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Old 04-30-2013, 11:43 PM   #1
Clarkinator
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Rack Gear Discussion

I am just now reading about artists that put their preamps, effects etc in a rack setting. I really never knew much about how it works until I got curious and stumbled upon an article that explains it all.

I use a variety of stompboxes in my rig. I have 11 pedals on my board (Tuner-Wah-Phaser-OD-Distorion-Fuzz in front of the amp, boost-chorus-tremolo-delay-reverb in my FX loop). Sure sometimes some fancy footwork is required, but I like having everything at my feet.

I don't think a rack of effects is very practical for me regarding gigs, but I am intrigued based on what I've read online. I was wondering if any UGers use a rack system. Do you use it live? Is the quality of effects significantly better than that coming from a stompbox? Does anyone have just one they like and run guitar-rack unit-amp for some variety (like an Alexis Quadroverb)?

Maybe we can get some good discussion going and I can learn a thing or two (or ten)
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:11 AM   #2
Cathbard
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My rack has a normal short head tube amp in it. I am not using a separate preamp and power amp. The rack also contains a Quadraverb, a Roland GP-8 and a Korg rack tuner.
I gigged with this setup for many years. It is a particularly good arrangement if you are needing to change multiple effects and switch amp channels simultaneously. You just program everything for each song and use MIDI to make it all happen with one button on the foot controller.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:23 AM   #3
greeny23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
My rack has a normal short head tube amp in it. I am not using a separate preamp and power amp. The rack also contains a Quadraverb, a Roland GP-8 and a Korg rack tuner.
I gigged with this setup for many years. It is a particularly good arrangement if you are needing to change multiple effects and switch amp channels simultaneously. You just program everything for each song and use MIDI to make it all happen with one button on the foot controller.


racks are so shit you are stupid.
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I amde sooooo ****ign wated i thought it wqqs 8Am
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
tas38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny23
racks are so shit you are stupid.


Okay, you were around a few years before me, but since 2011 have you posted a serious comment once? I'm genuinely curious.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
greeny23
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Originally Posted by tas38
Okay, you were around a few years before me, but since 2011 have you posted a serious comment once? I'm genuinely curious.


probably not, no.
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I amde sooooo ****ign wated i thought it wqqs 8Am
GUSSS THT WHAT HAPPNS WHEN YOU SISTER OWND A BDAR ANF YOU GE FREEE DRINL.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:19 AM   #6
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
AndyGray
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Disappointed by the sheer lack of boob in this thread.

I don't have a rack, because I simply do not need one. I only use three effects
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
gumbilicious
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my rack setup is geared toward recording rather than playing live so it is more generic.

i have one preamp for bass (eden navigator) and one preamp for 'everything else' (presonus), both preamps are more like channel strips with a preamp, EQ and compressor onboard.

that signal gets fed out to an Alessis Quadraverb and a couple of rane units (stereo EQ and compressor) before it hits my power amp. i use the quadraverb for whatever i may want for reverb or modulation effects and the rane gear is mainly to fix/set the signal before the power amp (like i use the limiter to make sure the signal doesn't peak before the power amp, or i may dial out some freq's for the room).

i also run a side path for a series of effects pedals i may want to use. the side path is usually run in a sidechain off the preamp or run between the preamp and the allessis.

i could get a midi controller to switch patches on the allessis if i wanted to. i could also get a switching system to turn multiple units on and off.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
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Racks confuse me.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
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I like a nice rack
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #11
ariochprime
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Ive been building my guitar rack for about 2 years now.

Mesa 2:100 power amp, Mesa Recording recto preamp, Rocktron Hush noise suppressor, then i route all my effects through a Voodoo Labs GCX for midi switching via the Ground Control Pro. finally got all that bought and in a shockmount 18space rack now im looking to complete my stompbox collection that sits in a rack drawer.

All built as a stereo set up running to 2 rectifier cabs

For me it was the idea of building a stereo set up that drove me towards the rack setup

Last edited by ariochprime : 05-01-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
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Love me a good rack.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:55 PM   #13
Clarkinator
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Seems like I start losing my mind when reading some of your guys' setups, unit after unit after unit after unit.

I can't imagine cramming all of that up on stage with me (I barely have enough room right now playing the bars where I live as it is...) but I do dream of one day having my own studio (or having one with some buddies to ease the cost). Maybe that will be the time to build my dream rack (lol).

Has anyone come across a real good video or page that has a real in depth explanation? How certain systems go better with others, etc? I haven't found a real knock-out online that really breaks it down...
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #14
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Mine takes up less room than my alternate rig (A JCM900 3/4 stack and pedalboard). Same footprint on stage for the amp/rack but the controller is far smaller than my pedalboard.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:55 PM   #15
Clarkinator
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Right now I just go Guitar>Pedalboard>combo amp and thats it. I meant more adding the rack system to that.

For some reason, the bars my band plays at in KC all have tiny stages. There are 5 of us in the band and sometimes a 6th joins us as a guest (a sax player). Room back there for me gets limited, especially with my other guitar on a stand back there.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:58 PM   #16
Cathbard
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Rig it up so the rack sits on top of the combo. As long as the amp doesn't have top mounted controls you'll be fine and it will take up no more room on stage than you already do. You may want to rig up some type of clip to hold it firmly in place.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:09 AM   #17
Ethanb08
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I have a rack, for effects it consists of a TC electronics G major which I use mostly for delays, reverb, vibrola, and occasional pitch shifting or chorus/detune effects and the relay function so I can channel switch with effects with my midi controller. So basically for me, its very practical, being that I am the singer in my band, so rather than tap dancing, I can press one button on my midi foot controller to change my channel, my reverb and delay setting at the same time. Now the thing is the effects all sound great and they all have a lot of variation and flexibility but I cant say they sound better or worse than pedals... it depends on your rack effect unit and the pedals you compare it with. I still run some pedals because i like their particular sounds better or they offer an effect that my g major doesn't do quite the same... Like my mxr evh phase 90, I use it rather than the g major phaser, mainly because I run it before my amp cause it sounds smoother, and then pedals like the digitech whammy V which the g major is capable of doing with an expression pedal but i feel the digitech is "thee" pedal for that... plus an mxr carbon copy for analogue delay fun...


Anyways the biggest benefit for me is one button does all the switching i need it to do, which allows me to focus on other things like playing my guitar and singing...
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:51 AM   #18
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #19
ariochprime
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I can't imagine cramming all of that up on stage with me (I barely have enough room right now playing the bars where I live as it is...) but I do dream of one day having my own studio (or having one with some buddies to ease the cost).


It can be a pain, with 2 full size cabs, 1 8x10 bass cab, and 5 members its pretty snug on stage but worth it.

Quote:
Anyways the biggest benefit for me is one button does all the switching i need it to do, which allows me to focus on other things like playing my guitar and singing...


Ya that and a true stereo rig are what made me go rack and not look back haha
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:09 PM   #20
Ethanb08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariochprime
Ya that and a true stereo rig are what made me go rack and not look back haha


I've been thinking about going stereo actually, cause I'm the only guitarist in my band, so I feel it might help spread the sound and fill the room a bit better, or at least make it more interesting... Plus it would sure make some delays and panning effects fun!... just need another amp!... lol
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