I Just Don't Like Multi-Effect Pedals.

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by arlum, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I used to use a very nice, full-featured multi-effect unit until it went out on me in the middle of a gig! I resorted to having to go directly into my amp with just drive, tremolo, and reverb on the amp. It sounded great! I retired the multi-effect unit after that...

    One thing also that I noticed is that multi-effects devices with amp models sound good into a recording device or PA system, but ** awful ** into an amp (even a solid state amp). I suppose the amp models weren't intended to be used that way, but better to get something (like the Fly Rig or Boss Me-50) which is intended as a pure pedal platform for use with your amp.

    These days I only use a few effects and often just go straight into the amp for country and other clean playing. Still, I wouldn't mind trying out some of the newer multi-effects rigs since most now are much more compact than your typical pedal board, which is real advantage when you're doing a gig.
     
  2. Festofish

    Festofish Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I’m not a menus/banks kind of guy. I’ve been back and forth a few times over the years. I decided that to really work for me it has to have knobs. Enter the Boss 200 series. I bought the MD-200 to see how it sounded and if I’d really use it. I now have the DD and OD as well. They sound great and are easy to use! There are deeper features to use but I find the 4 memory slots along with the manual mode to be everything I need. All surface level and lots of fun! The DD is a no brainer if you like Boss or other digital delays. The OD sounds great and has analog parts as well as digital circuitry. Again 4 memory spots with another 96 in the menu I don’t use. I can pick up any of my guitars and just switch between my saved settings or manual to find something that works. Super easy and they sound great!
     
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  3. stormsedge

    stormsedge Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I purchased a Zoom G1xFour to tinker with during lockdown. It is fun with headphones every now and then, but I still really do not have a handle on how it all works. I've had little success with it through an amp. I was planning on swapping it in on a Boss ME-80, but I've so many pedals it really doesn't make sense until I have a pile of stuff to swap straight over.
     
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Zoom G10N is encased in beer-proof plastic. Plenty good enough for dirty work.
     
  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a fairly loaded Furman SPB-8 pedalboard—I could pare it down to three or four pedals, but I don’t have to and I don’t want to so I don’t.

    I have played through other people’s multi-effects boards—specifically the Boss 50 and Boss 70–and I have to admit, they sounded good and had a lot of flexibility.

    The bandmate who owned those ME boards kinda chided me, saying, “You have all those pedals, why don’t you get something like this and then you won’t have only one or two overdrives—you’ll have 60!” (Or however many OD options were in his kit).

    The issue is this—I don’t need 60 overdrives…I need the one or two or three I own (usually only one on the board at a time, but I have put a couple on at the same time on occasion).
    I don’t need 40 phase shifters, I like my Phase 90.
    I don’t want or need 75 fuzz effects. My Dunlop JH-2S works perfectly for me.
    I don’t use many of the effects in the ME, like digital delays or choruses (chori?) or ring modulators.

    Add to this, there is the problem of switching on the fly during a gig…I’m having a hard enough time playing my guitar and remembering the words to the songs—I don’t need to try to remember which button or knob does what.

    I know what individual pedal I need to stomp on for a particular song.

    A standard ol’ pedalboard works fine for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  6. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve had several programmable model, starting way back when with Roland GP8. Currently have an HX FX setting in the recording stuff. Anymore if I play a six string gig, my old as dirt Ibanez UE405 goes along…no programming, no menus, get “9” or “808” series boxes in one 2 space rack.
     
  7. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I have the Tech21 FlyRig5 v2 - The Tech21 stuff is very, very good and sounds amazing, but its more like separate effects in a single housing than what we think of as a typical DSP-based multi effect. The amp section, plexi drive, cali drive, boost and cab sim are all analog, but I think the tap delay and two reverb options are digital, so it's a very cool hybrid device.

    @arlum - I used a Boss GT-3 for a number of years and it was okay. It suffered from a lot of the things you described, but I could get some decent sounds out of it and it's very old tech by today's standards. I used some newer Line 6 Pod 2.0 and newer multi effects and they were not as authentic as the Boss, IMHO, but that was before the XT series, which was a substantial improvement, IMHO - still, the ODs and distortions were somehow lacking in life. I don't know if it was the extremely small latency from digital processing (its supposed to be imperceptible), They sounded great, really, but felt lifeless in some way - never could put my finger on it. So I finally went back to a big board with all separate pedals. At one point, I had a tuner, compressor, phaser, tremolo, chorus, volume pedal, noise gate, 3 or 4 overdrive/distortions, a boost, 2 reverbs and probably 3 delays. My board was big, heavy and any time I wanted to change the routing, it was a nightmare. To complicate things, at the end of it I was running out from the pedal board to an H&K tube amp, and then back to the board from the amp effects loop then back to the amp again. Then direct to FOH using the amp's built-in RedBox cabinet simulator. But man it sounded incredible! It was also difficult to control live, since I had no central switching.

    FF to today. I use the FlyRig with a Line 6 HX Effects. The delays, reverbs and modulation effects are probably better sounding than my individual pedals. The analog drives and boost in the Flyrig are much better than the digital counterparts in any multi-effects units I tried. My new setup pretty much replicates the huge board and amp and actually sounds cleaner and better. This is my signal chain:

    (EDIT: The added beauty to this setup is that the Tech21 effects all have dedicated, analog knobs for tweaking on the fly like individual pedals or amps. The stuff I use in the HX Effects is pretty much set-and-forget. It's the best of both worlds. To compare to an 80's style big rack-based rig, the HX Effects is my "rack" and the Tech21 is my amp and pedals.)

    HX Effects - Flyrig Board.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  8. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    No, they're not. What you're describing would be like running a string of pedals into something like an Iridium and then feeding the output of that into an amp and cabinet that add their own character. That's going to sound pretty awful, too.

    I keep hearing the term "pure pedal platform," and don't find it very meaningful. If you don't want delay when you're playing through a Fly Rig or ME-50, turn it off and there's no no delay. If you don't want amp or cabinet modeling on a MFX, turn it off and there's no amp or cabinet modeling. Whatever else you have turned on is just effects, and *POOF*, instant "pure pedal platform."

    Other than the fact that used ones can be had dirt cheap, I can't see the attraction of the ME-50. A lot has improved in the 20 years since then and there's a plethora of things you can buy for the same or less money (about $460 in today's dollars) that'll run rings around it.
     
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  9. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    Different strokes, different folks! If you need a bunch of different sounds I think personally that MFX are a no-brainer. Or if you just need one to three pedals, it's kind of a tossup which is more convenient and usable. I have not experienced high background noise with mfx.
    I'm currrently using a Line 6 M9 with an OCD pedal in front of it, and I find it very useful, easy to dial in, and great sounding. I only wish I could get something around that size with a built in battery so I could avoid the hassle of plugging in and having more cables on the ground.
     
  10. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    ^^^^This exactly! Even where I have multiple options in the HX Effects for certain effects, I just picked the first one that did what I wanted and looked no further. I don't want to fall down the hole of trying 80 different chorus simulations when the first one does the job well...
     
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  11. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an old Zoom unit and it's awesome, although I haven't used it in a long time. The one thing I don't like is that it doesn't have as much space for user presets as I would like.

    Noise is not a problem and the patches are usually set at a ridiculous high level from the factory, and it's also not a problem if you lower the level. I used to turn off the noise gate, but now I use just regular pedal effects and a stand-alone noise gate pedal, so I might turn the noise gate back on when I'll feel like using the processor again. I'm probably using noisier amps than I used to.

    One thing that was really noisy was connecting it to other pedals. It may have been because I was using the same adapter.

    The best distortion on it is called "Wild Fuzz" or something like that, and it's a Zoom original. It is sort of fuzzy, but it's pretty versatile and you can get metal sounds out of it as well.

    The only reason I don't use it now is because I need to re-tweak the eq for all the patches to use another amp than what I used to use, and I'm lazy.

    The cab sims are pretty cool too, you can use it to play through a stereo or PA.
     
  12. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    I had a Line 6 HD500 that served me well for a few years. I liked all the effects, but the amp and dirt pedal models were not great which is why I ultimately sold it.
     
  13. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I was going to say that. And what is the 'real thing' versus the emulation here - digital delay vs. genuine tape delay? Rotary simulation vs. a Leslie cabinet?

    If the choice is between dragging one piece of equipment to make one effect and having a reasonable simulation of a bunch of gear in one pedal (and tonal differences that 99.9% of humans won't be able to detect), I'll opt for convenience, thanks.

    I use a Mooer multi-FX pedal and it gets the job done. I haven't had a single complaint that my delay or boost or whatever doesn't sound 'authentic.'

    Also - if you're using a certain piece of gear, you have to commit to learning how to use it or you'll never get the best results. If you don't get a handle on how to program a more complex piece of gear, don't complain that you're not getting optimal results out of it.

    - D
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  14. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Although I so do like showing a bit of ass crack to the backing girls and the drummer between numbers when I adjust my trad pedalboard.

    That and the tap dancing are such highlights of their practicality.
     
  15. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Depends on how you use it. I plug my modeling board into the effects return of my amps (either tube or solid state, I use both) and they sound fine, because at that point you're getting the tone generated by the modeler uncolored by the tone circuit of the amp.

    Sending a tone circuit into another tone circuit usually doesn't end well.

    - D
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I suffer from fickle corksniffery.
    It's a real thing some of us have.
    Many who don't have the affliction accuse in a derogatory manner, as if we should be ashamed to be picky and particular.

    Now don't confuse us with those guys who keep fiddling with knobs and always sound the same sort of mediocre!
    A good example of fickle corksniffery will display some very good tone, though we may be pleasing our own ears more than yours.

    Over the years I've been asked by a lot of good players how I get my awesome toanz.
    Sometimes I helped them find theirs.
    Some of course is in the fingers, and this is beared out when a player tries my plugged in guitar and sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

    So for starters, some of us for unknown reasons set up extreme sounds at the gear then tame those tones with technique.

    Other players set up the gear to make nice warm toanz no matter how they hit the strings.
    A good idea for the relaxed front man sorta player who is gabbing to the audience while sending visual cues to the drummer.

    For us tightly wound toan hound types though, cut us some slack on the insults over our picky gear tweaking.

    And we might cut you some slack for your casual approach to gear and sound.
    As long as we can both play music the audience enjoys, who cares how picky we are in assembling our rigs.

    Who the hell is this cork sniffer talking to???
    My alter ego of course, I call him Mr Turnitdown.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  17. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Holic

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    I've still got a Zoom 505, which I keep for the sound of its ring modulator.
    A couple of RP Digitechs, don't know why I keep them. I did sell my Alesis Quadraverb because it hissed. I miss the filters and the sample playback function.

    I find without the millions of options to draw me in, I get more music played with just a DS-1.
    It's just me, no diss on multis.

    If I ever found a good deal on a Roland GS6 I would get one. The harmonic-y intro on Holdsworth's Metal Fatigue is in there.
     
  18. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That, I would wholeheartedly agree with.
     
  19. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Me either! Why have a meh overdrive and meh fuzz and meh delay? You spend so much time practicing and learning your craft and obsess over every detail of your tone and then take whatever comes in the box for all the effects or processing you need. I’d rather have no effects than any of the last 3 multi effects I owned.
     
  20. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar Tele-Meister

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    100% agree with the OP. If there's a pedal involved, for me it must be single-minded. What's the phrase?: "Jack of all trades, master of none?"
     
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