Back when I used to buy individual effects pedals, I always wanted to find a high-quality distortion + fuzz pedal. Oh the fun I would have had with Wounded Paw’s Battering Ram back then. Seriously, we’re talking overdrive, distortion, fuzz, and octafuzz all in one unit!
Well luckily, as a Helix LT owner, I’ve been able to conjure up all sorts of wicked combinations of dirt and fuzz. But one day I had an inspiring discovery: by using the Clawthorn Drive I could clear a few distortion blocks in a patch that was getting a bit too crowded.
Using Snapshots and the Clawthorn Drive has been a game changer. I’ve been able to dial in a great overdrive/distortion sound and a fuzz/octafuzz with just one distortion block. Thus, giving me more DSP headroom for other effects!
Granted, distortion blocks don’t take up a ton of DSP compared to stereo delays, reverbs, IRs, or amp + cab blocks. But when you’re tricking out a patch to have ALL the bells and whistles, you’ll need every bit of DSP available. I imagine that this would be a big breakthrough for HX Stomp owners as well, seeing as the Stomp has only one DSP chip and only six blocks available per preset.
After this enlightening discovery, I was surprised to find there weren’t many people talking about the awesomeness of the Clawthorn Drive. I think however, this has to do with the way it’s positioned in the Helix distortions list: DEAD LAST! And it’s also described as a bass overdrive/distortion. Maybe that has something to do with it?
If you’re looking for a distortion block that can do it all then the Clawthorn Drive is what you’re after. With so many options you can get a wide range of great tones!
Here are a few other reasons you should check out the Clawthorn Drive:
- A great overdrive that cleans up nicely on lower settings
- When you start cranking up the gain you get a heavier Tube Screamer style distortion
- The low boost adds a percussive bottom end to lower notes, thickens up higher notes (great for single-coil pickups)
- Typical octafuzz sound though not too aggressive on higher notes (which is nice)
- Separate levels for fuzz and distortion (great for getting a subtle amount of fuzz or octafuzz)
If you’re still not convinced, I’ve created a free Helix patch built around the Clawthorn Drive for your enjoyment and experimentation. Check it out and let me know what you think!
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