has anyone here gone rack?

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has anyone here gone rack?

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:40 am

And if so, how do you have your setup configured?

I'm really really tempted to ditch the pedalboard lately. It's all just become so conventional to me. I want to break out of the "pedal paradigm" and into something relatively uncharted for me.

I'd really like to use something like a single H3000 in a small rack, plus one overdrive pedal on the floor, and maybe a MIDI controller to switch patches. But I will be using mostly mono combo amps, no desire (or capability) to cart around a huge stereo rig.

Who here has done this?

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by Kent » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:24 am

I've gone the reductionist route twice:

1) in the '90s, my pedalboard was looking like J. Mascis's. I ended up putting most of it into a rack with a GCX switcher and Ground Control to engage/bypass loops. I used it with a Marshall JMP-1 and a mid-70's Orange 120W combo. It was a thing of glory but incredibly heavy.

2) current rig but I don't gig...yet. I'm focusing on using an Axe-FX and a GTMastermind foot controller. In terms of convenience and horsepower, it has been a revelation. Yes, there is a learning curve but it is certainly lower than any Eventide digital unit. You can even pop pedals into its effects loop and use them in series or parallel with automatic switching per patch.
It can be used with traditional amps, straight into the board or both... and more.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by fuzzjunkie » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:03 am

I started with 2 fuzz pedals into a DMM and Space Echo out to two Twin Reverbs, then switched to a rack with a Yamaha E-1010 analog delay, Yamaha SPX-900 and Roland DEP-5 controlled by a Ground Control midi switching system with a volume and expression control. Later I changed out the fuzz pedals and the analog delay for a Roland GP-16 and the amps became a Bassman and an AC-30.

The GP-16 dirt section didn't do it for me, so back came the fuzz pedals and I integrated some analog modulation pedals and a wah because I had been experimenting with those sounds on the GP-16 and wanted more than fuzz-echo-reverb in my chain, but the GP-16 sounds were only acceptably mediocre. The GP-16 eventually became a back-up plan that I kept in the rack in case anything failed. The whole thing was convoluted but I stuck with it for ages. (I had a series/parallel routing system)

A little over a year ago I went back to a pedalboard when I ditched the rack effects for Eventide's Factor pedals. The Space and Timefactor cover all the reverb and delay sounds and I added an El Capistan for the tape echo emulation. Trimmed down the modulation to a vibe/tremolo pedal and ditched the midi and stereo amps. I could still do stereo or midi if I wanted to, but it's more trouble than it's worth most of the time. The expression control is handled by a Source Audio device that can control 3 (or more) pedals at once or separately and can send cv, midi or analog expression commands. You can control the ramp and curve of the sweep too, it really made the change from rack back to pedalboard possible.

I still have the rack full of effects and keep it in my studio but I don't miss lugging it around. There are better midi control systems out there now, but the technology itself is 30 years old. I guess it's robust and does the job well enough, but I was tired of programming the effects and the controller, now I just worry about the effects. Ground Control is owned by Voodoo Labs now and they have several products available and there are boutique builders as well as Boss with controllers that suit any system that you could build.

I would recommend keeping it simple if you go rack. Just controlling one device is easy, when you get 3-4 you need a guy like Dallas Schoo (sp?) or Pete Cornish working for you. Yamaha, Roland, etc, all use the same midi protocols, but implemented differently, and it can be a real pain getting it all working together. Same midi program number switches different banks, etc. Those were '90s devices that I was using, so it might be a different situation niw, but I doubt it as my modern Eventides' bank switching is just as archaic as it ever was.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by eggwheat » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:25 am

I've almost always used a rack..but with a few pedals too. First a primitive art multiverb..but controlled with a midi sequencer doing control changes in a live situ..then H3000 for a few years, finally to the H7600/8000 which I've had for ten years now, I use a voodoo labs ground control. As great as the H3000 sounds, I find them unreliable when moved around now, so not sure I'd recommend for live use!

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by budda12ax7 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:40 pm

Once upon a time, I went fully rack. I had a Roland GP-8 and an ART Pro FX unit. I ran them independently of each other with the GP-8 foot switch and the ART footswitch. All this ran into a Marshall 1980 50 watt head 2-12 cab. This was my shoe gaze period. It worked,but I remember doing auditions in Hollywood and one band during the audition said I sounded like Rush....meaning over processed.

I went back to pedals.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by cpeck » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:07 pm

I have an 8 space rack that is a mix of pedals and 1U rack units. I love it for two main reasons.
1) the rack units (in my case - Midiverb 2, G Major 2, and Line 6 Filter Pro) are not as "easy" as pedals and have endlessly more sounds within. I find this to be incredibly useful when recording and writing. Even just messing with presets when recording a lead part can open a lot of doors. In many cases, they can approximate classic gear as well. I'm not suggesting that they are exact emulations, but they can get close. I love my all analog gear for sure, but I'm not a purist.
2) the ability to change "scenes" is very powerful live. This is probably self evident, but the combination of sounds available at any given stomp is a huge advantage over traditional pedal setups.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:10 am

eggwheat wrote:I've almost always used a rack..but with a few pedals too. First a primitive art multiverb..but controlled with a midi sequencer doing control changes in a live situ..then H3000 for a few years, finally to the H7600/8000 which I've had for ten years now, I use a voodoo labs ground control. As great as the H3000 sounds, I find them unreliable when moved around now, so not sure I'd recommend for live use!
How do you interface the H7600/8000 with hi-Z guitar and amp?

Do you use a DI and Reamp box, or something simpler?

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by white buffalo » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:15 am

i've long fantasized about putting together a small rack setup, but always end up getting to intimidated by the thought and never go through with it.
i've got an old korg sdd-3000 rack unit which is magical (albeit in need of a battery replacement) and what caused my lust for other pieces.
hey, anyone try one of those ams dmx rack delays? if so, how was it?

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by OffYourFace » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:35 pm

I almost did this for guitar 5 years ago but I was using large amps in a stereo rig for a while. I considered doing this recently for synth but I've found some pedals that work perfectly. I'm really happy with my modded Line 6 M9, TC Stereo Chorus and MXR Micro Amp. Moving a case of rack gear can really suck.

OTOH, some rack gear just sounds truly amazing. You can usually get away with adjusting the input and output levels (most have the -10db/+4db switch on the back) but ideally you want to convert your guitar to line level with a DI Box.
synth tech at www.rosensound.com

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:44 am

OffYourFace wrote:I almost did this for guitar 5 years ago but I was using large amps in a stereo rig for a while. I considered doing this recently for synth but I've found some pedals that work perfectly. I'm really happy with my modded Line 6 M9, TC Stereo Chorus and MX Micro Amp. Moving a case of rack gear can really suck.

OTOH, some rack gear just sounds truly amazing. You can usually get away with adjusting the input and output levels (most have the -10db/+4db swithc on the back) but ideally you want to convert your guitar to line level with a DI Box.
And I guess then you'd want a re-amp on the end if you want to use a standard (i.e. "festival backline") amp.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by OffYourFace » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:47 pm

yes exactly. I had a reamp box.
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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by eggwheat » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:54 am

Forgot to reply, I use pedals in front...H7600 has jack inputs as well as xlr...I use a Y lead out of pedals to put signal on both L and R inputs of H7600..Then it's XLR outs to jack in on amps. I read the manual and made the leads up the way they suggested.. I have to admit it is a little noisy at times..I've been meaning to experiment more but not got round to it.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by eggwheat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:21 am

Well I did experiment..and...Gah...the noise was caused by a poorly connecting jack in my MXR flanger...must've been like that for ages! :fp:

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by cestlamort » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:51 pm

I went from pedals to rack, but I'm not sure that it counts, since it's just the old Ibanez Ue400/ue405 units (which are basically the same as the pedals). No programming or patches and I think it sounds better than the equivalent pedals. I had the same setup a few years back but then went all pedals, only to go back to the rack setup. Nice to have a shallow skb case and just set it on the amp, plug it in and be done with setup.

In this golden age of pedals, racks might be a good bargain.

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Re: has anyone here gone rack?

Post by MrShake » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:43 pm

Image

*facepalm* Yeah, I just did.

It started with the SPX90, then the Midiverb. Then I needed a case to keep them in. Then I thought, "If I add pre- and power amps, I'll have a rack setup!" The MP-1 came about because of a stupid eBay decision, but I love it. Clean tube, solid state, and crunchy Marshall-style sounds in one box. The MT200 power amp wasn't because I loved ADA so much, it was because it was the best-option 1U rack power amp in my price range. (The 100 watt power amp in the middle of the rack isn't hooked up, it's just in the rack case for safekeeping while we move). I had already been planning on putting it together, but saw one of my favorite guitarists recently and he was playing an MP-1 into a Quadraverb into the MT200 power amp into some Orange cabs, and it sounded like a tsunami. In a good way.

It's... fun. I mean, I really like it, and I like the idea of presets more than I expected to. I haven't plunged into MIDI yet, but programmed a bank of "my sounds" up in the 80s on the preamp -- clean tube, bright solid state, full-Marshall, gritty "Fender", gritty "Marshall", and then a few with chorus. So I can get my "base tone" and season it with the effects boxes.

I didn't know what I was going to do about a cab, but fell in love with the idea of a pair of 2x12s. I can use one for the drummer's monitor, or do a wide stereo thing. If I want to only take one to practice, the power amp I picked will work with that. If we get desperate for space in our new place, I can even stack them vertically -- it's not like I'll be playing at full tilt in a one-bedroom downtown. And ironically, they weren't an ADA fanboy decision either. There just weren't that many cabs around that fit the bill, not in my budget price range. But as I read someone say on some other forum "UK-made Celestion speakers in a US-made cab that's built like a tank for under [$175]? Seems like a no-brainer."

Now I just need to finish it (this sapped my budget, so I'll have to wait impatiently for an R2DU), and get a decent foot controller, then set about learning MIDI properly. I was hoping this would replace my pedalboard in some situations. In some, it will. But it's only making me realize that this rig, plus a small pedalboard (key delays, maybe a flanger, and some fuzzes and a tuner up front) might just be my ultimate, do-everything setup. We'll see.

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