047 | BOSS TR-2: A Closer Look at this Popular Tremolo Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 47 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast, where we're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we're going to be talking about a classic, an adored pedal. This is the Boss TR-2 Tremolo Pedal. This one is loved and admired by many, and we're excited to be talking about it. We'll see you on the other side.

Hey everyone. Welcome to episode 47 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. Hope you're doing well. I'm Scott Schwertly, and I've got my colleague, Eric Wilson with me today and up for our discussion, we're going to be talking about the Boss TR-2 Tremolo Pedal. I love this pedal. I know a lot of other people love this pedal. It's been around a long time and it's just a great one to have on your board. And we're excited to be talking about it today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. As far as Tremolo pedals are concerned, there's really no competition when it comes to the formidability the durability, the tone that you get from it, and just the all around value that you get from this particular Boss pedal. I just feel it's kind of unmatched in what it does and really, since it came out in 1997.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, it definitely has a very solid reputation. And as you mentioned, Eric, it's been around for a long time. And over the course of those years, it's been able to be picked up by many and just highly appreciated by most of them, including really big names. I was curious to look at some of the history and the legacy of this pedal and indeed it's been adored by many and still is adored by many. And in this name includes folks like, Billy Joe Armstrong, Eric Clapton, Tom Morello, Johnny Bucklin from Coldplay, even Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam. I mean, the list goes on and on. I mean, this pedal has touched so many different musicians.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well even venturing into more of the NDC. And I found a Dallas Green who is Sitting in Color, Justin Vernon, who's Bon Iver; or is kind of the front guy of Bon Iver. Aaron Dessner from the National, and then in country, seeing Nashville's own Vince Gill, has been seen with one of these.

Scott Schwertly:
Wow, that's awesome.

Eric Wilson:
This is one of those ones that kind of has spanned the range of genres.

Scott Schwertly:
And well deserved. I mean, like you mentioned, it's a super inexpensive pedal. It's not going to break your wallet by any means. And what you get as an end result is something that's built like a tank, lasts forever and just generates some really, really great sounds and tone. It's really hard to kind of nitpick a pedal like this.

Now with that said, I'm talking about its hard to nitpick it, because this thing's been around for a long time, people have obviously taken their own stab at, modding it and making changes just to get those extra few little bells and whistles and I know Eric, you've kind of looked into this a pretty seriously as far as mods are concerned, but all together, great pedal. You don't really need to mod it if that's not your thing, but mods have been made to it, which again, I think continues to add to some of its personality.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and I think the most appealing thing about this pedal is the fact that it's so easy to use, whether you're just starting out with pedals or you've been playing for a long time, but you just want something really simple to kind of encourage your artistry to go to different places or however you want to look at that. It's just a really simple pedal to use. So I feel like when people finally get into it and they decide that they want to move into maybe wanting some different options, but they want to keep the familiarity that they have with it, it just makes for a really good platform to mod. And over the years, I mean, companies like JHS and Keeley and there's ... I mean, now there's a ton of others. Analog Man has done it for a while, but just the amount of mods that people do to this thing are endless. People put raid LEDs on it.

Apparently there was ... One of the complaints that I found was that there's some sort of volume loss when you turn this pedal on. So one of the mods was fixing that, bringing that volume back or adding an additional volume pot to where you can control that and even use it as a little bit of a boost. So really just kind of ... This pedal just kind of created a platform for a lot of mods.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, there's definitely a lot that I've seen as well that's been done to it. And for those who are interested in getting a modded version, whether it's the Analog Man version or the Keeley version, I think those generally run for about $140 to $150, if you're not really nitpicky about that kind of stuff and you just want the pedal itself. Again, it's not going to break the bank. It's only about $99 and you can find it anywhere, whether it's Sweetwater, Amazon, your favorite local music store.

And again, for someone like myself, I've had this pedal for about a year and to this day, I haven't really had a need to mod or get a modded version in any sort of way. So if that's your thing, great. I mean, this pedal provides opportunities to kind of get into that world of DIY type projects. And if it's not your thing, totally fine too. It's a great pedal just as a standalone.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and an additional thing to notice, like when people first started modding these, the boutique pedal market wasn't as competitive as it is now. So now you have pedals like the JHS Kodiak or the Walrus Audio Monument and things like that, that have kind of came into the scene and taken the place of a lot of these mods that you would have wanted to do to this pedal, to where now, at least from a financial standpoint, unless you have some sort of sentimental tie to your particular TR-2, it doesn't really make much sense to dump $90 into a mod for a pedal that you probably paid 50 bucks for.

It would just make more sense to go sell the pedal for 50 bucks and put the other $90 into finding a used Monument or Kodiak or whatever boutique Tremolo you can find.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. I mean that's always an option if that's your thing and obviously there're folks out there that just absolutely love Boss and they only want to buy Boss and that's good too. I mean, Boss is definitely one of my favorite companies and they kind of set the standard for everything else. So yeah, definitely a good point.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So with the controls on this thing, they're really simple. It's probably the most simple controls I've seen on a Trem Pedal. You have your rate knob, which obviously goes from slow to fast, from left to right. You have your depth knob that goes from no tremolo at all to quite a bit when you have it all the way up, and then you have your wave control, which goes between a triangle and a square wave.

So when you're on the square wave side, you can get more into the chopper kind of tones. And then when you're in the triangle wave side, it's a little bit smoother. So overall, control super simple, which makes this pedal really appealing to a really wide audience.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, I love just the simplicity of any Boss pedal and this one definitely fits the bill. It's super easy to use. And I think it was actually my first Tremolo pedal and really don't have any complaints about it because it got me into the world of Tremolo and it was an easy sort of process and in doing so, which again, hat tip to Boss in making things simple.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. I mean, the cool thing is just with this pedal, there's simple ways around the little quirks that people aren't wild about. People are like, they don't know how to tell what the BPM is. I had a friend who, he took a Sharpie and he turned the knob and he sat there with a metronome, tapped out the tempo and wrote it with a Sharpie. He put himself markers on there so he knows where it is to put it for whatever he needs to play. So there's always little ways around the quirks and things like that. But overall it's such a great pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, for sure. I definitely love it. Well, if you guys are curious to see what this one actually sounds like, if this is your first time hearing about the Boss here too, or maybe you're already familiar with it, we're going to go ahead and plug everything in here and give you guys just a quick sample of what it's all about.

Eric as usual, what guitar are you going to go with for this demo?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go with the Tele for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Well, we're going to get this connected and we'll see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That was the Boss TR-2 Tremolo, a great budget friendly pedal. Great intro. Tremolo, if you've never owned one before, I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah, this one's so great. I love it. I have no regrets about buying it. So if you're looking to get into the world of Tremolo, this is a good one to start with. You won't be disappointed.

So there you have it guys. That is the Boss TR-2 Tremolo Pedal. Join us next time as we get into talking about a different brand, I'm actually surprised we haven't covered this brand yet on the podcast, but we're going to be talking about the Deadbeat Wet Dreams Chorus Pedal. And I know folks like Josh Scott from JHS Pedal happen to be a really big fan of this company. So we're excited to bring that one to you and get into the world of chorus.

Until then have a great day, have a great week, and we will catch you in the next episode.

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