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Signal chain using these pedals...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LeftyLB70P, May 4, 2005.

  1. LeftyLB70P


    May 4, 2005
    Athens, Ga.
    Hi, I am looking for advice on the order that you would place these pedals & the reasons. I have searched and found a number of opinions on pedal placement but I want something specific. The pedals I am using are (and the current order is):
    1)MXR M-88 Octave
    2)Boss AW3 AutoWah
    3)Boss LMB Limiter
    4)Boss CEB3 Chorus

    I will recieve a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive this week and think that I will insert it before the Chorus.

    All of this is running through an effects loop. I would appreciate input from those of you using multiple effects and that is especially true if you use the same effects. Again, please offer reasoning (& Alternatives if you have them) for placement.

  2. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I believe those pedals are really designed to be used at the front end of your amp, not the effects loop.
  3. LeftyLB70P


    May 4, 2005
    Athens, Ga.
    Oh? Why is that?

    I am under the (perhaps incorrect) impression that by using the effects loop I have processed my signal -- simply boosted the original signal in this case -- and by using the effects loop I have a 'cleaner' way of isolating effects.

    My undrstanding is that the signal comes from the bass, hits the preamp where it is boosted, either goes to or bypasses the loop (determined by selecting the effects loop or not), and then heads to the power amp section.

    Please explain why it would be better to run directly through the pedals. Wouldn't this increase the chance of noise? What would be the benefit? (I am asking in earnest, please continue to give me any/all opinions)
  4. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    Is there any certain reason why your chorus pedal is after your compressor? My suggestion would be this -

    1)MXR M-88 Octave
    2)Boss CEB3 Chorus
    3)Boss AW3 AutoWah
    4)Boss LMB Limiter
  5. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Before you take anyone's advice, you need to take a few hours and play. Change it up. Try them in every possible combo, both in and out of a loop. Find YOUR sound.

    That being said, I'll +1 SteveC. You might get some benefit from looping the chorus, but IME, octave, wah, and drive sounds are all better pre-input.

    If you are using the LMB as a limiter, you'll want it pre-input to "protect" the pre-amp circuit. IME, power-amps circuit can take about anything you toss at it.

    Overdrive is best before the input, since it "overdrives" the input.

    Octave and Wah HAVE to be before your Overdrive, else you will get funny sounds that may or may not be musical. OD -> Wah sounds like a duck quacking... OD -> Octave will make a really muddy sound. I once made the mistake of running my Unibass after my OD, and it frankly sounded horrible.

    Since OD is best prior to your input, Wah and Octave should be beforehand as well.

    Might you get noise? maybe. Run a good, quiet 9volt adapter, and you'll kill alot of it. I use a Godlyke PA-9.

    I would go:

    Bass -> Octave -> Wah -> Sparkle Drive (when you get it) -> Chorus -> Limiter -> Input

    Just to show you, my current set-up is:

    Bass -> TU-2 -> Bass Crybaby -> BassBall -> Russian Muff -> Hot Tubes OD -> CEB-3 -> Volume -> Reverb -> Amp input.

    If I had more "modulation" effects (Phase, Flange, Tremolo) or I used something like a Sonic Maximizer, or a rack-mount verb, I'd probably run the Volume and Chorus in the Loop, but the others would all be pre-input.
  6. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    1.Boss AW3 AutoWah
    I like a wah pedals right after my bass .

    2.Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive Distortion
    The wah creates its sound by boosting/cutting from a frequency as it sweeps from low freq to high (or vice-versa) . By putting a distortion pedal after the wah you get some cool changes in the distortion effect.

    4.MXR M-88 Octave
    Defiantly after the distortion because having two pitches (the root and the octave) could be problematic for the distortion pedal. I’m saying before the limiter because it might produce some level “hiccups” that the limiter can smooth out.

    3.Boss LMB Limiter
    A limiter/Compressor after the distortion pedals because;
    1. the noise floor is lower because the noise from a compressor isn’t being amplified and distorted by the overdrive pedal.
    2. there is more sustain.
    3. There is a darker, warm tone. (If you want a brighter tone try putting the limiter before the distortion. )

    4.Boss CEB3 Chorus
    A modulation/delay effect should go last.
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Stompboxes are *generally* designed to run at instrument levels. The designers assume a high impedance low level input. In fact, some pedals rely on overloading the pickup to get the tone they want (mainly distortion pedals).

    Effects loops are higher level and lower impedance (generally) than your bass. A really really simplified rule of thumb is that stompboxes go to the input, rack effects go in the effects loop.

    Note that some effects pedals sound terrible with active basses for the same reason: input impedance is too low.

    However, try the pedals both before the input and in the effects loop. Then put them wherever they sound best! But I think the sparkle drive will want to be at the input.
  8. LeftyLB70P


    May 4, 2005
    Athens, Ga.
    Thanks for the input (hopefully more will come later from others).

    This has given me some things to try. Of course, I realize that ulitimately what sounds good to me is what's right for me, but it is nice to get input from others.

    I was running direct awhile back with totally different effects and switched to hte effects loop months ago. I will switch abck and do some testing.

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