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Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:02 pm

5 minutes or more will do, more would be nice (and loads of memory slots) but the usual 40 sec or so is pretty useless.....
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Wonks » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:43 pm

Is this for some prog rock epic where the intro takes 5 minutes before you can start to add things on top?
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:23 am

No, much more prosaic :) I just want a single fx unit that will do everything, rock trio, acoustic trio and solo/duo (both instrumental and vocal). The looper is mostly for the full AABA (or WHY) rhythm guitar to solo over (so 90 secs minimum before overdubs). The TC Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme does it but is, primarily, a vocal fx unit (though the guitar fx are very good). So does the Helix but at a price..... TBH I don't need loads of effects, my electric pedalboard has a Cry Baby wah, clean boost, TC Dual Vintage Distortion (more or less two Tube Screamers in a box) a delay, a reverb, a tuner and a looper, the acoustic one needs, boost, delay, tuner and looper. A decent eq for acoustic would be nice too, though I suspect all the more sophisticated boards will have one.

Mind you I do dream of being in a Prog Rock band (but probably don't have the patience and ability) so you never know......
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Hewesy » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:02 am

The Helix does do it all, a number of pro's use them for everything (including acoustic) but as you note, it does have a pro price tag...

Does it have to be a single unit? What about a small board with a wah, MFX like say the Line 6 M series or the cut down Helix and then a looper?

Given the hands on nature of the looper I'd suggest having this as a dedicated box might make your life easier. And you can then easily swap loops around for gigs/rigs etc.

What puts you off using the electric board for acoustic, noting you use pretty much the same kit for both?

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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:08 am

Sam Spoons wrote: The looper is mostly for the full ABBA rhythm guitar to solo over

OK, Björn.
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:27 am

Helix will give you 60 seconds stereo, 120 seconds mono. I can't think of a hardware looper that would take you further (TBH I can't imagine wanting more than 120 seconds of loop!)

With the Helix you could leave all your other stuff back home. It isn't cheap, but it really is very good indeed. Once you discover the multiple I/O capabilities (four simultaneous stereo inputs, each with separate effects chains, for example), mic input, USB/MIDI, multi-channel audio interface and other goodies, you really do begin to realise that it's a whole lot more than a stomp box replacement.

There are cheaper Helix versions (and I believe they are all patch-compatible), but you have to accept compromises as the price drops.
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:51 am

Hewesy wrote:The Helix does do it all, a number of pro's use them for everything (including acoustic) but as you note, it does have a pro price tag...

Does it have to be a single unit? What about a small board with a wah, MFX like say the Line 6 M series or the cut down Helix and then a looper?

I do have a second board for acoustic which has just boost, tuner, delay and Ditto X2 Looper

Given the hands on nature of the looper I'd suggest having this as a dedicated box might make your life easier. And you can then easily swap loops around for gigs/rigs etc.

See above, but I have just sold the TC Ditto mini (off the electric board) and Ditto X2 and bought two DittoJam X2s as they claim to be able to stay in sync with a live drummer or rhythm player. Jury's out as I've only just got them but will report back.

What puts you off using the electric board for acoustic, noting you use pretty much the same kit for both?

Hewesy

Size plain and simple, it's quite big and heavy. Losing the wah, distortion and reverb (the AER acoustic amp has one built in, the 18 watt combo doesn't) makes a lot of difference and the acoustic board is less than half the size/weight. It also runs off a PedalTrain Volto so no mains needed which is great for open mic sessions (mains power requirement may be a reasons not to go for an all in one solution).
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby BigRedX » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:52 am

The Helix might seem expensive, but for what it does and what it costs in real terms it's a complete bargain.

My first multi-effects unit was a Roland GP8 which I bought second hand in the late 80s, and did only a fraction of what the Helix is capable of, but IIRC only a couple of years earlier the new price for this and foot controller to go with it was close to £1k when that was worth a lot more in real terms compared with £1k today.
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:59 am

The Elf wrote:Helix will give you 60 seconds stereo, 120 seconds mono. I can't think of a hardware looper that would take you further (TBH I can't imagine wanting more than 120 seconds of loop!)

With the Helix you could leave all your other stuff back home. It isn't cheap, but it really is very good indeed. Once you discover the multiple I/O capabilities (four simultaneous stereo inputs, each with separate effects chains, for example), mic input, USB/MIDI, multi-channel audio interface and other goodies, you really do begin to realise that it's a whole lot more than a stomp box replacement.

There are cheaper Helix versions (and I believe they are all patch-compatible), but you have to accept compromises as the price drops.

I might consider the Helix, one of my guitar heroes (Remi Harris) uses one and have looked at the TC VoiceLive 3 Extreme as I mentioned above.

The VL3E has, I think, 5 mins looping as do the Ditto series but no loop memories, I also have a Boss RC3 as a 'gig bag looper' and a Boss RC30 both of which have 3 hours stereo loop memory and 99 memory slots. So I'm well endowed with loop pedals :D For me an all in one box would, ideally, have loop memories and much more than 2 mins of looping to store some loops as playing the full rhythm part before every song becomes a bit tedious for the audience (as you may have realised I use a looper mostly as a surrogate rhythm player). :D
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:01 pm

BigRedX wrote:The Helix might seem expensive, but for what it does and what it costs in real terms it's a complete bargain.

My first multi-effects unit was a Roland GP8 which I bought second hand in the late 80s, and did only a fraction of what the Helix is capable of, but IIRC only a couple of years earlier the new price for this and foot controller to go with it was close to £1k when that was worth a lot more in real terms compared with £1k today.

I have had a Boss GT3 for many years, which replaced my GX700 rack and FC200 (I still have the FC200)
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:21 pm

Elf? can the Helix do basic vocal harmonies? The thing that stops me buying a VoiceLive 3E (and I've had several VL products, Harmony G, VL1. VL2 and currently VL Play GTX) is that it compromises the guitar fx (obviously) in favour of the vocal fx and what I want is the other way around, good guitar fx, a decent looper (and yes 2 mins would probably be enough for most things but see my earlier post) and basic vocal harmonies in one box.

I will download and read the Helix manual later I promise ;)

Writing this reminds me I need to perform another cull of fx/stomp boxes
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:19 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Elf? can the Helix do basic vocal harmonies?
Hmmm... It has a harmoniser in there, but I doubt that it would be suitable for vocals.

This guy on YouTube details adding a TC Helicon in a loop from the Helix: https://youtu.be/MZC5QZocKLQ

If you're at the SOSMeet tomorrow I can bring mine along?
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:37 pm

One day maybe but it's a bit of a trek and not tomorrow. Thanks for the offer though. TBH the guitar fx on the Play GTX are pretty decent and probably do enough but the 30sec loop time is not enough to be useful for my needs so I'm back up to two boxes :headbang: . Probably a TC Harmony Singer and a guitar multi fx would be the way to go but I already have all of those facilities and it's still 2 or more boxes. I've just rebuilt the acoustic board with a Ditto Jam, mini delay and the Tone Dexter (which does boost and has a tuner) so I'll try that for a while while reading up on various guitar fx units.

Maybe I should document my current fx collection, it seems to be pretty extensive......
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Hewesy » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:14 pm

Fair enough Sam, just curious but yes that makes perfect sense.

What about splitting the boards into 2 small Pedaltrain units? Would also make 2 lighter boards to move rather than one unwieldy beast... wouldn't take much to have a loom made to connect both up as needed.

Great taste with Remi Harris, what a talent...

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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:39 pm

It's not too unweildy only a PT Mini with 7 stompers on it (the gap is where the TC Ditto was before I gave it to my mate the bass player, it will be replaced with a DittoJam X2 shortly, the other couple of boxes are an Airturn and associated footswitch). I'm happy using it for it's intended purpose, it's the acoustic board I'm trying to resolve really, currently it has a TC DittoJam X2, a mini delay and the Tone Dexter. I think it may be that I'm suffering from pre-Christmas GAS rather than any need to change.....

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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:43 pm

Remi Harris is one of my two favourite Gypsy Jazz guitarists (neither of them Gypsies as it happens) Joscho Stephan is the other. Both are not to shabby playing other styles either :D

Joscho is here (this filmed ten years ago now) :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99R7VW9QqyY
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby CS70 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:07 am

Sam Spoons wrote:5 minutes or more will do, more would be nice (and loads of memory slots) but the usual 40 sec or so is pretty useless.....

The trio band creator allows 230 secs if I recall.
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:11 am

Yeah considered one but doesn't really do the other stuff I need. I find it hard to understand why otherwise brilliant devices like the Helix include a looper but then only give 60 secs of stereo loop memory (and no loop storage) when a £60 looper like the TC Ditto can have 5 mins of stereo loop memory and a £100 one (the RC-3) has 180 mins of stereo loop memory and 99 memory slots. Compared to the cost of a Helix the cost of extra memory can't be an issue. I still wonder if a VoiceLive 3X at half the price of a Helix would do what I need but it seems daft to pay for loads of vocal fx, most of which I won't use........

Maybe at a future update the Helix will include some vocal fx and more loop memory (though that's probably a hardware limitation).
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Wonks » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:35 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Mind you I do dream of being in a Prog Rock band (but probably don't have the patience and ability) so you never know......

The Dark Side Of The Spoons.
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Re: Guitar multi fx with decent looping time

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:27 pm

:clap: :clap: On the other 'dark side' I was asked last night, at an open mic, if I fancied joining a Blues band :D t'is nice to be asked but I like the guys I gig with now and wouldn't fancy having to re-navigate the twists and turns of band politics again.
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