X-Blender : Is it the tone 'preserver'??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Sid, Jun 15, 2006.


  1. Sid

    Sid Member

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  2. Steve L

    Steve L Supporting Member

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    I saw it at a store recently, but didn't buy it. It seems too good to be true--I want to go back and set it up with a little line of effects and see how it sounds.
    By the way, it has a boost, too!
     
  3. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    The parallel EQ and mix functions are nice, but the problem still remains: if you have a noisy and tone sucking chain of activated FX, if you put them in the loop and activate the loop (turn them on at the same time) they'll still be noisy and tone sucking (series mode). Putting in a bit of dry signal won't help (parallel mode). If you just want to get those types of pedals out of your signal path, why not go for a simple passive loop box?
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Worse, parallel mixing will have the exact opposite effect to that you want, if any of the pedals reverses the phase (which surprisingly many do) or has even the smallest amount of A/D/A converter latency (which all digital pedals do, although not all on the dry part of the signal)... it will completely wreck the tone.

    It also tends not to work very well with effects that rely on processing the whole sound - even some modulation, including tremolo if you want very deep settings - where having unaffected dry signal mixed in sounds odd. It does work very well with delay, reverb and other effects where there is a specific 'effect' separate from the dry signal... but that's about it IMO.
     
  5. Sid

    Sid Member

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    I do believe it does phase correction .

    Idont think its meant to be the function of a looper,I think its meant to preserve the tone when you got a few ODs stacked and maybe a delay or so.

    Was wondering if this is a better option than a buffer at the beginning of the chain and an EQ at the end?:D
     
  6. spentron

    spentron Member

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    It can be good to mixloop pedals that are too strong by themselves, e.g. two-knob chorus pedals (IMO), or several that are strong enough by themselves and get overwhelming together. For example if you go chorus-delay you want each to let some dry through so it won't just be two differnt kinds of delay in series adding to dry, you'll get light immediate chorus but heavily chorused delay. In other words you can really mangle the sound in a complex way and then still make it subtle mixing in.
     
  7. Sid

    Sid Member

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    Thats a very informative explanation...thanks a bunch...I dont see myself needing this currently...:Spank
     
  8. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...got one of these today and found that I really like the results when I put my T-Rex Replica (signal path: guitar, wah, univibe, BB Preamp, X-Blender & Replica, Snider California amp) in the X Blender loop...I set the Replica 100% wet...then just mix in the processed signal...with it set-up this way, the blend knob is around 25%...so it's kind of like a traditional rack set-up with a mixer. The delays definitely sound "better" to me this way...and that's all that matters!:) While the Replica sounded great the other way (BTW...I usually run the amp on the clean side), I can at least sleep easier knowing that the analog to digital conversion issue has been somewhat tamed...somewhat.:jo

    ...I can see having more than one of these...

    ...I should have mentioned that my Snider California does not have an effects loop...it has a great master volume that is "defeatable" (great for lower volumes) but when run wide-open, I feel like the delay sounds way better with the X-Blender and is much easier to control. Check it out. It will definitely change the way you think about effects...
     
  9. abergdahl

    abergdahl Member

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    Seems like a GREAT pedal. I use a tube driven blender to have a 100% wet delay (DD20) mixed with the direct signal that DO NOT pass the delay. After the delay i have a Arion Chorus to soften the delays and give them swirly swoosh:D . I can even but a overdrive in the loop to have the delays more dirty to avoid the cleanness on the repeats that occur when you have the delay in front of a great touch sensitive tube amp (like my cougars). Sort of a cheap way to get almost tape echo sounds.

    I really like how the X-blender can switch from parallel to series, the demo video really showed the advantage of having such a function.
     
  10. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I am really glad to have wet/dry mixing controls on my Deluxe Memory Man delay and Squeeze Factor compressor, two types of effects that really benefit from having that capability... the T-Rex doesn't have a wet/dry mix control on it to start with?
     
  11. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...on the Replica, the "Echo" knob determines the amount of processed signal in the signal mix...wouldn't this be the same as a wet/dry mix? I run the Echo knob in the maximum position...only the delayed or processed signal is heard...or 100% wet.
     
  12. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    Yes, that would be the wet/dry mix... I run the Deluxe Memory Man mix control somewhere between 25% and 50% (depending on how loud I want the echo to be- for Police stuff- 50%, for making the sound a bit fuller, closer to 25%), it makes it sound a lot more tasteful to my ears.
     
  13. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...that's where the blend part comes in...you have the option of putting the delay (or any chain of effects) in a parallel loop with the rest of your signal...I'm sending the 100% processed signal of the Replica (digital:worried) and using the "blend" or mix knob...I'm tastefully:eek: mixing in the delay...I've got it around 25%. It's a subtle difference that I like:)
     
  14. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    ... and you can stomp on it to go back to 100% wet, which would be cool if you were running a stereo setup.
     
  15. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Member

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    Its killer with delay. Like a mini wet/dry.
     
  16. sh333

    sh333 Member

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    It does.

    I have not used one in a live situation myself yet, but the customers I have sold them to so far have raved. Many seem to find alot of different applications for them that I had not really considered. Bass players esp. are loving it for their effects.

    I could easily be biased, but the Xotic stuff is all very useful well thought out stuff and the X-blender is no exception.
     
  17. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...as an experiment, I put my X-Blender in the loop of my Suhr OD-50 amplifier...the idea was to see how transparent it sounds when used as a mini-mixer of sorts. The OD-50 has a tube buffered series loop that can handle both line and instrument level...previously, I put the Replica in the OD-50 loop with great results...however...the delays sound even better in the parallel loop of the X-Blender. The cool thing is the X-Blender has a volume knob that controls the output so I can use it to control my rig volume too...it lets me keep my amp's loop return at unity gain (where it sounds best) and adjust volume at the pedalboard...the X-Blender and Replica are still on my pedalboard with cables going from the X-Blender S/R to the effects loop on the OD-50. Another thing I like is how the blend knob is easy to adjust while playing (it's got an oversized knob kind of like the one on Scott Henderson's board). Try the X-Blender as a mini-mixer in a GOOD effects loop like the Suhr OD-50, Fuchs, Bogner, etc...put your suspicious tone suckers in that 'ol parallel loop...get drunk on delays!:BEER
     
  18. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    I'm thinking of going with the Radial Tonebone Bigshot mix. It doesn't have the tone controls or series/parallel switch, but does have a polarity switch and is smaller (using for an Alesis Nanoverb).

    [​IMG]

    http://www.tonebone.com/re-bigshot-mix.htm

    Brett
     
  19. VanStone

    VanStone Member

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    I have an X-Blender. If you're looking for a killer boost, forget about it. Stick with your RC, Fatboost, SHO, or whatever. It only has a little 5db boost on an on/off switch. It would be fine for a little volume increase for a solo or what have you (if you could manage to hit the little button on a dark stage - not likely), but its really not enough to make your amp sing.

    With that out of the way - it is a killer utility pedal. Small boost, volume control, bass, treble, true bypass loop, series/parallel FX, huge toe-friendly blend knob. Just a great pedal to have around. It's like a crescent wrench - you can do darn near anything with it except hammer.

    I have my modulation and delay effects connected to it, and I love how it softens them up. I also really like the bass and treble controls for final equalization.

    V
     
  20. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Reviving this thread to ask a couple of questions, not having much experience with effects loops in general . . .

    First, most people seem to use looping devices in conjunction with delays, choruses, maybe envelope filters, etc. I'm curious about using something like the X-blender with overdrives/distortions. I have my pedalboard set up with an ABY so that I can run one signal into a clean amp and one signal into a dirty amp. I love the sound of the clean & dirty together, but hauling two amps around all the time is a pain in the ass, to the point that I almost never do it. The other problem is that you have to choose which effects are going to which amp, which can turn into a complicated switching problem. So my question: if I run only one clean amp, but use an X-blender to adjust the proportion of clean and overdriven signal that goes to that amp, how close will I come to the sound of running two amps, one clean and one dirty?

    I'm guessing I'll lose some "depth", but will I lose more than that? If the amp gets a mixed signal through the X-blender, are you asking too much of it? Can I approximate the sound of using one clean and one dirty amp at the same time, or is it just a bad idea?

    Second, assuming using the X-blender as above will work well, how would you set up a board with the following effects:

    --tuner
    --wah (with a blend knob)
    --envelope filter (with a blend knob)
    --compressor
    --OD (these would go in the X-blender loop for sure)
    --delay (with a blend knob)

    All are true bypass, so I'm not real concerned about tone suckage. I'm thinking:

    tuner-->wah-->EF-->comp-->X-blender (with ODs in the loop)-->delay

    Which is basically the way I run it now, except for the X-blender loop. I also have a Little Lehle and a Lehle Dual I could throw into the mix if it would add anything, but simplicity is definitely a goal.

    I've thought about putting a clean boost in front of the loop, and about whether having the envelope filter or delay in the loop would be beneficial.

    Thanks for your thoughts. :dude
     

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