Dual engine rack effects for guitar

Member for

15 years 4 months
Submitted by rocker73 on Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:10

I have a marshall tsl 100 head which has a seperate effects loop for the clean channel and a seperate fx loop for the crunch and lead channels. Currently i am running my boss chorus pedal on the clean fx loop and my boss delay pedal and boss pitch shifter on the crunch and lead fx loop. I want to essentially have seperate delays and reverbs on the clean and crunch/lead channels so instead of adding another delay pedal on the clean loop and seperate reverb pedals on each fx loop could i not just add a programmable rack effects unit that has two processors. I.e. the rack would simultaneously connect to both effects loops on my amp and run two different programs i.e. one program for each effects loop. So it might run a reverb, chorus and delay on the clean and a different reverb and or delay on the crunch/lead loop when i switch channels on my amp? Also i would like a footswitch unit that would say add a delay to my reverb or a chorus and delay etc. Any ideas? Tc G Major 2 or lexicon Mx400xl? Midiverb 4 although it says that midiverb can only run 3 effects at once, does that mean i could have 3 seperate effects running on each of my effects loops? Please advise as surely this will save me spending £100s of pounds on more seperate pedals to add to my effects loops.

Member for

8 years 2 months

pcrecord

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 04:46

Yes you could do this, old midiverb 4 from alesis where stereo and you could have a different effect on the left channel and the right channel.
But where it gets messy is the control. other than bypass, it takes a longer time to reach for the unit and change the settings from song to song.. (assuming you'll want different delay speeds...)

Member for

15 years

Boswell

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 09:32

As Marco indicated, you could get a dual-channel effects unit in a 19" rackmount box that would do this. Most of the dual channel types can be used as dual-mono or as stereo.

What I will add is that there are several models that can store pre-selected effects in a user area, and you can bring a selected effect back using a single MIDI string. All you would need then is a MIDI stomp box that could be programmed to send the necessary strings.

Although the selection of settings would be pre-determined and not easy to alter during the performance of each song, the advantage of using a rack box is that there is only one A-D and D-A conversion in the signal path, with all the effects being done in the same digital domain. In a string of complex stomp pedal boxes, it would not be uncommon for each to have its own in and out converters, degrading the audio quality as the signal had to go through them all.

Member for

12 years 4 months

dvdhawk

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:08

I used to do that sort of thing long ago, using a MIDI footswitch to send one chain of effects to a small Mesa combo and another chain of effects to a small Marshall combo. It was very handy in a cover-band covering a wide range of material. I got 99.9% of my tone from the amps so the FX chains were reverb / delay / modulation effects. The old Roland SE-50 had a "2-Channel Mix" function that allowed separate volume, EQ, and effects to be applied to each output going to two amps. There was also an SPX-90 incorporated in there somewhere for pitch-shift / reverb / delay / modulation. One button on the MIDI footswitch instantaneously recalled the assigned "Mix' to whichever amp tone I wanted to favor and the desired FX chain. I also played keyboards in that band, so it was nice to have a relatively small MIDI footswitch - as opposed to a big pedalboard alongside the conventional wah pedal and keyboard pedals at my feet. So it can be done.

Pros: (as I saw them then)
It's extremely versatile
Instant access to hundreds of configurations (of your own making)
You can consistently recall the sound you had last night
In the long run, probably cheaper than a dozen good pedals
It can tidy up a stage (if you're ditching your other pedals)

Cons: (as I still see them)
It's labor & time intensive on the front end setting up your patches and making those configurations
You lose the ability to spontaneously tweak a knob to fine-tune or dial up a new effect (tempo may be slightly different tonight)
Keystrokes scrolling through the menus and numerical values just doesn't compare in terms of efficiency or tactile-sensory reward
It doesn't have the visual cool factor of a big beautiful pedal
And maybe most importantly, rackmount multi-effects processors are often a little sterile compared to the mojo of a dedicated pedal made specifically for guitar

Have you looked into anything like the Carl Martin Octa-Switch MkII? It's basically 8 effects loops under one set of master controls. I don't think it can send different effects discretely to each of its 2 outputs. But what it CAN do is, 1) engage any combination of up to 8 pedals AND 2) switch channels on your amp AND 3) switch on/off the amp's internal effects simultaneously - all with one switch on the Octa-Switch. So the net result may be the same (you've changed amp channels and effects) and it lets you keep the familiarity of the pedals you already have. But if the reverb changing its reverby traits (for example) is your primary objective, as you switch from clean to dirty, then it would not be a good fit for your goals unless you already own 2 reverb pedals.

Food for thought. Best of luck.

Member for

15 years 4 months

rocker73

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 04:17

pcrecord, post: 460664, member: 46460 wrote: Yes you could do this, old midiverb 4 from alesis where stereo and you could have a different effect on the left channel and the right channel.
But where it gets messy is the control. other than bypass, it takes a longer time to reach for the unit and change the settings from song to song.. (assuming you'll want different delay speeds...)

I think the midiverb would be very limiting as i want to run multiple effects on each of my effects loops

Member for

15 years 4 months

rocker73

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 04:21

dvdhawk, post: 460668, member: 36047 wrote: I used to do that sort of thing long ago, using a MIDI footswitch to send one chain of effects to a small Mesa combo and another chain of effects to a small Marshall combo. It was very handy in a cover-band covering a wide range of material. I got 99.9% of my tone from the amps so the FX chains were reverb / delay / modulation effects. The old Roland SE-50 had a "2-Channel Mix" function that allowed separate volume, EQ, and effects to be applied to each output going to two amps. There was also an SPX-90 incorporated in there somewhere for pitch-shift / reverb / delay / modulation. One button on the MIDI footswitch instantaneously recalled the assigned "Mix' to whichever amp tone I wanted to favor and the desired FX chain. I also played keyboards in that band, so it was nice to have a relatively small MIDI footswitch - as opposed to a big pedalboard alongside the conventional wah pedal and keyboard pedals at my feet. So it can be done.

Pros: (as I saw them then)
It's extremely versatile
Instant access to hundreds of configurations (of your own making)
You can consistently recall the sound you had last night
In the long run, probably cheaper than a dozen good pedals
It can tidy up a stage (if you're ditching your other pedals)

Cons: (as I still see them)
It's labor & time intensive on the front end setting up your patches and making those configurations
You lose the ability to spontaneously tweak a knob to fine-tune or dial up a new effect (tempo may be slightly different tonight)
Keystrokes scrolling through the menus and numerical values just doesn't compare in terms of efficiency or tactile-sensory reward
It doesn't have the visual cool factor of a big beautiful pedal
And maybe most importantly, rackmount multi-effects processors are often a little sterile compared to the mojo of a dedicated pedal made specifically for guitar

Have you looked into anything like the Carl Martin Octa-Switch MkII? It's basically 8 effects loops under one set of master controls. I don't think it can send different effects discretely to each of its 2 outputs. But what it CAN do is, 1) engage any combination of up to 8 pedals AND 2) switch channels on your amp AND 3) switch on/off the amp's internal effects simultaneously - all with one switch on the Octa-Switch. So the net result may be the same (you've changed amp channels and effects) and it lets you keep the familiarity of the pedals you already have. But if the reverb changing its reverby traits (for example) is your primary objective, as you switch from clean to dirty, then it would not be a good fit for your goals unless you already own 2 reverb pedals.

Food for thought. Best of luck.

I have checked out the octa switch, looks really great but i would still need to buy all the other pedals i need. Maybe preferable to spending ages programming a rack unit though! If i could put my pedals on back of octa switch and then put the octa switch in my amps master effects loop as i would put reverb, delay and mod pedals on the octa switch and anything else i.e wah in front of the amp.

Member for

15 years 4 months

rocker73

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 04:23

Boswell, post: 460667, member: 29034 wrote: As Marco indicated, you could get a dual-channel effects unit in a 19" rackmount box that would do this. Most of the dual channel types can be used as dual-mono or as stereo.

What I will add is that there are several models that can store pre-selected effects in a user area, and you can bring a selected effect back using a single MIDI string. All you would need then is a MIDI stomp box that could be programmed to send the necessary strings.

Although the selection of settings would be pre-determined and not easy to alter during the performance of each song, the advantage of using a rack box is that there is only one A-D and D-A conversion in the signal path, with all the effects being done in the same digital domain. In a string of complex stomp pedal boxes, it would not be uncommon for each to have its own in and out converters, degrading the audio quality as the signal had to go through them all.

Which rack would you go for? Tc electronic g major? Or lexicon Mx400xl?

Member for

15 years

Boswell

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 05:14

rocker73, post: 460676, member: 27222 wrote: Which rack would you go for? Tc electronic g major? Or lexicon Mx400xl?

It depends on the effect chaining capabilities of the various units. Make a list of the effects you need, bearing in mind that different manufacturers (e.g. Lexicon, tc, Yamaha, Vermona and even Line6) may use different names for similar effects. You would then research the boxes, listing the possible two-channel units that could chain the effects you want. You would also need to check each box on the list to see that switching between user-stored settings can be done via MIDI string input.

I'm sorry, but the effect chain lookup is not something we can do for you.

Member for

8 years 2 months

pcrecord

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 07:20

From the start of the thread, I keep thinking about the old Pod XT and other guitar processors.
They had a lot of stuff included, and you could deactivate the ampsim part..

Member for

11 years 9 months

kmetal

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:22

The avid eleven rack could be perfect. Its got dual mono operation, 2 line ins for using w an efx loop, and can be controlled realtime via midi, the knobs on unit, and a laptop, simultaneously. It sounds good and has models of dozens of efx pedals, and amps. It can also feed two seperate guitar amps, sending different efx chains to each amp, for using it as a pre amp

As a bonus its an audio interface, has a mic pre, and has AES, Spdif, and adat digital i/o.

Former moderator davedog has 3 eleven racks, and ive got a second one on the way. They are closeout priced right now, i got mine for $200 new.

Member for

12 years 4 months

dvdhawk

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:59

pcrecord, post: 460678, member: 46460 wrote: From the start of the thread, I keep thinking about the old Pod XT and other guitar processors.
They had a lot of stuff included, and you could deactivate the ampsim part..

And that pretty well sums up where I'm at now, Marco. A Fulltone wah into a Pod XT Live pedalboard, out to the amp of choice. Step on one switch and change overdrive characteristics (if any), compression, delay, reverb, etc.

The Eleven Rack certainly does look interesting though.

Member for

6 years 8 months

Tony Carpenter

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:01

I was going to point out the Eleven rack too, but thought I was being too obvious, or barking up the wrong tree LOL. I have one, seen little use, but, sounds great for certain.

Member for

8 years 2 months

pcrecord

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:31

dvdhawk, post: 460680, member: 36047 wrote:
The Eleven Rack certainly does look interesting though.

Yeah, I was looking for other names.. Eleven Rack is a nice one..

Member for

11 years 9 months

kmetal

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:46

The digitech RP series has always been a good value too. Not sure how the newest models are but i did sound for a cover band all summer in '09 whos guitarist used that direct into the PA, no amp. The sounds were surprisingly convincing to me, and i was very much an advocate that tube amps were the only way to get decent tone.

Seems like POD has really stood the test of time. I see vids w big time producers still using older models.