A reader’s question:
I guess, you are well versed in planning pedalboards.
I have a big studio board, which I like a lot, but for it is not even easy to manage the transport.
Now, I want to assemble a smaller and more compact pedalboard.
For overdrive effects I use my amp and the Ibanez Tubescreamer TS 808 and the Vahlbruch Kaluna.
Due to the lack of space, delay and modulation ought to be (as far as possible) combined in one enclosure. I also think midi might be important…
The Boss GT 1000 Core could be one of those which offers all the sounds I know (DD, MD and RV of the 500 series).
But it also has uncountable overdrive effects that I do not need. Nevertheless, is the quality of the delay, modulation and reverb therefore worse?
Do you know an alternative to the GT 1000 Core, or do you think it is ok?
I really like Boss pedals, live on stage and also in the rehearsal room. And especially here, I need a compact pedalboard.
In the studio I use my big pedalboard – mostly analog.
By the way: I am not even a fan of editing, so a small display and a easy handling would be perfect.
Its always a bit difficult to assemble a compact pedalboard that is also flexible.
The Boss GT 1000 Core might be a solution, but for you already have several overdrive pedals, it would be even better to choose a pedal that is specialized in creating delay- and reverb-effects. The more features a pedal offers, the less capacity can be used for every single effect.
But if you want a multi effect anyway, the Eventide H9 might be interesting for you. It offers midi, is compact and has a superb sound. Furthermore, you can select 4 parameters per preset directly and control them via a pot. After you have successfully completed the programming, it is pretty easy to handle. But it is not able to combine several effects. Thus, it would only act as a delay or a reverb.
As an alternative, you could also choose the Line6 M5. It offers midi as well, sounds pretty nice, is a real bargain, the programming is quite easy and it is compact.
I use the M5 on one of my pedalboards as a supplement. But, similar to the H9, it only offers one effect at the time.
The handling of the HX Stomp whereas seems somewhat confusing to me.
For most combined pedals have a certain focus, it makes sense to think about your preferences first. What is more important to you: a delay or a reverb?
The Boss devices (DD-500 and RV- 500) also offer a reverb and a delay setting. If you are looking for a flexible delay and only need a little reverb, the DD-500 might be the perfect match for you anyway.
And the Empress Echosystem offers reverb besides the numerous delay effects.
For the Boss pedal as well as the Empress pedal offer the possibility to combine two presets, you would be able to get both.
But the only “real” pedal that combines delay and reverb and that can be controlled via midi is the Source Audio Collider. It is a combination of the Nemesis and the Ventris. But for a really distinguished adjustment, you will have to use the app. Anyway, if you have adjusted the basic sound (or use the presets), the pots will be sufficient to customize the sound.
Sound vs. handling
Provided that you are also looking for modulation, things will get a bit more complicated.
Of course, you can use the delay part of the Collider to create effects like chorus/vibrato (modulation of the delay time) and tremolo (modulation of the level), but this is not as easy as with one of the common modulation- effect. In this case, the handling of a multi-effect would be easier. In the end, you have the choice between sound and handling.
If the pedal ought to be compact and extensively equipped at the same time, you won’t be able to avoid menus and a display to adjust your sounds. Or you chose two pedals instead of one. The Collider for superb delay/reverb and a separate modulation pedal. With midi control in addition, this might be a very good option.
It always depends on your individual preferences and needs. For there is always too little space on the pedalboard, I dispense with a modulation pedal and create the vibrato- or tremolo-effect with my delay pedals. And I can also forgo flanger and phaser.
Regarding a compact pedalboard, to me it is generally more important to pare my pedals down to those which are really necessary for my music.
And to be honest, I don’t like menu-diving or the use of apps as well, thus I use the space on my pedalboard for the most important effect pedals.
Mostly, it makes sense to start with a little number of pedals first and add further pedals later. Removing a (unused) pedal from the pedalboard is habitually harder.
For I love delay- and reverb-sounds, I use only little space on my pedalboard for drive pedals (either booster and overdrive in one enclosure or even a single overdrive pedal).
And less pedals on the board will in the end improve your basic sound.
Enjoy planning your new pedalboard!