Crisis of confidence - Stomps, Multi's, Both?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mo'Phat, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Too long, don't want to read:

    I have used so many effects in my current band that I need lots of different sounds, but I don't want to have a board with 20 pedals on it, but I want great sounding effects. What do I do?

    Long version:
    Starting out, I had individual stompboxes, and mostly just Boss and MXR's. Nothing really special. I had tone suck and poor power, so had noise and decided I wanted more variety with an easier package.

    I moved to a Line 6 M13 for all of my effects. Simplicity was awesome, variety was awesome, flexibility was awesome - at first, but the sounds were so-so. OD/Dist/Fuzz were pretty bad and no clean blend on anything. I got to the point of not enjoying knob-twiddling and was getting frustrated with not having the flexibility to mix and match things on the fly. I had set up individual 'scenes' with 3 or 4 effects engaged at once to get sounds I needed for certain songs...and was stuck.

    But, now I have sounds that are pretty important for the songs I play in my band.

    I wanted better sounds and flexibility - so a few months ago I went with to a hybrid pedalboard: TWO Zoom B3's with an external tuner and a Chi Wah. But I quickly discovered that the Zoom B3 isn't really good for live performance as switching banks isn't easy within a song. Those were quickly jettisoned from my board and I went back to the M13.

    Didn't take long to remember what I didn't like about the M13, so I invested in something else:

    Source Audio stompboxes (Manta, OFD, Orbital Mod, Dimension reverb), with the Hub and a midi-switcher, and a few other stomps to cover the other sounds.

    Problem is - now my board is huge and I don't like it. I have also run into the problem of....Too much tweakability? I look at the big board with it's big midi switcher (a 12-button Midi Buddy), and remember that I don't really enjoy knob-twiddling and not having the flexibility to mix and match on the fly.

    Now I'm nearly tempted to swap it all and go for individual stomps again. No midi. No extraneous nonsense.
    I would like OD/Fuzz - stacking these for a wild distortion, Wah, Octave up AND down, modulation, synth or envelope, delay w/ tap tempo, tuner and compressor.

    I think a board with 8 pedals or so could be perfect...
    SS/BS Mini and TAFM
    MicroPog (does that cover octave down well?)
    Manta - or something else for envelope and blend fuzz/octave for synth? Xerograph or Subterranea or...
    Polytope - one modulation to rule them all?
    Tap Tempo delay - Supa Puss or a TCElectronic unit or...
    Tuner/Comp - maybe a Zoom MS60b to cover both of these.

    I guess what I'm saying is someone give me a list of 8 pedals that will make every sound, and all those sounds are the best ever.

  2. Explorer


    Jul 4, 2010
    Your description of the "problem" seems to have desired conditions which are contradictory. You're not going to be happy until you decide what conditions are *most* important to you.

    I'm most surprised that you can't turn off pedals in your Source Audio set-up after choosing a "scene" on the Hub. Are you sure you can't?

    I also like the idea that you hate knob twiddling... but are considering getting pedals which you'll have to twiddle (versus the instant settings of the Source stuff) when you want different settings from each of your pedals, based on the song.

    I'm pretty sure you're going to have to change your conditions in order to resolve your "problem." I'll be curious what you decided to retain and reject of your various wants.
  3. In a nutshell - I would like a very simple setup with great sounding effects.

    I want the M13 to sound better. It is an ideal form-factor for me, but the filters and dirt are the weak links.

    I actually really like the SA stuff - what I don't like is how large and seemingly complicated my board had to be to use it all. For four pedals, I have the hub and midi controller, the extra cabling and power requirements included, and still needed to add octave, tuner, compressor and wah. And yes, you can turn off individual SA pedals within a scene - you have to re-select that scene to re-engage the effect, though. You can't press the SA button and bring up the scene-specific effect again - it reverts to the preset saved in the pedal itself.

    I know my original post is confusing and contradictory. It was a long weekend.
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  4. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph Supporting Member

    I know the feeling of this debate.... I started out on a cheap Zoom B1 Multi, which helped educate me in terms of what I liked/needed. Then went with dedicated pedals, that populated a PT Pro at one point. Then started rationalizing, ending with the set-up I have now. One exception: Zoom's recent line of stompboxes. I kept a 60B for over a year (traded it last fall) and added at different points the 50G and the MS100BT, all while keeping the 60B. They are great multis, no issue about that. And great toys to play and expirement with.

    But for me, the conscious choice is based on tonal quality and ease-of-use and I totally get that from dedicated pedals. Doesn't mean I won't ever get a multi again, things change so fast, but for now, that's it.
  5. I would buy an M9 and then a filter/dirt of my choice then. If you already know and like the M13 it would be more intuitive and give you so much more versatility along with a grab and go option.
    My name is Mudd likes this.
  6. Thanks for the insight, Mike.
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  7. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph Supporting Member

    Anytime :thumbsup:.

    One more thing, about the 60B: I A/B'd it with the TU-2 and it does a similar job, IMO. But as for the comps.... I was hoping it would do it for me as it does it for lots of folks here, but no sombrero. Bongo's right: comps are a very personal thing... haven't found anything beating the LMB-3 so far, for me, of course.
    SteveCS likes this.
  8. Both is what I do to keep thing sounding good but still portable.