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Lets Talk About Bypass Switchers.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by warwick.hoy, Apr 8, 2009.


  1. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I'm looking over Loop Masters' website. I want to pull the trigger on one in a few weeks but definitely want to do my research before I do. What else is out there for loops?

    What do you put in your loops? Tone suckers obviously, but do you put all your effects in loops even though they may not be tone suckers....what about compression or maximizers...or preamps? Should those go in line with the instruments? Those would seem to be tone improvers right. Why put them in a loop?

    What else should we know about Bypass Switchers?

    Share your thoughts.
     
  2. DopplerShift

    DopplerShift

    Apr 19, 2005
    Chicago Area
    It's easier to step on a loop switch than on 2 or 3 pedals at once. It's also easy to step on 2 loop switches effectively turning on 1 set of loops and turning off another set of loops. Make sure you get one with a master bypass switch as well, very handy.

    In short, I put everything in my loooper. I don't use compressors or maximizers. I do have an eq, but that is boosting freqs on a tremolo I have.

    I wouldn't put a SMMH, RC-20, or other loop type pedals in a bypass looper though, but that's just me.
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It's deceptively simple. With each pedal, ask yourself: "do I have some problem with the bypass of this pedal, or do I wish it was part of a chain that could all get switched on and off at the same time with one stomp?" If you answer no to both of those, you don't need a bypass loop.

    I'd recommend doing some research on "true bypass". Loop-Master's true bypass is the most primitive kind, and can in some cases cause as many problems as it solves. I like the bypasses that have some more careful engineering, such as Lehle, Barber, Xotic, and Radial.
     
  4. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I had hoped to keep this thread sort of a general discussion of BPLs but the specific issue that I'm having is a little volume loss with a Boss OC-2 (here is my post in the OC-2 club thread).

    I want to put a boost pedal with the OC-2 effectively giving it a volume control and thought it should be in a loop so one stomp = both pedals on. That's three pedals for one sound. I figured if I would go so far...why not have all; or at least a majority of my pedals in a bypass switcher. That begged the question....would I put compression in a loop. A volume pedal in a loop?

    I'm not a maximizer user but for the sake of debate thought I'd throw it in there. What about passive DIs? Sadowsky, Aguilar, Sansamp preamp/DI's? Bongo's catch all "ask yourself" is a good answer to these.

    For me it isn't so much a matter of true bypass but being able to arrange effects in such a way that I don't have to be so careful in maneuvering my foot to reach the top row of FX. The true bypass (which is up in the air about how much voodoo is involved), tuner out and dump switch would be additional perks.

    Also the one thing that got me thinking was the idea of being able to switch between the two channels of the Boss SD-2 with a bypass switcher. But I'd think that a latch type footswitch would have to be added onto the BPL. It would be sort of a swiss army knife on my pedal board but would probably be so specialized that I couldn't flip the BPL should I outgrow it.

    I will certainly research those companies that you mentioned bongo...thanks. For the sake of debate what are some pros and cons on Bypass Switchers?
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    A simple mechanical true bypass switch has two chief flaws: there can be a "pop" noise through your speakers (anywhere from very quiet to very loud) when you switch it; and the impedance relationships between your bass, amp, and impedance-sensitive pedals such as certain fuzzes, can (in some chains) change too much going between "engaged" and "disengaged".

    The first problem has fixes that range from simple to complicated, but none of those fixes are 100% effective in all cases. Some people insist a pull-down resistor is all that's needed, but it's not always true. The second problem cannot be averted with passive mechanical true bypass switching. OTOH the second problem is quite often "not a problem", it just depends on your specific chain and whether you hear anything that doesn't sound right.

    There are a multitude of "better ways" of doing it, ranging from elaborate improvements on the passive mechanical switch, to active/buffered designs. Some people like to mix and match buffered with mechanical true bypass, having more of the benefits and fewer of the faults of an all-one-way system.
     
  6. A boss LS-2, while not true bypass, will let you do the level matching thing. It also allows 2 loops which can be run separately or together.

    Actual true bypass loop pedals are ridiculously easy to build, unless you want to incorporate buffer amps, level, gain, etc. - 4 TS jacks and a DPDT switch for a single channel.

    If you wanna get real fancy you can easily include an on/off LED - just a minor bit of added wiring. Every channel you want to add is just another DPDT switch and 2 jacks (and the necessary space in the casing).
     
  7. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    I had a single bypass looper from Brian Price (Loop-Master) and currently own a Dual Looper w/ Master Bypass. For me, it works wonders. All of the pedals in my loops are TB, so I just use it for loop switching. When I used the PS-3 and old BMS, I had serious issues that Brian's looper corrected immediately. I use passive basses and don't experience any clicking that's audible live. For recording any loop switching would have to be tracked separately for sure as a click would be audible. You may or may not experience a pop/click. It may or may not correct the level issue w/ your Boss pedal(s)...IME it cleaned up the background noise, whooshing, and high pitched crud that came out of my PS-3 when it was in bypass. I ran the looper on a friend's g****r rig. He never noticed how much the Boss pedals were coloring his tone...

    This is something you either bite the bullet on and hope it works or go for an active unit like Bongo suggested. At least you'll have mixing capabilities with most other products. One nice thing is that you'll be able to sell a Loop-Master unit on here easily if you're willing to take a price cut...
     
  8. I put all my pedals in a homemade bypass looper, if i quickly need to switch from a combination of pedals to clean, or if my board has a power issue and my one of my non-TBP pedals mutes my signal.



    DSCF2184.
     
  9. Seems to me that you could add a latching footswitch in there and be able to sell it. There are enough amps with channel selection and pedals with controllable parameters that you may not have any issues with that. You'll just want to be clear about the labeling. ;)
     
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    The main advantage for me with using bypass loopers, even if the effect doesn't need it, is the fact that it greatly reduces tapdancing and knob-kicking. You can also easily turn a couple of them on with one stomp if they're close together. At one point last year though, I finally took the plunge and got a Musicomlab EFX-II, which is a digital router that doubles as a MIDI controller and lets you combine your loops (and MIDI patches) in presets. One of my favorite pieces of equipment ever.
     
  11. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Thanks for all your responses guys. The LS-2 crossed my mind but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I only need it for the one application and would seem overkill. The OC-2 in one loop and all the other pedals in another loop? I'd rather have a strip with all the pedals in it's own loop.

    Those issues of TBP pedals I'm well aware of...the pop and the impedance issues. Is it safe to assume that the same problems crop up in BPLs like Loop Masters'?

    Again for me TBP isn't really what I'm concerned about....solving that issue with the OC-2 and as Bryan mentions...reducing tap dancing and knob kicking is what I'm truly interested in. Also seems to reduce wear and tear on pedals....the BPL is whats getting stomped on...not the pedals themselves....hmmm.
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Any true bypass switch, including those on the Loop-Master, are subject to popping. It can be reduced with pull-down resistors and such, but it's still a possibility.
     
  13. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    I think the LS-2 is a pretty compact and affordable way to deal with your issue
     

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