Multi-FX Boards -- How Do You Read?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CandidPicker, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

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    Let me try to illustrate. But, I'll take a pic for you tomorrow.

    Mission Engineering Exp Pedal Exp Jack ===> Gigboard Exp Output via TRS cable

    Mission Engineering Exp Pedal Tor Jack ===> Gigboard Toe Output via TS cable

    I am not sure if the toe switch is momentary or latching.

    Whatever you pick, Helix, HR, or whatever newer mfx/modelers, I am sure you will be pleased.
     
  2. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Hmmm...Then the Mission pedal serves 2 functions, one for expression, one for TOE on/off either latching or momentary...both possible with the learn function for the HR...quite intriguing...

    Have been viewing the HX Stomp videos as well...gotta say the HR is much easier to understand from a rig creation POV, compared to the HX, but I'm not committing to either one just yet...will ask a buddy to accompany me for his viewpoint possibly this weekend...if he can't make it, will speak with my usual sales rep for his take on both mfx, then wait for an appropriate time fro selling my individual FX.

    The upside is that the HX seems to be more user-friendly connecting directly to my amp, whereas the HR requires a 4-cable method. I don't know that my selling my amp for a FRFR108 would bring in much because it's relatively obscure named amp, but is popular over in southern Europe...not much presence here in the States...

    Will calculate the cost, as always, then follow through yea or nay.
     
  3. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

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    The Headrush does not really need the 4-cable method to connect to your guitar amp. It's just an option if you want to use your preamp into the HR. You can also do the same on the Helix (4-cable).
     
    #23 littlebadboy, Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  4. Timmy

    Timmy New Member

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    Just started to use the Helix - LOTS to learn for an old guy like me!
     
  5. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    I am sure all the decent Multi-FX/modelling units allow for going straight into the front of an amp as well as the 4 cable method. I wouldn't be surprised if they also all allow you to go straight into the FX loop return bypassing the pre-amp too or using USB to connect to a PC as a digital interface. I know Helix and Headrush also have powered speakers too - I am thinking of adding the Line 6 Powercab 112+ to my set-up as that has speaker type modelling - the option to pick different types of speakers from Greenbacks to Creambacks to Vintage 30's as well as Full Range, Flat Response (FRFR).

    The point is with these Multi-FX Modelling units is that they are designed to fit with a multitude of different set-ups and needs. Whether you want to use them as a strictly modelling unit to go to a FRFR cab, PC monitors or FoH, want to use them as an FX unit into your existing backline (either straight in or 4 cable method to put FX in the loop) or as your complete rig - FX and Amp/Cab. They can do Stereo rigs too and split signal paths so your Delay and Reverb (for example) are not affecting each other - i.e. Delay isn't going into the Reverb or reverb into delay. You can do wet/dry set-ups.

    As I said, it can be as simple or as deep as you want to go. The most simple is the few FX straight into the front of your existing Amp with a simple stomp to turn on/off those FX. The one thing that I would say about the Stomp though is that you are quite limited on blocks - a block is a single Pedal, amp or cab. If you use a separate amp and cab rather than one of the combo amps, that takes up 2 blocks so would leave you with just 4 blocks for FX. Like I said though, its a small, pedal board friendly size and you could use your existing pedals instead of the digital ones. If you are thinking of using 'just' the Stomp or Headrush Gigboard, you may want to consider how many 'blocks' each allows.

    To be honest, I am not overly familiar with all the features of Headrush - whether it has 'Snapshots' or would need you to set up a new preset for example - and I didn't look deeply at the 'smaller' units - like Stomp or Gigboard either as I wanted the full 'pedalboard' units. I know more about Stomp purely because I have a Helix and the variety of Amps, FX etc is simply astounding - they have added more and more over time with updates. The layout and set-up is much like a lot of DAW's and its easy to assign anything to the blocks. The signal path is just like following the cable from your guitar - the first block is the first pedal and any blocks after the amp are in the FX loop. Pedals are colour coded in to type and the stomp switch will display the same colour - at least in stomp mode, but you can switch to preset mode so each stomp activates a preset or can go up/down through presets (including your own saved presets).

    The basics are very easy to learn but its all the other features and options they can have that can get complicated - how to move the stomps around (not the blocks) so that they are in a certain order or, with limited stomp switches like the Stomp (has 3), assign multiple FX to a single stomp to turn on/off Overdrive, boost and EQ with one switch for example. Stomp does allow for you to connect extra stomp switches or Expression pedals (as I expect all smaller units do) but learning how to assign what to which, move them around if you want, assign multiple FX to one etc and go much deeper than just setting up a signal path, tweaking the settings to taste and getting a great sound does take more time. I found it very easy to build a signal path, finding and selecting what FX I wanted and tweaking to preference but I also feel I have barely scratched the surface of what these can do...
     
  6. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

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    Helix question... does it have software for tweaking or making a patch on the computer via usb?

    On my Headrush, I like it that I can buy patches rather than doing a goose wild hunt to search and tweak until I get what I want. I'm happy with my purchases at Choptones which didn't really cost much especially with the Christmas sale code. I just do little tweaks to fit whichever guitar I use and save the input and output settings (gain, etc) for each.

    I have to say though that it's best for mfx modelers to go into an FRFR because they're like a blank canvas for painting your tone. You also get to use your IRs and amp/cab simulations the way they are intended to be. I used to plug into the return or power amp in of my combo amps to bypass the preamp (not a fan of the 4 cable method, too much cables). Although it sounded good, the FRFR was lot better.
     
  7. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Seriously? Can you plug directly into a combo amp from the HR's L (Mono) output (or AMP OUT)? If this is the case, and the HR's global parameter can be set for AMP, I'm sold on the HR.

    EDIT: Dang. Just reviewed your previous post.

    (Will be doing some reading of the HR manual for better insight...)

    Is the tone significantly different, and is it possible to still utilize the HR's amp/cab configs?

    This would be greatly beneficial, if connecting to my combo did not require my combo's FX loop...
     
    #27 CandidPicker, Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  8. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    LBB, there was a vid for the Gigboard I viewed previously this week that displayed both Choptones and a separate website for no-cost IR downloads. I'd have to go back and find what vid it was, as I'd cleared out some of my YT history..."Red(something or other....)" was the other website...
     
  9. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    From what videos that both the HR Gigboard and HX Stomp present, the HR, IMHO, is simpler to work with because it's that much easier to create rigs and/or "scenes" or whatever is necessary for either live or studio work.

    In all honesty, I don't see how an HX Stomp with its steep learning curve can be easier to use than the HR.

    And, if the HR can be used without the 4-cable method, plugging direct to the a combo amp, with comparable tone and sound quality, that's what I'd hoped to accomplish for my rig.
     
  10. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I have used a Helix Rack since they were first released. It was an essential purchase for me. I have used it live with an FRFR cab, I use it in the studio, and when I went and bought a "new" tube amp, the tone I was searching for was based on sounds I was getting from the Helix.

    I enjoy Helix so much, I bought an HX Stomp and a Tech 21 MIDI Mouse (for extra control) to use at jams, church, fly/travel gigs. Yeah, you only get 6 blocks, but if you look at your essentials you can still make a killer patch. I wasn't sure at first, but when push came to shove I have VERY usable HX patches with the following:

    modulation -> drive -> amp -> reverb -> delay -> cab

    Sometimes, I don't need the reverb or the modulation. My preferred tones are built using two cab blocks on parallel paths:

    drive -> amp -> cab
    -> cab -> reverb

    This type of rig allows me to have two different mics on a cab for a better close/room mic blend. I can also use two different cabs to layer the tone (I use cab blocks like a type of EQ).

    At any rate, Helix has been a very useful tool.
     
  11. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

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    I haven't tried myself, but that's what it says here:

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't recommend doing it though. I still think it is best to plug into the return.

    I think you will have to turn off cab and speaker sims as it may not sound good in this set up.

    Take a look at the Helix too.
     
  12. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Thx. Have tried understanding how the HX Stomp works, and each YT video I've personally viewed moves through its paces rather quickly. Learning curve may be a tad too steep for me. For others, though, the HR is easier to use. I may also be in this same camp.

    Thx for the HR manual diagram. It seems that the combo amp input is connected to the L (Mono) jack via TS cable. IIRC from my YT research, it is possible to connect an amp input to the HR, rather than use the amp's FX loop. The clue is using the HR's global parameter to switch over to AMP, not line out. It'll be a day or 2 before my reading the HR manual more fully for greater insight.

    Since my amp does not have an amp TRS footswitch for switching channels, and only uses reverb switching, the EXT AMP jack will not likely be used.

    What may need to happen, if an HR purchase is made, is to test the HR with my combo amp while the HR global is set to AMP. What I may need to do is ask the expertise of a sales rep who has some experience with the HR, rather than my usual sales rep, or possibly, speak to HR Support directly for more info...I'd like to think that HR Sales Support can answer my questions, but I don't wish to be too nosy; they may not relinquish what I need to know until a purchase is made...
     
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  13. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    As I said, finding the right device for you is most important. The HX Stomp isn't all that difficult and you can use a PC too but you seem to think the touch screen will somehow be easier for you - which it may well be. I think its important though to consider everything - not just whether it has a touchscreen but what the device has the potential to do for you. Even if it is a little less intuitive - although as I said, when Anderton's compared the 'bigger' Helix and Headrush (along with another Multi-FX unit) to see which was easier and quicker to set up an 'identical' signal path, the Helix came out on top - if it offers you something you want, need or could use in the future that others don't, then maybe its worth investing in.

    Personally, I think the Stomp is a little too limited to be an all-in-one device due to it only allowing for 6 blocks. 6 is OK in maybe a lot of uses but if you want to use the Amp and separate Cab simulation - even 2 cabs with different Mics and blending the two - that leaves just 3/4 blocks for effects - delay, reverb and Overdrive? What if you want a Wah, looper, Tubescreamer, a boost, fuzz, Chorus, Compressor, noisegate, EQ etc. It can limit your rig. That's one of the big reasons I went for the Floor although with the Stomp, I could use external pedals to free up blocks of course but then that defeats the purpose of an all-in-one. The fact you have to add an Expression pedal also stops it being an all-in-one to me.

    I don't know how well Headrush has been supported - whether there is a massive library of patches available, how many more amps and FX they have added over the years etc so it may have more options now. It seemed to be much lighter than Helix when I was doing my research but again, that may not be important to you.

    The point I am making is that its not just about the user interface although that is something to consider, it should be which device is going to do what you want and enable you to achieve the results you are looking for. Snapshots for example may well be one of Helix's best features and may well be something you would use and easier than what Headrush does. A little extra learning may well be worth it in the end - give you the functionality and ease of use in a live situation you want. I can't answer for you but dismissing something just because its not got a touchscreen for example may mean you have to compromise elsewhere. Whichever device you do go for though, they are all more than capable of delivering a great tone and can replace your rig - or at least some of your rig...
     
  14. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

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    Glad to help sir. However, please don't think that I chose the HR GigB over the HX Stomp because it was better in my opinion. The basis that I chose the HR is because it was cheaper (used) at the time and it had the simulation of the Digitech Drop which I also physically have. It is a pedal that I use a lot for detuning and drop tunes without changing guitars. It also uad some amp sims that I liked that the HX didn't. Otherwise, I would have chosen the HX.
     
  15. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Thx. The HeadRush user interface has a wider selection of choices with which one can tailor a rig. It's relatively straight-forward in its design, and fortunately, I'm patient enough to work with that instead of the HX Stomp, which I'd be hard-pressed to even begin to comprehend.

    My hope is to contact HeadRush's customer service or tech support and ask them if how a combo amp might compare to an FRFR speaker, if the global parameter is set up correctly. The *poit* moment may be that HR tech support may recommend an FRFR and downplay the amp, but if that were the case, I'd think they'd not include the LINE OUT/AMP option at all...

    There are a decent range of speaker cab emulations within the existing HR library, and more possible online for a modest cost. The recent firmware is now v. 2.1.1, so HR may have added more cab sims since the previous v 2.1 firmware release last year.

    I think the deciding factor regards HR vs. HX is the number of FX and signal path available on either device, 11 with HR, 6 with HX. I'd likely not use all 11 patches for the HR, but its nice to know you can create stereo rigs and still have extra patches for each rig compared with the HX.

    Therefore when it comes down dollars to donuts, the HR, IMHO, is the better value, at least from an initial price and ease of use viewpoint.

    Thx. Your assistance with this has been exemplary. And your insights invaluable.
     
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  16. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Happy day. HeadRush's tech support said the HR could be used with a combo amp with global parameters set correctly, and with comparable tone & sound quality than that of the FRFR, depending on the quality of the amp.

    My confidence has received a boost because the HR does not break the bank cost-wise, and will do the job that will provide the required tone and sound quality.

    Will be looking forwards to possible purchase, if all goes as planned...
     
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  17. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    STATUS: HeadRush Gigboard, HeadRush Expression Pedal w/ Momentary Toe Switch, 1 ProCo 10' TRS cable, 1 10' ProCo TS cable. Music Stand, Men's Messenger Bag (for toting the HR to/from). No guitar strings purchase. PAID IN FULL.

    Now, for the eventual disassembly of my FX board, to be sold individually; effects, power supplies, loop switcher, Piston Plugs.

    May opt to retain the PedalTrain frame, or donate to local FreeCycle.

    P.S. How many people does it take to change a light bulb and do it correctly...? Remind me to check the circuit board first... This is what happens when you don't have any light...:eek:
     
    #37 CandidPicker, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  18. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

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    Sir, may I suggest that a power conditioner would be a good investment. The Gigboard is basically like a computer with a processor, fans, and etc. Like any other computer device, it may need protection from unstable electrical supply.

    Congratulations! May it serve you well.

    Likewise, I have spent some today in acquiring a baritone and needs to unload some existing gear to cover it as I am not wealthy enough for this hobby.
     
  19. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Thx! I own 2, one power strip that is plugged into a dedicated pro power conditioner I've owned for the past 10 years or so. The power strip is always on, but receives its power from the switchable power conditioner.

    Good call, and thanks for your input, and heads-up.

    Best wishes with your gear sale. I'll likely be making some soup and meatloaf later today, and meanwhile will be listing FX for sale on eBay (my Reverb rating is still not well-established) that will begin next weekend. Feel free to PM me with your (ebay/Reverb) seller's user name so I can have a look at what you're selling.
     
    #39 CandidPicker, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  20. englishHobbyist

    englishHobbyist New Member

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    Boss GT-1000 user here. Bought after comparing with the Helix. (I also had a Pod XT live, bought about 20 years ago when this sort of thing was new. Since then I had about a 15 year break from playing guitar at all, just getting back to it now)

    Vs. the Helix LT (equivalent price-point), it's less user-friendly, but way better (IMO) in terms of DSP power and realism. The full-blown expensive Helix was even more user-friendly thanks to the scribble strips.
    Anyway, I figured I could learn to use the Boss, for the benefit of the 'better' device in terms of its technical capabilities.
    Helix also scores a win in terms of the ease of obtaining tones other people have made. It's a bigger community with 'clone tones' readily available.

    As for how to set it up, I went with standard connection into a FRFR speaker (the Headrush 108, as seen in an earlier post.
    The point of 4 cable mode seems to be that you want to use the pedal as a multi-effects unit, not a full-chain modeller. And you have a good amp to use. If I wanted that, I'd probably be buying a bunch of individual analogue pedals.
    My aim was to have a series of tones I've already dialled in, so that I can change tone easily from song to song, without having to twiddle multiple settings to get there. 4 cable mode would not do that, standalone pedals would not do that, and a top-quality tube amp would not do that.
    Also worth noting that I'm not a purist or a scholar - I take very little value from knowing that my kit is the genuine thing as used in the '60s, and sounding exactly the same.
    I understand that not everybody has the same goals or views as me, but a floorboard straight into FRFR is where I ended up.

    2-3 months into ownership of the Boss, I'm still learning, and enjoying it.
     
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