St. Vincent (aka Annie Clarke) is well known for her huge and majestic fuzzy guitar tones as well as the extremely different sounds that she manage to get from her pedalboard.
But how can you get that tone?
In this article we’ll see which are the pedals that can make you sound like the “Los Ageless”, “Cruel” and “Birth In Reverse” ecletic songwriter.
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ZVex Mastotron Fuzz Pedal
The Zvex Mastotron is a sub-heavy silicon fuzz that features a volume control, a tone, a PW (Pulse Width of the effect), Fuzz knob and the unique “”Relax/Push” Input Impedance knob, that let you adjust the sound and make it adapt to both active and passive pickups.
There is a three-position switch named “Subs” that allows you to adjust the sub (as the name says) of the pedal.
In general, this is one of the most flexible fuzz pedals on the market, and that is a great characteristics, expecially for an artist like St. Vincent and her huge array of guitar sounds.
You can hear a demo of the pedal’s sound in a demo made by the brand itself.
ZVEX FUZZ FACTORY
The Zvex Fuzz Factory is another pedal similar to the Mastotron, and despite it may have been replaced with the other one the Fuzz Factory can achieve similar tones.
This stompbox has 5 control knobs: a Volume, a Gate (that helps in filtering noises in high-gain setups), a Comp knob, Drive and Stab, and can go from a classic 60′ fuzz sound to sounds similar to an octaver and very acid distortions.
It has a true bypass, and therefore it doesn’t alter your overall sound when it is switched off.
You can hear a demo of this Zvex effect below.
DEATH BY AUDIO INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE
The Interstellar Overdrive from Death By Audio is designed to sound like a vintage tube amp, going from a small boost to your sound that can also go to a rich overdrive sound, given without altering your tone because it has a very transparent circuit and sound.
It also features a true bypass circuit, so it won’t alter your sound when it is OFF in your signal chain.
The controls are only 2: one for the Overdrive level and one for the Master, both well built into a robust and durable metal housing, together with a bypass footswitch.
EVENTIDE H9 MAX HARMONIZER
The H9 MAX HARMONIZER from Eventide is a digital multi-effect pedal that features lots of presets (99 presets on its own and over 500 if you download and use the free H9 mobile control app), and over 50 effect algorithms from Eventide own stompboxes (ModFactor for the modulation, TimeFactor for the delays, PitchFactor for the pitch shifting and then Space for the reverbs).
Despite its insane amount of sounds and presets (St. Vincent even uses 2 of them), this is also easy to control and easy to use, thanks to the one single knob available for controlling the pedal (that also works as a button for selecting different presets), and with a footswitch that can both work for tap (for time-based effects such as delays and other modulation effects) and for switching it ON and OFF.
It also has an integrated tuner, and works with a true-bypass design without changing your guitar tone; the only potential downside is the price, that is honestly fair given the amount of features of this pedal, but can not be for the wallets of every guitarist, as the price is usually about 700$.
The Digitech Whammy is a pedal that can be used as a wah wah pedal, as a detuner and in general as a pitch shifter.
It has a robust metal housing and a true-bypass design, and 9 Harmony Bend presets, that allow to experiment with the pitch shifts in your guitar sound, 6 modes for the Whammy and 2 modes for the Detune (Shallow and Deep).
It can be used for a wide range of uses, for example for detuning your guitar and being able to play songs in drop tunings without having to use different guitars, as well as playing a different pitch and also for placing a wah-sequence in your playing, all into a single guitar pedal.
HOW TO GET ST. VINCENT SOUND WITH A LOWER BUDGET
These pedals, when bought together, can be a high expense and therefore not suitable for a lot of guitarists: if you want to see how to achieve this sound you can check a video from Reverb Youtube Channel that lists some pedals for a less-expensive imitation of that sound.