Multieffects straight to PA - anyone?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by RobertMiller, Feb 19, 2009.


  1. RobertMiller

    RobertMiller Member

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    I'm really thinking of running a Tonelab LE or something like it straight to PA with a little combo on stage for a monitor - I know I'll sacrifice some tone but maybe it's worth it to make set up and load out easier in small bars and the like. If anyone is doing this, it would be great to hear the pros and cons.:BEER
     
  2. siore

    siore Member

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    Cons? You need the PA.
     
  3. TheFlash

    TheFlash Member

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    When you pick your combo for your monitor, make sure it's one with an effects loop. That way if you're ever in a situation where you can't go through the PA, you can go through the fx return on your combo.

    I had a tonelab LE and I had my patches duplicated...one with cab modeling for the pa and one without cab modeling for the effects return of my classic 30. It worked pretty well.
     
  4. redpill

    redpill Member

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    No combo required for a monitor. There are plenty of clean powered speakers on the market.
     
  5. RobertMiller

    RobertMiller Member

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    The one gig that I play the most is at a bar with it's own PA and sound crew. For other larger or outdoor venues, I'll just bring the rig. But damn it would be sweet to downsize when possible.
     
  6. siore

    siore Member

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    Yep. But I think you'd need to spend more time on soundcheck. Another con, well not really con but a consideration, is that you need everything to be as transparent! If you exclusively rely on your multi for 90% of your tone, that needs to translate to the exact same thing you hear when it's pumped out on the speakers. I'd pick a combo with a sterile yet transparent clean, a jazz chorus maybe?

    Effects loops, line outs, and pre-amp outs would help also. You may find that running through the PA doesn't sound the same as when you listen to your programmed patches, so these extra lines of signal (in addition to mic'ing) would help your soundguys compensate for any signals losses at the mixing desk.

    And uh, get friendly with the soundguys. They're part of your sound now, if you go that route. :BEER
     
  7. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I use a Tonelab LE. I run it direct to the PA and to a keyboard amp for onstage monitoring. If you're running direct, you'd want a full range speaker to hear it on stage, otherwise what you hear on stage and through the PA would be quite different. It's been my experience that if you dial it in so it sounds good through the PA, it'll sound pretty bad going into a guitar amp.
     
  8. RobertMiller

    RobertMiller Member

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    That's a good heads up. Cause I would probably have dialed it in at home with a combo guitar amp and been disappointed at the gig. :BEER

    So, you're satisfied otherwise? Full range of tones in a much easier to handle package? I know it won't be the same as my full rig, but my back ain't gettin' any younger dude.
     
  9. Burgs

    Burgs Member

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    I've run an old Digitech GNX4 for some gigs where back-line availability or reliability was an issue. It's OK but you're at the mercy of the monitor operator (just tell him to set your send flat with plenty of headroom should you want to gun it a little) and also the monitors themselves. I have had better results with 12" loaded wedges and, for some odd reason, cheaper active monitors like RCF/JBL/Mackie than with hi-fi 15" loaded passive wedges (seem to possess a bottom end and lack of mids not ideal for guitar sounds).

    Initially, of course, you're also at the mercy of the quality of your gizmo's amp emulator hardware/software. In Digitech's case there is an annoying digital 'glassiness' that is very hard to dial out. This problem may or may not occur depending on the brand of 'talent box' you choose. I believe the Tonelabs are pretty good in this department. As a footnote; a week or so ago I investigated the newer Digitech units only to be disappointed to hear that same glassiness. It seems they're happy to use the same algorithms as the earlier GNX machines but pop them in different and more functional cases. Pity.
     
  10. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    Hmm, I don't hear the Digitech "glassiness". I suspect we play different sounds...

    I've used three MFX direct. Tonelab, GT-8 and RP350.

    I never bonded with the Tonelab. It did Voxy sounds OK, but everything else just sounded wrong to me.

    The GT-8 was really good. I used one patch that did a remarkable emulation of my Vibro-King.

    The RP350's low-gain amp models aren't as touch-responsive as the GT-8's. That's partly, I think, because the Digitech models are canned. (I used a custom amp model on the GT-8.) OTOH, the reverbs and pitch effects are better on the RP350. Also, the RP350 is smaller, lighter and has a built-in stereo DI.

    I've gone straight to the board through the MFX units and have used the stage monitors, but I'm getting away from that. Monitors are usually EQ'd oddly to accommodate vocalists and minimize feedback. I get consistent results by bringing my own full-range powered speaker.
     
  11. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I like it a lot for amp sounds. It's incredibly easy to make it sound awful. Making it sound good takes a bit of effort just because there are so many combinations of amp, speaker, gains, levels, tones, most of which don't go together very well. If you take the time, you can make it sound every bit as good as a really nice amp, or even several really nice amps. I'm very happy with the sounds I get out of it.

    It's real weakness is its limitations on what effects can be combined. Most of them sound really good, but a lot of them are mutually exclusive unfortunately.
     
  12. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    My live setup is tube amp combo in parallel with multieffects that go into the PA. The tube amp is mostly dry except for a tiny touch of its built-in spring reverb.

    The disadvantage of this setup is that if I'm too far away from one of the PA speakers, especially if they're in front of me (which is where FOH PA speakers usually are, closest to the audience), I may not be hearing the sound of my multieffects. Fortunately, our band just plays small venues so it's not a big deal. I have my own Electrovoice powered PA speaker though, which can be used as a monitor, if we get around to playing bigger venues. We use my beat-up Roland KC-350 keyboard amp for the other side of my makeshift PA system. I understand there is a full-range version of the Lunchbox amp in the works - following news of this with interest as I'm always up for something even smaller and lighter than the Roland or the Electrovoice.

    The advantage is I always have my straight up guitar tone (guitar->amp) available and can use the tube amp for deliberate feedback.
     
  13. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    Tech 21 Power Engines and pass the XLR straight through to the PA.
    Works great.
     
  14. RobertMiller

    RobertMiller Member

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    So is the Tech 21 considered full range? I've seen a few comments here about using a keyboard amp for a monitor, but the Tech 21 solution would seem to be the best solution I've seen so far, with the XLR out.
     
  15. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Pretty much any keyboard amp or powered PA monitor has an XLR out, although you don't need it. I plug my tonelab into a direct box. The 1/4" pass through goes back to the keyboard amp and the XLR out of the direct box goes to the PA.

    Ideally you want your monitor sound to match the PA sound as much as possible so that what you hear is what the audience hears. I can't think of an advantage of the power engine over a PA monitor or keyboard amp.
     
  16. redpill

    redpill Member

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    In fact, I think there is a disadvantage - the Tech 21 is an open backed cabinet. The intent seems to be to make something that looks the part of a guitar amp. Also, they seem to want to do that 'layering' thing again - just as they (wrongly, IMO) claim their pedals sound just as good through a combo amp as they do direct, they also want to say that the Power Engines don't color your sound...yet have the sound characteristics of an open backed cabinet, thereby adding another layer of something onto a complete amp simulation. Does not compute.
     
  17. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I don't see how a single 12" couldn't color they sound. The TL speaker emulations require whatever you're playing it through to be able to reproduce certain frequencies accurately. Some of the models likely require higher frequencies than a 12" can easily and accurately produce.
     
  18. redpill

    redpill Member

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    Good point.
     
  19. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    PE60s are designed to be somewhat tonally neutral for guitar applications. (Much more so than a typical combo IMHO)

    If the goal is to emulate guitar tones, as modelers are, why does one care if it doesn't recreate frequencies beyond the guitar's frequency range? I understand both sides of the arguement, but the the whole point of Speaker Simulation is modeling (limiting) the frequency range of non-full range guitar speakers/cabs. If your speaker sim is attenuating most everything over 8-10 kHz before it ever gets to the PA, do you really need another octave of highs? (hiss...)

    I only mentioned the PE60s cause they are cheap, lightweight, look like amps and sound pretty good for under $700 brand new a pair. (I bought my pair for $ 400 slightly used)

    FWIW, I compared my GSP1101 direct to a pair of JBL Eons and to the PEs and greatly preferred the "guitaristic" sound and feel of the PE60s. Lately, I run through a stereo tube power amp and stereo 412 and love it.
    Much more presence and clarity.

    :AOK
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  20. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    If you're trying to emulate 8 or 10" speakers, the 12 may not be able to do it. If you're trying to emulate a 4 x 12, the single open back 12 may not be able to do it either. THe point is the Tonelab can put out frequencies that a single 12 can't effectively reproduce.
     

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