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Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by Digiplay, Apr 17, 2021.
Helix. Powercab. Done.
And then there's just plain economics , Let's say 10 pedals at an arbitrary 100.00 each that's a grand then board of some sort cables psu , maybe a switcher. I liken it to home recording where they can sell smaller items one at a time, so a couple hundred is nothing compared to 2K in parts. Although if you're floorboard goes down, everything goes down.
I go back and forth in my head about this. But I really like the individual pedals better. They have "the sound" that I feel multi-effects boards just can't quite match. One man's opinion though
100% Helix for me.
My fave, so good I have three: Boss ME5. Old, warm, built like a tank.
Modelers always sound plastic to me.
Generally, I play my partscaster direct into my Marshall. That gets 90% of rock/country for me. I do have an extensive pedal flight case/board controlled by a gigrig G2. It's very cool but still slightly "colors" the tone. I plan on building an extension for the G2, so it allows the case/board to sit either behind the amp or next to it to conserve floor space (reduce overall footprint onstage)
i think, unless you're playing live, and you require a lot of different textures for a wide variety of songs, pedals do everything you need. If the band I played in was high-maintenance, and required more than say...8 pedals, a modeler might be a no-brainer if just for the fact I wouldn't need to tapdance as much on the board.
I'm old school, so pedals for me.
I wouldn't give Line 6 a penny that had been squished on a railroad track. I don't like the way they do business. The Helix might be the "latest/greatest, oh my god you're a loser if you don't own it" pedalboard right now... But that is how Line 6 survives. In a year or so, maybe 2, they will have another "latest/greatest, oh my god you're a loser if you don't own it" pedalboard.
Not long ago they came out with this behemoth of a board called the M13. The thing is/was HUGE. At the time it came out it was THEE "latest/greatest, oh my god you're a loser if you don't own it" pedalboard. Then there were several versions of the POD HD500. Then they out-dated the earlier versions and expected all their groupies to rush over and buy the next version, etc....
Now with the Helix mush, they are re-selling the same processor in a bah-jillion different formats so they can saturate the market share. Their business method makes me sick to my stomach. I will never toss any cash their way, because that would be positive reinforcement toward a business style I hate.
Not to mention the months and months of butt time it would take me to filter through their War and Peace-sized manuals just to get one decent sound or self-made preset. When did effects get so damned complicated and over-engineered?
I remember the first-ever rack mount all-in-ones that hit the market back in the 1980s. Even then they seemed way more complicated then just putting a string of pedals on the floor and hitting the switch.
Some people really dig the techno-effect thing but it isn't for me at all. Plus, I don't need 3/4 of the stuff they brag a Helix system can do. Plus the floorboard version's price at $1,700... I don't even ever buy guitars that are that expensive. I can do a lot with an Epiphone Les Paul or ES-339, or a Fender Classic Player Tele or Strat... I have no need or desire for over-priced USA Gibsons or over-priced (stupid priced) Paul Smith guitars
Depending on which genre of music I play... if its blues, maybe one or two overdrives and a wah-wah... and mostly not the wah-wah. For straight ahead jazz, give me my big fat archtop, a crystal clean solid state amp, and one guitar chord to link the guitar straight to the amp.
Later in life I decided to give praise and worship music a shot at church. Since a lot of the churches use top 40 contemporary Christian music (CCM) during the service, in order to do the cover band CCM stuff, I need delay, reverb, modulation, and numerous other fun toys to copy the music "just like the CD"...
IMHO, a lot of the CCM/P&W guitar players are young and don't have a lot of mileage, so they depend on Helix patches to get them there. Unless you're covering a Lincoln Brewster or maybe a Phil Keaggy song, the guitar parts are very effect-rich, and very basic. In the world of CCM music, I think delay and reverb is important for the "ambiance" as they say. Most seem to lean toward a "transparent" overdrive. A lot of big churches have a huge offering budget so they can buy the pedalboard for the guitar guy(s). Here in Jacksonville we have a mega church with several satellite churches and the church system has bought all Strymon stuff for every church so they an be "consistent"... but then the pedalboard of super high-tech pedals stays at the church and you can't take it home to practice... not sure what's the point, then... Another very small church (150 on Sundays) thinks they are a mega church, use all the top 40 CCM music in their service... the bass player and 2 of the guitar [players all went out and bought a Helix floorboard... LOL... Even though they are a small church, they have thousands into a digital front of house mixer, in-ear monitors, isolation cabs back stage, and a light show that would put Pink Floyd to shame. To each their own...
I voted pedals. While I have found plenty of great tones in digital multi effects boxes over the years. It boils down to one issue for me. I hate menu diving and I hate PC interfaces. Those two things take the fun out of it for me every time.
Both. Have a bunch of pedals and a modeler on a loop switch...often use at the same time.
Home recording I either go direct or sometimes use my Line 6 Pod GO, which is basically a slightly simplified Helix with almost all the same exact sounds.
I tried the Pod GO for my live rig, but to my ears after LOTS of tweaking it just doesn't sound as good as old fashioned analog pedals, either just as a multi-effects into my tube amp, or with amp modeling (including using a good IR) into the PA. I limit my pedalboard to about 5 or 6 pedals and a tuner pedal so it's a very simple, affordable rig, and I think it sounds WAY better live. Each individual effect sounds so much better to my ears live than the digital simulation except maybe for the echo pedal. Here are my live pedals:
- MI Audio Crunch Box
- Russian Big Muff reissue
- vintage CE-2
- Phase 90 reissue
- Carbon Copy delay
-- Recording is different. I think the digital emulators basically do a great job of mimicking a recorded sound, so they sound great recorded even though there's a noticeable loss of tone quality to my ears in live applications. YMMV of course.
I also have an Eventide H9 Max and it sounds pretty great for what it does. I'd recommend that as an amazing pedal....although it ain't cheap and as per usual its dirt sounds aren't all that great. But for modulation-- wow. But I don't use it live because the Phase 90, Carbon Copy, and CE-2 are all I really need and the interface is simpler for my simple brain.
After putting guitar down for about 4 years, in the late 90's, I bought a low end Zoom multi-effect unit just to get some idea of effects that I might like. I found that I don't need 15 amp models, 40 different types of dirt or 100 presets. It sent me down the, "pedal rabbit hole" for about 10 years. Now I only use reverb and a little modulation (Strymon Flint).
Yeah, but you just choose which one you want, and ignore the rest - just like when you buy an individual pedal. The number of available options doesn't bother me at all - it's easy to choose what I want and get it dialed in. The hard part - on my old Digitech - is making adjustments on stage. Looking into a Zoom G5N or a Line 6 HX Effects to see if they solve that problem for me.
I don't want any modeling of amps or cabs - just effects, and the more like a "real" pedal board, in terms of operation, the better.
I only use about two pedals, so the modeller is more than I need. These days a lot of guys use echo pedals, but I have heard a lot of guys get mushy tone from using an echo pedals in a very live room. I put it down to the natural echo/reverb in the room plus the pedal.
There’s nothing more like a real pedal board than a real pedal board.
That's tough. I've been around the block and back on this several times since some of the early Boss GT series (GT-3 was my first). An all in one processor is convenient to use and program complex effects chains at the touch of a button. No tapping on six pedals across a huge board to change from "verse" to "chorus". But they are limiting in other ways, such as real-time tweaking and having all the knobs right in front of you, as @northernguitar mentioned. You can get more convenience on a traditional board by investing in (often costly) switching systems, but even the expensive ones are quite limited compared to programming that can be done with recent multi effects boards.
Also, my earlier multi effects units did lack some effects and the sound quality, IMHO, was often lacking - not bad or unusable, but there was a trade off between tone and ease of use, compared to a "traditional" pedal board.
Newer all-in-one floorboards are a bit of a game changer (Helix Floor/LT, Kemper Stage, Headrush Gigboard, etc.), as almost any effect you need can be conjured up and the quality is excellent. No complex cable routing and hours of redesigning your layout when you want to switch things up. However, there is still a compromise on real-time tweakability even with the best interfaces on these devices. I've used a Helix Floor regularly (backline at venue, not mine) and it's fantastic once its set up - especially when using IEMs, but for grab and go jam sessions, and such, it's easier just to grab a combo (or in my case a small head and lightweight cab), plug in and adjust the gain/tone/volume to the situation.
My current solution is the HX Effects for all post-preamp effects in the loop of a real tube head, into one or two 1x12 cabs. I have an outboard tremolo and dual overdrive in front of the amp. I can tweak the amp EQ and drive pedal settings in real-time to my content, enjoy a great warm amp tone and have the convenience of the HX Effects, which acts as a post-preamp compressor, post-preamp EQ/Lead boost, tuner, noise gate and multiple variations of modulation and time-based effects. I have Snapshots (scenes) set up on the HX Effects that control multiple parameters and shut pedals on an off for Lead, Ambient, Clean and .8th-based rhythmic settings. I just have to manually set up the gain staging and drive I want on the dual overdrive.
This works all wonderfully for me today, but I'm sure it will look totally different again by this time next year! LOL!
For a simpler grab and go set up, I take the head, one cab and, if I really need it, a Tech 21 Flyrig5 (my "backup" rig) for some dirt, boost, delay and reverb going into the front of the amp.
Uhhhh....a lot multi fx are the real thing!....my BOSS ME80 and 50 are boss pedals in a multi fx pedal format....tweak just like the individual pedals....i don't use the modeling section.....great sound easy setup and if your amp takes a dump just go straight into PA with really no loss of tone. No menus.....just straight up pedal tweaking like individual pedals. The cabeling needed for a pedal board just got to be just too big of a hassle....and powering it all plus the noise plus just a PIA....
I think the Boss MS-3 is worth a look as a potential compromise, especially if you already own a few favorite analog pedals, especially great sounding dirt pedals. You can use the built-in effects to supplement your pedals, and you can use the loops in the MS-3 to turn on and off several pedals at a time. You can build presets into the rig that will allow you to turn on and off whichever loops you want as well as internal effects.
Just as with something like a Helix, you could create a series of presets either for sections of particular songs, as well as having presets for "blistering lead", "jangly chorus", "clean rhythm", etc., that would turn on and off multiple effects as needed with one click of a switch.
I only have six pedals on my board, and rarely turn on more than three at a time, so doing the "pedal dance" is not a big deal for me. I never have to kick more than three switches and it's usually less than that, and I don't care if it takes me a couple seconds to change a couple of them as long as I change the most important one that needs changing on the beat.
When people say "tweak just like the actual pedals" what they are looking for in general is analog vs. virtual knobs.
It's always odd to me that one of these is considered "real" and the other isn't...
Different ways of vibrating paper still produce, in the end - where electricity meets air - vibrating paper.
But I second the general opinion that, generally, both are good. And also that for traditional players (I'm one... so much so that for me "real" is a nylon string and no paper involved) it's generally more satisfying to have the guitar signal hit something other than a clean preamp and a converter right off.
(Which branches into the "overdrive and compression should be, ideally, analog" school, with which I concur.)
Multieffects are easier to travel - and make complicated live changes - with and "real" pedalboards (which these days usually have a couple of AD-DA trips nestled in their confines; so much for "analog") are more fun.
If you play good music and play it well, either will sound good.