Multi Overdrive Part 1

In the first part of this article, I would like to engage with multi overdrive pedals in general.
In the second and third part I would like to introduce some interesting analog multi overdrive pedals in detail. And the third part will be dedicated to digital multi overdrive pedals.

Almost every guitarist uses one or several gain pedals on his pedalboard.
Whether low-gain, distortion or fuzz – overdriven sounds offer a wide range of sounds and respond perfectly to the guitar.
For some time past, the trend is towards compact pedalboards that can be moved easily from A to B.
Therefore, many guitarists ask themselves if it might be possible to replace the three overdrives on the board by one single multi overdrive pedal.
This saves space and to power all kinds of overdriven sounds, you will only need one small power supply on the pedalboard.

Analog multi overdrive pedals

When I’m talking about multi overdrive pedals, I’m automatically speaking of digital modeling effects á la Line6.
More and more manufacturers integrate flexible analog circuits into their pedals.

Double pedals

The first popular models of a multi overdrive were pedals which combined two overdrive circuits in one enclosure.
Those were the Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde, AnalogMans King of Tone or the Fulltone Fulldrive 2.
Although these pedals only use two circuits in one enclosure, they are pretty flexible and might be sufficient as the sole overdrive pedal on the pedalboard.
You can activate one side at the time or stack both sides of the overdrive as well.

Flexible pedals

Overdrive series with integrated 5 band equalizer like those of Mesa Boogie and Rockett Audio are not necessarily “multi” pedals but the built-in 5 band equalizer makes them pretty versatile and they can be aligned quite sophisticated with the setup.
Therefore, I definitively want to mention them here.
Generally, the combination of an EQ and an overdrive is able to extend the possibilities of sound designing extremely.
Many guitarists add an EQ to the effect loop of their amplifier to form those overdriven sounds.

In the second part of this article I would like to introduce some interesting analog multi overdrive pedals in detail.

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