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Dancin May 77 EF Tone - Mutron Microtron IV

PostPosted:Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:30 am
by healthy_scratch
Hey there, I posted this in another topic and given its merit as it's own topic cut it out and am posting it here as it is more relevant in this part of the board. I am just putting this in as a disclaimer that I am not trying to double post or spam the board.

Anyhow, last night I finally knuckled down and started to attempt to work out that disco Dancin In The Streets tone with my sights set on hopefully dialling in that flute-like lead tone Jerry coaxed from the original Mu on most of his fine solo forays on the 77 - 78 versions. I mean essentially the tonal focus being those May 77 monsters.

Now I am aware that the key to dialling in the setting here and what gives a lot of this era's Dancin's their sonic flair is activating the Down feature of the envelope effect by switching on the Up-Down button. That is the standard answer across the many areas searched I have found. Though there is more to it than that as the settings clearly need to be altered further as the Down performs markedly different than the Up in terms of tone or at least with my Strat. Furthermore, the settings Mutron sent for the out of the box Down setting they called "Downtime" definitely did not coax anything near what I had hoped for from Dancin 77 tone, at least not any of the 5 Pup positions on my Strat. The closest I got and I will say it was in the ballpark but perhaps more like sitting in the bleachers than sitting behind home plate. That said after 2 hours of dial turning I settled on the following as an initial compromise:

Mode - LP
Range- Lo
Level - 11:30
Peak - 5:00
Gain - 3:00

Again this with the Up-Down button turned on. I found the best setting on my Strat was the middle pickup. I have a 96 Strat American made Strat with standard stock single-coils from the time. This gave me the quack when attempting the riffs to intro - verse and chorus and did allow for the more flute-like vibe when the solo kicks in. I did have to play with my volume quite a bit and tried the same with tone but the adjustments were minimal. When it came to soloing I did try some of the passages with an EQ boost and clean OD to mixed results.

BTW this was my first stab at playing the tune so it was pretty rusty as I never saw much point to trying this one out without some form of the tone dialled in.

Conclusion, for a first attempt and 2 hours of dial turning I can say it was not a waste of time and has me intrigued to try further tweaking at some point. I am not the biggest fan of turning dials much and tweaking pedals I find it can be sometimes overwhelming when confronted with the number of dials and settings that are possible at times and I feel it takes away from actual play/practice time. That said the rewards are definitely there when you nail the tone you are after at least in your head, but I am sure as many of you know it can be annoying when you have packed in 3 hours of dial turning and note banging all for achievement zero on anything sonically usable or practical in terms of improvements, but I digress.

Thankfully last night's experiments were not fully in vain but seem not just exactly perfect yet. Has anyone else tried to dial in Jerry's Down (Dancin 77) Mutron tone with the Microtron IV standard and what your experiences might have yielded in pursuit of this delicious tone?

Anyone who has tried to achieve the Dancin tone with any edition of a Microtron I would appreciate what your experiences have been.

Many thanks,