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Analog Multi-effect Unit

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by EBMan, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. EBMan

    EBMan Guest

    Oct 10, 2006
    I hate pedal boards!

    Why doesn't someone manufacture an analog multi-effect unit? It could have an all analog signal path along with digital controls for storing patches. It wouldn't have to be much bigger than a Boss GT-6B to include the majority of bass effects.

    Another option would be for analog effects ot be standardized and cased in a plug in module that could be inserted into standardized designed pedal boards. These systems would not have any instrument or power supply cables connecting each effect.
  2. speak_onion


    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Your other claims have been addressed in earlier multi vs. single threads, but I would like to point out that the standardized effects thing was tried and it didn't catch on, which is why it was dropped. Check out the Korg PME system.

    I know hoerni has and likes it, maybe he can fill you in.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    FWIW, Ibanez did this pretty well with their UE series, and they were then copied by MXR, Pearl, Korg, and a few other competitors. Unfortunately for all of them, the digital revolution hit just then and killed the analog multi market.

    Nowadays you can find boutique analog multis by Carl Martin, FoxRox, and some smaller one-off builders.
  4. EBMan

    EBMan Guest

    Oct 10, 2006
    These all predated my bass playing so I was unaware of them. I'm good at coming up with ideas for "new" things that were already a flop in the market.
  5. hoerni


    Jun 4, 2007
    The PME is the only one I know of that used a modular system where you could interchange effects.

    It was basically at 4 position board which held 4 units. If you wanted less, you could get filler modules. If you wanted more, you used multiple boards. You could bypass each effect, or all 4.

    Some of the modules were mono and some were stereo (although I'm pretty sure that's stereo out, mono in).

    All the basic effects were pretty good, but it's really sought after now for the "crazy effects" These are the Wave Shaper (similar to a synth sound), the Octave (including octaves up down and fifths up and down) and the Dist Wah (awesome envelope triggered filter with built in distortion)

    My favorites of the normal modules are the analog delay and the flanger. Both are completely over the top and great for oscillations.

    Here's a clip with the flanger and the Dist-Wah on the guitar (and some 12 string bass). Please excuse the sloppy playing.


    They never released any bass modules, and I'm not sure how they would react with bass. I suppose they could always be mixed with a straight signal for more flexibility.
    I have most of the normal modules (or will soon - my third PME with the digital chorus and digital delay are on their way to me). I really should try them on bass and report.

    As for other effects, you can sometimes find small triple effects units cheap. I have an Ibanez one that has the basics. Just a compressor, graphic EQ and chorus. Most of the time though, I'll just use a Zoom 506 if I don't have room for a big pedal board.
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    The main reason is that digital multieffects can produce myriads of tones from the same hardware, just altering software.
    An analogic multieffect unit doesn't make much sense because it implies using a different electronic circuit (or at least different parts of the same circuit) for each effect.
    Old analogic multis like the Boss ME-5B or Ibanez UE-series were just several pedals built into a single case.

    As for modules, you can do just that with Line6 pedals.
  7. sonicvi


    Jun 10, 2005
    Houston, TX
    What ya need is digitally controlled analog, like early polyphonic synths from the 80's. The signal path is all analog, but the parameters are controlled by a processor. The only problem with multieffects is that you can't choose which effects are in there.
  8. godspeed68

    godspeed68 i'm here for the sound

    Mar 24, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    damage control. from what im told its the guys that started line6. they went off to start a more boutique line of stuff. not necessarily "bass pedals" but i just picked up the "TimeLine Multi-Dimensional Delay" and it rules!!!


    My roommate plays guitar and picked up their "Glass Nexus" which is their multi-effect. I'm pretty sure this stuff is all analog. Not positive though, can't find anything in my manual. It does have two 12AX7's in it though. Pretty fun stuff.
  9. hoerni


    Jun 4, 2007
    Line6 modules don't actually house the effects. The modules are just the PROM for programming the DSP inside the pedal. (and the associated pots).

    AFAIK, they haven't released a multi-station dock for the modules.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Unfortunately the effects in the Glass Nexus are digital. It's only the tube gain stage and the bypass that are analog.
  11. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    I've seen those damage control effects before, they look pretty cool
  12. hensonbass


    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I've been using a DC Glass Nexus for both upright and electric and I think it sounds real warm and clear at the same time. Having true bypass and a continuous analog out that you can blend with the effect keeps your sound true. On my gigs I use the reverb for bowed upright solos and modulation effects for my Pedulla pentabuzz.

    I used to use a Zoom B2.1u for this stuff and now it's on ebay. The GN just makes it sound like a toy to me. However, the Damage Control stuff is 2 to 3 times more expensive. Worth it to me.
  13. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I tried the Damage Control "Womanizer" and wasn't overly impressed. The compressor knob was useless and the overdrive was either pretty subtle or into the distortion range. It might work much better for guitar though.

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