Articles in Tracing Journal

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Tracing Journal: Keeley Compressor Plus

The Keeley Compressor Plus was first released in 2017 as an update to their classic 4-knob compressor. Here’s a video demo from Andy Martin: Compared to the earlier version, the input gain (anti-clipping) control has been removed and …

Tracing Journal: Catalinbread Octapussy

The Catalinbread Octapussy was originally released in 2012. It was modeled after vintage transistor octave fuzzes like the Octavia. Here’s a demo: They compare it to the Octavia but claim it’s an original design. There are only a …

Tracing Journal: Xotic SL Drive

Today we’re releasing two new Xotic traces. The Xotic SL Drive is a miniature drive pedal that was released in the summer of 2013. It was designed to emulate the tone of an overdriven Marshall Super Lead (hence …

Tracing Journal: Xotic EP Booster V2

The second Xotic trace releasing today (alongside the SL Drive) is the EP Booster. It’s a fairly simple JFET booster modeled after the preamp of the Echoplex tape delay pedal. Here’s a demo video from Mike Hermans: The …

Tracing Journal: Amptweaker Tight Fuzz

The Amptweaker Tight Fuzz was first released in 2012, a year after the Tight Metal and two years after the Tight Drive. It was James Brown’s take on a classic transistor fuzz, but incorporating his characteristic design style …

Tracing Journal: Amptweaker Tight Drive

Next up we have the Amptweaker Tight Drive. This is the very first pedal from Amptweaker, the pedal company founded by amp guru James Brown, designer of the legendary Peavey 5150 amplifier among many others. Released in 2010, …

Tracing Journal: Catalinbread Silver Kiss Mk. 2

The Catalinbread Silver Kiss was first released in 2007. It’s a more traditional overdrive than their other offerings, but with the addition of an active 3-band EQ. Here’s a demo from Gearmanndude: The discussion at Freestompboxes first began …

Tracing Journal: Stamps Drive-O-Matic

Next on the bench is the Stamps Drive-O-Matic. Built by Robert Stamps of The Amp Shop in LA in the mid-1990s, it was a very early example of a boutique pedal, all hand-built in small quantities. Despite this, …

Tracing Journal: Revisiting the Original Honey Bee FSB Trace

While revisiting the Honey Bee Overdrive circuit for the updated Procyon V2, we spent some time digging to see if we could determine why there are so many different versions of the circuit—not just component variants, but actual …

Tracing Journal: Cornish GC-1

This is the third of three new Cornish traces we’re posting today alongside the NG-3 and P-2. The GC-1 was released in 2021 to celebrate Pete Cornish’s 45 years in the music gear industry. Here’s a demo of …

Tracing Journal: Cornish P-2

The second of three Cornish traces releasing today is the P-2. Here’s a demo of it in action: The P-2 was one of Pete Cornish’s earliest designs, dating back to 1981 when it was created as an updated …

Tracing Journal: Cornish NG-3

Today we’re releasing new traces of three Cornish pedals. First up is the NG-3, a variable-bias silicon fuzz that can go from class A (typical smooth fuzz tone) through class B (gated fuzz) to class C (“velcro” sound …

Tracing Journal: King Tone Duellist, Soloist and Heavyhand

In this journal we’re covering three related pedals from King Tone: the Duellist, Soloist and Heavyhand. (We also traced the Blues Power, which is covered in a separate post.) The Duellist is a dual pedal that consists of …

Tracing Journal: King Tone Blues Power

In tandem with the Duellist-Soloist-Heavyhand triple trace, we’re also doing separate one for the King Tone Blues Power. Once again, here’s the official demo from Jesse Davey: The Blues Power was originally released in 2017 and described as …

Tracing Journal: Darkglass® Duality Dual Fuzz Engine

Here’s an interesting one. The Darkglass┬« Duality is an all-original bass drive circuit that features two parallel fuzz paths that can be blended together in any ratio. Here’s a demo video showing what it can do. The first …

Tracing Journal: Catalinbread® Supercharged Overdrive

We’ve traced a whole bunch of Catalinbread pedals, and we’ve still got a few more on the way. The Supercharged Overdrive is an earlier design from their first few years as a company, predating their “Foundation” series of …

Tracing Journal: Nordland ODR-C Custom Overdrive

The gear community is not known for restraint when hyping cool pedals. But you don’t have to be part of the DIY pedal scene for long before you start to understand that very few of the drive-of-the-day pedals …

Tracing Journal: Xotic BB Preamp (five variants)

Some companies like to keep their product line as small as possible so customers don’t get choice paralysis. Xotic is not one of those companies. Think you might want a BB Preamp? Well, a few minutes of research …

Tracing Journal: Catalinbread® CB30

The Catalinbread CB30 was first released in the summer of 2011 as their Foundation-series take on the Vox AC30. The tireless heroes at Freestompboxes traced it within a few weeks of release, with extensive photos detailing the process. …

Tracing Journal: Catalinbread Karma Suture (Germanium & Silicon)

The Karma Suture is Catalinbread’s take on the Interfax Harmonic Percolator, a unique and extremely rare fuzz/drive from the early 1970s. As with most of their pedals, they don’t settle for straight clones, instead using classic circuits as …