Suggestions for my Signal Path.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rhythmrocker, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's my signal path on my new board. I need to get some loopers and want to get the signal path as close to "right" before I shell out the dough for loopers. My initial idea is to go with two loopers to split my dirt from my time/mod effects.Your suggestions and answers to a few questions would be helpful. Note: I was going with a Switchblade GL and may do that in the future (see past posts)

    Here we go:
    Guitar > Tuner (Turbo Tuner) > Wah (GigFX MegaWah) >
    5-Looper:
    Loop1: Compressor
    Loop2: Fuzz (OCD stacked into London II works well)
    Loop3: Crunch (D*A*M Red Rooster)
    Loop4: Zendrive
    Loop5: Dumbell
    Out to 4-Looper >


    4-Looper with Master Bypass
    Loop1: Delay (Jacques Prisoner)
    Loop2: Chorus (Jacques Meistersinger)
    Loop3: Tremolo (Sugar Baby)
    Loop4: Reverb (Verbzilla)
    Master Bypass turns off any/all

    1. Where does the Vibe go?
    2. Do I need a buffer and where would it go?
    3. Where would the Decimator be placed?
    4. Where would the RC Booster be placed – after or before the Decimator?

    Note1: I know the Decimator changes the tone but I can eq it. The benefit to me of no noise outweighs the tonal differences. The Decimator is set very "Light."
    note2: The RC Booster works great to change the q difference when I switch between my Strat and Bluesbird.
    Note3: Any power supplies issues have been addressed.
    Note4: On question 4, I could just try it both ways but wanted to throw it out there anyway.

    Thanks all, especially to Zachman, Klondegan, and others I will thank later when it's not so late.
     
  2. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    If you're set on going with loopers, I would consider running some effects out of loops to make way for buffering. A really easy and available way to do what you're trying to do and include buffering is to go with some of the Voodoo Lab Pedal Switchers:

    http://www.voodoolab.com/switcher.htm


    It has 4 loops and has a buffer that you can plug into at the input before loop 1.
    Sometimes it's advantageous mod the switcher so that the buffering is a little better. It's fairly easy to mod the switcher and it will improve the fidelity and the quality of the buffer. It's not a bad buffer, but there are quieter op-amps and a few simple things that could improve it. In this scenario, you would run the following before the first loop:

    Tuner --> Wah --> Vibe --> Fuzz -->Treble Booster (Red Rooster)


    Then you would enter your Looper and use a the buffered input in your VL Switcher. The pedals in the Looper would include:


    Loop 1: Compressor
    Loop 2: RC Booster (if your using it as an enhancer/boost)

    Loop 3: Zendrive
    Loop 4: Dumbell

    Then you would go into your next VL Pedal Switcher for the second set of effects. Here you wouldn't need to use the buffered input (since you already used one in the first looper), so you would just use a passive one.

    Looper 2 would include:

    Loop 1: Chorus
    Loop 2: Delay

    Loop 3: Tremolo
    Loop 4: Reverb

    The Decimator should be toward the end (it's a gate correct?). Normally a gate will be used just before entering an amp. Things with trailing repeats like delays need to go after the gate.

    This set up of course could be completed other ways, but a VL Switcher is pretty easy to get and not too expensive. You could also just opt to run a stand-alone buffer unit after your Fuzz and Treble Booster and then go into the looper box you decide on.

    To answer the other questions:

    1) Vibe should go before fuzz in my view. It will sound really phasey if you put it after. Some disagree, but I find it get the most depth and throb in that position. It's a much richer sound.

    2) Buffer after Fuzz and Treble Booster

    3) Gate goes last and will act as a threshold for anything coming before it.

    4) If you're using an RC to boost or enhance your pickups, use it early before your OD section. It you want something to actually EQ your sound, you'll need an equalizer. There are some great mods for a Boss GE-7 that take away the noise and make it very usable. If you don't want the Equalizer pedal to be influenced by the gate, then you need to put it after it. You might want to try and see the difference with your amp. Some gates are more transparent than others.

    Hope that helps,

    ~Mason @ Vertex Effect Systems

     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  3. zachman

    zachman Senior Member

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    Wow... Okay... Because you're going with the Soundsculpture switcher, it doesn't matter which device gets plugged into a given loop, because you can assign the matrix internally to place the pedals anywhere you want via the Soundsculpture. As far as separate loopers, in addition to the Switchblade-- is that because you want your pedals on the floor in front of you? (I only ask because they could be eliminated just by placing them on a pedal tray and using a MIDI controller to turn the loops on or off, and you could route them in front of the amps or in the loops of your amp, or into another power amp if you are going w/ a w/d approach-- all from the Soundsculpture.) Anyway....

    That being said, I prefer my chorus before my delays, so I can have the repeats of my delays be "Chorused".


    • I tend to put boosts toward the end of the chain so it doesn't slam the front end of the other pedals.
    • Re: Buffers, the Soundsculpture's loops are all buffered
    • Re: the ISP Decimator, I prefer them before delays, and reverbs so the delay and reverb trails, don't get cut off. As far as the RC booster in relation to the Decimator... experiment, but I'd probably put it before the ISP, to have the ISP be able to filter out the hiss of the Boost happening to the overall signal, when it's engaged.
    • Vibe, I'd put toward the end of the chain, after the wah, but experiment, perhaps right before the wah (Which I usually put at the end of the chain).
    Hope that helps. :aok
     
  4. Jack DeVille

    Jack DeVille Gold Supporting Member

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    A worthwhile caveat:

    A noise gate placed last in the chain will cut your repeats from you delay. If that's what you're into, go for it.
    I usually run gates before delay/reverb/trem etc. Consider the operation of the noise gate and you can see why this may be a more "tonally viable" alternative.
    I.E: Noise gates mute/attenuate signal when it is below a user defined threshold level. take a tremolo design. It modulates AMPLITUDE of the signal, making it louder and quieter rhythmically. If your gate is after your trem, when you trem goes into the attenuation cycle, your gate will turn on and cut signal. If that's what you're after, cool, but you may lose a bit of your trem "smoothness." Consider the repeats of your delays as well.
     
  5. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    Zach is correct on the Gate, for some reason I wasn't in my right mind when I was typing. However, I didn't think the Switchblade was being used, am I unclear?

    Also, if the RC is used to stack with other pedals as a boost it would be more effective at the beginning of the chain of OD/Distortion pedals.
     
  6. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep zach got it incorrect - NO Switchblade. Keep it coming . . .probably because we spent so much time talking on another thread about using the Switchblade, a great router which I may use in the future, but not now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  7. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's my edited signal path. It looks like what I need to purchase are two loopers: one 4-Looper and one 4-Looper with a master bypass. Any further comments/questions/suggestions would be whole-heartedly welcomed.

    Guitar > Tuner > Wah > Vibe > Fuzz (OCD stacked into London II works well) > Treble Booster (Red Rooster) > Buffer
    Or
    Guitar > Tuner > Vibe > Wah > Fuzz (OCD stacked into London II works well) > Treble Booster (Red Rooster) > Buffer

    Out to first Looper:
    A: 4-Looper
    Loop1: Compressor
    Loop2: Zendrive
    Loop3: Dumbell
    Loop4: Decimator (Gate); switched off with Bluesbird

    Out to 2nd Looper >

    B: 4-Looper with Master Bypass

    Loop1: Chorus (Jacques Meistersinger)
    Loop2: Delay (Jacques Prisoner)
    Loop3: Tremolo (Sugar Baby)
    Loop4: Reverb (Verbzilla)
    Master Bypass turns off any/all

    Out to RC Booster (so as not to slam the B Looper effects).

    Notes: I use the RC Booster to make eq changes; perhaps not as effective as using a modified GE-7 (I have a CMATMODS GE-7), but for quick Q-ing it works well to adjust the final Q when switching between my strat & humbucker; Voodoo switchers are too deep for my pedal board – will probably get 2 Loop-Master loopers.
     
  8. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    You might also consider the Fulltone Fat-Boost 3, it's more transparent than the RC. I find the RC adds a little compression, I'm not sure if you mind it or not, but I've converted a lot of RC users once they try a FB3. I have one here for you to try if you want to compare.

    ~Mason
     
  9. kldonegan

    kldonegan Member

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    Rhythmrocker - your last post looks good to me. I'd start there and tweak once you play with that layout for a while. The only signal chain suggestion I would make is trying your trem before your delay. I have my tremolo between my two delay pedals... trem into delay is pretty different from delay into trem so I left myself with options for both!
     
  10. Loop-Master

    Loop-Master Member

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    Awesome pawsome. :dude
     
  11. zachman

    zachman Senior Member

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    My bad...

    I'm not sure about the fuzz pedal you're using, but I'd put it 1st then tuner then everything (OD's etc... boosts) then wah last, then a buffer from loop board 2 back to amp
     
  12. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    If he does this (if I'm reading this correctly), the only part of the signal that he will be buffering is the cable going from the board to the amp. That might only be 20ft. and would seem like a wash if the board will be running an additional 20 ft. between the pedals any given time (considering the cable running between the pedals that aren't in loop, and perhaps using a 1 or 2 pedals in the loopers at any given time), and an additional 15-20 ft. of cable going from the guitar to the pedalboard.

    That would over 40ft. of cable running all the time with no buffering. Even low capacitance cable at 20 pF/ft. will still experience loss without buffering with that much length.

    I would strongly encourage buffering much early after the signal after the Fuzz and Treble Booster. Everything in this set up is True Bypass before hitting the looper boxes, so it will not effect the Fuzz or TB in any way. I would stick with this example for buffer placement, even if you should decide to move the Vibe elsewhere:

    Tuner > Wah > Vibe > Fuzz > Treble Booster (Red Rooster) > Buffer


    ~Mason
     
  13. zachman

    zachman Senior Member

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    Aloha Mason,

    Ya, I was sleepy when I read his post, then responded. I was thinking he had a buffered tuner, for the front end of the chain. Of course, because the pedals will be in a loop switcher (not sure about how the one he's looking at are designed), but the one I use when the loops are off, the cable is also bypassed, so unless all of the loops are on simultaneously-- the cable lengths there wouldn't necessarily apply.

     
  14. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    Zach,

    No worries man, I did a blooper from the same reason earlier with the Gate question.

    You're exactly right about the loop switcher (all cables between it are bypass when it's off), however the following pedals are being run outside of the switcher:

    Tuner > Wah > Vibe > Fuzz > Treble Booster (Red Rooster) > Buffer

    In this scenario the cables lengths will play a factor if there isn't a buffer. Let's tentatively say that there is around 5ft.-6ft. of cable depending before you hit the looper (this may changed based on the orientation of the pedalboar. Plus, factor in the cabling running from the guitar to the pedalboard (another 15-20 ft. normally). Right there you already have 20-25 ft. of cable with out any buffering.

    Let's also assume that normally you'll be running 2-3 effects within the looper most of the time. This will likely add another 5-8 ft. of cable since the cable runs are much longer on loopers to a "send" and a "return" to an effect further away from the looper unit itself.

    Now you're potentially running almost 40ft. of cable in an un-buffered signal. Add on top of that any cable going to the amp (you see where I'm going with this).

    You definitely are going to get signal loss/degradation if you wait to buffer until you've run through 35-40 ft. of cable. Conversely, if you buffer after the Fuzz in the scenario shown above (with only about 20ft. of total cable or less before the buffer), there should be hardly, if any, loss at all.
     
  15. zachman

    zachman Senior Member

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    You are absolutely correct.
     
  16. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    OK - I have looked at buffers, including the Steel Guitar Black Box http://www.sarnomusicsolutions.com/products/sgbb.html

    But I've got a "small" board (NYC w/ 2nd tier) and don't have the room. I thought of getting this below, since it has a buffer AND a volume knob and would fit more easily on my already crapmed board:
    [​IMG]
    Here's the description:
    "MVB Mini Volume Pedal w/built in Buffer
    yup, both in a finger enclosure w/a tuner out that WILL NOT SUCK YOUR TONE. The buffer is so solid it can drive an output as well as push your signal through any chain. punchy as all crap, and will save ridiculous space and tone on your pedalboard." This above is by our own this1smyne.


    Here is a mock-up pic of my planned board w/o cabling, photos of loopers:
    [​IMG]


    Here's where I need some help:
    -What I think I need is a small pedal board junction box, seen photo-mock up, top right. . . Recommendations? FOUND.
    -Is there a Looper, a strip-type, 4-looper, w/ Master Bypass in a 7" long box, instead of the usual 10"? That way I could put two 4-loopers @ 7" each next to each other on the "bottom" of the board and free up some real estate by losing the box-type 4-looper with master bypass on the bottom left. YES.

    Notes: To save board space, I could remove the GigaWah to the floor, but would rather keep it all together for ease of hookup; the power supplies (2-PPT's) go under the 2nd tier; the Dumbell needs to be near the loopers so I can turn on the 2nd channel - ultimately, it may need to be raised up so it is accessible over the top ot the looper below it.

    Comments/help on these last few detail appreciated. .

    Thanks again all!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  17. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    Loop-Master parts should be in soon . . .
     
  18. randy morser

    randy morser Member

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    Interesting. But if he DID have a buffered tuner like the TU-2, would he need a buffer at all?
     
  19. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    06/03/2010

    Here's my edited #3 signal path. Comments/questions/suggestions would be whole-heartedly welcomed.

    Guitar > PedalBoard PatchBay > Tuner > Wah > Vibe > Fuzz (GE-7 into MXR/Dunlop JH Fuzz) > Treble Booster (Red Rooster) > Buffer optional, can be hidden under tier
    Or
    Guitar > Tuner > Vibe > Wah > Fuzz > Treble Booster (Red Rooster) > Buffer optional, can be hidden under tier

    Out to 1st Looper (Loop-Master):
    A: 4-Looper
    Loop1: Compressor
    Loop2: Zendrive (works exceptionally well with my Bluesbird)
    Loop3: Dumbell (fantastic with my G&L S-500 [single coils])
    Loop4: Decimator (Gate); switched off with Bluesbird; switched on with G&L

    Out to 2nd Looper (GNI programmable looper)
    B: 4-Looper with Master Bypass
    Loop1: Chorus (Arion SCH-1)
    Loop2: Echo (EchoMachine)
    Loop3: Tremolo (Sugar Baby)
    Loop4: Delay (Ibanez DE-7)
    Master Bypass turns off any/all

    Out to RC Booster (placed at end so as not to slam the B Looper effects).

    Notes: I use the RC Booster to make eq changes between Bluesbird and Strat - perhaps not as effective as using a modified GE-7, but for quick Q-ing it works well; NYC Pedalboard – lid closes nicely over tier, may add foam for ground level effects; one drawback – the board is heavy; plus = I have lots of sounds available, really good ones, especially after four years of A/B-ing different pedals (50 pedals?). I’m in the ballpark now, hitting home runs; things are a little tight; the Decimator is hidden under the tier as it won’t be tweaked too often; amps used: ‘66FDR, Music Man 112 RD-50; ’68 Bassman (“Allen-mod”); Juicebox and PPT+ used.

    Special thanks to Loop-Master, Desperado, Texasburst69, ToneGurus (Mike), ScottL, Zachman, kldonegan, on all those others who turned me on to some great pedals.
    Comments/questions/any new suggestions would be whole-heartedly welcomed before I have this thing wired up (in which case I’m sure I’ll learn something else, e.g., have to remove a pedal to make room).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To Do: add Velcro to tier and bottom of selected pedals and to the riser(s). The GasPedals Dumbbell is on a piece of wood riser now to bring it over the height of the Loop-Master; this is necessary so that the second channel of the Dumbbell would be accessible to a foot stomp without hitting the looper by mistake.
     
  20. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    My rig is in the shop . . .
     

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