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Re: special sauce, secret goo


The trouble with talking about "special sauce and secret goo" is that 
talking about it sort of demystifies it . . . and of course it's no 
longer a "secret" either.

I' sort of with you on the overdrive vs fuzz thing (in most instances).

In a simple straight guitar set up I use a yellow Boss OD-2 and an amp 
with a clean and an adjustable dirty channel.

Between the pedal and the amp's 2 channels I get a small selection of 

1) Totally clean signal (pedal off and amp set to clean).

2) One variety of low-grade sizzle from the pedal alone (in combination 
with the clean amp channel)

3) Another variety of subtle rattiness from the amp's "dirty" channel 
alone (pedal off).

4) A nicely rich high-gain sound from both the pedal and amp dirt 

If, for some reason, it's still not crunchy enough . . . I can always 
reach over to the amp and tweak the channel 2 gain upwards a little 
more (it's usually only set on about 3 anyway).

Works for me (when I play straight guitar stuff).

I'm a guy who likes more than a few options.

As you know, it's not very often that I venture out in a serious 
looping situation without the full toot of other odd bits of equipment.

Too much.

That's been my main weakness at the Y2K events all along - I bring too 
much (and sometimes equipment fails, or I'm simply exhausted from 
schlepping it all).

But the reason I do is that the real "special sauce and secret goo" 
thang for me is complex layers of voices (or tones) in combination . . 
. playing with a rig that will give you BOTH a clean and a dirty sound 
mixed together simultaneously.

Add in entirely separate processing schemes for each of those and it 
gets even more complicated.

Make each stereo . . . more so.

Add in stereo looping and post-loop processing and it becomes somewhat 
unwieldy to control and nearly impossible to set up or tear down in 
15-20 minutes at festivals.

The thing I like most (since having moved from Boss GR series synths to 
VG hex processing) is to mix 2 kinds of "clean" sound together.

The VG-99 will allow me to mix the straight clean sound of my magnetic 
pickups (the Duncans on my Gibson) with any number of other modeled 
"clean" sound (say nylon, 12-string, or banjo, Tele or Strat) not to 
mention combinations of 3 different tones together (yes that's possible 

And that's not even touching on its synth-like capabilities, nor the 
ability to have a mix of amp "voices" too and blend between them.

For me a good deal of the "special sauce and secret goo" is just 
finding the right **blend** of things.

Sooner or later you come across a 
guitar/plectrum/strings/pickups/effects/amp/speaker/mic combination 
that pushes all the right sonic buttons for you - this becomes your 
"special sauce and secret goo."

At least for a while . . . until you find something new that turns you 
on and inspires you to play.

Mine just takes a lot of hardware.

I can play without it . . . but rather uninspired if I do.

Best regards,

tEd ® KiLLiAn


Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" is also available at Apple iTunes

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when 
it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."  —  Anne 

On Dec 20, 2008, at 11:00 PM, William Walker wrote:

> Hey!   can’t we get back to talking about Special Sauce and Secret 
> Goo?  I’m with Kevin,  and I started this thread, OK? So blog buddies 
> what’s your poison, I know we’ve been over this before but it bears 
> repeating, as peoples taste and gizmos change.  What distortion are 
> you using and what do you like? Are you an overdrive and amp 
> distortion guy like me, does distortion  do  it for you, are you a 
> metal monger?  or are you a fuzz fancier, ( there should be a 
> periodical called Fuzz Fancy like Dog Fancy the magazine for dog 
> lovers)  show me what you got and tell me why. I love my newest 
> overdrive the Zendrive, as I previously stated, great at any setting 
> ,and the Twin Tube is also very good sounding and tube driven  and a 
> little more unruly and prone to feedback, at high settings.  I’ve been 
> digging the octave fuzz setting on the M-13 lately that sounds great 
> on the lap steel ,  I can get sub octave death metal lap steel tones, 
>  oh baby!
> Bill