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Old 08-29-2015, 12:08 PM   #1
wazntme
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help me understand the difference....multi vs indvidual effects (not amp modeling)

Sorry for my many questions - but I am about to drop about (up to) $4k for some gear and I just want it to be right.

I am trying to comprehend the best set up for a live rig for a cover band of rock/hard rock/metal....so lots of different sounds.

I was talking to a guy at GC who explained that multi-effect units like a POD for example do not come across well in a live situation and that it would be better to have a great sounding amp first with a few individual pedals - and even though your amp sound doesn't mimic each artist, its more important to have a great overall tone for each song than a mediocre replica tone. This makes sense to me, but I want to explore my options further with you people.......

I recently learned about the 4 cable method for hooking up a multi fx unit in order to use the stomp-box effects rather than the amp modeling features. I like this idea in that it still allows me to have many different pre-sets to easily switch to during a song to change my sound but still use the high quality amps great sound. I believe I can even switch the amp channels from OD to clean using the multi fx pedalboard.
DO I UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS CORRECTLY?

The above seems great - but I know another option is to have a great amp and add individual pedals. Maybe I don't understand, but by not being able to have presets, doesn't this limit your tone options or at least make it difficult to get a variety of tones easily within a song or from song to song?

A line 6 M13 is an option but I don't like that you can't have presets.

Another option is a Line 6 Vetta I (upgraded to II) or a vetta II. These have great reviews and can be used for playing live BUT they are obsolete so I am not confident in the amp holding up and once it breaks it's done.

If anyone has advice to steer me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:20 PM   #2
amonamarthmetal
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**** the GC guy, Pod (Hd500, 500x, pro, pro X) is great live.



When using the 4CM, you have to add an effects loop on the Pod to get the amps tone, otherwise it will bypass the preamp and you would be running the poweramp and using the Pod to model a preamp. I don't know about switch between clean and distortion (on the amp) with a multi effects though, I haven't delved into that. I just run the pod into a powerball II as a power amp and model the Engl with the pod, and then switch to a clean patch using a different amp model.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:23 PM   #3
wazntme
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Originally Posted by amonamarthmetal
**** the GC guy, Pod (Hd500, 500x, pro, pro X) is great live.


When using the 4CM, you have to add an effects loop on the Pod to get the amps tone, otherwise it will bypass the preamp and you would be running the poweramp and using the Pod to model a preamp. I don't know about switch between clean and distortion with a multi effects though, I haven't delved into that.



I gotta tell ya - so many different opinions is driving me crazy trying to decide. Thanks for the vid - it helps to see that these can be AND ARE being used live.

Thanks for the post - I just found a youtube vid of someone using a boss gt-100 for the 4cm so maybe that pedal is set up differently.

Last edited by wazntme : 08-29-2015 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazntme
I was talking to a guy at GC who explained that multi-effect units like a POD for example do not come across well in a live situation
Quote:
Originally Posted by wazntme
and that it would be better to have a great sounding amp first with a few individual pedals - and even though your amp sound doesn't mimic each artist, its more important to have a great overall tone for each song than a mediocre replica tone.
I think it's pretty easy to mimic tones as long as your amp isn't garbage, and the user is clever. And most audiences won't notice the difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wazntme
I believe I can even switch the amp channels from OD to clean using the multi fx pedalboard.
DO I UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS CORRECTLY?
Each multi effects unit can do certain things, and amp channel switching isn't universally on all units. I'm not sure if the Line 6 POD HD500 can do that. I know the Line 6 Helix can, and those units are why that guy at GC doesn't know what he's talking about. Unless you need a guitar amp's volume, then the multis can't help you there without it's own amplification.

As far as multis vs. stompboxes, I'm in the boat where overdrive, distortion, and other forms of dirt should be from the amp and individual stompboxes. I'd also suggest that using amp modeling with a physical amp isn't too fun, but possible. Modeling seems to really shine in a direct input system.

As far as reverb, delay, pitch, etc. Multis are great. I use a Zoom G3 in my effects loop for all those effects. A POD could be used in the same way, also with the 4 cable method.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:24 PM   #5
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I can't comment about using it live, but the 4cm has given me excellent results. I actually use it with 5 cables, the last one switching the amp channel.

For channel switching, it depends on your amp and multieffect. Many multieffect can change the channel via midi, but you need an amp with a midi input (and I believe it also has to be the same type).

With the boss gt-10/100, you can also change channels with a regular mono-jack, but it will only work with a 2 channel amp.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Lane
I think it's pretty easy to mimic tones as long as your amp isn't garbage, and the user is clever. And most audiences won't notice the difference.Each multi effects unit can do certain things, and amp channel switching isn't universally on all units. I'm not sure if the Line 6 POD HD500 can do that. I know the Line 6 Helix can, and those units are why that guy at GC doesn't know what he's talking about. Unless you need a guitar amp's volume, then the multis can't help you there without it's own amplification.

As far as multis vs. stompboxes, I'm in the boat where overdrive, distortion, and other forms of dirt should be from the amp and individual stompboxes. I'd also suggest that using amp modeling with a physical amp isn't too fun, but possible. Modeling seems to really shine in a direct input system.

As far as reverb, delay, pitch, etc. Multis are great. I use a Zoom G3 in my effects loop for all those effects. A POD could be used in the same way, also with the 4 cable method.


OK thanks. good to know.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #7
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I use my POD500 in 4CM with my old JSX and with my Tubemeister 36 and I was happy with the results on both. With the JSX it didn't have channel switching capabilities so I would use the JSX for my distortion and then I would set up presets that bypassed it's preamp and use the POD for my cleans. This way I could use it for simulated channel switching and eliminate the tap dance.

With the Tubemeister I now have midi control, so not only can I use my POD to change channels on my amp and bring up effects presets to boot but I can still also bypass the Tubemeister's preamp and use the POD's modellers. I really like the flexibility that I get with this setup and it has served me well.

Granted I'm generally not what you would call a "meat and potatoes" sound player I really like the ability to be able to push the envelope sound wise so this type of setup could be considered overkill.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:05 PM   #8
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$4K? Axe FX and floor control.

Or wait a month and Helix + a kick-ass guitar or 2.

I've gigged for years w/multi effects and a flagship all-tube half-stack--most of the time I just plugged in the multi effects direct to the house PA and left the half-stack at home. Had one venue in Hollywood not even let me use the real amp. The difference was barely perceptible tone-wise, but often direct worked a lot better than amped.

The biggest drawback to the 2 systems I mentioned above compared to real pedals is you lose the ability to tweak as much stuff on the fly since you won't have simultaneous real-time access to all the controls like you would with the real pedals. But what you gain from setting up pactches so you press one button between songs instead of tweaking a million knobs more than makes up for that. Another drawback is there might not be a model available for a pedal you want to use.

I don't know about how well it works with the AXE FX, but with the Helix you can augment it with real pedals as you wish. And if you really can't stand even Helix-quality amp modeling, you can still have enough $ left over to get some pretty awesome tube amps.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillRoy Ver 3.0
I use my POD500 in 4CM with my old JSX and with my Tubemeister 36 and I was happy with the results on both. With the JSX it didn't have channel switching capabilities so I would use the JSX for my distortion and then I would set up presets that bypassed it's preamp and use the POD for my cleans. This way I could use it for simulated channel switching and eliminate the tap dance.

With the Tubemeister I now have midi control, so not only can I use my POD to change channels on my amp and bring up effects presets to boot but I can still also bypass the Tubemeister's preamp and use the POD's modellers. I really like the flexibility that I get with this setup and it has served me well.

Granted I'm generally not what you would call a "meat and potatoes" sound player I really like the ability to be able to push the envelope sound wise so this type of setup could be considered overkill.


Sounds like a great set-up. Are you using this as a live set-up?
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:25 PM   #10
wazntme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedSterHR
$4K? Axe FX and floor control.

Or wait a month and Helix + a kick-ass guitar or 2.

I've gigged for years w/multi effects and a flagship all-tube half-stack--most of the time I just plugged in the multi effects direct to the house PA and left the half-stack at home. Had one venue in Hollywood not even let me use the real amp. The difference was barely perceptible tone-wise, but often direct worked a lot better than amped.

The biggest drawback to the 2 systems I mentioned above compared to real pedals is you lose the ability to tweak as much stuff on the fly since you won't have simultaneous real-time access to all the controls like you would with the real pedals. But what you gain from setting up pactches so you press one button between songs instead of tweaking a million knobs more than makes up for that. Another drawback is there might not be a model available for a pedal you want to use.

I don't know about how well it works with the AXE FX, but with the Helix you can augment it with real pedals as you wish. And if you really can't stand even Helix-quality amp modeling, you can still have enough $ left over to get some pretty awesome tube amps.


Yeah I like the thought of the axe fx II but the guy at GC said it's not really for live situations but I see that you went direct into the PA.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:24 PM   #11
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you need to stop talking to GC employees .

there isn't a simple answer to your ? it's all about what you need and what you are comfortable dealing with. for instance i play hard rock / old metal (think 70s and early 80s) as well as blues rock for the most part. my main amp (peavey ultra) has 3 channels so that by itself covers a fair amount of ground. personally i like to keep things simple so i usually only use 4 pedals (not including tuner and channel changer) overdrive, wha, delay and phaser. again personally i don't sweat making sure the tones i use to cover songs are dead on but rather close enough to work. this is one approach

other players want to duplicate songs more closely or cover material that requiers a bunch of different sounds. multi-fx are usually ideal for this. ideally you would have a midi setup controling everything so you can just change (premade) patches to get the tones you want for each song (may be more than 1 patch in a song). Axe-FX does this really well and many pro players use them live (so ignore what moron at gc said.) the trick here is to figure out how simple or complex you want to go (and price of course).
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:53 PM   #12
wazntme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monwobobbo
you need to stop talking to GC employees .

there isn't a simple answer to your ? it's all about what you need and what you are comfortable dealing with. for instance i play hard rock / old metal (think 70s and early 80s) as well as blues rock for the most part. my main amp (peavey ultra) has 3 channels so that by itself covers a fair amount of ground. personally i like to keep things simple so i usually only use 4 pedals (not including tuner and channel changer) overdrive, wha, delay and phaser. again personally i don't sweat making sure the tones i use to cover songs are dead on but rather close enough to work. this is one approach

other players want to duplicate songs more closely or cover material that requiers a bunch of different sounds. multi-fx are usually ideal for this. ideally you would have a midi setup controling everything so you can just change (premade) patches to get the tones you want for each song (may be more than 1 patch in a song). Axe-FX does this really well and many pro players use them live (so ignore what moron at gc said.) the trick here is to figure out how simple or complex you want to go (and price of course).


Thanks - I appreciate your explanation. I have a better understanding now that BOTH methods work - it helps me to hear from several people that they or someone they know uses these multi fx modelers in live situations. I like the idea of tweaking...and tweaking...and tweaking. I definately want to hit the stores and play a good guitar direct into a great amp too. Once I do I will either like it or think I would rather have the multi fx.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazntme
Thanks - I appreciate your explanation. I have a better understanding now that BOTH methods work - it helps me to hear from several people that they or someone they know uses these multi fx modelers in live situations. I like the idea of tweaking...and tweaking...and tweaking. I definately want to hit the stores and play a good guitar direct into a great amp too. Once I do I will either like it or think I would rather have the multi fx.


well you don't have to limit yourself to one or the other. as mentioned overdrives really should be a pedal as they just plain sound way better than a digital recreation. delays and other time based fx often sound great from a good mfx unit. wha's also tend to be way better when it's a real pedal up front of the amp.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #14
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Axe FX not for live use? LOL! That's why you get a foot controller for it. A significant percentage of big touring acts are using them now--some just for effects, others just for amp sims, and lots for both.

The biggest reason music store salespeople bash Axe FX is Fractal only sells direct, so unless they have a used one for sale, it's hard for GC or almost any salespeople to get in on the action. The next reason is it cuts down on demand for amps and effects pedals. It's a double-whammy.

I doubt it will be easy to find Line 6 Helix once it hits the street--it's hard enough to find a POD HD 500X in a store--so most salespeople will probably bash those too, except the few who have hem in stock.

BTW, my MFX sound awful thru the instrument inputs on my practice amps (5w Vox and 30w Marshall MG), but they sound great through both amps' aux inputs--so you don't need anything too fancy to use your MFX for practice at home or rehearsal--you don't need to set up a PA or anything. Any practice amp with an aux or "iPod/MP3/CD" input will have a full-range speaker, and then you're not using the crappy guitar amp circuits. Or you can use studio monitors or a powered wedge monitor. Or headphones.

Oh yeah, you can tweak all you want with the MFX--and save the results--you just can't tweak all the parameters at the same time or with multiple effects simultaneously like you could with a physical pedal board. If you only need to do that with a few effects then you can add a Zoom MS-50 or 2, or even a G3 to your signal chain--those will allow 3-on the fly adjustments at a time for each effect on their displays. I'll commonly run medium to big MFX and augment it with one of several MS-50s I have.

Last edited by SpeedSterHR : 08-29-2015 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedSterHR
Axe FX not for live use? LOL! That's why you get a foot controller for it. A significant percentage of big touring acts are using them now--some just for effects, others just for amp sims, and lots for both.

The biggest reason music store salespeople bash Axe FX is Fractal only sells direct, so unless they have a used one for sale, it's hard for GC or almost any salespeople to get in on the action. The next reason is it cuts down on demand for amps and effects pedals. It's a double-whammy.

I doubt it will be easy to find Line 6 Helix once it hits the street--it's hard enough to find a POD HD 500X in a store--so most salespeople will probably bash those too, except the few who have hem in stock.

BTW, my MFX sound awful thru the instrument inputs on my practice amps (5w Vox and 30w Marshall MG), but they sound great through both amps' aux inputs--so you don't need anything too fancy to use your MFX for practice at home or rehearsal--you don't need to set up a PA or anything. Any practice amp with an aux or "iPod/MP3/CD" input will have a full-range speaker, and then you're not using the crappy guitar amp circuits. Or you can use studio monitors or a powered wedge monitor. Or headphones.

Oh yeah, you can tweak all you want with the MFX--and save the results--you just can't tweak all the parameters at the same time or with multiple effects simultaneously like you could with a physical pedal board. If you only need to do that with a few effects then you can add a Zoom MS-50 or 2, or even a G3 to your signal chain--those will allow 3-on the fly adjustments at a time for each effect on their displays. I'll commonly run medium to big MFX and augment it with one of several MS-50s I have.


That salesman stuff makes perfect sense! I will look into that mfx
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazntme
Sounds like a great set-up. Are you using this as a live set-up?


Yep, I just make little cheat notes on my setlist to make sure I am in the right preset bank for each song.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:21 PM   #17
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I use a GT-100 with my RM100. The RM100 is MIDI switchable so that's how I switch the three channels. You could do the same thing with a Pod. As well, you can 4CM it too.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:46 AM   #18
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i would get a strymon mobius, strymon timeline, an OD pedal or two. maybe a wah.

i really think that you are thinking too deep about it. i have played covers and open mic's with just an amp and a few pedals. for example, what i am currently running is an orange dual terror, a fulltone fulldrive 2, a fulltone clyde, some modulation effect (chorus or vibe) and a malekko 616. i can nail quite a bit of tones with just that. they aren't artists tones' but they are just as good... but slightly different.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:19 AM   #19
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Yes, you can (and a ton of people do) use multi-FX live.

Assuming you forget about amp/cab modeling, there are several reasons why a multiFX works really well for covers.

1. You usually have a lot more FX to choose from.
2. You can have a single pedal dialed way up at one point in a song and dialed way back in the same song and all you have to do is stomp.
3. You can make changes to half a dozen different "pedals" at the same time with a single stomp
4. You can have an entire setlist of changes ready to go in your user presets. That includes things like volume.

Everyone's played a cover at an open mic with an amp and a few pedals. If you're working with someone who wants things a bit more spot-on, that's probably not going to do. I work with a Pod and a Variax guitar, for example. The Pod will store the guitar model and an alternate tuning (if you're doing one) as well as an amp, a cabinet and any FX in a single stomp. So if you want to do Keef and Brown Sugar, you can run the Tele model and Open G on the Variax through a Fender Twin combo with a tube screamer dialed back, and you've got it. If the next song is a capo'd 12-string with some reverb and chorus (I dunno, Hotel California?) switching to a six string humbucker lead, you can do the whole thing with a single stomp on the Pod. Next song is a Boston thing with an acoustic 12-string lead-in switching to an LP through a Marshall. A single stomp.

You can always use a good amp, a couple of pedals and your favorite guitar and try to fit everything into whatever you've got. But when you can just as easily make the big changes, why not?
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:32 AM   #20
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Dude seriously if you've got a budget that big get a decent tube amp for your raw tone, and an axe fx or similar high end multi effect for effects and maybe some amp sims when needed. When people talk about multi effect units being not pro sounding, or not good for big loud live performance, they're talking about the lower end line 6 and digitech stuff.
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