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Effects for the at home player


George Eaton

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Here's another query from an aging at home player. I would like to play around with some effects... and I'm not sure what to get.

 

I have a Les Paul and a Blues Junior....I've tried a couple of effects pedals in stores. Digitech I think. I've seen / not tried the Crossroads and Hendrix effect pedals (are you paying a lot for a little here ?)....

 

I ain't gigging..just looking for more at home fun... Would appreciate your thoughts / suggestions as always...

 

Thanks and Happy Friday...

Beatles, Stones, Cream, Clapton, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Muddy Waters, Miles Davis, Django Reinhardt, Peter Gabriel, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes ..................
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Originally posted by George Eaton:

Here's another query from an aging at home player. I would like to play around with some effects... and I'm not sure what to get.

 

I have a Les Paul and a Blues Junior....I've tried a couple of effects pedals in stores. Digitech I think. I've seen / not tried the Crossroads and Hendrix effect pedals (are you paying a lot for a little here ?)....

 

I ain't gigging..just looking for more at home fun... Would appreciate your thoughts / suggestions as always...

 

Thanks and Happy Friday...

I agree with Astring...that is the BEST place to use a multi-effect pedal.

 

For one, the drawbacks of most ME pedals are not drawbacks at home. That they can take time to setup, patches, recalling patches, etc.

 

For another, they let you sample the different types of effects to see what goes with your sound and style. If you bought the same effects, EVEN looking for the cheapest of each, you'd spend thousands more on pedals that an ME costs.

 

Just keep in mind, some of the modelling of effects are good, some effects are harder to model or just they didn't nail it. So if you find out you LOVE vibes, do lots of research and find a good stomp-box vibe, (or fuzz, or OD, or tremolo, or flanger, or octave...etc) incorporate it in with your ME unit (you CAN use both at the same time, and it frees up the "vibe" patch so you could use another modulation type if you wanted WITH a vibe..often ME's only let you have one of a type!).

 

Some ME's are expensive...but you could get one used to start with.

 

I hear great things about the Hendrix pedal, except it is not truly an ME since you only get limited effects per the preset patches and you cannot save your own patches. I think you are better off with something that you can save patches you create just for you.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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i have the gt-6 (thinking of sellin at the moment cause i mainly play acoustic now). But i found that to be a pretty good unit. Its built solid and has a lot to play around with. Digitechs are kinda cool too, i think for the same price you get some drum rythym s to play along with and maybe a little digital recorder, im not sure. But the GT-6 has a tuner and you can go alot more i depth with your sound, a good or bad thing depending how much you like settin up stuff for yourself. i can elaborate on the gt-6 more if you want just let me know..
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i have the gt-6 (thinking of sellin at the moment cause i mainly play acoustic now). But i found that to be a pretty good unit. Its built solid and has a lot to play around with. Digitechs are kinda cool too, i think for the same price you get some drum rythym s to play along with and maybe a little digital recorder, im not sure. But the GT-6 has a tuner and you can go alot more i depth with your sound, a good or bad thing depending how much you like settin up stuff for yourself. i can elaborate on the gt-6 more if you want just let me know..
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Originally posted by George Eaton:

I would like to play around with some effects... and I'm not sure what to get.

 

I used to have a Zoom GFX II, which is pretty good value for money.

 

You get a truckload of different overdrives as well as reverb, delay, chorus, octaver, compression, graphic EQ and so on. All the usual stuff.

 

There was also some rudimentary amp modelling too, which can be a lot of fun. It even had a pedal on the side, which could be assigned to work as a wah wah or a volume pedal and so on.

 

There were about 80 factory defined patches and another 80 that you can edit yourself and rename them and so on. It also came with a simple, built in drum machine which was great for practising. The drum machine had presets with names like "latin" and "metal" and so on so it was pretty easy to use. Oh, and you could sample sounds from your own CDs and loop them so you could play along.

 

Not saying you should buy one (Zoom's probably moved on to a new model anyway), it's just a description of what you normally get with a multi effects unit. It's a pretty normal spec. :) I think I paid about 150 for it, but I'm not too sure.

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As far as a recommendation, I'd go with Vince on this one. Just stay away from the zoom 505! I own a Zoom 505. Terrible little thing. It's noisy and the effects are very "over processed". I was ready to give up on the Zoom name all together until I heard some of the newer ones.

 

I found them to be some of the best, multi-effects vs. money, that you can buy for home use.

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Originally posted by A String:

As far as a recommendation, I'd go with Vince on this one. Just stay away from the zoom 505! I own a Zoom 505.

I've never tried that model. I was sort of put off by the look of it. I like gear to have some very obvious knobs and switches. The 505 looks a bit too inscrutable for my taste! :D
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I had a 505 for a while. I gave it to my brother-at least he`s still talking to me. Another problem with the 505 is the way you can combine things is very limited. You have to choose one from column A and one fromm column B but not both.

I`m currently using the Boss ME-33, a reasonably priced, compact unit, which are the two reasons I bought it. There are better ones out there and I have an ART SGX-2000 with upgraded software back home. But this is good for playing around at home, it has some neat crazyhead things like an arpeggiator. I hear that the next version, the ME-50, is quite popular. I have even used the 33 live once, may do it again this year if I can get a good distortion pedal in there.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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I agree that a multi-effects pedal is the ticket for you. I've been gigging with them for years. I currently use a Zoom 606, which has 42 programmable patches, through 7 banks of 6 - A1,A2. B1, B2, etc. It has some great sounds and some horrible sounds. You can dial in exactly how much distortion, chorus, delay, etc. into each preset, combinig several at once, giving you thousands of possible combinations, of which you can save 42 at a time. The store I dealt with gave the time to A-B it with its Digitech counterpart. They're both really good. I ended up with the Zoom because I'd had a Zoom 505 that I really liked, that became a gigging casualty. The 606 is basically the same unit with an expression pedal, for wah, volume, pitch-bending etc., also completely programmable with each preset. It may seem daunting to program, but after 5 minutes with the manual it becomes easy. The 707 has good old fashioned knobs on it to dial in effects more easily, and would be my next choice if the 606 dies, but it's a bit larger. One issue some people have with Zooms is the plastic housing. I'm 300 lbs, and an aggressive player, and I can't break it, and I'm always standing to play. Also, it fits nicely in the gig bag, so I can lug it along to jams without extra bags needed. There's also a good tuner, which is mutable, when it's in bypass mode. There are lots of choices for you to check out, just make sure you have some time sample several models. Good luck!
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

Another problem with the 505 is the way you can combine things is very limited. You have to choose one from column A and one fromm column B but not both.

That's exactly what I didn't like about the GFX. The bulk of the effects I found interesting were in one group. I had to choose between chorus OR reverb OR flanger and so on, but I could have a lot of overdrive sounds. :P

 

At the time, I wanted some really "gossamer" type sounds and could have done with less overdrive and more effects :)

 

I get the feeling they're all like that though. Are they?

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Originally posted by A String:

As far as a recommendation, I'd go with Vince on this one. Just stay away from the zoom 505! I own a Zoom 505. Terrible little thing. It's noisy and the effects are very "over processed". I was ready to give up on the Zoom name all together until I heard some of the newer ones.

 

I found them to be some of the best, multi-effects vs. money, that you can buy for home use.

I must say that my experience with my 505 was more positive, with adjustability of effects - a bit cumbersome at first with no knobs, the 505II seems to have overcome that shortcoming. I only found 6 or 8 effects I would use a lot, but that would likely be all I'd use with a far more expensive unit.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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The 505 is limiting, but not quite as bad as a and b columns. You can add one compressor, one distortion, one sans-amp, one eq, one modulation and one delay/reverb at a time for up to a total of six effects at one time.

 

I get the feeling they're all like that though. Are they?
Not if you spend money. some of them are really quite good and are totally open to be set as you see fit. I still feel, however, that MEUs belong in a rack mount or at home.
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I use a Zoom GFX-5. Great construction, and nearly indestructible. I say nearly, because it uses plastic for the footswitches, but it's still well built. The amp sounds are recreated using analog circuitry, though the cabinet modeling is digital, I think. I often use it as a preamp in conjunction with one of the solid state combos I have at home.

 

Here's what one looks like (167 kb):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v324/DocTazz/other/musicgear/zoomgfx5.jpg

 

Before I saw this one, and the GFX-8, I never considered using a Zoom unit, except for maybe one of the smaller rackmountable units.

 

It seems gig worthy to me. But if I ever hit the stage again, and still desire some modeling tones, I'd probably look into someething like a Carvin Tone Navigator preamp + a good rackmount processor + MIDI controller.

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Originally posted by Bluesape:

Originally posted by A String:

As far as a recommendation, I'd go with Vince on this one. Just stay away from the zoom 505! I own a Zoom 505. Terrible little thing. It's noisy and the effects are very "over processed". I was ready to give up on the Zoom name all together until I heard some of the newer ones.

 

I found them to be some of the best, multi-effects vs. money, that you can buy for home use.

I must say that my experience with my 505 was more positive, with adjustability of effects - a bit cumbersome at first with no knobs, the 505II seems to have overcome that shortcoming. I only found 6 or 8 effects I would use a lot, but that would likely be all I'd use with a far more expensive unit.
I suppose that my main problem with the original 505 was the "over processed" effects. They just didn't seem natural to me. Very tinny and metallic sounding to my ears.
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Originally posted by A String:

Just looked at the pedal and it claims to have 24 effects and you can use up to 9 at a time.

'Zackly! You can dial quite a lot, bearing in mind it's not a 1500.00 rack system.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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Originally posted by A String:

I suppose that my main problem with the original 505 was the "over processed" effects. They just didn't seem natural to me. Very tinny and metallic sounding to my ears.

That's why I never bought one. Also, I wasn't too keen on the plastic casing. The GFX's are much better. If I felt like it, I'd trade my GFX-5 for the GFX-8, as that has MIDI capability. That would enable me to use it onstage with a separate, hopefully more gig worthy controller. :)

 

I never rely on the presets alone. Better to build your own.

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Originally posted by A String:

I still feel, however, that MEUs belong in a rack mount or at home.

The reason why I wouldn't want to gig with a MEU is that you really have to have a rigid set list.

 

If you don't always play the songs in the same order as you've arranged the patches in the MEU, then you have to go up and down the banks until you find the sound you need. I'm kind of too lazy for that, I suppose.

 

It's not a problem when you're at home, but at a gig it'd be different.

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Originally posted by Dr. Taz:

Originally posted by A String:

I suppose that my main problem with the original 505 was the "over processed" effects. They just didn't seem natural to me. Very tinny and metallic sounding to my ears.

That's why I never bought one. Also, I wasn't too keen on the plastic casing. The GFX's are much better. If I felt like it, I'd trade my GFX-5 for the GFX-8, as that has MIDI capability. That would enable me to use it onstage with a separate, hopefully more gig worthy controller. :)

 

I never rely on the presets alone. Better to build your own.

I think they worked all the bugs out in their later pedals.

 

As for the statement about building your own presets, I couldn't agree more. The first thing I do after playing around with presets is change them and make them mine. Otherwise you are in danger of sounding like everyone else that bought the same pedal.

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I still like my old(er) Digitech RP-7 and can absolutely recommend it to home use.

 

Real preamp tube in it, fairly easy to use.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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A friend of mine has the BOSS ME-50. I've fiddled around with it and I like it. The effects sound good and the knobs make it relatively easy to setup a sound patch. It also has a built-in tuner.

 

It's like having a whole bunch of BOSS pedals in one box. If I didn't already have my own stompboxes, I'd probably buy one of these. I think you can get one for about $350.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Originally posted by George Eaton:

Here's another query from an aging at home player. I would like to play around with some effects... and I'm not sure what to get.

 

I have a Les Paul and a Blues Junior....I've tried a couple of effects pedals in stores. Digitech I think. I've seen / not tried the Crossroads and Hendrix effect pedals (are you paying a lot for a little here ?)....

 

I ain't gigging..just looking for more at home fun... Would appreciate your thoughts / suggestions as always...

 

Thanks and Happy Friday...

George, I was in your exact position as of late. I disagree with some of the advice you have gotten. I do not condone a multi effects box. First of all, even as a home player (and that is what I am) you will still wish to switch on the fly and a lot of multi effects pedals are menu driven. Also, many multi effects pedals are digital. Don't even go there.

Click here for some effects sound samples: web page and pick out some favorites and go to your local store and pick up one or two to start. You can sell them on eBay if you don't like them and you won't lose much. I started with an Ibanez chorus pedal and just love it. I added a distortion pedal, even though I get plenty through my mesa boogie, I decided I wanted some versatility at the click of a button without having to mess with my amp settings. I am going downtown today to pick up a reverb. Again, my amp has reverb, but nothing like the a good pedal gives. My next pedal will be a wah. I've looked at several and have decided on the Budda Wah Wah. A little spendy compared to the Dunlop cry baby but I think a good choice overall. So, I'll be up to 4 pedals already and lovin it. It's fun to play with that stuff. Go for it. You will find most major brand pedals will retrieve a good price if you decide to sell em.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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My Digitech RP 200 introduced me to effects and what I'd like to buy in the future, as with any ME unit. Once you read the manual and get to know the layout of the unit, you can do a BUNCH of stuff with it. I made some pretty cool patches with it.

 

I'd recommend it.

Mikegug

 

www.facebook.com/theresistancemusic

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The BOSS ME-50 can be used like a bunch of effects put together. You don't have to use the presets. Each control has its own settings and three have pedals as well as the wah/volume/octave pedal.

 

It's a great way to save money. And you can start at your own speed using only the parts you want to. The ability to switch on the fly is one of the reasons I like it.

 

Yeah, it's kind of expensive but if you buy four BOSS pedals, you've spent as much (or more). And this thing emulates nearly all of their pedals in one box.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Well the basic pedal vs. MEU argument is partly illusory. There are individual pedals which do their thing much better than the equivalent model in an MEU. But if there`s a particular pedal which has THAT sound and the simulation won`t suffice, it`s easy to add it on to your MEU. For example, I`m thinking that I might still want a good distortion pedal to run with the Boss, just use the ME-33 for delay, chorus, etc. Any combination is possible. However, there is an issue if you have tubes in an add-on pedal AND in you MEU, and I`m gonna bring that up in a separate thread.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

I`m thinking that I might still want a good distortion pedal to run with the Boss, just use the ME-33 for delay, chorus, etc.

A note to my post above, I was never really happy with the distrotion amp models in the RP50. I recently got a Digitech Distortion Factory, and have dialed in a tone I really like.

 

For messing around, the other effects on the RP50 (reverb, delay, chorus, etc...) are pretty good.

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