Guitar pedals vs Plugins

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Dilibob » Tue May 11, 2021 1:04 pm

I like the boss sy-1000 guitar synthesizer, gives me the best of both worlds plus I can always use a plug-in in mixing later or route a send to a pedal.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue May 11, 2021 4:31 pm

ths is something i'm quite interested in - in general.
i've read some comments regarding the inability of computers to model some of the behaviour (feedback?) in some pedals.
though - surely there is a VST playground of some sorts with many types of distortion pedal types/topologies, and fuzz.
do programs like Guitar Rig and the like have unnamed 'clones' of good pedals? i'll admit i havent done a proper check :/

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Yes Powder » Tue May 11, 2021 5:13 pm

wuff_miggler wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 4:31 pm
ths is something i'm quite interested in - in general.
i've read some comments regarding the inability of computers to model some of the behaviour (feedback?) in some pedals.
though - surely there is a VST playground of some sorts with many types of distortion pedal types/topologies, and fuzz.
do programs like Guitar Rig and the like have unnamed 'clones' of good pedals? i'll admit i havent done a proper check :/
Behaviors within the pedal can be modeled, sure, but the real issue comes with modeling behaviors that come from direct guitar/pedal interactions. For instance in the case of the Blasteroid pedal I mentioned, the circuit lacks a blocking capacitor on the input side of the circuit so its behavior is directly tied to the pickups you're using as well as the volume/tone controls on the guitar; they functionally become part of the circuit! This can be demonstrated simply by turning down the tone knob on a guitar plugged into it, which will cause the pedal to dip deep into self-oscillation. Even plugging different guitars into the pedal will change the sweepable range of the pedal's oscillations, or in the case of my only humbucking guitar (an Epiphone SG with coil-tapping switches) I've found that the the pedal exhibits less of its normal resonant character than when set on humbucking.
I have a Fuzzface clone that exhibits similar pickup/knob-sensitive behavior. Such behaviors are where the wisdom of "fuzz first on your signal chain" comes from.
Without more complex interfaces than any I know available, I really don't see how such behaviors could be properly modeled.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue May 11, 2021 7:40 pm

interesting.
i really wish there was something like VCV rack for guitar pedal clones. That would be so great integrating in a production environment.
*paging chris from airwindows* :P

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue May 11, 2021 11:39 pm

.. not to mention how much things such as humbuckers, single coils, active/passive electronics influence various fuzz circuits. Not to mention input impedance of a given fuzz circuit, lower impedances will create a ~woofier~ sound, high impedance creates a brighter sound. Impedance also has a great influence on how the guitar will respond ("feel") ... lower input impedance creates a mushy feel, where higher impedance creates more instantaneous (perhaps "crisp" is a better word here) and brighter tones.

I'm not convinced that ~essence~ can be recreated digitally, Different fuzz circuits placed in the signal chain nearly produce completely unique "instruments" (guitar, FX, amp, cab = "instrument") .... again, not convinced digital fuzz can be made to respond to the "instrument" in anywhere near the same way analog fuzz circuits do.

It's these and many other reasons analog guitar pedals still exist.

:hmm:
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by sallowworm » Tue May 11, 2021 11:45 pm

In some instances there is no comparison. I've had a lot of fun experimenting with my CT5 pedal lately but I've also been going through a fair few plugins. The quality of plugins that are available for free is unreal, what a time to be alive

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Dilibob » Wed May 12, 2021 10:27 am

No reason to choose, in the back of the sy-1000 it has both guitar input and 13-pin (so you can model per string route analog or midi to computer). Also there’s two guitar pedal routing plugs on the back so you can even add your pedal board (i.e. there’s a send and return plugs in the back). So you don’t even need to commit to which path you prefer during recording as long as you record all the analog outputs (there’s 4 analog output options which are all re-routable via the pedal board, and that’s aside from getting the midi into the computer). You can even route/process your standard pickups through the chain and/or mix the standard pickup chains with individual string chains (processed either through analog pedal simulators, your own real pedals, or going through full midi synths).

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by haiduk » Wed May 12, 2021 7:19 pm

Yes for recording, a plug-in pedal effect is way easier to work with and I think gives a cleaner sound or it's easier to toggle, modify, blend, and change tones even after you've recorded something.

For playing live, pedals are easier.
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by johny_gtr » Thu May 13, 2021 1:00 pm

If you want to play guitar without jitter you need a decent audio interface like BBFPRO. With big latency guitar playing will be a nightmare.
If you have some plugins sound really good and maybe better that real devices on low (bedroom studio) level of signal. For example Amplitube 5 sounds good even some drive and analog delays emulations. For me their DMM emulator sounds more natural that my Strymon device. Some vintage devices add some extra color even if they are digital (AD DA like 10/12 bit, analog filters, transformers)... HW things are also a lot more inspirational for me than screen windows and buttons. sometimes pedal that sounds worse than another provide me more ideas because of its design
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Northward » Sat May 22, 2021 9:56 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 8:52 am
Northward wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:16 am
Seeing that modern effect pedals basically are algorithms on microchips - wouldn’t a plugin with the identical algorithm sound the same? Apart from the little signal chain inside of course.

Just checked out the newly announced UA guitar pedals and they sound real nice. As does the Stymon, Empress etc. But they are very expensive compared excellent VST's in the same ballpark.

So, for studio work, are any of you pedal freaks happy just using plugins?
... at the end of the day plug-ins are no better than your audio interface ... (latency, input stage impedance, etc..).

So if one has the computing power, and a muscular, well-featured audio interface, then ~maybe~ you might set up an all-computer FX signal chain with full I/O. You'll still need a high impedance input stage for the guitar as well, at least 1 MegOhm input impedance ... either provided by the interface or an external guitar signal buffer/stompbox/preamp/et al... Any corners cut on the hardware will produce a very frustrating experience.

:tu:
Good precise knowledge 👍
As we all know fiddling with this stuff ain’t exactly inspiring, in spite of the many affordable great plugins these days.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Northward » Sat May 22, 2021 11:04 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 11:39 pm
I'm not convinced that ~essence~ can be recreated digitally, Different fuzz circuits placed in the signal chain nearly produce completely unique "instruments" (guitar, FX, amp, cab = "instrument") .... again, not convinced digital fuzz can be made to respond to the "instrument" in anywhere near the same way analog fuzz circuits do.

It's these and many other reasons analog guitar pedals still exist.

:hmm:
This it something I’ve experienced and heard/read from several guitarist. Fuzz is the one effect that isn’t replicated well at all digitally. Reverbs yes! but fuzz doesn’t have the minerals -yet.

Speaking of fuzz pedals - sidetracking the tread if you don’t mind, I love a good 'punky sounding' fuzz and have been on the look for a pedal that isn’t one of in the gazillion replicas.
Does this sound ring a bell: A fuzz that has an EQ or is easy to dial away most of the bass (or that stoner woolly type sound) - leaving us with a tight sharpish, starved and skinny type fuzz (sits great in a mix). A bit The Who but not quite. That 'Demo tape fuzz' pedal is in the ballpark. Perhaps a boost pedal is what’s needed. I haven’t bought, tried and sold a lot pedals to find "my sound". I’m sure some of you guys have heaps of experience with these things.
Last edited by Northward on Sat May 22, 2021 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sat May 22, 2021 11:16 am

You can't fit a burl audio interface with an antelope atomic clock in a guitar pedal. You can't get the fidelity of an analog chorus with digital FX. It would be hard to get dark BBD or distorted BBD sounds from a simulation without any aliasing. Some people like tube amp simulation like the fractal audio axefx. It sounds good but it does not replace a soldano hotrod 50 plus in my opinion. Probably these software pedals will fit the same market as mutable instruments or high quality amp simulation. People that buy them tend to have enough money to buy nice things but not enough experience to notice a difference in sound compared to analog original gear that the simulations are based on.

I always get a lot of hate for saying this but I have worked in retail and studios long enough to see who buys what and why. There is also a category of people who are touring musicians who use amp simulation to record on the tour bus or in hotels. I get it. They get it. I asked someone why they use a sim and they told me the music is for advertising so he just needs to crank out half decent garbage as fast as possible.
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sat May 22, 2021 12:03 pm

Northward wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 11:04 am
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 11:39 pm
I'm not convinced that ~essence~ can be recreated digitally, Different fuzz circuits placed in the signal chain nearly produce completely unique "instruments" (guitar, FX, amp, cab = "instrument") .... again, not convinced digital fuzz can be made to respond to the "instrument" in anywhere near the same way analog fuzz circuits do.

It's these and many other reasons analog guitar pedals still exist.

:hmm:
This it something I’ve experienced and heard/read from several guitarist. Fuzz is the one effect that isn’t replicated well at all digitally. Reverbs yes! but fuzz doesn’t have the minerals -yet.

Speaking of fuzz pedals - sidetracking the tread if you don’t mind, I love a good 'punky sounding' fuzz and have been on the look for a pedal that isn’t one of in the gazillion replicas.
Does this sound ring a bell: A fuzz that has an EQ or is easy to dial away most of the bass (or that stoner woolly type sound) - leaving us with a tight sharpish, starved and skinny type fuzz (sits great in a mix). A bit The Who but not quite. That 'Demo tape fuzz' pedal is in the ballpark. Perhaps a boost pedal is what’s needed. I haven’t bought, tried and sold a lot pedals to find "my sound". I’m sure some of you guys have heaps of experience with these things.
... y'know, fuzz pedals are very easy to build (I speak of the circuit itself) ... there's really no reason you couldn't breadboard (or Fero, or ...) basic fuzz circuits and put some time in working out what sounds/works best for you. I've built fuzz circuits with less than ten components (all point to point). It's certainly FAR less costly than trying various VSTs and/or fuzz pedals.

If you're not into soldering, a fuzz circuit built on a board is about as simple as it gets, only slightly more complex than the average boost/overdrive circuit. Build them on ~test boards~ and leave them unenclosed ... that way you've got very little money in the prototypes and can more freely experiment with various circuit designs and component types (for example, changing transistors can make quite a difference).

If you start out with just experimenting with only the circuits you won't need any type of heavier drilling equipment (like a drill press) to drill holes in enclosures ... because you're not using any enclosures .. at first. Soldering pen and a few basic hand tools will do the job nicely, you'll need a digital volt meter that also reads resistance which can be had for less than $20 bucks.

Just a thought. :)

The thing about a good fuzz is that it makes the guitar "feel" and "respond" in such a way that it inspires and can even drive musical expression. Play lightly and you get nearly clean sound ... spank it and it barks atchya. But there's little or no middle ground on many fuzz types ... it's either clean or rude as hell ... and this characteristic is something that some fuzz players relish. Goofing with the components can change how the guitar "handles" (clean, dirty, and the transition between the two states).

Give it some thought, maybe it's something within your ability!!! :tu:
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Northward » Sat May 22, 2021 12:42 pm

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 12:03 pm
Northward wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 11:04 am
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 11:39 pm
I'm not convinced that ~essence~ can be recreated digitally, Different fuzz circuits placed in the signal chain nearly produce completely unique "instruments" (guitar, FX, amp, cab = "instrument") .... again, not convinced digital fuzz can be made to respond to the "instrument" in anywhere near the same way analog fuzz circuits do.

It's these and many other reasons analog guitar pedals still exist.

:hmm:
This it something I’ve experienced and heard/read from several guitarist. Fuzz is the one effect that isn’t replicated well at all digitally. Reverbs yes! but fuzz doesn’t have the minerals -yet.

Speaking of fuzz pedals - sidetracking the tread if you don’t mind, I love a good 'punky sounding' fuzz and have been on the look for a pedal that isn’t one of in the gazillion replicas.
Does this sound ring a bell: A fuzz that has an EQ or is easy to dial away most of the bass (or that stoner woolly type sound) - leaving us with a tight sharpish, starved and skinny type fuzz (sits great in a mix). A bit The Who but not quite. That 'Demo tape fuzz' pedal is in the ballpark. Perhaps a boost pedal is what’s needed. I haven’t bought, tried and sold a lot pedals to find "my sound". I’m sure some of you guys have heaps of experience with these things.
... y'know, fuzz pedals are very easy to build (I speak of the circuit itself) ... there's really no reason you couldn't breadboard (or Fero, or ...) basic fuzz circuits and put some time in working out what sounds/works best for you. I've built fuzz circuits with less than ten components (all point to point). It's certainly FAR less costly than trying various VSTs and/or fuzz pedals.

If you're not into soldering, a fuzz circuit built on a board is about as simple as it gets, only slightly more complex than the average boost/overdrive circuit. Build them on ~test boards~ and leave them unenclosed ... that way you've got very little money in the prototypes and can more freely experiment with various circuit designs and component types (for example, changing transistors can make quite a difference).

If you start out with just experimenting with only the circuits you won't need any type of heavier drilling equipment (like a drill press) to drill holes in enclosures ... because you're not using any enclosures .. at first. Soldering pen and a few basic hand tools will do the job nicely, you'll need a digital volt meter that also reads resistance which can be had for less than $20 bucks.

Just a thought. :)

The thing about a good fuzz is that it makes the guitar "feel" and "respond" in such a way that it inspires and can even drive musical expression. Play lightly and you get nearly clean sound ... spank it and it barks atchya. But there's little or no middle ground on many fuzz types ... it's either clean or rude as hell ... and this characteristic is something that some fuzz players relish. Goofing with the components can change how the guitar "handles" (clean, dirty, and the transition between the two states).

Give it some thought, maybe it's something within your ability!!! :tu:
Great 👍
I’ve already scoped out a diy demo tape clone called the 4-track fuzz, but didn’t get it thinking I might find my spot on pedal. I agree that fuzz tends to be pretty off-on. And the on bit almost is always way too much "wool" for my liking. I suspect a boost pedal and an eq might get me there(?) with the right starting point fuzz. But prefer to dial it all in on one pedal. Of course some Jaguar pickups wouldn’t hurt either.

NB. Fuzz pedals is a fascinating subject cause there are sooo many types out there and tastes vary so much more than e.g. synth sounds it seems.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by mnchrme » Sat May 22, 2021 12:46 pm

Depends on the effect. I use both.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by unclebastard » Sun May 23, 2021 9:43 am

The DOD Carcosa fuzz can dial out low end, and has a high pass switch. It also has a bias knob which turns the fuzz from full-width to ripping velcro/dying battery.
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Northward » Sun May 23, 2021 12:04 pm

unclebastard wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 9:43 am
The DOD Carcosa fuzz can dial out low end, and has a high pass switch. It also has a bias knob which turns the fuzz from full-width to ripping velcro/dying battery.
Checked out some demos and found it much better for OD than fuzz really. Really good actually. Tone knob is spot on what I want but not a fan of the actual fuzz. In fact I find that Hendrix 70s type fuzz pretty annoying :hihi: Appreciate the tip though. The search goes on.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun May 23, 2021 2:50 pm

Northward wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 12:04 pm
unclebastard wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 9:43 am
The DOD Carcosa fuzz can dial out low end, and has a high pass switch. It also has a bias knob which turns the fuzz from full-width to ripping velcro/dying battery.
Checked out some demos and found it much better for OD than fuzz really. Really good actually. Tone knob is spot on what I want but not a fan of the actual fuzz. In fact I find that Hendrix 70s type fuzz pretty annoying :hihi: Appreciate the tip though. The search goes on.
... maybe start checking into overdrive distortion then? The typical diode clipping "distortion pedal" can produce very responsive sounds. Go from super clean to that overdriven amp distortion by spanking the guitar a bit harder. If properly designed that type of pedal will also have an excellent "in-between zone" (so to speak) ... it will ramp up from clean to overdriven distortion predictably, smoothly, and musically. Most distortion pedals (not meaning ~fuzz~ here) have a much more refined (?) tone that's nowhere near as rude and unwieldy as most fuzz circuits. Stick a nice graphic EQ stompbox after the distortion unit and you can really shape the sound. Distortion produces a crap ton of ~highs~ ... it's those high frequencies that provide for excellent tonal shaping ability, especially if the EQ is placed after the distortion unit ... the distortion unit creates all of these highs, lots and lots to work with.

Overdrive/diode clipping distortion circuits are very simple and easily constructed. As I spoke of regarding building your own fuzz circuits earlier, those comments still apply to the OD/distortion circuit as well.
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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Northward » Mon May 24, 2021 4:33 pm

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 2:50 pm
Northward wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 12:04 pm
unclebastard wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 9:43 am
The DOD Carcosa fuzz can dial out low end, and has a high pass switch. It also has a bias knob which turns the fuzz from full-width to ripping velcro/dying battery.
Checked out some demos and found it much better for OD than fuzz really. Really good actually. Tone knob is spot on what I want but not a fan of the actual fuzz. In fact I find that Hendrix 70s type fuzz pretty annoying :hihi: Appreciate the tip though. The search goes on.
... maybe start checking into overdrive distortion then? The typical diode clipping "distortion pedal" can produce very responsive sounds. Go from super clean to that overdriven amp distortion by spanking the guitar a bit harder. If properly designed that type of pedal will also have an excellent "in-between zone" (so to speak) ... it will ramp up from clean to overdriven distortion predictably, smoothly, and musically. Most distortion pedals (not meaning ~fuzz~ here) have a much more refined (?) tone that's nowhere near as rude and unwieldy as most fuzz circuits. Stick a nice graphic EQ stompbox after the distortion unit and you can really shape the sound. Distortion produces a crap ton of ~highs~ ... it's those high frequencies that provide for excellent tonal shaping ability, especially if the EQ is placed after the distortion unit ... the distortion unit creates all of these highs, lots and lots to work with.

Overdrive/diode clipping distortion circuits are very simple and easily constructed. As I spoke of regarding building your own fuzz circuits earlier, those comments still apply to the OD/distortion circuit as well.
Thanks for enlightening me. You seem to have experience building pedals..? After a lot of scoping around today I have found something very close to my liking in a modified and very(!) traditional pedal: Tone Bender Mk 1.5. But an added mod with an impedance and bias knob made all the difference in the world. I did not expect that sound at all in a TB. Now I wonder if adding this mod to an existing diy kit is something that’s achievable - you know for dummies? :-)

Here’s the pedal -but I’m only into the Mk 1.5 with the bass cut and those two crucial tweak knobs mentioned. Gives a really primitive cool fuzz. Perhaps through an Orange amp with a moderate setting this the one for me.

https://www.ramblefx.com/twin-bender

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Mr. Aloud » Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:18 am

Speaking of pedals, can someone explain to me why there is categories of guitar pedals and bass pedals?

I assume that it relates to frequencies, but to what extent? Is it more like careful selection of EQ frequencies (if the pedal has one) for the instrument the pedal is used with? Or does that also apply to the frequency range being processed, ie "audio quality" from a synth perspective? Would you typically loose low end with a guitar pedal and high end with a bass pedal?
It would seem that still, after all these years, perception is essentially thought to be a passive process.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by wuff_miggler » Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:14 am

^ i think it's usually that bass pedals clip/affect the low end in more pleasing ways.
Guitar pedals on low end can sometimes sound "pinched" or "nasal".

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Mr. Aloud » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:52 am

So for a monosynth bassline it´s worth looking at a bass overdrive. Will give it a try. Thank you!
It would seem that still, after all these years, perception is essentially thought to be a passive process.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by bloke_zero » Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:20 am

Definitely as a normal overdrive will often loose a lot of the bottom end, as do flangers etc.

You'd probably want to drop the level down properly for it to work well as running synths into overdrive pedals is presenting so much level before the effect that they sound weird and muffled.

The other thing that helps a lot is a blend - if you do loose low end adding the original signal back in is killer.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by Mr. Aloud » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:02 am

That makes a lot of sense, thank you for sharing some tips&tricks. For compressors, that blending setup is also known as parallel processing or NYC style compression, isn´t it? I will make more use of that as I tend to patch everything serial most of the time.
It would seem that still, after all these years, perception is essentially thought to be a passive process.

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Re: Guitar pedals vs Plugins

Post by wuff_miggler » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:01 am

^ oh yeaaah

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