My FIRST floor setup! HELP!!!! (I'm drowning...)

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by ModernCellist, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    Warning: long post with multiple questions. If I need to break this into multiple threads, please let a mod know and I will break it up.

    Thank you for reading and any advice you all can give!!!!!


    **********************************************

    I'm trying to figure out what is the "best" route is for a live looping setup. Starting from scratch, money is the factor. I spent hours last night doing "homework" and decided that the Boss RC range is too pricey, considering I can get 3 Jam Man Exp XTs (sync) for 300 total plus 250 left for FX for the same price as the RC-300.

    My options left are:

    1) iPad with interface/dock and midi floorboard (loopy HD)
    2) MultiFX board (some include a looper) plus loopers
    3) A board of JOYO plus loopers


    option 1 seems simple ($99 dock, $150 behringer pedals, $25 in apps) but my iPad 2 might not be powerful enough to run all the sims and loops and I feel I would lose control.

    Option 2 leaves me stumped for which MFX (let's revisit this in a moment)

    Option 3 might not be reliable, but it look fun to build...

    ____________________________________________________________

    These are the FX I think I would use:

    (current prices from Amazon.com)

    FX Danelectro JOYO Behringer

    EQ (as top boost?) $28 $32 $25
    Delay $25 $36 $25
    Trem/Vibrato $40 $31 $25
    OD $12 $33 $25
    Blues OD $15 $35 $30
    Phaser $50 $31 $25

    I estimate that the pedals would total between 140 and 200. I would also need a one-spot ($40) and a board (I can make myself, or do an IKEA thing)

    total $250

    All of these fx are available in an MFX board, and would be more versatile (but I really like tactile control, one of the reasons I'm leaving the computer composing world).
    ________________________________________________________________

    Some MFX units I'm considering:

    Fender Mustang Floor: $200
    Zoom G3X: $200
    Zoom G5: $300
    Vox VDL1: 250 (2 of them would get me 4 loops and a few fx)

    The Mustang seems to double as a MIDI floorboard (could be nice to have anyway, $50 more than Behringer bfc1010) BUT it seems the FX loop gets placed IN FRONT of the signal path (like putting a pedal before the board, but using the board to control it...) so a looper in the front is not super. BUT it's cheap, metal, fender... and sounds great.

    Zoom G3X: well, I don't know zoom really, but this seems cheap, has a nice interface, not so solid as the Mustang Floor, but the pedals can go in any order (and with Mustang you get 1 stomp, 1 mod, 1 delay, 1 reverb. Thats it per patch. CAn't do a chorus into a wahwah afaik)
    Pros: cheap, functional, sounds decent, has a looper built in
    Cons: cheap (build), only 3 buttons, not as pretty

    Zoom G5: seems the same as the G3X, though the tube boost sounds great in demo's I've heard. Also, much prettier than the 3GX (imo). Only $299, seems like as good of a deal as the Fender for $199.

    Vox VDL1/LL: Maybe not as durable? Not as many FX, but doubles as loopers. Also has an XLR input so I could incorporate my cello without as much of a hassle. Doesn't look as tactile or "pro" but runs on AA batteries I think! (also I love Vox/Korg)
    _______________________________________________________________

    As for loopers (I don't need memory saving, this is for LIVE performance.)

    Ditto: $100
    Jam Man Express XT: $100 (and they can sync)
    Vox LL: $160 (2 loops, that's 80 each)
    Vox VDL1: $250 (2 loops, that's 125 each, BUT there is XLR input (and some extra FX?)

    The most I ever imagine using is 3. If I had 4, MAYBE I'd find a use? idk.

    _______________________________________________________________

    BREAKDOWN

    3 loops (or 4, for Vox) and at least the board of FX

    ==================

    RC-300: $550 (plus some extra FX?)
    3x Ditto + board: $550
    3x JMexT + board: $550
    2 Vox LL + board: $520 (4 loops)
    2 Vox VDL1: $500 (plus some fx? 4 loops)

    _______________________________________________________________

    Final Thoughts:

    I would like a way to connect at least 1 mic to whatever I use (vocals and cello). Worst case I use a mixer, but I don't know about the line level out into guitar pedals?

    if I get an MFX with a loop (G3X), I could get 2 external FX pedals, but how could I get them to sync with the loop in the MFX pedal?

    If I do a board, I can start small and build slow (less $$ up front, start w only a delay and blues OD?)

    If I get an MFX with modeling, should I end up with an amp with an FX loop so I can patch into the power amp and bypass the pre? Do I really need a FRFR system for cello/vocals anyway?

    If you made it this far, thank you SO MUCH and I hope this thread can help lots of other people who are also feeling overwhelmed with options!
     
  2. Meshgearfox

    Meshgearfox Tele-Meister

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    I'm probably adding confusion, but the tc Voicelive 3 might be a good 1 box solution. Multi fx, 3 part looping and separate guitar/ mic inputs.

    Are you using a looper now? If so, what do you like or dislike about it?
     
  3. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    Dang! Awesome post, I feel like I've had my workout for the day.

    So, I read it through a few times to get the gist of what you were asking. There are differing questions here that may or may not have to be connected.

    In my mind I separated them into three basic questions, all of what have multiple excellent threads here to help you (if you search for them separately).


    1) "I'm new to pedals and am building my first board from scratch, what about X, Y, and Z pedals?"

    There are plenty of threads about what pedals are essential, what if you could only have four pedals, how can I get the most out of budget pedals, etc...

    I've my share of Behringer pedals and think they can be great. I also have a few $pendy boutique pedals that give me hassles. In the middle ground, you often get what you pay for. You're talking about a live rig to be used in public, not something you'll use to loop your postmodern opera in your basement, so I'd look for quality over quantity.

    You mention starting with just a few (OD, delay) and adding as you go. Excellent idea. There are millions of threads about which OD or delay pedal is right for you (those two questions alone dominate most of the threads in the Stomp Box forum).

    We're living in a new Golden Age for pedal lovers. There are a new breed of makers, like Brian Wampler, Catalinbread, Analogman, who are doing amazing things (they can be co$tly things, but...). I'm also not afraid of recommending a BOSS Blues Driver and DD-7 to you. Read some threads.


    2) "Should I skip individual pedals and go with a good multi-effect unit?"

    Plenty of threads tackle this question with lots of opinions both ways. I have a MFX-laden modeling amp AND a bunch of pedals. I tend not to use them together (I have simpler amps for my pedals). In then end, I like the convenience of the all-in-one amp, but like the fun of mixing and matching pedals.

    Playing live, I don't tend to do a lot of on-the-fly pedal work, normally, I set it and forget it. I'm starting to change, however, and that's started to change my choices. For live work, I want rock-solid SIMPLE stuff that sounds great. That's all.

    I like the VOX ToneLab/StompLab stuff. Nowadays, the newer Mustang stuff seems hard to beat. I've looked at the ZOOM mfx units, but am not really tempted. If I were buying today, I'd go with individual pedals. Do some reading.


    3) "I want to loop live, what should I do?"

    This is the *real* question and one I'm only able to hit lightly. I don't know how complex your looping life is going to be--it seems like managing loops is going to be a centerpiece of your work.

    If that's the case, I'd suggest looking for looping threads here (there are some) that deal with what pros use. Hint: it's Rock solid and simple.

    I have a BOSS RC-3. Heard good things, got it for birthday, wanted to crush it after ten minutes. WAY too much in a small pedal. I'd NEVER try to gig with it (many do, and love it). I'd need to add an extension pedal, and if that's the case, i should have gotten the double-pedal version (DD-20?).

    I know many pro loopers love the Boomerang stuff. It's expensive, but if it's going to be What You Do, don't be cheap here. The new Ditto looks like an answer to all my frustrations with the RC-3, but it's not a pedal for the Loop Jockey (who needs to manage multiple simultaneous loops, pre-reordered loops, etc...).

    For me and my VERY limited use, live looping is all about "How easy are the controls?"

    Find out what the heck Jacob Moon uses:



    [He seems to be using small looper stomps, he's a better man than I am.]


    So. I'll stop now. In review: break down your questions and you'll find TONS of materials. Start building your rig slowly, finding the right balance of price/quality for YOU, emphasizing what's most important about YOUR use of pedals.

    [edit] re-reading your last thoughts (voice), you might want to move away from an amp to a small PA-based system (plenty of opinions on this, both ways) and an emulated amp sound. I've toyed with this idea. Many pedals today are small amp emulators.


    Peace, and let us know how it goes. Welcome to the Stomp Box forum, the most-fun forum for people who have too many guitars!
     
  4. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    Also, if you're going to celloing, you'll be sitting. Make sure you factor that in. How easy will this rig be to use sitting down, without good top-down sightlines?
     
  5. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    Wow, thanks for the massive reply!

    Those are kind of the breaking points, yes, but the part of real pedals vs mFx was: is it *generally* better to spend $200-300 on a decent mFx or to budget that much for an entire board? (When I phrase it like that, the answer seems to be easier to say mFx...)

    I plan to have one loop layered with a blues progression or a rock riff or a jazz idea, one to layer up some cello (like a pad), the vocals would go on that same pad (layered chords) loop, and the third would be rhythm (string tapping, cello body tapping, claps, tambourine, etc.)

    That said, I might want to have one layer have some OD (a low riff layered in the same loop as the blues progression), so I will be turning them on and off sometimes. Depending on the song, I would play lead guitar, cello, or sing over the top for each song, so I planned to have mic's on booms and do the whole thing sitting anyway. Is this ever a problem for guitarists with boards? (I guess my pedals will last longer if I don't stand on them...)


    Sounds like you're hinting to get the RC-300 and slowly build a board in front of it, but it seems so spendy... I did get one JamMan Express XT, and there isn't really anything I dislike about it (the switch isn't very tactile...) and multiple pedals can sync (ditto can't), so I figured on 3 Jam Man Express pedals ($300) plus some FX, but you're right - this is the main part of my thing, and it seems like most people use Boss. The 505 that just came out looks way nice, but it's tabletop and no feet allowed :(


    PS: part of my problem seems to be a bit of GAS for that Mustang Floor, and the FX loop is at the wrong spot in the chain! What were they thinking?!?! It's killing me... Also, I'm not sure if the RC300 has assignable outs. I don't want my cello going through the amp (or amp modeler) but I need all the guitar parts to go the an amp. With pedals, I can isolate the chains, or at least use A/B switches.
     
  6. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    I'd go with mustang floor followed by 1 jamman solo XT plus fsx3 foot switch and 2 jamman express synced up. I like having dedicated buttons the fsx3 provide . Plus XT side loading of stock loops a plus, you never know in future, bringing in some bongos, bass synth or special effects as a base loop may be just what you want to do, and you'll be able to. To me loop storage is never a bad thing to have at your disposal as a tool to use.

    And also a good volume pedal after it all is nice for fading in and out.
     
  7. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I don't know much about looping, but I'll be a Debbie Downer and point out a potential problem. It has to do with power. I noticed you mentioned a One Spot, but I believe you're underestimating the importance/cost/ass-biting potential of pedal power supplies. Theoretically, any two pedals sharing a power supply will cause a ground loop, putting hum and noise into your rig. In practice, my rule of thumb is that ground loops start to be a problem once you get to about five pedals on a non-isolated power supply.

    The solution is an isolated supply. The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ is the industry standard, powers eight pedals, and costs about $180.

    If I were you , I'd put that money into a multieffects board. Starting out, it's better to get the variety a multiFX provides that to work about exactly which OD you prefer. Most have a built-in looper, though I'm not sure how capable they are. Look at the Boss ME-70 and new ME-80.
     
  8. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I didn't know that a ground loop was a literal loop in the ground buss **mind=blown** that's useful to know... Makes the multiFX boards look infinitely more appealing to start with!

    The loopers are capable enough for my needs, but I need more than one, (which can be expanded later of course) and more importantly, they're not always in the same place in the chain. If the insert loop on the Mustang Floor was post FX pre Preamp, it would work just fine.

    @DaveKS if I'm going to spend 200 instead of 100 for one of the loopers (and honestly I won't use backing tracks. I might sit on a cajon instead of a chair, though. I'll have my own percussion) I would at least get the stereo since it has an XLR in BUT it's not of the XT series so I don't think it can sync with the Express...

    Also, I don't know how it would sound if I put the looper pedal after the preamp and power amp - it would be like using a mic for an RC-300 and putting the mic in front of the guitar amp... Would that be the stupidest thing ever? I thought so, but now that I typed it, maybe it's not?

    I'm not a guitarist by nature, so please feel free to let me know what I don't know!
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Have you searched among the folks that make their music with loopers?
    When I was looking to buy a looper I read a lot of forum stuff by the particular breed of musician that plays these things like instruments.
    This thread isn't like those, being mostly guitar players that use loopers, as opposed to looper players that play multi instruments.
    A lot of gear choices seemed to revolve around how they assembled the music, with specifics re which gear would and wouldn't accomplish various approaches.
    I was able to assemble little or no understanding beyond that playing loopers is playing a musical instrument. Maybe I'm even wrong about that.
    Find those looper players!
     
  10. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    You don't remember what forum that was, do you?

    And yes, some people play loopers like instruments (like ableton Live with an APC40 or Push), but I am trying to avoid being to technical like that and being more of a musician and less of an engineer.

    Most of them use Boss pedals or computers.

    I think I will be going with a multiFX that has a looper for now (still, that fender pedal looks like sex). Found a local deal on a used Marshall VS100 ($100 head, $100 cab, I'll talk him down...) and use a G3 or G5 - I've been listening to demos and they sound fantastic.

    I will try to use non-sync'ed loopers and see if I can do it manually (I think I'll only try this for a day and then give up!)
     
  11. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

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    Non synced loopers will drive you absolutely crazy. You might think you've nailed it and for the first three playthroughs on your loop, you might have.

    If you were off on timing a loop by a fraction of a second the first time, it'll be twice as much on the next repeat, and then twice that the next time. It ends up being a train wreck. Same thing playing with a drum machine and a looper (unless its built in). Even playing with a real drummer gets tricky.

    Before you buy all this stuff at one time, buy your looper and try it out to get a feel for it.
     
  12. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    I have a Digitech JamMan Express XT and figured out how to use it pretty quick, but you're right, even with my timing (which I maintain is very good for a bow player...) it will train wreck quick.

    I wish they could sync with a multiFX pedal... Does DigiTech even make mFx pedals?

    Maybe I need to call up one of these companies and have a chat about a product they aren't making but should...
     
  13. CT SA

    CT SA TDPRI Member

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    My .02

    my looping setup is guitar- eq pedal -multi-effect (digitech RP-500) - delay pedal - jamman solo xt ( with footswitch) - p.a. or keyboard amp.

    This allows a lot different sounds. Like you plan to do, I loop blues and jazz progressions. The plan is to add another loop jamman pedal. The jamm-sync is why I went with Digitech not Boss or Ditto.
     
  14. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    So is the rp500 line level out to the looper? Also, you have amp modeling before the looper - is that a problem? Wouldn't you rather (for a traditional sound) go

    gtr->fx->looper->amp(real or modeled)->PA

    That is what I'm trying to do and it seems to be tough to find what I'm looking for...
     
  15. CT SA

    CT SA TDPRI Member

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    From rp500 to delay to looper is line level. On Jamman solo if you use TRS connectors the out signal is balanced (another reason I chose the Digitech Jamman).

    I prefer multi-fx before looper so that my loop isn't affected when I changes sounds mid song.

    I play in a variety musical contexts (jazz,fusion,blues,hardrock,world) so having a the above rig means I can take the same gear to all my gigs and still get the sounds. I need for each gig. Easier on the back and the budget. If I were to use traditional amp set-up I would different amps and pedal for each project. Going digital has gives much more flexibility.
     
  16. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    Yea you pretty much have to do it that way unless your mFx has a assignable post Efx loop, otherwise when you change effects your previously sampled loop also changes Efx.

    For a example of a full featured floor effect with those kind of features look at the TC G-System. Way out your price range though I'm afraid.

    My old rack mount ART SGX2000 as well as some of the Digitech rack units had those kinds of capabilities as well. It has 1 post preamp mono loop as well as a assignable stereo loop.

    Of current floor unit in a price rang you might go for Line 6 seem to have what you need.
     
  17. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    It seems the new zoom units can arrange pedals in any order (and the fender is fixed at (insert)->Stomp->mod->delay->reverb which is a shame because the build quality and fender models sound great)

    I just came into possession of a Marshall VS100 head and line6 spider IV 4x12 so I think I'll run an amp modeling MFX board into the fx return for the solid state power amp, should be clean. If I do this, I should bypass any cab modeling, right? Even though the line6 cab was made for a spider head (that probably has cab modeling, I think...?)

    Lastly, a buddy told me he has a zoom 7g board that he'll sell, but from your experiences, should I hold out for a newer model or even some sans-amp type pedals (joyo for my budget...)?
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hey, sorry I don't remember what forums I found looper crazies on, but a lot of the posts were calling out those companies about how their products should work and interface.
    I ended up buying a boss RC30 and never even trying to learn how to use it, but I'm drowning in projects and have trouble keeping my voice down operating a laptop computer.
    I'm pretty sure you can sync most loopers, at least within their own system, right?
    Why would you run multiple loopers together and not sync them? A Bill Frisell meets Philip Glass nightmare? I could see that being interesting, as long as they were never even close. Like growing a Bonsai, let grow, then prune.
    Just trying to understand at least what I don't know...
     
  19. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    Assume you mean Zoom G7? How much $$$ is big question.

    The cab is probably a stock guitar cab, Celestion loaded, the line 6 head probably mainly used amp models and then a little tweaking of speaker response curve to simulate different amp/speaker configurations.

    If your gonna be throwing more at it than just guitar a mFx unit will probably be best. Of current mFx the line 6 seem best for your use. You can assign the effects loop anywhere you like in the chain on a preset to preset basis. You can pick up used Pod HD500 models pretty cheap used all day long. Look them up and see how it compares to zoom price wise.

    Zoom always left me a little meh when I tried them out, but I did like the warmth of the actual tube on its drive sounds even though I know it's running that tube in a starved plate design. The digital effects like chorus, delay and reverb are what was a let down to me with Zoom. From your description of what you'll be doing think those digital effects will be of major importance to you. I'd wouldn't go over $150-170 for zoom, line 6 will cost you about $250-300 used.

    Also I'll touch on your previous post about not needing features of XT model of jamman. The main reason I suggested it was the ability to add the optional footswitch to it for 1 tap undo/redo of overdubs. Trying to use a single button and remember single, double, tap and hold functions in mid onstage mayhem is hard for me. I've got the extra FS on my jamman delay and would never go back to to not using it even though it already has 4 dedicated buttons for the looper section just like the JM stereo. Playing and trying to do double taps/tap holds at same time as playing was a disaster for me when trying to undo/redo loop layers. Maybe your one of the ones that could do timing and complicated pedal press all at same time, just know I couldn't do it.

    The fact that it could also be used access stored loop was just a icing on cake feature that you may or may not want to take advantage of in future.

    Another point of XT over express is that it also has a aux stereo in that can be used simultaneously with the reg guitar input. Want to sample some cajon, vocals, hand percussion from your mic/mixer, XT can do it, express can't.

    You can pick up XT easily on eBay all day for $140 like new.

    And yes it really is shame that digitech doesn't make a usable mFx that has the jamsync port built in. That would be killer. Digitech really seems to have lost their way totally in mFx pedal. Line 6 and TC are pounding them there, Vox and fender even seem to have units that are heads and shoulder above anything digitech offers currently.

     
  20. ModernCellist

    ModernCellist TDPRI Member

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    Just got an RC-2 in a trade and it can NOT sync with other BOSS loopers. (Plus it's sucking tone, I'll sell/trade it soon...)

    I will get another Jam Man Express, but he'll, it would be nice if it could tempo sync to an mFx for delay, reverb tail time, phaser, etc. I know the loopers built into the mFx boards probably do this, but only one loop...

    And hey, maybe I'll try some train-wreck carnage, but I can't even listen to Revolution Number 9 all the way through, so I'm sure my post-modern loop compositions won't last long haha...
     
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