The Narc - Poison Noises

Sep 19 2022
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poison noises the narc
clipping mode
bass response
diode selection

The Narc by Poison Noises is a killer verion of the RAT-style distortion.

As usual for drive and distortion boxes, you get a few extra features on top of the solid build quality and excellent sounding recreation of a classic.

Aside from volume, gain and EQ, you can select different clipping modes (to my ear, Poison Noises usually go from symmetrical, to no clipping, to asymmetrical clipping). For the diode selection, it always sounds like you can choose between Silicon, LEDs and Germanium diodes.

LEDs can be bright and punchy with lots of output, Germanium are lower output with an extra bit of chewy grind and Silicon is kinda the middle of the road.

Also, the Low-Down switch is great for dialing in your bass response. I found for guitar, middle and down (less bass and even less bass) works best to not overcrowd a mix. For bass, the up position is the right choice. And might I say, the Narc works beautifully on bass.

Recording Notes


  • Fidelity Guitars Stellarosa Lite II with Lollar Firebird pickups (bridge pickup)
  • The Narc
  • Strymon Iridium (chime)


  • Lead lines in the first half were the Narc into the Boss Dm-2w Delay. Later when mixing I found these lacked some space, so I added a spring reverb pedal from the stock GarageBand plugin.
  • Old Blood Noise Endeavors Screen Violence on some parts to create interesting textures and ambience.
  • Two takes with the Stellarosa, neck and middle pickup position, different modes on the Narc, panned 50% left and right


I did try to use the Narc for bass here. It sounds really good on its own and probably works well in another track. But using the same distortion for bass and guitar sounded too muddy for me. The Sick As has a nice presence and gives it extra oomph in the low end


  • GarageBand Drummer Max (punk rock) on the East Bay kit
  • Whole kit treated with the stock GarageBand RAT-style pedal plugin

The whole mix was "mastered" with exciter, limiter and mild compression in the DAW.


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