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Effects and chaining sequence...

Philip OKeefe

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I'm just a bit curious as to how some of you normally wire up your pedals. There's a lot of fairly standard proceedures and setups, but I'd like to hear what everyone does with what they're using. Especially if you're running any pedals with dual outputs and a dual amp setup.


IOW, if you have a compressor, OD / distortion, G EQ, stereo delay and stereo chorus, and two amps, are you running it...


Comp -> OD -> EQ ->




Comp -> EQ -> OD ->


(definitely two different things - EQ pre or post distortion...)


And again, if you're running multiple pedals with mono inputs but dual outputs, how are you doing your routing? And what is the reasoning behind your preferred setup?


This should be interesting. :)

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I don't use a compressor in my guitar rig.


as you probably know, a lot of PAs use compressors as the last piece of the chain before the amps. Some people set their systems up with the eq following the compressor. (shrug...)


I think that, in a guitar rig, the compressor takes away a lot of the great responsiveness and touch that we spend so much time (and money!)trying to achive.


I also feel that many effects sound better when working on a more dynamic signal. Just my opinion.


I also have a switch in my main electric guitar that bypasses the passive electronics in the guitar. You'd be surprised at how much richer and better your pickups sound! It's like an "Add Richness" switch.


Right now, I've got only 2 pedals in the rig.... a Fulltone Deja Vibe 2, and a Fulltone '69. That is the order. When the wah arrives, I'll stick it in between the two that I have, at least to start with.



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


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Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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I've got a slightly "unusual" setup... I think.


I run two amps. My THD UniValve, and my HR Deluxe.


I don't normally use overdrive effects, but when I use them, I normally go guitar > Ernie Ball volume pedal > Various overdrives one at a time > wah > THD UniValve amp.


I prefer to "wah" the driven sound rather than "drive" the wah sound. Often I don't use either effect... I particularly don't include them in the chain when I'm recording unless I intend to use them.


From the UniValve I send two outputs.


One goes from the instrument level out > to a Line6 DL4 Delay Modeler > to the PowerAmp In on my HR Deluxe. With this setup, I can use the HR Deluxe's power tubes, speaker, presence control and reverb. Combined with the echo... this is the "wet" part of my setup.


The other output from the UniValve goes out to a Carvin 2X12 cab w/Vintage 30's. Since the UniValve doesn't have reverb, and the delay effect is only sent to the HR Deluxe, this ends up being a "dry" signal.


Together they sound "bigger" because you get the PUNCH of the 2x12 dry signal along with the ambience of the "wet" signal from the HR Deluxe.


I can perfectly control the volume of each amp to blend to my tastes. If I use a OD or wah pedal... this effect goes to BOTH amps.


Because the UniValve is very touch sensitive, I also don't like to use a compressor in the chain, although when recording, I almost always have at least SOME light compression and a mic pre in the mic chain to help me get smoother levels at record time.



I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...



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I haven't been using my compressor much lately, since the Hotplate lets me crank my Vox to achieve plenty of lovely valve compression. Although I was using it as a lead boost for a while, I arrived at the same conclusion you guys did, it just wasn't necessary to have it on my board.


Even though I change pedals as often as most guys change underwear, I generally follow the accepted code with all my effects placements. I have experimented, with some great results, but for live work the "rules" we all know are well worth following.


Oh, with the minor exception of the Fulltone Deja Vibe. I like to have the Vibe after my overdrive because I prefer the tones when they're combined that way, especially for fuzzy leads with a certain Hendrix flavour! Also, it lets me use the vibrato with my overdrives. Having Vibrato > Fuzz is not a very pretty sound at all(!)


I only use the Normal Channel of my Vox, so I don't split my signal anywhere. I do have a stereo output on my Deja Vibe, but I'm saving that for the Dr. Z which I believe to be in my very distant future. 99% of the time I have...


Java Boost > Fuzz Head > Deja Vibe > Tremolo > Delay > Loop Junkie.

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Tea, with what I've seen of your pedalboard, I'm surprised you didn't take two more paragraphs to describe it.. :D


I think the way I have it set up...I run into my Boss Tremolo/Pan (just set up for trem, not stereo pan)...into a Dano Chorus, and then the Tube Screamer => Marshall. I've thought about trying to justify the path...and I could at one time, but really, I rarely use more than one effect at a time. Most of the time I'm running straight guitar, and use the Screamer to boost the solos.


Other effects I have (currently not in use): An MXR micro amp...needs some attention with a soldering gun...it's circa 1980, an Arion Chorus (I think I still have it somewhere) and a Scholz "Acoustic Guitar" pedal, which doesn't sound like an acoustic, but it does give some interesting treble boost. I'd like to have a comp...mainly to try with my Ric 360-12, as the Jangle Guru (McGuinn) recommends it.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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i don't use compression or eq in the fx chain. i'd prefer to set any eq at the amp, with the "tweak" factor in the pickups & volume/tone knobs.


currently i'm running



boss aw-3 autowah ->

marshall supervibe ->

voodoolabs sparkledrive ->

roland rc20 loop station -> amp


when called for, i'll put the line 6 delay modeler in the fx loop 'cuz it's a tone sucker in-line.

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I put my eq pedal in front of my overdrive pedal. The eq is just there as a boost/fattener for solos. I don't have a compressor. If I did, it would probably go in the front of the signal chain with a very slight level of compression dialed in.


The only "unusual" thing I do in my effects chain is put the chorus pedal AFTER the delay pedal. Love to modulate those repeats. :thu:

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"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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If I didn't have my trusty zoom gfx-5, and used separate units, then something like this:



wah > od > amp input > fxloop/preamp out > eq > delay > chorus > power amp in



wah > od > ds (non metal) pedal (or amp distortion channel) > amp input > fx out > amp reverb > eq > power amp in



od > heavy ds pedal (metal zone, or amp dist if it's saturated enough) > amp input > fx out > eq > noise suppressor > pitch shifter (like Digitech Whammy) > delay > power amp in

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