Kurt Cobain's Unique Pedals and Settings
A Little Background...
In case you didn't know, Kurt Cobain was the singer/guitarist for Nirvana. Nirvana was formed in 1986 in the small town of Aberdeen, Washington by Kurt Cobain and the Bassist Krist Novoselic. After many drummers, they finally ended up with the final lineup of Kurt Cobain(guitar, lead vocals), Krist Novoselic(Bass, vocals), and Dave Grohl (drums vocals; now lead singer/guitarist of he Foo Fighters).
The Boss DS-1
Used from Nirvana's forming until 1992.
Used extensively on both the Bleach and Nevermind albums.
TONE: 11 to 1 O'clock
DISTORTION: Max (sometimes 1 to 2 O'clock in the studio)
(Kurt used the 1980s version of the DS-1, as it was discontinued and succeeded by the DS-2 in the early 90's. BOSS rereleased the DS-1, but without a chip crucial to the sound of the original DS-1. The DS-1's now are very different from the one that Kurt used)
The Boss DS-2
(My Personal Favorite)
Used from 1992 up through the MTV Unplugged In New York performance.
(This pedal is very similar in sound and functionality as the old DS-1, as it was made to be its successor. In fact, Turbo 1 was designed to sound like the DS-1)
All the settings for the DS-2 are the same as the DS-1
TURBO: Turbo 1
The Tech 21 Sansamp Classic
This is an amp modeler. Used in the In Utero tour.
(An amp modeler simulates the sound of a certain amp, or type of amp. There's a variety of amp and effects modeling systems and products, pedals and actual amps, cabinets and heads alike)
Settings (from left to right)
(From there everything is maxed except high control, which is at 12 O'clock)
The Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
Used throughout Kurt's career. It was one of his favorites. You can clearly hear it on Teen Spirit and Come As You Are.
(It was also rumored that Kurt used a Small Stone phaser pedal at some point, but I'm not sure about the truth in that)
The Electro-Harmonix PolyChorus
Used extensively on the In Utero tour. Kinda funny with this one, this pedal wasn't actually Kurt's, but he used it a lot anyway. It was lent to him as a backup for an Electro-Harmonix EchoFlanger that didn't always work since the PolyChorus produced basically the same sound as the EchoFlanger. Oh yeah, don't worry, the original owner eventually got it back. After Kurt wrote his settings on it and put velcro on it anyway.
Kurt used the EchoFlanger on the song Friendly Unit Radio Shifter from In Utero and also used it for the Heart Shaped Box solo when it was played live.
I'll just put up his handwritten notes.
The Proco Rat
Kurt used this pedal on the recording of Territorial Pissings on Nevermind. As far as I know, that is the only time he used it. I couldn't find his settings for it either.
(Krist used this pedal for his distortion all the time when he wasn't using the DS-1, and Krist always used this pedal)
The Electro-Harmonix Big Muff
Kurt used this pedal subtly. It was used in conjunction with a Fender Bassman on the song Lithium from Nevermind. It was also used sporadically during the In Utero Tour.
The MXR Phase 100
Kurt rarely used this pedal. Ever. He used it only one B-side from the Nevermind era called Curmudgeon.
This pedal has only two controls: Intensity and Speed.
('Curmudgeon' was a B-side from 1992, and included in the 'With the Lights Out' Box set')
Now That You've Seen Kurt's Pedals, Why Not Check Out His Guitars?