Tag Archives: General Musings

Tone controls are a lie.

Great tone doesn’t come from EQ.
Treble controls make treble notes louder (or quieter). Bass controls make bass notes louder (or quieter). What they don’t do is make your treble rich or sweet, or your bass full, warm or gnarly. They don’t really change the harmonic balance of your sound. They can’t make weak sounds come alive and, equally, they wont make a good sound into a weak one.
Great tone exists -inside- the circuit.
If you boost the high frequencies, in the circuit, just before each distortion stage, by just the right amount (and then correct that boost after to make your sound balanced) then a smart electronic engineer can design a dirty, harmonic-rich high end and a smooth, full low-end, perfect for rock, for example. Or you could boost the upper mids and cut the highs, then restore the bass after the distortion stage, which would cause a liquid lead with clipped mid-frequency notes that generate lots of harmonic content at the same time as having sweet, clean top and bottom ends.
This complexity is something ‘tone controls’ just can’t achieve.
What are tone controls good for then? Tone controls are for volume. If your high notes are too quiet, then turn up your treble. If your bass notes are too loud, turn down your bass. They’re great for balancing your sound out. For equalizing the volume balance.
Wait…Yes! That is why it’s called EQ!
So now you know: Don’t expect tone controls to open up new sonic territory, or give a lifeless distortion new character. They’re really useful tools, but they just don’t do that.
Great tone comes from the heart; the heart of the circuit, and the heart of musician.

What’s this all about then?

AudioStorm has sold quite a few pedals and attenuators to a great many of you wonderful folk. And I’ve had an incredible amount of positivity back in return. But, it’s still far from a full-time, bill-paying business. AudioStorm is, ultimately, just one person, one front-room and a whole bunch of shelves, boxes, tools, sweat and love.

What I really want to do is take this to the next level. I’d like it to become a real income so I can work full-time on the designs instead of having to do whatever other part-time work I can get to make ends meet. I want to get a proper workshop, and in a perfect world I want to be able to pay someone to help me solder and drill so I have more time to design. But I’ve got a few big leaps to make yet before we are there.

In the meantime I want to connect with you mysterious buyers and supporters so I can learn what it is you love and hate, so I can show you my ideas and hear what excites and what bores you. I want to innovate new concepts that no-one else has ever done before and really create whole new expressive concepts that anyone, anywhere can buy into.

And so that’s what this is. It’s a way to connect with you all and show off my ideas.

I hope you like them!


You can do a lot in a day. – Will Salas (In Time)