Multis: Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DagoMaino, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I find myself at another impasse. I am building another board specifically for my my piccolo strung bass. I definitely love stompboxes. I build them as a hobby, I love the tone of analog circuits or simple digital stompboxes (PT2399 chips etc.), I also own quite a few digital stompboxes that are a lot of fun...but I find myself returning to consider how I could have a M9 on my board that covers the ground of 7 or 8 other boxes and has the all the other bells and whistles (looper, tuner, all my modulation tap sync'd, etc.) I'd keep my dirt boxes separate, but dang I'm thinkin' I may abandon the rest for a multi.

    The other difficulty is that there are only a few unique features that cause me to hang on to some of these items. While I love good tone as much as the next guy, I'm not necessarily one of those guys that thinks that it's a crowd killer to use a digital pedal that can get you 95%+ of the tone.

    ...Then, of course, there is the Axe FX floorboard that could probably replace 30 of my pedals and about $500 of cables with almost all of the routing options I currently have... Here we go again...
    zapped777 likes this.
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra.

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I've never really considered a multi-effect unit. Unless you count some of the Source Audio stuff I like. The Manta, for example, does standard envelope filters as well as complimentary dirt and more. I'd say it's easily doing the work of 3 other pedals. I'm already having some seller's remorse about the OFD I flipped. It wasn't quite getting the retro dirt sound I wanted, so I got a VT Bass. But now I kind of wish I had both.

    Just the other day I nearly flipped my Carbon Copy for a Zoom multi-effect stomp box. I figured I only use the delay for one song. And the multi could do that plus a bunch more other stuff. Even if it's not as good of a delay, it would make up for it by doing other one-off effects I might need. Plus, it's only one song how good does it have to be?
  3. I ignored the possibility of a multi-effects pedal and built my beloved board you see in my profile pic, but the other day I saw the Zoom B9.1ut and woah - a real tube, XLR DI, MIDI, the works... made me wonder what I need a full board for considering how portable and easy (once my preferences were saved) it could be.
  4. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    I "grew up" on multis---Digitech BP-8, Boss GT-6B, Boss GT-10B, before slowly over the last three years or so making a transition to individual pedals, then through MIDI back to really "chaining" my pedals together.

    The point is, I've seen the advantages and disadvantages of both. I certainly think the AxeFX looks sweet.
  5. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Yup, part of me loves the process of hand selecting each stompbox for the exact effects I hear in my head, but sometimes I have to return to the reality of carting all of it around. Having three different large pedal boards for different applications is fun, but starts to get a little impractical. Ha ha trying to walk through my music room is an obstacle course to say the least.
    Ba55Man1ac likes this.
  6. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    I'd never go back. With 55 amps, 26 cabinets, 86 effects, 200 presets (100 user. 20 banks of 10), the preamp bypass is my favorite feature (it bypasses my amps preamp, it just uses the power amp section of my amp...or not), stomp loop (turns external pedals on, or off), tuner, drum machine, looper...etc. Looks like it's just me and Pete Trewavas of Marillion using it. Our little secret, I guess. The RP1000 is for me. :)


    With his little brother (BP355) in the thumbnail.

    Attached Files:

    rtav and static0verdrive like this.
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra.

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I'd love to try one of those.
    NealBass likes this.
  8. I use multi efx for several reasons the main one being keeping things to a manageable size. My pedal board would need to have 40 or more effects to cover my needs. The B2 & B3 cover a lot of sonic territory for me.
  9. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I had a B3 for a while - just way too much trouble to set up for my uses. I was mainly looking for a good synth sound and picked up a EHX Bass Microsynth which does that very well. Sold the B3.....

    And just picked up a B2.1u off of Craigslist. Price was great, so what the you said - pulled back in;)
  10. Multi effects are such a tortuous thing for me. I love the convinience and ease of them, I love the cheapness, and the simplicity. But I also like just randomly stomping pedals on, playing with knobs in songs, the tones, and the excitement.
  11. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    I love and hate multi's and have gone back and forth many times. I get fed up with the lackluster tones/sounds on a multi and put together a nice board of choice effects... then I get sick of all the hassle of the board and cables and making sure everything is wired up nicely and getting all the knobs just so and I think "boy a multi would sure be easier"... and then the cycle pretty much repeats itself. :/

    The only solution I've found is to more or less obliterate effects from my life. It helps that I've switched from a rock cover band to more country/acoustic type of genre (don't need as many effects to cover the setlist). Now I have the micro board, 3 mooer sized pedals: tuner>boost>delay
    AlexBassMP likes this.
  12. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Yeah I've thought about what could replace my M9 and found that if I got rid of it I'd definitely need a bigger board.

    Plus to be fair for the stuff I'm using it for* it's actually very good. I've got no issues with the quality of the effects and the exp. pedal flexibility started out as a huge bonus and quickly became a vital feature for me using effects live.

    * The only stuff I don't use it for is filters, octavers (I do use it for pitch shifting though), dirt and sample rate reducers (because it doesn't have one).
    AlexBassMP likes this.
  13. AlexBassMP


    Feb 5, 2014
    I've a love/hate rellationship with multifx.

    I use my Zoom B1on for home practice and headphone amp. I also use it like to experiment wiht fx,reverbs,delays... I also use it as a drum machine/metronome with my students. The best cheap/entry level multifx I've found. For 50$ it's a bargain.

    When it's time to play with my bands I use a Boss Me50B or a Zoom Ms60B . Usually I select a patch and play the song. Both of them do the job and sound well for the money... but sometimes I miss some analog feel when I play some dirt sounds (The Boss Me50B sounds warmer than my Zooms IMO) and I want to get out of the "patch based tone" . My main fx are compressor and overdrive. Sometimes I use a booster patch to pump up the volume in some parts and a flanger for a clean intro. I play in three bands and I use a different fx setup in everyone of them...and I don't want to have a three different pedalboards or a big one

    Maybe the AxeFx pedalboard or a Line6M9 will fit with my needs.
    NealBass likes this.
  14. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    At first glance I thought the title of the thread was:

    Mullets: Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in...

    Anyhoo - Although I am now using pedals and finishing my first pedal board build, I plan on purchasing a multi-effects unit for my second band (probably a Boss GT-10B, ME-50B or something similar) for convenience and flexibility. I used to own a Boss ME-50B I loved being able to call up some dirt, some chorus, volume/expression pedal and tuner all in one unit.

    BTW, that Digitech RP1000 looks pretty sweet. The guitarist in my second band uses a TC Electronic G System with some extra pedals that looks really nice and sounds great.

    I never understood the disdain many express over a lot of the bass multi-effects. They can be convenient and terrific as long as you have reasonable expectations and know what you're doing.
    Need Gigs, DagoMaino and NealBass like this.
  15. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    I've had a variety of single pedals and I've had a Zoom B2 and a Zoom B2.1u, and while I live the simplicity of having just one box in front of me, I personally find it simpler for the purpose of getting a sound for a song quickly to have my 4 or 5 effects (eq, volume rocker, dirt, delay, emulator) on separate pedals. For me. At this time. All rights reserved to change my mind back in the future. Your mileage may vary.
  16. St. Louis Scot

    St. Louis Scot Guest

    Sep 16, 2013
    Austin, Tx
    I recently bought a BEM Box. Total tone killer. Used it once. Now it's my toy of guitar nonsense.

    I've never had a pedal board of stomp boxes. I've always played clean. But now I'm slowly putting one together, and I'm hearing the benefit of spending good money and also selecting boxes with true bypass.
  17. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I have and use both: a BP-355 and a handful of other pedals. The BP couldn't reproduce the fuzz I wanted, and the envelope filter is kind of lackluster I got pedals to cover those. The OD isn't bad at all, but I like the EQ and drive and tone all together, so I have a pedal for that.

    But the expression pedal routing to any frikkin' parameter, and sounds like the chorus and flanger and various synth effects, and the delays & reverbs nicely tuned to bass frequencies...those are great. And the compressors aren't bad either (the CS-3 is GREAT for using with my Q-Tron+).

    Even though I seldom use the BP-355 in the studio, the stereo outputs are intriguing. I've been making spacier stuff recently, so a pingpong delay and stereo reverb could come in handy, and it's got a few amp models I'd say are passable enough to use it as a DI.

    With that said, I have a hardware CS-3 Opto Plus that I put after the Q-Tron+, and have been running that thru the VTD. A world of funk with none of the preamp clipping. If I don't need the other stuff, a couple of pedals lined up is super quick to do and every control is at my fingertips. There's no multiFX pedal that can replicate that (ignoring the various 2-in-1 types of things).
    NealBass likes this.
  18. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Yeah, I agree. I used a Big Muff Pie with the BP355, myself. I don't have to with the RP1000, though. The distortion on that one is actually better than the Pie, IMHO. I was surprised at the difference.
  19. I use both. I love multis. I love one trick ponies.
  20. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I started using MultiFX, then began hating the programming part, and how I always seemed to need to tweak it again. I downgraded to a floor board, and hated that wen more.

    Now I'm all pedals, no multis.

    The multis now have far more options for signal routing and the sound is getting better. There are some multis that always sounded decent and could get you by on stage (Digitech RP & Line6). In the studio tho, they limit my sound creation. I want to be able to do what is present now. Not menu dive, grab a mouse or whatever. I also love a dynamic and responsive effect that takes a certain touch of the strings to coax some new texture. You just don't find that in a multi.

    The time I spend organize and build a reliable board.