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Californiaman

Signal Chain

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Some people stick to a certain formula for a signal chain.  I'm not referring to an effects loop at the back end (output section) of an amp.  I'm referring to a straight signal path from guitar to an amps front end.

Typically when I have it all plugged in, I go wah, tuner, overdrive, distortion, fuzz and octa-fuzz, flanger, tremolo, analog delay. I have recently started using a midrange boost right before the overdrive but I'm still experimenting with it's location.

I don't use envelope filters or compressors.

One unexpected twist I discovered that I like is when I put a wah pedal after a fuzz pedal.

I heard Steve Vai will put a delay at the beginning of his signal chain.

Anybody got any other interesting combinations you like?

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I'm about 100% sure there is already a thread about that on this forum.  But anyway ....

Guitar==> Tuner ==> Compressor ==> Octave ==> Univibe simulator==> Klon Clone ==> Phaser ==> Distortion/Overdrive ==> Chorus ==> Delay ==> Tremolo ==> AMP

Pedals:

Boss TU-3 Tuner

Boss CP-1X Compressor

Boss OC-2 Octave

Earthquaker Devices The Depths

Klon Clone built from a kit

MXR Phase 90

Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe

Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble

CNZ Audio Analog Delay

Boss TR-2 Tremolo

First I set them all up using conventional wisdom.  Then I made a couple of adjustments. 

This is Vai's take on delay position.  It has more to do with how distortion interacts with delay:

SKIP TO 11:00:

 

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Guitar,  straight to amp for me too.  Once in a blue moon I might add 2 pedals aboard but I really never need them. 

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9 hours ago, SteveFord said:

Nope.  Cord from guitar into amplifier.

That's about as high tech as I get.

 

Same. Life's complicated enough already. Now if I was chasing a particular sound....   but I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.  

 

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Wah first, then compressor, and then what ever tickles the fancy for OD pedals.  Chorus and Delay, I like to keep in the amps fx loop and use the parallel loops blend control on the amp for blending.  All pedals are True Bypass.

If I'm using my Fender Mustang or Marshall Code, all ya need is a cable..

 

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When I use effect pedals, I put all my modulating pedals in the loop and everything else in front. But plenty of material online about other methods to connect up your crap. Here’s a good site to look at to get an idea what I’m doing:

https://www.strymon.net/setting-up-your-effect-signal-chain/
 

I use an effects loop because my amps have one so refer to that example to see what my setup would emulate. Not a very creative setup but it works for me. 

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Wireless, Tuner, Wah, Overdrive, Chorus, 10 band back at the amp.  That's it.

rct

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20 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Guitars with big holes need no signal chain.

awe com'on man,, ya aint lived till ya run on of them thar martins you got thru a big muff, or fuzz pedal and then plug 'er into a marshall...    (ah... no, I don't do that.. not ever..)

 

 

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I run mine right into the wireless, use the tuner and chorus down there on the board, reverb in the amp.  Makes a much simpler night if you are going back and forth.  I hate going back and forth, I'd rather have a whole set for me to delicately arpeggiate my way through the entire James Taylor Acoustic Repertoire.  

I should point out, I have a capo.

rct

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Never used pedals.  Ran LP through Twin Reverb for about 25 years didn't seem to need pedals.  Went to a Yamaha Guitar Effector which was programable and had more effects than I could use.  Eventually went to an Eleven Rack straight to PA and that covered all types of amp models and effects.  Never enjoyed the hassle of pedals with varying power supplies, all those chords, stomping on them to turn on and off in different combinations.  I needed to concentrate on playing the guitar and singing and didn't want to deal with the distraction of pedals.  Most of the players I admired and tried to emulate got famous before pedals existed and got their sound from the guitar and amp (with exception of wah-wah).  As technology advanced I could model their huge amp stacks without much equipment.

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1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Guitars with big holes need no signal chain.

I have a big hole Ovation lol, that is electric! But your right, I never even hook it to the amp. No need to?  Heck, My Casino Coupe electric guitar is about as loud as the Acoustic unplugged. Most of the time, I play the Casino unplugged. 

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If nothing else, acoustic/electric guitars benefit from a compressor. 

I also consider my Boss TU-3 Tuner pedal to be required equipment.  Not just for the obvious reasons but also (some people may not know this...) the boss tuner pedals normalize the impedance level.  

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1 hour ago, rct said:

I should point out, I have a capo.

rct

I have one as well and it sometimes goes as high as the 4th fret.

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10 minutes ago, rct said:

I only use it for measuring relief.

rct

hey now...  keep this up and I'll be moving this to the "What is bugging you today" thread..  \:D/

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10 minutes ago, rct said:

I only use it for measuring relief.

rct

Did you get one of those ruler capo's?

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I'm serious.  I never use a capo except for holdin 'em down at the first while I put my good eye on relief feeler.  I play with another guitar player that whips his out every fifth or sixth song, I just nod and assume we are doing a jazz tune and play it the way I know it which sounds remarkably like how his does.  I can see it for certain double stoppy type licks and some open string twangeroo and stuff and I think he uses it for some Rolling Stones things we do for sure, I've just never had to use one.  Bash at a standard tuned no capo tele the right way and Keith will think yer Keith.

I have a mild form of capo envy.  Sometimes.  For a minute.

rct

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4 minutes ago, rct said:

I'm serious.  I never use a capo except for holdin 'em down at the first while I put my good eye on relief feeler.  I play with another guitar player that whips his out every fifth or sixth song, I just nod and assume we are doing a jazz tune and play it the way I know it which sounds remarkably like how his does.  I can see it for certain double stoppy type licks and some open string twangeroo and stuff and I think he uses it for some Rolling Stones things we do for sure, I've just never had to use one.  Bash at a standard tuned no capo tele the right way and Keith will think yer Keith.

I have a mild form of capo envy.  Sometimes.  For a minute.

rct

Keef capo's the hell out of his Tele.

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Just now, Sgt. Pepper said:

Keef capo's the hell out of his Tele.

 

He does.  I'm not a giant fan of theirs, never have been.  Some of their things are just gorgeously recorded brilliant pieces of music put together by a really good band.  He does things with a guitar that I admire very much, I would miss him if he didn't exist.  I sing a couple of Stones tunes and I enjoy it very much.  But what I really like, really look forward to is Wild Horses and Get Offa Mah Cloud and...Waitin on a Frayend.  Them are the ones I get to just play and do whatever it is you call Keith Richard harmonies with the singer.  Especially that last one, man that's one of my favorite songs ever.  Makes my whole night.

Fun Fact: Waitin On A Friend is actually from the very early 70's, Mick Jones(?) was still a Stone.  That's why the opener doesn't quite match the tone and character of the rest of the song when the band comes in.  They used the original demo(s) when they finally finished it for whatever that record was right after I got married in 1980, the other Mick finally wrote some lyrics.

rct

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it depends on what you are doing.  Where your "center" is as a player.

for Acoustic soloist stuff, like doing a buncha JT, Gordon, Croce, Prine, Folgeberg... ... (I could go on)  you aren't going there with out using a capo regularly.... Then there's partial capos, drop d.. double drop d,, short cut...   you get open chord voicings you just never would get without them.  you can retune the stings,, sure, but then all your chord positions change..  Partial capos avoid that..  Now add a regular capo 2 frets south, and you can move those tunings up and down the neck.. 

Its an entirely different thing,, just like alternate tuning..  Not for everyone perhaps, but, for a lota guys  it's just the thing... I know.. cuz  I'm one of those guys...

 

 

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I just love the wide array of tonal textures I can conjure up.

Like many guitarists, I own some pedals.  I like what they do and I'm glad I own the ones I have. But keeping them in multiple boxes has become a hassle and I long to put a board together.

And so it begins.  I've decided to buy a Mono aluminum board.  One that isn't too small and one that isn't too large.

The Strymon power supplies intrigue me.  The ability to plug in negative or positive center point power supplies is a plus and a must as two of my pedals are negative center point.  It also has an option for nine volt or 18 volts.

So wish me luck as I begin this new journey in my guitar playing.

 

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