Posted by: worshipguitarguy | April 22, 2007

Layered Overdrive Q&A

The last post generated some awesome discussion… so I wanted to answer some of the things brought up with it.

Q: What do I use my Fat Boost for? (volume boost?) and what settings do I run it with?
A: Actually, I use my Fat Boost like other guitarists use a compressor or Sonic Maximizer… it’s more there to fill out my sound. Mike Fuller from Fultone says the Fat Boost takes your amp and makes it sound like it’s cranked, even at low volume. Playing with an AC15, it makes my parts much more chimey.

As far as settings go, they vary a bit because I use the Fat Boost to adjust my tone depending on the room and environment I’m playing in. Typically, I’ll run the drive at about 11 to 12 o’clock and use the tone control to shape my EQ. My amp settings (EQ wise) are almost always consistent, I adjust my pedals to work with my amp instead of the other way around.

At some point here, I’ll write a post about my approach to tne settings on my pedals.

Q: Have I ever used a compressor with my setup?
A: For me, the Fat Boost fills out my tone quite a bit, so I haven’t thought much of using one. The one thing that might push me in that direction is my wah pedal. when I engage it, my volume jumps, so I’ve thought of using one to smooth the difference out.


Playing this week, I reintroduced my EH NYC Big Muff to my signal chain, and it really gave me some messy grunge filled sounds. I liked it so much, it’ll probably find its way back into my normal setup.



  1. Gerry, do you think that maybe you could do an article sometime on how you adjust your setup to the room you’re playing in? Any tricks you use would be nice, too : ) I’ve found that my amp sounds a lot thinner at church than when I’m sitting in my room playing, and I’m trying to find the best way to combat that. Thanks.

  2. Caleb, although that’s pretty normal since your amp is having to fill much more space in church, I would say it first depends on what amp you are using. EL84 based amps tend to have more variation from room to room, whereas the EL34/6V6 type amps tend to have a little more focus – just something I’ve experienced personally and something I’ve read about. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak EL84 amps to work in every environment (I do it all the time with great success). A compressor, sonic maximizer, or from the sounds of it, a Fat Boost will definitely fill out your sound and give you tweaking options beyond your amp’s eq and master volume control. Invest in an MXR DynaComp and run the level around 3 o’clock and sustain around 9 o’clock. This will give a little bit of compression and a nice boost that, depending on your setup, will very likely give you a punchier and thicker sound. For even more fullness, use the Sonic Maximizer as well. Great little “magic box”.

  3. Cheers for the Q&A!

    I was having a look around yesterday after I posted my comment on the layered overdrive topic and found this:

    Its from the Barber pedals forum and is talking about the Barber Launch Pad boost, but the principle would be the same for any boost. I think this may be what your doing with your Fat Boost?

  4. Mark, that post is a good description of what I use the Fat Boost for, I just never thought about describing it as a “tube cooker” before… 😉

  5. I got a new pedal that’s great for layering. Check out

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