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The Barefaced Machinist is here!
A one-stop shop for a world of domineering dirt. Originally designed for bass but proven to be equally wicked on guitar, synth and more. This stompbox is literally three pedals, side by side, running in parallel for massive tone and versatility.
On the right, the distortion channel: Crank up the gain (triangle wave) to go from subtle overdrive to roaring distortion. Dial in your tonal balance with the two band bass and treble EQ (shelving curves) Then adjust the level (triangle) and stomp the virtual true bypass switch to activate, with the red LED showing it’s on.
In the middle, the fuzz channel: Turn up the fuzz (square wave) to get more and more fuzztastic. Twist the tilt (split scoop shape) left for thunder, right for fizz. Leave the mid boost (hump shape) at zero for maximum muff, or go clockwise for added punch and snarl. Set the volume (triangle) and stomp as required, lighting the red LED.
Finally, on the left, the clean channel: Adjust the level (sine wave). Roll off the highs and mids with the tone knob (low pass filter). This footswitch works differently to the other two. If neither fuzz or distortion is on, stomping the clean FS just lights the LED and means that you’ll have this low pass filtered clean sound running in parallel when you click on either dirty sound. If either dirty sound is already on then clicking the clean channel will add the filtered clean to the dirt - or take it away if it was already active.
Here's some top quality graffiti to explain it:
So here’s an oversimplification of what the Machinist can do:
Distortion + Clean
Fuzz + Clean
Distortion + Fuzz
Distortion + Fuzz + Clean
In truth, the midrange control totally changes the character of the fuzz, whilst the distortion can go almost totally clean making it a subtle overdrive. And because you can adjust how much of the clean tone comes through by removing mids and highs, that changes the vibe even more.
Footprint: 140mm wide x 120mm deep (height = 60mm)
5.5" wide x 4.5" deep (height = 2.5")
It runs on standard 9V DC power and 100mA is more than enough current delivery. If you want more headroom you can run it with up to 18V DC. The input impedance is >1M so it won’t negatively impact the tone of your most finicky passive bass or guitar when bypassed.
The Machinist story
There’s a fun story behind this pedal: Back in 2016 one of my favourite bassists from one of my favourite bands, Tim Commerford of Rage Against The Machine, blew my mind by calling us out of the blue interested in our bass cabs. One of our existing customers, Tom of COG Effects is also a huge RATM fan and I asked him if he’d like us to send Tim some of his awesome pedals along with the cabs - obviously he said yes! One of the pedals Tom sent was a custom parallel fuzz and distortion, inspired by Tim’s amazing parallel dirt sounds, called Take The Power Back.
I had a lot of fun playing with this before we sent it onto Tim. Now I’m not sure if my idea came before or after chatting to Tim about signal chains, but I said to Tom, “Can you design me a pedal like that one but with a third clean channel and a switch for each section, that we can sell as our first Barefaced pedal?”
So he did, and we’ve had the prototype here for ages. Over time we fiddled around making different versions of it, various tweaks here and there, hunting perfection, and when the pandemic hit finally found some time to finish it. It’s so good!
Why distortion and fuzz in parallel?
With the mid boost off, and tone and EQ in the middle, the fuzz naturally thickens the lows and fizzes the highs whilst the distortion gnarlifies the mids. Together they give you a sound that is more controlled, bigger, punchier, more massive, without going woolly or boomy like pushing a single pedal or series of pedals that hard. Once you fiddle with the four tone-shaping controls you find even more tonal range, so you can have fuzzed mids with distorted highs and let either one carry the lows. Or any possible combination. On bass it really lets you find a new world of dirty sounds that can do anything from filling a mix Royal Blood or Timmy C style to just grinding away underneath like Rex Brown, Dusty Hill or Nick Oliveri.
Why the variable low pass filter on the clean blend?
Run a full range clean sound in parallel with your dirty sound(s) and it sounds like you’re double-tracking. This can be very cool, especially with brighter sounds and cleaner/clearer amps and cabs. But sometimes you just want to add thickness, fullness or body to a dirty sound - and in that case you need to roll off some of the highs and mids from your clean sound. How much you want to need to roll of is going to depend upon the tone of your instrument and amp, so you can dial this in to suit your vibe.
We gotta whole lotta knobs!
The photos here are the black stubby knobs. The photo in the email newsletter is the black pointer knobs. We also have white pointer knobs and black slim knobs - more photos to come! Add a note if you don't care which knobs you want, otherwise you'll get the ones you choose when ordering (unless we're out of stock of that particular knob, then we'll email you and ask which you'd rather have instead...)
We have a limited number of Machinist pedals in stock for immediate dispatch (once we've fitted the knobs of your choice!)
Normal delivery times listed below - there may occasionally be delays outside our control:
Next working day delivery: UK & USA (lower 48 states)
3 working days delivery: Europe, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii
5 working days delivery: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Rest Of The World.
Please ensure we have your best contact email address and telephone number to avoid customs delays at international borders.
One month trial period:
If you’re anywhere within Europe (including the UK obviously) we have a one month trial period. In the unlikely event that you don’t like the pedal you just have to pay the return shipping (we can arrange that if you’re in the UK) and you get a full refund. Before returning anything, please ask for advice if it isn’t doing what you want - we know our gear better than anyone and will help you get the best out of it!