Sound Sculpture Switchblade Questions

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Adam Zaiger, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Adam Zaiger

    Adam Zaiger Member

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    So I have a few questions about this if anyone can answer them:

    1. Has anyone ever tried to use multiple ams/heads in a manner where you patch through each amp's preamp by going from Switchblade Out--->Amp in---->Amp Effects Loop Out---->Swicthblade In----->Switchblade Out---->Amp Effects Loop In. The obvious advantage in doing this is that effects can now be placed either prior to the amp or in its effects loop, and I have no doubt this would work great. However, what I am really interested in knowing is if anyone has run the preamp of one amp into the power section of one or more of the other amps, or even use the preamp section of one amp (say a Matchless) into the power amp section of another (say a Marshall). Would this not pose a serious risk of ground loop issues? If it wouldn't, it seems to me that the Switchblade has some really radical possibilities.

    2. My second question is what cable to use. I have enough gear to totally fill up a Switchblade and it could potentially cost as much as the Switchblade itself to wire everything with Evidence cables or the like (especially where I love having a good number of my pedals wth function switches - i.e. Pigtronix echolution, Supa Trem - on the floor, requiring at least 10-foot runs). Does one really need/want super high quality cable for the Switchblade loops?

    3. Last question is what MIDI footcontroller to get. I am particularly interested to know of a controller that will be good for instant acess switching of the various loops on and off. Ideally, I want to label each of the switches on the controller so that they are permanently set to swicth particular loops on and of (and thus I can label them). I know the Switchblade only lets you turn on/off loops that are included in a particular present, so I'm worried it could get confusing. I guess in an ideal world, each switch's LED would either be lit up (on), off (not in the Switchblade active preset), or blinking (off, but active and available for turn on in the active Switchblade preset. Is this a pipe dream? I am not a MIDI guy but am really interested in the Switchblade because I think it could be a seriously amazing way to connect all my gear (largely for home studio use), but my concern is it would be really difficult to do and still have things easy to use.
     
  2. barryoneal

    barryoneal Member

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    1. You can do that exactly, we are working on a rig now with an Egnater M4, Bogner XTC, and Uberschall. You just treat it as 3 preamps and 2 power amps. Since the routing is soft, you can do whatever you'd like.

    2. Every in and out on the Swithblade is buffered, cables can make less of a difference. I personally would use Mogami 2524. For devices with a ground reference, you may need to use 2549 and break ground loops on unbalanced lines.

    3. The Axess FX1 is an awesome footcontroller. Highly configurable and well built.

    As far as using Smart Inserts. Just patch everything in a preset. Then keep their loops off when you don't need them. That way you won't have to remember what is in a particular patch.

    Hope that helps some,
    -barry.
     
  3. Adam Zaiger

    Adam Zaiger Member

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    Much appreciated, Barry.

    What do you mean by routing is "soft"?

    Thanks for the cable recommendation, too.

    On the Axess, I'm still unclear how I would be able to see on the foot controller what was active or not, but I'm guessing the answer is that it can be programmed...just a lot of work
     
  4. barryoneal

    barryoneal Member

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    The Switchblade is a crosspoint router. Any in can be connected to any out. For each preset, you can have any combination of in-to-out connections. Unlike a real patchbay where the connections are 'hard' and made with real cable and connectors. The connections in the Switchblade are made with configurable electrical switches. That is what I meant by soft.

    So with any Switchblade that is Smart Insert capable, you can configure any in->out as a 'loop'. So you can have a small loop of just one pedal, or a 'big' loop with multiple devices. Imagine you could kill all your post preamp effects, you could call it a dry button that would kill your wet loop. In a Switchblade, those loops are controlled by MIDI Continuous Controllers. The FX1 buttons are setup as CC's. Every loop gets its own button. You can use them to turn loops on and off. When a loop is on, the LED by the FX1 button will be on.

    So I think in your case, every preset would have all your gear patched in. You can use different presets to change the order, inter-device gains, and other stuff, but every piece of gear would be in that preset and available. Whether or not their loops are actually on is controlled by the MIDI controller. So if you imagine the FX1 starting with all the LED's off, meaning no loops on. Then you pick some OD, some delay, and whatever else. Save that to an FX-1 preset and bang your set. (An FX-1 preset is a just a collection of CC values, well let's say for the purposes of this post).

    It's alot easier in practice, and with a Switchblade and a suitable MIDI controller, there isn't a whole lot you can't do signal chain wise.

    Sorry if that was long,
    -barry.
     
  5. barryoneal

    barryoneal Member

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    Also, I don't know what your budget is or your design goals, but if you wanted to put everything in the rack, including the stuff with function switches, there are certainly custom solutions for that, essentially custom switching boxes and potentially modifying your pedals.

    -barry.
     
  6. Adam Zaiger

    Adam Zaiger Member

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    Thanks even more, Barry.

    Sounds like if I go this route I will be programming for quite awhile, not just the Switchblade but also the controller. No pai, no gain, I guess.

    I'm not too keen on modding my pedals, so I'm inclined to just pick the ones with function switches, do a board with those and the wahs that have to be underfoot, and keep all else in the rack.
     
  7. barryoneal

    barryoneal Member

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    The programming is not that bad. And you basically do it once in the beginning to set up your rig and then simply use your rig after that.

    All the best,
    -barry.
     
  8. hsbacker

    hsbacker Member

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    Hi,
    I was wondering how to set the Switchblade (GL) to turn on/off loops within a preset, using cc messages. I know how to use two midi-pedals, and set them to change the values, but as I read it, the Switchblade is limited to two continuous controllers. And I want to be able to switch on/off several loops, using the instant access buttons (that send cc's, not program changes) on my Rocktron All Access.
    Is this possible?
    Hilmar
     
  9. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    Well, after a year of looking at every possible way of creating a Gilmour-style setup in a small package, it's looking like the Switchblade will be the core of my rig. I'll be able to run clean & dirty sounds at the same time, put delays and reverbs on an aux send, and never have to choose a final order for my pedals.

    Any other users out there?
     
  10. geetarman

    geetarman Supporting Member

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    Good choice I love mine run most of my pedals and a Lexicon PCM-80 through the SB.
     
  11. faizz

    faizz Member

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    The Switchblade GL is the heart of all my rigs since more than 10 years, i just could not do it without!

    doei! ®
    Faizz
     
  12. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    My main question: where do I get one used? For a decent price?
     
  13. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    OK, I got a GL on Craigs List for a grand, but I had to send it to the factory for all the upgrades, so including shipping and Paypal it was over $1500. Of course now there's one in the Emporium, fully loaded, for $1100....... oh well!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010

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