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Old 10-05-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
xXBansheeXx
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Wireless guitar pedalboard?

I was thinking it would be cool to have a completely wireless rig, as in no cables from your guitar to your board or from your board to your amp. I'm thinking a good way to do this would be one box that sits on the pedalboard that has 4 inputs or so (I use the 4-cable method) and then a rack mounted receiver where I can run patch cables to my amp and such since I would have the head in a head/rack road case. If I had something like that, all I would need is an outlet for the pedlaboard and an outlet for the road case. It would save a lot of time setting up because I wouldn't have to rout all these cables and then trying to keep them straight.

Does something like this exist? Because if it doesn't, then I'm going to have someone make me one. Maybe I would sell them too if it works well, would anyone else be interested in a setup like that?
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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I am not sure if something like that already exists but it's definitely possible. Back when I had my iPad I could download some of the synth apps on there and use them as MIDI over Wi-Fi, it was really cool and the latency was surprisingly unnoticeable.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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they are usually made for mics, and i think most of the racks wouldn't have such extensive routing (no separate output for each input). your idea sounds pretty expensive, the 'box' would have to have two outputs and two inputs and i think that would require quite a few receivers to be built in.

i don't know of anyone doing anything quite like that.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #4
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You'd have a lot of tone loss from running the 2 wireless units, even more if you want to run an effects loop. The alternative is to run your pedalboard through a midi unit, with a wireless floorboard controller.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theacousticpunk
You'd have a lot of tone loss from running the 2 wireless units, even more if you want to run an effects loop. The alternative is to run your pedalboard through a midi unit, with a wireless floorboard controller.


you have me interested. why would there be a tone loss? i have heard of people needing to actually run a length of patch cord in the signal chain to make it sound more natural because there is actually a lack of signal loss.

i have never actually dealt with a wireless unit though, so you have raised my curiosity.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:07 AM   #6
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I've never heard of people running extra cable length to create signal degradation. The idea of using midi is to have each pedal in it's own bypass loop, and programming midi controller to turn on certain presets for each song (like Song A clean, Song A Solo, Song B crunch, Song B solo, etc.) and then using a midi footswitch to recall each preset. By doing so, you can keep you pedalboard offstage and as close to the amp as possible, utilizing a single wireless connecting your guitar to the pedalboard. It isn't the cheapest set up to utilize, but it's the best way to preserve as much tone as possible using both a wireless system and a pedalboard. Of course, you can always just use a wireless system from your guitar to your pedalboard, and then use a cable from pedal board to amp.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #7
xXBansheeXx
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If you use good quality components and a good design, I don't see why there would be much if any tone loss. Of course you wouldn't use something like this for recording, but in a live situation, you'd probably never notice any tone loss. The room size and shape, the mics used and the PA system are going to hurt your tone so much more than wireless transmitting ever would, I don't see the point in even concerning yourself with it at that point.

I could use MIDI, but I'd have to put all my pedals in drawers because the purpose of this is to make setting up my rig easier and faster. Having to put my 30" pedal board into a 19" rack isn't going to be saving me any time or money because I will have to get a separate case for that and I'd still have to plug it into the amp. The idea with the wireless is that all I have to do is plug in the amp/rack, plug in the board, plug in my cab and strap on my guitar.

My dad used to develop wireless communication systems for an aerospace division contracted by NASA. If anyone can make a perfect wireless system, it's going to be him. I just wanted to see if one of these existed before I went through the trouble of having him make me one. Of course it would give me more incentive to make one knowing that other people wanted these too, so maybe I could start making them and selling them if it works as nicely as I hope.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:34 AM   #8
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^^i am sorry, i was a bit ambiguous. i meant i was interested in why would the guitar signal be hurt from running through more than one wireless system? i do appreciate the midi info though.

as far as the wire, some systems even have settings that simulate you still running a wire because guitars with a wireless setup don't have the added impedance of running a cable and don't lose the high end you would from a longer cord. so a wireless setup may sound too bright for personal taste.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--X2DRELAYG30

that is a system that simulates the extra impedance of a wire

and this is a thread that discusses the concept

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/ar...p/t-865772.html
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbilicious
^^i am sorry, i was a bit ambiguous. i meant i was interested in why would the guitar signal be hurt from running through more than one wireless system? i do appreciate the midi info though.

as far as the wire, some systems even have settings that simulate you still running a wire because guitars with a wireless setup don't have the added impedance of running a cable and don't lose the high end you would from a longer cord. so a wireless setup may sound too bright for personal taste.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--X2DRELAYG30

that is a system that simulates the extra impedance of a wire

and this is a thread that discusses the concept

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/ar...p/t-865772.html


I don't think there is any danger of losing signal quality, but rather the latency in A/D and D/A conversion. While 1 unit may have very low latency (<3ms) each, to where it's not noticeable, stacking 3-4 (guitar to board, board to amp, Amp FX send to board, Board to FX return), I'm sure it would become noticeable enough.

That's the only reason why I wouldn't run that many wireless systems.

As for putting pedals in a rack, why not? If you get two 19" 1RU shelves, that's plenty of real estate. I'm sure some pedals, like delay and verb and such can be replaced with one of the many nice rack units out there, lots of older ones are cheap as well. Of course, if you're the kind of guy that fiddles on stage like me, with oscillating delays and whatnot, I understand.

Here's a large rack, but in the bottom right, I'm sure you could fit a good number of pedals into a 6U case, plug a phantom powered midi board and go for it!


img0601zb by ghostpeppersound, on Flickr


There is also a Radial product that is basically a DI, and a reverse DI, so you can run cables as long as you need to without noticeable signal loss. It's how they have multiple crybabies on stage and run those long ass cable everywhere, at least for Guns N Roses.

Just a few thoughts on how to go about this.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:53 AM   #10
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Several manufacturers do multi-channel wireless units. I'm sure a decent one like a Sennheiser would work without appreciable signal loss or latency.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reincaster
I don't think there is any danger of losing signal quality, but rather the latency in A/D and D/A conversion. While 1 unit may have very low latency (<3ms) each, to where it's not noticeable, stacking 3-4 (guitar to board, board to amp, Amp FX send to board, Board to FX return), I'm sure it would become noticeable enough.

That's the only reason why I wouldn't run that many wireless systems.


From what I've seen most big artists use analogue wireless systems so there is no A/D/A conversion involved. The Line 6 ones are the only digital ones I know of. Running 4 of them would give you 16ms of latency which coupled with the distance you would be standing from your amp would probably become noticeable.

As you've noted, racks are far more practical!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampy
From what I've seen most big artists use analogue wireless systems so there is no A/D/A conversion involved. The Line 6 ones are the only digital ones I know of. Running 4 of them would give you 16ms of latency which coupled with the distance you would be standing from your amp would probably become noticeable.

As you've noted, racks are far more practical!


Shure, sennheiser, brace, and lectosonics (the big boys) all have new digital systems making their way out. But yes, not as much latency with analog systems, but the tradeoff is that the signal quality is more prone to degradation with analog systems, companding is still an issue being worked on. With one unit probably not too much, if any degradation, but imagine 4 units. But it is possible nothing will change, Lectrosonics stuff is hybrid, but pricy.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #13
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I'm actually developing a wireless true bypass strip right now. It will probably be a few months before it is ready though.

You would have a strip of switches up front that sends a wireless signal to another strip back by your amp with all the pedals hooked up to it.

It uses processors to actuate relays so it will be all true bypass. I'm working on the code right now. I should have a prototype built in about a month.

Not 100% sure how it is actually going to work out as far as signal loss though. Hopefully it does.

A thought I had was:
You can use a wireless guitar unit between your guitar and pedals. Has anyone tried a wireless unit between the pedals and amp?
I've never used wireless guitar units. I would suspect there would be some kind of clipping issues but maybe not.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #14
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This pedalboard by TourSupply Inc. Seems legit. It can give you an idea. They incorporated the wireless system to the board. Theres a few more pics before and after this one.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...&type=3&theater
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:11 PM   #15
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Hope this isn't considered necroposting. I think the concept is a great idea, but the implementation is going to be wonky.

For instance, interference. Even with better wireless systems, it's still an issue.
Also, batteries. Be a bitch to run dry in the middle of a set. Now you've got all the pedals plus a guitar receiver and either a transmitter (direct to amp), or a transmitter and receiver (effects loop). Maybe both, even.

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