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

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

  1. djhblues

    djhblues TDPRI Member

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    I share duties on guitar with another guy in a worship band ( my other gig is a blues band when we can ditch the covid) . I use a modest pedal board and he uses the Helix. For what we do, he can get some great sounds, specifically to build patches for verse, chorus, also patch for the next tune. Its sounds good...but not for me. Too much tweaking, building, and I don't have the patience. I have a TC Nova System- I wanted it to work, very good sounds...and again not for me. I hated the tap tempo, it worked in reverse. Its in the box now. Give me pedals .
     
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  2. Tark1

    Tark1 TDPRI Member

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    I have used digital multi effects in the past. For me the biggest pain is the user interface. DMX very often have a very limited number of rotary controls which are assigned to multiple uses depending on selection from a menu. Menu's are often multi-level, so selecting the parameter you want to change is tiresome. Digital whine is usually down to using a poor power supply and / or bad grounding.
    Analogue pedals usually do only one thing, often very well and the rotary controls are always right there on the front panel.
     
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  3. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I'm an old guy and old school. (59, been playing for 45 years). To me it is what javin248 said, "Modelers have a complexity problem. Either a thousand switches or six switches and a hundred menus deep." Plus, IMHO most of the sounds inside the all-in-one doo-mah-jigs sound plastic to me. If you buy one you're pretty much stuck with what's inside.

    And I'll never be any kind of Line 6 customer. For one, I don't like how they constantly out-date what they made last week with next week's just-got-to-have-it, so I won't spend my money to encourage a company to keep doing that... And as far as a Helix goes, looks like a nightmare of manual reading and butt time to first figure out where everything is, then to figure out how to program the thing... just looks like a complete nightmare to me... and way over-priced. When on Earth do I ever have $1,500-$1,700 all at one time to guarantee my misery in manual reading and butt time frustration.

    I like single pedals. One pedal, 3 to 5 knobs or so, one maybe two switches on the front. Take it out of the box, plug it in, click the switch, instant gratification (most times).

    I remember when the all-in-one rack effects were all the rage in the 1980s. I never liked all-in-ones then, I still don't like them now.

    Enter my latest passion... I might be an old fart but there is a company who has engineered their effects boxes for us old farts, and still give plenty of use-ability, function and choices, without being an "all-in-one" behemoth.

    SOURCE AUDIO

    With their One Series of pedals:
    https://www.sourceaudio.net/products-one-series.html

    ...if you buy one... first, the face is easy to use and understand right out of the box, no manual necessary. I think folks might call that an "intuitive" interface. A word I would not ever associate with an all-in-one effects unit. They are anything BUT intuitive (like the BOSS RV-500 reverb I wasted my money on).

    PLUS >>> using their very easy to use and install (and FREE) Neuro desktop editor
    https://www.sourceaudio.net/editorsandfirmware.html

    ...one of their One Series pedals becomes a dozen or more effects. For example, if you buy their L.A. Lady Overdrive, plug it in to you USB, fire up the Neuro Editor, you get 50 more algorithms of overdrives/fuzzes/distortions/preamps. And a very easy to understand GUI interface for the software. No degree in rocket science required...

    I have their Ventris Dual-Reverb and their Nemesis Delay (and all but one or two of the entire One Series line on order).

    In brief, here is my experience with a BOSS RV-500. Unboxed it, plugged it in, went through all 12 factory presets and realized they were all terrible, every one. Not having any kind of intuitive front panel, the ONLY way I was going to get even ONE decent sound out of the thing was to put pillows on the bench and get ready for hours and hours (and hours) of butt time reading the War and Peace sized manual (which is really better used as a marketing tool than it is to actually tell you how to use the thing).

    That was enough of that and I ran it down to the local store and sold it wholesale as fast as possible to get the wretched thing out of my site.

    Now enter Source Audio Nemesis Delay and Ventris Dual-Reverb. Took the reverb out of the box, plugged it in, hit the switch... went through all 12 factory presets... The sounds were so soul-inspiring I started to write new songs the first day I brough it home. Gorgeous reverbs and a super duper easy VERY INTUITIVE front face I could twiddle immediately and make adjustments to the already awesome sounds coming out of it. WELL WORTH the price of the price...

    Ditto with the Nemesis Delay. Easy interface, immediately great tones without even needing to look at the cover of the manual, let alone waste what's left of my 59 years of life reading a stupid manual.

    I think some of the gear out there today is way way over-engineered. And not just Line 6. Strymon is another one, they make cool sounds but I'm not about to sit down with a Mobius manual just to figure out how THEY decided I should use the pedal. To me that's like learning Chinese or Japanese. Or having somebody tell me I have to learn how to read music before I can play guitar. I already know how to use pedals... put it on the floor, plug it in, twiddle the 3 to 5 knobs, hit the switch, voila, that's the only user manual I need. But they demand YOU learn THEIR way or the thing sits their looking all Strymon pretty. I'll throw the BOSS 500 series in there... I had about zero fun with the RV-500 reverb on day one through about 15.

    Here's a scale model I made recently (using MS-Excel) for my Source Audio (and others) pedalboard:
    Pedalboard 1-30-21 (proposed scale model).jpg

    With this board I can do the cover music for Praise and Worship they want me to do at church to learn the music "just like the CD"... so I need to have all types of effects.

    With the Disaster Area DPC-5 MIDI controller, and a Source Audio Neuro Hub (which is mounted on the underside of my board), all of the One Series pedals have 128 MIDI presets. (Figuring that thing out is my next challenge).

    The signal is mono only for the first few effects...

    KORG Pitchblack Tuner >> Diamond Compressor >> EHX Pitchfork Pitch Shifter

    Once I enter the forst SA effect (the L.A. Lady Overdrive) the signal becaomes stereo to the front of house...

    Pedalboard 3-14-20 - 02 back.JPG

    This is the underside of my board. The Strymon Zuma didn't need me to fiddle faddle with a manual to use... and creates 500mA out of each output. Seemed to be he best choice for me.

    In the upper right in this picture is a GFI Cabzeus speaker and mic placement simulator and direct box. The outputs of this unit go direct to front of house via XLR cables. Praise and Worship music like to have a low stage volume, so my mix comes out of the Cabzeus. Much like folks running a Line 6 Helix, I don't need an amp.

    We don't use wedge monitors on stage, instead everything is routed to a more modern in-ear system. Then each musician has their own mini mixer to set up the mix they want to hear in their ears.

    Here's more pics, a description and some YouTubes of the Cabzeus:
    https://motorcityguitar.com/product...ng-simulator-di-w-midi?variant=16429727285314

    I have it underneath my board because it is a rather "set it and forget it" thing... plus it is also MIDI, so if I wanted to pre-program some changes I could save them as MIDI presets.

    There might be some other stuff a Helix can do, but I have every base covered I need to cover with this setup, minus the eye reddening manual reading for every last single effect or patch. Doesn't doesn't sound like playing guitar and having fun to me. Sounds more like learning Chinese and computer programming at the same time. I seriously think there is a whole bunch of folks buying these Helix units just for bragging rights in guitar forums. Much like the same Line 6-heads that rushed to try to tell me a while back the Line 6 M13 was the best thing since sliced bread and everybody on Earth JUST HAD TO HAVE ONE if they wanted to be anybody in the gear forums...

    I still have my 1979 ProCo Rat distortion I bought new in 1979.... Three knobs of bliss...
    DSCF0361.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  4. Lyle2010

    Lyle2010 TDPRI Member

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    I have embraced multi effects units, simply due to their cost effectiveness. I agree there is a bit of digital haze that can occur over the tone. But it's a trade-off for me given the convenience and the price multi effects can offer. I can avoid the inorganic sound of an overdrive, because I tend not to rely on them. I route the unit through the effects loop of my Mesa MKIV, I leave the tone shaping and grit to the preamp, and use the Multi-Effector for the other stuff. It's still not ideal, but I realized a long time ago that the only person who gives a $##t about my tone, is me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
  5. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Holic

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    Yep. I am an electronics nerd and I love to tinker. The simple Taiwan Boss pedals are my favorite because if I mess up I'm not destroying a valuable pedal. The boards are also easy to work on. If you message me I can give more details so we don't clutter up this thread.
     
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  6. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I take it that you haven't seen their EQ2. I don't doubt that their other pedals might be easy to use, so I guess they dropped the ball on this one. Almost everything is accessed by using a single encoder to navigate a menu displayed on a matrix of LED's in place of a real display. Functionally it's a nice pedal, but the interface verges on atrocious. I knob for tweaking 10 bands of parametric eq with band, frequency, gain, and q parameters.

    If you ask me, any pedal that requires a connection to a computer or phone to get the most out of it is doing the pedal thing very wrong. And same goes for pedals with onboard menus in general. Pedals should have all their parameters immediately accessible with enough knobs and buttons to get everything done without menu diving. To me, when a pedal has so many options and settings as to require a menu (or secondary function knobs), it is essentially a multi-effects processor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  7. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    For playing with my little band I use a small pedalboard. For homepractice, funstuff, experimentation and sologigs a line6 pod go.
     
  8. charliejones78

    charliejones78 TDPRI Member

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    Home player that recently got
    back into electric (COVID cliche). 4 kids, limited space, and volume restrictions. I ended up buying an HX Stomp.

    In addition to complying with my home situation, it also has me focusing more on playing. I’m not gassing out wondering what pedal may or may not get me there. I realize that takes the fun out of it for a lot of folks.

    Do I spend hours on the weekend trying out crazy stuff and tweaking new patches? Yes. That’s tough to do (and expensive) with pedals and amps. So I think the debates can go both ways depending on the player and their situation.
     
  9. 3fngrs

    3fngrs Friend of Leo's

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    I understand how to use pedals and I don't want to learn how to use a processor.

    I'm a Luddite.
     
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  10. Zoot Zoot

    Zoot Zoot TDPRI Member

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    My Boss GT-5 still delivers.
    It was expensive in its day but gave great sounds, tweakable and easy to save and recall. Solidly built and reliable so no reason to get a lot of individual pedals.
    (I do have other pedals but they don't get much use really)
     
  11. Reivaj

    Reivaj TDPRI Member

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    Hmm... my 2 cents: if any multifx unit has modulation fx as good sounding as the Eventide one’s I’d rather have that than mediocre analog fx boxes.
    Other outstanding digital mod fx include some of the ones in the Yamaha Montage/MODX synths. The modelled moog filter they included I an update is stunning realistic, including delicious saturation and how it interacts with the resonance.

    I sometimes feel I should get rid of my fuzz boxes and boosts and have a compact and convenient digital unit instead so this thread is very interesting to me. Thanks!
     
  12. Reivaj

    Reivaj TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the link to that video: Wow.
     
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  13. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I haven't avoided them - I've been using a Line6 Pod HD400 straight into the PA for around the last 8-10 years for rehearsals and gigs. It's much lighter, much simpler to switch from song to song since I can have up to 32 preset channels with various amp sims/effects, and 99.9% of the crowd hears no difference when we're playing. I'm a pragmatist that way. I've gotten a 'negative' comment one time, and that was when I was using a Digitech unit that preceded the HD400. And I still think that was more a case of the guy listening with his eyes. I saw him looking around at our gear somewhat puzzled for about 5 minutes. And his comment was "I love your playing, and you guys sound great, but you need to get yourself a tube amp".
    If playing through a sweet boutique amp is your thing, have at it. Just be cognizant that almost no one but you is going to hear a big difference.
     
  14. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’m not either. I use both of mine in manual mode. So they operate just like a regular pedal board. They’re just more convenient. If I had to make patches to use them I’d have never bought them.
     
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  15. raymand

    raymand TDPRI Member

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    That,s what I have...and I love it.
     
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  16. daveIT

    daveIT Tele-Holic

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    Too many options make me confused
     
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ha! Blast from the past! I had an RP1. I bought one the first time I was ever in a band that went “silent stage”. All three guitar players used them. It did pretty much suck. But that was 30 years ago. Things have come a looooong way since then.
     
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  18. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve gigged with a Nova for years now. The drive is fine. I don’t use the “distortion” do I don’t know how cool it is. I’ve never turned it on. But the overdrive is very cool.
     
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  19. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    This, and nobody has a multi-board that has my sounds. I hate using cursor windows and like to have the physical controls at my command.

    Obligatory pic

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. 3fngrs

    3fngrs Friend of Leo's

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    That's a lot of pedals! How do you avoid signal loss and noise?

    Also, how do you like the Polytune? I've been thing about one of those.
     
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