Tribute - Catalinbread

Apr 13 2022
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catalinbread tribute

The Tribute Parametric Overdrive by Catalinbread is the tool to precisely shape your tone to fit in a mix.

It offers a powerful one-band parametric EQ that you can use to boost/cut exactly the frequency you desire. The circuit design is inspired by a very early Catalinbread pedal – the VariOBoost. Here is just a selection of a few use cases:

  • Use it as a bass overdrive and add some low-end to the signal.
  • For guitar, bump the mids to stand out in a mix.
  • Or you can shave off some lower frequencies to gain clarity from an otherwise muddy neck pickup.
  • Cut mids on the guitar to create space for vocals
  • Add some upper mids or presence to add sparkle and note definition to your chords

The drive on the Tribute sounds and feels phenomenal. It seems very amp-like. And I know this is an annoying buzzword, so let me explain: Most overdrives add some tone-shaping on top of the compression and saturation. They usually cut off bass frequencies or bump certain mid frequencies – imprinting their own characteristic on the guitar tone. The Tribute feels like an amp is breaking up, without it trying to emulate a specific amp. It's just your amp with a bit more grit.

The gain range goes to medium breakup. You can squeeze out a bit more saturation when you put a boost in front of it. For higher gain, I really like to stack with another medium gain drive in front of it.

In the demo above, you see it stacked after the Vaderin HP-X. The HP-X sounds great on its own, but for higher gain rhythm playing, it's neat to be able to shave off some of the high end and add even more gain texture.

I also used it to slam the frontend of the Smallsound/Bigsound Mini. When you turn the pedals on and off, you can hear that the Mini is on a very tame setting, and the Tribute alone sounds a bit muffled with the boosted low mids. Together, they create an awesome almost fuzzy, grunting rhythm sound.

I also really like that there is some haptic feedback on the tone knob. In the noon position (i.e. 0db cut/boost, neutral tone), the knob "clicks" into position. Now, that's a nice touch!

I also have to note the very low noise level when I was recording for the demo loop. This feels really like a well-engineered, thought-through recording tool.

Plugging into the Tribute immediately inspired me to start riffing. It's definitely a better-maker for guitar and bass.

Recording Notes

I tried adding a bunch more guitar overdubs, but ultimately found that this minimalistic track with only guitar, bass and drums does it for me 🙂

Main Guitars

  • Epiphone SG Special with Lollar Firebird pickups (neck pickup)
  • Double tracked and panned 25% left and right
  • Tribute
  • Strymon Iridium (Chime)

I used the same guitar and settings for the left and right channel and panned them just 25% to get a more focused, punchy sound (in contrast to a "wide" sound where I would hard pan two slightly different sounds).


  • JMJ Mustang, Fender flatwound strings, tone 100% up, played with a pick.
  • Tribute with a 12dB boost at ~80-90Hz and drive slightly past noon
  • Iridium on the round setting with SVT cabs, as demoed here

I really liked the tribute as a bass overdrive. There was very little EQing I had to do in the DAW.


  • GarageBand drummer Zak (garage rock) on the Brooklyn kit
  • Juiced up with the FreeAMP plugin from Klevgrand

As usual, everything went into the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and was mixed in GarageBand with a mild combination of compression, limiter and exciter on the master track to bring everything to life.


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