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Pedalboards and Effects Loops...How?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' 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!
     
  2. blownirocz

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

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    Tried to put the original in the proper forum, but somehow ended up in the Sound Hound Lounge.

    Moving it here...
     
  3. blownirocz

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

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    Quotes from the other thread before I delete it...

     
  4. niclake13

    niclake13 Member

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    Des Moines, IA
    Make a pedal snake. We did this at my church for one of our guitarists.

    Just get some stock, thin cable (the kind they use for sound board snakes) with quarter inch ends. As long as you need, no biggy. Wrap it up in a decent shield (again, just like board snakes), somehow label each end (color coding works), and go. Guitar to chain, chain to amp, amp to loop start, loop end to amp. A 3 cable snake should cover you.

    You may need buffers, though, if your cables get too long. Just remember that. :)
     
  5. aaland_brian

    aaland_brian Member

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    Minnesota
    You'll need three cables whether they are separate or in a snake. And I'd put the delay and reverb in the loop, then try the other pedals one by one and see if you like them in the loop or up front. Some effects don't have the headroom for a loop, and some me just sound to pronounced with additional preamp gain for your liking.
     
  6. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    There are a couple of gotcha's with fx loops. One is that many are not buffered, so the output impedance doesn't match most pedal effects and they rob high end. The solution, if this is true, is to use a buffer in the loop, something like the Vox 941 or Fuchs loop buffer pedal.

    Second, you're going to need 4 cables: 1 from guitar to pedalboard, 1 to amp, 1 send from fx loop to pedalboard, 1 return from pedalboard to amp. These need to be high quality so you're not getting noise, because you're buffered, they're not going to lose high end.

    3rd: volume issues. Some loops are very high output, some aren't. If they are you'll need something with high overhead first in line so you can damp down the signal, then boost it back up after the pedals. If you don't have those controls on the amp, the buffer I mentioned above will take care of it. The pedals in the loop want to be fairly high overhead, too, running at full voltage.

    As to what to put in the loop, you're going to have to try it. Putting mod pedals before distortion washes out a lot of the effect, but that may be what you want for a certain song/sound. I've often thought that a Line6 M13 would be the perfect solution for a loop: high overhead, lots of great sounds and you can set it up with phasers and flangers both before the amp and in the loop.
     
  7. JackStraw12

    JackStraw12 Supporting Member

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    If you are interested in some DIY work, get some neutrik jacks, 4 to be precise. One for guitar in, one for amp out, and two for the respectable in's and out's of the efx loop.
     
  8. 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 would put reverb in the loop, though 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 :)
     
  9. muffinman

    muffinman Member

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    by a lake in WI
    I've been doing this for about 15 years, initially I just had 2 lines to/from the parallel FX loop of a TSL100, then I bought an earlier incarnation of the Pedalsnake CS-3 (back before they had the pigtail ends), and still have that snake, but am looking to sell it as I am currently talking with best-tronics about building a pair of snakes for a stereo setup. Snake 1 is 1 line to amp, 2 lines for serial FX loop send and L return, 1 TRS line for amp 1 channel & amp 1 reverb switching, another line for amp 1 tremolo switching, and then of course some 120V power to the pedalboard. Snake 2 is 1 line for serial FX loop R return, 1 TRS line for amp 2 channel & amp 2 reverb switching, and another line for amp 2 tremolo switching. So that'll be just 2 snakes-- imagine what fun I have right now without snakes!
     
  10. cheameup

    cheameup Member

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    I have been tweaking my set up with my dual recto for a while . What I have now works for me

    I have
    Tuner,EHX HOG (in a TB Loop ) , OD ,Pareidolia, reverb in front of the amp

    and delay and eq in the effects loop

    all on the same pedal train pro

    I have the reverb in front cause I only use it on clean sounds and I dont like reverb pedals in the loop . waters them down .

    Modulation I like in front even with distortion . more subtle sounds

    I use the eq in the loop to fine tune the loops sound the same as when its bypassed and I use the effect loop switch the mesa footcontroller basically to turn my delay on and off .

    same with the hog. I have it in a TB loop as it messes with the tone when bypassed. I chose my preset at the start of the song and use the TB loop to turn it on and off
     
  11. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Member

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    Los Angeles
    I made my own snake using George L cables. One cable from board to the amp, two cables for send and return of the loop, and one cable for the amp footswitch. I have my wah, drive pedals, univibe in front of the amp and my tremelo, chorus, boost, and delays in the loop.
     
  12. JRBain

    JRBain Member

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    UK
    Of those effects, I would put delay and reverb in the loop. Possibly chorus too, but I don't use it.

    But I'm in much the same situation, really. Or would be if I had funds to buy the rig I'd like. Currently I run a single channel amp with no loop. It suffices for most things, but I'd like to be able to run a bit more preamp gain, with delay in the loop for leads and such.

    So in future I plan to have my pedals on the floor with a Musicom Lab switcher, and a MIDI controlled delay [eg. TimeFactor] sat on top of the amp, with a MIDI controlled loop switcher like the GigRig Remote Loopy 2. And some kind of clever means of using a standard volume pedal on the floor to control the volume without the signal running through it. Not sure about that yet. ;)

    But that's much what I'd suggest...
     
  13. semi-hollowbody

    semi-hollowbody Member

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    When I jam out with others
    guitar-cry baby-route 66-blues driver-jeckyll n hyde-peavey classic 30

    in the loop is an eq-chorus-delay-delay-bbe sonic stomp-reverb

    I have 4 cables running from an skb ps-45 to the amp...velcro tied together...the 4th being the classic 30 foot switch
     
  14. Selsaral

    Selsaral Member

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    Dec 14, 2009
    I just run cables and use cable ties to keep it tidy. I use a buffered pedal before and inside the loop.

    Wah, compressor, dirt before the amp, delay and chorus in the loop.

    I don't find it to be complicated or a big hassle.
     

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