The Beginner's Guide To Gain Staging

If there is one thing nearly all guitarists are borderline obsessed with, it's the quest for that perfect overdrive tone. Whether it's a creamy lead sound, or an "in-yer-face" crunch, everyone has their own idea of a 'Holy Grail' tone.

To help you on your search for overdrive glory, I've put together a guide to 'gain staging'. Essentially, this describes how one stage of your signal chain interacts with and drives the next part. When we apply this to stacking overdrive pedals on top of each other, the result is a cascading series of dirty tones that can take you all the way from a mild crunch to a buzzsaw fuzz with just a couple of stomps.

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April 14, 2015 Written by James Di Fabrizio 0 comments

What the Flux are Boutique Effects Pedals!?

If you follow Signal Chain it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re familiar with the world of boutique guitar pedals and you are slowly making your way through a long wishlist with each and every pay cheque, trying to rouse as little suspicion from your significant other as possible.

From the outside looking in, many a partner could be misled to believe that this rowdy fraternity of guitar nerds is a support group for people who pay too much money for any circuit not made by Roland Corp. But, of course, anyone worth their weight in gold Klons knows that The Pursuit of Tone is not a passing fad - boutique is for people who give a Rat.

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January 23, 2015 Written by Rodger van Raalte 1 comment

Why Am I So Addicted to Overdrive Pedals?!

I’ve been playing guitar for the last 22 years and my gear addiction has been in full swing for the last 3. I can admit that. It doesn’t look like it’s going to ease up any time soon as well. Especially with the launch of ‘Signal Chain’.

Prior to my GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), I certainly loved guitar gear and I bought and traded my fair share, but not at the level that I do now. Six years ago I was heavily gigging and touring (mainly with one band) and I didn’t want to change my setup that much. I had written parts for my band using certain sounds/pedals and so swapping them out wasn’t really an option. On top of that, I didn’t have the money. Gear addiction is expensive! If you’re going to get addicted to anything, it’s probably cheaper to do drugs than it is to have a pedal addiction. (Signal Chain does not endorse drug use). I guess though, at least with a pedal addiction you can be broke and still have your health.

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October 13, 2014 Written by Paul Hanna 11 comments