Ask the Dude: Modulation effects – analog dry through yes or no?

Ask the DudeQuestion to the Dude:

“I decided to spend a bit more money for a pedalboard and to buy a Gigrig G2 and, beside others, a Strymon Timeline. I am almost sure, that the analog dry through function makes a decisive difference regarding the dry signal.
Here is my question: Is it true, that modulation effects can not really deal with analog dry through and phasing problems may occur?
For more versatility, and to provide a chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo etc. in the case of disaster, I thought about adding a Line6 HX Stomp to my board. But I am looking for an optimal sound and thought about creating an analog dry through by using a Lehle Parallel. If this actually does not work for modulation effects, I can forego that. Even the Eventide H9 does also not have analog dry through, right?

Are there any alternatives to the Lehle Parallel? I dreamt of a midi-controlled device, that also allows to select different settings via midi. “


Analog dry through is somehow a matter of taste and it has got advantages as well as disadvantages.
If you have a good looper and use high-quality cables, you will be able to get a bit more high fidelity out of your sound by using analog dry through. The amp will react more direct and the sound will be somewhat clearer.
But, (as you already wrote) there might occur phase problems by adding an effect to an analog signal.

Therefore, I would actually advise against a Lehle Parallel or something likewise (Xotic Blender, Earthquaker Devices Swiss Thing) in a complex setup. If you only want to connect a single device, you might be able adjust the phase accordingly. Regarding effect chains this will become almost impossible.

Pedals without analog dry through

Another problem is, however, that the phase in effect pedals (if it is shifted) is not always turned by 180 degrees. In this case, an in-built phase switch in a parallel looper become almost ineffective.
There are some pedals that dispense with an analog dry through (Source Audio Nemesis, Empress Superdelay, Strymon Möbius, Eventide H9) and whose signal is adjusted in a way that it harmonizes perfect with a modulated signal.
Regarding many effects, an analog dry through makes no sense at all. Tremolo and vibrato for example are 100% wet anyway. And concerning chorus and flanger effects there might be phase shifting.

To add devices without analog dry through to an analog signal, you could set all presets to 100% wet and than use a parallel mixer.
If you really choose the Gigrig G2, a wet/dry setup might be the perfect solution for you. In this case, you could send the analog signal (maybe with an overdrive) according to the chosen preset to one amp and the modulation effects to a second one. Therefore, you will get the advantage of a direct analog signal and you will be able to add effects as you like.

My reccomendation

For the G2 only provides rudimentary midi capacities, I would like to recommend the Boss ES-8, the RJM Mastermind or the Musicomlab EFX Mk-V Mk-V. All of them offer the possibility to create parallel loops. That might be the perfect solution for you.

By using such devices, you could make the analog signal pass directly and besides, add the effects of your Line6 HX Stomp as you like. For both devices provide midi, you should be able to program both per preset. Thus, you will get a high-quality setup with an ideal sound.