January 1st, 2004, 09:30 PM
I'm seriously thinking of mounting most of my pedals on a retractable rack tray (or two, or three, etc), and using a Digital Music Corps, Ground Control system to switch everything. Seems like I could get a cleaner signal to my amps, and have a smaller, neater setup on the floor in front of me. Plus, I could switch effects in and out of the signal chain much easier, and in various order.
January 1st, 2004, 11:55 PM
Ive done it...twice.
The GCX switcher and pedal are really nice units. I just sold my setup because I wanted a smaller package to carry around. But if you want the full versatility of a rack setup and still want use your pedals I would highly recommend it. If you can get the "Pro" pedal, do it. Its built like the old Bradshaw units.
The first time around I was using a full blown rack setup, Tubeworks preamp, mesa power, intellifex and some stomp boxes. It was a great rig but I eventually(as usual) went back to a traditional pedal board/Twin Reverb setup. The switcher will even change channels in most preamps.
Second time aound it was just the pedals and an Intellifex. I got rid of the Intellifex and then it seemed like too much stuff to carry around for 3-4 pedals.
Thats the pros.
man if for some reason you get to the gig and dont have any sound coming out there sure are a LOT of wires to wiggle!
January 1st, 2004, 11:57 PM
Oh and BTW...I still have some rack stuff such as
Furman Power Supply
"Pull out" style rack drawer
Korg Tuner(old style)
8 Sp rack(el cheapo)
If any of this stuff would help you build your rig Im gonna be selling it anyway.
January 2nd, 2004, 12:45 AM
I'm doing it right now actually. I have the Ground Control (first version midi foot controller) and the GCX. It's awesome. I've been using the foot controller for years and years actually but got the GCX a couple of years ago. I channel switch my amps/ have various effects scenes/ switch in and out a distortion pedal that I love- it's just extremely versatile.
The biggest problem I have, funnily enough, is trying to mount the peal in my rack. I used industrial velcro but it keeps coming loose and driving me nuts.
I have to say, that I prefer the first generation midi foot controller to the current one- I often play barefoot and the big wide buttons on the first gen are easy to switch- the switch buttons on the new ones go in between my toes or get stuck in the soles of shoes like Doc Martens! lol
January 2nd, 2004, 02:55 PM
To mount my pedals, I used a rack drawer(actually a shelf) and "zip tied" my pedals to it. Just drill a hole in the rack drawer on both sides of the pedal and zip it up. I usually use velcro + zip ties just in case one of the ties ever breaks.
January 2nd, 2004, 06:21 PM
I've had my stuff rack mounted using a GCX for a couple years.
1) Set-up/break down at a gig is fast and simple
2) You can use whatever pedals you want without having to worry about tone-suckage, non-true-bypass, or switching noise
3) It cleans up your stage area
4) You can switch multiple pedals on & off if you set yourself up using midi programs rather than simply using the GC to on/off the loops.
1) There's a pretty enormous "hidden" start-up cost: You need 3 patch cables per loop (one to the pedal, one back from the pedal, and one to jump to the next loop). That's a lot of $$$, especially if you want to use high quality cable and plugs.
2) Making setting adjustments on your pedals is a major PITA; to even be able to do it you need to have your patch cables long enough so that you can pull out the rack drawer/shelf. The problem is that with the long patch cables you end up with a bird's nest with the shelf/rack in place.
3) Mounting the pedals is also a PITA. Many pedals require about 1.5 rack spaces of clearance, some even more. Add in the fact that your shelf is 1 rack space high and you end up taking up about 3 rack spaces and can only fit 4-6 pedals at most.
4) The rack ends up being mighty heavy, even with just a few pedals, the GCX, and your rack shelf/drawer.
5) Troubleshooting wiring problems at a gig can be a nightmare because of the sheer # of cables involved.
6) Certain pedals logistically don't work with the GCX, specifically anything that you need to step on to control or change settings. E.g. - using a wah with the GCX would require long cable runs which is a hazard on stage and not practical. Same goes if you've got a delay pedal with tap-tempo or which has multiple settings (e.g., any of the Line6 pedals).
I still love my GCX but it never made my life as easy as I thought it would have; in fact I've resigned myself to building a 1-rack unit "multi-fx" box which will mount the guts of 6 different pedals in the rack box. That way I'll shed the weight of the pedal casings and have access to all my controls right on the front panel. However, this isn't a practical solution if you use a lot of boutique or vintage pedals.