searching for a splitting/combining solution

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by quincy_j_clomo, Oct 31, 2012.


  1. quincy_j_clomo

    quincy_j_clomo

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    I want to achieve the following, and i can think of a few different ways to do it, but they all involve tapdancing. any ideas for a one-foot solution?


    1) split signal coming out of bass.

    Channel A:
    compressor->FX
    Channel B:
    distortion

    I want to be able to have either channel, as well as both channels at my discrection. simple enough. BUT when i switch channels, i would like to have my clean time-based FX decay. I would also like to have a sweepable phase adjustment, and a boost on the clean channel whenever both are used.

    is there a simple way to achieve this with one foot? is it prohibitively expensive?
  2. topo morto

    topo morto

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    Lloegyr
    Sounds like a custom job is going to be the neatest way.

    What do you mean by "sweepable phase adjustment"?
  3. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Check out the wounded paw super blender. You can have it modded to do delay/reverb trails. It will give you 3 foot switchable channels. 2 for effects and one for clean. The only thing is it has switchable phase reversal, not sweep able. It isn't too expensive either, considering how powerful it is.
  4. quincy_j_clomo

    quincy_j_clomo

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    One idea i had that may or may not be possible:


    use a splitter with a 3-button configuration. button 1 is channel A, button 2 is channel B, button 3 is both. this would be configured in such a way that when any button is pressed, it "cancels" the other buttons. i could press button a for clean, switch to b by pressing b, switch to both by pressing c, and switch to either a or b by simply pressing the a or b button. the outputs of both channels get processed however i want them, then fed to a line mixer with both channels always on.

    i'm not sure if the next part is possible, maybe someone else has insights?

    have a clean boost in my clean signal path, right before the reverb. wire the clean boost's bypass switch to the "c" button on the switcher, so that pressing the "c" button engages the boost, and pressing any other button disengages the boost. do the same with a phase adjustment (maybe like the Radial one?) on the distortion side.

    if that is possible, selecting both channels on the splitter will simultaneously engage the clean boost and the phase adjuster. since both channels of the line mixer will always be open, the reverb trails will decay naturally when no signal is fed to the clean side. since the boost is before the reverb, my trails will not be boosted unnaturally, right??

    would this scheme work?
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  6. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    Well, this is most certainly going to be a custom piece.

    The boost bypass/engage on channel C is easy enough, just leave the boost on all the time. Anytime C is selected the engaged boost is switched into the clean "A" path.

    An alternative is to have a booster built in to channel C that you can switch in or out with a toggle switch in the event you don't want the boost with channel C. Pretty simply done actually.

    The self cancelling setup will require some latching relays. The footswitches will most likely be momentaries. Actually, the entire rig will be all latching relays.

    Putting the booster in front of the of the reverb might overdrive the reverb unit .. I suppose that all depends on how much headroom the reverb unit has and how much boost you use.

    I don't think I have ever heard of sweepable phase controls. Could you either explain that to me or provide a link?
  7. quincy_j_clomo

    quincy_j_clomo

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    a sweepable phase control is basically a short adjustable delay in the signal, on a scale of milliseconds. it is used to counter the effects of comb filtering when combining two signals by time-aligning the root notes. or you can use it to make things sound hollow and weird if you want. i'm surprised that so many people haven't heard of this, as it is a fairly commonplace feature. maybe it's just because i'm coming from live-sound world, where phase alignment is a routine task and is built-in to much of the gear i encounter.

    the boost idea is just because when i go from clean to distorted, i like a noticeable boost in volume. but if i then combine clean and distorted, my clean tone will be much quieter than the distortion, which kinda sucks. so a boost of only 3-5dB should do the trick, and shouldn't put too much strain on the input of the reverb (i think).


    i don't know. the longer i think about this, it just starts to seem like more trouble than its worth. i should probably just be content with the sounds i'm already getting, which are more than useable. it's too easy to get lost in the quest for tone and forget about making music...
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
  9. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    Once you explained it the light came on. :) I'm familiar with time alignment, I just kept thinking you were talking about impedance loading and mistakenly saying "phase" instead (ya never know how much, or how LITTLE, some folks actually know about what they're speaking of until you do a little digging). My brain was chasing the wrong tail! Thanks for clarifying.

    And yea, sometimes we end up out-thinking ourselves with trickery and end up in no-place-ville .... I'm guilty of that myself at times (see my sig).

    What you want CAN be made, it comes down to how much it's worth to you to get it done, and then is the return on the investment high enough to produce sufficient satisfaction. A simpler answer than using self cancelling relays would be just to use two standard footswitches ... one for A, one for B. Step on A once to engage A, or B once to engage B ... if you want to swap from A to B it will just take two stomps (one to disengage A and one to engage B). The trick would be to keep the levels proper when both A and B are both engaged, then not have the levels too hot when only one channel is engaged.

    As you probably are aware, money can make things happen .. it all depends on how much of it you're willing to part with! ;)
  10. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    Yea, those are nice .. I use these ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But unfortunately neither the Rolls that you use nor the modular synth modules that I use are worth a dang for the OP's needs. He needs footswitchable options. While the modular synth method can be configured to do so, it would require (roughly) about a $600 to $800 investment to make it all "go". Power supply, rack adaptor and DC squid before he even bought a single module. Then a few VCAs, a Distributor (top pic), a 4 or 8 ch mixer module (bottom pic), a pedal interface (to convert continuity to control voltages to operate the switching abilities of the modules) and so on.

    In my case I already have the whole synth....

    [​IMG]

    .... and in your case you're using the mixers as passive non-switching routers.

    So we both fail. :) Haahaa! :)
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    Lloegyr


    Aha, OK. I get the idea of time alignment - 'sweepable phase' just seemed a strange name for such a control, because of course the actual 'phase' difference is frequency dependent, so unless you are playing a single invariant sine wave, you can't set a constant phase offset of your choice (apart from 'in phase', which I guess is usually where you want it!)
  12. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    That's exactly what was throwing me as well.
  13. quincy_j_clomo

    quincy_j_clomo

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    My god, Flux. I had no idea. My head is exploding right now. i also feel a little bit better about my own goofy "ideal" setup.
  14. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    Hahaha! :) Yea, quite a rig, que no?

    I've been through the whole ~buy this amp, that cab, and then spend dollars trying to fill in the weak spots. Then when that doesn't work out, buy another amp, another cab, and more stuff to fill in the new weak spots~ trip too many times.

    So I decided that I was going to build an amplification system that is totally compartmentalized. Totally modular. Each single stage of the system a separate and independent module that may be replaced or easily modified. No matter which design family it belongs too, digital, analog/solid state, or tube. So if it turns out that my input gain stage is a tube driven unit, and the compression stage is solid state, and then the bass stage of the EQ stack is digital, then the midrange stack is solid state, and the treble stack is tube, and finally the power stage is solid state ... I don't care. The focus is on function and flexibility.

    As it stands currently....

    INPUT STAGE: twin tube-driven mic preamps that receive the independent pickup signals (the bass itself is modified so that it has separate outputs for each pickup).

    PRIMARY COMPRESSION STAGE: solid state. Twin compressors that are set to optimize each pickup's dynamics.

    PICKUP SIGNAL BLEND/MIXER: A foot controlled mixer that uses a momentary footswitch to bypass/engage the bridge pickup.

    EQ STAGE-BASS: a combination of a solid state aural exciter, a digital modeler, and a graphic EQ to boost the bottom end.

    EQ STAGE-MIDRANGE: a combination of a parked wah, a digital modeler, and an aural exciter.

    EQ STAGE-TREBLE: Digital modeler and some solid state graphic EQ.

    SIGNAL SPLITTER: Signal is split after the EQ stage to two independent signals,

    SECONDARY PROCESSOR: One of the signals is sent to a sophisticated channel strip, (ART Pro Channel II) which has it's own optical compression, four stage EQ, and output stage. This signal is sent to the "bass" cab.

    2-CHANNEL AMPLIFICATION: The two output signals are sent to separate amp channels of a solid state 1400 watt PA amp. Channel "A" is sent out to a 2x10 front ported cab, Channel "B" is a 4x10 sealed cab. I am able to easily select a mix of the two cabs, to fine tune the sound. The ported 2x10 has far more low end than the sealed 4x10. So if I need more room filling lows, I balance the signal in favor of the 2x10, if I need more defined mids I make the 4x10 louder.

    Essentially it's a simple 2 - into 1 - into 2 setup. Start with 2 separate signals blended into one, then resplit into two. This way I can address all of my complaints with bass systems that I have no matter which off the shelf amp or bass guitar I've ever owned. And, between each single stage, there is total access to that connection as an "insert" where any type of processing can be inserted. Distortion, FX, EQ, whatever.

    It's just like having a set of Send/Return jacks placed between each single knob of your bass amp.

    It sounds horribly complex, but it isn't. The nice thing about it is that no matter which bass guitar I may end up using, or how my tastes may change, or what type of music I end up playing, this rig is easily reconfigurable. And, if one stage breaks down or fails, I simply remove/replace/repair just that one stage, instead of being without my entire bass amp unitl repairs are completed.

    I'm still configuring it, but I get closer to being ~done~ every week. (Stuff like this is never truly "done" though).

    :)
  15. quincy_j_clomo

    quincy_j_clomo

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    flux, you are a god among tweakers.
  16. mistermark311

    mistermark311

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
  17. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    Yo Quincy, that unit seems to have a number of the features you specified, and for $195 buckages! It may not be exactly what you want, but perhaps it's features may inspire you to rethink your plan a touch and use this thing to your full advantage!

    Take a look, it's pretty cool .. erm ... well .. seems to be anyhow. I can't speak for the company at all so I am clueless about that part. But aside from any weirdness the company may (or may not) have the gizmo itself seems plenty capable at face value.

    :)
  18. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Wow, thats awesome!

    I was considering something similar, but i don't know very much about mixers. Is there anything i should be aware of? Do they have buffers, or do they split/sum the signal? I am not sure what the correct term is here, but is the signal halved as you split it?

    I was considering using http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/nady-mm-141-4-channel-mini-mixer in my application.

    Thanks in advance!
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ya ... the problem with the Rolls passive mixers is they can feed back. The Marshall Guv'nor when turned off would squeal feedback. I had to add the Flanger in the mix to stop it.

    But that whole setup the way it is now has a nice "organic" tone with all of the pedals run parallel and remixed together. I was sort of copying Geddy and sort of experimenting and stumbled on the combination that I now use. Every time I change it I go back to this combination because it is the best tone. I can pretty much dial in any tone that I want. The down side is it is more complex and a few accidently moved knobs can mess up the tone.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    The Nady mixer is powered ... it may actually work better than the Rolls that I use. That was not available when I put my board together. I may try those for my board.

    Also bass players should consider running effects in parallel, because some effects like distortion will boost mids and reduce the low end. So when run in series you loose bass. But if you run parallel you can mix a mid boosted distorted signal with a clean signal with lots of low end. Also effects like flange and chorus can be overwhelming when run in series, but again running parallel makes those effects more subtle.
  21. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Thanks for the response!

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