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Loop switcher questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mikeddd, Apr 27, 2010.


  1. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm looking at purchasing a loop switcher w/bypass/tuner out from loop-switchers.com and I have a few questions. I read their FAQ (which really explains not too much, actually!) and searched here and didn't find an exact answers to my questions. Please don't laugh too hard. :meh:

    Say I get a 3-loop switcher. I plug things in this way:

    Loop1-distortion
    Loop2-chorus
    Loop3-delay

    QUESTION 1: Do the effects cascade? IOW, if I turn on Loop1 I have distortion. If I also turn on Loop2 do I then have distortion AND chorus?

    QUESTION 2: Do the effects always stay "in order? I.E. If I have Loop3 on by itself I have have delay, but if I then turn on Loop1 does the signal stay distortion-->delay?

    QUESTION 3: How quiet is the switching? Is there a noticable "POP" when clicking loops in/out?

    Thank you very much!

    Mike
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Well, the very first thing to know is that not all switchers are built the same. So for questions specific to the one maker, you need to ask them directly. For example you'll have to ask them about the cascading and effect order; we won't know. I'd only ask others in the case of a well-known brand that people are likely to have. FWIW most commonplace loop switchers will cascade loops, and will not change the order of the effects, because parallel loops and order-switching require more advanced skills than many of these smalltime box builders bother to learn. There are more advanced loop box builders out there, you just have to ask around about the specific features you want.

    The next thing is that almost all "budget" or small-time builder loop boxes use 3PDT switches, which are very prone to loud "pops". There are some tricks for minimizing that, but just know that popping noises are a common side effect of "true bypass" switching.
     
  3. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thanks very much for the detailed reply, Bongomania. I thought a switcher was a switcher...didn't realize it was more complicated then that. I'll shoot the guy an email and pose my questions to him.

    Side note: I've read about half of all your compressor reviews; impressive work! Thanks for taking the time to review and share the results with us. :)
     
  4. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I agree with Bongomania that you will have to contact the manufacturer with specific questions.

    I'm betting that to turn loop 1 off, you will have to hit the button again. Hitting button 2 first would make two loops come on. Is that what you mean by cascading?

    The other thing I'm wondering about is whether the loops are series or parallel. In other words, will turning on loops 1 and 2 in your example give you "chorused distortion", or a clean sound effected with distortion and chorus individually?

    Series is probably less expensive to build, and either way is okay. It's just good to know what you're getting.
     
  5. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Hi Bob C,

    Maybe I worded my OP incorrectly...switchers is a new realm for me. I'm thinking that the Loop-Master switchers basically just take pedals (or groups of pedals) in or out of the chain.

    My understanding of the switcher is question is that it functions like this:

    Imagine a chain of pedals hooked directly together. Now imagine the switcher just taking each pedal silently out of the chain. The chain continues on sequentially, just without the now-removed effect in the chain. I'm assuming that the loops are serial (cascading was a bad choice of words). I'm assuming I would get "Chorused distortion" i.e. a distorted signal fed into a chorus vs. "a distorted sound mixed with a chorused sound."

    I agree that it's good to know what I'm getting! I hope the guy at Loop Master understands my incorrectly worded email. :(
     
  6. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    mikeddd,

    I'm an effects noob, but I think you're probably right (Again, email the manufacturer with questions).

    If you have lots of effects, multiple loops will help you hook them up in creative ways. But it is unlikely that you will want or need a separate loop for each pedal.
     
  7. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I've had a few loopers, and are you asking if you have Loops 1, 2 and 3, that if you have all 3 on, and you turn off say Loop 2, will 1 and 3 still work and just hit those FX?

    If so I'm pretty sure, or at least the ones I've used or had built will.
     
  8. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    @rockstarbassist: Yep, that's what I'm asking. :) AND are the effects/loops sequential. Loop1 feeds into Loop2 into Loop3, etc. We'll see what LoopMaster says. I'll post the reply here so hopefully it can help others down the line.
     
  9. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Ok, then yeah I can say all the ones I've had will do that. They're all independent, and act like their "own" pedals, and work in the signal chain you put them.
    I haven't seen anything outside the GCX system (which is a whole 'nother deal) that will like change the order of them, though. Like it only goes 1, 2, 3. You can't make 3 go before 2 then 1, otherwise you'd just set 'em up that way! ;)

    Good luck. These looping/switching systems are a godsend when using multiple FX.
     
  10. 3toes

    3toes

    Aug 30, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    I've been down this road before... Yes the loops are in series, meaning that they will feed into each other.

    I tried to work out a solution to a parallel looper a while back, and it just ended up being a huge headache trying to get it to work.
     
  11. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thanks much, rockstarbassist and 3toes; that's good news. :)
     
  12. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I've used custom loopers in the past, but will probably opt for the Radial Big Shot this time around. Compact, solid, reliable. But I know Loop-Master makes great stuff so no worries, plus you can have more than 2 loops!
     
  13. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Wow, fast response from Brian at Loop-Master!

    QUESTION 1: Do the effects cascade? IOW, if I turn on Loop1 I have distortion. If I also turn on Loop2 do I then have distortion AND chorus? Correct.

    QUESTION 2: Do the effects always stay "in order? I.E. If I have Loop3 on by itself I have delay, but if I then turn on Loop1 does the signal stay distortion-->delay? They do stay in order.

    QUESTION 3: How quiet is the switching? Is there a noticeable "POP" when clicking loops in/out? Please read our reviews and testimonials to see what others have said about this.

    Looks like I'll be getting one. Now to figure out how many inputs/loops I need. I've got four pedals on the way; only two are true bypass. Better to think towards the future and big, crowded pedalboard, I think, right? :D
     
  14. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    In determining how many you need (loops), do you use any pedals usually or mostly at the same time? They could go in one.

    For me, 2-3 would be max, or 2 w/ a tuner out. 1 for drive/dirt/etc., 2nd for modulation stuff. I don't usually run a dirt+delay or chorus, so YMMV.

    And actually my new PB setup will prolly be:

    Bass-->X2 wireless-->Korg Pitchblack-->Radial Big Shot:Loop 1- 2-3 distortion/OD pedals-Loop 2-Line 6 M9-->amp. Easy enough. :cool:
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    For what it's worth, there are almost no loop switchers that allow you to have your effects in anything but serial. The Switchblade rack units are the only switchers I can think of that let you route your effects chain order however you want it.
     
  16. Hector_G

    Hector_G

    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    LoopMaster does have an option to add in another switch that will reverse the order of two loops. I have one on mine.

    So say you have distortion in loop 1.
    Then an octave in loop 2.

    A push of the reverse switch will give you the options of either
    distortion > octave
    or
    octave > distortion

    Pretty handy. I love mine.
     
  17. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    It's worth a lot! I'm a switcher n00b so the information is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bryan. BTW: Your pedal board is a thing of beauty for sure. (I've been checking out the "Show your board" threads) :)
     
  18. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thanks, Hector_G. You just made another $50 fly out of my pocket to get a reverse switch! Mmm! Options!
    GAS is contagious! :eek:
     
  19. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    The Wounded Paw Super Blender has three parallel loops. Does that count?

    Of course, some/most people may prefer series loops. And if only one at a time is used, it's a non-issue, right?
     
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    All blender pedals are parallel loops. :)
     

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