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Soundblox Questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ely, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I'm recently coming back to playing after a two year hiatus during which I had to sell all my gear to pay the bills. I have always been big into synth bass sounds, and the hardest loss for me was my full Moogerfooger rig. Looking for something cheaper and more compact I came upon Source Audio gear and from all the videos and clips it does exactly what I want.

    Now the part I am confused about... which to buy first?

    I like the Multiwave distortion. That foldback sound reminds me of my beloved Freqbox, but without the tracking issues. What exactly is the difference between the Pro and the SB2 models? I like the fact that the Pro models have more built in inputs and outputs and more on-board presets without having to mess with MIDI (I still haven't quite wrapped my head around MIDI) but from everything I've read the SB2 series is the 'improved' version, especially the price.

    Also, the Manta seems like it has less filter functionality than the BEF, but also contains built in fuzz. I get all my overdrive sounds from my GK RB rig, but that synthy fuzz is what I'm all about. Is there a way to run the manta with only the fuzz going?

    Anyway, apologies for the wordy posts, and thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    I just went through this exact situation earlier in the week so I'll help where I can.

    There is no simple answer.

    The biggest difference based on my research between the Pro and SB 2 for me was size and MIDI.

    Pro models give you total customization over both the BEF and MWBD. Some people reported the learning curve as being brutal. Once figured out though, (and there are a ton of people here with experience) people were getting getting great performance out of the units.

    SB2 came along and speaking with great ignorance, seems to be moving SA in a really exciting direction. Coming out with the HUB allows users to assign loop paths (up to 128) with the use of a number of compact MIDI switches. At this time, pathing can be selected, but NOT settings, meaning that how ever the pedal is dialed is what you will get.

    But, the SB2 platform opens the door to lots of cool things in the future. A library based editor. The ability to share presets between users. And some other things to which I remain greatly ignorant.

    From a straight user perspective, consensus thus far is the the Manta, while remaining very powerful, has a shorter learning curve. SO in one sense it appears to be slightly more user friendly.

    TO my knowledge, you cannot disengage the drive/distortion from the EF on Manta.

    I couldn't figure out which way to go for myself so I ended up invested in both. I grabbed a BEF PRO and a MWBD for total control. I also grabbed a Manta and an Orb Mod because in the end, I think that SA is going to give us the ability to store more patches, recall them, and swap them like Pokemon cards.

    I do have the same problem that you brought up with the Manta in that I am married to two OD pedals outside of the SA family. And I'd prefer to have everything that the SB2 line has in the same footprint. I already have some monstrous sized pedals (XD 1, MBSS, etc). I dont want to drag around a boat trailer as a pedal board.

    NOTE ! Please verify anything I have said with someone way smarter than I am before making any decision for yourself. Much of what I have stated above is opinion and conjecture.
  3. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    If I were you, I would go with the OFD, Manta, Orbital first. Just between these three pedals you can have just about ALL your dirt, modulation and filter effects covered damn good and have two presets with each. These are all pedals in the Soundblox 2 series. I have no real exp with the series 1 pedals but I hear they are rather good. Just a little more in depth and specific sounding. As in there are more experimental sounds there. But the series 2 has plenty of experimenting to do as well. I guess you could say the series 2 is a little more conventional.

    They have yet to make the dive into a synth and delay pedal but I hear they may be looking into these things moving forward. If you go to the Source Audio Sorcerers thread there is a wealth of knowledge in there. If you start looking into the HUB, HotHand and Dual Expression Pedal, you dive into a whole other realm of SA gear. It opens up SO MANY tonal and manipulation possibilities.

    But me, I started with the Orbital, then quickly followed that up with a Manta and then an OFD. These pedals are just flat out awesome. The OFD dirt models are spot on IMO and having all the extra tone shaping and blending abilities make this pedal a no brainer.
  4. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    You cant disengage it, BUT, you can dial it out to where there is no dirt in the signal. So in other words, you can use all the models on the Manta clean. You just have to dial out the dirt.
  5. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I'm not sure what you mean about loop paths. The midi hub allows you to store and recall up to 128 scenes on your SA SB2 pedals. I think maybe you're confusing presets with scenes. For all intents and purposes, a scene IS a preset, but it's a preset that is recalled for all the SB2 pedals that are hooked into the hub. So if you have a sound that you use both the MWBD and the Manta on, you set up both pedals to the sound you like, then store that scene on the hub. When you recall the scene (via program change) it engages both pedals with the settings you stored.

    It's easiest to think about it with only one pedal on the hub, because it's really just 128 more presets at that point for the single pedal.
  6. mtb777

    mtb777 Serving bottom for the Most High. Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Sunny South Florida
    Plus, you can keep the 2 presets stored on your SB2 pedal, separate of any of the MIDI Stored Scenes you might have, which can be any combinations of any 5 SA SB2 pedals. Plus the pear meters of HH3 and DAExpP. Plus you can throw in the 4 different presets of the Programmable EQ Pedal to boot.
  7. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Thanks for straightening out the information for me, guys. This is EXACTLY why I suggested the OP verify my commentary.
  8. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    So a quick update, I decided to go with the Multiwave Pro for my first, going to pick up the BEF Pro next, and then the Orbital and OFD. The Manta just seems more like an attempt at an all-in-one pedal and seems great, but after having my Moogerfooger rig I crave the ability to tweak and create weird noise.

    The fact that the Pro models are compatible with my Moog expression pedals (nobody wanted to buy them when I sold my Fooger rig) was also a big selling point, the extra $60 I spend on Pro models is made up right there.
  9. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Apart from the size and simplicity of UI, the big win in the SoundBlox 2 pedals is hub compatibility. With a few SB2 pedals, a hub, and a MIDI controller, you effectively have a modular multi-effects unit. If there is ever a standard for querying and restoring parameters, we could do this with pedals from different manufacturers. Until then, it's still pretty cool!