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Multi effects/Modelling


LarryUK
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I've been thinking of joining the modelling squad. So I bought a Boss ME 70 to try and now a Line 6 Firehawk.  I like that I can adjust the Firehawk on my phone or tablet. But the distortion effects are too fuzzy.  Are the Helix/Headrush etc better sounding? I always liked my old Marshall's full on. That gutsy distortion that isn't fuzzy. I like the other effects though. It's the easyness of it all that attracts. What have you got?

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Gigged a Boss GT 100 for a while.   meh.  

I rehearse with a Boss Katana amp.  meh.  Makes ok cleans and ok drive and ok too much drive, good enough for rehearsing.  Band likes the pedal board of doom much more, same as me.  With a bunch of pedals it is way quieter in a bar than most of the digital things, in my experience.

You have to try them and see how they do you for what you do.

rct

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I used a 4-channel VHT with 2X12's then went to a VHT full stack, I used these in an attempt to reduce noise by excluding as many pedals as possible. I was using humbuckers at the time but transitioned to P90's and migrated to combo Marshalls while using a ME-50. I went to a Deluxe 900 with 6 sampled amp models that could be assigned to any of the 3 channels and started using external pedals again, a TS5 and a DS-1 mostly. Through these I carried a Roland Cube in my car so I could get more practice time in, in remote areas. Then I found that 2 cubes sounded better than 1 and now I have 6. But back to the Deluxe, currently I only use the 1st overdrive channel with the gain on 0 (the clean channel is too brittle) and increase the volume to what ever level I need, using a simple RK5 multi pedal. Wanting to get back to Tube sound I am looking at a Blues Jr, Blues Deluxe or a Rivera Sedona Acoustic app. I have tried these with my RK5 and they sound great. 

I use my OD's in stages each individually set to the same level as clean, the RK5 has 2 OD's and an OMG button that just gives you more.

Edited by mihcmac
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I have a Fender Mustang I amp and a Marshall Code 50 amp and they're ok as a backup amp. The clean sounds aren't bad but the gain sound is kind of digital sounding to me. I use pickup volume and pick attack to control gain. Digital just works differently and it takes some adjusting and toying with the effects and amp/speaker tones.

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A couple years ago I went to an Eleven Rack I run right to the PA and I don't need an amplifier at all.  It has about 25 amplifier models in it, and 15 speaker cabinet models and you can pair any two you like together.  It has 9 different microphone models and you can even set them in different places (straight on, angles etc.) and then it has I think 14 different effects you can chain together in any sequence.  

It takes quite a while to learn how to get the sounds you want, but once past the learning curve I've found it can do all that I want it to.

It is a digital system however and as such has limitations.  IE, with a regular tube amp you can be running clean at say volume level 7 on your guitar.  Crank your guitar to 10 and you can overdrive the pre-amp and get a distorted sound, something many of us have been doing for 40+ years.  With the digital system, you can pick a clean tone, but when you go from 7 to 10 on your guitar volume, it just gets louder.  Since there are no tubes to overdrive it doesn't get distorted.  So this sort of limits you to one tone during a song, clean, dirty or in between, but you can't alter it by just changing your guitar setting.

So if you wanted to go from clean to dirty during a song you need to set up two "rigs" or programs, and switch from one to the other with a pedal.  So like I said it's not perfect, but it is very versatile. 

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At the moment, the closest thing I have is a Boss Katana. I keep it on Clean channel and use the Reverb. Any other effects, including OD I use pedals. All those other features go to waste.

The only multi effects/modeling unit I've ever had and liked was the Boss ME50. I kinda wish I woulda held onto it. Even so, I still only used about 5 of the settings on it. I'm talking about at gigs and jams though. At home, I would sometimes fool around with a bunch of the models and effects. Not enough to justify keeping it I guess.        

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My desktop amp is SS, my band practices and performances will always use a tube amp.  I don't get into effects that much other than a nice reverb.  As well, I always prefer tube distortion to something coming out of electronics or DSP.  I mean, modelling is what it says, modeled.  it will always have some sort of lacking to the real deal, so you would have to take it for what it is.  As a keyboardist in a band I play in, I can't play classical music on it like my home upright (that weighs probably close to 500lbs).  Even the highest end keyboards/synths I have ever seen can never truly replicate the sound of the sympathetic tones that are made from a real piano - even a tiny spinet sounds better to me.  And to add, the feeling of the wooden keys actuating the piano's action.  There's a reason bands typically use keyboards and orchestras use full 9' Steinway grand pianos.  I digress...  So in a nutshell, the more digital and convenient we get, the more we are actually losing from the true sound we are trying to emulate.  If you're going to get better software that controls the sound output, going to cost more money for the design details.  Not knocking electronic/processed sounds for guitar tones, just that we all know it is what it is and will only go so far.  Like anything in life, there are trade-offs going on here.  To me, depends on the application I am using the stuff.  Home stuff is OK for processed sound, but I prefer to get the richest tone when practicing and performing which I feel is a better experience for me and the listeners. 

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The ME50 was one of my favorite multi pedals because it was so simple, it had analog controls no menus to get into, it could run on batteries, headphone output and headphones sounded very close to amplified sound. I was looking for an ME50 when I found my RK5 that is also even simpler, but no headphone and doesn't run on batteries. The ME50 has more effects but hasn't been made for a while, with both of these what you see is what you get.

me50_main.jpg

rk5_large.jpg

Edited by mihcmac
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Mustang III and Code 50 user/abuser here too.  Like Micheal says, they do some things good, and they are great practice amps.  The FX built in is a great convenience factor as a practice device.

With editing you can get some decent sounds.  I currently have my Mustang and Code setup with an a/b switch so I can use one or the other (or both) in my practice room.   I believe that I've been successfully able to raise the dead a few times with that rig.  And I do believe the dual/stereo setup like that if used LIVE would probably work out ok, but it's a lot of dancing on both amps foot switches.  Doable tho if they are positioned with dual use in mind.

but over all for Live/Band work, I still get more mileage  from my tube combos/pedal boards. There's no substitution really.

 

 

 

Edited by kidblast
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