The Future of Pedalboards

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by Husky, Nov 18, 2017.


  1. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Thanks, man, a simpler solution than I was aware of :-D
    And one I unknowingly use all the time (pitch bend)
    A nice little explanation here from Summer 2017:
    https://cycling74.com/forums/high-resolution-midi-or-osc-controllers
    seems hardware is scarce...I will look deeper...

    Reviewing the past is how we inform the future. Few utilize their gear to it’s full potential. Typically, users find “what works for them” and call it their “sound”. That path simplifies things; you move forward and play & record, etc, because “life’s too short”. I am guilty of it too. This thread is talking about trends, really. The latest trend is as you describe: an all in one modeller, footcontroller FX unit for the digital demographic and pedals for analog requirements. Retrace the explanations in this thread and see the various trends for electric guitar:
    tube amps then
    tube/SS amps + analog fx pedals, then
    digital preAmps and fx and midi, then
    modelling, then
    back to pedals (analog revival; most recent)

    and any combination of those as we march on into the future.

    Everyone has their own view of what sounds best, and we’ll all have different tastes partly because no two humans perceive audio in exactly the same way.

    We are talking about midi and programming tones and FX here, because there still remains undiscovered by many and vastly underused techniques for going beyond modulating just a few parameters with a player’s feet. These techniques can be applied to vintage digital rack units. We’ve had the future in our possession all along, we just may not have known how to use our gear to its full potential. For as much as I am paraphrasing others, here, I have found this out for myself as well.

    It all boils down to what you want to hear and how you acheive it. Sounds to me you are doing just that :) If, like me, you don’t already have all the gear you require to make the sounds of your imagination and desires, use what you already have to its full potential until you can obtain said gear.
     
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  2. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    having slept on it, R&D on new ways to manually RT control parameters with foot (or feet, if sitting) while playing; something beyond the realm of physical knobs, faders/sliders and expression pedals...maybe something like Imogene Heap’s glove controller, but in a shoe? or shoes? Wizard Of Oz type powers?

    also, completely wireless routing would be cool. Rack gear does take that into account somewhat.

    Strymon Mobius and Orbit are the only Strymons I have properly demo’d. I was flanger shopping in June 2017, I didn’t buy either because I needed to look more deeply into my current gear to determine if I really needed the Orbit. My gear lives in France and I was shopping in the UK. After getting back to my GSP2101 and Fender CyberTwin, the Orbit is far superior. I found the Vibe to be really great on the Mobius. The Orbit Flanger is much more to my liking than the Mobius one. I want extremes and subtlety and everything in between :) By far my fave Mobius trick is the Destroyer bit crusher functionality. That Destroyer is worth the price of admission, although I would rather have it on it’s own in one box. That said, I do want multiple parameter automation and the Orbit isn’t really up to that afaia.
     
  3. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    The market is ripe for a single space Fractal FX1 paired with a dedicated foot controller. Modern version of the G-system? I'd be all over it.
     
  4. wrong_note_rod

    wrong_note_rod Member

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    I dont need no board.

    (actually I do have a nice one but this gig I'm getting ready to do, the stage is so small I put this together and its not bad)

     
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  5. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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  6. stratamania

    stratamania Member

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    I have been pondering the same thing lately. I am actually coming to a similar conclusion.

    I own a Suhr Bella, and Eclipse and some Keeley pedals. I got rid of my G-System so things like delays and so on I need to build up again.

    I think a few pedals and expression pedals up front in some sort of MIDI capable switcher such as a Boss ES-8, or similar and an audio and MIDI cable back to a small rack with something that will do verbs, delays, etc controllable via MIDI might be a much better proposition than a massive board.

    Then the other day I was watching Andy Wood on YouTube doing a Clinic, and he was getting awesome tones, with a few pedals, compressor, drives, TC Flashback and a Hall of Fame into the front of a Bella. So I suppose it is how complex we want to go tone wise.

    But if more than a few pedals, a mix of pedals in front and a time based smaller rack with a good amp seems a good choice.

    I used to have one of those when they first came out. Brings back memories.
     
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  7. Leon Todd

    Leon Todd Member

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    IIRC Fractal are plannin an all in one loadbox/IR loader/fx unit. Seems like the perfect product for guys who are hesitant about amp modelling and want to stick with a real head but gain the flexibility of IR's and an all in one effects solution.
     
  8. circle_o_5ths

    circle_o_5ths Member

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    If you can't get it done with the current Axe Fx the problem is you. I did the huge rack thing, slaved heads and such, pedals into amps, now I have a two space rack and their MRC controller. Get any sound I could ever need. Is it perfect? No, but neither ever was the result of all that gear.
     
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  9. Gary Brennan

    Gary Brennan Old cavorting member Gold Supporting Member

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    Am using a 4 space rack bag w/ a volt regulator (heaviest thing), time fx from 1 sp multifx processor, and 1 sp stereo power amp, 25"x13" pedalboard with some dirt flavors, comp, wah, tuner, trem, small midi pedal (6 patch changes + tap tempo), 50 watt RP50 tube head with vol pedal in the fx loop. Feeding rack from an Iso Line Out, so no signal loop to the pedalboard. Two 1x12 cabs run W/D, or rarely W/D/W. Pretty reasonable move, well worth the nice imaging.

    Gb
     
  10. rsm

    rsm Member

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    Unless something changes (new digital modelers, rack processors, etc.) my next major guitar gear revision will be computer, plugins, usb interface, MIDI control.

    I dig Blue Cat Audio's PatchWork for plugin host, it has many routing options, and the latest update (11/2017) adds effect plugins which makes it easier to get started with a baseline set of effects and to experiment with the routing, and now it can load other instances of itself as a plugin, recursively, likely limited by computer resources.

    For my core guitar sounds / processing, I plan to use Blue Cat Audio's Destructor plugin, which takes a tone shaping and sculpting approach not a modeling or profiler approach. They provide many factory presets that are "models" of different real amps which is useful to learn how to use Destructor by example.

    I have a KMI SoftStep2 MIDI controller that is programmable.

    Not sure on the USB audio interface for this rig, but I don't plan to build it anytime soon. I'm riding the Helix train until it gets to the end of the line, or something derails me first. I dig the gear I have, and in the meantime, BlueCat offers demo versions of their plugins to explore and learn...

    YMMV
     
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  11. PSH

    PSH Member

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    I have been playing guitar for ~30 years now and have gone through all sorts of different gear and rig types, things are always changing the more I learn. I only play at home now, so sound is my only concern, my setup does not need to be portable or convenient. My pedalboard has a tuner, compressor, SD-1, tube screamer, and Friedman BE-OD. This is run into the front end of a Peavey 6505MH amp. Effects send goes into a rack with Lexicon MPX-1 and MX200,Eventide Space, and a mixer. The outputs of the mixer go back to the 6505 and to a Marshall EL34 power section for a stereo rig. All of the drive / boost is from the amp or in front, and all of the delay, reverb, and modulation comes from the rack, with total control of levels and mix of the effects. Works well to get the sounds I like. Still much for me to learn from higher end rack units about advanced routing and programming. My sound got much better with the rack effects / mixer / stereo rig compared to pedals in series.
     
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  12. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Allure of the pedal board is having some control right at your feet, at the front of the stage, not way back at the amp station.

    After going from amp with no loops, to loops and modeling, to analog pedalboard.... I have settled on a multiFX/loop switcher (Boss MS-3) to control the one or two special boxes, handle the bread and butter FX and ALSO switch the channels on the amp. Truth be told, the internal effects do the job in a busy mix. Throw in an expression pedal for wah, and I am complete.

    Amp, three cable snake, midi cable for amp channel switching, MS-3, expression pedal. Done.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  13. JamminPA

    JamminPA Supporting Member

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    This massive group of like minded awesome people fall into different groups. Those that tour and play out for a living, session players and those that shake the walls at home. I am guilty of building an unnecessarily large board, only to down size later. I have settled down using an ES8 using the 4C method through my Suhr Badger 18 and could not be happier. Overall weight is actually light. I would love to see a developed product from Suhr that satisfies the desire of a rack & pedal board. I wish I could afford a Bradshaw rack system. I've seen them in his shop here in Pa and they are friggin amazing. Bob is a very humble dude too. John, I know you stay busy but pleeeeez come visit Rock Lititz!!! The East coast is calling you....you could make a short trip over into Jersey and visit old stomping grounds. P.S. there are incredible vegan restaurants in Lancaster/Lititz area too..
     
  14. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    I did that two years ago. I was used to guitar rig but at one time I tried the emulations inside cubase and I got hooked. It have some amazing Marshall tones in it. So I got decena laptop, a decent interface, a midi controller and lots of software. In my opinion, try the free stuff first, and be honest to yourself. It’s amazing how a photo rendered GUI can trick your mind to think it sounds better. There are a lot of first class vst plugs, tubescreamers, rats, etc. I used cubase as host to run a lot of plugins, and if you want to get experimental this approach is limitless. However be prepared to face quite some issues and to sell and buy things since it’s not the easy way by no means. First, most probably you will have a good sounding system at low volumes, but when you try to replicate that feel on rehearsal, even the biggest and expensive pa will give you an unpleasant sound. If you are patience enough you can eq it to suit your needs, but always will be some compromise. You may have a good Marshall tone, but not a nice clean sound or viceversa. To me the most dificult was to have a realistic nice clean sound. It totally failed and I tried quite hard. It didn’t happened.

    Then, there is a second part to it. I went to some auditions with it. Nobody liked it. They didn’t understood it. That was what maybe me get back to tube amps... and being honest with myself, I sound much better with a real amp. I still use it on the studio however.
     
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  15. rsm

    rsm Member

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    @bosetuno I'm using a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 and KRK Rockit 5 nearfields to explore the plugins, still have some latency but it sounds very good to me, just working with demo versions of Blue Cat Audio Destructor in their Patchwork host; eventually I plan to explore the routing features in PatchWork using the free effects they include, definitely worth a look IMO. I dig the workflow. I can also run my computer out to my PA with a sub instead of my nearfields, so I can hear both.

    For now, my current guitar rigs are working fine, and with the Helix it should last me a few years. My current focus is my trance/psy-trance electronic performance rig, creating sounds, arrangements, songs, parts, organization, changes and performance. I have a guitar and modeler for this rig, but so far I don't need it or miss it. :)
     
  16. Husky

    Husky Member

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    I think you are taking me too literal.
    By Racks I mean something as simple as putting an AxeFX in a loop and some pedals on the ground.
    Not a refrigerator sized rack.
    I just find smaller feature packed devices get complicated and it really makes more sense to have time based effects after distortion in a loop if it is that kind of amp.
    And I see pedalboards getting really big.

     
  17. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    I am describing a modern rack, compact size, not a refrigerator big one.
    Not different from what you are...
    If you are using an amp... you just need an fx processor there, in its loop... and it does sound much better in parallel IF you are using the whole amp (preamp+power amp).
     
  18. Husky

    Husky Member

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    We are on the same page then, sorry... it was a long read ;-) I had to read it again.
    When I talk about Delay and reverb back then obviously it was a spring reverb and an Echoplex.
    So what do you recommend for a newer all in one time based processor to put in a good loop ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  19. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    You may have not any... but those false perceptions of gear are very diffused.
    Just take a reading around on any forum and you'll see plenty of that.
    Mine was a "presentation" of the current state of things... about racks/pedals.
     
  20. Husky

    Husky Member

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    Gotcha
    Yeah I just had to reread.
    So do I really need to spend the money on something like H8000FW or do you like the H9 as well?
     

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