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Pedal people: Why have you avoided multi-effects processors?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by trxx, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I have come very close to buying a newer effects processor multiple times, having owned a few in the distant past. Then I go again and read about them and listen to the demos, and I can't make myself do it. I'm not talking about amp sim stuff, just effects.

    First for me is the sound of the effects. Dirt stuff either has that digital raw sound (Boss for example) or comes close to the analog counterparts (Helix for example) but with lackings in the mids and dynamics that I always hear from digital clipping stuff. Modulations don't have the same depth, sounding more like a modulated mask on the signal rather than being a solid part of the signal (why is this anyway?). Spring reverbs don't have near enough complexity or have that murky and undynamic IR sound. Analog and tape delays often sound thin, washed out, lacking in complexity and fidelity.

    Then there is the noise. With pedals there are solutions to noise problems. With processors, you get what you get, which is very often digital whine and requires use of a noise gate. I would never use a noise gate, given what it does to the fundamental signal. There is an irony here in that digital is often heralded as being superior to analog, but I never met a multi-effects processor that didn't have noise issues.

    Some of the processors tend to have reliability issues. When I read up on Helix for example, lots of people reported failing scribble strips, switches, joysticks, expression pedals. And that leads into another issue. If something on the processor goes down, your whole effects rig is gone. Maye you can get it serviced outside of the warranty period, maybe not. And at what cost? And given the cost of the things, that is a big rotten egg to swallow. If a pedal goes down, you're out the price of pedal at worst.

    I'm not trying to dog on effects processors here. Just being real about why I haven't bitten and likely won't in the future. If you have avoided effects processors, what is it that has kept you away?
     
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  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    F44C0C3B-6D26-4886-B60B-1563FCAF21DB.jpeg
     
  3. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    A few things come to mind for me.
    I have gone both ways. Individual pedals and processors.
    That being said, for the stay at home player, a good processor will get you 90% to 95% there tone wise. But getting to that 95% can be a tedious painstaking process. It involves spending the time to select and tweak many settings.
    On the other hand, with individual pedals, you plug it in, tweak a few knobs that are right in front of you and away you go.
    Individual pedals can be more versatile by stacking them in the arrangement you want, turning them on and off at will.
    Lastly, many players use only a couple or 3 total pedals, one of those being the tuner. Many players have no need for the complicated set up of a processor.

    I currently own 2 processors that I am stringing in series. Talk about some crazy sounds! Not necessarily saying great sounds, just crazy different. I've been on a weird kick lately.
     
  4. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    I’m old.
    Pedals are tried n true
     
  5. Little Red Tele

    Little Red Tele Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    i like to keep it simple. straight in through a dirt pedal, one button crunch. Knob-fiddling is not for me.
     
  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    My GT100 and previous Yamaha floor units and lexicon and yamaha rack gear don’t exhibit those issues.

    A row of pedals can generate hiss as much. You can also plug in your own dirt pedals in most better units in a loop.

    Only cheap multi-fx are bad.
     
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  7. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a Vox Tonelab with a dizzying array of amps, effects, etc. Here is my favorite scenario. Pick up guitar, tune it, turn on amp, play. I hate messing with knobs, buttons, sliders when i want to play. The Tonelab has sat in a bag for the last three years.
     
  8. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    The ones I've heard do everything OK, but nothing great. I have 4 distortion/overdrive pedals on my board because I want very specific sounds. I doubt any "all in one" could replicate them.
     
  9. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I forgot to mention that issue. Even with the best multi-effects interfaces, all the controls aren't immediately up front to tweak. That can be a huge pain and not an enjoyable experience.
     
  10. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I feel the same way. I thought about one of those Mooer Red Trucks. That's about as close as I've come, other than for reverb/delay/modulation.
     
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  11. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    For me it's the jack of all trades, master of none 'effect' (see what I just did there?).

    The processing power has to be shared. The signal quality is dependent on the D/A-A/D, and all or signal is usually converted from the get go. One has to be ok with the fact a maker prioritized something in their modeling of an effect, not the foibles and nuances, so sometimes it's a cartoon of the original.

    Everything else is more a direct trade off. Pedals fail. Cables fail. S**t happens. Most everyone can live with it. The ones who can't for some reason have a team to take care of it and many backups.

    It gets better over time they say. And it will, we just have to pick and choose when one wants to wait for life or go live it. Lol.
     
  12. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    While I'm sure advances have been made, I discovered early on that I'd rather spend $50 on one sound I really like than $100 on 79 I cant stand and 1 that sounds useable.

    Then a few years into playing, my neighbor bought a POD. It was lightyears better than the other multi units. Then I heard a line6 amp. It wasn't as good as the POD. Those sound awful in today's standards.

    Multi effects are eclipsed by high tier digital.

    I think i eventually just submitted to thoroughly enjoying the specific sounds i got from specific pedals.
    Today's digital pedals are 20 years ago's rack mount reverbs.

    I own more pedals now than when I gigged frequently.
     
  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Variety and swapping out when I feel like it.
     
  14. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    For me it's fun vs. practicality.

    I gigged with a multi-effects unit for years. It sounded fine with some tweaking, perfectly reliable, It was a Digitech RP-something. I was able to bring my rig from the car to the stage in one trip, set up and tuned in under 15 minutes.

    Individual pedals are way more fun, more flexible, sound better, etc. But they're not nearly as practical. These days I have a large, heavy, wooden pedalboard full of expensive pedals. It lives in my buddy's basement where my band plays. We don't gig. I would not want to carry that monstrosity to a bar, likely have to reconnect power cables and readjust knobs, all for some bozo to spill beer on hundreds of dollars worth of pedals. If I were gigging, I'd buy another multi-effects unit.
     
  15. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I use a Digi Tech RP 150 in all of my acoustic shows.

    It's on all of the time.

    I mostly use one patch for just a little: reverb/delay, chorus, compression and eq.

    And I have another patch set up for heavier chorusing; and another patch for tremolo.

    It's just easier for me to switch through these patches than to carry a bunch of pedals.

    Normally, they're so subtle that only I really know that they're being used.
     
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  16. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Last processor I owned I left at a friends house as a donation to his music room when I quit the band (not on bad terms). It did come in handy once in a while as a swiss army knife / better than nothing sort of thing. But I'm glad that I left it behind. It was a noisy sucker and everything was accessed via menu diving.
     
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  17. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Friend of Leo's

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    I try processors now and again, always to come back like a Pedalboard Phoenix.
    Thoughts:
    *do the processors allow full dynamics?
    *what happens when one of seven pedals go out live? what happens when one of one processors go out live?
    *is there ever that “it’s good enough to fool the average listener” going through ones mind?
     
  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Modelers have a complexity problem. Either a thousand switches or six switches and a hundred menus deep.

    [​IMG]


    By contrast, Pedals are fairly ... simple.

    [​IMG]


    Hendrix had around three pedals. He did ok.



    Joe B suggests you use your guitar knobs more often.



    Lee makes some great comments around the 18min through 25min range (from memory)
    'The 20 year old technology holds up quite well against the new modelers'.
    He gets asked by all the pedal/modeler companies about 'what product should we make next?' and he says to just make an updated the POD. (I would say to make it smaller, common 9v, rectangular for boards, and hammer out even easier UI/controls).


    There are the Behringer V-amp units though.


    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  19. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    It's way more fun to mix and match. banana.gif
     
  20. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    For me it's the options. I don't think there's a multi-effects unit that replicates exactly what my selection of pedals does.
     
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