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Pedal Board Vs. Multi-effects Board

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by fedebass, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. fedebass


    Feb 22, 2006
    Aarhus, Denmark
    Ok, I'm sure someone already posted about this thing, but I can't find it, so if that's the case please excuse me.
    Now here is my topic:
    For years I've been using a pedalboard with all the stuff I needed and wanted. When I moved from Europe to the US I didn't bring all my pedals and stuff (space issues) but just my OC-2 and compressor.
    The other night I had a gig, and a friend of mine gave the Boss GT-6B to try out.
    Well, I was pretty impressed. It's true that I didn't have all the sounds exactely as I had them with my pedalboard (also because I only had a couple days to play with the GT-6) and some effects weren't really amazing sound wise, but the less hassle to just get on stage, plug one thing in-one thing out, have all the sounds ready for different songs and stuff like that was really a pleasent experience.
    Now I'm torn: should I just get my pedalboard mailed here (and that's gonna cost me a lot of money) or should I just get a multi FX? (that is gonna cost me almost the same).
    Any suggestion?
  2. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I have pondered this question often myself.

    Here are the pros and cons as I see it:
    1) Ease of setup
    2) Cost (cheaper)
    3) Programmable, so you can change through many sounds in the same song without leaning over and tweaking knobs
    4) No 9Vs to check
    5) You do not have to worry about a bazillion patch cords, so if something goes wrong onstage, you do not have to jiggle every cord to find out where it's coming from
    6) You don't degrade your signal as much

    1) Individual pedals generally do a better job at a specific effect than a multi effects does
    2) If you just want to bring one effect, you can do so easily with a single effect pedal
    3) With individual pedals, if something breaks, you do not have to replace the whole unit
    4) You can upgrade portions of an effects setup without having to buy all the others

    If I were to go back to the beginning, I would probably be seriously thinking about a multi effects unit. But seeing as I already have a bunch of individual pedals, I'll stick with it. I generally do not use them that much, so I don't have too much of a hassle when I bring out the board now and then. Otherwise, I just use them individually when the need arises.
  3. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Seems to me that for many live situations a multi-effect is probably good enough for people who want some light effects, but arn't "effects driven" if that makes sense.

    Recording seems to be a different story.
  4. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm coming at this from the opposite side. I started out w/ various multi effects (including rackmount units) and now I've gone old school and all my effects are single function pedals. I've discovered that I'm a sucker for simplicity (and clarity), and as Smallmouth said, a pedal that's designed to do one thing will generally do it better than something that does a hundred things. For myself, playing mostly in a jam band/improv setting, it's the programability of multi effects that makes them impractical. I need to change things quickly, not scroll thru menu pages. My favorite current effect is an MXR Phase 90, only one knob and I can adjust it with the edge of my boot while playing!

    If my playing situation were such that at a gig or rehearsal I could say "OK. This is song "X", so I need this, this and this set like this, that's preset 27." I'd be all over a multi effect unit.

    My 2 cents.
  5. How long will you be in Europe? Is it permanent?

    What I'm getting at is you say it will cost the same to buy a multi as have your pedal board shipped to you? Then get the multi and you'll have both when you return, (if that is the case), and then you can sell one or the other.

    If it is permanent, I'm envious. But that also doesn't make the decision go away. It depends on what kind of pedals you have on your pedalboard. I'd probably go with a multi, especially if you brought your OC-2 and a compressor with you.
  6. lowstar


    Jul 3, 2001
    the biggest difference: the multi is digital :spit:
    the stompers are (usually) analog :p
    most digital fx don´t even have a true bypass to start with, and the quality of the single fx ??

    it´s like hi-fi: if you don´t notice a difference, go for the cheaper or more practical. if you do, GO FOR IT !

  7. fedebass


    Feb 22, 2006
    Aarhus, Denmark
    Actually I moved from Europe to the U.S. :)
    I do prefer analog too, but the practicality is just so much better.
    And we are talking about live performances, for recording I would never use a mulit-fx either.
    The fact is that I'm not planning to go back to europe for a while (to visit) and I just don't have the money to rebuild my pedalboard again, and since there's no recording planned for some time I was just thinking to switch to the the dark side (a.k.a. digital) because, after all I'm lazy!
    Thank you guys for your help!
  8. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    +1 on the post below. Rather than spending $ to have stuff shipped from Europe, why not buy a multi effect unit here. (Probbaly cheaper in N. America than Europe.) Whilst here, evaluate it to your heart's content. When it's time to head back you can decide whether to keep it or Ebay it.

    My complaint on multi-effects is overkill. In the software industry, it's 'bloatware': loading a product with too many features. The same thing is happening with multi-effects: too many features that have benfits that are minimal to non-existant and have the drawback of adding unnecessary complication.

    I have yet to meet a bass player who likes amp modelling.

    I love my ME-50b but the effect modelling is overkill.

  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I like the V-Bass's amp/cab modeling. I've talked to a number of others who do also.
  10. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    At least a couple of the multieffects/preamps have mostly good effects -and some great ones. You wouldn't necessarily notice that with the factory presets though. As for the digital vs analog bit - a lot of good recordings are made these days using DAWs/computers and a lot of DIGITAL plugins. DAC/ADC and algorithm quality have more to do with it than digital versus analog, I think.

    The great thing about multieffects is the simultaneous control of multiple parameters.
  11. fedebass


    Feb 22, 2006
    Aarhus, Denmark
    So you guys think I should go with the GT-6B? It's true, I wasn't crazy about the amp modeling stuff, but, once again, I just had a couple days to play with it. The other Boss multieffect (the ME-50B) seems to be doing almost the same stuff without the modeler and it's $100 less...
    Unfortunately the V-Bass is waaaay over my price range, and the Zoom B2.1u (or whatever it is) seems kinda like a toy.
  12. My two cent:
    If you (plan to) play in a coverband where you need the sounds of 40 songs. Buy a multi-effect.
    If you (plan to) play in an original band, buy some pedals to set up your tone.

    The reason why I changed from multi to pedals is because I play in an original band and like Groundloop

  13. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    Pro's and con's are stated, but I always got lost in multi fx. So many options and possibilities... I couldn't see the forest trough the trees.
    And there was always a lot I didn't use and what I did want to use, didn't sound like I wanted it to.
    Now I have 3 pedals. (number will probably grow :))
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I go back and forth on this all the time. I don't use many effects, but it's almost enough where a multi may be nice.

    For my rock gig, I use a tuner and maybe a phaser or a distortion for a tune or two. For jazz, I use a tuner, phaser, chorus and a reverb if I had one.

    I tried a Boss ME-50B this weekend. It was tempting, but I think I'm better off just bringing what I need to a gig. It really doesn't take THAT long to plug in a couple pedals. The TU-2 powers them all and they fit easily in my briefcase with all the extra stuff you need like cables, extension cords, etc.

    Yes, it's more expensive, but in the long run, I think a better option - at least for me.
  15. fedebass


    Feb 22, 2006
    Aarhus, Denmark
    thanks to all you guys for your help!
    I think I'm gonna go with the single pedals: I had more time to play around with the p.board and I'm not that much into it.
    Thanks again!

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