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Single effects vs multi effects


voxfreak

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Single pedals.

If 3 single pedals sound great, why would you want to downgrade to "decent" sounds? You'll only have one sound at a time anyway...it can either be a great one or a passable one.

Effects aren't an absolute necessity anyway, so if they're going to be there, they've got to sound great. If they don't sound great, I'll just ditch them and plug straight into my amp, which does sound great.

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Single pedals.


If 3 single pedals sound great, why would you want to downgrade to "decent" sounds? You'll only have one sound at a time anyway...it can either be a great one or a passable one.


Effects aren't an absolute necessity anyway, so if they're going to be there, they've got to sound great. If they don't sound great, I'll just ditch them and plug straight into my amp, which does sound great.

 

 

Agree with having great sounding stuff rather than decent sounding stuff, but disagree that you are only going to have one sound at a time, in that your one sound may be the result of layering several effects together.

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a lot of people will say single effects are better but i disagree. The reason why this is misperceived is because many multi-effects are not well designed. If multi effects are well designed, then there is no reason why you shouldn't get the multi effects, which is far more convenient. Take the Foxrox Captain coconut 2 for instance - 3 awesome effects in 1 pedal. You can buy an octave, a vibe and a fuzz all separately, which is in a way more flexible, but then again you have to deal with 3 separate power sources, noise from pedal interaction, tone change from pedal circuit mismatches and the combined size will be bigger also.

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I'm all for multi-fx. But I do agree that you have to be willing to splurge a little to get good sounding ones. I've come across some pretty crappy sounding units. Personally love the abilties of the GT-8, and tone wise it is fantastic as long as you are willing to put the time into getting used to it. I love single pedals too and I think they can sound just as good if not better. But as effect-oriented as I like to be, I figured it would be more to my advantage financially to get an all-in-one unit that sounds just as good. I've not yet been disappointed by it.

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Ok so which is better? Keep in mind the price and quality of the effects. For example if there are 3 single pedals that sounds great that cost as much as a multi effects pedal that has 10 effects that sound decent than the multi effects one is better.

If somebody is going to ask this question then I'd say get a multifx unit. You are going to get a wide variety of FX for cheap money. You also don't have to spend a lot of extra money for cables and power supplies. Use the multifx box to become familiar with what the various FX do and then at some point start thinking about getting individual pedals.

 

Just buying individual pedals isn't necessarily going to give you great sound. Knowing which one's to get and how to use them, plus what amp is going to work well with them is not a trivial task. You can easily spend far more money on pedals than a multiFX unit and still not beat the sound.

 

OTOH, getting good sound out of a multifx unit often takes a lot of tweaking and understanding what you are doing. Some units have decent presets and others have horrible ones.

 

The best way to get great sound is to learn to play well.

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If somebody is going to ask this question then I'd say get a multifx unit. You are going to get a wide variety of FX for cheap money. You also don't have to spend a lot of extra money for cables and power supplies. Use the multifx box to become familiar with what the various FX do and then at some point start thinking about getting individual pedals.



100% agreement :thu:

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Agree with having great sounding stuff rather than decent sounding stuff, but disagree that you are only going to have one sound at a time, in that your one sound may be the result of layering several effects together.

 

 

You're misunderstanding me, I think.

 

Even if your one sound is the result of layering several effects together, it's still just one sound. The only question, after that, is whether it's a great sound or a mediocre one.

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I agree with the "true layering of sounds" bit, but honestly the most determining thing about which I use is the way multi-effects look. Just nowhere near as cool looking as having your own personal setup of single pedals. And believe me, I am usually not one to get stuck on the looks of something.

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I agree with the "true layering of sounds" bit, but honestly the most determining thing about which I use is the way multi-effects look. Just nowhere near as cool looking as having your own personal setup of single pedals. And believe me, I am usually not one to get stuck on the looks of something.

 

 

There's the aesthetic part, but more importantly, with a multi, you have EXACTLY the same set of effects as everybody else that bought the same multi.

 

Last night, for example, I had a Sunface Fuzz>Mu-tron III>DMM. Granted, that's a high dollar setup for 3 effects (the mu-tron was free, years ago, though), but there's not a multi available that can duplicate that sound.

 

A multi can, however, duplicate the sound of another multi just like it. Individual effects, imo, are a lot more personalized.

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i would honestly rather have a multi-fx pedal for setup/ease/noise issues, but single effects are just so much more flexible and sound better. The way most multiFX pedals are laid out it would be almost impossible to get the effect combinations i need quick enough.

 

I did start out with a multi pedal though and learned what effects i liked. I would recommend that to pretty much anyone.

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plus i like to play around with pedal order and get new pedals every once in a while, so multiFX are pretty much out of the picture completely.

 

 

This is true.

I also agree that multi-effects being used by n00bs isn't a bad thing at all, like you said it could give someone an idea what they like.

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You're misunderstanding me, I think.


Even if your one sound is the result of layering several effects together, it's still just one sound. The only question, after that, is whether it's a great sound or a mediocre one.

 

 

Got it, though still make a point of contention that IF you're running stereo or W/D/W parallel, there are definitely times when there are noticeably more than one sound happening at a time though it produces one NET result. I figure this is really what you're saying and in that case...

 

The mediocre sound or great sound is definitely a matter of subjectivity, and IF it's the player deciding their tone is best suited for his/her application, then they've accomplished the mission. Unless of course their goal was for other people to decide whether or not their sound is great or not.

 

Please excuse me, it's been a LONG day and I'm fairly delirious and in need of sleep. Apologies, if I'm rambling.

 

It's cool that HC still has people like you, who are knowledgeable and willing to share with others.

 

Rock on... I need a shower and sleep.

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I love my pedalboard, I love my GT-8. They both have advantages. My pedalboard is the result of me picking and choosing my favourite pedals. My GT-8 is the result of hours of tweaking to get seamless tap tempod stereo fx with trails.

 

The other thing is, if the GT-8 died in a gig, I'd be screwed, but if a pedal died I could just take it out and make do.

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Nah, makes sense. I wasn't even accounting for the WDW kind of stuff. I barely experiment with stereo stuff, here and there. I guess you can have as many sounds at once as amps you can drive. Most people can hear is two at once, though (still just one for Brian Wilson.):D

It just seems to me that starting out with effects, it's a lot of fun to get one pedal, explore the possibilities of it for a while, then building on that, one effect at a time. Seems easier to know what's doing what, in a "learning curve" kind of way, to me. On lower level multi-"processors", aside from the presets almost always being over the top, a younger player is dealing with learning about 10 different effects types, often with pita procedures for tweaking parameters, all at once.

Seems better to me to learn what, for example, "rate" and "depth" do, on a simple chorus pedal, rather than trying to do that, eq a drive, set phaser parameters, delay times...and figure out the nature of all of them at once, when they may or may not even be decent examples of the effects involved.

The op mentioned 3 pedals. A lot of possibilities can be had from, say, a wah, phaser, and a delay into a channel switching amp. A lot of possibilities that might get glossed over with too many other possibilities.

Rambling myself...I'm staying up, to try and get my sleep schedule lined out. Since I got sick and left work, I've gotten turned completely around....

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I have to agree that many multi fx are just not built with great sounding effects. Having individual ones allows way more versatility and better tone shaping. My only concern is the tone suckage and excess cables and power supply. Even with several true bypass effects my tone suffers abit. Now a unit like the T.C electronic g system seems to solve many problems for me. The effects are lush and studio quality plus it has pretty much everything I would ever need. If I need a Moog pedal for some weird sounds I can put it in the G system's loop and my signal flow will still be pristine. Only problem here just becomes how expensive the unit is, but I find many people spend just as much on setting up a pedal board.

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I think it all has to be about the tone you're comfortable with. I saw a band the other night and the guitar player was playing through 4-6 boss pedals into a blues deville. to me it sounded as tinty and canned as any multi effects processor, but he was loving it and the crowd didn't seem to mind.

It's about what makes you feel comfortable, confident and inspired.

That being said, I'll take my true bypass boutique-ee pedals ANY day over a multi.

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for me, singles.

multis can sound great but you need a high dollar one and you need to spend ALOT of time tweaking to get rid of that "multi-fx" sound.

i've only ever seen it done once or twice in a live setting and the guy was a pro of about 45 years so obviously knew his {censored}.

most people just whack tonnes of reverb, delay and gain on and go with that.

there's one band i've seen a few time that the dude has a pretty good multi fx but he has a short delay on EVERYTHING.

literally.

sweet home alabama - delay
crazy little thing called love - delay
chelsea dagger - delay.


:cry:

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Nah, makes sense. I wasn't even accounting for the WDW kind of stuff. I barely experiment with stereo stuff, here and there. I guess you can have as many sounds at once as amps you can drive. Most people can hear is two at once, though (still just one for Brian Wilson.)
:D

It just seems to me that starting out with effects, it's a lot of fun to get one pedal, explore the possibilities of it for a while, then building on that, one effect at a time. Seems easier to know what's doing what, in a "learning curve" kind of way, to me.
On lower level multi-"processors", aside from the presets almost always being over the top, a younger player is dealing with learning about 10 different effects types, often with pita procedures for tweaking parameters, all at once.


Seems better to me to learn what, for example, "rate" and "depth" do, on a simple chorus pedal, rather than trying to do that, eq a drive, set phaser parameters, delay times...and figure out the nature of all of them at once, when they may or may not even be decent examples of the effects involved.


The op mentioned 3 pedals. A lot of possibilities can be had from, say, a wah, phaser, and a delay into a channel switching amp. A lot of possibilities that might get glossed over with too many other possibilities.


Rambling myself...I'm staying up, to try and get my sleep schedule lined out. Since I got sick and left work, I've gotten turned completely around....

 

Agreed... I started with a 70's Princeton Reverb and a EHX Big Muff Deluxe, and grew from there. Nowadays, there are so many products on the market to choose from, that I can certainly understand how a player who's just starting out, could become overwhelmed, and often is.

 

Back when I started out, there was no such thing as MIDI, and multi effects pedal boards, and rack processors for guitar rigs, let alone digital home recording studios with effects plugins, or the internet, as a resource learning tool. Back then we used pedals hooked in series, no such thing as true bypass either- through whatever amp we were using. The main amps back then were the core: Fender, Marshall, Vox, Musicman, Peavey, Sunn, Hiwatt and a few others... Polytone, etc... and the main effects were all the "vintage" stuff that a lot of attention is focused on here: Roland, Univox, MXR, EHX, Univibe, Maestro, Vox, Cry Baby.

 

We started out focused on learning to play the guitar, then started chasing tones later. Now starter packs with entry level guitar, amps, pedalboards are the norm and the deeper understanding (usually) of how things work, by the guys who've been around since before digital and MIDI came about, is due to the fact that we had to figure it out, not just look up an internet search topic, for the answer.

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