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FX TOWER: Stompbox studio tower project.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Yup, another project thread (this is the fourth one). This is just another section of my studio that I'm putting together.

    Essentially it is an old modular stereo stand that's about four feet tall, it's wooden and has a lot of potential. I've already reenforced all of the joints and corners ot make it stronger and steadier. The plan is to use it to house stompboxes and patch them all into a patchbay. The patchbay is normalled so I'll be able to set up an FX signal path that will require no external patchcords. I'll be making up a footswitched bypass interface that will interconnect to the I/O patchbay.

    I don't have the floor space required to make a pedalboard, so I'm going ^^UP^^ instead of <<FLAT>>.

    Basically I'm applying the same modular synth idea to my stompboxes. Using the stompboxes as synth modules and the patchbay as the patching jacks. The addition of the footswitched bypass loops is basically the only difference.

    I'll be trying to use a computer power supply (250 to 300 watts) to act as the main power supply for units that require up to 12vdc. Anything else will be powered by wall warts plugged into super high quality power strips made by Belkin that are all metal and have 3,000 volt spike protection along with circuit breaker overload protection.

    Here's a pic of the trainwreck as it is now ....


    When completed it will easily patch in with my bass rig ...


    As well as my modular synth ...


    I also have a computer (PC) that will be devoted to VST use as well as programming the POD. It will be treated as just another stompbox added into the signal path. I have the program "FILTER" by Antares loaded on it, among a great number of other things. That computer is separate from my DAW computer used for recording.

    Here's everything except the FX tower which is just out of frame on the far left. Both computers are there, the main X-Rig, and the modular synth. Eventually the crap beneathe the modular synth will either be covered or moved and that space will be used for other support gear. Computers perhaps? Dunno, for now you have to put up with looking at that crap. Perhaps eventually I'll section-up the tower into subsections that will fit under there. Then when playing out the modular will just sit on top of those subsections. But for the time being it is what it is. It isn't like it has to be completed next week.


    The patchbay will allow easy inserts or signal path changes by using a patchcord to reroute any given FX to any destination.

    It will have an enclosed back, and some sort of front cover/lid so when not in use the entire thing will be enclosed. My "X-Pedal" project midi-bass pedals will also be used to bypass and engage certain loops and such through the use of (already obtained) bypass relays ....



    It will also respond to midi-program changes by using those same bypass relays. So certain "sub-loops" will be engaged and bypassed when I initiate a program change via midi commands when I use this pedalset (Line 6 Floorboard) ...


    So in the end it will all tie together, and be fairly easily reconfigured as well as fairly simple to program. The entire thing consists of a bass guitar, the FX tower, the preamp rack, the modular synth, and the foot controllers. It is a multi-system that may be used with bass, synth, or guitars. I suppose I should say "and/or" for those 3 instruments. Some or all of it may be used at live gigs. Some or all of it may be used to record with.

    I'm posting this project so that in the event others wish to use some of the ideas in their own setups they are here for the taking.

    No, it won't be very portable, but that isn't the purpose anyhow. It's will be semi-portable, in that it will be self sufficent and stand alone, I'll just need a handtruck to move it. I plan on connecting the footswitches to a folding panel that will fold flat inside the lower portion of the entire tower. So plug in 115vac power, connect bass to it's input and then connect the tower's main output to whatever (the main amp rig is my guess). Then fold down the footswitch array, and GO!

    So at certain gigs I'd have to set up the main rack, the tower, a 2x10 cab, and a power amp. That's really not too bad, especially for a person like me that comes from a synth/organ/keyboard background. It's actually pretty modest relative to most keyboard rigs.

    So anyhow, this is just the introduction post. I'll add to it as things happen with it. It's just a different way of setting up stompboxes than the age-old pedalboard.

    All four of my projects are a journey into creating a streamlined, fairly portable, versatile bass rig that will be reconfigurable with little drama. It takes these big-overinvolved-messes at first so that they may be whittled down into their useful elements. Fine marble statues start out as a tons-heavy boulder that is chiseled into something wonderful. I'm just documenting my efforts here on Talk Bass.

    More later. Thanks .. Flux Of Earth.
  2. I've been rethinking this entire thing lately. I may just relocate all of those bins beneathe my synth and build an FX shelf/rack/thing under there. It could be placed at an angle or on several shelves or ???.

    I need mo space dang it all!!
  3. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Would you adopt me?
  4. Between my FX, my modular synth, 1962 Hammond, basses, guitars, amps, I have enough children. :)
  5. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    ive been puzzling out a remote relay switching system.. I wish I knew ANYTHING about programming, cause some presets would be nice, not to mention midi presets for the digital pots......

    I currently just use a kind of bus system to activate different loops, order flipping, and split/blends... I like switches on the floor and my pedals at arms reach. Been meaning to clean everything up a bit but I want to finalize my pedals a bit
  6. I am the same way ... switches on the floor, controls at my hands. If you look into Highly Liquid stuff their manuals/pdfs of their "firmware" isn't too hard to grasp after you sortof get used to the language that these binary-heads use.

    We're gonna have to get caught up with the rest of the world, everyone but you and I ~get~ this stuff!


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