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An Array Of Pedals Or A Good Multi-effects Unit? Which Do You Prefer?

  • Multi-effects Unit

    Votes: 16 17.0%
  • An Array Of Pedals.

    Votes: 78 83.0%

  • Total voters
    94
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I like the idea of an all-in-one pedalboard for convenience, but tried several and was never happy with all of the sounds - especially the overdrive/distortion sounds.

One I recently saw that seemed interesting was the Benado pedal board. It covers every sound I would want but at $1,100 (a limited-time discount even!) I think I'll stick with my individual pedals for now.
 

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I have a similar setup to BigDaddy. I use a Minstrel and FET dream for overdrive and the Nova system for everything else.

 
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One I recently saw that seemed interesting was the Benado pedal board. It covers every sound I would want but at $1,100 (a limited-time discount even!) I think I'll stick with my individual pedals for now.
The Benado is a mistake imo. Paying top dollar for 1 brand of effects in 1 large housing completely misses the advantage of individual pedals, without the advantages of the multi. The only winner here is the maker who sells you 5 of their effects and only make 1 housing.

I bet not too many players have only 1 brand of pedal on their board.
 

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The Benado is a mistake imo. Paying top dollar for 1 brand of effects in 1 large housing completely misses the advantage of individual pedals, without the advantages of the multi. The only winner here is the maker who sells you 5 of their effects and only make 1 housing.

I bet not too many players have only 1 brand of pedal on their board.
Indeed, that is precisely why virtually every attempt to produce a "modular" system has failed over the years. Korg tried it (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joybot/6850547393/ ), Sequential Circuits tried it ( http://electricmusicbox.com/profx/main.htm ), Vesta Fire tried it ( http://www.effectsdatabase.com/model/vestafire/modular ), MXR tried it ( http://www.effectsdatabase.com/model/mxr/modules ), and I'm sure there were others. They all tanked because the "system" consisted of only their modules, and neither the form-factor or anything else was compatible. None of the companies was ready to produce as broad an array of modules as, say, Boss or DOD makes in the way of pedals. So, if one could not use this overdrive with that compressor and that phaser, the magic and perceived convenience of modularity would soon wear off.

People who know me, know that I made myself a modular system, but since it is all DIY, I could make the modules *I* wanted, not just use what was available. The perpetual expandability of the system makes it more convenient.

I recently made use of a chassis I bought in 1990, and built a Dynacomp, Tube Screamer, and delay into it; kind of a mini Benado. Almost done. The delay is a rebote 2.5 with about 700ms total time, and a mod to make the repeats smoother. I included a "thru" power jack for running an adaptor in and a second cable out to another pedal. I'm also going to stick a send/receive loop between TS and delay so that other things can get patched in there, and so that it can support stereo.

One of the things I find wanting in the Benado approach is that the sequence is fixed. You don't have to dig down very far in forums like this to see threads concerning what goes before what, and you don't have to dig very far withn those threads to see that most times anything can go before anything and yield something interesting, if not interesting for everybody. So when a multi-effect, whether digital or analog, commits me to a fixed order, I back away because it stifles my creativity.
 
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The Benado is a mistake imo. Paying top dollar for 1 brand of effects in 1 large housing completely misses the advantage of individual pedals, without the advantages of the multi. The only winner here is the maker who sells you 5 of their effects and only make 1 housing.

I bet not too many players have only 1 brand of pedal on their board.
Despite being a multi-effects guy (I'm a very big user and fan of the Fractal Audio stuff) I agree very much with what you're saying.

A guy from Vintage Revolution posted about the PedalPro system (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWW_2ywut4c) they're releasing in another forum, asked for feedback. He got pretty much the same thing: despite being modular, it's only modular when it comes to their modules. And their modules cost...a lot. The base system is over USD$2k if I'm remembering correctly.

So, cool idea, but you're missing the point with analog effects developing something like this.

We seem to be more forgiving when it's in the digital domain...
 
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Despite being a multi-effects guy (I'm a very big user and fan of the Fractal Audio stuff) I agree very much with what you're saying.

A guy from Vintage Revolution posted about the PedalPro system (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWW_2ywut4c) they're releasing in another forum, asked for feedback. He got pretty much the same thing: despite being modular, it's only modular when it comes to their modules. And their modules cost...a lot. The base system is over USD$2k if I'm remembering correctly.

So, cool idea, but you're missing the point with analog effects developing something like this.

We seem to be more forgiving when it's in the digital domain...
That Pedalpro is just way off to me. To have foot-switches that are pressure sensitive with 3 different settings depending on how hard you step on them is setting yourself up for failure in front of an audience. When playing live the last thing I want worry about is pressing too hard or not hard enough.

Then why all the technology? There are plenty of programmable selectors on the market for way less, so add your analog pedals of choice and a selector...all on the floor. No rack unit.
 
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Player99 said:
That Pedalpro is just way off to me. To have foot-switches that are pressure sensitive with 3 different settings depending on how hard you step on them is setting yourself up for failure in front of an audience. When playing live the last thing I want worry about is pressing too hard or not hard enough.

Then why all the technology? There are plenty of programmable selectors on the market for way less, so add your analog pedals of choice and a selector...all on the floor. No rack unit.
Yes, you're not alone in thinking that. More than a few of us made similar comments about the footswitch when he asked for feedback. He didn't want to hear what we were saying though. You could certainly learn to use it, but it adds to the curve.
 

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The Line 6 Tone Core pedals have dual pressure-level switches, though I imagine they employ a different mechanism. In terms of having a clean uncluttered interface, the multi-function pressure-sensitive switches certainly fill the bill. And while it may be wonderful when time is not of the essence, as Richard notes, the cognitive load imposed by having to pay attention to foot pressure, can be disruptive in a live context.
 

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I bet not too many players have only 1 brand of pedal on their board.
+1 I don't trust any single brand to do everything well.
i think multifx are great to learn on. i went thru several figuring out what all the fx are & which ones i'd actually use. if your demands are met by a single box, then more power to ya. but for me & most people i've known who are hooked on pedals, we're looking for specific sounds & capabilities. a clean boost, dirt that does chug, a reverb with infinite decay, a fuzz that doesn't kill the bass tone. when you start to develop your own sound, these things tend to become more important & it usually requires some shopping around.
 

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Years ago I had a Digitech RP-1. I liked it, but basically only used one patch consisting of OD, delay, compression and maybe reverb. I can't recall it's been years but that being said basically I never used it to it's potential I suppose.

I like the idea of pedals myself as opposed to the newer FX units. Just my two cents.
 

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....for compression, overdrive, distortion etc: an an ever-changing array of pedals

for delay, chorus, trem etc: multi-effects unit
Yep, if it is an affect which has to make recalculations, based on millisecond-to-millisecond differences in signals, I'll opt for analog and/or individual pedals. If it is basic algorithm management, then a multi-FX can handle that with aplomb.
 

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If I want more than two effects, multi-effects. Simply cause I'm lazy.
 

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Noob question here: If you want to have different settings for delay using single effect pedals, do you need to have more than one so you can switch between them without twiddling knobs during a set/song?
 
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Noob question here: If you want to have different settings for delay using single effect pedals, do you need to have more than one so you can switch between them without twiddling knobs during a set/song?
Depends. There are some "single effect" pedals that offer presets. See: empress effects multidrive or superdelay or the Boss DD-20. They all differ in how they do "presets" but the end result is that you can switch between multiple variations of the effect with your feet.
 

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The Line 6 M5/M9/M13 will let you save settings (at least 20), and scroll through them, using a simple up and down momentary switch. I suspect the various PODs do the same thing. Pretty much all the completely digital units will do something like that. The differences are a matter of whether the number of presets you need is provided, whether the display suits your needs, and whether the parameters for adjustment are the ones you need. For example, some players may want a volume level change for each patch.
 

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Those empress pedals look really well engineered and sophisticated (and pricy). I think being able to set and sequence any combination of effects per song or within a song would provide a lot of artistic freedom.
 

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The most correct answer is both a multi and some single pedals . I prefer the sound of the single analog
pedals I have. Im picky about dirt pedals and have bought and sold many until I settled on a couple I really liked. The multi fx takes care of delay, reverb and any other effect I may need.
 
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