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Multi-Effects Units

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by barebones, Mar 27, 2006.


  1. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Hey, all. I've been looking around TB at the various reviews of multi-effects units, floor boards, etc., and I'm wondering if there are any units that allow the user to combine effects of the same type. Seems most of these products only allow you to choose, say, one type of distortion at a time, or one type of modulation effect. I'm wondering if there are any that allow greater flexibility in this area. If not, why? Is it just too much for current technology to handle? I really think this is the main functional feature (or lack thereof) that holds multi-effects units back when compared to using individual pedals. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    Matt
     
  2. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Well, with the V-Bass I can use a DIST/OD in conjunction with an overdriven head/cab combination - some of which can get VERY nasty as well as subtly overdrive - and with somewhat flexible routing that alllows me to run just the magnetics or just the GK signal through one, and both through the other, as well as using footswitch or treadle to change the gain structures on one or both.

    It also alllows me to use chorus simultaneously with flanger or phaser or another type of chorusing or pitch shifter set up to do barber pole flanging or chorusing. Also, the COSM models can do a fair amount of modulation stuff. Again, the routing can allow some layering between what the GK-derived signal and the host bass's magnetics are passing through, and changing parameters with various continuous controllers.

    The effects are rich and complex enough that any more would simply be too much frosting on the cake.
     
  3. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    So you can use the V-Bass without having to add the GK pickup to your bass? I was not aware of this. I'll have to download the manual on that one and see how it works...

    And I agree with you that being able to run two of the aforementioned effects simultaneously would probably be enough for my needs. The main thing I've always wondered about is why some of the other manufacturers don't see the usefulness to some players to be able to run fast and slow modulation effects together, or different delay types at the same time. I've always found this to be thoroughly entertaining!

    Matt
     
  4. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yeah, you don't need a GK to get a hella lot out of a V-Bass. But once you do it's tough to NOT want to use the additional resource.
     
  5. Samurai

    Samurai

    Sep 13, 2003
    California
    You can do it with the Boss GT-6B.
     
  6. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Really? Okay, I'm clearly going to have to go back and do my homework again, because I could have sworn I read that both the GT-6B and the ME-50B would NOT allow you to do this. I must have misread something.

    Thanks for the info.

    Matt
     
  7. dirtgroove

    dirtgroove

    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Really- on a GT6B you can do what you're asking.
     
  8. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Hmm... So it appears looking at this a little closer then, that one main advantage to me of the GT-6B over the ME-50B would be the ability to run similar effect types together, rather than having to choose just one. Are there other multi-effects units that have this ability? Just curious. I guess the only other possibilities in this price/features range are the Digitech BNX3 and the Roland V-Bass (which is mentioned above)?

    Matt
     
  9. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I believe the BOSS VF-1 does, if you prefer rack mounted units. Mine does some pretty amazing things.
     
  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I know that you can't combine two distortions on the ME-50B.
    Only one type of effect at a time. You can combine a distortion with a modulation and or filter effect.
     
  11. BANGTHEORY

    BANGTHEORY

    Mar 29, 2006
    Atlanta
    Most of your multi-effects units offer both a preamp gain section (for "natural tube" distortion/overdrive, just turn up the gain) as well as some choices of distortions, however, they do usually give you a choice of either Flange, Chorus, Phaser, etc., 1 Echo/Delay and 1 Reverb. Some of the higher end units can be run with completely independent Left and Right chains.

    It's not really technology keeping this from being the common set up for multi-effects units as my old much maligned and misunderstood A.R.T. Nightbass SE does this with some effects (at least the Delays), it's basically price that keeps them from using a dual DSP configuration.

    If you need/want 1 extra modulation effect, maybe just use a stompbox in the effects loop of your current set up(or pre/post depending on what you feel like doing/sounds good at the time to you). I tend to like using Phaser with a bit of Chorus sometimes for instance so I have an extra Phaser, cheaper than buying a Lexicon MPX1...and I think, though it has independent Left and Right channels/effect chains, it still has only 1 modulation effect choice per chain, so Left could have Chorus and Right could have Flange, but neither Left nor Right could have both at the same time...I don't think so anyway, but I guess I could download the manual and get back with y'all if you want to know more :).

    Good luck and enjoy!-S.
     
  12. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I've been kicking around the whole individual pedals vs. multi-effects units for a while now, and, as most people here have pointed out, there are always compromises. The othermain thing I would like to be able to do (in addition to the effects stacking idea I mentioned above) is to be able to save my various sound creations. Basically I want to do in a live situation something that I've done in the studio for years--create specific sounds for specific songs. Only I don't want to have to fiddle so much BETWEEN songs at a show to get to those sounds. I guess this one pretty obvious feature a lot of us are after when considering these units.

    Anyway, after reading up a little more, I'm strongly leaning toward the GT-6B, because it sounds like it does what I need, and I can always go buy one at Guitar Center and return it if it doesn't.

    I've also just started researching the BNX3 unit from Digitech, but haven't gotten to the aforementioned aspects of functionality with it yet. I've read some comments here at TB stating that it's a noisy unit, which I know would kind of bug me; although I've always kind of wondered if these noise issues are truly inherent in the unit and/or its power source, or the pickups and cables that precede the unit.

    Matt
     
  13. BANGTHEORY

    BANGTHEORY

    Mar 29, 2006
    Atlanta
    It does sound like the GT-6B should let you use 2 modulation effects, but with the new GT-8 for guitar they have some fairly nifty features like cascading one channel into the other using dynamics with seperate left and right channels and the ability to morph the two.

    I figure a GT-8B has to be showing up sometime in the not too distant future and, while it'll probably be set up somewhat differently than the guitar model, almost surely will have some very interesting new features that are likely to make it worth waiting for.

    Personally, while I will consider something like that as an nice new emulator, I'm moving towards using more tubes. I plan to get an Ampeg SVP-CL pre as well as an Alembic F 2B, so I am looking for some type of new effects system to use with those, but not neccessarily another emulator(I have a PODxt and with it, you get 1 Modulation, bi-amping and/or clean out, no true stereo), as well as the Nightbass I mentioned. I'm considering something like the Rocktron Expression:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Guitar/Effects?sku=180796

    Wondering if anyone has any experience with one of these? Seems folks on Musician's friend (mostly) liked them and friend's I've had have always liked their Rocktron gear. Not sure if multi-voiced delays and chorus equates to what you're seeking, but maybe partially. Probably something that more what I seek though.

    Catch you later and enjoy!-S.
     
  14. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A lot of guys comaing at this from stomp boxes look at it like a good multieffect/preamp is full of compromises. I look at it from the opposiute perspective. I don't want to deal with levels/buffering mismatches, severe routing limitations, constant pedal searching and swapping, dealing with so may knobs that won't all change AS A SYSTEM to how I want them for specific sounds, less footcontrol for continuous control stuff, etc.

    While they are out buying and selling pedals and trying to get things to work better together I'm just designing presets that work the way I want them to and don't have to deal with what I used to back when I was stuck with real big racks and a lot of stuff on the floor. I've stuck to the same unit for about four or five years now, know it backwards and forwards, and still get a thrill out of using it / hearing it. I think a lot of the multis have come far enough now that a canny user can get super-quality sounds in great combinations and have good control over the works AS A SYSTEM. I know the V-Bass has all I want and then some - only if I were doing lots of solo gigs would I ad one more piece: a Loopertronics rackmount looper. I'm kinda glad I'm not, because that would just be another piece of gear to be owned by ; }
     
  15. BANGTHEORY

    BANGTHEORY

    Mar 29, 2006
    Atlanta
    When I mentioned the compromise in quality I was making more of a comparison between lower and higher end Multi-effects units, I can see how it might seem confusing though from the way I wrote that.

    I thought from the thread we weren't really discussing the Multi Vs, Stomp, but more which Multi-FX units are flexible enough to allow 2 Modulation effects at once. In the Multi Vs. Stomp I would weigh in on the Multi-FX side, with an Atericks(*) for: add outboard gear as needed.

    I was also suggesting that Matt might be better off sticking with his current set up and adding just one single purpose pedal for the time, since he is familiar with his current set up and I think a lot of new gear's about to hit the market that will do what he wants with ease(more control over your sound, back by popular demand!).

    I use the old ART Nightbass and manage to get some very useable effects and usually get people raving about my tone. I know a few others out there love their's too, but it has most often been accused of producing nothing but noise and hiss, knowing my effects unit so well, allows me to get dead quiet presets, even with lots of drive and a fair amount of gain (but never with pitch shifting or the supposed sampling effects, as they simply sound worse than...well, they sound terrible).

    I'm kind of figuring the Rocktron's interface is set up in that same background in audio engineering friendly sort of way. Going to see if I can find a manual for it in a search online.

    In a perfect world we'd all be using Eventide and compromise wouldn't be a word we needed to use at all :)-S.
     
  16. How do I do this? The only FX I have been able to figure out to use more than 1 of was the Chorus- and only because of the 2x2 chorus in the FX1... PM me; I may not look back at this thread.
    Thanks!
     
  17. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    If you PM him, post the info here as well, as I think we could all benefit from this information. Thanks!

    Matt
     
  18. BANGTHEORY

    BANGTHEORY

    Mar 29, 2006
    Atlanta
    I found a page with the manual for the Extreme and checked out the BlueThunder Pre too while I was there (had all the Rocktron manuals there); looks like both FX units have the same basic design (the Extreme has no preamp or distortion FX), you definetly can use more than 1 modulation effect within the same preset(as in you set Chorus, Flange and Phase either In or Out, so you can have all 3 In, if you want).

    You can also blend the analog signal from another preamp with the DSP/FX section if you want to use it with your current amp (they suggest in an effects loop) as well as the distortion/clean blending that seems to be pretty much standard for most newer bass distrortions.

    Anyway, from reading about it at least, I was fairly impressed with the features to cost equation on both the Extreme and Blue Thunder and they're probably worth checking out, since I think it's actually around the same price as the GT-6B (or actually a bit less, but keep in mind that if you add a controller, a case, etc., it will end up a bit higher by the time you're done).

    This link will take you to a page with a choice of all their manuals, so if you want to check out the Gainiac and make your bass sound just like a buzzsaw, or something feel free, I'd personally suggest avoiding that buzzsaw thing whenever possible, or leaving it for the guitarist to mess with.

    http://www.rocktron.com/frameset1.html

    Oh yeah, it actually has more indepth parameters than my Nightbass on some of the FX, of course that might be a good reason to avoid it too. Later.-S.
     
  19. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Okay, thanks to the invaluable resource that is TalkBass, here's where I am at the moment. I want to run this idea past you guys and ask a couple more questions.

    After dinking around with things some more and doing a little more research I'm leaning toward the ME-50B. Now, I know this unit will NOT do what I originally asked in this post, but there are many things I like about the unit itself sound- and design-wise (plus I have the opportunity to get one locally, used and CHEAP) and one kind TBer got me thinking about another possibility:

    The idea would be to have the multi-effects unit, so that, among other things, I can have the advantages of saving settings for certain songs, and then supplement that unit with a couple of my favorite pedals on the side if I so desired. That way, if I wanted, say, chorus/delay/phase together, or even just phase/delay, which the ME-50B specifically does not offer, I'd be set. Or if I wanted to use two different delays I could just use my old analog delay... Or if I wanted a different synth sound... Etc., etc., etc. You get the idea.

    Shoot, at the price some of these ME-50Bs are going for used now, I could maybe even pick up two of them at some point and chain them together. I don't know.

    Anyway, let me know if there are any forseeable problems with this idea.

    Also, something I have been unable to get a definitive answer to on the ME-50B--is there any problem with signal dropouts when switching between presets or banks? My only frame of reference for this is an old ME-6B I used to have. That unit switched just fine if you were just using it in pedal mode--basically it sounded no different than switching a bunch of your individual pedals on and off--but if you switched between saved presets there was that glitchy, quick drop out, which drove me nuts. Since I sometimes like to use multiple sounds in a single song, I'd like to have the smoothest transitions possible.

    Thanks again for all the friendly advice I've received thus far.

    Matt
     
  20. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    The ME-0B does have dropout between presets. In manual mode its fine buts thats not the issue.

    The cutout between presets is enough to annoy if you want it instantly. Like you'll have to figure it into your playing. So thats a negative. I dont have a bank pedal so have to use my finger, (or shoeless toe) so i dont know what the time delay in that is.

    Apart form that it works fine and sturdy as hell.

    I was thinking about getting a compressor to go with mine. For the same reasons you said.
     

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