Torino Audio

Introducing our Organic Pedals
Analogue, Modular, Discrete Components, No Buffers. Made For The Players

The Torino Audio family of Organic Effect Pedals

Organic SQUEEZE - Germanium Compressor

This is a different compressor.
It’s designed to be directly connected to a guitar, that really becomes part of the circuit.

We built the whole circuit without any OpAmp or other Integrated Circuit. All is done with just 2 Fet/Mosfet Gain stages on the signal path, for maximum connection with the instrument.

The three position switch is used to let you experiment with your Guitar, “Inside” the circuit.
The pickup coil becomes part of the Voltage Divider that does the compression.
Of course that’s nothing close to a “HiFi studio-quality” compression. You get plenty of these effects on the market, and we wanted to do something different.

The Squeeze has a Gain control for compression rate, and an Attack control to get the right amount of “snap” out of your picking.

Placed in Front of any of the Other Organic Pedals: the Spice Boost, The Cream Overdrive, or the Meat Preamp, It will give you a perfect Combo for your amp.

SQUEEZE Bullet Points

  • Not intended to be a “studio quality Hi-Fi” Compressor.
    It does color the sound. It emphasizes the “snap” and “oomph” effects of compressors used with guitars.
  • No input Buffer. Only 4 active elements on the signal path.
  • Best placed right in front of the Guitar. Very touch sensitive.
  • The Gain knob acts as a “ratio” control. Some noise while turning it is normal.
  • The switch: center position is neutral.
    In the “fat” and “fatter” position it puts the guitar pickup right inside the circuit.
    Best way to try it is some John Lee Hooker riffs in front of a clean amp. Or some ZZ top with distortion, like “waiting for the bus”, or some slide solos like “Sharp dressed man”. Also: Lenny Kravitz “Mama Said” in front of a cranked tweed.

SQUEEZE Tech Details & Design Secrets

SQUEEZE Sound Demo by hp42

Organic SPICE – Fet Boost / mild overdrive

The Spice is a versatile boost pedal, based on two gain stages.
We combined a Mosfet, a Fet and a BJT output stage, to get a crisp and colorful tone, extremely sensitive to your touch.

The Gain control and the 3-position switch let you span from Clean boost to a crunchy mild overdrive. There’s also a Tone control, so you can go from flat to Treble boost or Bass boost.

Used as a clean Boost, it adds a nice sparkle to the sound, with a rich harmonic texture.
Add a tad of gain, and you’ll get a gradual increase of harmonics, keeping the sound dynamic and touch sensitive.

Even without buffers, its output stage can drive long cables without any high frequency loss.

It’s the typical “always on” pedal.
Use it directly into a low gain amp, maybe in combination with the Squeeze compressor when an extra punch is needed, and you’ll never get back!

SPICE Bullet Points

  • No buffers, only 3 active elements on the signal path.
  • Extremely touch sensitive.
  • The Gain control gives clean-ish boost until 12 o’clock, then a mild overdrive.
    At low gain settings adds rich harmonic content without compression.
    Try it with Single Coils.
  • Overall boost is 16 dB
  • The Tone control is flat at 12 o’clock.
    Very effective as treble boost if pushed to 4-5. Kind of Vox Treble booster.
  • The switch is low-gain in center position. Adds crunch at two different levels in the left/right position.
  • Perfect to push an already slightly cranked amp. Try some Brian May…
  • In front of a Cream with all knobs at 12 and some treble boost, gives you instant Malcolm Young.

SPICE Tech Details & Design Secrets

SPICE Sound Demo by hp42

SPICE used in "How to Sound Like QOTSA: Let's Do it Again!" by Living Room Gear Demos

CREAM – MosFet Overdrive, JTM in a box

Why Cream ? Is that referring to Clapton’s early days, or to the creaminess of tone? Well, kind of both.

The idea here, is to nail the typical output stage overdrive of a cranked Bluesbreaker, plus the possibility to get beyond that, such as a higher gain modded Plexi.

The circuit is based on MosFets, with 3 gain stages. The mids are full, but without cutting any bass, like in the typical “screamers”. Highs are crispy and present, but never piercing.

The three-way switch lets you span from the typical Bluesbreaker “Normal” and “Bright” inputs, to a higher gain bridged Plexi sound, in the “boost” position.

Thanks to its high output, this is also a great Boost pedal. With a low gain setting, you can use it to drive the input of a high gain amp, as it’s normally done with a screamer, but with a much more flexible tone control.

Another great combination is after the Organic Meat: Using the Meat as a hi-gain preamp and the Cream to do the power amp overdrive. Put the CabSim at the end, and you’ll get the best “Amp-In-a-Box” tone for recording.

CREAM Bullet Points

  • Designed to give the typical overdrive of a cranked vintage amp.
  • No buffers, only 3 active elements on the signal path.
  • Input section is designed as a “JTM In a Box”
  • The switch in the center position acts as the “normal” input of the JTM.
  • The Bright position acts as the “bright” input of the JTM: treble boost fades away at max gain.
  • The Boost position adds extra gain, like modded Plexis with the two inputs cascaded.
  • Over 20 dB of boost available. Great to push an amp into natural overdrive for solos.

CREAM Tech Details & Design Secrets

CREAM Sound Demo by hp42

CREAM Sound Demo by Living Room Gear Demos

MEAT - High gain FET Preamp

It’s not a secret that almost all “good” high gain tones come from a high power valve head, with most of the overdrive coming from the preamp, and plenty of headroom from the power stage.
So, why not recreating this sound in a compact pedal, using FETs instead of tubes?

This is not a new idea: there are countless great sounding overdrives based on this. The limit of this approach is the need to fine-tune the operating point of each gain stage, to get a good result. That’s the reason why these designs have been quite popular as DYI projects, but not so much as commercial products.

Individual tuning is not much compatible with mass production.

But we decided to do it anyway. This circuit has four inter-dependent tuning points and needs to go through a long individual set up to deliver its full potential. This brings up the cost a bit, but the result is worth the effort.

What you get is a great sounding preamp, with selectable gain through the 3-way switch, spanning from mild crunch to singing lead.
Alone, it’s a great overdrive.
Together with the CabSim, an ideal combination for recording.

MEAT Bullet Points

  • Designed after the preamp section of a JCM 800
  • No buffers, only 5 active elements on the signal path (like in a JCM 800)
  • The circuit uses only FETs, with individual biasing to get as close as possible to the original tube sound. Every circuit is individually fine-tuned.
  • The switch gives 3 levels of gain:
  • Left position bypasses the first gain stage: Plexi sound
  • Center: classic JCM800
  • Right: JCM with Boost
  • Put it in front of a Cream to combine preamp distortion with Power amp Overdrive

MEAT Tech Details & Design Secrets

MEAT Sound Demo by hp42

CRUMBLE – Germanium Fuzz

Yes, we told you already: we wanted to do something different.
That’s particularly hard with a Fuzz, since it’s always the preferred territory for crazy circuit designs. The results are often in the “love it or hate it” category. And the original tone of the instrument is very often lost.

So, we decided to start from zero: What makes a guitar sound “fuzzy”? How could we get this fuzziness in a controlled way, and still let the tone and touch of the player get through?
We studied the clipping pattern, transient response, harmonic spectrum of many classic pedals, and we ended up with a design which works differently. Yep, again.

The Crumble gets its clipping and harmonics generation from the combination of Mosfet overdrive and Germanium diode clipping.
You control the symmetry of the distorted waveform through the 3 way switch. You can go from Little Wing to Satisfaction, down to crushing Doom mayhem. No other Fuzz does that.

As most fuzz effects, it gives its best if directly connected to the instrument. Still, it’s far less sensitive to cable length and pickup’s impedance than vintage fuzz designs.

CRUMBLE Bullet Points

  • No Buffers, only 3 active elements on the signal path
  • The balance between Fuzz and distortion is adjustable with the 3-position switch.
  • Very wide tone control range to span from QOTSA to “Satisfaction”
  • Germanium rectifier
  • Over 20 dB of boost available: Can push any amp into overdrive
  • Try it with the switch at the center, Low gain, Volume over 12 o’clock, into a mildly cranked Mesa: perfect for Doom. Or: Switch at Max fuzz, tone at 9, gain at 12, for some Stoner.
  • In general, it does very well with downtuned guitars.

CRUMBLE Tech Details & Design Secrets

CRUMBLE Sound Demo by hp42

CRUMBLE Sound Demo by Living Room Gear Demos

CABSIM - Analogue Cabinet simulator

Cabinet simulation is more and more used for home recording.
Several amplifiers and effects offer a “frequency compensated” output, that normally delivers acceptable results, but with little or no flexibility.

On the other hand, you can find plenty of digital modelling simulators, with all the flexibility you’ll ever need. But that’s modelling, and you might have understood that we like to do things the analog way, to keep your instrument “connected”.

The Organic CabSim is totally analogue, but it is also totally flexible:

  • The Box knob lets you vary the cabinet type, from open back to closed box.
  • The Axis knob is for microphone placement, going from on-axis to full off-axis, and everything in between.
  • The Scoop Knob is particularly useful to simulate the typical mid scoop that most amps have, in their Tone stack. If you’re using the CabSim with pedals, you can dial in the right amount of mid scoop for a real Amp-like sound.

The three-way switch lets you choose the Speaker Magnet. The centre position is for Vintage Alnico, the 70’s position is for Standard Ferrite magnets (Greenbacks, and the like), and the 80’s gives you the Oversized Magnet of those ElectroVoice hi-power speakers so popular in that time.

Icing on the cake: there’s also a Fet gain stage providing just a bit of Even order Harmonics, to simulate the typical early compression of Guitar Speakers.

The CabSim works well with pedals directly into your DAW, or together with the Muffle Dummy Load, connected to your Amp.

CABSIM Bullet Points

  • Designed to behave exactly as a loudspeaker, with totally analogue circuits.
  • Mosfet input section gives the typical distortion of an overloaded cone, at high volumes.
  • The Axis Knob changes the microphone position from right at-center to totally off-center.
  • The Box knob goes from Closed-Very-Small box (at minimum), to closed 4x12 (at 10 o’clock), to totally open back (from 12 onwards).
  • The Scoop knob: At minimum lets you add the mid scoop typical of an amp tone stack. At max gives some mid boost (typical of small practice amps like Champ and Supro).
  • The switch gives 3 types of magnet:
    • Center: Vintage Alnico (50’s Jensen)
    • 70’s: Mid-sized ferrite (Greeenback)
    • 80’s: Oversized ferrite (EV Black widow)

CABSIM Tech Details & Design Secrets

CABSIM Sound Demo by hp42