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Pedalboards and Effects Loops...How?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by blownirocz, May 23, 2011.

  1. blownirocz

    blownirocz Suppoutin' Memba Since Dem Oud Dayz... Silver Supporting Member

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    So we're starting to write some heavier stuff now, and although I've always had all my effects in front of my amp(s), I'm starting to consider running some effects in the loop of my amp, so they don't go through preamp distortion. But I want to keep everything on one pedal board. Inevitably, someone will say, "go with a rack system". Let me clarify that I've "been there, done that", and don't want to do it again.

    So how do you folks wire up/run your rig with some of the effects going into the loop of your amp, and some going into the front (assuming that your amp will be 5-15 feet away from the board)? Do you just run three separate cables from the pedal board to the amp? Has someone developed a clever product to help with this? If someone has a setup they like, would you mind posting pics also?

    Lastly, what effects would you put in the loop if you had the following to deal with (obviously I'm going to leave out things like the volume pedal, compressor, wah, etc.)?:

    • Phaser
    • Flanger
    • Delay
    • Chorus
    • Reverb
    As usual, thanks in advance for all your thoughtful feedback and suggestions!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  2. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    I do just run 3 cables--though I keep the fx loop stuff in a TB looper so I can bypass all the extra cable when not using it. It's a nice lehle one with a really good buffer though so that keeps any tone-suck issues to a minimum. IMO delay and reverb are really the only ones that NEED to go in the loop, you might be surprised how good chorus/phaser etc sound pre-distortion. That is a matter of taste though.

    There are some minimal rack solutions that really just function as switchers but if you need to be able to tweak a pedal in front of you I'm not really sure what a better solution would be. The lehle & good cable works well enough for me though.
     
  3. Guitar55

    Guitar55 Who was that masked man? Silver Supporting Member

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    This would have been a good post in the Pedals and Effects forum.
     
  4. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

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    GENERALLY, you want time based effects in the loop. That leaves out O/D pedals, Wah, vol etc. Of course anything goes and as Duke Ellington famously said, "if it sounds good, it's good."
     
  5. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I know exactly where you are coming from. It is so logical it's funny, but like you I had to be told in so many words evn though I knew the answer.

    Yes, you have to run two extra cables and use the effects loop., which means you are going to have four or five cables going to/from your amp. The loop is buffered and essentially noisefree - so it is better than using everything up front.

    I have this guitar > tuner > wah > chorus > compressor > noise gate >> amp in

    effects out into >> EQ/boost > delay >> effects return.

    Now "amp in" mean "pre-amp/tone controls, etc" - that is your gain center, at least with my amp. Some people use an overdrive pedal in front of the amp but I prefer to use the amp's gain for "overdrive."

    I went and bought two pretty purple cables from GC and used duct tape to tie them together. I am considering taping all of my cables together because I am pretty sure this is how the rig is going to work from now on.

    On my Marshall this is the only way to get the boost you need for solos - can't push the preamp past saturation for more volume. You have add the volume boost at the effects loop. I could just use a gain pre-amp (BBE Sonic Stomp), but the MXR EQ I use has gain in it, plus EQ.

    But to clarify, you have to decide which sounds you want to use where. An EQ/boost is more effective in the loop, but a chorus could be used in either place. I tend to use chorus on my clean sounds, but some people want them on their gain sounds. Some people even have pedals to connect pedals together in a certain (different) orders.
     
  6. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    here's what I do:

    guitar>>univibe pedal>>wah pedal>>phase 90 pedal>>OD pedal>>OD pedal>>volume pedal(out to tuner on one side)>>front of amp...

    in the loop I have: amp send>>chorus pedal (on occasion)>>echo/delay pedal>>amp return
     
  7. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    The only thing in my loop is a TC Flashback and that has a buffer. I just run two long cables taped together to the amp. The amp has a loop on/off on the footswitch so that makes it great. Sounds great, no tone loss to speak of.
     
  8. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Just in general

    Guitar into first before the amp effect. Daisy chain all the effects that go up front and take the output from the last of those into the input of the amp.

    Run a cable from the FX send into the input of the first effect that you want in the loop. Daisy chain the rest of the loop effects and take the output from the last of those and connect it to the amp return.

    Nothing to it.
     
  9. hammersig

    hammersig Supporting Member

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    http://www.redco.com/shopexd.asp?multi=yes&id=655. I had a custom 4 channel snake made, 25 ft, male to male, (3) TS angled, (1) 1/4in TRS angled. The Trs is for my footswitch, one TS is amp input, the other TS are for effects loop.

    I basically run the from my last overdrive to the amp input, and in my loop I run an MXR EQ, MXR MicroFlanger, and MXR Carbon Copy. I like this setup as the flanger acts more of a flange than a chorus, the delay is clearer, and the eq gives a great clean volume boost, with virtually no grit. I actually like the sound of chorus and phase in front of the amp, so if you have some extra cables, try them in different places and see what works better for you.

    Of course, I get this setup, and now I'm debating losing all pedals but a wah and tuner :)
     
  10. shg

    shg Senior Member

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    As a rule, filter effects go in front of the preamp and time-based effects go after. So for your list above the phaser would be in front and the everything else would be in the loop.

    However I would suggest chorus first in series in the loop and if possible the delay and reverb second in parallel. So the signal from the preamp gets chorused, then (the chorused signal gets delayed) + (the chorused signal gets reverbed) and those two are mixed together. You don't really want (delayed chorused signal gets reverbed) or (reverbed chorused signal gets delayed) for obvious reasons.
     
  11. Ekluksdahl

    Ekluksdahl Member

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    Buy a pedalsnake cable!! Solved my issues with pedals in front and pedals in the loops!
     
  12. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    I grabbed a pack of the tubing Ikea sells for taming computer/speaker wires and ran 3x 1/4" cables and a 25ft heavy duty extension cord through it. Got a pack of color coded electrical tape to make set up easier- gold goes from FX to preamp, green from preamp to FX, Black back to power amp. A little black tape to keep thetubing closed, and I can be set up in >5 minutes.
     
  13. stratocat63

    stratocat63 Member

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    Yeah the tubing is the way to go. I use plastic ties every couple of feet, no tape at all so no gunk on anything.
     
  14. Dave2512

    Dave2512 Member

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    There are lots of products out there for this. I use the MKS stuff, powered board with the stereo routing module. They call it the Patch Pad. With that you can configure two different channels on the board and run each out to where it needs to go. It's tidy and easy to use. Though currently I am running minimal effects into the front of the amp. Anyway cheap and easy with the MKS stuff.
     
  15. Ampegasaur

    Ampegasaur Member

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    I prefer pedals racked, going into a midi controlled looper. Short run into the loop, and all switching done with a midi pedal, with no tone loss. I hate long cables into a loop, even with a buffer I can really tell a difference.
     
  16. ?&!

    ?&! Member

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    I have a Pedalsnake, and I love it.
     
  17. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    Something to think about: what is the send level of your loop? If it's +4 dBv you're going to have problems, and will need a pad to use instrument level pedals in it.
     
  18. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    ^^Yup, that's what I want to know. I've not done this with a conventional amp, much less researched it, so I can't say. But in amps with switchable loops like the Cyber Twin, getting the send level wrong creates all kinds of issues.

    --Ray
     
  19. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    What kind of midi manager do you use? Is it a product that lets you configure different midi channels for different effects?

    Although to my ears I do not hear a significant difference in sound even with my effects loop plugged in and 10 feet og cable each direction; What you are saying in terms of shorter cable runs is an obvious advantage.
     

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