Clarkinator
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2005
976 IQ
#1
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)
Cathbard
Grumpy Old Tech
Join date: Oct 2009
2,565 IQ
#2
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.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
greeny23
This is me now!
Join date: Aug 2007
6,045 IQ
#3
Quote 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.
tas38
UG's Michael Westen
Join date: Aug 2011
1,189 IQ
#4
Quote 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.
RG351DX - Bridge Dragonfire Screamer, Mid+Neck Fender Hot Noiseless
Peavey Valveking 112 - Eminence GB128
AMT E1 > Joyo AC Tone > Dan'o EQ > Shimverb > Digidelay
greeny23
This is me now!
Join date: Aug 2007
6,045 IQ
#5
Quote 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.
Cathbard
Grumpy Old Tech
Join date: Oct 2009
2,565 IQ
#6
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
AndyGray
UG Addict
Join date: Sep 2003
1,267 IQ
#7
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
gumbilicious
beginner
Join date: Oct 2007
1,236 IQ
#8
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.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
dementiacaptain
Chiefin' Son
Join date: Feb 2010
2,227 IQ
#9
Racks confuse me.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
Bigbazz
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
122 IQ
#10
I like a nice rack
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
Marshall 1960A
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Fender Stratocaster x3 (2 of them built from bits and pieces!)
ariochprime
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
43 IQ
#11
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 at May 1, 2013,
Clarkinator
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2005
976 IQ
#13
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...
Cathbard
Grumpy Old Tech
Join date: Oct 2009
2,565 IQ
#14
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.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Clarkinator
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2005
976 IQ
#15
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.
Cathbard
Grumpy Old Tech
Join date: Oct 2009
2,565 IQ
#16
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.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Ethanb08
No one in particular
Join date: Dec 2008
1,003 IQ
#17
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...
Reinhardt 18 Head
H&K Tubemiester 18 head
Blue 6505+ head

TC Electronics G Major
MXR phase 90, Pigtronix Echolution 2
Digitech Whammy (5th gen)

ETB Infinity x2
ETB Yoda

Frust
Maximus_2005
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
13 IQ
#18
"evil esteban"
if this thing melts again i'm takin' it to bugera headquarters, puttin' a bag of fecal matter on it, ringin' the doorbell and flippin the switch from "standby" to "on", and running.

"tubetime86"
This wasnt even a cool story... Bro.
ariochprime
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
43 IQ
#19
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.

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
Ethanb08
No one in particular
Join date: Dec 2008
1,003 IQ
#20
Quote 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
Reinhardt 18 Head
H&K Tubemiester 18 head
Blue 6505+ head

TC Electronics G Major
MXR phase 90, Pigtronix Echolution 2
Digitech Whammy (5th gen)

ETB Infinity x2
ETB Yoda

Frust
ariochprime
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
43 IQ
#21
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


I would never go back to mono, if you get a stereo poweramp you would only need one amp. Thats what i did, still need 2 cabs tho. And ya it makes all the difference, i could play a gig without our damn bassist with those 2 recto cabs haha
Cathbard
Grumpy Old Tech
Join date: Oct 2009
2,565 IQ
#22
So what you are saying is that you are stepping on the bass player's toes? You do realise that you are the guitarist, no?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Drewbaby1124
Registered User
Join date: May 2013
10 IQ
#23
I have a line 6 with an Ampeg SVT 120 half stack I run that great tube sounds with out the loss of space plus sometimes I don't even need that I just need the spider 50 Watt .
Paroxysm
Tab Contributor
Join date: May 2004
1,184 IQ
#24
My rack consisted of a gmajor, korg tuner, rocktron hush, and furman power conditioner. I controller my gmajor with an art-11 midi controller to switch effects and channel. So useful.
ariochprime
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
43 IQ
#25
So what you are saying is that you are stepping on the bass player's toes? You do realise that you are the guitarist, no?


With a Mesa Mpulse 600 and an Ampeg 8x10 he can cut through the mix pretty well when he wants lol
Dysprosium
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
113 IQ
#26
I just in the last month started to move to a rack setup. I'm not really a big effects user, for me it was the freedom of separating the preamp and power amp. There's no reason you can't mix rack equipment and stompboxes though. I love my new setup though, Peavey Rockmaster and Classic 60/60 into a Fender HM4-12B(the cab I've had for 16 years through a few heads). Definitely lacking in the cleans, but it gets clean enough for anything I use it for. I think it's an amazing metal setup.