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070 | Hudson Sidecar: A Closer Look at this 808 Style Overdrive Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 70 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. We're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have the Hudson Sidecar Germanium Clipping Overdrive Pedal. This thing is an absolute gem. I've loved it. Again, just like the Protein that we discussed last week, it has held its place on my board. Such a wonderful and marvelous pedal, and we're excited to unpack it on the other side.

Hey, everybody, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you're having a great one. Well, today we're excited to be talking about the Hudson Sidecar, germanium clipping overdrive. As mentioned in the intro, this thing is an absolute joy. I've loved playing with it for the last several weeks. And, yeah, excited today to just be sharing more additional details of what this pedal is all about and what it can do.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I was really excited to get my hands on this one. Specifically, just because Hudson as a company does things a little bit differently. They do things a little bit in their own way. Change controls, change things, and really make things their own instead of just copying a circuit or something like that. I was really excited to get my hands on this one and try it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Definitely. Michael Hudson over at Hudson Electronics has definitely developed a reputation of doing things differently. If you're not familiar with Hudson Electronics, we kind of just briefly talked about a few things here. Let me try it again.

If you're not familiar with Hudson Electronics, they are essentially a respected UK boutique pedal manufacturer created by Michael Hudson. They've been around for over a decade. And, yeah, just the way they approach things and really how they've developed the reputation is, as you've mentioned, Eric, just doing things differently and putting innovative spins on classic circuits. In the case of the pedal that we're talking about today, which is the Sidecar, this is really Michael Hudson's take on the classic 808 circuit that we all know and love.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and what makes this thing really special is the EQ section. I mean, it is an 808 type circuit, but also what they did is they added a two-band treble and bass EQ that's inspired by an old studio recording console. And so what they've been able to do with that is add, I think, it's like 15 dB of cut and boost on the treble and bass, which makes this thing so much more versatile when you're a typical Tube Screamer, and just gives it a really great sound.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, you definitely get that bigger low-end, you get the wider gain. I mean, it's fantastic, particularly if you're aiming for a... If you want to have a great pedal that can do low to medium gain, this is the one to put your eye on. And particularly, if you are just a admirer of Tube Screamers and you want all things related to the Tube Screamer, this is probably the best interpretation of it, at least. And again, that's just my own subjective feedback, but it does it really, really, really well.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And just from the little bit I've played and listened to this particular pedal, it's just, it has something about it that is completely unique to... Like, it has its own pedal that you can't get from a Tube Screamer. But if you want to get the Tube Screamer tone, you can get it out of it. That's just really great for, I mean, versatility, being able to... And I mean, this pedal is really able to do whatever you need it to do in that 808 realm.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, absolutely. And if you happen to like mids and all that, it doesn't actually have a mids knob on it, but you can simply tweak the treble and bass, increase your level, and it's going to give you a little bit of that mid-range boost. That's kind of buried within it. But, yeah, just with the EQ that they've provided here, I mean, you're going to get, again, really just great gain and distortion sounds. You're also going to even can get into that fuzz territory, if you want to do that. It sounds smoother than most Tube Screamers circuits. Again, you're just getting these modern subtle improvements that really just make it a standout.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And something else that helps this pedal stand out, and really all of Hudson's pedals stand out is that you can run them anywhere from nine to 24 volts. That allows you just to add a ton of headroom and just really change the character of the overdrive as you change the way it's powered.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's such a wonderful option to have that. And again, it just is testament to the versatility that you get with really any Hudson product. And hopefully one day on this podcast, we'll get to actually cover the Hudson Broadcast, which I know also has a very large sort of cult following behind it. I know a lot of people love that pedal. Yeah, hopefully, I'll give you guys even more insight on what Hudson's all about as far as just their innovative take on circuits, but not to get too far off topic. Yeah, as you mentioned, Eric, I mean, there's just so much that comes packed within the Sidecar that, again, just make it a fun pedal to have as part of it. Really, any collection.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And with the controls on this thing, I mean, obviously, it's an overdrive, so they're not wildly complicated, but you do have your drive knob, treble, bass, and then your level. And again, that treble and bass allows you to have 15 dB of cut and boost in the low and high registers, which again, makes this just a very versatile pedal. And, yeah, honestly, it sounds great, and it's a great one to look at.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Speaking of things to look at, I mean, a lot of people praise just the look and feel of Hudson products. This thing is very simple, yet, it's the whole idea of less is more. I mean, it's compact, it's simple in look and feel, but it gives the feeling of quality, that this thing is well made. And I know a lot of people... I think I was reading something on one of the online magazines where they were even talking about just the circuitry inside is also just well done. I mean, these are all hand-wired, hand-built. I'm sure you're getting quality across the board. Not only aesthetically on the outside, but also inside, these things are put together with great detail. All right, so if you guys are curious to hear what this thing actually sounds like, maybe you've got your Tube Screamer hat on right now, and you're trying to see how this thing stacks up against maybe your favorite Tube Screamer, we're going to go ahead and plug it in now, and yeah, give you guys a quick sampling of what it's all about.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I'm going to go ahead and use the Tele for this one through the Iridium, and straight into Logic.

Scott Schwertly:
Nice. We're going to get this set up, and we will see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That's the Hudson Sidecar. It's a great versatile overdrive, kind of nails any of the Tube Screamer tones you could want and a lot more.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, this pedal is absolutely amazing. You know, I've always wanted to have a great Tube Screamer on my board, and I have gone through a number of them from the classics, to some of the more boutique models. And, yeah, this one has definitely won my heart, and I anticipate it being on my board for a while longer.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. I'm kind of wanting to look into this one now, but I always have the old, trusty Little Green Wonder that I've had for years now.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, no, that's a good one as well. And I think we even covered EarthQuaker's Plumes on this podcast, so lots of great options out there. But I mean, if you want that boutique sort of thing, this has got it. And I know that word, boutique is loosely... Well, it's used a lot, but yeah, it definitely fits the mold. It's a great purchase. It's just a great one to have, and again, particularly from that collector's mindset.

Well, perfect, guys. That's what we wanted to cover today. Again, that was the Hudson Sidecar. Join us next time, we're going to get back into the world of fuzz, and we're going to be talking about the Catalinbread Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal. I know I was initially attracted to this pedal because it's based on a legendary circuit, the Mosrite Fuzz Pedal. The folks at Catalinbread were able to get together with the original creator of that circuit, and what they've created here is an absolute gem. It's so much fun. And if you love bands like Iron Butterfly, or the work of John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, specifically the Stadium Arcadium album, then you're going to love what this pedal is all about, and I'm super excited we get to cover it in the next episode. Until then, have a great day, have a great week, and we'll see you next time.

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