The Festival Overdrive is a dual-mode overdrive. It features a master volume control and a boost channel with both gain and volume controls. There is a selectable clipping/compression circuit and two tone shaping controls - body and bright. One foot switch bypasses the effect and another foot switch selects between the green and red channels (low gain and high gain). Watch Pete Thorn's demo below to hear the Festival in action.
The Body control on Festival is identical to Voice 1 on the Foxrox ZIM pedal. I've been using a Foxrox ZIM pedal on my board for 12 years. I love the voicing knob to get cool sounds, and I found that while voices 2 through 8 are great for special effects, Voice 1 works more like a tool. It doesn't really change your tone, it just makes it fit in with the rest of the band when the volume is loud. It's a knob I adjust for different rooms, different amps, and sometimes I adjust it as the night goes on and the band gets louder. Turn it one way to make it less boomy and more bright, turn it the other way when it sounds thin.
Festival gives you two clipping options. The first is a single clipping stage, which is always active. The second is an additional stage which is selected by the Clipping stages switch. This adds a layer of soft clipping at high gain settings. The result is a slightly compressed tone, both in dynamic range and frequency range. Playing harder doesn't make you louder, it just gets more saturated. Some top and bottom goes away and is replaced with a slight amount of harmonic fizz on the top end. This makes for a more cutting tone when you need your leads to stick out.
Bypass Foot switch: True bypass with a yellow LED.
Boost Foot switch: Switch with dual-color LED to select between gain modes: standard mode (Green) and volume/drive Boost (Red).
Master volume: Controls the overall volume of the pedal. Turning it up or down affects both channels equally. This makes it easy to maintain the same rhythm-to-lead volume ratio when you need to turn your overall level up or down. Typical setting is bewteen 9:00 and 1:00. A Linear taper volume pot is used so that rotation of the knob covers a wide usable range.
Green drive: This is the rhythm drive setting. Typical setting is around 12:00.
Red drive: This controls the high gain channel and there is more available gain on this control compared to the Green Drive control. Its setting is independent of the green drive setting, they do not interact at all.
Red volume boost: This knob allows you boost volume without the drive setting or the tone of the pedal. When all the way down, no boost is added. You cannot use this knob to turn your overall level down or off, it's simply a level boost knob.
Body: This allows you to boost or cut a wide band in the low-mids region. This helps to get the right balance in different environments without drastically changing the tone. It uses a single stage of phase shift, which has a natural curve that hits the right spot. This is the same as Voice#1 on the Foxrox ZIM pedal. Turn it to the left to boost the lows and low mids. This gives a fatter, heavier sound. Turn to the right for a thinner, more trebly sound. Body has a big effect on volume, so be sure to make frequent adjustments when settings things up.
Bright: This gives you control over the very top end. Use it to control brightness and to compensate when changing Body settings.
Clipping stages switch
This switch controls both channels, or just the red channel, depending on the internal "Lead/Both" setting. See below.
1 stage: A single stage gives you a dynamic overdrive sound. Changes in your guitar's volume setting along with how hard you play have a noticeable effect on the amount of drive and level you hear.
2 stages: An additional stage of clipping is inserted earlier in the circuit and the result is a more compressed overdrive sound, most noticable at high drive settings. Variations in guitar volume and playing level have less effect on the overall volume. At high gain settings the additional clipping results in a fluid, full-bodied lead tone with a slight edge, almost like a fuzz. When Clipping Stages 2 is selected, there is a decrease in overall volume, depending on how much drive is dialed in. Adjust volume accordingly.
Clipping stages Both/Boost only switch (internal switch): You can select whether the Clipping Stages switch on the front of Festival affects both the Green and Red channel, or just the Red channel. The default setting is for Clipping Stages: 2 to affect just the Red channel.
Additional information on the Clipping Stages feature
At first, the Clipping Stages switch might seem very subtle, under certain conditions you might wonder if it does anything. Here's how to test out the difference between Clipping Stages 1 and 2:
Clipping stages 1 - The drive is dynamic. Play softly and then play hard - you'll hear a noticeable increase in volume.
Clipping stages 2 - Play softly and then play hard - you won't hear much of a volume increase. This is great for making high gain leads really easy to play. The sound is focused and it has a rubbery feel in your fingers while you're playing.
Clipping stages internal switch - This mini-switch has two settings:
Up: Front panel Clipping Stages switch affects both red and green modes.
Down: Front panel Clipping Stages switch only affects Red mode. Green side remains as if the Clipping Stages switch is always selected to the off position.
*Higher voltage - You can run Festival at higher than 9VDC for increased headroom and different sounds. Do not exceed 18VDC.