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Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:22 pm
by NucleusX
stubbsonic wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:42 am
Even with a patcher, you can't get instantaneous. You still have to go around and futz with stuff (I'm imagining).
With a lot of current patchers yeh, but i don't think this is an issue with the new BOSS ones we discussed. Pretty sure they're
advanced enough for instant patch recall, like it generally is in MFX pedals. They iced the cake on one of the units with integrated
FX which further beckons its presence, surely it can do "scene" like functions. IDK about features like tap tempo and on/off trails.

Digitech have mostly to me made clean sounding gear, and their chassis are usually built pretty well, but i don't think that's
where the problem is. They're not really innovating as often as they used to, just iterating. Apart from that Apple iPad pedal
monstrosity they made, their native UI's are fairly basic. These days it seems just sounding great isn't enough, they gotta hit
ALL the bullet points right in an all-round package to be as competitive and compelling as possible.

I use the Plate reverb a fair bit now, seems like a good workhorse to keep as a constant for general subtle reverb.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:11 pm
by NucleusX
Extracted from BOSS website.

"The MS-3 is packed with decades of BOSS compact pedal and multi-effects know-how, and offers an ultra-efficient design that
lets you dial in inspiring sounds right away. There’s a backlit LCD that clearly shows patch/bank numbers and parameters, plus
quick-access knobs for editing and status indicators for all loops and effects. And with 200 patch locations, you have ample
memory for storing effects and control setups for instant recall."

"One of the ES-8’s key features is its innovative routing flexibility, which provides the ability to easily rearrange the order of a
chain of stompbox effects. This gives professional guitarists the ability to access a wide array of effect combinations, offering
total creative freedom to achieve the unique sounds that they desire. In addition, the ES-8’s parallel chain function increases
the effect combination options further, thereby expanding the final sound variation capability exponentially. What’s more, all
of these programmed configurations can be saved for instant access during a live performance."

I really like the concept and execution of these things. Had my setup been different, i'd seriously consider one of them.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:04 am
by stubbsonic
NucleusX wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:11 pm
I really like the concept and execution of these things. Had my setup been different, i'd seriously consider one of them.
I was looking at them as well. It really is a fantastic product idea, in a very plain looking chassis.

The GP-10 I got has a potential parallel path, but it is gotten to in a weird way.

The 13-pin GK connection accesses the modeling function which is the upper path, which can have its own effects. The regular magnetic pickups (from the 13-pin, or standard 1/4 input) feed the lower path, with its own effects. Then the two paths join, and effects can be added post-merge. It's a specific kind of parallel processing.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:37 pm
by NucleusX
Admittedly, Im a bit ignorant when it comes to those kind of pedals, as I've never used them. They call for a particular
kind of guitarist, I'm just not one of them. Parallel chains in a small unit like that strike me as surprising, but being what
it is, it's probably something expected ? My first thought was, well it's nice to have that, but will the unit fill out both
paths with enough FX before the DSP runs out ? Always a limit i look out for in general. Some pedals out there give you
all the options to work with, but then cut you off at the knees when it comes to flexin it's DSP, negating the options.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:15 pm
by stubbsonic
What makes that unit cool is the models (lots of electric guitar pickups, and some acoustic instruments)-- the effects are the usual Boss bread & butter effects. Most are function specific (like EQ, gate, comp, amp), I think there's two called FX which have a longer list that include some EQ, comp, mod fx, etc. It's not limitless, but before the signal leaves the box, it can be made pretty deluxe.

The pitch shifting (as with ALL effect units) is weak. So when you choose the "12 string" model, which relies on shifting things up an octave, those don't track very well and sound pretty bad.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:07 pm
by NucleusX
Sounds like a powerful little beast, be nice to have all the staple BOSS effects in one place. You're hard pressed just
going a tone below or above without artifacts on the more standard units, couldn't imagine shooting for a full octave
unless it was a subtle blend, or specifically for dive-bombing. Does the extra pickup improve its tracking abilities ?

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:26 pm
by stubbsonic
No, the pickup doesn't seem to help the tracking. At the end of the day, it's just six pitch shifters (one for each string) and it's using the same process to analyze the signal.

It's not terrible, though.

Actually, now that I think of it, the Zoom MS-100BT had a couple things that tracked pitch better, might have been a synth though.

In any case, it is always a trade off between Tracking accuracy, Response time, Dynamics, and Sound quality. You can sometimes get one of those four qualities.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:04 pm
by NucleusX
Watched an in-depth review on the GP-10 on youtube after reading your last post, and this struck me as a Variax-like
arrangement after a while. I think more accurate polyphonic tracking was the primary purpose of the Variax, as it has
an individual pickup for each string as-well. I don't know how far the similarities go between the 2, but I'm guessing
there's unique issue's that come with having a secondary pickup for synthesis, and blended with a traditional pickup.
I also noticed tight increments in the parameter settings for scale length. Suggests to me that intonation might be a
a critical factor to consider with them ? could be wrong, just guessing here lol. Thankfully my pitch needs are simple.
I primarily just use them for convenient changes in tuning standards, as long as i don't go too far either way. The
Variax would still be of some benefit to me in that regard, but i can't justify having it if i can do almost as good now.
It's just overkill for how i use it. Can see all that being most beneficial to people that frequently use harmonizers,
pitch shifters, octavers, alt tunings, ect. Now I'm wondering how much the POD HD can support the synth stuff.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:21 am
by stubbsonic
It's funny, I hadn't really thought of how the "synth access" is like the variax, but you're right.

Yes, in the GP-10 settings you give it string length and you tell it the pickup position relative to the bridge piece. For my Godin, there are "Piezo" options which eliminate that step. The string length and the pickup position or piezo type, help the modeling know what it is converting from before it converts to something else. It seems like a very effective system. I doubt it tracks the entire string length (as you play on low frets or high frets) perfectly as it does it's modeling, and the models themselves might not be accurate in every range, but it's still pretty impressive.

For me, I'm often called upon in shows to switch between types of guitars (electric, nylon, steel ac., etc.) so it will eliminate the need to change instruments, and I can get much closer to the right "vintage" for a given show/song. Though I'd need to set things up carefully.

I agree that the pitch shifters seem better when you aren't going more than a 3rd or so.

I had heard that palm muting wasn't very effective with piezo saddles, and that is true, but it's not all or none, it's still sort of half-way there. Fortunately, if I need the mag pickups, I can just use those. It's a nice balance of technologies.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:56 am
by stubbsonic
I saw a video where a guy was using MIDI (in very clever ways!!) to alter the sounds in his MIDI-capable effects unit. He could play chords or specific phrases to initiate changes in the effects. It's impressive use of tech, though not without it's noticeable glitches.

I've been noticing that MIDI is generally not available in budget gtr fx. I was searching around for which multi-effects rigs have good MIDI implementation. Fractal's Axe FX seem to have it, but that's way out of my league & budget. I also stumbled onto the Eleven Rack by Avid.

I started reading about the Eleven Rack and watching demo videos. The feature set is a nice compliment to gear I have. Sweetwater is selling them for $200, so I decided to order one. I'll follow up when I have a chance to mess with it. I'll be curious to hear how it does with dynamics.

It doesn't really qualify as a "flagship". But it has a few things that make it seem like good value.

1. Good sounds, super low latency
2. Sturdy seeming build quality
3. Ext FX Loop (stereo) which, along with most modules can be re-ordered
4. MIDI implementation for realtime control, also 4 parameters can be assigned to the built-in exp pedal in
5. Ample input and output options including a quality mic pre with phantom, and low level outs to amp
6. Can do all edits on the unit, or on computer
7. "True" impedance modes to help sound/feel like real gear
8. Works as an audio MIDI interface with proper drivers

The MIDI implementation is pretty basic. Controller assignments are "hardwired" in the firmware. The selection of amps, cabs & mics is moderate. The selection of effects is much more limited and basic with only one or two options for most effects. There is no pitch shifter. So, obviously, there's nowhere near the variety that Zoom has. Though it has stereo line, or mic,or gtr inputs, only one input can be chosen to go through the "rig's" effects. The external fx loop can be positioned at the beginning of the chain, just before or just after the amp/cab, or at the end of the chain, so not unlimited positions, as I had hoped, but that's probably ok.

In some ways it was an impulsive purchase. But I realized, there are so few effect units with MIDI control and that's really what I'm into these days. I can't afford the Axe FX stuff, and Eleven Rack offers a nice feature set for the price.

The "bundled" Pro Tools turns out to be bull$#!+. It comes with "Pro Tools First" which is free anyway, so, it is essentially the same as buying it without Pro Tools. You really have to be on your toes with those Avid folks. I already have a DAW I'm pretty happy with (DP). And I can probably figure out how to do all the re-amping business without needing PT's special ways of doing it. It looks like the price of the Eleven Rack has come way down over the years, and part of that might have to do with the level of PT that is offered in the bundle-- which also seems to have changed a few times. I'm hoping I won't have to bother much with Pro-Tools to get full functionality out of the unit.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:33 pm
by stubbsonic
Looks like I got in under the wire. Sweetwater is now out of the Eleven Rack.

It's possible they were blowing out stock because Avid/Digidesign is going to release something new. Or they're just blowing them out because they are an older model.

The main negative criticism I've been seeing is that some guitars clip the input. I'll have to check that out.

I heard some very nice demos of the unit on Premiere Guitar's review. The sound was complex and very musical. And the examples made it easy to hear the amp sims without super heavy distortion & effects. I do hope the dynamics work as they should (like with the Zoom pedals).

I was thinking I'd put it in the rack with my MPX-1 and use that with the external loop. That way I could use the MPX-1 for pitch & reverb. I can then control both rigs with external MIDI controls. Supposedly, the reverb on the 11R is ok.

Will report back on how it is.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:51 am
by stubbsonic
Got the Eleven Rack today and it seriously took me 30 seconds to find a bug that required me to turn it off & on again. Just so happens I went into a function that shows the MIDI CC Reference numbers. When I got to the very last page, I turned the dial to scroll to the next page and it hung on a blank page. No recovery other than off & back on. I'm hoping there aren't a bunch more bugs, and I'm also hoping that Avid gives enough of a $#!+ to fix it. But I think there is a 0% chance they will fix it. I can live with it, now that I know it's there.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:03 pm
by stubbsonic
The Sweetwater support guy was able to replicate the same bug on their unit, so it's a bug in the firmware. Thankfully, since SW is a big seller, they might have some luck getting it addressed, but I won't hold my breath. SW also sold out of the units, so Avid doesn't really have much incentive to fix a bug that has a reasonable workaround (i.e, just don't scroll past that last page).

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:14 pm
by stubbsonic
Transitioning between patches involves a slight lag before the patch changes and the signal does not switch smoothly (no tails, Nhoj).

Because the Eleven Rack does have MIDI CC's for most parameters, it would be possible to stay in one patch and send out MIDI controls to change the sound, (as long as the basic modules within the patch stay the same).

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:31 pm
by stubbsonic
I just discovered a couple of products by Decibel Eleven ( which are relevant to this topic of effect order.

One is Switch Dr, which is a loop switcher with some nice midi features. The other is Pedal Palette which has switchable orders and parallel path options but not much in the way of MIDI features.

Since I'm in this mode of combining multi-effects with hardware pedals, I think I can work out effect orders without the Pedal Palette. The Switch Dr seems useful for other reasons.

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:00 am
by stubbsonic
After looking into the Pedal Palette in more detail, it's feature set is very compelling to me. It gives you 4 loops that you can quickly rearrange the orders of. You can run any loops in parallel, with separate mix-level controls and phase invert switches for each loop. You can store presets which recall loop order and enable states. It won't store parallel settings in presets, as those are "global" slider switches.

I watched a couple demo vids, and heard some interesting examples of swapping effect orders, as well as some nice examples of parallel processing. I had also heard some examples of that with the Xotic X-blender, which also has treble & bass controls. Apart from the PP's lack of treble and bass controls, it is like having 4 of the X-Blenders in one box (if you ever wanted that).

The Pedal Palette sold for around $300-400 USD when released. Now (Jan 2019) there's a clearance sale over on the decibel11 site and they are blowing them out for $160 plus shipping. I just had to snag one at that price!

Re: Effect Order and Routing Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:46 am
by stubbsonic
Another interesting product for parallel processing is an ART SPLITMix4 ... ter-mixer/

It's a passive mixer & splitter. What is interesting (if I understand correctly) is that you can split a signal into two paths, then return two fx signals and mix them with one box. As a passive mixer, it is low noise, doesn't require power, and gives you some level controls. The downside is that it is designed for line level instruments and will drop your level by 12 dB. That's significant. But at least it is quiet.