Sequis Motherload

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by GuitarBrent, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    OK, so I researched this thing for 2 months and finally came up with the scratch back in the beginning of May. Units were to be delivered by the end of May. After many delays, I finally got my Motherload on Wednesday. I'm sure there are others out there. Let's hear your opinions.

    Day received-->My first impression? What a waste of money. I hooked up my Germino Lead 55 to it and ran my new EJ Strat into the amp. Listening through my Mackie HR 824s monitors and my AKG K240 headphones, I couldn't get over all of the fizz, mud, and tremendous compression. The guitar sound didn't react the same as when using a speaker cab. I guess it let's you hear how much of your sound is from the speakers and cab, including some distortion. I immediately emailed the company and have asked for a refund.

    Day 2-->My second impression? Wow, this is the best attenuator I've ever used. The wife and kid were away for a while, so with the same set up, I just used the attenuator section (Richter Control) of the Motherload. It goes from 0-2.5% of the amp power. Man did it sound great. No mud, unwanted compression, or fizz even at very, very low living room settings. Still no response to the email on a refund though.

    My third impression? Hmm, I am starting to be able to dial in some pretty huge and nice sounds on the bridge pickup of my Suhr Swamp Ash Classic, EJ Strat, Hamer P-90 Monaco Elite Goldtop, and PRS McCarty. Middle and neck pickups are still overly compressed, muddy, and fizzy at the same time when overdriving the amp. By now I've spent a good 5-6 hours with the speaker sim section. Lots of controls, but many aren't that effective at getting all the bad artifacts out. Too bad, 'cause I've really dialed in some seriously kick ass sounds on the bridge pickups of my guitars. Clean sounds are very impressive on all pickups though. If the unit was half the price, I'd keep it for the great sounds I can get. Still no response to my 2 calls today or second email sent for a refund.

    Anyone else?
     
  2. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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  3. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    I had one a while back, it's built really well, and I really needed it, but after weeks and weeks of trying to make it sound good I ended up Ebaying it, just not good enough for my needs, same with the Palmers.
    I continue to look for a similar device..
    E.B.
     
  4. cander328

    cander328 Member

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    Setting mine up now with my Mesa IIC+ combo and will let you know what I think (for what that's worth):rotflmao
     
  5. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    I have tried them all... Palmer, Motherload, Redbox, Digital Music Corp, etc. I don't use any of them because they all lacked something and I got too frustrated. My solution for silent home recording:

    amp > THD Hotplate > Line out > Radial Reamp > PODxt (bean w/ Studio Mode and 'No Amp' mode) > recorder

    If it's silent recording you want, IMO, you can't beat the PODxt for speaker sim. I will say that I am very happy with this set-up!
     
  6. cander328

    cander328 Member

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    Played with the Attenuated output today and I can say that I am very very impressed. What impresses me most is the smooth taper and it seems to not take anything away from my tone. One thing I can't understand is why the attenuator knob is on the back? It assumes that the user will set the amount of attenuation and then adjust volume from the amp - seems logical but does limit flexibility. Now on to the speaker emulation and recording.
     
  7. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    OK, I'm getting better and better sounds out of this thing. I'm still really struggling to capture the vibe of each pickup setting of my EJ Strat and Suhr Swamp Ash Classic. Neck pickup still muddy and fizzy, along with positions 2 & 4. If I keep the Germino down at around 6 or below, it seems to go away. I hate limitations, but I have been playing a lot over the last 4-5 days since receiving it. Take a listen to the 2 Motherload clips I've recorded here: http://www.soundclick.com/updateband/SongInfo.cfm?BandID=375366&Updated=4200959

    Very loose jamming after midnight tonight. Wife and 9 month old fast asleep. Chain was Hamer or PRS->Klotz 20' La Grange->Germino Lead 55 w/channels jumpered set to volumes 6->Motherload->Art Dual MP->Roland VS880->Cakewalk.

    I'm really torn whether I should keep it or not...If I could only nail the sound of my Strats now...:worried
     
  8. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Have you tried NI's Guitar Rig?

    It beats the Pod, imo.
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'm still really wondering if you're overdriving something downstream of it. Keeping the amp volume lower might stop that.

    The Motherload itself is totally passive, so the line output should be no more compressed than the attenuator output and contain no more 'artifacts' than it does - it's simply a filtered version of the same thing. (Obviously the filtering may not be perfect and you may be hearing stuff that the speakers naturally roll off, but your description of 'tremendous compression' makes me think something else is going on.)

    I'm assuming you've tried backing off the line output level, though...

    Maybe try temporarily leaving out the ART and going direct from the Motherload to the Roland, and see what that sounds like too.


    (I hope I'm not insulting your intelligence, it's just that your description of what it sounds like is completely different from what I heard.)
     
  10. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i have used the previous generation of motherload (2 channel) and found it an exceedingly useful device and no worse than micing up a cab w/ an SM57 (not my favourite mic). if i didn't already have the excellent groove tubes SEII i would consider the motherload.
    i have an extraordinarily long acquisition list since joining TGP & BaM.
    i reiterate the overloading concern stated above. it is very easy to overload digital inputs w/ speaker emulators. 25 bits should have loads of headroom. turn Ur inputs down and give Urself LOTS of headroom.
     
  11. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    After listenning to you clips, I hear the same sound I remember having when I had one, you would sound much better with a mic on the amp, but I understand why you need it.
    I would just buy something cheap just for late night recording and get rid of the overpriced Motherload..but it's you $$.
    E.B.
     
  12. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    I'm considering it... I've heard similar recommendation for the Guitar Rig 2 and I love NI, so another plus. Plus, I get the educational discount, which makes Guitar Rig 2 very, very affordable.

    Maybe next year... I have things dialed in right now, and I'm concentrating on writing and recording.
     
  13. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    It's the Motherload as a load/speaker sim. To me it sounds way overcompressed. No matter what I do, I can't get rid of the compression, fizz, and muddiness. John, I appreciate your insight and informed ideas as always, but yes, I've tried taking the ART out of the chain, and turning the output level down on the Sequis. It seems like the Mother can't handle the load.
     
  14. cander328

    cander328 Member

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    I have been experimenting with the Motherload using the following:
    ES 335TD->Landgraff Custon DO->Mesa Mark IIC+->Motherload->Apogee Rosetta A/D Convertor->Yamaha 01X->Logic Pro

    Monitors: KRK V88

    I did some side by side comparisons with the Motherload and the mic'ed (using an Senn e609 draped across the grill slightly off center of the cone). Despite numerous tweaks to the Motherload I could not get it to sound like the mic'ed result. I was not really expecting to but it was worth trying. It just never could capture the complexity that occurs in the mid range.

    I then ditched the mic and started playing with the sound coming from my recording/monitoring system (KRK V-88's). I decided that the best approach would be to tweak the amp and Motherload to try and get the best sound. I am impressed that the dynamic response of my amp is preserved (most important to me) and the tone is close enough that with some further manipulation and some EQ at my mixing board I can get a really good recorded sound without mic'ing the cab. I have also experimented with a couple of other OD pedals and am actually leaning towards my Zendrive or Lovepedal Deux (COT 50 and Eternity combination) as a better fit in this chain. The Analogman KOT v4 is also rather nice sounding. I have still got to play with different guitars but will do this after fine tuning the other elements of my recording rig.

    Conclusions:
    This is not going to sound like my mic'ed guitar amp however the result can still yield some fantastic recorded guitar parts.[​IMG]

    When I go back just playing the amp I will need to adjust all of my amp settings again.[​IMG]

    To get the most out of this box I need to look at every element of my chain and be prepared to have a setup that looks nothing like my live rig. For me this is not a problem as I am mostly playing in my home studio and can easily live with playing through my recording rig and monitoring through my KRKs (may add a sub despite the fact that the monitors already have 2 8inch speakers in each cabinet).[​IMG]

    So far this has been better than the Mesa Recording Pre I was using and is much more convenient than mic'ing. To clarify the comparison to the Recording Pre: by using the Bass and Resonance with the filter set to 2 or 3 I can get some of the thump of a mic'ed cab. I was not able to get this with the pre because of not having speaker simulation. Furthermore the Rec Pre did not have the tone and responsiveness of the IIC+[​IMG]

    Is it worth $850? For me it is as mic'ing a speaker is not an option. I could opt to use the Mesa Rec Pre and get a speaker simulator but this is a more expensive solution and it would not feel like the IIC+. Going the Pod or Guitar Rig route is not an option at this point as I am an analog signal chain snob! This is not to say it would not yield good results but I am not willing to find out at this point having invested in my current analog rig. [​IMG]
     

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