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Help with Effects

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  • Help with Effects

    Here's my thing...

    I got a whole home studio setup now with vdrums, guitar, bass, etc. I'm looking to get some sort of effects processor that I can use for vocal effects, guitar effects, bass, etc. So my question is this. Can't I do what I want with just any effects processor? I mean, it's just 'adjusting' the signal coming into it? Since I don't plan to be doing more than one thing at a time for recording, I don't see why I can't just plug in the device I'm using and have effects on it. Make sense???

    Any ideas??? I saw a Digitech Vocal 300, which has gotten some good reviews and seems to have every affect I would want. It has a 1/4'' input which would fit a guitar, bass, keyboard, mic, etc. I stopped by Guitar Center here in town, but the shop I went to is not the one I normally go to since I usually don't get the kind of help I want there. Today was no different, and I left exactly where I was when I went in.

    Anyone have any ideas on this? Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    What's your budget? If you can afford it, I highly recommend the TC Electronic M One XL. It has some extremely nice reverbs (which TC are renowned for) and plenty of other multi effects you can use.
    If you are using software and the effects are mainly for recording, you could look into software plugins for your recording package too. Obviously you'll need to have your computer and audio software running to use them though.

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    • #3
      The danger we pre-recording effects is that you have screwed the pooch if the track doesn't sit right in the mix. It is very easy to track with too much reverb and then there would be no way to take it out.

      What are you using to record? If it is hardware, consider getting two of the cheaper TC Electronic dual units so you can run 4 effects sends and add them during the mix-down phase.

      If software - VST plugins are the way to go.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael Render View Post
        The danger we pre-recording effects is that you have screwed the pooch if the track doesn't sit right in the mix. It is very easy to track with too much reverb and then there would be no way to take it out.......
        x2 to that

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        • #5
          Just looking for different options. Recording clean and then adding effects to the mix is of course a great way to do it since you have a plethera of options at that point. I'd also like to be able to record straight with effects, like hitting the pedal to add something at a particular time during the recording. That way I can get used to doing things both ways. Plus, I want to be able to just play without recording and have the ability to mess around with effects that way.

          My biggest quandry was trying to figure out if most of these units would be able to handle mic, guitar, bass, etc. I'm not looking to buy up a bunch of different units, but one to start that could accomodate plugging in a guitar and playing around, then plugging in a mic and playing around. The unit I've been looking at has both xlr and 1/4'' input, so seems like I could plug whatever I want in there and just have some fun.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dgtlmn View Post
            ........The unit I've been looking at has both xlr and 1/4'' input, so seems like I could plug whatever I want in there and just have some fun.
            Not necessarily. Most effects units are designed for either low level (mic) or high level (line and instrument) signals. Check this out before you make a purchase. Many units will have XLR and 1/4" but only operate at line level (usually +4dB) and won't work very well at all with a mic.
            Another option is to get a small mixer to handle the input duties and run that into your effects unit. There's a number of really basic mixers with a single or dual fader channels that would do the trick for very little extra cost.

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            • #7
              Again, this begs the question: What are you using to record?
              sigpic

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              • #8
                at this point...i am running cubase le. i have a presonus firebox for interface.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SuperPuss View Post
                  Not necessarily. Most effects units are designed for either low level (mic) or high level (line and instrument) signals. Check this out before you make a purchase. Many units will have XLR and 1/4" but only operate at line level (usually +4dB) and won't work very well at all with a mic.
                  Another option is to get a small mixer to handle the input duties and run that into your effects unit. There's a number of really basic mixers with a single or dual fader channels that would do the trick for very little extra cost.
                  That is true. That's why I'm leaning towards something made for vocal effects as I know with that I won't run into noise issues with the mic.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dgtlmn View Post
                    That is true. That's why I'm leaning towards something made for vocal effects as I know with that I won't run into noise issues with the mic.
                    A vocal effects processor still doesn't necessarily mean it will run at mic levels. Most will still run at high level and will expect you to be using a desk or some sort of preamp first.
                    When you're using your computer, you can run VST effects and use the firebox mic pre's.
                    If you want to play around with effects without running your computer, you'll still need a stand alone effects unit and a mic pre or small desk.

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                    • #11
                      There are many vocal processors designed to take a mic in. The Digitech Vocal 300 you mentioned does that for sure. TC Helicon has a bunch. Line 6 has a unit that has Guitar, Bass and Vocal inputs in one unit. The Pod X3.

                      I have always had a love/hate relationship with vocal processors. It's great to have control over your sound. Especially in a live situation. But they wreak havoc with the monitors. It is hard to run vocals and reverb in the same monitor without having to EQ out a lot of tone. With the advent of IEMs, though, that is less of a concern.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        bear with me as i'm such a newbie to recording and all the hardware/software that can go along with it. Would it then make sense to use software 'effects' on the line input to see what I can do with it rather than using some sort of hardware effects processor? I don't even know what things are out there or even what may already come with the hardware I have as far as cubase le, garage band, firebox mixer, etc.

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                        • #13
                          Go here: http://www.kvraudio.com/
                          This is a database of available plugins. And there are a ton of really good FREE ones.

                          It is definitely a good idea to play with software effects. You can get a great idea of how to stack them, tweak them etc.
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