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T.X Pedals - Animalizzer

Tue Feb 16 2021
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I love Big Muff style pedals. It's one of my most favorite guitar sounds. All my favorite bands use this classic distortion/fuzz box: White Stripes, Black Keys, Wolfmother, Smashing Pumpkins and the list goes on.

The Animalizzer by Tone.electroniX (T.X Pedals) is a Big Muff on steroids. It can do all the classic sounds, has a genius tone stack to make it usable in every mix and a lot of tweekability to create a unique sound.

Big Muffs typically have a mid-scoop that gives them their characteristic sound. You get a woolly, big low end and high fizz from it. Used correctly, it can sound huge. It's also infamous for getting lost in the mix because of the lack of mid frequencies. The Animalizzer fixes this with its separate bass, mid and treble controls.

It's also a great teaching tool to learn how this great circuit works (input > first clipping stage > second clipping stage > tone stack and output).

  • The Depth control regulates how much bass enters the circuit. Just as with the bass knob on the Mini overdrive, this alters the whole sound of the pedal. More depth means more bass frequencies hitting the clipping stages, which makes the overall sound more fuzzy. With the depth down, it sounds more like distortion – more focused and razor-like.
  • The Pre-Gain knob is basically an integrated boost before the muff circuit. It doesn't boost the volume of the pedal. It hits the first gain stage harder, so you get more clipping from the first stage and overall a more compressed and spitty sound. This is a huge part of Jack White's sound. He used to run an MXR Micro Amp* into his Big Muff.
  • On Stage I, you can choose between no clipping (Open), LED (light emitting diodes) or silicon diodes (Si, just like a classic Big Muff). LED clipping is a bit more open and silicon diodes are more compressed. Set to Open, you only get the natural clipping of the transistor. This gives you way more output and bass response and with the pre-gain up, has a very nice lo-fi character.
  • Switching between the 4 options of the Stage II rotary knob will have the biggest impact on the type of distortion you'll get from the Animalizzer. The Si diode clipping is asymmetrical (usually Big Muffs have symmetrical clipping). The Germanium (Ge) clipping is one of my favorites. It's very chewy and fizzy. Surprisingly, to me one of the most fun sounds is both stages on Open (Open Lo-fi).
  • Fuzz – more gain, more clipping.
  • The tone stack with Bass, Mid and Treble makes the Animalizzer so much more useful for studio and live sounds. With separate controls for 3 frequency bands, you can get a focused mid range sound for cutting riffs and solos. Or you scoop the mids and get a classic, woolly sound that leaves room for vocals.

Signal chain:

Links

  • Order one from T.X Pedals directly. There's also more detailed info about the Animalizzer
  • Get a good deal on it on Reverb

*Some of these are affiliate links and I earn a small comission if you buy stuff through those links. There is no additional cost for you. It helps me keep this website alive.