Simple effects chain order

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Lo-E, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm interested in how other TB'ers might order this simple effects chain. I've used all of these effects singly in the past, but am thinking of putting them together on a simple board. The order I came up with is as follows:

    Active bass - either fretless BG or EUB
    Tuner - Boss pedal
    Volume pedal - EB Jr.
    Comp - either Boss CS-3 or EHX Black Finger
    Octave - either Boss OC-2 or FoxRox octron
    EQ - Yamaha Nathan East

    The EQ doesn't always get used. It's just a sweepable mid cut that works well to tame boxy-sounding cabs that I sometimes run into at rehearsal studios or house backlines.
    The tuner doesn't always get used either. Sometimes I just use a clip-on.

    I know there is no 'right' answer and yes, I've searched and yes, I know the basic principles of effect chains. I'm just curious to know how the rest of you would approach the ordering.

  2. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    The only change I would make is that I would put the EQ closer to the front of the chain, right after the tuner or perhaps after the volume pedal. This is to compensate for anything you are losing from your signal later in the chain. Contrary to what many here think, you cannot "add back" what isn't there anymore; once you lose something from your signal, it's gone. So if you are losing lows (for example) at some point in your chain (which many comps and octavers do), you can use the EQ at the front to boost your lows and compensate for the loss BEFORE it happens.

    MHO, of course.
  3. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    That makes some sense, and if it was a standard EQ pedal I might have gone that route, but the NE-1 is a cut-only mid EQ. It can't boost anything. I guess it wouldn't hurt any to put it earlier in the chain. It would still do the same job.
  4. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    The only two I would question are the compressor and volume pedal.

    I love compression myself. I have oodles of it in dual channel setup. But IME, compression can easily ruin a great fretless tone, unless you use it very, very subtley, which a slow enough attack to let the 'mwah' through and shine. You may find you don't even need it.

    Regarding the volume pedal. Do you use it expressively whilst you're playing? Or just to control overall volume? If it goes at the front it will affect anything after it, in fact, if it goes before compression, it will negate the compression effect once you dip below the threshold. If you put the volume pedal last, you will have a consistent tone throughout at all volume levels (this would be my preference).

    I would also think carefully about the placement of EQ, as if it goes before compression, again, this will affect the compression effect when you alter the EQ.
  5. Ajak

    Ajak Guest

    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    If you want your volume pedal to change your volume, then I guess you should put it after the compressor. Because that way when you want to play at low volume your compressor will make it louder again and vice versa. And I would put the octaver after the EQ but that depends on how you like it.

    This would be my plan:



    edit: I just saw that ga edwards was faster, sorry. But here's my opinion anyway.
  6. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I don't typically use it at all, so when I do, I use it in a very UN-subtle manner - more as an effect than a processor.

    I thought about this, and I think you're probably right here. I use it expressively while I play and not to set overall volume, so I think you're correct that it would not play nice with the comp. Good thinking.

    Yes, agreed. I intend to leave it at the end of the chain as it's sole purpose is to tame mid-heavy backline rigs, and it would do that regardless of what comes before it.

    All good thoughts. Thanks!
  7. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Absolutely correct, as you AND ga edwards pointed out. I didn't catch it at first, but both of you did. Thanks!
  8. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    I'd keep it exactly as you have it listed with the exception that I would use the tuner-out on your volume pedal so that the tuner was not connected to the rest of the chain. Thats the way I have mine set up and it allows me to always keep my tuner on (which is cool for spot checking during songs) and then just cut the volume if I want to tune silently.
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY

    Not a bad plan, but the fatal flaw of the EB volume Jr. pedals is that the tuner out isn't buffered and loads the crap out of your signal, making it not so useful. I would prefer to do it that way, but that's not the best volume pedal to do it with.

    At this point, a combination of ga edwards' and Ajak's orders seems to be the ticket:

    It's a little counter-intuitive to have the comp right after the tuner and the EQ last (at least to me), but in this application, it seems to make the most sense.

    Keep the ideas coming! It's interesting to see how many things there are to consider even when dealing with such a (seemingly) simple chain.