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

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

  1. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Knowing how to program an expression pedal makes tweaking your normally adjustable settings on your pedals available in real time (ALL simultaneously) via MIDI not requiring you to take your hands of the guitar and bend down on stage etc. Just sayin...

    If I only need a Tuner, Delay pedal, Chorus pedal and Compressor-- I used a small pedal board. Other projects, gigs and etc. require more (Both in terms of requiring additional sounds/fx, and real time control of the soundscape and the gear that makes it possible vs tap dancing while trying to sing as an example)

    I figure all gear are merely tools to suit the player's specific purposes. I know that there's a lot of guys here who have more than one rig and several with more than 2 or 3. They're tools in a tool box... Nothing more

    To me, the real trick is knowing what you're after in the 1st place, then obtaining, and learning how to utilize the gear to make it happen. Of course, it should go without saying that having a certain level of proficiency on one's instrument is a good idea before getting too hung up on gear snobbery, BUT-- Even then, if it makes them happy so what?.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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  2. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    May be. I'm not Hendrix though. I'm me. ;)
     
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  3. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    No doubt about that :cool:

    Why not, since your needs appear to be relatively simple, just use the actual vintage pedals that get what you want or the modern equivalents w/ TB-- if it makes you feel better, rather than theorize about a digital multi-fx solution, as an alternative-- being that you seem specifically clearly focused with your expectations from your gear's performance, features and results-- along with an aversion to the learning curve, and stated distaste for programming menus, etc.?

    --it seems a reasonable solution or feel free to torment yourself, as you see fit.

    I recommend solving the tone issue, and from what looks like-- saving maybe 3 pedals worth of space on your board, you're making a 2+2 equation problem and solution into a Calculus formula solution worth of over-thinking things.

    You remind me of ampmadscientist... You both talk in circles and theorize about the problems with gear that you've never played thru, as if looking for a solution only all you do is point out what wrong with your chosen alternative solution, from a theoretical perspective. Odd
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  4. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    You say that like it's a bad thing. Everyone should be shooting for their own music and sound. Otherwise what's the point? Just turn on a jukebox, playing Hendrix or otherwise.

    I probably spent 10 years tweaking digital sounds, including building many synthesizer and effects patches from scratch, and I learned alot from it. One of the things I learned is that often simpler is better, and unnecessary overly complicated human interfaces can be a big aversion to effectively using gear. Another is that I have a strong preference for more organic sound textures over synthetic ones. I guess you know what you like after developing a taste for it.
     
  5. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Not at all. He's Dead, so knowing that just made it CLEARLY obvious that you aren't him.


    Yet, it is you who are posting a thread asking for alternative solutions to that which you know works for you (2+2), while knowing that what you're asking about (A Calculus equation of an alternative to some simple analog pedals) doesn't, moreover you indicate a distaste for your asked about alternative solution?

    What's up with that?

    Yup... You remind me of ampmadscientist, out for a troll

    Learning how to program gear to get the results you're after may not be your forte, for all I know... Sort of like people who 'think' they can sing, and should NEVER sing in front of people EVER.

    :shrug: Seems like sticking to a simple analog pedal solution is what works BEST for you. If it ain't broke...
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  6. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Technology changes. I like to take a look at things once in a while to see what has changed. Digital has come a very long way over the last couple of decades. And some of it sounds close enough to be interesting these days. But when it is delivered in bad human interfaces and is cheaped out in the wrong places, it becomes much less attractive. As an example of the latter, I'm not a big fan of the sounds coming out of many of the digital stompboxes. But the makers of them do have the good sense to include a true bypass switch for when they aren't in use in the signal chain. And the majority of them are presented in easy to use stompbox interfaces. Makers of multi-effects units are still lagging behind stompboxes in these areas though. And I think that eventually the sounds of these digital stompboxes will cross the threshold and become interesting enough for analog lovers, along with having digital control features that we are already seeing on some of them. I'm considering right now picking up one of the flavors of Belton brick reverb pedals. They have good tonality to them, better than any of the other available digital spring reverbs, although the boing is still on the rough side. I wouldn't have known that without taking a good look and listen among the available digital spring reverb pedals though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  7. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    I am a major gear geek too, w/ a degree in Electronic Engineering and have been on top of the gear technology since the beginning-- and have stayed there, since I started playing/gigging in the late 70's thru Current.

    I have owned and operated a guitar store for the last 12 years and have been a dealer and have sold, demoed, designed and built rigs for myself and Customers with most of the stuff you're talking about for YEARS (Large, Medium, and Small), and for a significant amount of stuff I have an expert-level amount of Pilot/Flight time experience with most of it. ;) Trust me, I know.

    I've been using the stuff in my Big Rig since it came out ('86 for the TC 2290 for example), in various rigs and rig architectures, at live gigs and in studios since the late 70's/80's in most cases, playing everything from Blues to Rock, Funk, R&B, Pop and Fusion Jazz and enjoy vintage and modern tones and the gear that produces them, which is why I use a mix of Vintage, Modern, Analog, and Digital gear.-- Doing so makes it so I don't have to contend with the compromises you're describing/facing with the search for tone solutions you are on.

    I have several rigs and use the one appropriate for my task at hand. Some gigs are just an Acoustic guitar a tuner, EQ and a DI. For years I did blues gigs w/ Only a Compressor pedal and a Boogie combo, or Fender Combo, or Marshall Combo, or etc...

    I use a Lexicon PCM 81, and an Eventide H8000FW, and an old not reissue '65 Fender Super Reverb, or Twin Reverb or Dual Showman Reverb for my available reverb solutions-- I have others, but those are my preferred go to selection. I highly recommend them for those who do not wish to compromise. The rig solution I designed and utilize, and suggest (Yes even for a small board of 6-7 pedals) makes the TB feature of a pedal that I/anyone may choose to integrate at a later time-- TOTALLY irrelevant.

    The analog pedals currently on my pedal tray are (I swap them out from time to time) Arion SCH-1, MXR Dyna Comp, MXR 117 Flanger, MXR Phase 90, Dunlop Univibe, and and EHX LPB 2.

    The analog rack units are a Dytronics CS-5, TC Electronic 1210, Rocktron 300G

    The digital rack units are a TC 2290, Lexicon PCM 81 and an Eventide H8000FW

    The Supernatural Reverb pedal has a nice sounding spring reverb, imo. I have it... Dig it, but NOT EVEN close to my preferred solution, but as a small travel board solution-- I recommend it as a contender for what you've described as potential solution for your simple needs. If you really want that spring reverb sound, Get a Fender Spring Reverb Unit and call it a day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  8. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    That is a good suggestion. Very similar tonality to the Belton brick stuff, but much smoother boing to it.
     
  9. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    It has some of the other shimmer stuff that you may not utilize-- just a heads up, but the spring, hall and plate reverb tones surprised me in a good way for a little pedal with such a small footprint it sounds HUGE. Definitely can do the Dick Dale sort of spring reverb surf thing pretty good, where most pedals until fairly recently have not been great w/ the Spring reverb settings. Doesn't do the shake the reverb tank explosion trick, but if that's a sound you fancy-- you need a real spring reverb tank
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  10. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What I'm hearing, the spring setting has good tonality and doesn't sound phony as all hell like the current popular digital spring reverbs. I have an old 65 blackface Super Reverb too, and a silverface Twin Reverb, both of which have nice reverb. And my DSL50 has a medium solid state spring reverb which can actually get some fun character in a pawn shop sort of way when boosting. But my plexi clone is running bare and could definitely use some decent spring reverb once in a while for cleaner stuff, even if it isn't quite as good as on my Fenders. But I just haven't been able to make myself buy one of the popular digital spring reverbs. Too phony or too digital sterile or both. I likely still will get a tank reverb at some point though. Nothing else has that same sound texture and detail.
     
  11. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    The best sounding reverb in a combo amp I EVER had, was an old Mesa/Boogie MKIIB. It was a Hammond Reverb unit. They switched to Accutronics Reverbs and not for the better, imo

    Keep Rocking... Eventually get one of these

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  12. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Good points.
    I have a Line 6 500XT or whatever it is. It sits in a case. One day I might try to set up single presets with delay, flange, reverb, etc. Its a pain in the ass to set up going back and forth from computer to amp. setting presets with headphones versus using it with he amp is a chore, at least to me. Plus you think you get a good sound thru the headphone stry it thru the amp and its not the same. Maybe I am just electronically challenged. I am sure its just user error.
     
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  13. yafal

    yafal New Member

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    Hi. I use a simple Lexicon Alex with great success. It's organic, has excelente rev, dly, chrs & flanger and does not color the dry sound in any way, because the dry path is analog, not digital.
    Best regards!
     
  14. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    this is how you solve that.

    1st, If there is no "looper" in that unit, then get a looper pedal. I use a TC Electronic Ditto if not using my Fractal's. If there is a looper, you want to make sure it's 1st in your signal chain.

    2nd, place the amp across the room from you, typically where it would be if you were playing live, and turn it up to rehearsals volume. I like to use at least 15 feet, and I prefer to have the speakers pointed right at my head so I don't dial in something that will hurt the audience when gigging. Set the tone shaping knobs all at "noon" or "5" or whatever is middle. The reason for this is, later if you want to make a room adjustment while playing, simply walk over to the amp and use those controls vs using the floorboard.

    3rd, plug in your guitar and record a relevant loop, if your doing a solo, do that solo, if its a strumming rhythm, then that, etc. put the guitar down and let the loop play into the amp.

    4th, adjust your tone hands free from either the computer, or the unit itself, and at proper volume as to ensure proper dial in. This is great because you can make a tweak and walk the room, hearing it in various places as well as dead on in the "cone of deaf."

    Finally, Yes, a computer will make it more visually usable, I prefer to use the PC editor for my Axe-FX products and is in fact one of the main reason I bought it, but you do not need a computer and can access everything on these unit itself, 100% guaranteed, you just need to spend the time with it and the manual, as owning a computer is not a requirement of use. Further, no ones bringing a computer to rehearsals or gigs and tweaking there.... you are required to have all that done before hand, so you really need to learn how to use the unit without a computer IMO.

    Nothing worth doing requires zero effort. There can be no Progress without some challenge. The worst failing is to dismiss something without even giving it a fair chance.

    BTW, theres also like a million youtube videos of people walking you through using stuff. again, you need to spend the time if you want to learn.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
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  15. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Yup! 100%. Having a wireless helps too, as another nice option for gaging the sound in the room.
    :h5::cheers:
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  16. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Dilaing in an amp or pedals for playing at home is going to need different settings than for playing with a band.

    If you have already learned how to adjust your gear, and it's still a pain in the ass to adjust it when needed, replace it with something else. I do agree that you should know how to adjust your gear first, of course. But also on that point, if it is too much of a pain in the ass for you to learn how to adjust it as needed without being stressful, get rid of it instead of sticking it in a closet. Someone else will find it useful, and you can find something better suited for you. Every piece of gear isn't for everyone, in sound and in usability. Some people like to get deep into tweaking things, and some people like to turn a couple of knobs and get going.

    While I was checking over features and sound demos of the various Helix devices, one reviewer of the Pod Go mentioned something very relevant here. He said that the Pod Go didn't make any sense in it's many options of amps, cabs, and effects for someone looking for a simple device, saying that all that stuff is optionitis. He thought that the Go should have a handful of amps, cabs, and effects installed from the factory so that the target audience of that device doesn't get bogged down in choices. That is right on, if you ask me.

    I see the same sort of optionitis trend happening in pedals these days. Instead of putting in the work to make a pedal that is excellent at 1 or 2 things, alot of modern pedals are being designed with multitudes of mediocre modes to choose from, as well as deep editing of the mediocrity. This has always been the case for many of the multi-effects processors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
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  17. Mrmadd

    Mrmadd Active Member

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    Classic amps deserve classic tone and classic effect pedals. Most classic amps are not designed to fully anplify extreme audio sounds created by multiprocessors.
    Processors will sound more complete in studio board or live mixing board.
    Too many effects and you lose your punch in live settings.
    I have been trying to kick the "echo habbit" as using it too much justs creates mud for tone and clarity.
    Just turn the amp up to 10 and let the amp do its work. Lol
     
  18. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    Please, no need to apologize, but I do really appreciate your good nature on trying to clarify your point so it wouldn't come out harsh. Thanks for taking the time man. I see a lot of people on the internet getting real nasty about such little things. And also, you have a very valid and useful point there and I'll try to learn from it. Sound and tone experiment can be a world on its own and it really would do good for me if I can dive more into it......What usually happens is that I'm always so anxious to start playin that I try to get a good tone quick so I can start jamming or practicing and not having to worry anymore about it. To be dialing parameters, saving shit, assigning data etc. on sounds that most of the time I hear kind of artificial just drives me crazy!:rolleyes: Tone is immensely important to me but I usually like something not overproduced but raw with not much more than a good amp distortion and maybe an overdrive. But as we already said, this is a world for everyone and nothing is written in stone. Saludos! :cheers:
     
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  19. Bonedaddio

    Bonedaddio Active Member

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    Yup! They are "fun" to run from stage, especially when it goes to the wrong patch (DOH!); but you can kind of do it with the H9 iPhone app... its do-able. I'm playing through a Marshall SV20H head and 2-212" slant cabs. I'm sooooo happy with the rig!!
    I'm using an H9... I can't get with Line 6 stuff, too "scratchy", and digital, for me!
    I'm using an Eventide H9 Max pedal in the loop of my SV20H; the loop is a little hot and requires a little taming to work with the H9, but it's well worth the effort. I'm using a two channel looper , a JOYO PXLive; (one loop for "before" the amp... OD's, Preamps, Wahs); the other loop for Eq's and TBE's.
    Although it does take some time to set up the effects properly, once the patches are done, it's extremely "pro-ish" sounding.
    And I still have one chain than I can manually stomp boxes in and out if I'm having the ass of the effects complexity~
    Works for me!
     
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  20. NoelH

    NoelH Active Member

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    Been doing that for years. I will say the original DSL series had a flaw in the FX Loop. A guy named Graham Rangel-Sharp had a mod you could buy, but don't know if you can still get it. I have a 50 wt DSL also, and I'm going to try to contact him. But, generally a well-designed FX loop should pose little problem.
     

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