Volume pedal in a rack system

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
gerax
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:45 am

Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by gerax » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:01 am

Hi all

I'm putting together a new compact rig that will feature a pair of modified Jet City 20W heads, a Triaxis preamp, a Lexicon MPX1 or Eventide Eclipse FX processor possibily in parallel with an Advance Tube line mixer, and maybe a pair of stomps and a dBx rack compressor.
I'll be using a GCX switcher to treat the two heads as separate pre and power amps and decide whether to use one or the other or the Triaxis and have a stereo power amp section.

My question is how to hook up a volume pedal in fornt of the FX processor so that I can control the overall level of the preamps and dynamics processing, and be able to do volume swells at full gain while leaving reverb/delay tails to trail off even when the volume is closed (FX level is MIDI controlled by Ground Control).

Ideally I'd be using an Ernie Ball pedal, but the main thing I'm concernded with is having to run several meters of cable from the rack to the pedalboard and back to the rack again...I know it's line level, but say 10m of cable for the round trip could wreck havoc on my tone...

So, to sum it up my signal path should be like this:

Guitar>Morley Wah>GCX Switcher with - Tube Screamer> Mesa Triaxis>JC1>JC2>dBx Compressor1>dBx Compressor 2> VOLUME PEDAL> Line mixer with FX parallel processing >stereo out to power amps.

What do you think?

Thanx for the feedback

L.G.

JohnClark
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Location: The Lab

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by JohnClark » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:00 pm

This could likely help...

http://www.nobels.com/en/index.htm

It is a MIDI controlled volume that would stay in the rack in order to keep you from needing to run such long audio cables.

I hope that helps!
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gerax
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:45 am

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by gerax » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:35 pm

Thanx a lot!!! That was exactly what I was thinking about, a MIDI controlled VCA just like those in studio consoles; I was looking for something like that, but I didn't know if any manufacturer was producing it.

I think that would do the trick.

BTW, I'll see if I can post the routing for the setup I'm putting together, even though it looks quite simple and straightforward, do you see any flaws or possibe shortcomings for what I'm trying to achieve?

Thanx again

L.G.

gerax
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:45 am

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by gerax » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:39 am

Hello

Here's how I'd ideally like to set my signal routing up, what do you think?
I've included the MIDI controlled volume you suggested in your previous post, really a problem solver!
I've also left the last 2 loops in the GCX open to control the send 1-2 mute on the Advance Tube Tech "Missing Link" line mixer (http://www.advancetubetech.com/prodotti ... ?artid=830) which according to their specs can be controlled by any standard tip to ground switcher.

I'd appreciate your feedback, thanx

L.G.
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Rack Config.jpg

nyteowl
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Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by nyteowl » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:55 am

I'm curious as to what the thinking is behind running Channel 1 of the compressor in Loop 5 and running Channel 2 in Loop 6..?

Will you be running one loop or the other, depending on the preamp you're using at any given time?
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gerax
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:45 am

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by gerax » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:26 pm

I set the two compressors with different settings, like as an example, ch 1 with very light compression with a bit of a fast attack and gate for some hi-gain rythm sounds while ch 2 has more compression and no gate for clean sounds, funk rythms or Eric Johnson/Steve Morse like clean tones.
Either one can be used with whatever preamp I choose, even though my clean sounds usually come from the Triaxis.

Does it make sense for you? :)

JohnClark
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Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by JohnClark » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:36 pm

A better way to switch between the different preamp sections would be to split the signal after GCX Loop 1 to feed all three preamp sections simultaneously then use two GCX Loops to switch between the outputs of the three preamp sections.

Here is a GCX rig diagram that uses this idea...

http://voodoolab.com/gcxdiagrams/04-Mul ... werAmp.pdf

In this example GCX Loops 1 and 2 are selecting the active preamp section. This method reduces the potential popping by eliminating unnecessary switching in front of the preamps as well as making it impossible to accidentally send the output of one preamp to the input of another preamp.

I hope that helps!
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gerax
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:45 am

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by gerax » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:04 pm

Hello John

I've changed my mind about a few pieces of gear in the rig. Mainly I've given up the idea of the two amp heads (Jet Citys have a strange FX loop where tone controls are post return... :? thus unusable for my purpose) in favor of 2 different preamps (Soldano SP77 and Triaxis) and a stereo power amp; I've started looking at the wiring scheme you suggested for an easier and quieter switching of preamps. The thing I cannot get my head around is how can I hook pedals up in this setup (in front of any given preamp) if I'm splitting the signal with the THRU feed for the two pres...
Basically I'd like to have a few pedals (like an OD or fuzz) in fornt of the preamps, then after that the two channel compressor and maybe some kind of Rotovibe/Microvibe or Phaser kind of thing. The I'd have the MIDI VCA and hit the line mixer with rack FX...

What do you think?

Thanx for your help

L.G.

JohnClark
Posts: 7494
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by JohnClark » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:52 am

If you want to run pedals before your preamps you would simply route through the loops in series and from the last loop in the front end effect chain run a multi split cable from its Out to the inputs of each preamp. wit only two preamps a standard Y cable will work for this split.

Also, if you are now going to use just two preamps then a single GCX loop will be able to A/B between them as shown in the GCX Manual under the A/B Switching section, Example 1.

I hope that helps!
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gerax
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:45 am

Re: Volume pedal in a rack system

Post by gerax » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:56 pm

Thanx for the reply John.
Do you think that passively splitting a low level signal (like the one from the output of a standard stompbox running before the preamp) won't degrade the tone and its signal to noise ratio?

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