Pro Signal Chains #1


As part of a (hopefully!) ongoing series for our Machine Bites Blog, we asked Jackson, owner of Dipswitch Demo’s, to give us an insight into his signal chain and any advice he had. Jackson has being playing guitar since he was 11 and suffers from ‘GAS’ like many people do! He is an innovative guitarist, always willing to try something new and is also a deft hand at composing his own music. Please check out his YouTube channel here, and throughout this site.

So, over to you, Jackson:

“My signal chain is pretty normal I guess you could say, but I got there through trying every combination and order of pedals that I own. I’ve just found this works the best for me in most situations. The chain is as follows:

Tuner, Compressor, Fuzz, Octave Fuzz, Germanium Preamp, Marshall OD, Medium Gain OD, Klon OD. Delay, Tremolo & Reverb.

The key things for me are the order of ODs and the placement of my tremolo pedal. Firstly, I like my ODs getting progressively less ‘gainy’. So I run my Marshall type OD that has the most gain running into a medium/transparent OD and then finally my Klon type pedal. This is because when I stack ODs (which I do a lot) I find that my sound gets too compressed for my liking when my Klon for example is boosting the Marshall type OD drive. Plus it gives me the option of a serious volume lift when I need it.

Secondly is the placement of my tremolo pedal. In my opinion, tremolo needs to be treated differently to other modulation pedals. If you think about it, in old Fender Amps the trem was in the amp before the reverb and therefore after any pedals. So I put my trem near the end of my chain; after delay and before reverb. Just like old fender amps! This also helps keep crazy tremolo sounds getting too messy with delay as the trem is effecting the dry and wet sounds equally. I pretty much leave a subtle tremolo on at all times. This might not be the most normal thing in the world but I find it gives my whole sound a natural heart beat, especially if the trem is slightly out of time with what I am playing. I love it!

My must have pedals:
If I was building a small board with let’s say 4 of my pedals they would have to be the Hudson Broadcast, J Rockett Archer, Empress Echosystem and Chase Bliss Gravitas. You can get so many tones out of the Broadcast from boost to OD to fuzz that it pretty much covers all bases. The Archer because I just love a Klon type circuit. Delay because it’s such a big part of my sound and finally the trem because I leave it on all the time! I would be happy with those pedals but I’m a guitarist and I want more! I have a rule with my self that I never want to go above a Pedaltrain Junior size board although I don’t know how long that will last!

My next purchases:
I’d love to get some sort of chorus/vibrato/flange to add some warble to my sound. I’m also looking for something crazy and wacky as sometimes I think I get pretty “normal” sounds! I’m always looking out for that perfect fuzz too. I think I prefer silicon fuzzes to germanium!

My top tip:
Everyone needs to try an octave Fuzz/Octavia… they will seriously change your life.”