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

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

  1. michael_walker

    michael_walker New Member

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    Been doing this with my Silver Jubilee since the early 90s and still use the same Boss SE-50. If you want to be purist, yes, it does do something to the tone, but all effects do. Get the grit/distortion from the amp, do everything else digitally and it works. I switch patches using a MIDI pedalboard, only downside is a noticeable cut in the output while the SE-50 switches settings, but you learn to hit the pedal a beat ahead when switching. Maybe more modern digital units are better in this respect.

    Using dual delays in a stereo set-up (doesn't matter too much what the second amp is as long as you can balance levels, but a second valve Marshall is sweet) is a lot of fun, means you can do stuff like Brighton Rock and riff on endlessly with yourself while the rest of the band waits to come back in :)

    Another sweet sound is a short delay and a very small pitch-shift/detune on one channel. The guy who suggested that to me worked for Celestion and described the result as 'addictive'. He was right. It's like a chorus but sounds huge through a stereo rig. Worth buying a second amp just to try it. All the reverbs sound great in stereo too.
     
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  2. GT08

    GT08 Well-Known Member

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    Rock n' roll
     
  3. Crunchifyable

    Crunchifyable Well-Known Member

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    I'm of the opinion that if you have good multi effects, you won't want to use a classic amp.

    The real issue is that multi effects are typically stereo, so they sound best plugged into headphones, monitors, some kinda stereo setup. I'm talking about reverbs, delay, chorus, time and modulation effects.

    And since stereo tube amps are complicated, it doesn't really make sense to me. Maybe it's doable if you have like two fender champs or similar or a complicated rack setup, but to me it sounds like too many wires.

    I really like my DigiTech RP unit. I plug it into my monitors or headphones and it has a great fender champ amp sim that is a great pedal platform and a lot of nice fx plus like 5 knobs.

    But I'd never run it into an amp in the loop because to me it's not worth the trouble when my amps already have reverb.
     
  4. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    I am in the Fractal Audio camp.

    Been doing 4CM with an Axe-Fx II for years and an FM3 since July 2020.

    Its costs more than the competition, but Fractal Audio is also IMO, currently the best feature wise and fidelity wise.
     
  5. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    I find myself spending more time tweaking and dialing than playing. Not good for me
     
  6. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    When I started playing it wasn't just the notes on the guitar that interested me. It was the sounds that could be created using a guitar with and without fx, and technique that fascinated me too. I made distinction between practicing, playing, performing, jamming and experimenting with the gear and made time for all of the above, and enjoyed all of it-- and I still do.

    My $.02, a craftsman should know and understand how to utilize the tools of their craft.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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  7. Ukdel1

    Ukdel1 Member

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    I'm using the Headrush Gigboard with JVM410 with midi control as well. Really easy to use so you don't end up faffing around as much with the technology. Used to have a Helix and would spend half my time just being techie with it instead of playing.
     
  8. marco_giampa23

    marco_giampa23 Well-Known Member

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    for drive, yeah nah. But for modulation and delays and such go for it! Ive always wanted to buy a HX stomp and run all modulation and reverb and stuff off it but its a bit expensive and not sure on how much memory it has for "blocks", so limited amount of effects at once
     
  9. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I guess I overlooked your previous post. I am leaning away from a multi-effects device at this point. I look to see what has changed on that front once in a while, but it still seems too full of compromises and other bs. I know well enough that there really isn't anything like the real things anyway. The idea of a tidy all-in-one unit is such an attractive idea that it can be blinding to reality. I don't doubt that they work for some people for their tastes and situations, but I'm probably not one of those people.
     
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  10. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    My first 10 years of learning, I spent on a classical nylon string guitar so my attention wasn't "much" into the different sounds, but I can see your point. Now I've had my share of multi effects and some modelers but finding myself not really needing too many different sounds or anything too wet or faky. More of a straight into the amp when possible kind of guy. I guess its a world for everyone
     
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  11. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    The HX Stomp for only modulation and time effects seems like both overkill and underkill. The price of the thing is $600, and since it has so few knobs and stomp buttons and no expression pedal it seems like it would be a pain to use and adjust on the fly, especially live. And it wouldn't be so small after adding in more stomp buttons and an expression pedal via the control inputs or via MIDI. And after doing that, the price would be more like $700-800. At that price you might as well buy a used Helix LT or Helix and get a better overall interface and more dsp power. 6 effects blocks, if you steer away from using multiple heavy dsp effects is what I have read (else blocks get greyed out), which would be plenty for modulation and time effects only. Using the effects loop also requires a block though, if I'm not mistaken. But having to change the screen to the effect of interest and then paging forward and backward to change parameters for adjusting a single effect? Seems like it would be a big kludge under real world use. Just watching videos to learn how it works made me fall asleep like I was back in high school being spoon fed math formulas to memorize. Change to this view, that view, hold these two buttons at the same time and pat your head, touch this stomp switch and finger your ear, page forward/back, press this knob, and so forth. There is also the HX Effects, which has more stomp buttons but no expression pedal. And it requires the same sort of kludgy navigation for accessing parameters. With stomp boxes you just turn a knob and stomp a button where every device and parameter is always in full view and with full access, and they aren't digital models. What I have heard of the modulation and time effects, I think someone could do just as well with budget stomp boxes for about half the final price of using an HX Stomp or Effects and without the kludgy parameter control and switching issues. Worst case, you would spend as much. This is being practical in that no one really needs all the optionitis provided in these multi-effects units. But you wouldn't have presets for instant recall.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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  12. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Its probably me but depending on the room, often The presets will sound different and tweaking requires nearly a computer. Imo
     
  13. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Thoughts on using digital FX with classic amps? Not much.

    It just reminds of this one time I sold a Line 6 Echo Park delay because I thought that using analog was "better", so I sold it to finance an MXR Carbon Copy. I like the MXR, but I miss that Echo Park!

    Your classic amp will still be a classic amp, even if you plug a mic and fart into it.
     
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  14. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Parameters always need to be adjusted a bit here and there, including at the amp. It's just the nature of electronics and human ears I guess. Even stereos have eq knobs on the front panel. Or I should say, they used to.
     
  15. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    That's totally legit. I hope you didn't take my comment as a disparagement. I apologize if it came across that way. It wasn't intended that way.

    I LOVE good 'ole Meat and Potatoes and I also like fancier stuff. I tend to be an 'in addition to' kind of guy, as opposed to an 'instead of' outlook.

    As my tastes grew overtime, so did the variety of music I became interested in- and as it happened-- the various genres had various tonal characteristics and techniques that I added to my 'arsenal' which required a vast range of gear to accommodate authenticity. Granted you could probably play all of the songs on a ukulele, but somehow that would've missed the mark. ;)

    The Art of Writing music is a separate art than the Art of 'Making' music, which is a separate art than Engineering Gear to make Music achieve a tone target, which is a different Art than Producing Music, which is a different Art than Entertaining an audience while playing music, which is a different facet than proficiency on one's fretboard.

    There's a lot of room there for everybody.

    :cheers:
     
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  16. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    How do you plug a fart into an amp, Vintage, Modern, or Classic (I get how you can plug in a mic to an amp), but I'm dying to find out? Asking for a friend, who's researching the 'Brown' Sound :rofl:

    Don't say in the loop or I'll have to hunt you down. ;)

    Sorry... I couldn't help myself
     
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  17. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    I bought an FM3 in July. Its $1000 USD.

    I spent 2-3 hours creating 47 presets for the cover band. I've not needed to do anything since except turn it on and use it. When we add a new song, I just copy the template, then add/remove or adjust fx as the song requires.

    We are up to 51 songs now, and only 2 of them require more than delay, reverb or chorus.

    As for the modeling, I spent a couple days transferring 7 years of settings manually from the Axe-Fx II. I honestly haven't tweaked or made a new preset since. I enjoy silent headphones usage daily after work at 3am. I don't tweak, I turn it on and play.

    As for gigs, in 7 years using the Axe-Fx II, both direct and 4CM, I've never had to adjust any setting live ever. Once volume is set, its perfect. Every time. This is in 12 different local venues, our rehearsals garage, and my bsmt at home.

    I'm just an average weekend warrior wannabe... if its this easy for me, why so hard for you?
     
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  18. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    It's really no surprise that where budgets constrain, choices and options re: gear selection are fewer than if it were otherwise.

    Vintage tape echo ($1K+), Vintage Shinei Univibe '68 ($3K+), Octavia, Dallas Arbiter Fuzz ($1400), Block Logo Marshall JTM 45 ($14K), and Vintage cabs (EASILY OVER $20K in Total) are easily WAY WAY more expensive than a solution such as a highest end Eventide H9000, or Axe-FX III multi-fx unit. Actually you could probably have a fully functioning rig of ALL of the available appropriate candidates of multi-fx processors and still be able to purchase a Porsche (Granted-- Not a New one) with what's left over, for less--

    Just to put some perspective on the cost topic.

    The question becomes, How close, is close enough for the individual
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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  19. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    I have NO doubt that Hendrix, being the FX pioneer that he was-- would use an Axe rig 'Today' and would've used it then too--if it were available to him. That bastard would've dropped some acid, grabbed the hookah and spent a week tweaking fx and would've come out with..... Well, one can only imagine the kind of psychedelic madness he could've and would've created
     
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  20. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    exactly. thus why my diversion from multiefx units. Pedals a whole lot easier to tweak on stage.
     
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