I need some advice and recommendations.

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hillerheilman
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I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by hillerheilman » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:18 am

Hey Forum.

So as some of you have seen I’m trying to come up with a portable setup. I’ve decided to go the ampless pedalboard route. I just need to clarify a couple things to make sure I have everything right in theory before I start putting it together.
The questions are mostly related to effects chain order.

So the idea with this setup is to use it for two things. Either to run it out to a couple small cabs or to go directly into my interface for recording.

So in the first scenario I think the chain goes:

Guitar —> Compression —> Wah —> Distortion —> Preamp/EQ —> Reverb —> Delay —> Chorus —> Power amp —> Speaker cabinets.

So a couple questions. Am I right to put reverb delay and chorus where they are? My thinking was that putting them between the preamp and power amp is effectively the same as an effects loop, which is where those are supposed to go. Am I misunderstanding that?
Also, where would I put an octave pedal like an EHX pitchfork? With the reverb/delay/Chorus?

As for the second scenario, since I’m plugging into my interface and not speakers I would ditch the power amp pedal entirely, right? And then I’d replace that with a cab simulator ideally?

Lastly, I’ve got most of my pedal choices sorted out so far, but I’d love any recommendations you have for a combination reverb/delay. Preferably with a small footprint. Not necessarily mini, but I’m trying to keep it reasonably portable and I don’t want anything huge.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by fortytwo » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:15 am

The closer to the guitar that something that has to track is, the better.. Meaning as close to the guitar as you can get with the pitchfork.

Putting it later in the chain can also make some fun sounds, but for more precision, put it first in the chain.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by CorporateDisguise » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:46 am

I would put the pitchfork between your compressor and wah. Pitch shifters tend to like a hot, but clean signal. So using the compressor with it will certainly help it track.

As for the reverb, delay and chorus. It’ll depend on the output level of your preamp. Alot of preamps have a really hot output level that doesn’t always work well with pedals. I would try it and see though. You’ll know if they are clipping. Especially if they are digital.

Traditionally most people would go chorus- delay- reverb. But in this instance there are no hard and fast rules and it ultimately depends on what your are trying to achieve.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by jvin248 » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:54 am

.

Not sure what your 'power amp' is ... but quite a few people use something like a Joyo American Sound pedal as the cab simulator to 'go direct' to recording or a gig PA. The Joyo is a $30 clone of the Tech 21 Blonde. There are also versions for Marshall, Vox, and Mesa, but the American Sound gets the most positive reviews.

Joyo direct to recording
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07ho45_yq0s

Joyo for the tones, clean amp just to get volume for the mic to recording.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Uo6gmOIduM

.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:25 am

I’m currently using a Boss RV-6 to cover reverb/delay. It’s a good utility pedal. There’s only one combined reverb/delay setting, but it has that classic Boss sound.

If you want even simpler the EQD Dispatch Master could work. Honestly mono delay is what I prefer. Exaggerated ping ponging delay repeats get annoying.

The Source Audio Collider looks cool if you have the budget for it.

The Keeley Caverns looks like a good mid priced option too.

As for chorus I would put it earlier. If I use it it’s usually right after dirt pedals. By having it before delay repeats/reverb tails there’s a bit more depth to the sound.

I’m really happy with my Neunaber Iconoclast in the power amp/speaker sim role for direct recording.
Last edited by marqueemoon on Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by jorri » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:42 am

There is no consensus on any formula for effect order.

That said, it is the usual 'traditional' order, except it should be chorus>delay>reverb so reverse those three.

I put chorus and delay before dirt pedals, wah after, etc. Well what i really do is audition which way it sounds best for my particular rig. I dont like the 80/90s distortion+chorus sound so placed before it nullifies that 'Nirvana-ness'

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by hillerheilman » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:31 pm

This is all great info. Thanks guys.

I suspected that there was no set in stone correct order, I just wanted to try and establish what the typical way of doing it would be and then tweak that as necessary.
At this point I’m thinking about what I’m going to do for my reverb/delay, chorus, compression and cab simulator.

I’m going with a JHS Colour Box v2 for my preamp, an EHX Cockfight to cover distortion and wah, and an EHX 44 Magnum as my power amp. Any more thoughts on what I should use for everything else?

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by jorri » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:52 pm

chorus: I like the simple stuff, a small clone, TC dimension, or maybe the Boss chorus ensemble all good. Pretty standard suggestions but i don't use chorus on everything.

Might be worth finding a good plugin for the cab simulator if running into interface and not direct to PA or anything. I've been really liking Kuassa amp sims- I guess you can't switch off ONLY the pre-amp (afaik, but who knows maybe the power amp stays connected to the speaker) but you can use them as cab sims isolated from the amp. I'd think an impulse loading plugin specifically for that would be good though- pedals that do that may be 5x price or more for similar quality like Strymon Iridium or something?...

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by hillerheilman » Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:31 pm

jorri wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:52 pm

Might be worth finding a good plugin for the cab simulator if running into interface and not direct to PA or anything. I've been really liking Kuassa amp sims- I guess you can't switch off ONLY the pre-amp (afaik, but who knows maybe the power amp stays connected to the speaker) but you can use them as cab sims isolated from the amp. I'd think an impulse loading plugin specifically for that would be good though- pedals that do that may be 5x price or more for similar quality like Strymon Iridium or something?...
I’ve considered that too. Although I would like the option of going into a PA as well, just so if I was going out to a PA I would only need my guitar and pedalboard and I wouldn’t have to worry about a laptop or iPad. Really I’d rather have one unit that can either function as a power amp and go out to a cab, or direct into a PA with a cab sim.

I thought this was close to what I’m looking for:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ator-8-ohm

But unless I’m mistaken I’d still also need the power amp pedal. I’d rather be able to use one unit in an either/or type way, but I suppose it may not be avoidable.
marqueemoon wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:25 am
I’m really happy with my Neunaber Iconoclast in the power amp/speaker sim role for direct recording.
I’ve looked into the Iconoclast before. Would that fulfill the power amp role as well? I thought all it did was basically be an eq.

I suppose I’m really just confused about when I would or wouldn’t need the power amp pedal. I had thought that the only scenario under which I’d need it is going out to an actual guitar speaker cabinet.
Otherwise if I wanted to go into an interface to record or go out to a PA system, I would instead want some kind of cab simulator and would ditch the EHX 44 magnum entirely. Which is why I would rather have one unit that could do either. Am I understanding that wrong?

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:33 pm

The Iconoclast is power amp emulation + speaker/mic emulation. It doesn’t have an onboard power amp. Basically the idea is you can stick any preamp or dirt pedal in front of it and get the sound of a miced cab straight to a PA or recording interface.

There are a few things on the market that have both onboard speaker emulation AND an onboard power amp. The Quilter Interblock 45 for example. Speaker emulation is probably not nearly as good as the fancier options, but you can always do that differently for recording.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by hillerheilman » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:09 am

UPDATE: the Captor will in fact do what I need, regardless of whether I’m going to passive speakers, direct recording or going to a PA. No separate power amp pedal needed.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:24 am

The Captor is cool, and yes you could connect an EHX power amp pedal to it and record silently or use the speaker emulated line out while also powering a cab, but not how I would personally allocate my budget.

To me you either need a preamp pedal that has one out with speaker emulation and one without + pedal sized power amp like the EHX, or one box that can do both the preamp out with speaker emulation and power amp out for a cab like the Quilter.

The type of amp sound(s) you want is also going to have a big impact on your choices.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by hillerheilman » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:43 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:24 am
The Captor is cool, and yes you could connect an EHX power amp pedal to it and record silently or use the speaker emulated line out while also powering a cab, but not how I would personally allocate my budget.

To me you either need a preamp pedal that has one out with speaker emulation and one without + pedal sized power amp like the EHX, or one box that can do both the preamp out with speaker emulation and power amp out for a cab like the Quilter.

The type of amp sound(s) you want is also going to have a big impact on your choices.
Can you explain what you mean, as far as why I wouldn’t want to just go with the captor? It seems like it would be the best route in terms of efficiency with space on the board, in that it would fulfill both the function of the power amp pedal and a cabinet simulator in one unit as opposed to two separate ones.

What I mean, for example, is that originally the idea would have gone one of two ways depending on what I wanted to do. There would obviously be other pedals added, but boiled down it would go either:

JHS Colour Box v2 (preamp) —> JHS Spring Tank (Reverb) —> EHX 44 Magnum (power amp) —> speaker cabinet

OR

JHS Colour Box v2 (preamp) —> JHS Spring Tank (Reverb) —> Neunaber Iconoclast (Cab sim) —> recording interface or PA.

So to my understanding the captor would allow me to fulfill the function of both the 44 magnum (taking the signal from my board directly out to a cabinet) and a cabinet simulator like the Iconoclastic (adding cab simulation and sending out to interface or PA system) in a single unit as opposed to two different layouts. So instead of either of those two layouts it would go

JHS Colour Box v2 (preamp) —> JHS Spring Tank (Reverb) —> Captor—> speakers/PA/interface

To my knowledge the cabinet simulation is only on the XLR out of the Captor, so I could just use the speaker out only and it would function the same way as the 44 magnum would, right? So it’s effectively both the 44 magnum and the Iconoclast in one unit, which saves space.

Am I thinking about this wrong or missing something?
Last edited by hillerheilman on Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:22 pm

What you described with the 44 Magnum and Captor would work fine. It just isn’t a typical use for those two pieces.

The attenuation aspect of the Captor is going to be unnecessary in my opinion, and I’m not seeing a tonal benefit to running a solid state pedalboard amp into it.

Also, re: preamps the Colourbox is a console-based design, so it’s not going to sound like a Fender or Vox, or Marshall or whatever.

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Re: I need some advice and recommendations.

Post by hillerheilman » Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:55 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:22 pm
What you described with the 44 Magnum and Captor would work fine. It just isn’t a typical use for those two pieces.

The attenuation aspect of the Captor is going to be unnecessary in my opinion, and I’m not seeing a tonal benefit to running a solid state pedalboard amp into it.

Also, re: preamps the Colourbox is a console-based design, so it’s not going to sound like a Fender or Vox, or Marshall or whatever.
I’m aware that it’s console based. I haven’t really nailed down exactly what I’m doing preamp wise yet. I’ve tentatively chosen the Colour Box because it seems really useful for things other than just guitar like drums or vocals, which could be neat to have down the line when I want to record those things.

My mind could definitely be changed in terms of choices though.

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