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050 | Siren Pedals Anvil: A Closer Look at this Compressor Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 50 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have one of our very own. This is our anvil compressor pedal. If you love compression, if you love having a compressor pedal on your board, then you're going to love today's conversation. We'll see you on the other side.

Hey everybody. Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you're having a great one. Eric, can you believe it? This is actually episode number 50.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, that's crazy. It doesn't feel like we've been doing it that long, but at the same time, it does, because the last three months we've been all stuck inside.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Yeah, it's insane. I was never sure ... when I started this podcast long time ago, I wasn't sure exactly how long or how far I'd take it, but man, it's been quite the ride and hard to believe that we're 50 episodes in. So I think you joined the Sonic Renegades podcast on, I think episode 18, right? So quite the investment.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, something like that. Yeah, because it was a Brian May pedal that I knew nothing about.

Scott Schwertly:
That's right. That's right. I mean that an interesting pedal to start with, for sure. So kudos to you for diving in with that one as the first episode for you. Awesome. Well thanks so much for joining us on today's episode and yeah, I guess I'm excited for us. Again, episode 50, this is quite the accomplishment. So given that this is episode 50, it's quite the milestone, we figured we'd go ahead and talk about one of our very own,. we don't talk about our pedals too often on this podcast, but heck, this is episode 50, why not talk about one of them? So today we're going to be talking about our very own anvil compressor. I know, Eric, you kind of have mixed thoughts about compressors. I tend to be in the very much love it camp when it comes to compressors. So I love this pedal. I love compressors. I generally run one on my board. I know Eric, you're kind of sort of on and off with that, but yeah, excited to be talking about the great world of compression today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, well when I started playing guitar, I thought, "Oh man, I need a compressor. I need a compressor. I need a compressor." So I picked up a Walrus Deep Six, had that on my board for a while, and that had a blend knob so it was really great. I could blend between my normal tone and the compressed tone, kind of leave it always on, and then I'm like, "Well wait, what happens if I just shut this off?" And then I started really liking my tone without a compressor, and then I discovered the Akili GC2, which is a limiting amp, which I'm guessing would be more along the lines of a studio Teletronix LA-2A kind of thing in a pedal format, or a very modified version at that, but it kind of gives you ... the main difference was the ratios are much lower than your typical guitar compressor, but then when I started working for Siren, I tried the Anvil and I really liked it, and then I tried it when I was doing some slides stuff, and so now primarily I'll use that as just kind of a compressor to keep on when I am doing slide stuff because it kind of helps even things out, give me a lot more sustain, just makes my life a lot easier.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. That's one of the things I just love about it. It does make your life easier. It just makes guitars sound better. Obviously you can abuse it, but yeah, overall, I just think it's a great value add. I mean I think that's probably one of the key defining statements for any compressor pedal is just it's a value add. It just makes things better, which I love. So for those that are new to the world of compression, or maybe you're hearing about our Anvil compressor for the very first time, this pedal is brand new. We actually released it at the beginning of this year. So it actually came out in January of 2020 and its roots are really based in the really kind of famous circuit from the MXR Dyna Comp compressor. So a lot of times people say, "Well, what inspired the Anvil?"

Well, again, it has roots from the MXR Dyna Comp compressor, as well as the Ross compressor, which is just another famous circuit that really kind of took what the MXR Dyna Comp had and improved upon it. So definitely inspired from those two circuits, and then we kind of added our own little twist to it by adding the toggle switch, which basically allows you to kind of manipulate the treble from a soft response to a hard response. So really it's kind of that circuit on steroids with those added bonuses. So really a great pedal. Again, it just does compression super well.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I really like the added treble control. It just really helps to give you more versatility than you would normally have with a normal compressor.

Scott Schwertly:
For sure, definitely, and as we get into the demo, hopefully we can showcase that for you guys, but yeah, again, it just adds so much versatility to an already sort of really great kind of legendary circuit, again, as sort of the foundation there. And one thing too, I know a lot of people ask with Siren Pedals, what inspired the artwork, particularly whether we're talking about the Airavata, which is our distortion pedal, or the Midnight Train, which is our fuzz pedal. Yeah, there's generally something in it that inspired the artwork. So for this one, it actually features a hammerhead shark. So if you think about a hammer, obviously that gets you into the world of anvil and smushing things, squashing things, smashing things. That is where the anvil and the hammerhead essentially came from.

So both the artwork and the name for the pedal ... because again, we're dealing with the world of compression and smashing things. So that's what it's all about, which actually this one's probably one of my favorite ones as far as artwork. I don't know if it's my absolutely favorite artwork from Siren Pedals, but maybe number two. I do like the Airavata. I think that one's awesome, but yeah, I do love this hammerhead shark. It's definitely one of my favorites.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, the artwork's great, and also like the whole pedal's white, which you don't see too often. Well, mine's not white. My mine's black because it's in just some random enclosure, but the artwork looks great on just the white enclosure.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, it's a white enclosure with a really bright hammerhead shark, which yeah, definitely vibrant and just fun to look at, and it's really, really fun to play. So yeah, I guess on that note, let's go and talk about what you can expect with it. We've kind of already alluded to some of the features, but really what you're dealing here with are really sort of three simple knobs and one toggle switch. So the knobs that you have here are a volume knob, a sustained knob, a release knob, and then the toggle switch, which basically controls the treble. Eric, I'll let you get into some of the specifics on that.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, so the volume on here just basically controls the overall output of the effect. That's not a blend knob or anything, so you can use it to boost your signal when you're compressed or cut your signal when you have the compressor on, that kind of thing, and then you have your sustain knob, which is just going to help increase the sustain of your guitar. It's going to do exactly what it says it does. And then you have that release knob, which just really adjusts the amount of compression that you want. So obviously the higher that you go, the more squashed your tone's going to be, and the more you're going to be able to sustain it with that sustain control, and then the really cool thing is, again, that treble control, where if it's down, it's a hard treble response. If it's up, it's a soft treble response, and then in the middle is just kind of stock, how it would normally be in this type of a circuit. So overall not too complicated when it comes to controls, but just a lot of really great sounds you can get from it.

Scott Schwertly:
For sure. I mean, lots of versatility, and really at the end of the result is you get sort of the main benefits of what compression is all about. And actually, I think I just did a YouTube video on this not too long ago, but really with compression, again, if you're new to the world of compression or just need sort of a recap or a reminder, there's really kind of three great things that you do get with compression. So however you manipulate these knobs, whatever combination, ultimately you're going to get better sustain. So Eric, as you kind of already mentioned, it's going to provide more sustain, particularly in this case if you use that sustain knob. So you're going to kind of extend that decay a little bit. You're going to get signal balance, so everything's going to be sort of squashed and it's just going to sound more unison, which is a fantastic benefit when you want it.

I mean, obviously it's not appropriate for everything, but it has its place. And then ultimately you're going to get thicker tone. With any sort of compression, because you're doing those things, it's just going to liven things up a little bit and add more of that beefier, fatter tone, which sounds great if that's your thing, and again, compression is not for everybody. I tend to find that people either tend to be in the love it camp or the hate it camp, but if you're in the love it camp, it's just one of those pedals that will stay on your board forever. So yeah, definitely a fun one.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, and especially the way I tend to look at compressors is a little different, because I do some post-production live audio mixing, that kind of stuff, and so my view of compressors is a lot different. So instead of using it as an effect a lot of times, I'm using it as a tool to fix things. So for me, I look at the pedal and I also look at it as a tool to ... you can use it to fix things, but you can also use it as an effect, because the way that you compress your signal before it goes through the rest of your pedals and then to your amp, it can really change the fundamental characteristics of how your amp's reacting, how your pedals are reacting, how it's reacting to your pick attack, to your playing, and things like that in a way that it wouldn't if you were putting a compressor on it, let's say in Logic or Pro Tools or something like that, had you tracked all of this and then put a compressor on it. So it's a completely different thing, but it's also the same thing, if that any makes.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. No, definitely. Definitely tracked with that logic. So hopefully that made sense to you guys out there. Well, awesome. Well, we're going to go ahead and take this thing for a spin. We'll plug everything in here and give you guys just a quick taste of what it's all about. Eric, as usual, guitar of choice?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to use the strat for this one.

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

Eric Wilson:
Alright. That was Siren Pedals. That's our own Anvil compressor. Great sounding compressor pedal. Really cool tool to use to either fix things or to just change up how you're sounding.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I absolutely love this one. It's great to have on any board. So again, if you're new to the world of compression, check out this pedal. If it doesn't suit your taste, that's fine. There are plenty of great options out there, but hopefully you can find one that's going to work best for you. So happy hunting if you're looking for a compressor pedal. All right. Well, that's what we wanted to cover today with our very own Anvil compressor. Join us next time, where we're going to talk about the Wampler Dual Fusion. So this is actually a Tom Quayle signature pedal. I think version one actually came out years ago, which is actually the version I have, but I think they actually just revamped it not too long ago with version two. So yeah, be fun to actually talk about this pedal. I believe it is the ... so it's a dual pedal, which basically has two circuits. I think it's Wampler's Euphoria as well as the Paisley Drive all in wine. So should be an exciting, fun topic and looking forward to addressing that pedal in our next episode.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I'm looking forward to that one too. I actually haven't gotten a chance to try too many Wampler pedals, so I'm excited for that one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, should be a fun one, and until then guys, have a great day, have a great week and we will catch you in the next one.

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