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View Full Version : effects processor vs individual stomp boxes



NukeDOC
03-18-2009, 02:55 PM
i noticed that for the price of two or three stomp boxes (on the average) you can purchase an effects processor with many more features.

just wondering what the advantage of having individual pedals is compared to having a multi effect processor.

does it basically just come down to quality of sound?

Misguided Musician
03-18-2009, 06:06 PM
I think the multi-effects processor is a little complex and (to me) a little more time consuming when compared to individual stompboxes. Sure the multi-effects is more compact and it's all in one, but buying individual stomp boxes really depends. I refrain from buying multi-effects because I don't think I'll be using it entirely and that's why I focus on the individual effects. For instance looping and playback is hard enough, now try that with a little wah or distortion, then w/e you want. I think using multiple pedals makes that process easier due to easy switching between sound effects. As for sound, I think w/ either, you can mess around with them for what you see fit.

though...

I still am yet to try it because those are my thoughts that make me hesitant.
I've heard that the multi-effects can be quite convenient if you stay with one effect during a song, but I'm still unsure.

aggie182
03-25-2009, 04:38 PM
I roll with a Boss ME-30 (I think that's what it's called - it's an old model, blue and black in color).

I only used one back of effects when I used to jam a lot with buddies, which was 3 effects. The me-30 isn't too hard to set up and once it's good to go, that's that, it remembers all your presets. I have gone the individual pedal route a few times and ended up selling them all, with the exception of my trusty DS-1, and come back to the me-30. You can pick them up mega-cheap nowadays.

Pippin
03-25-2009, 08:54 PM
If you try a POD (Line6) you won't want anything else. There is a little learning curve on some features, but most are pretty easy to understand. Individual FX pedals are a pain when you get them all over the floor in a performance. I prefer a clean stage set.

Floyd Blue
03-25-2009, 09:23 PM
A multi effects processor make only sense for me, if it was fully remote controllable via MIDI or something else. I want to be able to control any effects parameter in realtime plus I want to store all parameters in presets and I want to be able to switch on/off the effect in realtime. So this is only possible for the bigger ones, like e.g. a Boss GX700, rather than the small ones like the Zoom G1.

But sometimes I want to have a very direct sound and I like to have only an overdrive or booster pedal between my instrument and the amp plus a bit reverb. That's when I use a little stomp box not programmable.

GrumpyCoyote
03-25-2009, 10:07 PM
It depends on the pedal and what I'm doing. Acoustic, I often use a Yamaha AG stomp multi effects box/ pre-amp for a one-box approach, but it only does so much.

There are things like wah, volume, loop boxes, and harmonizers that generally don't come on multi effect boxes (or sound like crap when they do) - so I need 'em separate.

Also, most digital multi-effects boxes sound too, well - digital. Some individual boxes have an awesome analog vibe that I just like better. Particularly overdrives and phasers.

When I go electric I often use two multi effects processors (one for basics, one for a great delay and digital goodies), volume, wah, midi-controller (for the two rack mounts), overdrive, phaser, loop box, and a nifty little octave thing I found.

I have tons of both, and mix and match at will. I don't think it's an either/or thing. At least for me.

Aldrine Guerrero
03-28-2009, 10:26 PM
I've noticed that multi-effects boards can't be controlled as much as individual pedals can. The Boss delay pedal (DD-03) can be controlled on how long each delay is and how many. You can even set the time down to the last millisecond. Whereas the multi-effects doesn't give you that much control. Same thing with the other pedals. The multi effects is pretty limited as far as each individual effects control.

if you're not too picky on little details, then multi effects is the way to go. But for the more important effects, I suggest you get individuals.

scooterguitar
03-29-2009, 02:58 AM
I've been through them all, from huge racks of effects in the 90's to mulit effects and now back to stompboxes.
Many facets to consider. I presonally will never go back to multi effects units...simply put tone quality suffers all around. Analog boxes are so much warmer toned. They are also easier to use and swap around the order they are used. Also consider thr more you cram into something, the lesser the tone...something has to suffer somewhere.

YEars ago, Ibanez made some analog multi effects units that were analog and sounded great.

Lanark
03-29-2009, 05:38 AM
I have to agree with Scooterguitar. To my ears, multi-effects processors tend to sound pretty awful. They tend to be just tone suckers for the type of sounds I liked to make.
But then I was always a pretty staunch analog & tube kind of guy. I developed a very individual rig over the course of many years of boutique & vintage pedals & tube amps and various vintages of guitars.

As it usually works out you end up using only a limited amount of the effects anyway despite the 1,000's of possibilities. At one point I had up to seven pedals in front of me but some of them were for individual parts of specific songs. (ie. a flanger for one bridge of one song) and when those songs were out of the set, I took the pedal out of the setup.

I'd suggest figuring out what kind of sounds you're looking for and then researching the dedicated pedals for them. You're best tone is usually going to be gotten from the least amount of stuff between your guitar and your amp.

Pippin
03-29-2009, 07:00 AM
I've been through them all, from huge racks of effects in the 90's to mulit effects and now back to stompboxes.
Many facets to consider. I presonally will never go back to multi effects units...simply put tone quality suffers all around. Analog boxes are so much warmer toned. They are also easier to use and swap around the order they are used. Also consider thr more you cram into something, the lesser the tone...something has to suffer somewhere.

YEars ago, Ibanez made some analog multi effects units that were analog and sounded great.

I had the Ibanez PT-4 for a long time and I sold it about a year ago. It was a $300 pedal when it first came onto the scene... compression, multi-chorus, reverb, and EQ all in a four-pedal unit. It was actually a pretty sweet pedal.

Link
03-29-2009, 10:31 AM
I believe that 99.9% of your audience will not know if you're using high quality analog stomps or some crappy Digitech multifx proc. In my old band, I used my Raven solid state amplifier(takes pedals brilliantly) and my trusty Digitech RP250. We did a lot of Audioslave, and as soon as I started using the whammy effect, everyone was wowed. It was incredibly easy to use, and I had other band's guitarists coming up to me asking me what my "rig" was because they were impressed with all the effects used.

In m opinion, with separate stomps.. you're paying hundreds, sometimes thousand more for something that perhaps only your ears will notice.

And in my case, with all the effects I used, I save at least $1,000 by going to multi-fx route.

scooterguitar
03-29-2009, 10:57 AM
The 99.9% is pretty much correct!
For me though, it is how I perceive tones and how they react to my playing dymanics as well.

Link
03-29-2009, 11:46 AM
Good point, scooter. One thing about my RP-250 is when I'm playing softly, sometimes it doesn't pick up a note here and there. That's a huge downfall.

For me, the benefits still side with a multifx proc. Partially due to my laziness.

ricdoug
04-03-2009, 10:12 PM
Many of my amps are 2 and 3 channel footswitchable types. I tend to use the onboard effects only, now. I've had multi-effects pedals and individual pedals. The only pedal I own now is a DOD FX55C Supra Distortion. I gave the rest away. There's lots of ways to get sounds out of guitars and amps, without effects. Ever hold a pick between your thumb and index finger so that when you pick a string, the skin of your thumb and index finger also strike the string? Try it and you'll get rich harmonics. Will I buy more effects inthe future? Probably! Ric

nukealaily
04-14-2009, 02:59 PM
its a very personal thing but , if you want to get to know effects and how they can be applied to music , then a multi processor is the way to go.

having said that , if you are a gigging muso then you may need a small selection such as drive , chorus , delay and therefore would be likely to look for the best individual items in terms of quality .

someone who does home recording may have the problem of emulating guitar sounds from bygone days and may need to add effects such as an amplifier simulator which also usually have onboard effects aswell (although the control over the effects is limited)

then there are the die hards , who say that you should never need to use effects , if you spend your cash on a good guitar and amp rig .

ive tried them all and ive got to say that none of them are right or wrong , it just depends upon where your head is at !

if you are a beginner with effects then it may be best to start with a 2nd hand multi effects processor and see what you like and dislike about , the effects themselves ie : how much you use them , the quality etc .

:)

NukeDOC
04-15-2009, 06:04 AM
thanks for all the replies guys. ive been doing a little bit of R&D myself and what ive found:

i own a danelectro chorus pedal, digitech RP150, and a dunlop crybaby wah currently. i play rhythm guitar in a jawaiian/reggae band.

dunop crybaby wah: overall it alone gives me the sound ive been looking for with its crisp high (toe forward) and unmistakeable wah effect. but it doesnt have a true bypass and i dont have a volume pedal or the time to be messing with tones during a gig. so i leave it on and on songs that i dont want too much tone i just have to back off of it a bit.

danelectro chorus pedal: alone, this thing is great. but i still have to find that sweet spot to give me the chorus effect im looking for in conjunction with my wah pedal.

digitech RP150 effect processor: this thing is great for testing out different effects (seems like it has ALL OF THEM) to see if it is something i want to add. i wouldnt mind using it alone, but there is no expression pedal. which is why i sprung for the crybaby. also, since the stomp buttons are sequential, instead of memorizing numbers for different sounds that i load, i have to set up sequences, which makes it annoying since i cant just pick and choose what effect to turn off/on at any moment.

there are some multi effects processors out that emulate a pedalboard with individual stomp boxes. but right now i just dont have the money to spring the $300. and i think it really has more effects than i need. but then again, i keep listening to songs and noticing the different effects thinking "i gotta get one of those".

i think what im going to do for now is run it as such:
guitar/uke==> wah==> chorus==> RP150==> amp
with the RP150 basically giving me that last line to set up intermittent effects like delay, flange, tremolo, and combinations of them, while the wah and chorus stay on continuous.

so does anyone see anything wrong with that setup that im overlooking?

ricdoug
04-15-2009, 11:10 PM
Use the amp's effects loop if it has one, Arvin. Plug the uke/guitar directly into the amps input. It eliminates some of the noise and impedence matching issues, along with less perpensity to clip the amps preamp. Ric

NukeDOC
04-16-2009, 06:16 AM
Use the amp's effects loop if it has one, Arvin. Plug the uke/guitar directly into the amps input. It eliminates some of the noise and impedence matching issues, along with less perpensity to clip the amps preamp. Ric

effects loop? ok this is a new one. maybe something i overlooked. im totally guessing here, but does it look something like this?...



GUITAR
|
|
V
AMPLIFIER
| ^
| |
V |
WAH |
| ^
| |
V |
EFFECTS

SuperSecretBETA
04-16-2009, 07:16 AM
From my understanding, an effects processor is well-suited for the studio whereas a stomp box is well-suited for the stage.