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Classic rock speaker breakup tones with the Zoom R8

(Note: I had some embedding issues with the video. If you see that "embedding disabled" crapola, just watch it here instead and it will work.)

I've been messing around with the modeling settings on my Zoom R8, and one thing I've noticed is that it does a "speaker breakup" sound quite well. And part of the reason for that is because it has something the DigiTech GSP1101 does not have: A boost effect.

Boost is a really old guitar effect that originally comes from the late 1960s. In fact, you can pretty much get exactly what they used to use in the 60s with the LPB-1 pedal. Basically speaking, boost is literally signal boost that you can adjust. On a clean channel it increases volume, and on a drive channel it increases gain. However, it's important to note that boost is not distortion. A lot of people think it is. It's not. It's just a signal booster.

Being I had this new boost effect to play with, I tried it out. And yeah, I like it. What I find is that it gives me a lot more control over the gain on a drive channel just by using the volume knob on my guitar.

The way most overdrive effects work is that even at lowest listenable volume (from the guitar and not the from amp), the signal is always overdriven no matter what.

With boost on the other hand, you can be clean at lower guitar volume and overdriven when you turn up the guitar volume.

Where the Zoom R8 does this very right is that in the way it does amp modeling, I can hear simulated speaker breakup just like a real-deal Celestion speaker does when you increase the guitar's volume (when the amp is turned up, of course).

In addition, when I roll down the guitar's tone knob (also seen and heard in the video above), I get what I call "proper mud", as in a decreased treble sound that's "smooth" for lack of a better description. It just sounds really good.

The only downside to boost? You hear string drag noise a lot more, so you have to adjust playing style for that. But that's okay.

I'm digging that boost effect. Good stuff. 🙂

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