A hot-rodded Melody Maker, a pair of Deluxe Reverbs, and a custom-built ’board power this funk funhouse.
Ryan Lerman is the cofounder of Los Angeles-based dynamic funk project Scary Pockets. The musical collective has been crushing it on Youtube since 2017, and eventually they decided to take their show on the road—a shift that’s turned them into a celebrated and successful touring act. Lerman met up with PG’s John Bohlinger before Scary Pockets’ Nashville show at the Brooklyn Bowl to talk through his current touring rig.
Brought to you by D'Addario XPND.
In the Lap of De-luxury
On this leg of the tour, Lerman is rolling with backline amps—generally two Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverbs.
Funk on the Floor
For his stompbox kingdom, Lerman tapped Dave Phillips at L.A. Sound Design to build him a road-ready board. First up, Lerman runs a 1/4" cable from his guitar right into a 29 Pedals Euna. From there, the signal runs the gauntlet through: an Electro-Harmonix Superego, WMD Geiger Counter, Rainger FX Reverb-X, Ross Compressor, Klon Centaur, JHS SuperBolt, JAM Pedals WaterFall, Non-Human Audio Slow Loris, Eventide H9, Strymon Flint, Empress Superdelay, Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300, Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water, Mooer Slow Engine, Surfy Industries SurfyVibe, and a Lehle volume pedal.
Shop Ryan Lerman's Rig
An extreme version of their hugely popular Dwarf Bass mini-pedal.
London, UK (August 18, 2017) -- Rainger FX guitar pedals is releasing an extreme version of their hugely popular Dwarf Bass mini-pedal, adding the best of the bleep 8-bit sounding glitch weirdness first seen in the Dwarf Bleep pedal for guitarists.
Housed in their custom designed mini-pedal enclosure, the Dwarf Bleep Bass has all of the full-on fuzz ferocity of the Dr Freakenstein Fuzz, but with a low frequency enhancement for a bass. Utilizing the double sided pressure sensitive expression pad “Igor”, the final decay of a note can be degraded into rhythmical bleep meltdown, the speed adjusted by a trimpot through the baseplate, and pitch controlled in real-time by Igor.
Switch on the LFO modulation, and the bleeps’ pitch has a steady ‘80’s arcade game’ rise and fall; press on Igor and the modulation speed increases up to fast churning insanity!
- Built-in noise gate
- Igor – a unique pressure-sensitive expression pedal (dual sensitivity - use by foot or by hand)
- Volume thumbwheel
- Clean mix button (adds approximately 1/3 clean sound)
- Internal ‘active/passive’ instrument switch
- Rainger FX’s unique styling and mini-pedal enclosure (with no side sockets!)
For more information:
This mini-but-monstrous bass fuzz and its manipulative assistant make for one dynamic duo.
Say hallo to my leettle fren! I couldn’t not say it—sorry—but more on Igor in a moment. The Dr. Freakenstein Dwarf Bass is a mini-format bass fuzz that dares to be different—I mean really dares to be different. The simple control set looks straight out of a ’60s sci-fi show and consists of a thumbwheel for volume and an oversized knob for governing the pitch of the harmonic overtones. At the front end of the pedal lives the LFO push-button that, when activated, sweeps the overtone up and down in a spaced-out, whoosh-y manner. The mix button to its right takes the pedal from all-out fuzz to about a 3:1 fuzz-to-clean-signal ratio when engaged. Igor is the dual-sensitive (just flip it over) mini-expression pad that manipulates the overtone or sparks a quicker modulation speed when the LFO is engaged.
The Dwarf Bass serves up fire-breathing grit, so look elsewhere if you’re in need of kinder, gentler fuzz. With the overtone dial at 1 o’clock, LFO button out, and the mix button engaged, I created sweet chaos with the help of Igor that likely scared the shit out of anyone within 100 feet of my house. I literally made sounds akin to a robotic troll squelching in terror (or pleasure) atop a smoking, consistent fuzz tone that inspired riffs galore apt for grindcore to alt-metal EDM. While a light dusting of fuzz isn’t available, it’s an impressively musical (albeit extreme) fuzz nonetheless. Take a spin yourself and you, too, may get hooked going down the wild-ride rabbit hole of this little box—and its little friend.
Test gear: Orange O Bass, Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, Orange OBC212 cab, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Recorded direct into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1 - Overtone dial at 1 o’clock, LFO button out, fuzz/clean mix button engaged
Igor. Compact and rugged. Fantastically raucous and weird bass-fuzz tones on tap. Internal passive/active switch. Built-in noise gate.
Can’t really call it a versatile fuzz. Igor can be difficult to manipulate with precise control, especially on varying surfaces. Note: Neither “con” bothered me in the slightest.
Rainger FX Dr. Freakenstein Dwarf Bass
Ease of Use: