does. So, factor that into your sequence/order, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First, let me just say I primarily play at home for fun--so that does inform & determine some of my choices in pedal order.
I am open to some possible changes.
Other than at home if I play out of the home it's normally at church.
There I often use chorus & volume pedal, although I do use others sometimes.
The last time I played guitar at church I used no pedals--just into an amp.
So it depends on what other instruments there are that day & what songs we're playing.
At home I sometimes play unplugged, sometimes just into the map-soemtiems a couple of pedals--and sometimes a lot--so a pedalboard is helpful that way--I don't have to hook up all he pedals I would like to use every time.
And if I do go somewhere else to play it makes it easier to take them with me.

@zontar Just curious about the placement of the octaver and eq, is this a common placement? I don't have either, so I have never tried different placements.
Most people put octavers at the start or close to the start so they have a cleaner signal to track. (And they may have other reasons)
I find it works best before the volume pedal as I have a full signal of rat--and can still do volume swells at the same time.
As for the EQ I've seen people use that all over the place.
It depends on what you want from it.
I tend to use it mostly as an alternate tone -so it could go just about anywhere.
That's where I have it now.
but it is the pedal that would be most likely to move if I change the order.
I have experimented with a lot of different pedal orders.
This is what I like at the current time.
But if you get either pedal--experiment.


Personally, I was never pleased with the down-sweep on many autowahs, Mu-Tron included. I had a Fernandes Funky Filter - licensed clone of the Mu-Tron III - back in the '70s. Got rid of it, and replaced it with an MXR Envelope Filter. The variable Attack made a huge difference in usability.

Obviously, pedal order does not mean that everything before pedal X will be on whenever one goes to use pedal X. But, that said, locate your Q-Tron wherever the guitar dynamics are most likely to be preserved, so as to get the most expressiveness out of it. I've never tried one with a DS-1, so I don't know if putting the DS-1 after it yields anything pleasing. We know that wah-before-dirt and wah-after-dirt can yield different, and equally pleasing, products. But wah does not depend on signal dynamics the way that autowah does. So, factor that into your sequence/order, I guess.
Sounds like some cool pedals.
And I would very rarely have all or most of the pedals on at the same time--except for fun.

As for the placement of the Q-Tron, most people seem to prefer them before nay dirt pedals--and I would agree with that, but I also like having some dirt before them as well.
Since I have multiple distortion pedals (I have 4 & will use 3 for this board) I am able to put the Q-Tron in between them
After much experimenting with my AW-3 AutoWah I decided the DS-1 works best before, and the other after.
I will experiment with the Q-Tron a little more and see if that changes.
If it does it's a simple enough process to swap the DS-1 with one of the other pedals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
But I also find the order of the distortion pedals I like best of it to be DS-1>Empress>DOD
The DS-1 & DOD are kind of opposites.
They both get some bad reveiwsfor different reasons--soem call the DS-1 a tin of bees (Although you can get other sounds from it) and some feel the DOD pedal lacks high end.
If you use both they complement each other well.
The Empress his the most versatile of the three & can be set for a DS-1 type sound. (Not exact, but in the ballpark--at least to my ears)

(My fourth distortions is a Boss DF-2, which is basically a DS-1 with the sustain./feedback function. As I really use that function anymore an date 4 distortions is kind of overkill I leave that one off. I have flirted with selling it, but at this time I am keeping it)
 

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What you've described is precisely why I keep advocating for order-flipper switches in loop selectors. I made a couple of dual loop-selectors with order-flipper toggle switches to produce A-before-B or B-before-A. The great thing about this is that you don't have to repatch or move anything on the pedalboard. You just flick a switch and all the repatching is done for you. I also include an order-flipper in any of the dual-function pedals I've made. Okay Player bought a slightly-altered KoT clone from me with an order-flipper switch. I also put one in a Box of Rock clone I made, to put the boost after the drive or before the drive. I'm starting to see more pedals coming out with order flipping. When I went out for lunch with Bob Weil (Truetone) in 2009, I tried to sell him on the idea of including that, since he has several dual-circuit pedals, but no sale.

RE: dirt before autowah. Keep in mind that anything which clips loses dynamic range. It still retains some, if you don't clip too hard. And since the obviousness of any filtering effect is increased when you feed it more harmonic content, there's nothing terribly wrong with dirtying up the signal a bit before feeding the Q-Tron. Just try to avoid such high gains that the signal is super squished.

I've likely mentioned that back in my band days, I would fake a backwards-tape sound by 1) applying some compression, 2) feeding that to my MXR Envelope Filter set for slowest attack, and 3) feeding that to my MXR 6-band EQ with the three lower bands fully down and the three higher bands fully up. The compression made the filter sweep a little slower than usual. Because it's mostly bass at the start of the sweep, becoming brighter as the filter sweeps up, you wouldn't hear much at first, then the note would get louder at it opened up the mids and highs. And because the 6-band clipped when you dimed it, the sound would also get a little dirtier at the "top" of the sweep. When a sound is recorded and played backwards, the harmonic content that normally occurs when you pick the string will now be heard at the end. Of course, strings normally lose a lot of harmonic content after you pluck/pick them, so the clipping from the EQ as the sweep reached the top added to the illusion of producing a "backwards" sound. Eventually, reverse digital delay would come and kick its ass, but for some pretty "normal" pedals in 1979, it did a pretty decent simulation. I'll note that the original EHX Attack Decay also included circuitry to clip and make the all-analog simulation of reverse-tape more realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What you've described is precisely why I keep advocating for order-flipper switches in loop selectors. I made a couple of dual loop-selectors with order-flipper toggle switches to produce A-before-B or B-before-A. The great thing about this is that you don't have to repatch or move anything on the pedalboard. You just flick a switch and all the repatching is done for you. I also include an order-flipper in any of the dual-function pedals I've made. Okay Player bought a slightly-altered KoT clone from me with an order-flipper switch. I also put one in a Box of Rock clone I made, to put the boost after the drive or before the drive. I'm starting to see more pedals coming out with order flipping. When I went out for lunch with Bob Weil (Truetone) in 2009, I tried to sell him on the idea of including that, since he has several dual-circuit pedals, but no sale.

RE: dirt before autowah. Keep in mind that anything which clips loses dynamic range. It still retains some, if you don't clip too hard. And since the obviousness of any filtering effect is increased when you feed it more harmonic content, there's nothing terribly wrong with dirtying up the signal a bit before feeding the Q-Tron. Just try to avoid such high gains that the signal is super squished.

I've likely mentioned that back in my band days, I would fake a backwards-tape sound by 1) applying some compression, 2) feeding that to my MXR Envelope Filter set for slowest attack, and 3) feeding that to my MXR 6-band EQ with the three lower bands fully down and the three higher bands fully up. The compression made the filter sweep a little slower than usual. Because it's mostly bass at the start of the sweep, becoming brighter as the filter sweeps up, you wouldn't hear much at first, then the note would get louder at it opened up the mids and highs. And because the 6-band clipped when you dimed it, the sound would also get a little dirtier at the "top" of the sweep. When a sound is recorded and played backwards, the harmonic content that normally occurs when you pick the string will now be heard at the end. Of course, strings normally lose a lot of harmonic content after you pluck/pick them, so the clipping from the EQ as the sweep reached the top added to the illusion of producing a "backwards" sound. Eventually, reverse digital delay would come and kick its ass, but for some pretty "normal" pedals in 1979, it did a pretty decent simulation. I'll note that the original EHX Attack Decay also included circuitry to clip and make the all-analog simulation of reverse-tape more realistic.
Order-Flipper switches would be great to have.
Would certainly be a cool way to experiment with pedal order--ad to have different options available to all contexts.

Did before autowah--I have learned some of the technical side of these things & the whys and all that--btu I'm not expert--I still like to mix things up & check it out--although knowing all that stuff whelps to know why something did or didn't work--or to replicate it later.
Now as I di say I prefer the Autowah before distortion better, but still cool to have both options & if you have 2 or more distortions you can do that.

--Cool idea for the reverse echo--and a good reason to play around with your pedals& see what they can do & learn that.

Thanks for all he comments.
 
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Having dirt available before and after a phaser is also useful. Coming before a phaser, the phaser will filter the distortion in much the same way that a wah or autowah does. Placement after a phaser yields a more Hendrix-ey/Trower-ey "animated" tone as the phaser moves different parts of the spectrum closer to and away from the clipping threshold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do have a phaser I rarely use.
I may need to see it some time.
 

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This drawing is courtesy of John Lyons, although I've editted it. The original uses a 4PDT switch and provides for a status LED to indicate which loop comes first. I omitted the LEDs and need for a 4th set of contacts. Order flipping can be done with a 3PDT toggle that will set you back <$2, and the position of the toggle handle tells you all you need to know about which comes first. Besides, I've never known any circumstance where order-flipping needed to be achieved via a stompswitch mid-tune.

The drawing shows two send/return loops. I included stomp bypass switches for each send/return loop in my boxes. If built into a two-fer pedal (e.g., with drive AND boost), the send/return wires simply go to the in and out of the two circuits on the board.

Alternatively, send/return A could be for an on-board effect, and send/return B goes to jacks in that same pedal, where you could patch in whatever you wished, turning them on and off at those respective pedals. The order-flipper toggle lets you stick whatever is in the pedal with that flippable loop before or after something else.

This is what I tried to convince Bob Weil to implement. At the time, Visual Sound was making these pedals with large "home plate" shaped enclosures that provided enough space for a single effect and external loop. GIven how many times I have had to respond to phaser<~>distortion order questions, I thought that marketing distortions whose order could be easily flipped, without having to repatch a pedalboard might be a no-brainer. Apparently not.

EDIT: Lest I unintentionally create the impression that Bob is a stubborn mule, I'll note that when they eventually moved to two-fer pedals in a more standard flat rectangular enclosure, Visual Sound / Truetone included individual in/out jacks for each circuit in the pedal, that could allow for order-reversal. Perhaps not as convenient as simply flipping a toggle, but on the other hand, it also meant that one could also patch something in between the two circuits in the pedal, which is also nice, if a trifle messy.

I made a reduced version of the Boredbrain Patchulator, with either 3 or 4 send-return loops, in a 125-C enclosure, that a friend of player99 bought (couldn't find a better picture but here is a sense of it, with the 5 little patch cables sticking out the top). A "deluxe" version would not only permit easy repatching via smaller top-mounted jacks and little patch cables, but might include order-flipper toggles for a few selected loops. So, if there were 4 loops to patch via little cables, one might be able to flip A and B as well as C and D.


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