One box to rule them all - maybe two?

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by swinginguitar, Nov 27, 2017.


  1. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    ===> i think the kemper output level may be the devil in the details. i will have to check that against the the SM10 and reach a solution...metering kinda weak on such a device as the sm10.

    I have just read the Kemper manuals.... really horrible documentation... I can't believe I see such a thingh from a German company. What happened to them? Got so soft!
    Use the XLR output and have a pretty high output level on it.



    What are the Lexicons input LEDs showing?
    ===> averaging on the high side of yellow, ever so slightly red at a rare moment of violent aggression.

    ===> perhaps i should point the Lexicon trimmers to noon, all switches to +4, and work outward from there?

    Absolutely! ALL mixer channels MUST be on +4dB. Make sure the Lexicons are on +4dB too... if they have a setting for that in the system parameters.




    Wet/dry is not an issue... why would that be ?

    ==> what if i work up a watery mod patch with detune, chorus, echoes, etc, but want to balance the respective levels of each (as i would with each module feeding a mixer in parallel)? If i'm running the box 100% wet on an aux, and i balance effects levels in the box, am i not introducing some "dry" in its path? i suspect i lack a basic understanding of how the PCMs work internally, and need to RTFM.


    Last but not least... actually FIRST... the SOUND! What you get from PCMs is something you have no idea at the moment.
    With two of them.... Rumba Mamà!!!

    ==> sigh....its statements like this that started this thread to begin with. now my eye is twitching and shoulder spasms have begun. Where would i even begin to learn to dial these in? are there some boilerplate patches in the community to use as a starting point?


    Dial what?

    Start from hundreds of presets!



    ==> if you have time, please give me a brief rundown on how i would integrate 1 or 2 PCM8x in such a scenario as mine, in terms of basic routing in and out of box. (mod on one and rvb/dly on other, for example.)

    connect both inputs and outputs of the 2 PCMs from both miser stereo Aux Sends. RTFM... really well. Tweak tweak tweak.
    You are just way ahead with words of where you actually are with the PCM architecture knowledge. Makes no sense.


    I have tried YouTube for some Lex MX400 decent demo... for what YouTube can be... man, I can't believe the horrible tones people post. It a bloodbath.
    I can't say I know about its sounds... the little I heard is just poor...
    The software is definitely a scaled down version of the PCM92/96 development and some more "Digitech" stuff... which I'm not that crazy about.
    But I'd need the box in my hands or a decent audio demo of the unit.

    Don't really know what to say... but for my working on the Lex effects plugins bundle I have no doubt... it would be an 81 right away. It just sounds nicer.
    I have an 80 and an 81 and together they can do some amazing stuff. Probably "less things" than 2 MX400s at the same time... but what's the point?
    Quantity? People buy Zoom for that.
    Me? Nope. Tone is priority! Converters.
    But... to tell you the truth... when you have 10 delays, some modulated, some glided and a reverb in an algorithm... I don't see much missing there... add another PCM for other stuff... done.
     
  2. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    I have just read the Kemper manuals.... really horrible documentation... I can't believe I see such a thingh from a German company. What happened to them? Got so soft!
    Use the XLR output and have a pretty high output level on it.

    ==> yes.
    ==> i view the kemper as an encyclopedia of amps - past present, and future. they included effects because they had too. anyone who really cares won't use them.


    Absolutely! ALL mixer channels MUST be on +4dB. Make sure the Lexicons are on +4dB too... if they have a setting for that in the system parameters.

    ==> yes, the MXs are configured for +4dB


    I have tried YouTube for some Lex MX400 decent demo... for what YouTube can be... man, I can't believe the horrible tones people post. It a bloodbath.
    ==> yes. YES. YEEESSSSS.

    I can't say I know about its sounds... the little I heard is just poor...

    ==> i also looked for YT demos before buying and, no, there is nothing out there exemplary. It's a capable box, even at ~225 USD.

    The software is definitely a scaled down version of the PCM92/96 development and some more "Digitech" stuff... which I'm not that crazy about.

    ==> funny you say that - my first rack gear was a 2101 and with its internal mixer blocks i would run everything in parallel. i think that sound is forever burned in my mind, and sort of familiar ground. Which may be why I identified with the MX b/c, yes it could be said it has some Digitech in its DNA.

    But I'd need the box in my hands or a decent audio demo of the unit.

    ==> I could probably whip something up, at least to demo the basics

    Don't really know what to say... but for my working on the Lex effects plugins bundle I have no doubt... it would be an 81 right away. It just sounds nicer.
    I have an 80 and an 81 and together they can do some amazing stuff. Probably "less things" than 2 MX400s at the same time... but what's the point?
    Quantity? People buy Zoom for that.
    Me? Nope. Tone is priority! Converters.
    But... to tell you the truth... when you have 10 delays, some modulated, some glided and a reverb in an algorithm... I don't see much missing there... add another PCM for other stuff... done.


    ==> man you're a great salesman for discontinued gear.
    ==> i have seen the 80/81 on the used market - if i were to buy, anything i need to be aware of and look for, reliability wise?
    ==> i need to go to rehab....this is a sickness.

    slightly off subject - the mX400 that i have dedicated to mods - i have a chorus patch on 1/2, and stereo detune with short predelays on 3/4, run in parallel back to the mixer (mix 100% wet in the box, the mixer controls the..mix..obviously). In studying the routings from the Landau days, it looks like he ran the chorus and detune in series. If i were to do that with the MX, I would basically have to do a series routing in the box cho -> dtn.

    if i did it that way, in order to control the intensity of each effect block, i would need to reduce the wet mix of each block in the box...right? and doesnt that defy the whole reason to run a mixer in order to keep the dry separate while running the fx boxes 100% wet?
     
  3. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    PCMs are very reliable.
    My 80 has been with me since it came out in mid '90s. Only recently its display started getting "watery" and I had to replace it... but that's after 20+ yrs...
    If you look for a PCM check the following:
    -nice blue clear display. Let ot warm up... you shoud npt see any water like thru the blue.
    -feel the ADJUST knob. If clicks are tight and clear it means it hasn't been programmed much. Look at parameter and move the ADJUST knob. It should not jump values...
    -input knob... should be noiseless!
    -the battery will have to be changed, sooner or later... mine still runs fine on the original cell!


    Chorus>Detune... a popular effect. Not all fx runs in parallel and an actual mixer uses Aux Sends to post process an effect thru another. Nothing strange.
    You will simply have to balance the "dry/wet" knob of the detune block, remebering that there won't be any dry there. the dry will be the chorus... thru the wet, detune.
     
  4. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    nothing available in my area - will have to mail order. may have to find somewhere i could buy, inspect, and return if necessary.

    Does there exist a PC editor application for these?

    On to the wishlist:

    time based: (PCM80?)
    - my basic reverb is usually some sort of plate or room
    - occasionally a nice big mod rvb (think tc blackhole)
    - smeared "tape" delay for simple 1 tap and stereo delays
    - circular and/or multitap delays would be a nice option

    Mods: (PCM81?)
    - detune with short predelay for funk
    - 'tri' chorus -> detune for a caricature of the Landau/Huff thing
    - tremolo/panner very rarely but nice to have

    all of the above switchable in realtime via PC/CC -> i assume in PCM-land you can toggle fx blocks on and off (or mute them)....RTFM soon.
     
  5. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    RTFM NOW... not later.
    Don't say you haven't been warned!
     
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  6. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    You are expecting things as you think/hope... not looking at what they are.
    Really need to get some knowledge there about facts: time based effects are delays/reverbs/pitch shift/chorus/flanger
    There is no "TC" Black Hole, my goodness.
    There are no effects blocks..., these units ain't footstomp-like toys.

    Read those manuals now, way before you buy or you are IN for some BIG troubles!
     
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  7. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    yes I'm aware. using it in the sense of "this box will be for reverb and delay"

    heh - funny how TC sells all those various toneprint pedals - and they're all the same - they made the same toneprints for multiple devices.

    you busted me....heh..had TC on the brain. (i think i own most of the current production model eventide and tc pedals...at lest the mainstream ones)

    I definitely will. MIght be biting off more than i -want- to chew (not -can- chew) lol
     
  8. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    It doesn't really work that way (no "blocks," but "environments"), and yet, you can do some things like that at the same time....but overall, I'd say it's best to just take a "blank slate" approach to this, not worry about it for now...and learn what you can do here from the ground-up, in time.
     
  9. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    Also, I would add to this: keep a notebook handy, so you can write down any questions you might have about certain things you come across in the manual. Some things are not so well-explained there, but they have been explained much better here on TRS and HRI before (diffusion in Chorus+Rvb or glide modulation, for example). There's a LOT to take in, and odds are you are not going to remember everything you need to the first time you read it, so this will help.

    I did this when I first got my PCM80 a few years ago. It really helped "crystallize" my thinking about it and it really helped me learn the unit faster. I also "zeroed in" on algorithms I thought would be the most useful, and started learning those right away (that will take some time, so I'd suggest picking just 2 or 3 to really concentrate on at first—learn them inside and out!).
     
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  10. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    great info - i have DLd the manuals and will begin shortly
     
  11. looper309

    looper309 Supporting Member

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    Roger that. On my first G2, a '98, the encoder knob clicks were a bit soft and loose. If you breathed too hard on it, the previous/next preset would flicker momentarily. Also while scrolling up/down through many presets to reach the one you're aiming for, it would take a few seconds for the machine to catch up, and would do something weird like focusing on the preset 10 numbers away from the one you were shooting for, then you'd have to back up to focus it where you want. Maybe it's a memory issue, but it seems like it's from a lot of wear on the knob. I'll ask to get that serviced when I send it out.
    Guess that's a strong argument for using a pedal instead. But I don't know about adjusting parameters. A loose/worn encoder would be a headache in that application.
    On the second G2, a '99, the encoder is tight and exact. Still looking for a way to scroll by 10s like on an Axe.
     
  12. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Well... a few important points there:
    -an encoder may be worn out by intensive use, which believe me... is hardly the case as you don't see that kind of tweaker. An encoder may also be of lower quality or just a "lemon" which will fail sooner than others. I have felt encoders on high end devices which were very tight and click_producing... but they were messing parameters values on the display.
    -not a memory issue the one there. Just bad encoder.
    -a good encoder may be seriously damaged/life shortened by keeping/storing a device in bad environment, like humid and dusty places. Those units smell like that.
    -I'm afraid there is no servicing, at least from Lexicon. I suggest you take action now, rather than waiting for a time of bigger damage, justifying servicing. It may be too late then.
    -Pedals? You are in for some real issues there! Those encoders are possibly the worst you can get. Hoping a digital pedal will have those encoders working fine as my PCM80, after 22 years of intensive use... good luck with that! Analog pots... they get dirty, particularly for "on the floor" devices where dust and dirt lives.
     
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  13. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    Back to gain structure for a moment:

    I have all switches on the emixer now at +4, bumped the kemper up to the bleeding edge of it's output, and have a healthy level hitting the mixer now.

    If i run the Lex MX trim pots up to about 1-2:00 and goose the aux send knobs 2-3:00, i'm getting a pretty good level into the fx (with trims at noon not so much). I think the issue here might be the stereo aux sends on the mixer are on a TRS jack. by splitting them via TRS to dual TS its no longer balanced (?) which would not run as hot as a balanced line (?)

    The return channels are having to be run fairly low for a pleasing wet mix, which in a may make it a little finicky to dial in (pot taper?) - it ramps up pretty quick in a small rotation.

    Will say - hotter level brings clarity to the whole system - it was feeling muddy before.

    Back to high end FX devices:

    Another angle on my original question: if we factor out reverb for a moment, and were to say I would like one box to easily cover complex modulations and delays without compromise, what would some recommendations be? would that be a PCM81? Other?
     
  14. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Looks all good... but that unbalancing on the splits may be a problem. Try with one unit using only two I/Os and fully balanced cables and you'll know.
    It's called troubleshooting...
    I don't use Aux returns. Much nicer to use channels as they have the same layout, easy to understand/manage and I can use eq if I want to color the effects.

    Define "complex modulations" and "delays without compromise" as *in my book* those would be very high demanding definitions.
     
  15. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    I intend to. What that will amount to is the TRS stereo send would feed a TRS L/mono input of the MX. (not truly balanced in the sense of summing the tip/ring mono signal). We'll see what happens.

    What I'm really after is more control (params) - the basics in the MX sound pretty good, but may only have 4-6 parameters for chorus, detune, delay (reverbs actually have more params than i expected). Forget about any fancy tricks with delay routings. To momentarily go back into "fx block" speak (which i now know doesnt apply to the devices we've been discussing), the end game is to feed a complex tri sounding chorus into detune, with options for pre delay etc, and also have some delay blocks available for multi tap, stereo, circular, etc, all with finer control over smearing, mod, EQ etc. If had panner/tremolo type fx available thats just gravy. Make sense at all?
     
  16. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    So... trichorus>detune and delays, some M-taps/stereo or circular... w/diffusion/mod/eq... and some panner/tremolo would be nice....
    Let me give you a couple of scenarios.

    It's going to be PCM80 > PCM81 (using mixer Aux Sends) beacause that's the only way chorus>dtune can be done. A PCM can either do on or the other, not both.

    possible routings:
    -trichorus with parallel 2 or 3 voice delays with some diffusion or feed stereo 2 non modulated delays, all with little eq. Choose about delays here. Circular may be possible...
    feeding the 81 for stereo detune and stereo detuned delays + reverb... so you need to decide what to do with all those delays in the PCM80 and in the following PCM81.
    -if you want M-tap delays, this has to go in the second PCM but you'll loose detuners and you'll have reverb there. Or you can have stereo chorus and 4 taps delays in the PCM80 feeding the 81 for reverb... i probably wouldn't want to feed all those chorus and delays to detuners... but you can.

    You have to look at the algorithms and studt the signal flow to get these things.
     
  17. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    IF you want ALL of that, in any possible combination AND EQ where you like it... and tremolo/panner... you need a big dual DSP Eventide, son.
    No way around it!
     
  18. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Nothing will give yo all of that unlesss it's some really big power
    PCMs have two chips, one i dedicated to reverb so you can't use it for other effects.
    A rack in a box requires more power or more units and a good mixer.
     
  19. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    I see. Once i re-read your post a few times... the reverb is always there cant use that DSP for other.

    Same story with the Eclipse?
     
  20. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    No, but its structures are different. So you won't ge a ton of effects.
    You have to understand that TONS of effects means low quality. You need to learn to use fewer ones, good sounding, and make changes when needed.
    If you want all laid out and available in a single structure or two... it takes some big horsepower. No way around it.
    Why having multitap/stereo delays/ circular all tigether when you're not going to use more than of them at the time? So.. a preset change or the use of MIDI CCs to reconfigure those delays is what people do. Audio quality and flexibility vs, low quality foot-stomp style.
    An Eclipse + PCM80 or 81 can do things differently.... like trichorus > detuner and stereo detuned delays > PCM multitaps or other typef of delays when needed + reverb.
     

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