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Default Effects loop - 02-19-2008, 10:32 PM

Ok now this is a question that a guitars like me does not like to ask just because of the simplicity of it.. I have been playing guitar for so long, even live and never have used my effects loop. I just plug in and play. I layer a Boss MT-2 over my distotion channel for just a bit of a boost.. I just plug it into the input on the front of the amp, then my guitar into the pedal, just like there suppose to be used. My question is, should i be running it through the effects loop instead?? if so how?


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Default Re: Effects loop - 02-20-2008, 08:07 AM

when i was playing in bands and had loads of big equipment that costs lots of money i did.. as it does sound better when you go threw a effects loop, but if you like the sound you get going threw the way you do then don't worry about it... every guitar player hears things a bit different, and has there own sound so i always tell folks set up your stuff to how you like how it sounds...
  
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Default Re: Effects loop - 02-25-2008, 05:04 PM

Just my .02 cents and nothing more...

Effects loops became a demand item by crazy producers like Phil Specter. By 'crazy', I mean crazy in the studio, although with Phil, the term's appropriate no matter where he happens to be. Anyway, Phil and those like him went for bigger and more outrageous production in the studio and it's never been the same since. Before the Beatles' 'Wall of Sound', producers were just concerned with accurately capturing what the band sounded like. Phil's idea was to be a creative genious and paint with sound. The noise the band brought with them was just the starting point.

Eventually, the sounds and tones that got recorded were way different than what the band could produce on it's own on a live stage and the Uh-Oh factor came into play. So, in an attempt to apply effects in a more consistent manner and in a way that at least came close to what was recorded in the studio, the effects loop was born. Yeah, they existed in high end audio gear long before they appeared in geetar amps, but it was still a new thing for axe-wielders.

Useless information, but now you know.


Here's the way I use them:

I try to keep manual filter effects (wah, Leslie sims, etc), volume, and drive effects (overdrive, fuzz, distortion, etc) between the guitar and amp. I'm either trying to push the front end of the amp or I want the amp's overdrive to go to work on the effect's signal. I leave the effects loop for modulation effects (phasers, flangers, auto-filters, etc), noise gates, reverb, EQ, and stuff like that. Generally, I want those effects to impact the whole preamp signal and I want the power amp to magnify whatever comes out. There are no hard and fast rules, so switch and swap as you like.

Another question about loops is which is better - serial or parallel? A lot of pro players like parallel loops, which mixes the dry signal (no effects) with the wet signal (effects). The effect has a more subtle 'effect' on the amp's tone that way, but some feel it's more powerful. One aspect of parallel loops I like is that if you use digital effects (yuck!), some of them have a bit of a delay because the sound drops out when you switch patches. A parallel loop makes sure you always have sound coming from the speakers.

Personally, I like the series loop, which is all wet all the time. That doesn't have to mean gobs of reverb or chorus or whatever. That's why those little boxes come with knobs and stuff - set it how you want it. It also makes sure your noise gate for a high gain amp actually does something... and with most high gain amps, it NEEDS to do something. Just because the computer cleverly disguised to look like a guitar amp is dead quiet when you're not banging away at it's digital sim chip, doesn't mean a real tube amp should be as polite. This is rock-n-roll, after all.

The last consideration is signal level. Your average guitar hanging on the wall at Banjo Center puts out around -20dB, your average stomp box around -20 to -10dB, line out level is 0dB, and your favorite rack gear operates at +4dB. Boosting a signal 3dB is a doubling of power, so you can see that there's a huge difference between -20dB and +4dB. The best loops (like the Swamp Thang) have a level switch and/or level knobs to allow you to use whatever you brung. What about those loops that don't? Check your documentation and you'll see that they're most often rack level (+4dB). What's that do to your little green stompbox? Nothing, except distort the heck out of it - and not in a good way. Keep that in mind the next time you plug in a box to your Marshall loop and are tempted to say, "Dang, this pedal sucks!"... It might not be the pedal.
  
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Default Re: Effects loop - 02-25-2008, 07:07 PM

Well said Hoyt!

It's been trial and error for me. I have a Furman PQ3 that I like to experiment with. I think Dimebag used it in the loop of his Randall RG100 ES. I prefer it in the front end.

btw, we love useless information! I think useless information is good to know


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Default Re: Effects loop - 02-25-2008, 07:32 PM

i agree very well put hoyt...
  
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Default Re: Effects loop - 03-01-2008, 10:56 PM

"usless information is a guide to usefulness"
as said by me, lol

anyway thats hoyt, my brain hurts a bit, but id did all make sense.. just so you know that all that typing didnt fall on deaf ears or eyes? hmm.. sometimes i even confuse myself, lol..

Thanx for the help guys


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Default Re: Effects loop - 03-11-2008, 01:18 PM

Well said Hoyt,

I use a pedal board with just a few effect like overdrives etc, I have a vibe there and wah, but I use my Intellifex through the loop and a boss GE-7 through the loop also. Pretty much exactly what Hoyt said.....


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Default Re: Effects loop - 03-11-2008, 04:14 PM

i agree with everything that hoyt said accept, phil specter didn't have anything to do with the beatles save let it be, which is not technically a beatles album...... phil specter was a motown / beach boys producer..... but the wall of sound was accurate, i don't use my effects loop, since i don't use reverb or modulation.... if i had a chorus or flanger or anything like that i'd put it in the loop, but my wah and dirt boxes go in front....


stuff it....... then bake it.......
  
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Default Re: Effects loop - 03-11-2008, 06:23 PM

hoyt, you are god-like :bowz:


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Default Re: Effects loop - 03-14-2008, 11:59 PM

Agreed :bowz:


Randall RM100LB (Lynch Box)
-Blackface mod
-SL+ mod
-Treadplate Mod(JF modded)
-XTC mod
Stiletto 4x12 Slant cab w/ Vintage 30's
Randall 2x12 Cab
Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah
GUITARS
ESP LTD Truckster
ESP LTD Viper 500S
Aria Pro II ZZ Custom Deluxe
'83 B.C Rich Bich NJ (Drop C)
Taylor 316CE Acoustic
Taylor 116CE (Drop A)
  
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