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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone. I’m new here, and just restarted playing electric guitar. I have a couple of questions for all the guitar-playing experts here. For quite a while, I haven’t been able to find any satisfactory answers.:icon_frow

When a professional guitarist is performing live on stage, how does he access all his guitar F/X? Does he usually use a pedalboard full of individual stomp boxes in parallel like this:

Pedalboard of Stomp Boxes

Or does he usually use multi-F/X pedalboards on stage like this:

Floorboard Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Or does he usually use rackmount unit processors on stage like this:

Rack Guitar Effects Processor

Plus, when you have multiple F/X devices available when playing, what kind of footswitch controller should you use to switch between effects? Something MIDI?:ne_nau:

So how do pros like The Edge of U2 or Tom Morello of RATM arrange their live rigs? Can anyone tell me for sure? Please help me if you can. Thanks in advance, guys.:D :smile:
 

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That is a very hard question. Its a matter of preferance. I use a zoom 606 Proccesor with digitech digidelay and distortion factory stomp boxes, and I like it allot.
 

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:eek:oo: Yeah, that really is a tough question?
Thing is I play in a duo, and occasionally rehearse with a band, with the duo I use a Pod Xtlive multi effect unit straight into the P.A., and for this situation it's ideal, any wacky sounds I may need I just call up the relevant patch.
However in the band situation this does not work, simply putting the Pod through an amp doesn't either, the sound is just very compressed and squashed, so......Amp and stomp boxes, deffo the way to go.
This statement that some artists use about ''Just using the amp'' isn't always strictly true, quite often they'll have their effects triggered by other people, guitar tech's for example, or maybe a sound guy, mainly so the artist can concentrate on putting a show on rather than having to stand in one place just so they can change they're own effects, some still do change their own effects, check out Doug Aldrich for one with Whitesnake, and most still have a floor board that they can use if they want to.:yummy:
 

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I think it is just a matter of personal tastes. I use a pedal board, and I like having the ability to tweak each individual effect easily without cycling through an LED screen for several minutes. I know that many "big names" in guitar use pedal boards over anything else, especially the Jazz guitarists like Scofield or Frisell, who have multi-layered pedal boards, but wouldn't have it anyway. having a few pedals in a board can also force out your creativity, take Tom Morello, who uses 3-4 pedals, yet still manages to get tons of different sounds.
 

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I used to use stompboxes and then tried using an XT Live for a few months. Went back to stompboxes and now have them in a powered pedal board. Its nice and sounds a lot better.

I guess it depends on what music you play. I think if you were going for more clean sounds, a POD could get you some decent sounds but it does not push air and lacks that umph that an amp can give you.

It really is personal preference.
 

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I agree, it depends on what kind of music you’re playing, what kind of tone do you want, what effects you want to have etc.....

Just my personal experience (I use a OD delay, chorus, wah, flange and phaser... so I also need a compressor and noisegate) I had the digitech RP400 in my line. The problem for me wasn't as much tone quality as much as if the lighting wasn't right or my contacts were blurred I couldn't see the presets on the floor and I would end up going to the wrong preset and it would sound ghastly. Every guitarist wants all eyes on them, but not in this case.

After one show I said forget it and just invested in a peddle board. So now if I want OD, I hit the green box, delay the white, chorus the blue box etc....

If you’re using a multi-unit for one or two presets, it's probably fine. (Or if you have 20/20 vision and can see when sunlight or bright stages lights are hitting your board) But if you like most players and want the smorgasbord of effects, live use peddles. I still use the digitech when I write and record, but when I hit the road it stays home.
 

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I myself it easier to use pedals and an amp than having to fool with a multi-fx because it seems to take forever to dial in a sound you like with those things. Not to mention that IMO a big amp will always sound more real than a pedal ever could. but that's just my personal preference.
 

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it varies from player to player and their tastes. i personally dont like multi effetc boards or rack gear. i use all stomp boxes on a custum board i built myself. it sounds more natural (well, as natural as something that's altering the sound can be) and you have so many more options beyond what sounds are already programed in because you can just keep adding more pedals. also if something happens to one pedal, you just take it out of the consist. if an entire mutl fx board goes, you're screwed.
 

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Back in the day I used to use a rack setup, with ADA tube preamp and tube power amp, and a Lexicon multi-effect rack unit. Everything can be controlled with midi, it makes for an easy setup just one midi/power cable to a floor controller and your ready to rock. This rig was capable of many good quality tones, however I found that I didn't really need a lot of presets in live use. Especially for rhythm & lead, though you can program different volume levels it seems hard to balance them. I often found myself staying on my "lead" preset and just rolling the guitar volume back.

Then I bought a 70's Marshall head, a 50w non-master. I learned a bit about tweaking and tuning tube amps, and bought a few good pedals. The tone is the most important thing to me, I compared the sound of the Marshall to the ADA rig and it was a much richer tone. I'd say it's kind of like comparing margarine to butter. The digital stuff is worse IME, it can sound good when recorded but live it does not have the feel of playing through a real tube amp. There's really only a few simple tube circuits that created all the classic tones, the early Fender, Marshall, & Vox amps are still the "holy grail" of tone. 40+ years later and with all of the new technology they can make at best an imitation of these amps.

Most professionals are using some kind of combination of pedals and rack units, some use custom switching systems like the Bradshaw. I've got my eye on the Ground Control system, you can use as many rack switching units as needed they contain 8 loops each. The floor controller is very similar to the Bradshaw stuff. With this you can put your pedals in rack drawers, and just have the one midi floor controller. The loops take the FX completely out of the signal path when they're switched off. It's expensive, around $800 for one rack unit and the controller. Till I can afford that, I'm putting together a new pedal board as I've outgrown my old one:



My signal path goes: Guitar>Wah>Phase 90 w/script mod>custom A/B switch

One side of the A/B mutes for tuner, the other side switches between two amp & effect chains. Clean/Dirty rhythm side goes:

Foxrox Hot Silicon Fuzz>Bad Monkey OD>H&K Replex Echo>Ibanez RC99 analog chorus>70's Fender Bandmaster Reverb head>2x12's in Marshall 4x12 cab.

Lead side goes:
TS9 modded OD>Maxon ROD 880 tube overdrive>Akai Headrush delay>Marshall JTM45 handwired replica head>2x12's in Marshall 4x12 cab

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the input, guys.

I was just curious about how pros like The Edge or Billy Corgan have their various F/X when they're in concert.

From what I've learned on Wikipedia and other sources, pros usually utilize a combination of single F/X units (tube screamer, wah-wah, whammy, etc.) within a muti-layered pedalboard. Plus, they usually have some sort of MIDI foot controller to switch from one effect to another, or even to combine effects.

I think that's how most recording artists do it nowadays. Correct me if I'm wrong.:tongue:
 

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Some guys have sophisticated switching systems (G force) that not only trigger effects, but allow them to program different combinations of effects, amps, etc via MIDI. Other guys have their tech do all the switching off stage to keep the stage clear of clutter.

I currently have a 4 button switch for my amp that I only use for channel/gain boost, along with a Digitech RP80 and Crybaby Wah. It looks much more convuluted than it really is.

My next thing is going to be dropping that stuff and switching to a Line 6 Longboard.....
 

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I use a combination. I have a small rack with a Soldano preamp, Carvin tube power amp with EL34's in the front and in the back is a power conditioner (important when using digital gear) and my trusty Rocktron Intellifex. On the pedal board resides a Morley Bad Horsie wah, a Visual Sound route 66 (compressor and overdrive), Nick Nitro octave/fuzz and a Visual Sound H2O. I use the Rocktron for reverb and ambient delays and the stomp boxes for wilder effects. having both species allows me to easily tweak settings on the floorboard stuff and have good basic effects in the rack unit. Plus it all sets up quickly. Having all your effect products in presets is great if you playing a fixed set of music with efx worked out in advance, but if you like to mix it up it up on the fly, ya need stompers!
 

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personally I prefer to use a multi effects set up.I used to use a korg A4 but Ive now got a digitech gnx 3 which is perfect for me.Don't get me wrong I love my pedals as well but had bad experiences playing in pubs where drunk dancing lassies have kicked(accidentally) my pedals pulling leads out(which were duct taped on!!)
a good site which gives details of what the pros use is www.guitargeek.com!!
 

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the setups of your favorite guitar player

Through much trial and error, I have an interesting set up of stomp boxes that does well for what we play, and I use the same set up for practice and live.....If you would like to see the set up of some of your guitar hero's, try this site http://www.guitargeek.com/ I cant vouch for the accuracy, but seems like they have pretty good sources.
 

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Probably never going to get the answer you want (a concrete one). It is a matter of choice and situation and so forth. Everyone from "weekend warrior" players to session pros to mega stars all have certain needs and situations that make it impossible to have a one size fits all scenario. Talk with friends and experiment on your own to decide what works best for the type of music, type of venue or studio needs (your room/garage or Madison Square Garden), your budget and your taste.
 
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