Switcher for Pedalboard (Loop vs Front-of-Amp Dilemma)

alexreinhold

Senior Member
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Been a bit silent lately - feels good to write a message here again :)

So I have been fiddling around with my pedalboard lately and pretty much run the following:
- front of amp: wah, tuner, boost, compressor
- fx loop: delay, reverb

So far so good - but now I want to avoid step dancing. I was thinking 4 channels:
1) compressor, reverb, boost
2) compressor, reverb, delay, boost
3) boost
4) boost, delay
*wah and tuner on demand + on every channel option to turn off a pedal (e.g. run 1 without boost).

Now I got a Joyo PXL8 but I was wondering if I can combine combinations of loop pedals and front-of-amp pedals like compressor/reverb with it.
- If yes, how'd the cabling go? Also, how do I make sure that I won't put the front-of-amp pedals into the fx loop?
- If no, which switcher would you recommend that enables me to do so? Does such a product even exist?

Thanks guys!
 
Interesting! This is essentially a configurable two loop switcher! Not sure if I've run into that. No, I don't think that exists.

PM me more information - I might be able to build you something like that... BTW, I would just have the tuner as the first thing you plug into. That way it's always available in every combination. May as well do that for the wah as well.
 
To do what you are asking, you need a different switcher, with moveable loops position wise. You wire it up and then program the loop positions for your different presets.

Here are some ideas.

  1. GigRig G3 variant
  2. RJM PBC or PBC6X
  3. Boss ES-8

Out of those, perhaps the PBC6X may hit the sweet spot for the number of pedals you have and has an excellent editor etc.
 
I thought you had a Kemper?
Of course! And it's still my go-to. But I've lately been growing more and more romantic about my Steavens Poundcake Valve amp. It's my remedy for when I miss the amp-in-the-room feeling. Generally, I am regularly switching between Kemper, my amp and Neural DSP plugins.
Interesting! This is essentially a configurable two loop switcher! Not sure if I've run into that. No, I don't think that exists.

PM me more information - I might be able to build you something like that... BTW, I would just have the tuner as the first thing you plug into. That way it's always available in every combination. May as well do that for the wah as well.
Yes, tuner and wah are always in front of everything. Re a custom build, I will PM - sounds very intriguing.
To do what you are asking, you need a different switcher, with moveable loops position wise. You wire it up and then program the loop positions for your different presets.

Here are some ideas.

  1. GigRig G3 variant
  2. RJM PBC or PBC6X
  3. Boss ES-8

Out of those, perhaps the PBC6X may hit the sweet spot for the number of pedals you have and has an excellent editor etc.
Awesome, will look into these and see what is worth the money given how immediate the need is. What about the Harley Benton FXL8 Pro (it seems to have two loop switchers): https://www.thomann.de/de/harley_benton_fxl8_pro.htm
 
Of course! And it's still my go-to. But I've lately been growing more and more romantic about my Steavens Poundcake Valve amp. It's my remedy for when I miss the amp-in-the-room feeling. Generally, I am regularly switching between Kemper, my amp and Neural DSP plugins.

Yes, tuner and wah are always in front of everything. Re a custom build, I will PM - sounds very intriguing.

Awesome, will look into these and see what is worth the money given how immediate the need is. What about the Harley Benton FXL8 Pro (it seems to have two loop switchers): https://www.thomann.de/de/harley_benton_fxl8_pro.htm

The one linked does not have the ability to reorder the loops. It is one switcher with 8 loops. Not sure what you mean about it having two loop switchers but it will not do what you were asking about.
 
Awesome, will look into these and see what is worth the money given how immediate the need is. What about the Harley Benton FXL8 Pro (it seems to have two loop switchers): https://www.thomann.de/de/harley_benton_fxl8_pro.htm
It has two loop outputs and a loop input... might do what you're looking for, but I can't find a manual for it.

Update: Here's the manual: https://images.thomann.de/pics/atg/atgdata/document/manual/c_337603_r2_en_online.pdf

Looks like it will do what you're asking. Have a look at the manual to make sure.
 
Ok now I look at that manual I see what it is.

What they are calling loops with four channels to each loop, would in other descriptions each S&R would be a loop, which they are calling a channel.

In this case, four pedals could be put in this Thomman switcher in front of the amp and then the other four S/Rs in the FX loop of the amp. You would then wire the pedals and loop switcher using a four cable type method. If you are not wanting to change the signal order of the pedals, it probably will work for what you intend.

The nomenclature is not very standard, so not so easy to read on first pass.
 
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Alright, seems like it's the most affordable option then - thanks guys. I might come back here for cabling :)
 
The main benefit apart from the number of loops of the ES8 with 8 loops versus the ES5 with 5 loops is that the ES8 also has what they call Vol in and Out. Essentially, you would go into the input, vol out to the amps' preamp in, amps FX send to vol in and then out of the output of the ES8 to the FX return or power amp in of the amp. That would be the four cable method, 4CM.

The ES5 does not have this feature.

The Boss ES8 allows you also to reorder your loops and position the vol in/out where you want. So you could easily have 4 pedals in front of the amp and four afterwards, for example.
 
Thanks Stratamania. That's sad - will have to revisit my entire plan then because the ES 8 is a bit of an overkill for me.
 
Thanks Stratamania. That's sad - will have to revisit my entire plan then because the ES 8 is a bit of an overkill for me.

Another way to do it with an ES5 is to use that for in front of amp pedals. And for the FX loop pedals, use MIDI controllable pedals or put the pedals in a smaller MIDI capable device controlled from the ES5.
You could use something like a Morningstar Engineering ML5 for that. Here is a link to loopersparadise.de who sell lots of this kind of thing.

https://www.loopersparadise.de/de/index.php?p=2679
 
Then I might as well get an ES-8 from a financial pov. But then again, size... Definitely a small market gap :-/

What about the GigRig G3 Atom? Would that work?
 
Then I might as well get an ES-8 from a financial pov. But then again, size... Definitely a small market gap :-/

What about the GigRig G3 Atom? Would that work?

Yes, that would work. It is possible to set up 4CM with the G3 Atom, also the RJM PBC6X can do that. Though of course there are limitations than on the larger units.

Of the two the PBC6X loops can be split from stereo to create more mono loops.
 
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@stratamania ACTUALLY.... :)

I think you don't need midi controllable pedals for the ES5, as described here: https://www.boss.info/fr/support/knowledge_base/115002871046/

Specifically, the last paragraph:

In any of these FOUR CABLE METHOD example setups with a multi-switcher the PRE - AMP is represented by VOLUME LOOP(ES-8), LOOP 5(ES-5) or LOOP 2(MS-3). Any EFFECTS placed to the LEFT of the PRE AMP LOOP will be before the PRE AMP and any EFFECTS placed after teh PRE AMP LOOP will be within the EFFECTS LOOP of the AMP.
So for the MS-3 there are several EFFECT CHAIN and EFFECT LOCATION customization options available using the built in MS-3 EFFECTS in conjunction with 2 other LOOP 1 and LOOP 2 EFFECTS/stomp boxes.
 
@stratamania ACTUALLY.... :)

I think you don't need midi controllable pedals for the ES5, as described here: https://www.boss.info/fr/support/knowledge_base/115002871046/

Specifically, the last paragraph:

I did not say that the pedals need to be MIDI capable.

It depends on how many pedals you intend to put into the limited number of loops. If you have a dedicated loop for each pedal in an ES8 or ES5, then yes, you likely do not need MIDI. But if you will be running more pedals in one loop or in another MIDI capable loop extension device, then you require MIDI to control what is turned on and off with each preset. It really depends on your actual use case.

The pedals themselves do not need to be MIDI capable unless you want to turn them on and off directly. Or change the presets of a pedal if it has them.
 
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