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The First Herald - Black Mass Electronics

Jul 29 2022
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The First Herald by Black Mass Electronics is a fantastic take on the Big Muff circuit.

When you plug into the First Herald, it's like ordering a nice steak with curly fries and a special dipping sauce. You came for the meat (the Big Muff) but you'll come back again and again because of the great sides (the boost and the clipping options).

I'm a big fan of the MOSFET/LED clipping diodes. They are also one of my favorite options on the Black Mass 1312. They feel a bit less compressed than the Silicon diodes and they offer an interesting texture.

Another great addition is the boost circuit, which can be turned on independently and you can change the signal chain order of the fuzz and boost circuit.

Slamming the fuzz into the boost is my favorite easter egg setting on the First Herald. My limited understanding tells me it's clipping the op-amp of the boost circuit which results in really gnarly and spitty distortion.

I was also blown away by the build quality and the surprisingly low noise floor. Even with higher gain settings, this fuzz is pretty quite when you're not playing. And it doesn't feel like there is a noise gate built into the circuit.

Let's not forget the scoop knob, a very useful knob to set the mids of the tone stack to make the guitar sit properly in the mix.

The First Herald is a super versatile and usable tool for both studio and live situations.

Recording Notes

Guitar

  • K'mo Memphis Std., classic T-style pickups (bridge pickup), capo on 4th fret
  • The First Herald
  • Strymon Iridium (chime)

Bass

  • JMJ Fender Mustang, Fender flats, tone 100%, played with pick
  • Just the boost circuit of the First Herald
  • Slamming the frontend of the Iridium in round mode with bass cabs

Drums

  • GarageBand drummer Max (punk rock) on the East Bay kit
  • Kick and snare treated with the stock GarageBand RAT-style pedal plugin

Everything was "mastered" with exciter, limiter and mild compression.

Links

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