DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: jmasciswannabe on February 11, 2005, 06:09:32 PM

Title: vocal fuzz effect
Post by: jmasciswannabe on February 11, 2005, 06:09:32 PM
Hey everyone....starting to run out of guitar effects projects and am thinking about working on somehting for vocals. I would really like to make a good fuzz effect for vocals. Low fi, fuzzy, but not over the top. Not trying to be new metal or napalm death or anything. Closest thing I have used that worked in a live setting was a boss fz1. Any suggestions? I want to also be able to run xlr (mic inputs) in and out. I am under the impression that an instrument and mic input are different (hi and low z). Is there something I would have to do different within a circuit to change this or can I just wire the inputs and outputs for an xlr instead of 1/4 inch.

Thanks and Take Care!!
Title: vocal fuzz effect
Post by: brett on February 12, 2005, 12:10:24 AM
Hi.  Your last point first; yes the Zs are different, but this is only a major problem when using an instrument into a low Z input (volume and high frequency losses).  
Why not combine a simple mic amp (e.g. a single FET booster) and a fuzz circuit (e.g. Axis Fuzz) in a box, with XLR in and line out.  
Or, if you want to use the Boss fuzz, just a mic pre-amp box with XLR in and 1/4" out.
I'm not I've explained this very well - get back with any queries.
Title: ...
Post by: petemoore on February 12, 2005, 12:29:57 AM
Fuzz can be a funny thing to use on vocals, I've tried many kinds.
  The thing I found is that it is quite similar to guitar...the AMP you run your fuzz into or overdrive can...uh be tube if you have that...not many do.
  Anyway I was looking for that Doors vocal effect, where the vocals are still clear enough for the articulation of the annunciation [hear actual words]...but with an overdrive effect, strong in MiDs.
  Driving two 4x12'' cabinets [Greenbacks and OLD VOX BLUE Domes] with a nice mic, a board for preamp, and a DYNA ST 70 [35w per side class A] does that real well, especially with a little 'midrange frown' on the EQ, and enough room to get loud.
  ...try your Vocal Mic through great 4x12'' [no bass guitars or drums in this chain PleaSe]...if you can get 30w or bigger horns going with them, even better, but try comparing the sound of a nice closed back 4x12'' cab for mids compared to a typical 15'' 'n horn cab.
  For general use into a SS PA that has horns, I'd recommend try rolling off some highs and watch the volume controls.
Title: vocal fuzz effect
Post by: jmasciswannabe on February 13, 2005, 03:51:17 PM
thanks for some great info guys!

brett - Beware, extremely unknowledgable person asking questions....I like the idea of combining the single fet booster with a fuzz effect. Is it as simple to run the out of the fet booster circuit to the input of the fuzz? I guess I am still confused with the hi and low z thing. Line inputs are one and mic inputs are the other, right? Most of the circuits here are designed for line inputs, right? If I want the circuit have mic ins and outs do I need to change anything within the design of the circuits?

petemoore - I totally dig that idea! The thought never crossed my mind! I have built several fuzzes lately and there is such a difference when using tube and solid state guitar amps. I can see this totally applying to vocals as well. OF course thats why they make all those tube preamps I guess. I have heard of some different artists using onstage amplification for vocals and then micing it and sending it to the main pa. I think the strokes do that? ANyway, working in a second hand music store has its advantages...looks like I will be borrowing some 4x12's.  

thanks again you all!
Title: vocal fuzz effect
Post by: Paul Perry (Frostwave) on February 13, 2005, 06:13:41 PM
If you have a vocoder, or a digital fx unit that allows a true vocodign effect (that is, where you can supply both the vocal and the modulated signal from external sources) then you can do a great vocal fuzz by running th vocal straight in to the 'vocal' input, and running the voice thru a normal fuzz (be sure is amped up eenough to drive the fuzz properly) and then into the carrier input.
You might want to blend some unprocessed audio into the output, especially the top end.
Title: ...
Post by: petemoore on February 14, 2005, 12:50:51 AM
Like anything else...more substantial system nearly always sounds...more substantial.
  I won't go on and on and on about Tube Vs SS, just that's what I've tried that beat all [for that particular type tone IME}.
  They probably would have a digital device that would do pretty good imitaion of that, but through a 'clean', SS PA system.
  I personally really like the way 35w of tube output does to 4x12''...but also we had some room to let the sound out...[as opposed to Not having room, in which the sound is much more forcedly imposed, possibly causing from speaker to mic feedback, more easily because of the signal being clipped].