PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

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zackguitar929
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:14 pm

PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by zackguitar929 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:43 am

Hi and thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to read this!

I've been playing for 18 years and teaching music for a long time, but am now starting a band with my best friends and decided to step up my rig with the Dingbat medium board with Mondo Power and PX-8 Plus built-in. Haven't used the PX-8 Plus to this point because I was experimenting with and adding pedals and am ready to get it going. I've never been a pedal guy and have never used a switching system, but look forward to using it on gigs once I program it.

Signal chain is Guitar > Polytune > Mini Wah > Compressor > Tumnus overdrive > Boss Bassman overdrive > Boss Metalizer > Butler Tube Driver > Mini Volume. I also have Chorus/Rotary > Phase > Digital Delay > Analog Delay in effects loop and want to keep them there.

Not sure if it matters for this discussion other than using Mondo to power the PX-8, but of the 11 pedals the tube driver and volume are not plugged into the power supply.

I apologize if any of these are stupid questions.

1) If I use the 4 pedals in my amp's effects loop running through the PX-8's insert between loops 6 and 7, can I access each of those individually?
2) Since there are only 8 loops on the PX-8, would it make a difference if I combined 2 pedals into 1 particular loop like an overdrive with the volume pedal? I'd like to keep the volume working as a master volume for my whole signal chain. Or would putting volume pedal in amp effects loop take care of that?

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

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by JohnClark » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:32 am

Hello and welcome to the forum!

You can put multiple pedals in a single switchable loop, but they will all be bypassed when the loop is off. The PX-8 Plus has two sets of series loops. Loops 1-6 and Loops 7 & 8. The three basic choices are as follows:
1. Running all eight loops in series either in front of the amp, or in its effects loop.
2. Running Loops 1-6 in front of the amp, and running Loops 7 & 8 in the Effects Loop of the amp.
3. Running Loops 7 & 8 in front of the amp, and running Loops 1-6 in the Effects Loop of the amp.

In your setup there isn't a easy or obvious place to make the split between "front end" and "FX Loop" pedals without either doubling up some pedals, or sacrificing a switchable loop to act as an alternate insert point.
With these pedals I would certainly start off by not putting the Tuner or the Wah into any Loop, and maybe depending on how you use it the Compressor too... that at least frees up some loop space for the pedals you do want switched.

I hope that helps!

zackguitar929
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by zackguitar929 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks for the start, John! I put in an order for a bunch of patch cables to wire up the PX-8+ after measuring it all out and hope it will work for me.

I have some followups based on your response as I re-read the manual and hopefully not to waste your time -
1) If I choose not to include the tuner, wah, compressor, or volume pedals in any loops, where would they be plugged into? The insert between loops 6 and 7? I am totally fine with keeping those separate and even taking 1 of the overdrives out if needed.
2) Can the volume pedal also be used as a master volume if it's run on the insert and remaining on in the signal? I can also plug the tuner into the volume pedal to free up space that way.

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

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by JohnClark » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:38 am

I'd probably keep the tuner up front so your connections would still be Guitar -> Tuner -> Wah -> Whatever else you want before the PX-8 Plus Loops -> PX-8 Plus. This also lets the tuner be a good mute as well as ensures you never accidentally have an active effect in front of it (never try to quickly tune between songs with an active chorus in front of the tuner... ask me how I know :oops: )

The Volume pedal will likely be routed right after the FX Send on your Amp, or maybe just before the FX Return on your amp.

If you take an overdrive out too then you can do another sort of trick that sacrifices a loop to be your front end / FX Loop split. This would also make the Insert a good place to put the Volume since it would land after the Chorus and Phase, but before the Delays. Here is an example...
Warning: This setup might buzz on some amps! :shock:
Guitar -> Tuner -> Wah -> Compressor -> Drive #1 -> PX-8 Plus Input
Loop 1 = Drive #2
Loop 2 = Drive #3
Loop 3 = Drive #4
Loop 4 Send -> Instrument Input on the amp
FX Send from the amp -> Loop 4 Return
(Loop 4 will need to always be Active)
Loop 5 = Chorus/Rotary
Loop 6 = Phase
Insert = Volume Pedal
Loop 7 = Delay #1
Loop 8 = Delay #2
PX-8 Plus Output -> FX Return on the amp.

Let us know what you think.

zackguitar929
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by zackguitar929 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:00 pm

I have to sit with that in my head and draw it on paper, but that makes a lot of sense. I have 2 of my overdrives I don't use too often and wouldn't feel bad about taking it out of the chain or swapping it with something when needed in the name of staying sane during the process of programming everything.

My best friend and I are both almost 30 years old and music school graduates and our new band's first gig is in 1 month at an outdoor venue next to our college with a 3000 seat capacity, so I'm crossing my fingers that I can get this done before then. So happy I chose to buy the Dingbat board with the PX-8+ pre-installed even though I had no idea I'd need it for gigs this soon!

I'm guessing active chorus in front of tuner was during a gig? Definitely hoping to avoid anything like that.

It will probably be a week before I get all of the patch cables, but I love the concept of this signal chain that you suggested! I'll reply back once I give it a try!

Thanks a bunch!

zackguitar929
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by zackguitar929 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:06 pm

Hi John,

A few of the patch cables I ordered were not long enough, but I've wired everything up the way you suggested and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the PX-8+! After a couple minutes reading through the manual, I got my first 4 presets to work and it's a life saver!

Using your recommended setup, I do get significant amp noise (not sure if it's from the 2 generic instrument cables I'm using for connecting a couple of the pedals while I wait for more patches). I still can play with loop 4 turned off, but the clean tone is louder and a little crunchy, which I'm not a fan of.

If I decide later on that I would rather save some headaches and not use the amp's FX loop, could I still use the same setup except having access to loop 4? How would that work if the input only goes to front of amp? Output on PX-8 plugged into amp and loop 4 connected the same way I did with the rest of the pedals?

Note: I ordered 2 longer high quality cables for the amp FX loop connection and 2 longer patch cables coming in a few days that will hopefully reduce the noise.

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

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by JohnClark » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:40 pm

For the buzzing issue I'd try connecting the Sleeves together on the plugs connected to Loop 4 using a short piece of wire to see if that solves the noise.

If you decide you would rather not use Loop 4 as an alternate point to split the loops, then yes, you can use all eight loops in front of the amp or any of the other combinations I mentioned earlier.

Here would be the basic wiring methods for the four standard setups using PX-8 Plus...
1. Guitar to PX-8 Plus Input, PX-8 Plus Output to the Instrument Input on your amp. This would put all eight loops in front of the amp.

2. Guitar to the Instrument Input on your amp, FX Send from the amp to PX-8 Plus Input. PX-8 Plus Output to FX Return on your amp. This would put all eight loops in the amp's FX Loop.

3. Guitar to PX-8 Plus Input, PX-8 Plus Insert Send to the Instrument Input on your amp. FX Send from the amp to PX-8 Plus Insert Return. PX-8 Plus Output to FX Return on your amp. This would put Loops 1-6 in front of the amp, and put Loops 7 & 8 in the FX Loop of the amp.

4. Guitar to PX-8 Plus Insert Return. PX-8 Plus Output to the Instrument Input on your amp. FX Send from the amp to PX-8 Plus Input, PX-8 Plus Insert Send to FX Return on your amp. This would put Loops 7 & 8 in front of the amp, and put Loops 1-6 in the FX Loop of the amp.

I hope that helps!

zackguitar929
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by zackguitar929 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:09 pm

Hi John,

Keeping loop 4 as the split point has been working well for the most part, but I did have some issues that happened 2 days in a row that I'm concerned about and still not 100% sure how it works. Here's a review of the split:

Loop 4 Send -> Instrument Input on the amp
FX Send from the amp -> Loop 4 Return
(Loop 4 will need to always be Active)

If loop 4 is turned off on the PX-8+ I still get a sound and it is much louder - if it is turned off, is my tone coming from the front of the amp or built-in FX loop?

And back to my original point in this post, I've had 2 cases where loop 4 is turned on and everything goes completely silent. Double checked all of my cables and inputs and nothing is wrong with them. The second time it happened during a rehearsal and I had to wing it with loop 4 off, extreme focus on volume pedal, and turning individual pedals on/off instead of my presets.

If I'm getting no sound from loop 4 in that case, does that mean that something has blown out? All 11 pedals still turn on and off through PX-8+ with no problem.

JohnClark
Posts: 7213
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by JohnClark » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:32 pm

With Loop 4 Off you will be basically bypassing the preamp section of your amp. It would be just like running guitar -> Pedals -> FX Return... thus the note that Loop 4 stay on at all times ;)

Unintended silence is never good! If you get silence with Loop 4 On, but there is signal when simply turning Loop 4 Off, that would narrow the culprit mainly down to only a couple likely possibilities.
1. Poor connection between Loop 4 Send and the Instrument Input of the amp.
2. Poor connection between FX Send of the amp and Loop 4 Return.
This could be from a plug not fully connected or from a failing cable. Best would be if you could get it to fail again, and without changing anything else, swap out these cables one at a time. This should tell you pretty quickly which cable may be the problem.
Otherwise I'd just jump straight to swapping out these two cables and test again.

Let us know how it goes!

zackguitar929
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Re: PX-8 Plus and Effects Loop setup for first time pedal board user

Post by zackguitar929 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:18 pm

Hi John,

I wanted to experiment with having all 8 loops in front of the amp instead of splitting at 4 and had some success. Kept everything the way it was except I added a pedal that was swapped out (Boss Metalizer taken off vs. Wampler Velvet Fuzz) in loop 4 with different lengths of cable and found 2 patch cables that worked. Besides eliminating the amp FX loop, I noticed that adding a Boss buffered pedal brought back a lot of treble in my EQ that was gone from the last 2 configurations.

I’ll give the loop 4 split another try soon, but this works for now. I can’t tell you enough about how much the dingbat setup and PX-8+ has improved my tones and simplified everything now that I’ve had a couple months to play around with it! Trying to convince some of my friends who have smaller setups with pedals but no boards to buy the bundle with just the board plus power supply. I’m a proud Voodoo Lab supporter now!

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