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Tag Archive for: Pedal Baby

Orange Spotlight: Troy The Band

Who are Troy The Band?

We are a London-based four-piece, composed of Sean Durbin on bass, Sean Burn on guitar, Craig Newman on vocals, and Jack Revans on drums. We are best described as a mix between stoner-doom, shoegaze and post rock. 

We formed in 2021, after Sean Durbin put an ad out seeking members to form the band. Our original drummer, Dan England, who recorded drums on the EP and our album, stepped down after recording the album. After that we were lucky enough to have our friend Jack, who had already been sitting in on our live shows quite a lot, join on a permanent basis. 

We also had a few other guitarists that we jammed with before Sean Burn joined. Sean and Sean actually knew one another from New Zealand, and it was a chance meeting on the street in London at a time when the band was in need of a new guitarist that led to them joining. When you think about it, it was a pretty serendipitous set of circumstances that led to them joining, which in turn had a vital impact on the trajectory of our sound that just wouldn’t have happened with the other guitarists we had initially been playing with. 

What inspires Troy The Band?

We’re inspired by a lot of different genres and bands; both consciously and unconsciously. Obviously we fit broadly within the stoner-doom genre so there are bands that will influence us from that end of the spectrum, but all of us tend to enjoy a broad array of musical styles which will inevitably make an impact on the way we approach a specific piece of music. To name a few bands whose names often come up for us: High on Fire, Khruangbin, Operator Generator, Acid King, All Them Witches, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Rush, Melvins, Big Business, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Joy Division, Black Midi, Smashing Pumpkins, Bossk, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Horrors, Deerhunter, Women, My Bloody Valentine, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra among others. 

We aim to make music that first and foremost we enjoy and find interesting, and then try and bring others along for the ride.

What Orange gear is important to Troy The Band?

Sean Durbin uses an Orange Terror Bass and also splits his signal into a guitar amp, which is currently an Orange Tiny Terror valve amp. Both work well for our sound, and they are also pretty portable and indestructible. Plus they look cool sitting on top of the stacks next to each other. 

This dual setup has evolved over time. Initially, Sean started splitting the signal through a bass and guitar amp because when the band first started we didn’t have a regular guitar player and splitting the signal helped fill out the sound in the rehearsal room more. 

When Sean Burn joined, rather than just mirroring the bass, they brought more atmospheric and complementary style of playing to the existing riffs, so we made a conscious choice to keep the bi-amped bass setup, where the bass is doing the work of a bassist and rhythm guitarist that holds down the main riffs of the songs, while Sean B adds harmonic layering over the the top of those riffs. 

This might be somewhat surprising, especially within a genre that extols the virtue of monstrous amps, but Sean Burn uses an Orange Terror Stamp which is mounted at the end of the signal chain on a very elaborate pedalboard setup. 

They purchased Terror Stamp initially due its affordability, but it has been an incredibly reliable and great sounding piece of equipment. When we went to record our album, even with a wall of mega-powerful tube amps at our disposal, Sean opted to record with the Terror Stamp since it sounded great and all their pedals were already calibrated to it. 

It does have its limitations in some live situations, trying to compete with the other Sean’s Terror Bass and Tiny Terror, but these are easily overcome. We either just mic it up, or use it like a preamp and slave the power section of whatever house backline head is available to achieve the necessary volume. But the tone all comes from the terror stamp and accompanying pedals.

Future Orange amps?

One of the problems with Orange Amps is that they are so bombproof and consistent that there isn’t much need for constant GASing. However, the Orange fur coat fuzz with octave up is likely to replace the current octave-up/distortion configuration on the guitar side of Sean Durbin’s bass signal, and replacing the Tiny Terror with a Pedal Baby might be on the horizon too. 

For Sean Burn, The Orange Pedal Baby or something similar will also likely make its way into their set up to provide the volume we need for our shows.

As much as we’d love to have a wall of big beautiful all-tube heads behind us, it is not always practical for a band that often travels via public transport, so it’s nice to be able to capture the Orange tone that we love in more accommodating packages. 

What does Orange mean to you?

For us, Orange Amps are kind of synonymous with the heavy music we play. They mean great tone and reliability. 

Orange is also a big supporter of the underground music scene in London, providing the backline for a lot of venues and festivals that we’ve been a part of which is great. And we always see Ade and Joe at shows, not as representatives of Orange per se but as fans of the music, which is always nice to see. 

What’s the most memorable Troy The Band moment?

We’ve had a few memorable moments, but perhaps the most memorable was an all-day show we put on to launch a beer we brewed with Old Street Brewery in East London called Troy The Beer. It was an outdoor mini-festival with six bands playing throughout the day, that we held in August. The weather had been great leading up to it, but it’s London so you never really know. 

The morning of the event, the sky was blue and the weather report looked good. There was meant to be some light drizzle in the afternoon, but nothing major so we made the call to keep the event outside and set up some tents for the bands to play under just in case there was a bit of rain. 

It turned out the weather report wasn’t entirely accurate and we were hit with one of the most intense thunderstorms we had ever experienced. What was particularly surreal was that the thunder storm arrived while one of the bands, Purple Kong, were playing their song “Blood Lightning” which has the repeated refrain “Blood, Lighting, Earthquake and Thunder….” So it was pretty fitting. All that was really missing in that moment were earthquakes and blood, and thankfully it stayed that way. Fortunately the rain ended up dissipating completely for the rest of the bands but for a minute there we were worried we were about to be responsible for organising Fyre Fest Part 2. 

What’s on the horizon for Troy The Band?

A lot! 

Bonebag Records are putting out our debut full-length album Cataclysm on February 2nd. We are kicking off a tour supporting it on the 9th of February. 

We’re also working hard on getting our second album ready and will head back into the studio this summer to record that, among a few one-off dates that we have in the calendar this year. 

So there is lot’s to look forward to. 

Gear Currently Used


The Pedal Baby 100 is definitely the odd one out in the Orange product range, and the Technical Enquiries inbox still gets a fair few questions from would-be pedal nerds. What is the Pedal Baby? How do I use it? Will it work with this? Or that? It’s a simple principle – just a flat power amp that sounds and feels “right”, making whatever you plug in as loud as you need it – but, in the confusing world of guitar marketing, it’s an idea quite unfamiliar to a lot of players. I worked closely with Orange Technical Director, Ade Emsley, on the Pedal Baby 100, so the easiest way to explain it is probably to tell you how it came about…

Like many guitarists in the present day, I get my entire sound from my pedalboard. As a gigging sideman, session player and producer/guitarist, I need to plug into all kinds of different things without compromising my tone. Whenever I can, I like to play through my own loud amp but, in the real world, I need to use the house backline, plug straight into the PA or run direct in the studio. It’d be foolish to rely on a big amp for my tone if I don’t always get to use it, right? So it all comes from the pedalboard* (mine happens to be a load of separate stompboxes but it’s the same reason people use modellers).

The problem with my setup (or a modeller) comes when trying to amplify it. What do you use? Plugging straight into a big amp when you can is great fun, but you’ll miss it when you can’t use it. You could always just go straight into the FX return for a “flat” response, but then you’re wasting half an amp! What about house backline? Their cab is probably fine but the amp could do all sorts to your tone, requiring hurried tweaking in soundcheck (if you’re lucky enough to get one). And, lastly, many of the power amps and FRFR options available today simply don’t have the feel and engagement that made you love big, loud amps in the first place.

Pedal Baby onstage at Standon Calling Festival Main Stage with Baron Goodlove & The Dreadful Noise (Writer of this post, John Denzil Dines pictured left)

The lightbulb moment happened while I was playing with the excellent Baron Goodlove & The Dreadful Noise (check him out, he’s very good). I’d been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with the amp genius that is Ade Emsley in the Orange R&D workshop and had taken a lot of his gear out on gigs – including clubs, festival main stages and studios. At the end of my “everything on the pedalboard” signal chain were a pair of Orange Crush Pro 60 1×12 Combos (yes, I like stereo). Plugging the outputs of my board into the FX Returns of these solid state amps quickly dispelled any valve amp snobbery I might have had. They were loud enough and the Class A/B output stage was dynamic and responsive. This covered the gigs where I could take my own rig, but what about house backline?

Also on my board was Ade’s prototype for what became the Kongpressor pedal. This version has a full EQ and sat at the end of my chain (the producer in me likes compression last). The interesting thing was how the cut/boost Bass and Treble controls were voiced. More like Depth and Presence, they sat right in the areas of the frequency range that you find the “chug” of a 4×12 and the “cut” of a bright speaker. With just these two knobs, I could pretty much dial in or out those two defining characteristics of any backline cab and make it sound like my own – if the house amp had an FX Return. If only I could have brought my Crush 60’s power amp on the London Underground too…

When I came to Ade Emsley with this set of problems, the solution he came up with was better than I could have imagined. The prototype that resulted became the Pedal Baby 100 and it ticked all the boxes. Starting with the output section from the Crush Pro 120, Ade beefed up various aspects of the circuit, making it even more suited to a hard life on the road – and running a bit cooler in the process. This 100W class A/B design would be just as engaging as a loud, clean valve amp, but was shoehorned into a chassis small enough to fit in a guitar case, overhead locker or band van Tetris game.

What’s more, using this Class A/B bridged design came with another advantage. Not only does it provide that inimitable “feel” that can be missing in today’s Class D power amps, it’s also more suitable for use with guitar cabs. A Class D Amp rated at 100 Watts will produce 100W into a 4 Ohm load. Into 8 Ohms, that will drop to 50W. When you’re hooked up to a 16 Ohm cab, that’s dropped right down to 25 Watts! Considering most guitar cabs are 16 or sometimes 8 Ohms, this is suddenly a less usable prospect than it seemed on paper. Imagine turning up to a festival with what you think is a 100W amp, only to find their industry-standard cabs have robbed you of 75 of those Watts! The Pedal Baby’s 100 Watt power amp produces full power into an 8 Ohm load, only dropping to 70 Watts when a 16 Ohm cab is used. Don’t believe the myth – solid state Watts are just as loud as valve ones, and 70 is plenty!

The really clever bit, however, is the input section of the Pedal Baby. At the time all this was going on, Ade was working on the prototypes for the Orange Getaway Driver pedal. These single-ended JFET designs were capable of some really amp-like drive sounds. I wanted a piece of this action – but clean! Although solid state, this type of circuit contributes a very valve-y quality to the sound, with a certain detail and warmth that’s lacking in other types of solid state designs. In fact, valve preamps are single-ended too – it’s a large part of what gives them their sought-after character. The bass and treble controls from my Kongpressor prototype were redesigned as a single-ended circuit and added to this input stage, giving the same flexibility I’d relied on for getting through house backline gigs. Dial your pedalboard in with these controls set flat (12 o’clock) and your cab connected – go to the gig – adjust until the house cab sounds like yours.

So, the Pedal Baby 100 is a tiny 100W power amp that still “feels” like a real amp. It has more than enough power for any size of stage, and will work brilliantly with whatever cabs you find there. And, if you have to leave your own cab at home, the Bass and Treble controls ensure that you never have to mess with your carefully-crafted pedalboard settings. For self-contained pedalboards, or modeller-based setups, it’s a great way to enjoy all the practicality that made you choose that type of rig – and take that with you wherever you want – without missing out on the fun and connected feeling of using a proper, loud amp.

For all of you nerds that like to look at pictures of gear (I am one such nerd), here’s some real life evidence of the original Pedal Baby prototypes on their maiden voyage. See if you can spot them in the backstage pic with Baron Goodlove & The Dreadful Noise on the main stage of the UK’s Standon Calling Festival.

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