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Eurorack with guitar pedals #3028691 02/12/20 09:58 PM
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GRollins Offline OP
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I'd like peoples' thoughts and experiences with using guitar pedals and Eurorack modules. Specifically, can an average pedal take signals as hot as 10V without overloading? Are there some pedals that work and others that don't?

I've got pedals and I've got modules, but I'll have to solder up 1/8" to 1/4" adapters of some sort and I don't normally keep 1/8" jacks in stock, so I'm holding off on ordering some until I know what I'm up against.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
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Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028702 02/12/20 11:05 PM
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How much voltage does a guitar pickup put out? Most pedals are designed for high impedance but also pretty low voltage. Even a nominal +4dBu output off a mixing board will quickly overdrive that pedal. At 10V you’re talking 4-5 times that amount. Better step that puppy down.

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028706 02/12/20 11:29 PM
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There are Eurorack modules designed specifically for this. I use the Stilton Adaptor from Harvestman. If you search it you will find some threads on forums discussing this module and alternatives.

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028708 02/12/20 11:29 PM
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Dr Mike Metlay Offline
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Very much depends on the pedal. For example, Strymon effects can happily be slammed by line-level signals without distorting. Anything designed to interact with a guitar directly (like a fuzzbox) will have issues.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
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Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028720 02/13/20 02:03 AM
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GRollins Offline OP
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Markyboard,
Guitar pickups' output varies widely according to:
1) Setup (how close they are to the strings--on most guitars this is a settable parameter, closer = more output)
2) Pickup design (single coil [e.g. Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster], humbucker [most Gibsons], how many turns of wire, magnetic flux, etc.)
3) Active or passive (passive pickups are just wire coiled around something magnetic, active pickups have electronic circuitry that can boost the output to frightening levels)
4) String gauge (all things being equal [they rarely are], the heavier the string, the more metal is in the magnetic field, hence higher output)
5) Other variables, like whether the guitarist has the volume rolled off (changes tone, in addition to lowering the volume), tone control settings, one or more pickups switched in, series or parallel, out of phase, age of the pickup, etc. etc. et-friggin'-cetera

Not to mention how hard s/he's playing...when Pete Townshend is windmilling and thrashing his strings, it's a whole lot hotter signal than when, say, Joe Pass is playing, if you catch my drift.

Uh...where was I?

Oh. Right.

Let's call electric guitar pickup output something on the order of half a volt, with the understanding that it can be next to nothing or as high as a volt or two. Or more.

Basses? They're often active and can have much hotter signals (in addition to thicker strings, see #4 above). Oh, and the strings on a bass swing wider in the magnetic field, hence more amplitude.

But nothing on the order of 10V (conveniently ignoring overdrive pedals for the moment), hence my original question.

So, there are modules for this?

My impetus for this is that I want a phase shifter. I've got an old MXR Phase 100 that I like the sound of, but it's, well, a guitar pedal, you know?

Also accepting nominations for Eurorack phase shifters. I've got a Doepfer A-125, but have yet to find a setting that scratches my itch. I don't want subtle. I want lush, deep, and wide, then back that off about one or two notches.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028747 02/13/20 05:41 AM
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A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028751 02/13/20 06:18 AM
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KuruPrionz Offline
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Being nice to equipment is no fun.

Maybe buy a pedal or two at the pawn shop or thrift store on the cheap and see if anything dies.

Many years ago, I took the speaker out from a vintage Fender tweed and ran it into crappy little solid state Univox amp that I hated and wanted to blow up.
It was really loud and distorted. It lived. So I hardwired across the fuse with a piece of heavy guage wire and tried again. It lived.

Gave it to a friend and 40+ years later it still works. Go figure.

I think you will overdrive inputs and there will be distortion but that can be fun.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028769 02/13/20 08:55 AM
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davedoerfler,
$450 for a phase shifter? Oooof! I can buy four MXR Phase 100s for that. If I went with the Phase 90, I could buy even more. Still, the Pittsburgh is knobby, and that's a good thing.

KuruPrionz,
For the sound I hear in my head, I'll need clean.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028774 02/13/20 10:49 AM
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Any chance you're running your eurorack output into a mixer with effect sends/returns, or can do so?

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028775 02/13/20 10:51 AM
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And btw, ignore Dave. It's just a silly phase he's going through. keys2

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028795 02/13/20 01:34 PM
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Yeah, I'm going into an Allen & Heath ZED14. At some point during the night I thought that I remembered that my Lexicon (MX400) reverb could also do phase shift/flange/chorus things. Checked the manual. Yes, it can. The problem there is that I don't want phase on everything, just the Euro, so then it becomes a question of how many channels the MX400 can process simultaneously, yet with different effects. I think it can do four channels, but two of those are already taken by left and right channel reverb. The other two...? I dunno whether they're even there (I've not looked at the silly thing since I bought it--just got it hooked up, found a reverb setting I liked, ain't touched it since--control the level from the board) and even if they're there, they may be locked to the same thing as the other two channels. Time to read the manual in more detail.

And then there's the fact that I might not even like the sound of the Lexicon's phase shifter, but I won't know until I try.

For that matter, there may be some magic combination of settings on the Doepfer that does the trick, but I haven't found it yet.

I wish I could keep all this stuff in my head at the same time, but I only have so many brain cells and at the moment a lot of them are filled with computer-related crap. Back in the '80s and '90s I relished messing with computers. These days, I just want 'em to work and stay out of the way. I don't want to have to solve the endless little fiddly problems that come up when you change things. Ugh.

I'm not worried about Dave being in a phase, that would be hypocritical. I run through phases all the time, only they keep shifting...

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028804 02/13/20 02:02 PM
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Getting back to the original question....if you’re concerned about overloading the pedal with Eurorack’s high voltage output run the Eurorack into 1 of your mixer channels. Those ZED inputs can handle max 30 dBu so no problem. You can use aux 3 or 4 (assuming 1/2 are used for your Lexicon). Connect the aux 3 or 4 output to your pedal input and use that mixer channels aux 3 or 4 knob to control the amount of signal going to the pedal. Connect the pedal output to one of your mixer inputs. The aux outputs are 0dBu nominal which should be compatible with most pedals out there. If not you might needs a reamper, but I highly doubt it.

Now your options are wide open for what pedal to get. Problem solved.

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3028911 02/13/20 10:30 PM
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One big difference between running a guitar pedal phasor and one designed for Eurorack is control. One designed for Eurorack is going to give you patch points for voltage control of the parameters. If this is important to you then you will have to pay up for a module. If not, patch it into your mixer. If the Stilton Adaptor is too expensive, or too hard to find, Doepfer makes a simpler, cheaper interface to patch guitar pedals to your modular.

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: Markyboard] #3028942 02/14/20 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
Getting back to the original question....if you’re concerned about overloading the pedal with Eurorack’s high voltage output run the Eurorack into 1 of your mixer channels. Those ZED inputs can handle max 30 dBu so no problem. You can use aux 3 or 4 (assuming 1/2 are used for your Lexicon). Connect the aux 3 or 4 output to your pedal input and use that mixer channels aux 3 or 4 knob to control the amount of signal going to the pedal. Connect the pedal output to one of your mixer inputs. The aux outputs are 0dBu nominal which should be compatible with most pedals out there. If not you might needs a reamper, but I highly doubt it.

Now your options are wide open for what pedal to get. Problem solved.


This.

I've done the same, except in my case, it's my humble Mackie 802-VLZ3 mixer, with control over signal level going to the aux bus.

Some of my guitar pedals have input gain control of their own - eg. EHX Deluxe Memory Man 550TT and Eventide H9. But the mixer gives more options.

Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3029069 02/14/20 08:37 PM
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As others have said, I use an RMI module that is basically an attenuator and send/return for pedals. It works great, but I often get lazy and route into my mixer and use the send/return there. Just to create some artificial limitations so I don’t noodle all day, I purposely haven’t gone further in terms of routing to pedals.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Eurorack with guitar pedals [Re: GRollins] #3029078 02/14/20 09:37 PM
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Sadly, I'm STILL embroiled in this PC thing and have not had time to mess with anything. I spent wasted over six hours today trying to unravel the mess that my wife has made of her PC. Pictures in document subdirectories. Financial statements in picture subdirectories. Files with no names (Untitled, Untitled(1), Untitled(2), Untitled(3), etc.) in random-assed places. You wouldn't believe it. Hell, I don't believe it.

AAARGH! I want my life back!

I'll get there.

Someday.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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