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Laser 1 - Vaderin Pedals

May 17 2022
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The Laser 1 is another killer fuzz pedal by Vaderin Pedals. It is a frequency multiplier fuzz.

That description might not mean much to you. When I first plugged in without any explanation from Chris (the guy behind Vaderin), I initially thought it's an octave fuzz. It has some of the same characteristics. Chords really sound messed up when you play with harsher settings on the Laser 1, similar to an octave fuzz, and there are definitely some upper octaves added.

But the Laser 1 adds even more brightness and clangyness. It really forces you to play to the pedal, which I consider a good thing. You need to get creative and learn how to use the weirdness of this fuzz.

When I tried to come up with a demo loop, it took me a while, but after some time I understood how to intentionally use some chord voicings and intervals to produce clang when I needed it.

The 3-way toggle does subtle changes to the wave shape of the frequency multiplier. It switches from smooth, to harsh to a smooth/harsh combo shape.

And even though it limits what you can play with it, and only has two knobs and a 3-way toggle, it's very useful and versatile. Rolling off the tone on the guitar makes it more controllable. If you're used to using your guitar volume knob (honestly, I'm not), that's also a good way to tame it and can make it even more gated on lower levels.

The Laser 1 is definitely not a subtle pedal. You know when it's on. It's a broad stroke sound shaper.

It's also pretty amazing for bass (which you can hear in the backing track). In fact, I loved the velcro fuzz this produced for the bass so much, this will go right on my bass board.

If you're bored by "normal" fuzz and overdrive pedals, try the Laser 1. I would recommend pedals like this to anyone who feels that they're in a creative rut. After embracing its weirdness, this is one of the most fun pedals I played so far.

Recording Notes

Main Guitars

  • K'mo Memphis Std. (T-style pickups)
  • Lead guitar: bridge pickup -> Laser 1 -> BOSS DM-2w Delay with fast repeats
  • Rhythm guitars: neck pickup -> Laser 1, two takes hard-panned left and right
  • Both into the Iridium (Chime setting) and no post-processing

I mimicked the guitar with the rolled-off tone knob by applying an aggressive low-pass filter (effectively the same as turning down the tone knob on the guitar) to the dry D.I. track for reamping.

Creepy Stereo Overdubs

Bass

  • JMJ Mustang with Fender Flatwounds, played with pick, tone at 30%
  • Laser 1 on the smooth setting with the intensity at minimum
  • Iridium (round) with bass IRs

I gotta underline how much I enjoyed the Laser 1 on bass. It gave a super tasty, velcroy texture to the sound while retaining enough low end.

Drums

GarageBand drummer Max (punk rock) on the East Bay kit. I just recently discovered this guy and with some toying around, the style and the fills are very reminiscent of Dave Grohl. Will definitely use him more often.

I isolated and printed the snare and the kick to separate tracks. I then used the stock GarageBand pedalboard plugin to apply a Proco RAT-style distortion to them. The key here is to turn down the distortion to zero (which still distorts it a little) and adjust the filter knob to taste. I took out more highs for the kick and left a bit more for the snare.

This gives the drums a little more oomph without losing the thump of the kick and without overcompressing the cymbals.

I then mixed the distorted snare and kick with the full kit (including original snare and kick). Then there is a bit more compression to glue it together.

The whole mix got some light compression, limiter and exciter on the master track.

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