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Looking for some more advice...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by newbold, Oct 1, 2008.


  1. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    I eventually plan on having a nice set of tools at my toes.

    so!

    I am thinking I'll be able to have:
    Bass>Bassballs>Digital amp>

    Effects Loop>
    Tonehammer>Fuzz/Drive>OC-2>Bass Microsynth>slicer>mod pedal(s)>delay>sampler

    So I guess I'm looking for some modulation...or 2 mods for oscillator interplay (stereo?) and a nice sounding delay with expression pedal controls a la Line 6 DL4 (didn't like how bass didn't punch through but loved what I could do with it) How does the MM4 sound?

    How do the boss twin delay pedals perform soundwise?
    Is there anything the gigadelay or space echo don't have that the DL4 has or vice versa?

    If I use delay on bass it needs to be reliable and if I have a sampler it needs to translate punch when mixed into the dry signal. I used to have to pump my mix higher than I wanted to. Would the RC-20 do it for me?

    I have midi capability to store patches on my amp...yamaha BBT500. i like the way it performs for me but haven't been able to really use its many features.

    I'm looking for a chain that doesn't suck tone out of my signal and can give me the options I need for everything I like to play, but would leave me with a couple of great tools for gigs that don't warrant.

    I like my clean tone but really miss taking sections to mars.

    Am I asking for too much?

    I plan on having a passive bass and thought the ToneHammer would bring me the tone of an ob-3 with some added drive.

    As far as my next couple of additions, they would be an octave pedal, bassballs, and a delay pedal.

    Any sound advice?
     
  2. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    There's certainly a lot to discuss, but I'll focus on just a few points:

    Octave pedals tend to work better first in your signal chain, so consider putting it before your Bassballs and amp.

    Most fuzz/od/dist don't sound their best in an amp effects loop. You may have to keep them in front of the amp as well. Often the varying signal level of the fx loop (not to mention impedance issues) will wreak sonic havoc with fuzz boxes and other gain-dependent effects.

    Modulation & delay effects often do work better in an amps' effects loop - but - make sure that input/output impedance and signal levels all work together.
     
  3. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    oh yes...I was thinking about my amp being digital...but I they would all have output volumes anyway...

    gainstaging!

    So would you suggest the Tonehammer with the octave and fuzz?

    I guess I'll have to build my pedalboard to be 2 pedalboards in a fancy home made box.

    Projects, projects...
     
  4. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    The digital amp isn't really an issue. Gainstaging can be, but it really sounds like you may need to research impedance relationships between bass, pedals, outboard gear, etc....

    Trial & error will be the only way to really learn how different devices interact.

    It sounds like you're planning on a pretty complex set-up. I've noticed a repeating theme where you emphasize avoiding tone suck & maintaining "punch" as important. In that case, do some research on active blenders (Barge Concepts, Xotic, etc.). True Bypass loopers might also apply if you go crazy with a lot of pedals.

    It's probably good to start simple with a couple of items, say the Tonehammer, OC-2 and a fuzz (as you mentioned). Learn how they behave in different orders & build up slowly so you can really tell whats happening with your overall tone.
     
  5. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    I used to run octave/qtron/dynamic filter/microsynth/worm/dl4

    I realized how great an envolope filter the microsynth is and decided to keep it when I liquidated.

    I came about an old polyphase and i need to get it fixed before i can play it.

    I'm not fresh to this - am looking for advice on the specifics...like which delay performs, and performs in a long chain, if there are any mods that will really kick ass and don't degredate the tone of my bass but within attainable limits for someone that makes less than he wants to...

    Never thought too hard about loop units...more about looper pedals (sampling)

    I opened a thread on another site about the barge pedal...and the orig. poster was trying to get more punch out of his DL4.

    Really...I think I just need to have better sounding delay than the DL4. It makes me hesitant to buy line 6 gear at all really. All those features, no good for the tone...
     
  6. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I would stop, take a breath, and write down:
    1) What input level is ideal for each device (instrument level, -10dBu line level, +4dBu line level)
    2) What output level can be expected from each device
    3) What input and output impedance does each device have (in broad terms, not specific)
    4) What exactly does each device do to the signal
    5) Are any of the connections balanced

    For devices that perform multiple functions, consider each function separately, and note whether that function is in series or in parallel.

    By "device" I mean not just the pedals but also the instrument input, fx send, and fx return of the amp (each needs to be considered separately).

    If you plan to send a DI signal to a mixer, you also need to look at exactly where in the signal chain you tap into with the DI unit. Everything before it will go to the mixer, everything after it will not.
     
  8. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    +1
    You can always count on Bongo for clear, logical advice!
     
  9. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    So Far the GigaDelay is winning out for me.

    I like old tape echo machines but I haven't heard the sparkling reviews as I have about the gigadelay...

    I will need an affordable, sturdy delay unit that can sample short phrases if needed with an expression pedal to go from one parameters setting to another.

    I used to love the functionality of my DL4 but I'm going to have to look around. I have a lot of time before I make my purchase anyway.

    I will want an Octaver before than anyway.

    Maybe even a tone hammer.

    But even before that I need to get my EHX pedals looked at...true bypass, the polyphase needs a lot of work.


    [​IMG]

    I'd really like to get a sawtooth filter/fuzz. Perhaps an Ampeg Scrambler. The only other things that have done it for me for huge grit are big muff pis and the Stevenson Stage Hog.


    http://www.stephensonamps.com/stagehog.htm
    [​IMG]

    They're really different on the scale of quality and tone, but those are the 3 pedals that got me.

    Aside from that, the line 6 FM4 is another awesome useable pedal that would get me great filter tones....it's just that I never had the same luck with my chain with my DL4 in line.

    Maybe it was the worm.

    Maybe it was everything else before it.
     
  10. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    oh yeah...thanks, bongo. that's a stellar idea!
     
  11. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    This is sound advice.

    Where does one get this information?
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Some of it can be guessed "close enough" by looking at what type of thing it is generally. Most pedals you can safely guess take an instrument level input, and most also put out an instrument level output. Of course there are many exceptions, especially on the output end, but there's one rule of thumb.

    -10dBu line level gear is typically marketed to the budget end of gear buyers, so the fx loop of a small combo amp, and a DJ sampler effect, and a cheaper rack multieffect, you may often figure are ideally run around -10dBu at both in and output.

    +4dBu is more of a pro studio standard, and is expected on more expensive gear and "prosumer" gear.

    Then you look at the marketed purpose of the device- does it claim to be able to drive a power amp or the power section of an amp head/combo, or to be a DI, or to buffer your pedal chain, or any other interface where you can assume that if it claims to do X it must have in/output Y?

    And of course many devices have the specs published by the manufacturer. Aside from broad guesswork, for impedance you pretty much have to rely on the published specs. You can often set that one aside until there is some problem -signal too low, highs attenuated, etc.- and you ask your self why, then it's time to research the impedance relationships and see if that's the problem.

    A common issue partly caused by impedance mismatch is a fuzz pedal that sounds crappy following another pedal, or with an active bass. We are sort of in a developmental period as far as solutions for that one- there are solutions that works for some people, but all the bugs haven't been worked out yet for all cases. Still, it's worth being aware of even if a solution is not handy.
     
  13. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    My FX Loop has an impedance switch.

    Great number to remember...+4!
     

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