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Building new pedalboard - how's the chain look

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mkandolf, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. mkandolf


    Nov 21, 2007
    Saint Clair, MI
    OK, I have a small number of pedals I'm putting into a pedalboard and want to verify the signal chain. After reading the What Chain of Effects Pedals Makes Life Easy, my plan is:

    Bass > Tuner - Wah/Dist. - Chorus - Octave > Amp

    i'm just undecided if the Chorus and Octave should be swapped for any reason, not that I ever plan on using them at the same time.

    Any thoughts?
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Personally, I would put the chorus last.

    And I would try the octave before the wah. Though I did say try.

    Really, put it together and try different combinations until you get it worked out the way you like it.
  3. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    I love signal chain questions. :D

    TBH, although there are suggestions and "popular" orders, I wouldn't actually rely on us to provide the best answer. It's really your call. Put them in any order you like. Experiment with different combinations, because the sonic possibilities are different with each differently ordered combo.

    Traditionally, a tuner would be at the front of the chain, but as long as you turn your other effects off before tuning, it doesn't really matter where it sits. The mute function is something to consider, too. If you plan to use it as a mute switch more often than a tuner, it's probably best after the noisy effects you might leave ON between songs.

    Wah and distortion... that all depends on preference. Guitarists usually go wah => distortion because wah effects are particularly pronounced in the upper register. But for bassists, it might be too "subtle" depending on the wah, so some of us prefer the wilder sounds of putting it after distortion.

    Octave pedals often are seen at the front of the chain because of tracking concerns. But having it after a few effects can allow for some bizarre glitchiness that you won't get the other way around.

    Most people prefer modulation effects like chorus at the end, but some bassists have defined their unique sound by placing it before distortion and other effects.

    Again, you have to consider a few things:

    - YOUR personal tastes - not ours!
    - Whether you'll really use a combo in a particular order (some bassists only use one pedal at a time... and if you do, then order doesn't really matter)

    Now, go out and experiment! :p
  4. Generally speaking, pitch-shifting effects like octavers work best early in the chain, when they are fed a nice clean signal. Personally, I would run it:

    Bass -> Tuner -> Octave -> Distortion -> Wah -> Chorus -> Amp
  5. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    The only right way is Spanky's way.

    Bass> Octave > Dist > Wah > Chorus > Tuner > ??? > PROFIT > Amp
  6. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Quick spinoff question:

    Where do you compressor guys put your compressor in the chain?
  7. Chris Ramlar

    Chris Ramlar

    Feb 8, 2006
    +1 I still don't know if I love more Delay-> Dist or Dist->Delay.....
  8. almix12


    Apr 3, 2008
    i'd almost consider (just trying to see which one sounds better) putting the distortion after the chorus
    the only real way is to experiment and see which way YOU like
    not tooo much good us telling you what to do, i don't think there's any RIGHT way
  9. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    What about putting the bass after the amp. What will that do?

    If this was my chain, I would side w/ Bassman. +1 to you, my friend.
  10. wazzel


    Dec 27, 2007
    Houma, LA

    I put mine at the end. If I had a delay I would put the delay after the compressor. My current chain is

    Bass Balls
  11. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    So much truth in this post. Thank you spanky.

    btw, how's that preamp you won?
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I sold it out here. Cali is muy expensivo, brother.
  13. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    haha you're in cali now? big move from the middle of no where.

    so signal chain... yeah... good :D
  14. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Yo creo que la palabra que tú buscas es "carísimo." ;)
  15. gm jack

    gm jack

    Oct 5, 2008
    Reading UK
    Would this apply to envelope filters as well? I feel that putting my Q-tron in front of my overdrive gets more emphasised sounds than the reverse.
  16. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Yep, same rules apply. Although you should be getting more pronounced sounds with the overdrive AFTER the Q-Tron...

    Of course, if it's in the effects loop of a Q-Tron+, that's another matter.
  17. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I generally put my compressor in the middle of my chain, after filters (and/or wah if I used one) but before modulation (chorus, phaser, delay). My current phaser can go into crazy oscillation so I may move it before the compressor too.

    As a rule I generally put my gain (OD/distortion/fuzz) before the compressor, but in my case it doesn't matter much since I turn my compressor off when I turn them on.
  18. Is the Profit true-bypass?
  19. I have (mild) compression first in the chain as I want all my pedals to see the "benefits" of a more evened-out signal. I have my tuner after the compressor because the LEDs make an annoying hum that's loud enough without being compressed. I also like having my (mild) overdrive before my (wild) chorus, as the note attacks impart a nice bite to the chorused sound that way, and the chorus is clearer too.
  20. gm jack

    gm jack

    Oct 5, 2008
    Reading UK
    Qtron in front of overdrive implies the overdrive is after the Qtron. ;)

    It is just your bit on wah and distortion I quoted suggested it should be the other way around.

    i.e. distortion => wah has more extreme sounds.


    I think the one rule for compression is to put it after envelope based effects. A Q-tron may nt see any benefit from flattened dynamics.

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