#1
Well i've been reading up on my favourite artists eg, Mark Tremonti, Synyster Gates, John Petrucci, Michael Paget) and looking at their Fx. Then i noticed they have ground control systems. So what im wondering is do they put all their stomp boxes in a rack with different pre-sets or something? I just need someone to explain how it all works.. I'm new to the world of effects and have little knowledge!

Dan
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Last edited by Dannnn_xD at Sep 9, 2010,
#2
the way they control their stompboxes like that, is they'll have a switching system. what the system does is it has lots of effects loop and you put an effect in each of them. so then you can turn on any choice of loops at any given time on the floorboard, which controls the system through midi. so when you change your effects with that floorboard and you can do it with multiple effects, you're not actually turning on the effects, just activating the loops that those pedals are in.
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#3
so they assign multiple stompboxes to a single button? eg 4 buttons
1: delay + flanger
2: chorus + reverb
3: overdrive + delay
4: compressor + eq


Like that?
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#4
Quote by Dannnn_xD
so they assign multiple stompboxes to a single button? eg 4 buttons
1: delay + flanger
2: chorus + reverb
3: overdrive + delay
4: compressor + eq


Like that?


Exactly!
Often they'll have rack multi-fx's too.
#5
Ah thanks i understand now!
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#6
check out the TC electronics website under the G Major 2 rack processor. It's a rack effect processor the goes into your FX loop, controllable through a midi footswitch. You can stack multiple effects and save them as a preset, then program that preset to whatever switch you like on the footswitch. There are a ton of different methods, but I think a rack processor with a midi foot board is one of the most common.
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#7
There are multiple ways to go about a rack system....and both were touched on already. Use individual stompboxes and a switcher controlled via a MIDI foot controller...or use a multi-fx unit like the gmajor. I have the first version of the Gmajor, and it's a pretty cool unit. I used it live for awhile, but now its mainly a studio piece.

The good part about using the first method mentioned, is that you can pick and choose what pedals you want. Take me for example, I really don't care for the flanger on the gmajor...but if I went the stompbox route...I get to choose what flanger, delay, chorus, tremolo, etc. that I want to use in my rig. Also, you can use the switcher method to have different boost pedals, fuzz, etc....the gmajor doesn't have that. It's just effects.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 9, 2010,
#8
so if im correct the best way to go is to link all your pedals to a footswitch with a footswitch? that would just let you shape your own tone instead of pre-sets i guess?
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#9
the way a switcher works is pretty simple. its just a bunch of effects loops.

example:
loop 1 - tubescreamer
loop 2 - fuzz
loop 3 - chorus
loop 4 - flanger
loop 5 - delay

want fuzz?...program a patch for loop 2...hit the button on your foot controller and you've got fuzz. Want tubescreamer and delay?...program a patch for loop 1 and 5 (both being used simulatenously)...hit the button for that one patch...and with one button you've got tubescreamer and delay without all the tap dancing. All the pedals are left switched on in their respective loops...so you're essentially taking them in or out of your signal chain.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 9, 2010,
#10
Quote by Dannnn_xD
so if im correct the best way to go is to link all your pedals to a footswitch with a footswitch? that would just let you shape your own tone instead of pre-sets i guess?


Yeah.
But if you only go for pedals, you don't a rack, you can just build a pedalboard wich is much easier. The you can get a floor based switching system like the Carl Martin Octa-switch
#11
So if i have the pedals in a loop, with like 2-3 assigned to a button, can i still individually turn them on off or will i need a bigger footswitch, so i can assign the indivisual pedals to the board AND the combinations?
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#12
Quote by Dannnn_xD
So if i have the pedals in a loop, with like 2-3 assigned to a button, can i still individually turn them on off or will i need a bigger footswitch, so i can assign the indivisual pedals to the board AND the combinations?


Most MIDI rack setups can handle plenty of preset banks. How many different effects would you need?

The voodoo labs switcher has 8 loops...and with the ground controller up to 4 different switcher units...so 32 individual loops if you wanted. You have 8 instant access presets though...but you can cycle through your presets too.

The Rocktron all access unit is more than double the price, but you get more options with it. As with anything...it's all about what kind of money you're wanting to put in it.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 9, 2010,
#13
So, to simply make changing pedals easier without going all tap dance, i would just need some switcher control thing? i dont have any rack things, just pedals and i hate tap dancing.
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#14
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 9, 2010,
#15
okay thanks. Out of interest what do people usually put in racks? other than stomp boxes..
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#16
Quote by Dannnn_xD
okay thanks. Out of interest what do people usually put in racks? other than stomp boxes..


tuners, power conditioners/lights, effects units like the gmajor, sonic maximizers, reverbs, preamps, poweramps, amp heads, drawers for storage, etc.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 9, 2010,
#17
Gear:

Ibanez RG350M
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Boss CS-1
EHX Big Muff Pi
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KORG Pitchblack
#18
^yes. see the second half of post #14. since you don't have a rack or any other rack gear right now, you can just use the carl martin.
#19
are there any other brands that do stuff like that other than carl martin?
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#20
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 9, 2010,
#21
I'm interested in this, too. Anyone have any starting off tips on how to go about building one of these?

Let's ignore price, since this is a hypothetical scenario (unfortunately...). But I'd like to know what the essentials in building a good rack for up to say small and medium gigs would be like.

I don't use too many effects, either (delay, screamer, chorus, wah, talkbox), but those additional preamps and such have me intrigued.
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#22
A decent rack could possibly have a tuner, EQ, compressor, and wireless system depending on how much money you want to put into it.

Right now I have a delay, EQ, and am looking to hopefully get a used G Major this coming week. I'll just put my tubescreamer and noise suppressor, on the shelf in it too. Then up front I'll only have to control a tuner and wah.

In the end, it's all about what you want and how much money you have.
#23
Quote by Sguit
Yeah.
But if you only go for pedals, you don't a rack, you can just build a pedalboard wich is much easier. The you can get a floor based switching system like the Carl Martin Octa-switch


true, but then it's a pain in the ass if you want to run something (or multiple things) through your loop.

eyeb has it right, but keep in mind that since it's just a bunch of loops, they can run ANYWHERE (ie. loops 1-4 are frontloaded, 5-whatever are actually run through your amp's loop, good for dynamic FX - EQ's, gates, etc. - as well as time based FX).

plus it's actually easier than a pedal board b/c all you have at your feet is a MIDI footswitch and maybe a wah?

Tremonti (and others) use the GCX. be warned, the GCX footswitch pops like an asshole. the rack portion is good though. check out bradshaw if you've got the cash.

also keep in mind that MIDI controllable rack gear does not neccessarily need its own loop. for example, if you have a really great rack mount reverb processor that you want on setting 1 but not setting 2, you can wire it directly into your amp's loop (that is, before or after going to the multi-loop switching system) and create a preset with 0 mix (or bypass) values for preset 2... and so on. the loops are only absolutely neccessary for things that have to remain "on" all the time (pedals mainly), but you don't want to hear all the time AND you want in your loop (after your preamp - otherwise you could just front load them like normal pedals if you don't mind the tap dance).

that said, as a general rule of thumb, most things sound better in your amp's loop. exceptions are ODs, Dists, fuzz, SOMETIMES compressors and EQs... and it's a good idea to frontload a gate if you have feedback issues, noisy pickups, etc.
#24
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