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Thread: How to Use Stereo Pedals

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    How to Use Stereo Pedals

    I'm working on my pedal board today, have them hooked up for regular mono.

    Several of my pedals together on the chain have stereo outputs

    From the order of guitar to amp, the pedals with stereo outputs: Strymon Lex Rotary--Strymon El Capistan Delay--Digitech Digital Delay--Boss RC-3 looper.

    My question: Is it possible to access the stereo functions of all four of these, each with left and right outputs? I can't wrap my brain around how that can be done. Most times, I just want to run them mono. However, at times, I'd like the effects running into two amps.
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    The easy answer is that if they have stereo inputs and outputs, you put patch cables into all of them, then the last pedal in line sends its stereo outputs to two amps. As to the order, that's more a matter of taste. With stereo, it's usually chorus/flange/rotary --> delay --> reverb. Where you put the looper is again a matter of preference, depending on whether you want the earlier effects to appear in the recorded loops.

    It's tougher when pedals have only one input but stereo outputs. In that event, you need some kind of master unit, into which you'd run every input and output, and switch the pedals on and off with the master unit, and then its stereo outs would go to two amps.

    I'm referring to something like a Boss ES-8, GigRig G2, etc. Requires a lot more cable runs and more room on your pedalboard of course. You'll likely need something like the GigRig Humdinger or one of the similar Radial boxes so that there's no ground loop between the two amps.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Thanks for the response.

    Unfortunately, we're talking mono ins, stereo outs. Would be nice to have dual inputs and outputs.

    I'll probably only ever use the setup for home recording. I won't be able to have all the pedals running stereo at once, but I think I can figure out a way to use the stereo feature on one at a time.

    My old pa taught me the value of making things work if possible--the man had a car radiator hose he wasn't using, and his pipe under the kitchen sink was leaking. Next time I came home and looked under the cabinet, he'd used the hose for the sink drain pipe. Lasted for 20 years, leak free.
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    You run two amps.

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Currently I'm running 3 amps. The CE5 mono run all the way though to the splitter and output "B" runs out to an amp. If the last pedal in your chain has two outs you won't need a splitter and your run two amps out of that pedal.



    As mentioned above the mono line runs into the splitter and there it out into two amp that stay on.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Thanks, Mike.

    That's one way it can be done!

    Most times, it's the delay that I most want to run in stereo.

    It takes me a while--I just found out how to use my Rick O Sound on my 4001, and I've had it since 1978--didn't know it was so easy to use and never had two bass amps until recently.
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Willie, I run my delay last in the chain. I'f I play in stereo it gets two cords out, if it's a small venue I just go mono. Chorus and delay are the only effects I use stereo on.

    A stereo delay is the nuts when you want to make it sound big at modern volumes.

    YMMV,

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Willie, I run my delay last in the chain. I'f I play in stereo it gets two cords out, if it's a small venue I just go mono. Chorus and delay are the only effects I use stereo on.

    A stereo delay is the nuts when you want to make it sound big at modern volumes.

    YMMV,

    Chuck
    Thanks, Chuck. I've recently gotten my Rick-O-Sound going on the 4001 and running it stereo, at home mind you.

    For my guitar, the only ones I want stereo on are the Strymon delay and rotary pedals.
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    I'll throw this out there too.

    I have used two amps at gigs for 15+ years, originally because standing between them and hearing the stereo wash from modulation and/or delay is amazing. My biggest complaint was the same as it is for using delay with a single amp; so often your sound experiences a noticeable drop when you engage certain effects. So.. it sounded nice to me, but, the audience perceived the guitar solos as disappearing, rather than being enhanced.

    Then I discovered wet/dry. One amp gets all the time & pitch effects, the other gets straight signal. It was a game-changer. While there's no more stereo swirl with modulation effects, the sound is noticeably huge, without having to be LOUD. Sure, I can't say that the audience fully perceives delay-trails when the rest of the band is bashing away, but the perception of a fuller sound has absolutely been reported from our people in the FOH.

    I do it on my recordings too, mostly on the solos. Effects are only applied to one of two lead guitar tracks, while the other is dry. I found it to be a noticeable improvement in the mixes.

    While you're experimenting with two-amp setups, give it a whirl. May not be as game-changing to you, but it might be cool, too.

    I do it with my Humdinger splitter--in from the wah, compressor and overdrive goes to the Humdinger. Buffered out goes on to the delay, then to the first amp; isolated out goes to the second amp. But, if your delay is programable, you can tell it to send dry signal to one output and wet to the other.

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    PC, that's a good way of handling the stuff. When I had the easiest setup I ever recorded with, I'd record a dry track, copy and paste it, and then add effects to the second track. Makes the guitar sound bigger somehow.
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    PC, that's a good way of handling the stuff. When I had the easiest setup I ever recorded with, I'd record a dry track, copy and paste it, and then add effects to the second track. Makes the guitar sound bigger somehow.
    Right? I'm not sure why, entirely, but it sure does.

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Right on Pete. I usually use modeling systems now and I dual amp them often with one pretty clean and one cranked or effected on the split signal path.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Right on Pete. I usually use modeling systems now and I dual amp them often with one pretty clean and one cranked or effected on the split signal path.
    I bet that sounds monstrous, Chuck!

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    I can run mine split from a pedal switcher the PXL Pro has two outs one for your high bank 1 to 4 and another for fx loop low bank 5 to 8 or you patch the FX out to the FX in and do all 8 into one amp and this switcher also has a tuner out that can be used as a clean out.. What I am going to do next is try some parallel set ups and see what type of wet dry mix I can get.

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Hi Willie!

    I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I'd like to ask: what two amps are you using here?

    Harley

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Hexxe View Post
    Hi Willie!

    I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I'd like to ask: what two amps are you using here?

    Harley
    Harley, I guess I was still thinking that I'd be gigging again, but have since decided not to perform live again unless it's a one off.

    The two guitar amps: Vox AC30 and Fender Deluxe.

    I"ve pretty much sussed out how I'll use the pedals in stereo for recording. Good thing too because I swear to me that trying to figure out all the in / output of the pedals requires a knowledge of associative and distributive algebra.
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Willie,

    It's not that complicated, and I think I might know a way to help you with your live rig, since I'm doing something similar with a pedal board project I have coming up.

    In another thread that I started here, I posted that I'm building a pedal board with the new line of Fender pedals, and I'll be using these pedals with a pair of old Twins. The beauty of these old amps is they have multiple channel inputs. You see, in the past, my Fender rig was comprised of these two Twins, and a Leslie Model 760. Using an A/B/Y pedal, I can bring the Leslie into the mix or cut it out, and just have my Twins going with their own effects.
    I'm sure you know how heavy tube Twins are, and the Leslie is a big box. The purpose of the board I'm building is to trim down this rig, and make it easier to transport, and here's how I'm going to do it:
    Fender has the Pinwheel pedal, and it sounds pretty good so, this can replace my Leslie! Since I never run any distortion to the Leslie, I'll place the Pinwheel at the beginning of my effects chain which will be the Level Set Buffer, followed by the Bends Compressor. From there, The signal will go into the A/B/Y switch. Signal A will continue through the rest of the effects, and signal B will go to the Pinwheel, and from there I'll send each of the Pinwheel outputs to the Normal inputs of each Twin. Signal Path A will go through the rest of the effects, split to stero from the Bubbler chorus, and each of those outputs will go to the Vibrato channel inputs on the Twins. I'll just blend the volumes on the Normal channels and tweak the EQ's until I get something that sounds good. Later on, to lighten the load even more, I may look into a pair of Tone Master Twins, or even Deluxes to make the rig even lighter, since these amps feature the same connections.

    I know your Deluxe has this feature, but I'm not sure if you have another channel input on the Vox with independent volume control. My first amp was a Vox 2x12 combo that had 3 channel inputs. If your amp has this similar layout, then you should be able to pull it off by dividing your stereo outputs from your pedals into at least two groups, and split them out to the two amps. It won't be studio quality stereo imaging, but for live applications, it should be closer to what you are looking for. Just don't forget to instruct your sound man to pan your amps left and right before bringing up your levels.

    If you can, try experimenting with this at home and see how it works out. I got some pretty positive results from my rig doing that. It's not studio quality, but then, live sound is always a compromise. Let me know how it works for you.

    I hope this helps.

    Harley

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Hexxe View Post
    Willie,

    It's not that complicated, and I think I might know a way to help you with your live rig, since I'm doing something similar with a pedal board project I have coming up.

    In another thread that I started here, I posted that I'm building a pedal board with the new line of Fender pedals, and I'll be using these pedals with a pair of old Twins. <Snip>

    Harley

    Holy crap! The last I time I saw a guy play with 2 Twins was Dick Dale and it was ears-shattering loud in a really large hall. What sort of venues are you playing with 2 Twins?


    Funny aside- when Dick was playing one of the Twins broke and he finished the show on a single Twin and it sounded a lot better.

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Holy crap! The last I time I saw a guy play with 2 Twins was Dick Dale and it was ears-shattering loud in a really large hall. What sort of venues are you playing with 2 Twins?


    Funny aside- when Dick was playing one of the Twins broke and he finished the show on a single Twin and it sounded a lot better.

    Chuck
    I don't turn them up full blast, just enough to get the maximum clean headroom with just a hint of breakup, the pedals take care of all the overdrive and distortion tones. I adjust the levels of these according to the venues I'm playing. Most of the time these are outdoor gigs, like Hippie-Fests, or Food Festivals etc. But the Twins and Leslie were only a part of my rig. For more modern tones and effects, I would also bring two A/DA half or full stacks and switch back and forth with MIDI and A/B/Y switches.

    I used to use four Twins, but I sold off two of them about 10 years ago.

    Harley
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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Hexxe View Post
    I don't turn them up full blast, just enough to get the maximum clean headroom with just a hint of breakup, the pedals take care of all the overdrive and distortion tones. I adjust the levels of these according to the venues I'm playing. Most of the time these are outdoor gigs, like Hippie-Fests, or Food Festivals etc. But the Twins and Leslie were only a part of my rig. For more modern tones and effects, I would also bring two A/DA half or full stacks and switch back and forth with MIDI and A/B/Y switches.

    I used to use four Twins, but I sold off two of them about 10 years ago.

    Harley
    Four Twins! What was your stage volume like? I can't fathom getting a decent mix like that. Why four? Weren't you mixed FOH? I mean, at those volumes I just used my amp for a stage monitor since the real sound was out front. These days I only have a single guitar monitor pointed at me and no stage amp. My monitor is mono but the house feed is stereo.

    Tell you one thing, it's a hell of a lot lighter than 4 Twins :)
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Four Twins! What was your stage volume like? I can't fathom getting a decent mix like that. Why four? Weren't you mixed FOH? I mean, at those volumes I just used my amp for a stage monitor since the real sound was out front. These days I only have a single guitar monitor pointed at me and no stage amp. My monitor is mono but the house feed is stereo.

    Tell you one thing, it's a hell of a lot lighter than 4 Twins :)
    Yes I was mixed FOH, it was no problem. At that point in time, it wasn't my guitar plugged into the Twins directly. I was using a 22U rack with one or two ADA preamps in it, my rack effects, and a Switching system. Instead of power amps and cabs all over the place, I came out of the rack and into the Twins. Two of them were straight guitar tones from the preamp, the other two had the stereo effects in them. I have a pic of that rig somewhere in an old laptop. I'll have to dig that up and post it here.
    As far as volume, not an issue. The inputs to the Twins came from a Rane SM-26 mixer with level and pan controls to each amp. I could set the levels on the amps, control the overall volume from the rack, and the real benefit was I had post effects EQ in my amplification.

    It was never up that loud to interfere with the mix.

    Harley
    I only have two brain cells left, and I'm saving them for the WEEKEND!

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Hexxe View Post
    Yes I was mixed FOH, it was no problem. At that point in time, it wasn't my guitar plugged into the Twins directly. I was using a 22U rack with one or two ADA preamps in it, my rack effects, and a Switching system. Instead of power amps and cabs all over the place, I came out of the rack and into the Twins. Two of them were straight guitar tones from the preamp, the other two had the stereo effects in them. I have a pic of that rig somewhere in an old laptop. I'll have to dig that up and post it here.
    As far as volume, not an issue. The inputs to the Twins came from a Rane SM-26 mixer with level and pan controls to each amp. I could set the levels on the amps, control the overall volume from the rack, and the real benefit was I had post effects EQ in my amplification.

    It was never up that loud to interfere with the mix.

    Harley
    I get it, you were using the Twins instead of FOH. Interesting, since you had the preamps why didn't you go direct? Mono PA?

    Back to the OP, one thing you need to be aware of with a stereo rig is creating dead spots where things go out of phase. If you're using the sound system you usually have enough dispersion for it not to be a problem but when you use two amps or cabs onstage you need to be careful. The first impulse many players have is to separate the cabs as far as possible, but that's not usually the best choice.



    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: How to Use Stereo Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    I get it, you were using the Twins instead of FOH. Interesting, since you had the preamps why didn't you go direct? Mono PA?

    Back to the OP, one thing you need to be aware of with a stereo rig is creating dead spots where things go out of phase. If you're using the sound system you usually have enough dispersion for it not to be a problem but when you use two amps or cabs onstage you need to be careful. The first impulse many players have is to separate the cabs as far as possible, but that's not usually the best choice.



    Chuck
    Not quite correct. Let me try to explain how that old setup worked.

    I was mixed in to FOH because my overall stage volume was not that loud, even with all four Twins going, I never had it turned up much more than you would if you were only playing through a single 30-40 Watt combo amp. We worked that out in rehearsals. I always kept the levels down to the point that the band could blend with the drummer, and be able to hear the vocals. With just the vocals mic'ed, and the drums and amps not in the PA at all, we sounded like a loud stereo. The PA system would just amplify that to the appropriate level. I never tried to overpower the PA system with my guitar rig, even though I could if I wanted to. To my ears, that doesn't sound good.

    With that said, here's how my rig at the time was set up and mic'ed through the PA:

    The Twins were all mic'ed, one mic on each one. The two Twins on the bottom were my dry guitar tone, (no effects). The Two on the top were Stereo effects, (left and right channels respectively).
    The sound man would pan my dry signal in the center,(bottom amps), and would pan the effects hard left and hard right,(top amps).
    How he coped with phasing issues, I don't know, but he did and it sounded pretty good. He placed his mics where he needed then and set up the mix in FOH. IF he needed me to make any adjustments, he'd tell me and I'd do what he says. In the end, it worked out great.

    I never ran the ADA preamps direct, that just didn't sound good that way. It would be like plugging your distortion pedal directly into your speaker.

    I still needed a monitor mix so I could hear the bass guitar and vocals over the drums.

    This same sound man also worked with me when I started using my Cyber-Deluxe and Vibrolux stereo set up and he liked that better. It was just two amps and even though they were on either side of the drum riser, it still sounded great! I just needed more of that mixed into the monitors with the bass and vocals to know where I was in a song.

    I hope that helped clear up the mystery.

    Harley
    I only have two brain cells left, and I'm saving them for the WEEKEND!

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