FX Pedals - Getting started

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ttf_Geordie
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Geordie » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:39 am

Have been thinking about trying out some effects pedals and looking for advice. A Manical 4 recording of Carry on my Wayward Son got me thinking about it.  Seeing a Dr John video of Black Widow Spider has given me the final push over the edge, having never used effects before.  Will connect pedals wirelessly to Shure clip-on mic and receiver.  Could use old style Silent Brass if I had to but that is bit nose heavy. Would put the pedals out into an amp/speaker combo, not into a computer. 
I have the impression that pedals with reverb, delay and wah wah effects might be the three to start with.  Do you agree? 
Are there recommendations for other pedals or recommendations for particular brands/models? 
Is the order in which pedals are linked of much importance?
Currently playing in a soul/blues band - any performance tips about using this set up?
ttf_Ellrod
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Ellrod » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:44 am

Maybe a looper?
ttf_Full Pedal Trombonist
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Post by ttf_Full Pedal Trombonist » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:07 am

When I did some bar gigs the guitar players loved to do a few jams in the middle and one at the end of the night that we really stretched out to have fun and just explore what we could do. I used a reverb pedal with more than enough duration to play fat chords with myself. A distortion pedal is fun too, like Maniacal 4. The new Yamaha Silent Brass system is pretty good, but for flexibility I would prefer to just use a mic so I can go to an open horn sound and back whenever I want.

I don't have recommendations for a maker of pedals, but I've messed with my friends Bass Pod by line 6 I believe and that has endless possibilities. And a good mic is an SM57. The standard.
ttf_anonymous
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_anonymous » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:31 am

Which Shure system are you using, the GLX system has a pedal receiver that works great for this application, they others will need some other gear to get everything to work together. I have always found the Silent Brass system to be ill suited for using pedals, it just doesn't sound good to me and provides very little ease of use. Since you want to use this setup live, I would go for something like the Eventide MixingLink just as a way to be prepared for most situations, it acts as a DI for the front of house guy, and also allows me to set up an amp as a personal monitor if need be.  You then need to determine what you want to do with your effects, are you going to be creating new parts, or are you going to be using your pedals for your improvised solos?

Once you have the input stage figured out, now you have to decide if you want to go with multi-effects units or individual pedals.  Multi-effects can work great, the Line6 Pod series that was mentioned can be found very cheap used, but aren't the greatest for live use. I use individual pedals because I have found that most of the individual pedals are more adaptable than similar effects found on multi-effects units.  Sometimes on my guitar I use Zoom G3XN for quick setup and tear down, but I much prefer the sounds I get on my main board.

If you decide to go the route of individual pedals, buy used, the prices will add up quick.  Keep an eye out at used guitar shops, they will usually have a decent selection of pedals.  Decide on what types of pedals you want, the main categories are distortion, modulation, harmonizers, delay/reverb, and loopers.  If you're playing in a band context a looper isn't the greatest choice, because it's usually hard to get other people to stay in sync with the loop.  For distortion check out the Boss DS1 or EHX Muff series, for modulation get try some filters like a Wah or chorus pedal like the EHX Small Clone.  Harmonizers are usually very expensive but fun, try to find a deal on a EHX POG or Pitchfork.  For delay it can get complicated because you need to choose analog or digital, but I would suggest going for a Boss DD7. There are also some crazy reverbs that you can find, my personal favorite is the EQD Afterneath, but there are tons on the market.

Then once you have all that taken care of, you need to figure out a power method and transportation method.  You can just put all your pedals in a bag and set them up at a gig, but I use a Pedaltrain to keep everything set up and easy to load in and out.  For power you can go with a daisy chain, but with digital pedals you will run into some sound problems and noise.  I use a 1Spot Pro that mounts underneath my board and provides isolated power to each pedal.  Be careful, because some of the cheaper power units on places like Amazon claim to be isolated but usually are not.

Finally you have to decide on output.  I would recommend a tube amp, because you can usually get a small combo that wont be too heavy, but still put out enough volume to be heard. I use an old Fender Blues Junior I picked up cheap, you can try some of the cheaper solid state amps, but most of those nowadays utilize some sort of modeling that does not sound good with anything but a guitar. This is where the MixingLink I mentioned earlier comes into play.  It handles my wireless signal from my Shure GLX or any other XLR source if my wireless goes down, and can route that signal to either my amp or the XLR output for the sound guy at a venue.
ttf_Geordie
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Geordie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:58 am

Thanks for the suggestions. Was not aware of the Bass Pod or the Zoom.   I'm using a Shure Beta 98H into their BLX4 wireless system and DI into the board.  I have a Calsboro Hornet 45 combo from my keyboard days and was planning to start with that for practising.  I'd thought about a Wha, Delay, Overdrive and a Reverb so will check out the suggested models too.  I see your point about a looper, but they look fun - even if only for practice use.  The whole power thing was not on my radar so I'll definitely watch out for that issue.  Have spent a few hours looking at reviews and YouTube tutorials.  This is a lot more complicated than slide o mix vrs yammie lube isn't it? Image   Image
ttf_anonymous
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_anonymous » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:02 pm

I practice with my looper a lot, but I don't use it live a lot unless I'm doing some ambient stuff. I use my looper in practice to figure out some of the settings for my other pedals. Feel free to pm me with questions.

It's a little more guitar centric, but I like "That Pedal Show" on YouTube.
ttf_Geordie
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Post by ttf_Geordie » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:23 am

Thanks!  Just looked at that pedal show. There is a lot to look at, no doubt I'll be able to use it. Very helpful and much appreciated. 
ttf_Russ White
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Russ White » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:46 am

Doesn't the ambient noise of the horn interfere with the sound of the effects when using a clip on Mike? Or, are you only using it in venues large and loud enough for that sound to be lost? I' dot worked up the courage, I'm still working at just playing the horn by itself competently, to delve into the electronics, but I sure want to.
ttf_Geordie
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Geordie » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:53 am

Russ I've never used pedals in performance or otherwise. Like you I'm moving towards getting a basic set up, hoping to get competent with it and then add it into my blues/soul band gigs. Given the time and potential expense I was hoping to shorten the learning curve and the great tips here and on you tube have  helped so much. The overall band sound will cover much of the clean sound from the horn, allowing the processed sound to blend in the overall mix,  thats what I've seen with trumpet and sax players who use fx.
ttf_anonymous
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_anonymous » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:25 am

With my setup, I control how much of the original dry signal is sent through.  Sometimes it works best if I blend some dry signal with the effected signal, and sometimes it works better being an all or nothing kind of thing.  When I'm doing solo stuff, pretty much anything goes, so I like to create a nice wash with my effects and have my uneffected tone ride over the top.
ttf_JLivorsi
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_JLivorsi » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:40 pm

I know this is a bit of al older thread, but I just started experimenting with this myself. And I'm getting closer and closer to being performance ready. Here is my setup:

SM57 --> Radial Voco Loco  --> wah mini - Micro Pog (octaver) - Digital Delay (DD7) - Reverb (Holy Grail Nano) --> back into Voco Loco

I've also purchased a Voodoo lab power pedal 2 to power everything.

In my very short experience, I was not a fan of silent brass or the use of the multi effect units. I find it a lot easier to piece it together, albeit pretty expensive. Instead of spending all this money on pedals, I should've just bought a new horn. Haha.

I'm definitely really feeling this setup though. I might eventually add a distortion pedal, but I feel like it's already getting out of control. One of my really good friends has been traveling with Dumpstaphunk and the joke that keeps getting passed around is, "less pedals, more major scales!" Whatever you do, the dopeness must be there BEFORE the technology. So if the tech fails you still have the core dopeness.

I've also had success looking for used pedals on reverb.com
ttf_Geordie
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Geordie » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:48 pm

Well, I've gone for the cheaper, simpler option of a multi-effects pedal - Boss ME25. Why?  Just as important as cheap and simple was that a trumpet playing buddy uses one successfully. More likely to be 'bone friendly. It has loop, octave, wha, reverb distortion  and other effects so it felt like a good place to start.  Cheap and simple gives mr space to focus on the music, and think about my next horn purchase Image
ttf_JLivorsi
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Post by ttf_JLivorsi » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:00 am

Are you using any kind of preamp? Or are you just converting the XLR > 1/4", going into ME25, and then taking the output and going straight into the board?
ttf_Geordie
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Post by ttf_Geordie » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:57 pm

I've only just had my combo serviced - 12 inch speaker and tweeter. So, not had a chance to link it all up yet. Plan is to put the mic output to the wireless receiver, then  into the pedal and the output from the pedal into the amp, for Home use at first. You've made me reflect though. I'm assuming I cannot go mic to pedal to transmitter to amp to speakers.... Got a new big band with a  series of gigs coming up so am focusing on that book, and my soul band. This means time is limited  for my fx adventure just now. When I have linked up the pedal I'll report back
ttf_JLivorsi
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Post by ttf_JLivorsi » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:32 am

Quote from: Geordie on Aug 18, 2017, 06:57PMPlan is to put the mic output to the wireless receiver, then  into the pedal and the output from the pedal into the amp, for Home use at first. You've made me reflect though. I'm assuming I cannot go mic to pedal to transmitter to amp to speakers....

I'm not sure what wireless receiver you're referring to, but if you plan on going into an amp it'll have a weak signal. A mic signal is much weaker than a line signal (guitar). So an amp is built for having a more powerful signal. Vocals don't get plugged into an amp, they tend to go straight into the PA.

If you plan on going into an amp, you will probably need a preamp. I love the radial voco loco, but it's expensive. I think you can get a cheaper one. Before you go out and spend more money, I would do some research and play around. I've always been told that if the sound guy has any issues the first person to blame is the horn player with effects pedals. So you want to make sure that your setup won't cause any feedback or any other issues. Just something to think about. I created my setup, because as of right now I feel like it'll have the least amount of issues live. Which is why I paid for the Voco Loco and the power supply. But take a look at the Voco Loco, because you can mess with the following: mic level, EQ (low/high), Send & Receive, and wet/dry mix. It's pretty cool, and is probably the most powerful thing in your pedal board.

Here are some articles that might help explain what I'm talking about.

http://www.shure.com/americas/support/f ... -they-mean

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/ar ... l-signals/
ttf_Geordie
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_Geordie » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:47 am

Thanks - more food for thought. At present my receiver goes into the mixing desk and then out to PA. I'm not aware of a pre-amp. My tentative plan - when/if I gig it - was to put the output from the receiver into the pedal unit and then go from pedal to desk via cable. Would that work?  Do desks all have pre-amps that I have not noticed?   
Was only planning to use the amp for home practice. I guess my assumption was the pedal unit would channel/boost the signal appropriately. 
ttf_JLivorsi
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FX Pedals - Getting started

Post by ttf_JLivorsi » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:40 pm

Quote from: Geordie on Aug 22, 2017, 11:47AMDo desks all have pre-amps that I have not noticed?  
Was only planning to use the amp for home practice. I guess my assumption was the pedal unit would channel/boost the signal appropriately. 

I don't know 100%. But if I were to take a guess, I would guess the pedal unit doesn't boost the signal, because it's made for guitars which are a "line signal." All pedals are made for guitars, so you need to boost the signal of the microphone (audio input) to allow the pedals work properly.

Will it work without a preamp? Probably.

But any issues you may run into trying to use it live would probably fall back to the fact you don't have a preamp. I've seen people use multi-effects pedals live, so it's possible.
ttf_Geordie
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Post by ttf_Geordie » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:24 am

I guess I was hoping/assuming that the receiver would boost the signal into the pedal and the pedal would then be line signal out.  I'm going to have to spend time on this after I've finished shedding for some upcoming big band gigs.  Watch this space ....
ttf_JLivorsi
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Post by ttf_JLivorsi » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:49 am

I guess I'm a little confused what receiver you're using. Like what you would use for surround sound?

Either way, it'll be fun and you will learn a lot.
ttf_Geordie
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Post by ttf_Geordie » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:21 am

Receiver is Shure BLX4. Looking forward to getting going, will update on my journey up/down the learning curve. 
ttf_Geordie
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Post by ttf_Geordie » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:21 am

Receiver is Shure BLX4. Looking forward to getting going, will update on my journey up/down the learning curve. 
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