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Thread: effects processor vs individual stomp boxes

  1. #1
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    Default effects processor vs individual stomp boxes

    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?

  2. #2
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    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.
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  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    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.
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  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6

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    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.

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  7. #7
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    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.
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  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterguitar View Post
    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.
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