Effects chain question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rontalsaurus, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    So, after 2 years of playing without effects, I dug my old stompboxes out and have rediscovered that I still love 'em.

    So, I went whole hog and bought a pedal board (a powered SKB one) and have started configuring it. Only problem is...I don't remember the the "theory" behind setting up an effects chain. I vaguely remember that some effects are time-based (envelope filters?), and some are pitch based (wah?), and this affects where they should sit in the signal chain, but I don't remember the particulars.

    So...I need some explaining.

    The pedals I currently have (in order in the chain) are:
    Dunlop 105q wah-->
    Blue Tube 903 (overdrive)-->
    EHX Qtron+-->
    EHX Electric Mistress flanger-->
    EHX Small Stone phaser-->
    ...and I'm going to be adding an octave pedal into there shortly (as soon as I decide on one).

    I've read elsewhere on this board that a wah should come first, then the overdrive, than the flanger/phaser effects.

    I'm not sure about the Qtron, though. I tried putting the Qtron
    before the overdrive and got some pretty nasty noise and squelching (not the good kind of squelching).

    I've heard from some that the envelope filter should go after the wah-->od, but I've also heard that the envelop should be first in the chain so as not to affect it's response to to the input signal.

    I'm mighty confused at this point.

    Also...where would the octave pedal fit in this chain? I'm leaning toward putting it first in the chain so that the generated octave gets processed as a square-wave synth tone by the rest of the effects in the chain, but I'm not sure.

    Teach, pontificate, hypothesize...learn me somethin'!
  2. well, i can't tell you a whole lot about chain orders, but to answer a few of your questions, i would put the wah after the overdrive, so you can wah your overdrive, not overdrive your wah...of course thats subjective, wah after distortion will give you a tim commerford wah sound, while wah before ovderdrive gives you a cliff burton wah sound...I would put the qtron after the distortion, because you said you tried it before, and you didn't like it.
    as for the octave, what do you want to octave? the clean signal? put it first...all the effects? put it after the effects :)
  3. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Too damn logical...I'm not buying it! :D

    As for the wah sounds...:meh: I don't really listen to Rage or Metallica so I'm not familiar with either of those guys' sounds. Can you recommend a Rage track with Commerford using his wah and distortion? Maybe I can iTunes it and check it out.
  4. War within a breath, audioslave's Exploder
  5. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Calm Like a Bomb is the classic Timmy C reference point. It's that wah tone that is most famous from any of Rage's songs with a wah in it, I think.

    Also, what kind of Octaver are you looking for? Octave up, or down?
  6. i knew i left one out...definatly check out calm as a bomb by RATM, and that what kind of sound you can expect from a overdrive->wah setup, and for cliff burton, just look for one of his bass solos, and he uses the wah->overdrive setup frequently
  7. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    The Cliff Solo is called Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth).
  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Don't forget that because you have the Qtron PLUS, you can INSERT effects into the effect!

    Some great possibilities there! I'd wanna try sticking the distorion in-there first, but I heard a very cool sounding demo clip on the EH website that had an ECHO in the loop - oh baby.

    I'd say the only kind-of hard rule is the idea of putting something before an envelope follower that wrecks your envelope - like hard distortion or compression. I'd imagine that somehting like flange or tremolo might freak it out too. One thing I'm sure of is that when it comes to just about anything before-or-after distortion (except envelope follower), it's definately personal preference, and both are different distinctive.

  9. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    I've got another thread about this...advice is welcomed.