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In case you didn’t know, Shawn Tubbs is a highly regarded session player, and one thing session folks know is tone. The Tilt Overdrive is a collaboration with Shawn and Revv, and has a few tricks up its sleeve.
It’s a medium gain drive pedal with a boost; the drive side is voiced like a tube amp when engaged, and certainly has a clear vintage slant to things, however it’s not an “amp in the box” design. Lower gain settings certainly have Fullerton type of dynamics that interact with pick attack and cranking things up adds in a sharper and more focused response. Maxing out the gain brings the sound into classic the “Union Jack” zone, while still responding to the player’s attack, like a vintage amp should.▼ Article continues below ▼
EQ wise the treble control has a huge range — at lower settings it’s not really there, but after 12 o’clock, it starts to brighten up a lot more. The bass knob is kind of a mislead, the EQ voicing covers most of the low mids, and responds like it was spec’d out by ears and not component values. At zero, it feels neutral, and as it’s increased the bottom end comes in, but stays in the guitar’s optimum range, and doesn’t get woofy or muffled.
The boost side gets interesting with 12Db of “more” on tap, with its own independent level and the “TILTEQ” doing the tonal shaping. Set all the way to the left, and it’s quite bright, and as it’s turned clockwise, lows are added in while the high end gets cut.
One thing to note: if a player has it in their head where the knobs “should” be on a similar pedal, throw that thinking out the window. The uniqueness of this pedal is that the tonal adjustments are meant to be in the optimum guitar ranges for mid gain playing — find the tone, and let the knobs fall where they sound best.
Footswitch wise it has some extra options; holding down the drive footswitch for 1.5 seconds will turn off both the boost and drive functions at the same time. Hate having to turn pedals on (or off) when starting up your rig? Well, hold down the footswitch while powering up the pedal, and it can toggle between being “on” when your rig gets turned on, and it works for both boost and drive sides.
While the Tilt may have been the brainchild of a studio cat, in the wild of a live setting having the tweakability can be useful and makes fine-tuning your tone for the room very easy. This isn’t a blunt force approach; the Tilt is more of a tonal scalpel. With the very interactive EQ on both sides, it’s approaching the drive tones as a producer would, looking for results in small enough increments that make a difference in the overall mix of music, and not the guitar slinger’s mind.
Clear, refined, articulate, reactive to playing, great drive tones, plenty of tweakability