Thoughts on using a digital multi-fx with classic amps?

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by What?, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. freefrog

    freefrog Member

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    +1.

    And to think out loud: it reminds me that analog dry thru is not rare, nor necessarily expensive. A Nux Tape Core Deluxe has it, for 60 bucks.

    To conclude my humble and general attempt to help, I'll just add this: when I plug a MFX in 4CM, I've at disposal hardware loopers allowing to get it out of my signal path.
    On stage, practically, I never use this feature: the sonic difference is too minimal to my ears to justify a stomping dance while we're playing.

    And regarding MFX's in general, some things are their own comments. Google "Neal Schon Boss GT6" and see the picture 7 in the slide show below:

    https://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/rig-tour-extremes-nuno-bettencourt-609306

    If it's good enough for Schon or Bettencourt, it's good enough for me. Again, YMMV. Good luck in your quest anyway.
     
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  2. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have missed the relevance or irrelevance of True Bypass-- which was why I posted that for you. (For some perspective on your narrative re: TB), and you have still not answered any of my questions. What's up with that? It's what trolls do.

    ...And the Analog signal, not being processed through the A/D-D/A convertors is NOT exactly uncommon among rack gear, so again... Seems to me that you're more looking to bitch, or show some technical knowledge (limited as it appears to be), rather than solve a riddle.

    Why such a focused consideration re: a digital Muti-fx unit needing to be TB, as the fx algorithms are digital, not analog? If you're going to use it in conjunction with analog pedals, they can go before or after the multi-fx input and/or in the loop of the multi-fx unit, or using a 4cm before your amp input while your multi-fx would be in your loop, or in the wet side of a w/d architecture rig only, so it wouldn't affect your guitar tone, as it'd actually be routed in parallel with your pedals and amp input, to a 2nd amp combo or head and cab, or power amp, or full range powered speakers.

    Are you planning on hooking up a bunch of digital multi-fx units together in series? Not Smart



    FYI-- The Switchblade switching system allows you to configure the buffer to any loop you choose, so it's not limited in that regard, or NO buffers at all.

    The rigs, custom built by C.A.E. for customers are built to spec, and account for every piece of gear being used, eliminating the consideration on whether a pedal you want to swap out is TB or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  3. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Exactly correct.

    I think this guy is trolling us. The signs are there

    I love Neal Schon!

    My old Tribute Band using the Big Rig
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  4. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I'm not that sort of effects user at all. That is the total opposite direction that I go in, and I think that people who are looking to use a multi-effects unit do tend to get pigeonholed that way. I absolutely detest that sort of high gain into a chorus and delay sound. If I were being a little more impractical, I would have stuff like an old Fender spring reverb and tremolo unit, an old univibe, a real tape delay, and other random funky bits. I'm strongly considering the spring reverb and tremolo unit any way. I have a univibe clone and other random bits. So before I end up going that way, I'm flirting with the idea of a multi-effects unit, not for highly processed sounds but for selective use of bits of this and that for character to add to the sounds of amps that I own. I'm *always* looking for organic texture and character, not slick and big sounds. If I wanted slick and big and synthetic, I'd just play synthesizers instead of guitars.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  5. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    ALL gear are mere tools to accomplish a range of potential tone targets, which is why I use a mix of vintage, modern, analog, digital, pedals, and rack gear. Point being there is no such thing as one thing that does it ALL perfectly, when your intent is VERY specific, and your versatility of sounds is a priority and compromise is not an option.

    The thing (Rig) has to sound the way you intend it to, and be usable in the scenario you intend or why bother?

    How's this for Vintage gear, and tone through the slick sounding Big Rig using exactly ZERO effects? FWIW, Just because there's a ton of stuff doesn't mean you have to use it all the time, or have it set to MAX. Imo, the trick is learning to program subtle.
    :idea:




    Some pedals you should look at if you're seriously searching for an answer





    Tape echo at around 7:30

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  6. freefrog

    freefrog Member

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    OK.

    Personally, I'll keep using my 4CM rig with a digital MFX and the six other pedalboards (including two fully analog boards) that I've at disposal.

    When I need processed drive tone, I use sound processors (and even guitar synth: I've two fully digital boards with this capability). When I need a simpler rig, I plug in vintage analog pedals and a Class A amp...

    …BUT thx to a methodic tech minded approach for decades, I’ve enough control on my gear to obtain very close tones from these two kinds of rigs if I want to.

    I'll just wish you the same happiness, and it will be my last message in this topic.
     
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  7. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    A little side note here.
    With my Boss GT-100, the GT FX loop (used for 4CM) is not a global ON/OFF setting.
    All the factory patches have the GT loop disabled, therefore sending the whole signal chain to just the Amp FX Return (when in 4CM).
    That way your own preamp doesn't colour the intended tone of the factory patch.
    You have to enable the GT FX loop for any 4CM patches you make.
    So different patches will automatically select between 4CM and 'into the Return' depending on how you program the GT loop.
    Using the REVV sims on a Helix into the Return only should be a doddle to set up.
    Boss GT Amp/Cab sims can be turned off individually too.
    But my gripe there is that with a Boss GT the Cab sim is not independent of the Amp sim.
    So you can't use just a Cab sim to complement your 4CM preamp for direct recordings. :wallbash:
    I think the Helix Cab sims are independent of Amp sims though.
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  8. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Helix has Preamp models, Amp models (which is the pre and power amp), Amp+Cab (but you can change the cab type and parameters), Cab, and then IR's.

    I run 4CM into my amp (not a fan of FRFR) so when I use an amp in the Helix I use preamp for OD models and amp for clean models. Clean amps tend to be lower volume so by using the full amp model it's easier to level the volume across presets.
     
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  9. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    It's the little things like that help in artificially defining product model price points. :noway: Yea, I could see that being frustrating. Similarly for the Pod Go, unlike other Helix devices, some blocks have fixed functions, and there are only 4 freely configurable blocks. So for example, you can't disable the amp model block to free up dsp and gain a freely configurable block to use for effects, where the amp model might reserve up to 40% of available dsp power. From a user perspective, that is a huge waste of dsp. From a marketing perspective, that helps in artificially defining a Pod Go from a Helix, price point wise. It's not unlike a Origin vs. a SV20. Make some things artificially worse on the lower cost unit, and set the price point for the uncrippled version at double of the lesser model.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  10. CraigP

    CraigP Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, Fractal Audio makes some killer FX units also, new/used markets.
     
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  11. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    I find ALL pedals tone suck to some degree, or at least change it in some way. Pedal boards with about 35 6” wires are a problem waiting to happen. You just need to pick the right pedals in the Helix stuff to work good with your setup. Use your ears, not the name of the pedal, and you will have no problem. I’v had them all and all have their own problems, when you do run into a problem you simply change the way it is set up, I like the 4 CM, and / or the pedal itself. I have always been able to get the tone I was after using the Fractal, Helix LT, or the HX Effects by moving the pedal in the chain, or changing it. If you have a pedal board and have a problem it’s the same thing but you only have one pedal to work with. Your amp, guitar, speakers and playing style have as much to do with the sound as the pedal itself does.
     
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  12. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Any of you know of some impressive audio demos of any classic effects from any of these processors? Things like:

    Spring reverb
    Harmonic tremolo
    Univibe
    Tape delay
    Fuzz
    Wah
    Phaser
     
  13. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    True.
    The GT-100 OD that works best (to my ears) with the DSL40CR Ultra 2 channel is the nebulously named NATURL OD of Boss's own creation just for the GT range.
    The Blues Driver, Tube Screamer & OD-1/2 sims just don't sound as good.
    Though they are sweet with other DSL channels.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  14. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    If you can't get what you're looking for with the following, use the original pedals and vintage amps. If you still can't get it with those, perhaps another hobby is in order? If you can and already do, why the need for an alternative solution?
    :shrug:

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  15. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What I seem to be trying to figure out is how organic these modern processors can sound, not like a big modulated, delayed, giant reverb thing that 99% of people seem to be doing with them. I guess that sort of thing sounds impressive to lots of people, but to me it just sounds so synthetic and trite, like modern radio music.
     
  16. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling Well-Known Member

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    I have a fender twin that takes pedals better than any amp I've ever owned. Its a modern day production model though. I tried a friends digital multi fx with it and it sounded great.
     
  17. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Organic like in the room with it? or -- organic like listening to recordings of vintage gear made in multi-million dollar studios? or organic like listening back to vintage gear in a commercial studio, while standing in the control room kind of organic?

    Words will not suffice. You have to actually get some hands on time. Only you will know if it's what you want. There is NO substitute for experience.

    You CAN make ANY piece of gear sound like total dog shit... Just sayin...

    The fact is that the processors that'll get you closest-- happen to also afford the user multiple options. You don't have to use everything available, just as you don't have to order everything on the menu when you go out to eat. From a gear perspective-- I'd rather have more and not need it, than to need more and not have it.

    The BEST gear in the world doesn't guarantee great results. It only provides a range of potential results. It's up to the user to know what they're after, know what gear provides the intended result(s), having access to that gear, and using it.

    Theorizing about it is like deciding that you need to get a degree in chemical engineering so you can come up with a compound for car tires. Just go buy a set of tires, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  18. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  19. peterplexi

    peterplexi Active Member

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    The Boss MS-3. Simple, inexpensive and compact and sounds really good with the 4 and 5 cable method. No tone suck and they have really figured out the buffer thing. It is as transparent as it should be. Can't say enough about it. Put the amps preamp section into one of of the loops and use the other two to switch in your other front end effects.
     
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  20. malice95

    malice95 Active Member

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    I've been looking at a helix to replace my pedalboard using 4cm. It looks amazing but I'm wondering if I would spend more time tweaking then playing. I got rid of a kemper and went back to real amps just for that reason. For me, I think it would just be more things to tinker with. However, I can see the huge benefit of using a helix with real amps.
     

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