#1
Hello everyone,
Let me begin by saying that I am a novice when it comes to guitar gear.

So I recently saw the Top 8 list on UG and I got the idea that multi-effect pedals were frowned upon. First of all, if this is indeed the case, I'd like to ask why? Is it because they're overpriced and the quality of the effects isn't all that good?

I recently got to test a RP355 that my uncle lent me for a few months. I found it to be pretty amazing, and the fact that there was an online library with tones created by other people was immensely helpful in helping me understand it better. Being able to record my own stuff by connecting it to my computer was also incredibly cool.

Now, I was thinking of buying a multi-effect processor for myself because
1) I want to record some covers just for fun (the audio quality of the recordings was great)
2) It has a multitude of effects that allowed me to replicate a lot of tones incredibly accurately (I remember Another Brick In The Wall, Shine On You Crazy Diamond's clean solos, Maiden's and Sabbath's stuff...) for a relatively cheap price (150~200&euro.

I just noticed that the RP355 was discontinued. Are there better alternatives that have the same features (online library where the community can share settings and easily download them, being able to connect it to a PC and record stuff..)?

Thank you for your answers and I apologize if this is not the correct forum/sub-forum, it's my first time posting here.
Last edited by bzaina2 at Sep 29, 2015,
#2
In my experience, multi-effects with their own distortion can be really finicky with how they are hooked up. Often the unit wants a direct input of sorts. A normal guitar amp with a multi-effects producing it's own distortion can lead to some undesirable sounds. Not always the case though. But amp sims and distortion seem to work best in a direct input situation, like to a PA.

Multi-effects when used just for reverb, delay, etc. with an amp, and distortion coming just from the amp/individual stomp boxes, is just fine and that's how I use my multis. I have a Zoom G3. It has great usage for a conventional guitar amp setup, and it can be used direct as well. I'd look into that or a POD HD500 if you have the $ instead of the RP.
Last edited by Will Lane at Sep 29, 2015,
#3
I like mine. So much stuff to do with those things.

Check out the RP360 or RP360XP.
#4
+1 for the G3. It has a good looper and drum beats to jam to too. Lotsa fun for practice.
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#5
How is the G3 for recording? I read around that it could be quite noisy.
#6
I think a lot of it's snobbery. You get what you pay for, if you buy cheap (and there's plenty of cheap digital stuff) then the quality's poor. But the high-range units can be pretty good. As you've heard, digital distortion's not too great.
#7
I've used a POD Hd500x with a 4 cable method using the amps distortion and tone but having the POD set up to do overdrive, Phaser, Reverb, and Delay. I was actually very impressed being I was always an analog guy. I found the POD (especially with Modulation, reverbs, pitch, and delays) were very realistic and could compare to my analog individual stomp pedals. Of course the POD allows you to go DI and use the simulated amp tones (though I wouldn't say they are the best) that can get your point across.
#8
I actually just bought an HD500X, I managed to get it brand new for a good price of around $380 which I was really happy about.

As for how it sounds, I too use it through an amp with the 4 cable method and so far I really like it. As a lot of people have mentioned, the built in tones aren't the best base to work from but the Custom Tone website has a ton of tones for free or alternatively, I picked up some tones from Glenn Delaune which were reasonably priced and a great way to start trying to dial in some tones for covers.

I've also used it as an audio interface to my laptop (although briefly) with no problems and the Edit application on the PC is way easier to use that using the screen on the 500X. Not to say the screen is unusable to dial in a tone it's just the interface seems more natural to use. I'd personally recommend one for the price, the Helix and Axe Fx look awesome but the 500X has great bang for your buck
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#9
I still haven't found any distortion on multifx that makes me happy, so I run a Boss GT-10 in 4 cable configuration, use it for switching and all the fx but the distortion comes from the amp's preamp section or dedicated preamp/stompbox.
#10
Quote by lucky1978
+1 for the G3. It has a good looper and drum beats to jam to too. Lotsa fun for practice.

Another +1 from me. Great tool for practice with all the features & amp sims etc, and it's also got a permanent place on my gigging board for delays/modulations etc.

Quote by diabolical
I still haven't found any distortion on multifx that makes me happy, so I run a Boss GT-10 in 4 cable configuration, use it for switching and all the fx but the distortion comes from the amp's preamp section or dedicated preamp/stompbox.

This isn't untrue, but for me it comes with a caveat: It often doesn't work so well when used with a real amp, but if you're using it as part of a patch including amp sim etc for headphones or DI into a PA it's usually better to use the multi-fx's drives to complete your sound rather than external ones from a dedicated stompbox.
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#11
When I started playing I had a Digitech RP250 (same as the RP255 minus the looper and almost exactly the same as the RP355). I loved it when I was a beginner, and I think a multi-fx pedal can be great for beginners. You save so much money instead of buying all those pedals, and it's fantastic for USB recording and playing in your bedroom etc. with headphones. The Digitech pedals literally have everything you could ever want. Even has acoustic and bass guitar emulation, and a full-fledged whammy pedal.

The biggest downside is that pretty much all multi-fx pedals have mediocre to poor distortion emulation, and the distortion sounds "digital", even the Pod HD 500x, but it's still very useable for practice and fooling around. As a beginner I didn't really notice it, so that's why multi-fx can be fine for beginners, and why bzaina2 you loved the RP355. I say go buy a RP355 (or a RP255 if you can find it), and when you get more experience you can get yourself a real tube amp and still use the multi-fx for delays, reverb, wah-pedal, tuner etc. which they can be very good if not excellent for.
#12
I have a Digitech RP55, which is this cheap little unit (don't remember exactly but it was well under 100USD) and it's distortion effects are pretty much useless. I keep it in my chain though because it has pretty solid reverb, delay, and EQ and a useable but not great compressor and noise gate. It also can have an expression pedal attached and be used as a whammy or wah pedal. It's a nice little piece as long as you have a good distortion pedal.
#13
Quote by bzaina2

So I recently saw the Top 8 list on UG and I got the idea that multi-effect pedals were frowned upon. First of all, if this is indeed the case, I'd like to ask why? Is it because they're overpriced and the quality of the effects isn't all that good?Are there better alternatives that have the same features (online library where the community can share settings and easily download them, being able to connect it to a PC and record stuff..)?



There are a lot of people on UG who are content playing pieces of metal songs on an Ibanez through a 6505. For them a multiFX unit represents complication they can't or don't want to handle.

There are a whole lot of us who believe that they're not overpriced at all (and in fact represent quite a bargain compared to paying for more than one amplifier and a stack of pedals). There are a WHOLE lot of things you can do with a MultiFX that you can't do with olde school tube amps and a superstrat.
#14
i would stay away from the digitech mfx stuff.

i posted a relatively long response on one of these threads a day or so ago, you may want to read that thread.

there indeed are a lot of things that you can do on a MFX unit than a pedal/tube amp you can do. they have their place. i haven't used a MFX for a staple tone ever really, but i have used them.

i like my pedalboard and tube amp, but i don't need a whole lot. OD's, delay, modulation or two and a wah gets me through life these days. i don't really have to do much tap dancing either.

for MFX, i prefer line 6. after that boss and zoom (probably zoom for features).

... however that is me.
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#15
I've tried a few multi effects, don't really like them, a lot of people do. Whatever you want it's your rig.

I use individual analog stomp boxes, 80% of the time onstage I'm running clean. For a few songs I use an overdrive for leads, distortion for a few, flanger now and then or phaser, whichever one I hook up.

For recording I keep the effects to a minimum. If I want a clean sound the only thing hooked up is my Arion Analog Delay. If I need it at all. If I want distortion, overdrive or whatever, I only hook up that pedal, nothing else to cut down line noise, hum and so forth, and keep the signal clean as I can. Even the volume pedal is usually not hooked up for recording, don't need it, I'll be the same volume the entire take. Minor volume changes can be handled by playing style.
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#17
The only two ones I have direct experience with (but owned by friend, not by me) are the Pod HD500x and the Axe FX2. To my ears they feels like both ends of the spectrum, as reflected by their respective prices.

The Pod, I'd never buy because I'd be disappointed. It has some neat features (using stereo so you can plug two guitars at once, programming a sequence with automatic changes of preset, nice modulation effects) but some features are much less convincing. The overdrive / distorsion sounds are weak or just plain bad, droptune is terrible, the screen is unpleasant to read and generally speaking the thing is clunky to setup. And I'm not thrilled with the amp modeling features, it sounds very... digital.

I'd say that the Pod is great if you're using an external overdrive (typically, controlling your amp with the Pod and a 4-cable method) and don't play too much with amp modeling. Since it's very cheap, this may still be a satisfying way to use it.

The FX2 is at the other extreme of the spectrum. It's also very expensive, so I won't go into details, but let's just say that if you're willing to spend the time, you can expect to be able to use all its features satisfyingly, from effects to amp modeling.

Recently they released the FX8, which only has the multi-effect part (no amp modeling) and is built like a pedalboard, for a price that's much close to other good units like the G-System. I'm keeping an eye on it.
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#18
A lot of older Digitech Multi effects used analog circuits for their distortion, units such as the old RP-1,10,12 and the Digitech 2112 SGS rack unity.