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> Processors Vs Pedals, what is the difference?
Alex Feather
post Jan 15 2012, 04:23 AM
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Hi guys! I wanted to talk about processors and pedals in details and try to explain the difference.
There is just way too many different units and pedals on the market and it can be a hard decision when you need to make a choice! I hope I can make it more clear for you! I have been a working musician for more than ten years and did a lot of experiments with my sound trying to find the right equipment. So we got two options
effect processors and pedals
Effect Processors
Is a all in one unit here you will get overdrive, chorus, delay etc. It will require some tweaking and after a couple of days you can get good sounds out of it! I recently owned a roland VG-99 and effects and sounds were absolutely amazing! I spent days trying to figure it out and got it to sound the way I wanted the only problem it didn't cut through the mix at all... This the biggest problem with multi effect units when you are playing with a band it's hard to get it through! Other than that it's a great thing to have! You can use it for practicing and even some recordings! I remember when I was working at the studio a few years ago I had a line 6 POD and was using it for every track I did and clients were happy!!!
Pedals
If you are building your pedalboard it will get more expensive then effect processor but in the end of a day you are choosing pedals that fit you right! What is the difference between pedals is bypass and circuitry
What is true bypass? It is a switching method where, in the bypass mode, the signal goes directly from the input jack through the switch to the output jack with no connection to the circuitry in the box. In effect, it is a straight wire through the box and does not degrade the signal because there is only the micro-ohm resistance of the jacks, wires and switches inline with the signal.
Not true bypass is used on cheaper pedals it will affect your guitar tone and make sound too plastic by cutting overtones.
I would like to know what you guys think and what you prefer!


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The Uncreator
post Jan 15 2012, 05:40 AM
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Effects processors for me, price tag isnt much of a difference when an AxeFx is $3,000+, and that buys a healthy collection of pedals.

I choose that for a couple reasons.

1) Clean, all-in-one solution that can benefit from being updated via firmware and software, instead of replacing entire pedals

2) Takes up less room, me and my wife dont live big and only have a small space - in fact, I have had to sell all ten of my previously owned guitars and amps for money and room, I regret all of it but hey, thats life. An effects processor is all I need, combined with the now one guitar I have, its easy to protect and store in our small apartment.

3) Sound is impeccable and extremely customizeable, especially with dual simulations, and the ability to add in custom IR's

4) Effects processors don't lock you into the capabilities of one head/cab (which get just as expensive) instead give you multiple options, anywhere from 16 HD models to 70+ 'SD' models.

5) Looks. So. Cool. cool.gif
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PosterBoy
post Jan 15 2012, 07:15 AM
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Effect pedal and amp set up can be tweaked on the fly during a gig, effect processors not so much.

but then set up your patches right on an effect processor and you have little need to tweak

An Effect processor even the really good ones are still emulations of analogue circuitry, some people can tell the difference, though the audience and in the mix it's impossible.

If something goes wrong on your pedal board you can just take it off, if your processor dies you're screwed.

Remember if you have a processor TAKE REGULAR BACKUPS!!!!! I had the internal battery on my Axe Fx Ultra die and reprogramming from a 6 month old back up wasn't fun


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 15 2012, 09:38 AM
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I currently have 2 gig setups, both of them having analog pedals and tube amp/ pre-amp

1) I am using an AMT SS20 which I usually plug in the return of any amp I can find at the location - by that, I am bypassing the pre-amp of the amplifier itself and my AMT takes over, using only the power and the speaker of that amp.

2) A Crate Blue Voodoo 120 tube amp head and a 4x12 cabinet.

In each case I am attaching my pedalboard, having reverb, delay, phaser, booster and noise gate pedals.

Instead of a microphone which usually picks up the sound from the cabinet (it saves a lot of effort and it's safer all in all just because in Romania, there are not so many techs/ sound engineers having good knowledge about how to capture live guitar sound and make it sound great by using a mic on the cab) I am using this baby below, which is a speaker simulator! You just use it like a DI box - meaning that you plug the head straight into it and it sounds incredibly awesome on the PA system at ANY gig!



I gave up effects processors, because they were complicated and you had to tweak your way through parameters all the time, depending on the given gigging conditions. I am a '4 knob guy' biggrin.gif Bass, Mid, Highs, Gain! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Jan 15 2012, 09:39 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 15 2012, 10:44 AM
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This has come up several times before as you might imagine. I think there are some great threads with extremely detailed breakdowns of all the various positions/thoughts/prices/approaches/suggestions etc. I remember posting to such a thread recently actually.

As with many topics, the split usually (thought not always) comes roughly down the middle ending up with a Pedal Board user vs Processor user type of argument. Of course both are valid and both have their place. In the end, it will really come down to the variables in play for you as a musician. Generally speaking these can include

1.)Price
2.)Importance placed on transportability or not
3.)Importance placed on immediate ease of use or not
4.)Importance placed on traditional ideas of tone construction or not.

In short, how much you feel like spending, do you care if it fits in a backpack, or is it OK if it takes a whole trunk, do you feel more comfortable with knobs you can look at right at your feet, or do you prefer menu controls and deep tweaking, do you buy in to the idea that "pedals really do sound better", or do you trust your ears to tell you what sounds better?

So then, the question is really a dialogue with ones inner self. Determining who you are as player/person, at this point in time, here and now, will help govern the decision. So in the interest of helping one towards this decision, you'd have to ask yoruself which way would you'd fall on these issues? Both have merit. Theres, this, but there's that, etc. The trick is picking the "this". smile.gif

That being said, I"ve gone to using software at this point (Overloud/Guitar Rig/Amplitude) having been both a "Pedal Guy" and a "Processor" guy, I"m now a "Software Guy" smile.gif So I don't think I can offer much towards pedal or processor.

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jan 15 2012, 10:48 AM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 15 2012, 12:25 PM
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This is a very good topic, and it's a very old question, always good for discussion. Personally I like both types of devices:

So far, I had this array of pedals:


And Nova System, from digital devices.


Thing I learned is that overcomplicating a setup can always lead to thinner sound, no matter if you use stomps or processor. In fact, if you put so many pedals as you have in one processor, your tone can cut out easily. Today, I use only tubescreamer, and perhaps I'll get mini-rack device that has delay/reverb/chorus within, and that will stand on the amp (in the loop). Wah is an option too, but it's not really needed that much if you think about it.

Alex is right 100% about both categories, I agree entirely. Processors are just not good enough for live use, they are lost easily in the mix, have decreased dynamic range, and you cannot do good guitar feedback with them (if that's part of your style). AxeFX is a great tool for the traveling musician tho, but that is single device on the market, and not very affordable one.

On the other hand, stomps are bulky, require special power handling, need to be relatively expensive to be good, and roll off higher frequencies in most cases. Using them sparingly, only when needed, and applying minimalistic approach can do wonders for your sound live.



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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jan 15 2012, 03:51 PM
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Just to add that a good processor will also usually provide more options for interfacing it to other equpiment. Many are designed for both studio and stage so will have balanced and unbalanced I/O; some will also offer both analgue and digital and some will provide I/O at a variety of levels and so have some flexibility as to both what and how it can connect with.



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Alex Feather
post Jan 16 2012, 08:45 PM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Jan 15 2012, 04:40 AM) *
Effects processors for me, price tag isnt much of a difference when an AxeFx is $3,000+, and that buys a healthy collection of pedals.

I choose that for a couple reasons.

1) Clean, all-in-one solution that can benefit from being updated via firmware and software, instead of replacing entire pedals

2) Takes up less room, me and my wife dont live big and only have a small space - in fact, I have had to sell all ten of my previously owned guitars and amps for money and room, I regret all of it but hey, thats life. An effects processor is all I need, combined with the now one guitar I have, its easy to protect and store in our small apartment.

3) Sound is impeccable and extremely customizeable, especially with dual simulations, and the ability to add in custom IR's

4) Effects processors don't lock you into the capabilities of one head/cab (which get just as expensive) instead give you multiple options, anywhere from 16 HD models to 70+ 'SD' models.

5) Looks. So. Cool. cool.gif

I recently got one! And I love it! But I was talking about the typical processors and pedals!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 16 2012, 10:41 PM
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Interesting topic!! My current live set up for Cirse's shows is a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp with a Marshall Cabinet and a Line 6 pod hd500 as a multiFx. I find that the all in one is more comfortable for me nowadays... Pedals are more expensive and at the same time I should get a midi controller in order to turn on or off many pedals at the same time. Another disadvantage of the pedals is that you can't set delays at the tempo of the song and the same with some other effects like tremolo or even phaser and flanger. When I'm playing a song I use to add compressor and delay to the solo, so this would mean turning on two different pedals. With the multiFx I just change the tone with 1 pedal.



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Alex Feather
post Jan 16 2012, 11:53 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 16 2012, 09:41 PM) *
Interesting topic!! My current live set up for Cirse's shows is a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp with a Marshall Cabinet and a Line 6 pod hd500 as a multiFx. I find that the all in one is more comfortable for me nowadays... Pedals are more expensive and at the same time I should get a midi controller in order to turn on or off many pedals at the same time. Another disadvantage of the pedals is that you can't set delays at the tempo of the song and the same with some other effects like tremolo or even phaser and flanger. When I'm playing a song I use to add compressor and delay to the solo, so this would mean turning on two different pedals. With the multiFx I just change the tone with 1 pedal.

Good point!!! I haven't tried a new pod yet but looking forward to it!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 16 2012, 11:55 PM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Jan 16 2012, 07:53 PM) *
Good point!!! I haven't tried a new pod yet but looking forward to it!


I don't used it too much time but at first I can note that the quality of the effects is better than the previous versions.


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Alex Feather
post Jan 17 2012, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 16 2012, 10:55 PM) *
I don't used it too much time but at first I can note that the quality of the effects is better than the previous versions.

I just got Fractal AXE FX ii and it would be cool to compare them!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 17 2012, 10:41 PM
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It would indeed be nice to do that comparison, these devices are both flagship products of both companies (although you should keep in mind price/performance ratio too).


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Alex Feather
post Jan 17 2012, 11:40 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jan 17 2012, 09:41 PM) *
It would indeed be nice to do that comparison, these devices are both flagship products of both companies (although you should keep in mind price/performance ratio too).

Yeah true! I need to find POD HD now! And make a little video!!!


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Fran
post Jan 18 2012, 12:36 AM
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The difference between processors and pedals is that with the multi-effect processors you into the whole war against knobs and buttons at once, and with pedals you have different separate battles to pick, all in the search of tone cool.gif

Just joking there, both are great solutions and to each their own! As for me, I grew tired of fighting with my X3 to get decent sounds, and finally tamed my 5 stomps, so I'm lazy and just play my amp these days, thus not recording much really!


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Alex Feather
post Jan 18 2012, 01:19 AM
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QUOTE (Fran @ Jan 17 2012, 11:36 PM) *
The difference between processors and pedals is that with the multi-effect processors you into the whole war against knobs and buttons at once, and with pedals you have different separate battles to pick, all in the search of tone cool.gif

Just joking there, both are great solutions and to each their own! As for me, I grew tired of fighting with my X3 to get decent sounds, and finally tamed my 5 stomps, so I'm lazy and just play my amp these days, thus not recording much really!

I guess everyone is choosing what they like! And it's good because it gives space for creativity!!!

This post has been edited by Alex Feather: Jan 18 2012, 01:25 AM


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