Best moderate-budget rack effects for industrial, experimental, etc?

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by jm-atx, Jul 11, 2018.


  1. jm-atx

    jm-atx Member

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    Hi all, sorry for the noob questions but there seems to be a much deeper knowledge of racks here than anywhere else I've seen, so I'm very appreciative of your thoughts!

    I make experimental electronic / industrial, along the lines of Skinny Puppy, Muslimgauze, Twitch-era Ministry (yay Adrian Sherwood!) etc. I got a Lexicon MPX-550 a while back and really was impressed with how it sounds compared to my VST effects. I am a huge fan of Skinny Puppy's sonics and a while back I saw they used PCM42s, Eventide H3000s etc, and now that I appreciate the *quality* difference of hardware racks, I was thinking it's time to save the money for a few "big boy" racks this year. Question is... which would be best for me? And what about Ensoniqs or other sleeper units (fwiw, I have an EPS16+ and looooove it's crunchy, old school sound)?

    I’m all about obnoxious, obvious use of effects - I don't just need lush ringing reverbs on guitar arpeggios - so *creativity* and quality are my highest priority, but I can’t probably spend more than about $2000 total (ie $1000 a piece or less hopefully) and it will take me some time to save that money. I'll be processing more or less everything in sight - vocals, drums, synths, guitars, cat meows, farts, nail guns, pneumatic drills, pots and pans... you get the idea. Individually at first, until I have some sense of how to control and balance them together.

    People here seem to rate the Lexicon 80/81s really highly, but what do y'all think about the 41/42 as delays? And what Eventide would give me what I need without breaking the bank? Are the Eclipses as good as the old H series? If not, which H would you suggest? Do I need *2* of some things, or when is stereo vs mono advised?

    Also I've seen it recommended to use a mixer... not sure how/why? Is this just to be able to do parallel processing and/or have more control over the blend between different racks?

    And last but not least, hopefully this doesn't negate everything I just asked, but... I don't want to spend my whole lifetime programming effects. I'm down for reading manuals (I whiteboard and mind-map things obsessively), and obviously experimentation is huge for me, but at the end of the day, I am fully self-producing - all ideas, all instruments, all mixing, all everything but mastering (why people think they can master their own stuff these days is beyond me... at the very least you need a 2nd set of ears IMO!). So is this even a smart path for me to take, or should I just find a "good enough" preset box that is easy enough to tweak a little and move on? Is that my MPX-550?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    Lower price point get mpx1 or even Better mpxg2

    Pcm80/81 are great, current prices great.

    Eclipse a little more money but very capable and more modern hardware

    2u eventides at the higher end ie H8000 or lower

    Mpx series will be easier to program as they are fx block layouts versus algorithm structures
     
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  3. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    mixer will unlock the power. Your dry signal stays intact, you blend ur fx via auxes and returns, and you can interplay them series and or parallel depending on The setup
     
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  4. Maltese Fan

    Maltese Fan Member

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    Boss SE-50 is worth a look. The Prodigy used them as well as a lot of other bands.
     
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  5. Theroyalconsort

    Theroyalconsort Member

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    The boss se50/70 is a deffinate.

    It's easy to use.

    The pitch shifting algorithm was a standard for live vocals on the more 'in your face' industrial acts.

    Add to that you can take most effects to well beyond normal operating parameters so it's great for mangling and experimental sounds.

    It also has set chains for guitars, keys and vocals so is a good one stop/plug anything into me box.

    The TC fireworx is supposed to be good for interesting and creative sounds but I have no direct experience on that unit so can only go by rep.

    Maybe someone else can offer a more informed opinion on that one.
     
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  6. Theroyalconsort

    Theroyalconsort Member

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    Thinking more...
    Grab a Yamaha SPX 90 (or any SPX at a pinch).
    It's got some nice old school reverb.. great for snares and percussive samples.
    Also nice with guitars, symphonic effect is cool and alot of guys use the pitch shifting... Although I'm not so big on that.

    An old quadraverb can work really well with synth sounds




    Both easy to use and have sounds you won't find in plugins

    Some of the older eventide h series arnt that expensive and are cool but I have very limited experience on these but they would offer alot of options. Some of the other guys here have alot of expertise with these and should (hopefully) chime in soon.
    There is a thread here on the (relatively) inexpensive H3000. Ask there as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 2:20 PM
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  7. jm-atx

    jm-atx Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback, now you're making me want an SH-101. ;D I totally forgot about Quadraverbs, and there's a thousand of them out there.
     
  8. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    NIN used the old Zoom 9030 1/2 rack unit.
    then Zoom came out with the 9050 after that.
    the 9030 was famous for the distortion sounds that a number of industrial bands used/exploited.
     
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  9. Theroyalconsort

    Theroyalconsort Member

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    Funny you should mention the SH-101 I believe Behringer are working on a clone....
    But with the lexicon you already have and the bits I mentioned... (Which would total at less than 1k) that'd cover the basics and would leave you 1k... For an h3000....
    But what are you using to record guitars right now?
     
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  10. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    I’ve always wanted an h3000, but they are still way out of my price range!

    On my zoom G3 effects unit it has a setting called “Heavy” which is an overdriven Mesa rectifier sound with a heavy gate, that certainly works great for industrial guitar sounds.
    And my old Zoom G2 unit also had some similar sounds- industrial, digitally guitar sounds.
    I think my source audio multiwave distortion has some of those sounds too, as does my Korg Kaoss pad 2.

    You might want to look up to see what John 5 was using when he was with Manson, I think one album he used an Ibanez Lo-fi and smash box pedal for sounds, he talked about how they did things to get non traditional guitar sounds
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 3:06 PM
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  11. jm-atx

    jm-atx Member

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    Yeah, I'd rather get Roland's SH-01a clone. After Behringer's recent douchecanoe lawsuit against Dave Smith, I wouldn't give Uli a 2nd thought much less my money. It's bad enough to rip people off and profit from their work, it's a whole other thing to use your war chest to try and cripple one of the guys that CREATED the modern synthesizer world, over some words on the internet. I mean seriously, **** that guy.

    But yeah, I like your thinking about the H3000 - I'm definitely inclined to save up for at least ONE of the big boys. It's the Lexicons where I'm more confused, because the PCM42s seem to go for relatively a lot more, but I'm not sure if the 41 or 80/81 will hit the same spot even though I'm positive they all sound amazing. And of course I know almost nothing about the Eclipse, or any of the Ensoniqs etc. I hadn't even *heard* of the SPX-90 before you mentioned it! Which is exactly why I'm here. :D

    As for guitars - I just recently got back into them, so I've just been recording direct and running them through various pedals (Space, Flashback, Blues Driver, Holy Stain), my MPX-550 and VSTs (Logic, NI, some Waves). But I'm really as much interested in stuff for vocals, synths and drums as guitars, and very much enjoying my results with out-of-the-box effects as much as my VSTs. Frankly my use of guitar is pretty minimal in a mix, mostly for texture and reinforcement /interplay with synths. It's definitely not a guitar-forward sound I'm after at the moment. Although I do love me some Godflesh, so.... ;D
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 2:11 PM
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  12. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    yea, when I think of guitar sounds in industrial, i always think the stuff is more direct in recording, and they are able to push the input to overload, sort of like what the beatles did in a lot of their overdriven sounds, they were pushing their gear to the limit....industrial seems to do this too...
     
  13. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    With that sort of budget, you can probably pick up a couple great pieces with money left over.
    An Eventide Eclipse can be had used in the $800 range, if you're patient.
    A Lexicon PCM80 or 81 can be had in the $500 range.

    The Eclipse is a little more straight forward, and requires less study and experimentation. The PCM81 rewards a deep dive, though. These are both really useful units.
     
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  14. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    What he said. The eclipse will reward you with good useable stuff right out of the box, easy to tweak. But when you’re ready for the deep dive it can do that too
     
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  15. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    An overlooked yet crazy powerful effect is EQ. I don’t mean a predictable, safe and smooth parametric EQ, but a multi-band programmable unit capable of dramatic, focused, and extreme settings. My personal favorite is the TC 1128, although there are a bunch of others that would work... They’re pretty cheap, too. I think I paid $70 each for mine.

    FWIW, I bought one as an experiment and immediately bought a second once I had time to play with it and saw how powerful it could be. I currently have two of them in my rig today, one pre and the other post gain. Then I bought two more as backups. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 5:14 PM
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  16. Theroyalconsort

    Theroyalconsort Member

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    Cool... Well in that case you've probably got guitars covered.... Grab some impulse response cabs and you'll be fine.

    If you can find a gate plugin that can be triggered from another track that'd be traditional for industrial....

    On the eventide front the eclipse,h3000 and dsp4000 seem to be within your price range.... See which one floats your boat....

    When you record vocals are you putting it on the computer then out to the lexicon or mic...lex....interface?
     
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  17. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    Going a little out of order here...

    Part of it's for your tone's sake, and part of it is signal management (and probably some other things too). You should generally not run your guitar straight through any digital gear unless you want the wet sound to completely take over, as an effect (like using a digital distortion/multiband fuzz algorithm, wah/filter, etc.), which is something you won't be doing if it's for the typical time-based effects (reverb, delay, chorus, etc.) or harmonizing. A good mixer will let you send these signals out to other processors for more effects, give you control of series/parallel configurations (or both at the same time), AND give you the control over how much of each input goes to which effect (say you want to have delays fed by *just* a wet phaser signal, w/no dry signal reaching it—no problem).

    I can speak to that, since I've had an 80+Pitch Card for about 4 years now...it is a truly amazing gem of a processor, but after reading everything you've written so far, I'm not really sure if it could really get "weird" enough for you...

    Not going to do very much for you, I think.

    Just for old digital delays like the 41/42. Almost everything else here is fully stereo on its own.

    No, definitely not the MPX-550! ;)

    When I first read your post, I thought the Eventide Eclipse would be a good match for you even before I got to this section. It just seems to lie at a nice "point of convergence" where so many things work together before it goes off into the super-complexity of the higher-end 'Tides:
    • you wouldn't have to learn all the FX "environments" of the Lexicon PCM80/81 series (they are amazing creatures, but they take a lot of time to learn how to tame!). You'd have about 100 algorithms to mix-and-match at your fingertips, in any routing. Some of them even have multiple algorithms inside them (you can sort of run 4-5 at once, in certain combos). Many of them are no more complex than the 'Factor pedals, just with additional voices + a few extra parameters.
    • many more FX types to choose from (just look at the algorithm manual—even a glance at the table of contents will give you a pretty good idea of what you'd be getting into)
    • no VSIG editor— which would personally be a negative for me, but a positive for somebody that doesn't want to spend ALL their time on this stuff ;)
    • tap tempo-enabled FX everywhere (just like the PCM80/81)—so it's no problem to get many different time-dependent FX interacting, all with their own rhythmic subdivisions (which are extensive)
    • an excellent set of factory presets (really, not very many units are as blessed as this one when it comes to that)
    • an extensive patching system with many different modifiers (LFO, ASDR, envelopes, etc.), and up to 16 patchings
    • the most advanced pitch shifting capabilities of any unit in this price range (really, you'd have to get the bigger 'Tides to get anything better)
    I can't really think of anything else that can get this "weird" AND cover everything else so well as the Eclipse, with this much power. It'd be a no-brainer for me.
     
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  18. jm-atx

    jm-atx Member

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    Typically with all my analog signals I'm running them into my interface then parallel a dry track to my DAW and an aux to my effects, as others have mentioned here. I don't need my actual voice to come through much, I just do it to keep a dry performance in case I want to experiment with other effects and keep the same performance.

    Also I wanted to ask - I love the sound of the Quadraverb, but just curious what it has architecturally that makes it unique? Ie does it do something that an Eclipse or H3000 or PCM42 *can't* do? I'm totally down to drop $100 one, I'm just don't want it to be redundant with something better.
     
  19. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    and if you're doing your Industrial/experimental band, you'll need this:
    [​IMG]
    I still prefer it to have a trem on it....although it's not what I'd call a "budget" guitar, nor will I ever probably be able to afford one in my lifetime....
     
  20. Theroyalconsort

    Theroyalconsort Member

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    Lexicon Vs SPX and quadraverb

    They are very different. The thing with the SPX and quadraverb is charactered d/a converters and the very different algorithms.
    They are cheap and lo-fi....
    But they are cool.
    Eventides(bar the h3k) and lexicons are slick shiney and hifi and pretty.

    For experimental(and all really) music it's good to have both available.
    Most studios have an SPX and quadraverb around because sometimes a bit of grainyness, metallic ring or gloop is what you need and it's not what the lexicons are good at.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018 at 4:10 PM

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