1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Is It Possibe To...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RoscoeElegante, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Use a pedal to increase/decrease another pedal's level in a pedal-chain while you're playing? That is, can you control effects *levels* with your feet **while keeping your hands on your guitar**? I don't mean clicking effects on/off while playing. I mean increasing/decreasing levels of already clicked-on pedals.

    For example: Playing through this chain,

    Guitar-->Hum-Debugger-->Overdrive-->Delay-->Reverb-->Amp

    could I add a pedal somewhere that would allow me to increase, say, delay on a solo, and then decrease that delay-level when I finish the solo, and then increase reverb for the song's outro?

    At the very least, if I'm using this simpler chain,

    Guitar-->Hum-Debugger-->Reverb-->Amp

    can an expression pedal be reverb-pedal-dedicated so it increases/decreases the reverb's intensity?

    Throughout this, I want overall volume control to remain at the guitar and the amp.

    This would not only facilitate gigging, but, for me, recording. I much prefer recording effects & tones from guitars, pedals, and amps than recording clean or straight in and then adding program effects.

    Excuse my redundancy, and perhaps how stupid these questions are. As you can tell, I'm pretty new to pedal usage, and primitive w/ them. I usually play through one or two pedals and adjust their levels by hand--but want/need to be able to play more fluidly by keeping my hands on the guitar while I adjust effect levels another way.

    Thanks in advance for any replies/advice.
     
  2. Gunerius

    Gunerius Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    865
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Location:
    Norway
    I was instantly thinking a pedal with expression input to control the mix. Maybe there's a looper (bypass looper) that can be expression controlled. That would be pretty cool
     
  3. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    611
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wales
    Morley FX Blender Expression Pedal.
     
  4. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,712
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Location:
    KS
    Wounded paw v3 is what your asking for, you'll need to set a vol pedal in each loop. You can switch loops to be series or parallel in operation.

    Xotic stereo blender if you want to do this in stereo. I'm always stereo, so this would be my choice.
     
  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,296
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    More sophisticated multi-fx let you do the parallel routings described above and add extra expression pedals for fading in fx
     
  6. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Thanks for your reply.

    Could I ask you to explain how series and parallel differ in this regard? As I said, new to complex pedal usages!

    Also, how bad is the risk that such a complex chain will inject hiss and/or damage tone? And if that happens, what could I do to minimize that problem?

    Thanks!
     
  7. telen00b

    telen00b Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    212
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    This got me thinking.
    Say you were to have a system that worked something like this: A board that your guitar plugs direct into, that then goes out to all the effects. It's got one master input and output, and, say, three other "FX in/outs". How it would work would be like this. Say you want 3 FX (Overdrive, Delay, Reverb, why not?). Guitar plugs in to master input. The signal then goes to "FX Out 1", which connects to the overdrive, then it connects to "FX In 1". It then goes to "FX Out 2", which connects to the Delay, etc. w/ reverb until "FX in 3", which then goes out to Master Output, to amp.
    Each FX channel (1, 2, 3, individually) would have two stomp buttons: the first is an on/off, where "off" would bypass that channel and move on to the next, and "on" would go though all the FX that are connected and on in that loop. The other button would be connected two knobs, that could be used to boost or lower INPUT and OUTPUT respectively on that channel. When "off", the button would bypass those knobs. When "on", you could tweak the channel's in/outputs to get a sound you want from the pedals, while keeping a consistent volume. An example would be how overdrive is less intense with lower input, and then heighten the output to keep it consistent. EACH CHANNEL would have those two knobs, so when that button was hit, it would change in/output volumes of that effect alone.
    Hey, it's not perfect, I'm just making it up as I go along. Who can think of all the problems with this set-up?

    EDIT: I thought of it in this way so the pedals are still reacting to each-other in series, so the delay affects the OD, the reverb affects the delay, etc.
     
  8. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,429
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Albrightsville, PA
    Wasn't there a pedal that would attach to the knob of another pedal to control it?
     
  9. Slow Graffiti

    Slow Graffiti TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    NC, US
    There are more complex ways (as mentioned above), but you could also buy effects pedals with this in mind, saving yourself from trouble.

    There are dual stage overdrive pedals as well as simpler OD pedals with a second 'boost' button to step on when you are going to play some lead lines. There are delay and reverb pedals with a 'favorite' option to store a preset that can be switched on to override the current knob placement (strymon's blueSky and El Capistan), as well as many with banks of settings (BigSky, Timeline; Eventide's Timefactor).

    Other pedals also include an input specifically for an expression pedal to control the amount of effect (Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail analog delay), which would also give you the option of having only the effected signal to be sent to other pedals..
     
  10. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Thanks! Of the various suggestions, I like Telen00b's the best. It seems to offer the most control, and the simplest controls.

    So the next questions are

    What board(s) can people recommend?

    How much worse are the risks of hiss/tone-damage in this multi-pedal/many-link approach vs. the less-complex approaches suggested?

    Thanks again to all repliers.
     
  11. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    SlowGraffiti:

    Thanks for your suggestion. Could you put it in terms of A-->B-->C, etc., for me?

    I know that sounds weird, but I really have to see something laid out like this to grasp it.

    Also, do you think telen00b's approach would introduce too much hiss/tone loss?

    Thanks again.
     
  12. telen00b

    telen00b Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    212
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    You'd probably get a whole lot of tone loss from the pots, and probably some noise, yep!
     
  13. KCStratMan

    KCStratMan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Is it possible (without additional loop-switchers or the hypothetical patchbay/mixer/switcher telenOOb posits)? Yes, easily. Eventide TimeFactor, Space Reverb and H9 allow expression pedal control of effect mix level (and are soon adding in and out volume swell). Strymon and a few other high end effects pedals offer similar controllability. Also, MIDI controllers from simple to extremely complex can be used to control virtually every parameter including volume and mix of these units.
    So, your chain would look like: Gtr > OD > Delay/Exp. pedal > Reverb/Exp. pedal > Amp. You could simply sweep the mix of your delay or reverb effects up and down independently, although this would require two exp. pedals. Some dual-output exp. pedals let you switch from control of one to the other with the same pedal. MIDI controllers let you switch the effects in, out, up, down, altered, etc. with a foot tap.
    As mentioned, Eventide, Strymon, and some others also have a "hotswitch" or "performance switch" feature that activates a preset variation of the current effect preset - in effect a preset within a preset. This can be a simple change of volume or mix or a drastic morphing of the current effect at the touch of a switch in mid-performance.

    White arcs around parameter knobs indicate expression pedal sweep mapping, white "laser beam" indicates current expression pedal position.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Hi, KCStratMan. I MUCH appreciate your helpfulness and time, once again. But here's how dumb I am.

    First, while I know that MIDI controllers can do wonders, I don't have the brain wiring to master them. I need on-the-fly stuff at my fingers or feet instead.

    So, on to the pedals: I just can't grasp this unless you say "You plug a cable into your guitar. Then you plug ________ into _______. Then you plug...."

    If you could use the simplest terms, or define what terms you use, I'd better grasp it, too. I know that I'm asking a lot here!

    Would a workable solution be I plug each of my effects boxes into a dedicated expression pedal, and daisy chain the sequence until I'm plugging my reverb box & its pedal into the amp? Some people here and elsewhere have said this would produce hiss and/or tone damage, while others have said not.

    I'm also wondering...is it possible to unhook an expression pedal's spring catch so the pedal proper won't automatically return to the heel/off position, but will instead stick at what you toe it to until/unless you heel it back? Can an expression pedal function, in other words, as a foot-controlled, set-it-and-it-stays-that-way knob?

    Truly, I'm new at even thinking about doing anything but directly linking my three on/off effects "pedals," dialing in what I want by hand, and fiddling w/ my guitar and amp's controls. So this is both new to me, and, as obsessive as I am about chasing tones, not one of my cognitive skills areas anyway.

    Thanks again, and anyone else's advice welcome, too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  15. KCStratMan

    KCStratMan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas City
    An expression pedal is simply an accessory controller pedal that changes a voltage signal from-and-back-to other devices to control their parameters up or down. Expression pedals do not contain any sound processing themselves. Most rack-mount effects units and some advanced effects pedals, such as the Eventide Factor series stompboxes and H9, accept expression pedals as external controllers. You simply program any parameter, let's say wet/dry mix, to be swept up and down by the expression pedal, usually heel=0% - toe=100% but you can set any range in between. So, you would need a delay unit and a reverb unit that both accept expression pedals and then two expression pedals. This eliminates the possible added noise of external loops, switchers, mixers, etc. This may sound complicated at first but really it is very simple, however it does require you to invest in relatively expensive, sophisticated effects units that accept expression pedals as external controllers. MIDI controllers come from very simple switchers to very complex automated-multi-function controllers and are very useful for real-time control of multiple effects. Eventide, Strymon, and Moog are just a few of the high-end effects makers offering great controllability via expression pedal. Expression pedals from Boss, Ernie Ball, Mission Engineering, and many others are popular. An expression pedal is a simple passive potentiometer/resistor that cuts or passes the voltage signal from the master device, so no battery or external power supply is required. There are also mid-priced multi-effects units with built in expression pedals like Digitech, etc. To "swell in" an OD pedal it would have to be in a loop with a Volume Pedal, not an expression pedal.
     
  16. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Ah, now I am getting it! I'll have to replace those effects boxes I already own that don't accept expression pedals, but that's okay. I've waiting a long time to get my equipment right, and now I know what I really want.

    Do you have any personal favorite reverb, delay, and distortion stompboxes (ones that accept expression pedals) that you'd recommend? I generally like big versions of traditional spring/plate reverb, rich rather than varied/spacy delays, and UN-metal dirt.

    Thanks so much again. You've been extremely helpful.
     
  17. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,296
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    Looking at the range of control you want. I'd not out of hand discount midi and patchable fx units to give you the tones AND simplicity. Esp for having lots of combinations of time based stuff like delay, chorus, reverb, etc. The midi controllers can be as simple as five switches or have a couple of expression pedals to assign to a particular fx level.

    I am of the view that a rats nest of wires, endlessly having to reach down to make minor changes and the 'one tone per pedal' limits of the pedal board approach a bit strange and swapping pedals for expression pedal versions is a potential route to more chaos and cost rather than elegance in my view. Nothing funnier than watching a guitarist with a floor full of stuff spending half the gig and all the gaps between songs making adjustments. I've played lots of years and been into and out of pedals but my rack is always there doing gig after gig.

    You could get a simple but great sounding rack fx unit like an old yamaha spx990 or a Lexicon MX (very cheap and reverbs sounds great and simple pedal like direct control knobs) and have nice patches with different levels of fx mix and just use a midi footswitch to move from one to another. The patch shifts overlap nicely on modern units. It's elegant. You could have several patches for each song.

    I'd then just have a boost, compressor and a nice mild OD on the floor and maybe a wah... In fact that is exactly what I have!
     
  18. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Watched some demos of the Eventide Space Reverb Pedal--and now I get that, too. Looks like a great unit, but may be too much sophistication and expense for me. Thanks again, KCStratMan.

    Anyone got any good reverb, delay, and OD pedals that take expression/volume pedals well?
     
  19. telen00b

    telen00b Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    212
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Yeah, I made my system assuming he'd want his original pedals. When you go digital, you can do anything!
     
  20. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    53
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Location:
    Lakehead,California
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.