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Help me configure my Rack Please


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Hello, first time poster here, although I've been watching this particular board for well over a year now. Now I finally have a question about how to configure my rack, so here I am :)

 

Basically I'd like to know how to wire/setup/rout my rack to achieve the best setup. I know I probably need a mixer and a switcher, and I know I probably need the Switchblade GL, but I cannot afford that right now. Basically I definitely want to switch between the Preamps and effects at my own leisure.

 

Here is my gear and what I'm trying to accomplish.

 

Guitar -> Furman PQ-3, then

 

Preamps

Rocktron Piranha

Mesa Rectifier Pre

 

Effects

Rocktron Intellipitch

Digitech DHP55

Line 6 Mod Pro

 

Other

(DBX 215/Rocktron PRO Q)

Midi Solutions T8

 

Power Amp

Mesa Stereo 2:100

 

Cabinets

(2) VHT 212 FB's

 

 

I should also add that I'm a MIDI MORON and I would eventually like to set everything up with a controller like (AA or GCP) and be able to just switch patches on the fly. Finally I'd like to run this rig in stereo if possible but I'm not sure if most common switchers are stereo or just mono.

 

Any help appreciated, thank you in advance :)

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Well you said it, you need a mixer and a switcher. NO way to get around those items when you have multiple preamps and multiple fx units and you want to switch between them. Here is why

 

1- You need to split your guitar signal to feed 2 preamps. This can be done with most mixers or switchers and the good ones have a bufferd out.

 

2- You need to feed the signal of either preamp to your fx units. This is done with a mixer since it will combine the out puts of either preamp into one signal and give you mulitple outs to feed your FX.

 

3- Switcher allows you to select not only your preamps but also what fx you have in or out of the loop/signal chain

 

4- You FX OUTs need to be fed back into a mixer to provide your amp a single feed. That is unless you plan on running everything in series. Even then it is better to have a 2 channel mixer so you can control the preamp send and the post fx signal seperatly

 

You don't have to have a switchblade, though that would do the job nicely. Check ebay for a DMC GCX and a system mix or system mix +. Also Axxess electronics makes switchers and there are a few guys that use Behringer rackmount line mixers.

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Hi, and thank you for your response! Unfortunately I'm not really sure what you mean at all. I understand your 3rd point but the other 3 are leaving me quite confused.

 

I was under the impression that from the PQ-3 the signal would go right into a switcher, which had the the preamps, and the

effects all in a different loop and then it could just be patched in and out the way i wanted, (not using the FX loops on the preamps). The outs? from the switcher would go into the EQ and then from the EQ into the amp. I'm not sure where the mixer would even fit into the equation. All of the effects I'd like to use after the preamp signal, and I'm not quite sure really even how to use a mixer, especially as you referred to it.

 

If you could elaborate, I'd appreciate it, if not, thank you for responding.

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Well running in series would work but it would not give you very many options. If I understand your post you are thinking this

 

Gtr->EQ->Rocktron->Mesa->Pitch->Harm->Mod pro->Amp

 

With that setup you can run either the rocktron or mesa but not both. At least not both and make it sound good since the Mesa is not being feed a guitar signal but the OUT of the Rocktron. Maybe you don't want to run the two amps at a time and that is fine too.

With a mixer you can run it like this

 

GTR->EQ->Split ->Rocktron-->Mix1->Pitch->Harm->Mod pro->Amp

?????????|->Measa---->|

 

Or

 

GTR->EQ->Split ->Rocktron-->Mix1->|Pitch-> | ->Mix 2->Amp

?????|->Measa---->| ????? ?|Harm-> |

????????????????????|Mod Pro-> |

 

With a mixer you can run both pre amps at the same time and both will se a guitar signal first. You can also play around with serial or parallel FX matrix. It just depends on how you want to run your system. You could also run the Pitch and Harmonizer in Parallel and have both units feed back into the Mod pro after mix 2. It is just a matter of flexibility.

 

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Hi, thanks again for your quick response. I must be an absolute idiot because I don't understand what you're talking about whatsoever and I can't make sense of your diagrams either.. :(

 

I think I'll just keep it simple and run the one preamp into the one effects unit, but thank you for trying to help :)

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LOL. the diagram did not look so good but that is because I don't want to draw it up and post it as a jpg.

 

Ask yourself these questions

 

1- Am I only going to use 1 pre amp at a time?

 

2- Am I only going to use the FX one at a time or chained one right after the next?

 

If you answered YES to both questions then all you need is a GCX switcher. If you answered NO to either question you are going to need a mixer & switcher

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Ahhhhhh, ok because the diagram just looked like a bunch of little squares and arrows.

 

Anyway, I should have mentioned the answer to your questions in my original post, but to answer now, the answer to both of those questions are indeed YES!

 

Now that we have that answered, my question now becomes, is the GCX or any other switcher, a stereo unit, or have stereo loops? I think I read somewhere the patchmate has stereo loops. However, is this all inconsequential, basically I just want to have a stereo signal to send to my amplifier (left and right channel). I don't care if the signal is "true" stereo, I don't use any real delay or panning anyway.

 

Thanks for your responses and patience with an idiot like myself. :)

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Basically I just want to run both channels on my amplifier using both channels. There isn't a bridge mode on the mesa and I'd rather use both channels because I actually have 2 VHT 212s and VHT 412's and sometimes I like to make my bass player and other guitar player cringe. hehe ;)

 

So as long as I can get a stereo signal out of the router/switcher into the EQ and then into the amp I'll be happy. Does the GCX have a stereo OUT? If no could I just use a stereo cable?

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No the GCX does not have stereo out. A stereo cable would not work since it is realy a TRS split to 2 TS and you would not get a signal on the Ring side. Is there any FX unit that you always use? You could make that the last device in your signal chain and use it to split your signal into stereo/dual mono to feed both sides of your amp.

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Crappy GCX..lol jk

 

Out of curiousity, does the Patchmate or any other Switcher unit have a Stereo out? I've also read that the GCX is more for switching pedals and the Patchmate is more for Rack based gear. Is that true?

 

But to respond to what you said, YES i do, the Rocktron Pro Q can be fed one input and you can use both of its outputs. Thank you very much for your responses! I have an idea what I'd like to do now.

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I don't know what the patchmate can or can not do. I use a GCX and a System Mix Plus to switch my gear. The GCX can switch anything, Rack/Pedals/Amp Channels it is up to you how you use it. If your Pro Q can split your signals and it works as the last device in your signal chain then you can use any switcher and feed the EQ last.

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