I was grappling with the same question for a while, and in the end, i got a Kemper. I wouldnt want to trust a computer amp sim for every gig, since i used them a lot for home playing and recording, and things crashed way more often than it was comfortable for me. The kemper is way more stable, and its made with giging in mind, so i kinda feel more at peace than i would with amp sims. I would also argue that kemper really isnt just "amp sim in a fancy overpriced box". If nothing else, you can profile all your favourite amps yourself, and have pretty much the same sound that you did before, but more consistent.
I also toyed with the idea of having a two notes torpedo or something similar, but then i also figured that the kemper has a lot more flexibility, and the last thing i wanted to add to my amp, cab and pedalboard was another unit to wire up. So again, i decided for kemper, since its all in one box.
You can also get a powered kemper, that can power a standard guitar cab, so you can pretty much use it as any other amp head. And with the rack version, you can fit the kemper, a power conditioner, a wireless unit and an in ear unit into a half depth 6u rack, and carry your entire rig with basicly one hand. Its great for giging.
And as far as live sound goes, i had way more succes with the kemper than i did with a traditional amp and cab. The soundgys seem to love it. They say their job is way easier since they dont have to deal with nearly as much stage volume. And you basicly bypass all the shitty mcrophones that venues use, you cant accidently knock the mic of place, and you also bypass all the bad soundmen who dont know how to actually mic up a cab properly. Yes, there is still a lot of posibility for them to fuck up your sound, but at least this way you eliminate SOME of them. And if you have a powered kemper, or a separate power amp, you can still have a guitar cab on stage for the feel.
All in all, id say, go for the kemper. But make sure you read up on it beforehand, since its not a magical box that everyone seems to think it is. It has its bad sides, but for me, the good outweighs the bad by a large margin.
fdj_mf Check out the Fractal AX8, its basicly a toned down version of the axefx in a pedal format. Also look at Helix and Headrush, those are all in your price range i think. Kemper is a bit pricy, but still not as expensive as the AxeFx, so you can look at that one instead.
Well I have this Line 6 modeling amp. I liked it fine up until now, but I want a more professional sound (not that I'm a professional) and from what I've read modeling amps won't give me that. Is there a dope modeling amp out there?
Not all Line6 products are created equal The spider line is generally considered shitty, altough i think its fine for home practice, but whatever.
What i was suggesting, was more in the line of the Line6 helix or the Headrush pedalboards. Maybe a Kemper, but thats probably over your budget. These kinds of modeling units model the amp AND cabinet, so you get the full sound of an amp. Then you just plug them into whatever speaker you have available, or use them with headphones. They also have a bunch of effects already built in, so you dont need to get a pedal for every thing you want. Anyway, there are people that frown on the digital modleing stuff, but these days the high end units like the Helix, Kemper, AxeFx or Ax8 sound very very close to the actual amps. I changed my setup from an Engl tube amp to a kemper, and i never looked back.
I second the EVH choice, its a monster of an amp, but since you only play at home, have you thought about modeling units? Those can be used for quest playing very easily, and you can use headphones with them, which is something that is hard to do with tube amps.
I dont know how much of an improvement it would be over the pod xt it would be, but i did play trough a podHD (yes, the one from the Glenn Fricker review) a few years ago when recording, and it sounded good. The guy who owned it fiddled with the settings for a while before getting the sound, but its there. Yeah, you can bitch and moan about how you expect good presets from the thing, but the fact of the matter is, that modelers require much more fiddling than real amps. In my case, it paid of, and the tone was great.
I also played a pod hd500x, and it sounded ok as well. Again, fiddling with the settings was involved. As much as i like Glenn, his reviews of the line6 stuff are just horrible.
There is also the question of how you are using it. Are you using it only for effects or for amp sims as well? And how much is your budget? If you can stretch a bit, you can get the new lin6 flagship, the Helix, or the slightly stripped down version, the Helix LT. Those definitely have a good sound. But if you are only using the effects trough a real amp, you can probably go with something else, since the whole point of the line6 units is the amp modeling.
So i had my FastTrack Pro since forever, and since im closing in on buying a new computer, i realized i have to upgrade the soundcard as well, since the drivers dont work on windows 10, and i dont wanna be stuck on 8 forever. So, what do you recomend? I was thinking Tascam 16x08 since it has enough inputs to comfortably record drums, but it seems suspiciously cheap. The thing is that for most recording, id need max of two separate inputs, except of course for recording drums, and i can just use my bandmates x32 as a interface for that. But it would still be nice to have 4 inputs on the front, so i can keep a few things plugged in all the time, like my kemper and my main vocal microphone, that i use for songwriting. So i was also thinking about Scarlett 18i8, and i can just buy some aditional preamps for when i need more inputs.
Well first of all, it helps to specify what kind of punk you are talking about. The classic punk bands like ramones or the clash sing pretty normally id say. So do the big pop punk bands like The Offspring, Green Day and similar. When you go into more extreme type of punk, like the exploited, or into some of the crust punk territory, i think its mostly just yelling. Also most punk bands that i saw live were like that. Just straight up screaming into the microphone without any decent technique behind it. So, if you want to play punk, do that. Alternatively, i recomment that you can check out the screaming thread sticky in the top of this forum. Most of the concepts in there are the same for metal or punk music. You can also check out some other sources, just google "how to scream" and "singing with grit" and terms like that. It will take you longer to get the desired result, but at least you wont blow out your voice.
So currently i have a set of Kurzweill KS-40 monitors, that i got like 5 or 6 years back. They were the cheapest studio monitors that my local store sold, and i was on a tight budget. Now im actually getting a bit more into recording, and am slowly upgrading my equipment. So im looking for the best studio monitors i can get for around 300-400€.
Is it even worth it? Would i get enough of a preformance boost to justify such spending, or do i need to up my budget? Because eventho im doing some recording, i am still doing it for me alone, and i dont want to drop like 1k€ just for monitors. And since there are a LOT of options in this price range, im kinda lost as to what would be the best.
I dont think it sounds like a heat related problem, more like a software one. You should try updating the firmware on it, or resetting it to factory defaults (after you backup your presets on the computer of course).
Unless you have some seriously faulty pickups, this is not a pickup issue. EMG 81 and 60 are both very high output pickups. I actually have them in one of my guitars, and its my second favourite pickups combo after the emg 57/66, and very east to do tapping and harmonics on. You either have some issues with the wiring, use to little gain, or (this is most likely) there is an issue with your technique.
But to answer your question, it depends on what you want to do. If your guitar was made in the last few years, the pickups probably have the quick connect terminals, which means you can just take them of easily. But the only ones you can really replace them with are other EMG pickups. I think that SD Blackouts have the same terminals, but im not sure. So unless you want to change to a different emg set, you probably also need to know how to solder stuff. If you change to passive pickups, you will also need to change the pots from 250kohm to 500kohm.
I used to play on computer based plugins at home, and i used real live tube amps at practice, and yes, there was a ton of difference in the feel, to the point where, if i hadnt been at practice for a while, i had to readjust to the feel of the amp again. So i was a bit aprehensive of getting a Kemper. But i tried one out that my friend had, and i honestly couldnt tell the difference in feel. There is a difference in the sound, if you run it direct trough a pa, but running it trough a guitar cab is honestly no different than using an actual amp head, at least for me. No difference in feel or in sound, but it does offer a huge ammount of versatility, compared to a standard setup. I just love it. And playing shows with it is a breeze, since you cut down on stage volume, so the soundguy doesnt have as much problems dialing in a good sound. And it takes minutes to setup, and you dont have to deal with pedals and whatnot. So yeah, i dont know about other modelers, but Kemper, for me, is the real deal, and i doubt ill ever go back to using traditional heads on a regular basis. The sound and the feel are both there. The FUTURE IS NOW!!
Bowkore I guess i can mount a stompbox in my rack anyway. But i think that the G90 is probably overkill. Its almost twice the price of the G55, and i dont think the aditional channels and range is really worth it in my case.
So a few weeks ago i was asking how the hell to get my Line6 G50 to work, because whenever there is wifi in the vicinity, it just doesnt register my guitar at all. Turns out there actually is a solution, but the software on my unit is to old to actually make it work, and sending it back to line6 is kinda out of the question since ive had it for years. It was never really an issue before since i mostly used it at practice and played small stages where i didnt need one, but now i do.
So the bottom line is, I need a new wireless unit! I have about 400€ to spend. Im based in europe, so i guess links to Thomman are in order. I need something that can cover like 20m or something, since im not playing stadiums or anything. I would prefer a digital system, since i was actually really happy with the sound quality of the G50 when it worked, and it was a digital thing. Id also like it, if it fit inside a rack, so i dont really want units where the reciever is a stompbox. I do have a shelf in there, so i guess i can really fit anything if i try hard enough tho. I also dont really want any units where the transmitter is a dongle. I want the unit to be on my strap, not hang out of the guitar jack.
I was looking at the Line6 G55, Line6 XD-V75TR and Shure GLXD14. Im not sure what the actuall difference between those three would be, but if the Shure unit is much better than the other two, i could probably strech that far in terms of budget.
You should see a specialist. A laryngologist or vocologist, im not sure what the correct terms for this are in english. But you should most definitely visit a DOCTOR who specializes in vocal issues, not just a singing teacher or whatever. An actual specialized doctor. Besides that, there is no advice that probably anyone here can offer, besides rest and vocal excercises. Sounds like you are in a pretty shitty situation tho, i hope it gets better soon, because this does not sound plesant at all.
Im just gonna throw this in there, but if you go used, you my be able to find an Engl Powerball for around that kind of money. That would be perfect. I had a 100w Powerball with a 412 box, and i could turn it down to bedroom volume level without any issues, and it sounds insane.
So I have had a Line6 G50 for about 2 years now, but I never actually used it live before a few days ago. Actually, I tried to use it live, but it didnt work. It worked fine at our old band practice space, and it works fine for me at home, but in the new practice space, and on the gig, it didnt work. It just didnt get a signal from my transmitter. It didnt even work when i changed the channels.
So im thinking, is it possible that a wifi router is interfering with the unit? Thats the only explanation i can figure, since i know the new practice space has a wifi network, and im guessing the gig venue did as well, since people were walking around with tablets, and they had a digital mixing desk that someone controlled from the tablet as well.
The weird part is, I have a wifi network at home, and the g50 works perfectly on every channel that i tried. So it kinda doesnt make sense to me. But i really wanna figure this out, since i want to start using it live, but as far as i know, most venues nowdays have a wifi router somewhere...
I'm open to a powered wedge, would there be much of a difference between one or a cab?
Yeah. A BIG part of the sound is the actual cab. When you run a kemper trough a standard guitar cab, you have to bypass the cab simulation on the kemper itself. And then, because you have a single cab, all the rigs get colored by the same cab, making them sound... more similar i guess. You loose a lot of the actuall modeling this way. Using a FRFR cab is a differnet thing. The cab sims from the kemper are also reproduced, so the rigs sound more different from one another, and are reproduced more like the original profiled amp sounded. BUT! The sound that the kemper profiles, is the miced up amp sound, so it sounds different than if you were actually standing next to the profiled amp.
So you kinda have to decide what you want more. Going with a traditional cab, you get the feel lke you have an actual amp in the room, but you loose on the flexibility of the sounds, since you only have that one cab that you run everything trough. With a frfr, you loose the "amp in the room" feel (altough you can still dial it in somehwat with the more advanced options), but you hear exactly what the audience hears when you run it into FOH.
I actually use a normal cab on stage, and run the kemper direct to the board. The soundguy gets the fully modeled kemper signal without and hassle of micing up my cab, and the cab is just there to push some are behind me, giving me the feel of an actual amp.
If i were you, id go for a powered frfr wedge or something tho, because i wouldnt wanna deal with an aditional power amp. I have a powered rack, so i dont need an externa unit to power it.
Well for like 300$ you can get an audio interface and software like BIAS or Amplitube or any othe other ones. I used a setup like this for home playing for years, and it was decent. I could also get a lot of tones that i couldnt get with just one amp and limited pedals, so there you go.
Also, depending on your budget, you can get a physical modeler, like the pod HD500 or the Helix if your budget allows it. Actually, if you give us your budget, everything will be more clear.
I kinda wish it went into some sort of hybrid road in the future. Like real pre and poweramp sections in a head, but with also a built in loadbox and cabsim like the torpedo. So you can go direct into PA, while also being able to power a cab. I know, you can just use the torpedo for that, but im hoping things like this would become more affordable, and having one thing in a single unit would be the best.
But anyway, OP, if you want variety, you can go for the Helix with a powered speaker, and if you want just straight one kind of tones, with just a little bit of difference thrown in, go for an amp with some pedals. Id go for some sort of ENGL head, like the powerball or savage, those things can do beautiful cleans AND crushing overdrive. I have no idea how much they are priced in the US tho.
So I've been planing on recording my band's debut album for a while now. But, since the whole band pretty much went to shit, it's become my solo project thing, since I wrote everything anyway. I decided im just gonna give it a try and record it by myself, since I have a laptop, interface, Superior drummer and a kemper The only thing im missing is a microphone that i could use to record vocals. I have some random dynamic mics that we used for band practice, and i have a Behringer C1 that i bought years ago, and honestly, most of them sound crap.
That being said, i dont really have a solid idea on what kind of microphone would be appropriate here. I was looking at Shure SM7B, that most people seem to use, and it looks great, especially since you can actually scream into it from closeby, so you can move around with it. But how does it fare for clean vocals? I do a mix of screaming and singing. Also, it seems pretty pricy. Are there any similar mics, that dont cost as much? I COULD go up to 400€ with my budget, but id rather i didnt, and i also have to include one of those nifty soundscreens that people seem to use a lot nowdays, since i dont have a vocal booth obviously.
Basicly, id love to have a mic+stand+shield+popfilter (if needed) for 300€. But i can strech up to 400€ if need be.
jackmiddlemiss Currently i own a kemper and some practice amps that i cant sell Id like to play some sort of melodic death/metalcore thing. I actually have a whole album written. We played the songs with my old band, but it was a nightmare to maintain, and now it pretty much fell appart.
The general frustration of not being able to find a band to work with, that plays music that i enjoy playing. Being in a band has so far, at least for me, been a fucking nightmare. I havent had the luck of finding good reliable bandmates that can play well. Its been 10 years since i joined my first band, and im basicly back at zero at this point. So yes, its frustrating, and i want to just sell all my guitars and amps and fucking quit forever.
So some weeks ago, I went into a store to buy some strings, and naturally I came out with a new guitar. Its a JT Forrest telecaster copy. It was dirt cheap at 170€, but the neck is phenomenal, and it actually sounds decent. Obviously there are things that need atention, so im planing to change the tuners, nut, the bridge for a modern style one with individual saddle adjustment, and so on.
Now, i also wanna change the pickups, or at least the bridge pickup. I was thinking some kind of SD hotrail, a single sized humbucker. I want it to have a little more bite in the bridge position. But now i have no idea if the bridge pickup is standard singlecoil size, or, because its angled, it has to be slightly bigger? I see Seymour Duncan selling telecaster bridge pickups, but are they any differnet, than normal hotrails for example?
Also, if you guys could recommend some good single coil sizec pickups that can get me into hard rock territory, with slightly beefier tone than normal singlecoils, i would be very apreciative. Budget is not a really big issue, but i dont wanna put To expensive pickups on there, so yeah. Maybe up to 100€ for the bridge pickup. Im actuallay quite happy with the neck.
I have the G50, basicly the G30 with the belt pack in a metal housing. I like it. I compared the tone with the wireless and a standard cable, and to be honest, i didnt hear any difference. Im not such a stickler for "perfect tone" tho, so maybe some more ear trained guys can pick up the subtle difference. I keep the cable simulatior at zero at all times. The thing also has great range, so unless you are playing stadiums or arenas, there is very little chance of it cutting out because of range. Mine worked for about 20m with a few walls in between the reciever, so it was all good. I actually got so far from the amp, that there was a noticable delay because of the speed of sound
What i dont like about it: it eats up batteries pretty fast. It says they last up to 8 hours, but i doubt i got more than 4 hours from them at most. Always change them before a show, because the indicator gives you just a few minutes of a head start, once it shows empty batteries. Also the patch cable. Its some sort of guitar jack/mini xlr cable, and i havent actually seen one like this being sold anywhere, so when it goes, i dunno what ill do. The jack is straight instead of angeled, so i have no idea how long it will last. Ive had it for about 2 years now, and it still works with no issues, but i havent been using it a lot. I dont know how it would stand up with frequent use.
Seems like there's a misunderstanding of the boundaries in your relationship. Some couples are okay with the other person dancing with strangers - I definitely am not. Maybe try to actually establish what your guys' boundaries are.
Also, start dancing with her.
Thats exactly it. Boundaries were established clearly. We have talked about this. A lot. She knows what the deal is, i dont mind her dancing with other people as long as its actually dancing, not bump and grind, and especially if it turns into touching. She knows this, because i have told her in those exact words, and not once.
And i do dance with her. Thats how we came togehter actually. Im a good dancer, and we dance at like 90% of places where its socially acceptable. But i was tired from the trip and setting up everyones tents (seriously, who goes to a festival without knowing how to pitch a tent?!) and carying all the heavy stuff for a few km over the hot sun. So its not like "oh no, he never dances with me, and i love it oh so much".
So i was at a music festival with my girl, and the first night there was a party. She was already very drunk at the point when she and some other friends decided to go there, and i just wanted to sleep. Obviously, i couldnt sleep so i went there after about an hour or something, im not sure. Anyway, i get there, and im just hanging back, looking at where everyone is, and i notice her and her friends in front of the stage, dancing, with her being very obviously drunk. I thought nothing of it, until i saw her making some very suggestive moves to the DJ, and then her pouting when he didnt come near. So that kinda set me off a bit, but instead of, you know, causing a clusterfuck right there, i just hung back and observed. After a while (like, a minute or two), some guy approached her, and started dancing with her. Seeing how she was drunk, she didnt even seem to notice him at first, but then they started dancing. And it got more and more... well you know. She said something to him, and then they continued dancing for another few minutes, getting more and more comfortable with each other. Hands were on hips and buts, bodies were rubbing, you know the kind. Then, all of a sudden, she just straight up bolts away towards the tents, leaving the guy there. So i follow her, and she is looking for me at my tent. She is pretty upset, suposedly because i wasnt there the exact second she came. Still drunk as hell. I get her and me into the beer line, get a beer for me and water for her, and we just hang around on a bench. She is annoying cause she is drunk, she wants to go dancing, i dont, i try to calm everything down, since she is upsed for no apparent reason. Then she pukes. I get her back to the tent, put her to sleep and then hang around with the firends a bit before i crash.
The next day she acts as if nothing happens. She doesnt know i was there before she went to look for me. Sometime before noon we are sitting in a gazeebo or whatever, and the DJ from the previous night aproaches al suave and with some cheesy pickup line, and is like super suprised that im there, and obviously picks up on the fact that im her boyfriend, so he just backs of. She says nothing. And i say nothing as well, since its a festival, and i dont wanna start a fight.
The shit kinda hit the fan on the last day when she went to the store, and drove back with the DJ. She noticed i wasnt cool, and kept bothering me until i told her everything that i saw, basicly her flirting with the dj and dancing with that guy.
Now she says that she doidnt flirt with the dj, that she just wanted him to change the song. I call bullshit, but hey, whatever. Then she tells me that she only noticed that guy dancing with her after he started touching her and then told him she has a boyfriend and imediately ran to my tent, because she knew it wasnt ok. And that she would have told me, but she didnt remember until i told her what i saw, because she was that drunk. And again, i call bullshit, because she says it was almost instant, but the whole thing lasted a few songs, not a few seconds. Even when she turned to say something to him (she says she told him "this isnt ok, i have a boyfriend"), it took another song or two for her to bolt.
Now, i feel bad. This is almost down to the letter why my previous long term relationship fell apart. I couldnt trust my ex after i caught her at a party like this, with some guy under a tree being soooooo very close. And it was becuase she was "so drunk, and nothing happened from what i remember" and whatever. And then it happened again, before we broke up. And i told all this to my current gf. She knows exactly why i have some trust issues with this kind of behaviour, and why i feel uncomfortable seeing her blind drunk. And that i hope she never puts herself into such a situation. I really really wanted to trust her, and i didnt inted to spy on her at the party, but i just noticed what she was doing when i was waiting in the beer line. Only then did i start watching.
Am i just being a bitch here? Again, nothing, besides some flirting and (very) suggestive dancing and a bit of touching happened. And she broke away on her own and went to get me. But im still pissed. She says it was because she was drunk. So what, if she was even more drunk, it would have gone further? Like i said, i trusted her not to put herself into a situation like this, when things like these can happen, and she did. And because of my previous experience with situations exactly like this, im pretty upset. I know its not ok, but i still am. She seems genuenly sorry. But then again, so did my ex, and then she went and did it again.
Before this, she was great. She still is. We have been togehter for 6 months, and we get a long sooooo good. She is so much better for me than all my previous girlfriends. We have fun, we talk, we enjoy our time togehter... My friends tell me they never saw me happier than in the last few months. Ive never been this happy this far in a relationship with any other girl before. And this situation now, its basicly fucking all of that up. Any advice?
You should always try to sing with your natural voice. Like you already noticed, whenever you apply some sort of "effect" on your voice, you tense up one or more parts of your vocal instrument, and that translate into incorrect technique and decreased vocal range in most cases. If you keep it up a lot, it will also lead to vocal damage. There are ways to sing with raspy voices and scream without much damage (otherwise metal singers would burn out pretty quickly), but again, it takes practice and technique to be able to do those. And it really really helps to have the basic singing technique down before attempting any of those.
There is also more to singing than just letting your voice sound natural. You need to learn proper breath support, opening up our airways and shaping the vowels. All those things are described in hundreds of youtube videos and web articles. Sadly, its very hard to learn from those. Singing, unlike guitar playing, is not a visual thing, so you dont get the feedback in the same way. What I always recomend is getting a good teacher. He/she will observe your body while singing and will be able to give you actual advice and feedback. I managed to advance more in my first two months of vocal lessons than i did in 7 years of singing before. It also gives you a lot more confidence in your voice, since you see what it can and cant do, and how it sounds.
And about what makes a pleasant voice, well, that depends. People seem to enjoy listening to Ozzy Osbourne, and in my opinion his voice sounds like a dying cat. Brent Hinds even more so, and people still love him. So its a bit subjective what sounds good to people But yes, just because you sing on pitch, doesnt mean that you sound good. You HAVE to sing on pitch to sound good, but its not enough. Thats where the things i mentioned before, like breath control and vowel shape comes into play. When you have those things down, your voice becomes warmer, richer and much more pleasant to listen to. You also learn how to draw the most out of a vocal phrase before ending it, instead of cutting it short. A bunch of details that you dont even notice separately, but when they come together, they make you sound good. Thats why you see a lot of new singers that sing on pitch, but they still sound "meh", or just plain bad. Also, dont underestimate how much better you sing, just because you have confidence in your voice. And knowing the material you are singing by heart also helps a lot.
So yes, get a teacher, thats the best advice i can give you. Just like with guitar, there are no shortcuts here. In fact, its even harder, since you dont see what you are doing. And it takes time as well, you wont be a great singer in a few months. But if you keep at it, i find that its even more rewarding than sticking with guitar.
Well the Spider is regarded as one of the worst amps on this forum, but i have yet to actually play one of the new ones. Honestly, for home practice i sometimes used a spider II and it was good for what it was. That being said, id still go for the mustang in your case.
There is also the Boss Katana to consider, people have been saying good things about those. There is also the Marshall Code line, and i actually heard those in person, and they were suprisingly good. But they need an app to get to all of the functions, and that would be a deal breaker to me.
TankuNeko Well my old zoom g3 had computer software that was used to setup the patches. I cant really remember if you could change them while playing, but hey. And im pretty certain that line6 also offers control software for PCs for their products, not just for tablets.
Im not sure why you would want to change the settings on the pedal from your computer while you are actually playing. It just seems really inconvenient. And all of the pedals have knobs, that are much better for dialing in tones, than some sliders or values that you see on the computer.
But in any case, even if there is no software like that, you should be able to take any midi capable device, like the line6 pod or similar, and send midi from your computer to the pedal. This is usually used with backing tracks tho, and mostly to change patches, not control individual settings on the fly.
TankuNeko Actually, im not sure i correctly understood your question. Are you looking for a pedal to control amp simulator software on the computer? Or are you looking for a multifx that can be controlled from the computer? If thats the case, you will need to tell us your budget as well. Also, what kind of control are you looking for? Do you want to just setup your multifx patches on your computer, or do you want real time control?
metalmingee That looks pretty good, do you know if Boss makes anything like it?
There is the Roland FC-300, thats pretty similar to the behringer, except its 3x as expensive. But in essence, any midi foot controller will work, because of the magic of MIDI. There is a whole bunch of selection here, so you can choose the one with the right ammount of buttons/pedals: https://www.thomann.de/gb/midi_footswitches.html
I know a lot of people who use the Behringer, including myself. Its really a good unit, and with the price tag on it, you cant go wrong. The expression pedals arent really the best thing in the world, but if you dont jump on them, they should work well enough. I used one to control effects and patches in Amplitube some years ago, and now i use one for controlling my kemper.
Just setup intonation, otherwise you are ok. Also sometimes strings just break. I fit doesnt happen reguraly, then its not a big deal i think. I broke about 4 strings in my life, and most of them were just a few days old, while normaly, my strings last for a few months before i change them.
Just wait till you get better. No point risking any damage, even if there is almost zero chance. Also, since most of singing is about feeling, you probabyl dont even profit much from excercises while sick, since your whole breathing system is fucked up, and the feelings just arent there.
So, whenever I tune to drop C, I end up tuning the low C string down just a bit lower than the tuner says. Otherwise it just sounds out of tune to my ears. I thought intonation was to blame, but even when playing an open C power chord, it sounds better when i drop the lowC for a few cents. I dont really seem to have that problem when I tune to D standard, or even if i do, its much less noticable. And when i play in drop C it sounds fine when i do single not riffs, but power chords just sound a bit of, unless i drop the low sting just a smidgen.