emma reezafratzitz great pedal but.......

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by sssmile, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. sssmile

    sssmile Member

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    When using it in band practice or at a show I feel like I get lost in the mix. Its a great sounding pedal but I find that I get lost and almost like my volume drops down when I step on the pedal. Tried a bunch of different settings etc. but I believe its the way the pedal is voiced. Anyone else notice this? What causes this?
     
  2. what?

    what? Member

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    maybe its because the lack of mids...I always set the bias knob all the way clockwise...this gives more mid and smoother highs than the other extreme...

    I'm guessing there's another guitarist in the band?using more like TS type pedal?
     
  3. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    +1 to the previous poster...
    Have you fiddled with the bias knob? I also run mine full clockwise and haven't had the problem you're describing.

    -Ben
     
  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    This is a pretty common problem I have been thinking of more and more lately.

    I have never played though a ER, but I notice some of my favorite pedals when I am practiving alone, do the same thing. It's aknown thing also with almost all of the factory patches in multi-effects pedals, which sound so lush and wonderful through headphones or alone and you play at a gig or a band practice and wonder where the wonderful sound went. They want to sell them from the showroom floor, so they program them to sound best alone.

    As pointed out, it has a lot to do with "mids", but "mids" can also be divided up...there are mids and there are mids.

    I noticed that though I really loved my Blues Pro pedal (and still do) it is voiced in a way that sounds fantastic alone, but gets smothered in the mix of a band (recording it, I can use EQ on the recorder/mixer and correct or help it). Not completely, and it might work better in some bands or contexts than others. But somewhat.

    I think the key is, you gotta compromise. One pedal, the Zendrive, has I bought after reading many reviews where reviewers specifically mentioned how well it cut through in the mix, and damned if it didn't. Also, it sounded to my ears, damned good alone as well. I think this is because of the band of "mids" they chose to voice (plus there is a voicing knob as well) and the "Q" they used, the width of the EQ band they chose.

    I don't know, some say it is a heavy mid pedal, but it doesn't seem that heavy mid to me...just slightly. In any case, I like how it sounds alone, and I love how it sounds in a band context.

    Maybe other users of the EF could give you some specific settings to try?

    Another possible thing to try, relative volume being what it is, is some kind of booster (I LOVE the ZVex SHO) in front of it. The SHO is ultra-high input impedance, so it preserves as much of the signal from the guitar (when used first in line) as possible, and can be set to only slight boost...it might help get that pedal more in the forefront.
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Oh yeah...yet another way to go (which I really recommend to all guitarists, at least to have in their bag-of-tricks) is an EQ pedal. Can try it before or after the ER and see if you can slightly modify the voicing that way, bring out the most of the pedal.
     
  6. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    I believe the problem being described here -- the patch sounds good under headphones but sounds crappy at the gig -- is due to the fact that other instruments may tend to mask certain frequencies of the guitar.

    For instance, if you set up next to a bass player, or if you're on a particularly bassy stage, you may notice your sound is very thin and wonder what is wrong with your gear. The band stops, you play a couple of notes and everything seems fine, the band starts up, and everything sounds bad again.

    Another thing is many presets on the modeling amps and effects use gobs of reverb and/or delay, which sounds enormous through headphones (with zero reflected sounds) but on a gig it sounds like you're using a Pignose with low batteries in an empty gymnasium. Personally, I think reverb in a live situation is a bad decision, the only exception being a gated or stort early reflections patch.

    Anyway, that's my $.02 on the matter.
     
  7. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I think that is all true, what you wrote. I was alluding to that also, but basically thought it was understood that by "not cutting through the mix" it meant instruments stepping on each others sonic territory, OR that the particular pedal was actually outside of the main guitar sonic territory (guitar is a mid heavey instrument, so if the pedal adds tons of bass, you will be wandering into the bass territory, where the bass is going to stomp you down...being a bass instrument...like you mentioned).

    Agree completely about the reverb and delay...except I think they CAN be used, knowledgebly, and sparingly. You have to change settings in a band context opposed to playing alone....like if you want a slight delay, the delay level has to come up a little to be heard. I like them best close...not too long a delay, but it can add spice, as a good reverb set right can.

    I love playing with the contrast as well...reverb on a solo, suddenly non-reverb brings the guitar to the forefront nicely, and can be a good effect in itself.

    But, back to the OD thing. I often remember this when trying out pedals...

    I once recorded a solo in an original song. I knew I wanted a "chunky" kinda solo, used an ES-335 and some ME pedal. I already had laid down the comp, the other instruments, and was now laying down vocals and guitar solo. I looped the solo measures on the recorder, and I played, recording, listening back, adjusting EQ slightly from the recorded playback, tried again. Eventually I got exactly what I was looking for. I recorded it and didn't think any more about it.

    The thing is, I only ever heard my "Patch" in the mix. Never alone. Months later I'm in that song and inadvertently hit the solo for the guitar solo track, which cuts out the other tracks...I thought I was going to throw up....I mean what a NASTY sounding sardine-fart that guitar sounded like. NOBODY would buy a pedal that sounded like that. I kept thinking it must have been some weird test track I accidentally set in there....until I unsoloed the track, and heard it in context. Sounded great.
    I slowly this time took the other tracks down in volume, and the giutar sounded worse and worse, bring up the rest, voila...smooth, beatiful sound.

    The point is I guess...like I mentioned, it is all compromise. If you had a pedal that sounded like that guitar track, you'd HEAVE it as far as you could, after drowning it, and running the chevy over it a couple of times.
    Yet....it was just right in the mix. Thing is, in some songs you may have to play alone, on an intro or something...so you gotta have a pedal that sounds good alone, and good in the mix.

    And also, SOME pedals shine most at high volumes on the amp.

    Guess that's why we keep looking for that "perfect" one?
     
  8. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    Let me modify something as I misspoke. I believe delay can be used quite effectively in a live situation, both in the house mix and on guitar. Shouldn't have included that in with the reverb comment.

    I can see that we are on the same page about solo button terror, ie, the guitar sounds like crap without the rest of the mix. Yours is an excellent example. Here's a slightly different take on the same phenomenon:

    I did live sound for many years and often found that I could bring out one instrument by changing eq on another. Or for another example, we all know a great kick sound, but if you solo the kick and get it to sound good, in the mix with the bass guitar it can sound like mud, so you reduce the bass eq on the kick and it sounds marvelous, an illusion of low end on the kick is created by the bass guitar's low end.

    Another thought that occurs to me about the Reeza (which I recently owned for 1 week and returned) is that compression is a factor, usually negative in a live situation. Many effects in a box units use copious amounts in their circuits to prevent distortion. Again, in the bedroom it sounds terrific, on stage it get's lost.

    Always in search of tonal nirvana, I used a Fender Cyber Twin (please, hold your fire) for about 9 months. Really gave it a shot and I must admit, in the rehearsal room it sounded really REALLY spectacular. It was stunning it was so good. Other band members loved it, and I liked it too, but the problem was, and maybe this is true with all transitor amps, is when you turned it up, it didn't act like a regular (tube) amp, it got cleaner. It was weird but I assume it's got to do with all the compression they build into the patches so the processor can take it.

    That was a slight detour, but the main point was the compression. I thought the Reeza had a compression thing going on that I didn't like. It also was a bit fizzy and it seemed that the distortion sound didn't really diminish in character as you reduced the control, it seemed more of a mixcontrol, it simply reduced in volume the same distorted sound. Do you know what I mean?

    Having said that, the one sound that it has is quite a killer sound, but for me it wasn't enough.

    I just bought a Barber Small Fry. It has a compression control that's quite useable. I play a JTM45 and when I'm lucky I can play it loud enough to get the tube rectifier sag going. For lower volume situations, the compression on the Small Fry is a really nice feature to have.
     
  9. TheGrooveking

    TheGrooveking Member

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    The problem with getting lost in the mix when playing with a band is the same thing many got rid of their Fulltone OCD's for. It's a matter of eq, another thing I notice many bands do is run to high on the mid-bass, or they overdrive the board with bass DI's or micing of the bass players amp. I was at a gig on Saturday night and the band before us sounded like crap, I told the bass player to turn down is DI just a bit, and the whole thing sounded allot better. The soundman came up to me and asked me what I told thim to do, I told him what I said and asked for half of the money the man at the board is making tonight! He smiled and offered me a beer.

    This is were it really pays off to record both from the room and from the board and do a comparison, you'll find typically one if pretty good and one isn't.
     
  10. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Dendog,

    Excellent points. A lot of really good information in your post, thanks.
     
  11. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    likewise to you stompboxblues.
     
  12. Baby Evil

    Baby Evil Member

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    I sold the emma for similar reasons : its gain didn't seem to project in a room or on stage as it does when recording. Sold it, got a Crunchbox, and I'm in heaven.

    Jan
     

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