Pros going digital?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Axegrinder77, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Some random thoughts on this...

    I think the new Strymon amp/IR pedal will really appeal to players who aren't up for the fiddly stuff with patches, mic placements in the IR and so forth that's common on Kemper, Helix and other modeler/profiler units. The Strymon reputation will probably bring in players who have been hesitant before to use any modeling.

    The 25 or so year old Sansamp still does pretty good, even better when used with an IR cab. I suspect a Rockman from the 80's would be the same. Overall, I think IR is the big game changer recently, especially with the price dropping into a very affordable range.

    Showmanship, especially in rock, almost requires a big backline of amp cabs. You may still see them at shows but they may only be there for the look. They could probably put cardboard cab props on stage and actually play through a modeler and fool 99% of the audience.
     
  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    You press the two top left buttons together and it instantly toggles into manual mode. The switches then toggle their respective ‘pedals’. Easy as a pedalboard. My patches are essentially different pedal boards.
     
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  3. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister

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    Well, I'm a professional (which I'd categorize as "sentence" more than "choice"...)
    I operate in a financially constrained world, but I get by.
    I've had a modeling choice in my traveling pedal setup for about five years. It's like a fire extinguisher (or a condom...)): you only use it if it's necessary.
    I'm not someone believes in good and bad and absolutes: I like tube amps because I grew up listening to them and always played them. Other methods aren't "bad," they're just different.
    But since I like tube amps, why would I use a copy if I don't have to?
    Modeling is fine, at times it sounds great. And it isn't volume-dependent, which can be a real help.
    But, all else aside, if you want a tube amp, modeling is - at least at some level - like a dog dancing:
    It isn't done well, but the wonder is that it's done at all.
     
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  4. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Cool. If you need to change the parameters of a pedal, do you simply "touch" it and then the dials control it?

    Also, once you are in a "patch" to give you a certain pedalboard, can you turn those on and off with the footswitch?

    Sorry for the mild derail, but I thought it might be tangentially helpful to the topic anyway.
     
  5. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I will throw my hat into the ring on this as it has been on my mind.

    First disclaimer, I play bass 80% of the time so as a guitarist my opinion might be nullified because of that statement. :)

    At my church we were setting up last week for a big event and as our church has gone sans amp on the stage we have direct boxes for two electric, an acoustic and the bass. I run a small pedal board (tuner<EQ<comp<drive<delay<verb into my Dr. J Sparrow (Bass Sansamp) pedal which serves as my sansamp and DI box. We have plenty of subs to make the stage shake if I should choose (and sometimes I do lol).

    So I show up for rehearsal, bass case and briefcase with the small board, plug the XLR into my board and I am ready to go.

    However we had three guitarist (acoustic and two electrics) from another church coming in to play this event. The acoustic was no problem, cable from guitar into the direct box and he is ready. However the two guitarist were both running large boards with amps. Thankfully I still had the isolation boxes we used to use in the back to house their cabs. After an hour of running cables, getting mics, stands and XLR cables we had both guitars working.

    When our regular guitarist set up it takes like 10 minutes as they either are running a floor board or as in one guitarist case using my American Sound Joyo pedal as his sansamp directly into the direct box.

    So I can see where venue owners would love to have bands be able to just plug a board in and go against having to set up amps, cabs and mics. Plus it allows the sound engineer to better distribute the volume when they are not battling amps on stage.

    But I will also say that those guys knew their tone and they had it dialed in once we got them all set up.

    If I was traveling to small gig I would probably just take my small board and a sansamp like a Kemper or a Helix and call it good. I can tell you in the P&W Church world that Helix is taking over although the new Strymon Iridium is getting some run now as well.
     
  6. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think this guy counts as a "pro". Love this. "Producing with your feet" and "mixing desk at your feet." Beautiful tones too.

     
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  7. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

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    I am just happy that Ι played amps back then...
    Today I would not play with anything or anybody in this reality.
    Actually I do not even think I would play electric guitar...
     
  8. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    I can't speak for newer units like the Helix, but on the POD HD400, you have the option to set a given channel as 'Effects Only'.
    That did just make me think of an interesting way to use the 400 though. I tend to have my patches arranged in banks for switching within a given song, but those patches are not necessarily using the same amp and cabinet simulations. I may have to play around with that - building my four patches for a bank around one amp & cabinet model, with one just the straight amp, then different effects on each of the subsequent patches.
     
  9. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    This video covers manual mode.



    The pedals switch individual ‘pedals’ on an off.. just like a pedalboard.

    By default the knobs let you change the relevant ‘pedal type’... Effectively like reaching down to your old pedalboard and swapping an OD for a fuzz if you felt like it, or changing a chorus pedal for a dimension C or phaser. Only it takes a second or two and saves $100-200 each time!

    To edit the pedal, just click ‘Effect’ and the knobs will adjust the setting of any pedal you select - gain, mix, rate, etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
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  10. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    I mostly play at church, I spent years buying/selling/trading gear; carrying in/setting up my amp, pedalboard, and guitar twice a week. Carrying my guitar bag and my pedal case with my HX stomp and a volume pedal inside is much easier, quicker, and honestly sounds better, especially since I was always fighting a losing battle of stage noise. I walk in, plug in, and play. And the flexibility of the platform along with the quality of the modelers now is ridiculous. I love amps, and I’ll probably always have and want them around, but I don’t see myself changing back to amps for live use any time soon.

    And for the times when I play with others outside of a PA with In-ears, I have a keyboard amp that I put the HX stomp through that is plenty loud enough for a drummer.
     
  11. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Meister

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    If you’re looking for a different alternative, I recently used an Effectrode Blackbird into a Torpedo CAB into the PA. Kind of a nice option if you already have a bunch of pedals you like and you don’t need a million sounds. The Blackbird clean sounded like a Twin through the monitors, I was lacking nothing for tone.

    I’m the furthest thing from a pro, but it sounded good.
     
  12. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a pedals > tube amp > mic (if even needed) kind of guy. Nobody is paying me to make the switch so I'm happy as is. If going digital meant I would recoup my money and time investment in paying gigs I'd do it. But at the moment I'd rather use that learning curve time playing my guitar.

    As an audience member, on big stages with national or regional touring acts I couldn't tell the difference. Most acts I see still have amps on their stage with mics in front of them but whether that's actually making the sound I hear while sitting on the lawn with wine, cheese, grapes & crackers is beyond me.

    But for small local club/bar bands that I've seen over the past two or three years, my experience has been that in general the bands that are still using amps are more consistent with their sound and have a more "live" sound. Those using digital might sound good one night and have terrible tone, volume & balance the next. Or they sound good half way down the bar but if you are up front dancing things are off because the speakers are to the side and there's no real sound coming off of the stage itself. Having never tried to use digital modeling outside of a Guitar Center, my guess is that it's a lot easier to tweak the EQ and levels of an amp or couple of pedals than to reprogram patches. Or the people I'm seeing with this problem don't realize they have the problem. And I'm pretty sure part of the problem I hear is due to PA set up, not necessarily going direct, but there's no amp on stage to compensate if the sound coming out the speakers is not right.

    I have no doubt that those of you here who are successfully using digital and all-direct can tell me what I'm missing with my assumptions. And, they are just that - assumptions.

    For the example above about the worship service where some guest players showed up with boards & amps, did they know you had become all-direct? Or did you know they were bringing amps? From how your story is written it sounds more like a lack of communication beforehand than an issue with their setup.
     
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