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multi-effects pedal board vs. single pedals

Instruments and Gear
gx1327  
24 Jan 2011 12:59 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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can anyone comment on the advantages/disadvantages of having a multi effects board (i.e. a Boss ME-50) vs. acquiring individual pedals? some of those pedals can get expensive. looking at some of the boss ME boards compared to their individual pedals, $200-300 for a multi effect board seems like a steal compared to buying individual pedals for $60-120 each.

are there any compromises you make when going for a multi effect board?
luthier  
24 Jan 2011 13:16 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
United States
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Ok, I just bought a Digitech Rp10 multi effects board and I love it. It's the best contribution to my collection I've ever bought. If I had the money, I woould buy individual pedals but multi units are fantastic. The best part is just the ease of changing from one sound to another. Some of the real expensive board I'm sure are just as good as individual pedals though. Just my 2 cents though.
Domigan_Lefty  
24 Jan 2011 13:20 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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I prefer single pedals for stuff like distortion, wah, whammy, delay, and most effects because you get more control and usually way better tone.

Right now my multi fx is for flanger, tremolo (not the "whammy", the other tremolo effect) and volume control.

Also the multi fx that move from preset to preset only really piss me off, since I usually would have 20 to 30 presets.
EMB5490  
24 Jan 2011 13:54 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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Yep.

Multi effects basically sound pretty lame.

SIngle pedals (if theyre not digital) sound generally better.

All depends though. However i would never kill my tone with any multi effects anything. Digital stuff just kills tone
guitarmastergod  
24 Jan 2011 14:07 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
with single pedals you have to tap dance like a biotch live. for the budget multi effects are better IMO but its always down to personal preference
BodomBeachTerror  
24 Jan 2011 14:10 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
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Yeah I have an Digitech RP, i think its a 150. and personally I think it sounds like balls. But Ive heard AlexB's stuff and he uses a Boss multifx pedal (i thinks) and it sounds great. Maybe I just suck at finding tones on the RP.
It all depends on how much you want to spend, obviously real pedals will sound better, but buying 10 single effects pedals at over $100 each it starts getting very expensive
luthier  
24 Jan 2011 14:26 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
United States
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@BBT

You can download tons of patches off digitechs website for the 150. Some of them are pretty good, others are crap though.
case211  
24 Jan 2011 15:46 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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personal preference is key. I'd say for live stuff, a good multieffects is going to make it easier(the audience won't really know or care) but for good wholesome tones analog pedals *can* sound better. not always the case though...
gshredder2112  
24 Jan 2011 16:42 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
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multi effects can sound great if you know how too program them correctly,but some people prefer analog for superior sound,but not all analog pedals sound good,neither do all multi effect units.they can both sound good its just a matter of personal preference.and if you read the multi effects manual or not..btw i have only multi pedals,zoom 606 and 505
gx1327  
24 Jan 2011 18:22 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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BodomBeachTerror says:
Yeah I have an Digitech RP, i think its a 150. and personally I think it sounds like balls.


haha, does that mean they sound good? or sound bad? because i've used the adjective "balls" as both a positive and negative adjective
BodomBeachTerror  
24 Jan 2011 18:28 | Quote
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oh haha, i meant bad
EMB5490  
24 Jan 2011 20:00 | Quote
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let me ask you... Do balls sound good to you?

case over. hahaha
case211  
24 Jan 2011 21:19 | Quote
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I don't think I've ever used "balls" for anything good haha
AlexB  
25 Jan 2011 00:07 | Quote
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BodomBeachTerror  
25 Jan 2011 00:21 | Quote
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I suppose if an Amp has lots of "balls" then thats good, but back to the topic now
AlexB  
25 Jan 2011 00:28 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
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Back to the topic

A multi FX is great if

1.You are broke
2.You suck @ stomping pedals
3.You suck @ making your own sounds and want some cool presets to rock out the house
4.If you want tons of different sounds ins a portable easy to use (almost always) interface
5.all of the above and more

They suck if you want

1.A realistic valve vintage amp sound that will make david Gilmour cry
2.A punchy,air moving exxtreme metal distortion tan can mel brains with so much air it produces
i cant think of anything else

Todays technolody is amazing,i use a BOSS GT-8,it has brought me fame and power since the day i bought it,its an awesome unit,wait until the new genetarion of multi FX comes and get one,you wont be dissapointed

BOOS;DIGITECH,POD,ZOOM,nice brands there
case211  
25 Jan 2011 01:19 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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HA! I didn't actually intend for it to be a joke hehehe Somebody stop me!
gx1327  
25 Jan 2011 11:07 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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EMB5490 says:
balls


i think it's kind of like using "sick" as an adjective. it's all in the delivery.

"dude, that new schlafly 20 year pilsner is sick!"
"dude, miller light is sick."

same concept with balls.

re: multi FX, from what i'm reading it sounds like the path for me at this particular time. i am not "broke" but at the same time i don't have thousands of dollars to dump into guitar. more importantly, i am not good enough to justify that kind of investment. on the other hand, if i can get a decent multi effects pedal (looking at some boss units used for $150+) it is a good way to get me started on using effects to get the sound i want without having to invest too heavily...

for instance, i don't remember which model i saw a demo of, but it had various distortion effects including boss's "blues driver", "distortion" and "metal zone" among others. it included 4-5 different distortion pedals. now each of these pedals on its own costs $30, 60, 100. and which one do i want? i don't know because i've never used them. but this way i can play and experiment wich each one. on a budget.

and as i said... i'm not making david gilmour weep any time soon. i'm not that good. i can play a nice selection of covers but have yet to try experimenting with any sort of pedals to customize my "sound"
btimm  
25 Jan 2011 11:51 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Someone can chime in if they experience, because I am too lazy to look myself. I know that single pedals seem to hold their value well, but I don't know about multifx pedals.

It kinda annoys me, since I want a Boss loop pedal and I look on eBay and craigslist and they are about the same price as a new pedal from the store. >.
gx1327  
25 Jan 2011 22:06 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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the multiFX pedals i've seen appear to be discounted from the original selling price. that's bad news if you are buying new, but great news if you buy used like i do.

for instance, i think the boss loop pedal sells for $150-200. well, for $150-200 you can get a used boss multi effect that includes loop circuitry, and also has a bunch of other toys
macandkanga  
26 Jan 2011 12:13 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I had a Digitech RP7 Valve and it sounded great. Not like balls! The "Valve" means it was driven by tubes. I did have to mess around with it a lot to dial in the tone I wanted. Once I did this and saved my presets I was good to go.

I also had a whole array of single effects. The tone was great, better than the RP7 but I found myself having to replace batteries, plug in adapters, messing around with faulty jacks and cables, etc.

I have a PODXT now that I run through my mac and I have studio speakers. It's all digital but it sounds fantastic. Again, there is a lot of messing around with things but there's a huge payoff for me: No batteries, one cable, one wall adapter, tons of effects (pugins) and multi-track recording all in one, and I have'nt had to buy anything for years! I paid $180 bucks for it in 2005 and it still goes for $200-$300.

But like what was mentioned above, personal preference. I don't ever play with anyone else or on stage. If I did, I would use a nice tube amp with single pedals.
Empirism  
26 Jan 2011 14:31 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
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AlexB says:
A multi FX is great if

1.You are broke
2.You suck @ stomping pedals
3.You suck @ making your own sounds and want some cool presets to rock out the house
4.If you want tons of different sounds ins a portable easy to use (almost always) interface
5.all of the above and more

They suck if you want

1.A realistic valve vintage amp sound that will make david Gilmour cry
2.A punchy,air moving exxtreme metal distortion tan can mel brains with so much air it produces
i cant think of anything else
!


This is in my opinion best answer Ive seen on multifx vs single pedal topics. Signed.

Also I dont know, but I truely believe that "The Tone" comes from your fingers. Not from any amps, pedals, effects, stuff, make-ups, models etcetcetc... but from your fingers. And Proof IS here!!

http://www.hughes-and-kettner.com/wisdoms.php5

especially the bonus...

Cheeeeers!
Emp
shreadhead96  
26 Jan 2011 19:40 | Quote
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
United States
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im sure someone said this already but i didnt read the other comments, single pedals generally sound better than a digital multi-effects pedal board.....but then with the multi-effect pedal you get more effects than you'll ever need and their usually cheaper (i think)
Basically its a quality vs quantity argument.
neomass1  
26 Jan 2011 22:55 | Quote
Joined: 10 Apr 2010
United States
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I think an effective way to open your mind.

Yes you can get better tone with a tube or single pedals, so it really is a quality vs quantity argument like shreadhead said.

But if you get the right one, that is one that gives you some control over the effects in a brakedown. That kind can help you out in the long run when it comes down to "finding" your sound, with lots of presets you sets you can explore and find what you want and start to brake it down into its smaller parts.

I ended up doing it this way, and when I went into audio engineering it really helped. If gave me a basic idea of a lot of different sound, more so it help me put things into words. That was the lifesaver when it can down to helping musicians find their "sound" in the studio.

Schecter_player  
27 Jan 2011 07:14 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Guys... I think that it would be really ignorant for us all to assume that we have EMB's ear for tone. (Or maybe I'm ignorant for assuming that I'm the only one that doesn't...)

point is, everyone hates on multiFX being digi-crap, but in a lot of situations, especially when i have nothing to compare against, digital effects don't sound half bad.

Also, on a side note, I saw a guitarist do this, and it nearly made me cry.

His chain whent like this...

Ibanez --> Pod --> Mesa-Boogie Half Stack.
(which one of these things is not like the other?
AlexB  
27 Jan 2011 08:03 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
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In fact,i love my BOSS GT - 8, i wouldnt be where i am if it wasnt fr it,its my precious,the tones i cN get are really nice,it just neded tweaking,i got a boss gt degree now x)

Therre is a new generation comming,just wait! Pbut digital is the future.
Empirism  
27 Jan 2011 10:27 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
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Schecter_player says:
Ibanez --> Pod --> Mesa-Boogie Half Stack.
(which one of these things is not like the other?
!


Ibanez?

Yeah, EMB have superior ear AND superior tone, BUT! what is the RIGHT superior tone? Thats the question, that do not have an answer. Its same question that what is right music?...isnt it?

Emp
deefa  
27 Jan 2011 10:38 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
I only started playing seriously again about 3-4 years ago after a lay off of many years. The world of guitar playing had changed to such an extent that, when it came to FX, I knew zilch, so I bought a second hand Digitech GNX 3 off ebay. Thanks to that, I now have a good idea of what all the different effects sound like. Further to this, it's given me a chance to develop my own sound.
The point is, it gave me a chance to 'catch up' very quickly and at a relatively low cost. If I'd bought 'separates' it would have cost loads of money and taken a lot longer.
macandkanga  
27 Jan 2011 10:56 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
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I was reading last night about the differences in sound quality between vinyl recordings vs CD recordings. The same concept applies in all media types when capturing original sound:

Original sound is analog by definition. Sound is driven through tube devices at a higher wave length of the original signal with almost no loss. Digital devices take snapshots of the analog signal from the guitar at a certain rate and measures each snapshot with a certain accuracy. This means that, by definition, a digital effect is not capturing the complete sound wave. It is approximating it with a series of steps.

Keep in mind that this is just a laymans explanation of the science behind the differences between the two technologies. It gets more complicated when you factor in: The guitarist, the guitar, the cable/s, the effects (what order they are in), the amp, and so on. And ultimately, the listener.

btimm  
27 Jan 2011 11:20 | Quote
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Yeah, the more I think about it now, the more I think I want multifx, instead of just having a boatload of pedals. I was thinking how awesome it would be to have a setup like EMB has (if you haven't seen it, try to look through older threads, it is pretty amazing and well organized), but maybe it would be better for me to just get one piece of equipment to serve all purposes for the time being.

But now I think it might be best to get nothing. lol I am still learning and I just really want to get the fundamentals down hardcore being messing with too many other things. And it seems that when learning scales, arpeggios, chord progressions, other theory, etc, that it might be best to just play clean or maybe with just a little reverb. Who knows?

I do know a loop pedal would be helpful in learning more about modes and how it is in practice, but those are expensive, so who knows what I will do. lol

Likely nothing for the time being. This is a great thread though, thanks to gx for starting it!
gx1327  
27 Jan 2011 12:51 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
i realized that single pedals would sound better than mutli effects, i think i was just trying to get an idea at how much of a tradeoff you would be looking at.

btimm i agree that it would be cool to have a sweet pedal board like some members on this site. i see my favorite blues guitarists play at my favorite blues dives, and their guitars have awesome sounds, and they have a decently sized board of pedals processing their signal. i would love that. BUT as you pointed out, we are still learning, and that would cost a lot, and it might be overkill (in the equipment vs. technique area).

so i think i might start shopping for a multi FX pedal, for nothing else than to just play with the sound. my amp has a bunch of sound modules but it's really cheap and only a few of them sound decent, and there is very limited control (gain and tone... that's it!).

also i agree that playing clean or with a little reverb (i prefer delay) is a great way to practice. but you can only practice so much. i practice during the week, saturday night at 9pm after i've had a few beers screw practice i want to play! that's what i'm looking for.

and also, if you buy used you can always sell used. pick up a used mutli FX pedal for $150, use it for a for a while, if you want to get rid of it or upgrade... sell it for $150! that's my motto...

Schecter_player  
29 Jan 2011 03:21 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Sounds good that you're coming to a decision!

With the whole Ibanez pod mesa boogie thing, I just thought it was lame that he was playing into a hella sweet amp with a in my opinion kinda shoddy sounding pod... (sounded brutal to me)
CrossEyedJack  
1 Aug 2013 18:50 | Quote
Joined: 01 Aug 2013
Karma
PODs,Pandora and newer Digitech are good for practice and to work with cheap guitars/amps. I haven't tried the VOX stuff but toneworks looks cool and their are some Mooer boards that look cool. Still Analog is king, especially if you have a good guitar. In my opinion you learn faster on good gear that sounds killer.

If your one a budget I suggest the following

Old multiFX like Digitech RP7. I've had one forever perfect for practice and small gigs. Only fails at darker compressed metal tones.

Analog
Vintage Boss BE5 MultiFX basically 5 Main Boss Pedals in one. U can get these for under $100. I use one for my core rig.

Berhringer Tube Monster U get so much from this pedal. I got mine for $70

Berhringer Time Machine, Paid like $80

2 Berhinger RV600 & Ultra Metal. I got all 3 for $40.

Dunlop cry baby Wah Wah pedal $30

I get evey tone I want, I play blues, rock, old country and vintage thrash/dark.

J.R.M.30  
3 Aug 2013 15:23 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Karma: 1
It depends on what amp you have, what guitar you have, what strings you have, what kind of pick you have, what kind of sound you want, how good you play, what kind of style you want to achieve. In the end too many variables to answer your question. Sometimes you just have to be introduced to something new, meet someone half-way, (in terms of what you want and what other people want you to want) or adapt with what you already have.
J.R.M.30  
8 Aug 2013 15:10 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Karma: 1
Empirism says:
Copy and Paste quote here!


Well I believe it's a little more complicated than tone just being in the player's fingers. It is often said that when a person listens to music they anticipate where the music is going, from a note to another note, from a chord to another chord etc. etc. That means it's somewhere in the brain-ear-eye-hand and yes finger coordination spectrum. Repetitious finger excercise of some sort does incorporate into the equation but I think after the afformentioned.
RonniePistons  
6 Oct 2014 15:22 | Quote
Joined: 06 Oct 2014
United States
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Single pedals are always more fun. You can mix and match.
TheEbida  
15 Oct 2014 03:32 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
I have been bouncing back and forth. I had a couple multi effects pedals that I really liked the sounds but hated messing with the pre sets and settings. So I sold them and went with single peddles for ease of selection. I did like all the different sounds that I could get messing around with the multi effects pedals, but also like the sounds I am getting now out of single pedals. I kick around the idea of going back to a multi effects sometimes....

I will add a pic to show what I got going on right now....

Any recommendations to make this set up better?
TheEbida  
15 Oct 2014 03:32 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2



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