Need advice about splitting a signal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by flojob, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I don't know much about effects, so I hope yall can let me know what's up.
    I bought some pedals, and noticed a change in tone even when they are not on. Also I'd like to have an ABY box to engage multiple pedals at once. I say ABY, because I already have one. So here are my questions.
    What do you do to keep your tone? Especially when using multiple effects?
    For example, my clean tone changes when I plug into my envelop filter (even when off). Any way to avoid this?
    I only have 1 input on my shuttle 9.2. Is there a way to use that ABY box as I am wanting? I'd like to be able to stack effects, bit turn them on with one push. I don't think I can with this amp though. Hope I'm wrong.
    Sorry if I'm not explaining clearly, but I hope to get it worked out.
    Thanks in advance
  2. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
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  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I use a bypass looper strip style myself. It helps keep your tone and signal strong and it makes operating multiple pedals easy as heck.

    You can avoid that tone suck from the filter by plugging it into one of the loops on a bypass strip. That way its completely out of your chain unless you engage that specific loop.
  4. ProfFrink


    Jan 16, 2015
    The tone suck might be related to lack of proper buffering. Is it an active or passive bass you're playing? Also what type of envelope is this?
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  5. Often when you use long cables from bass to a bunch of effects connected by smaller cables followed by another long cable to the amp you end up getting some loss in the high end of your bass tone because the way the electronics of the guitar and cable works creates a low-pass filter, and when the capacitance of the signal builds up as the cable length gets longer the more high-end you lose.
    Check out this video for a better explanation than I could ever provide:

    How would you describe the "difference in tone" that you're experiencing? Is it a loss of high end? Or could it be something else? Bad cabling maybe?
    How many effects are you running? Are they all true bypass? Are they vintage pedals and have crappy bypass circuits?
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  6. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Hey thanks everybody! @Connormac123456 I'm using a G30 to the board, and a 6 ft cable from board to amp.
    @ProfFrink I have both passive and active, and the same behavior from both. But the tone suck I'm talking about is a darkening. To my ears, anyway. @gregmon79 thanks I'll check that out!
    BTW, the pedals are all MXR. I'm not an effects connoisseur, so the effects themselves sound OK. Looking forward to using them more!
    I have envelope, distortion, preamp stomp, and octaver. That Sweetwater easy payment thing sucked me in!
  7. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Oh @Connormac123456
    I think they're all true bypass, and yeah its a loss of high end and a little punch. It's just kind of lame, but if it's a necessary evil I guess I'll just deal with it.
  8. I know it is rather expensive, but I use the Lehle RMI Basswitch for this purpose.
    The other Lehle splitters are top quality, too. They've put a lof of effort into not letting pedals degrade the quality of your signal. Even "true bypass" pedals. They are not "witches": if a pedal is really degrading your signal, no matter what, and your signal goes through this pedal, Lehle can't prevent this from happening...
    The basswitch is a top-notch DI. And has a serial and a parallel-effects loop. The serial-effects loop can be set to off. You can decide if the DI-signal carries both effect loops and the EQ or just the boost or just the pure signal of your instrument.

    Here is a picture of the basswitch on Marcus Millers' board:

    What follows is an exerpt of the manual for the Basswitch. For sure it is marketing, but nonetheless I think it explains very well the problems with pedals etc. even if you are not interested in the Lehle pedal:

    "True Bypass and True Sound
    Today more and more effect pedals fea-
    ture true bypass switching to completely
    bypass the pedal in the signal routing
    when the pedal is switched off. The target
    of this design is to ensure that the pedal
    does not affect the electrical signal when
    it is switched off. This way the sound is
    left unaltered ‑ in theory.
    In practice, however, connecting several
    pedals featuring a true‑bypass design in
    series does not improve the sound or keep
    it unaltered at all. Long runs of cable and
    multiple connections lead to a weak and
    lifeless sound. On large pedalboards the
    overall length of the cable is enough for the
    capacitance of the cable have a negative
    effect on the sound. The capacitance of the
    cable acts as a low‑pass filter (= the low
    frequencies pass through the filter while
    the high frequencies are filtered out). The
    price and quality of the cable you are using
    will not change this physical phenomenon.
    A solution would be to use only devices
    with buffered bypass design instead of
    true bypass. This, however, is only a good
    solution if the buffer is of very high qual

    ity. If several units with buffered bypass
    are connected in series it only needs one
    buffer to be noisy, cut the dynamics of
    the sound signal or negatively affect the
    sound in any other way for the sound of
    the whole effect chain to be spoilt. As the
    saying goes „a chain is only as strong as
    its weakest link”. In addition, the noise of
    the individual buffers adds up to produce
    audible noise; it is a fact that every buffer
    produces some noise, even if it cannot be
    heard when only a single buffer is used.
    The ideal solution is to have a very
    high‑quality buffer at the beginning of
    the chain that brings the signal down to
    a very low impedance. This makes the sig

    nal insensitive to the length of the cable.
    It is important, however, that this buffer
    is of the highest quality with the dynamic
    range and headroom necessary to ensure
    that all the details of the bass signal stay
    are retained unaltered.
    The effect pedals in the downstream loops
    should then ideally have true bypass so
    that they will not have a negatively effect
    on the now buffered signal, as the true
    bypass design does not reduce dynamics
    and headroom or produce any noise.
    Having a True Sound Lehle buffer at the beginning of your effect chain combined with good true‑bypass‑equipped effects in the loop guarantees the best sound."

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  9. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    T1M Mini Buffer MB | Reverb

    Not mine, some reputation issues with the builder, but I have one and it works great!!!!! Fixes that wet blanket issue and its $30
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