Oh yeah, there is always an on going debate all over in Bangladesh,”stomps or multi fx?” . What if I say both? Because complications are there, you do not have enough cash to buy stomps and amps, and you want a multi fx to do the job, but you still do not like the sound quality?Well this is the guide for you, where I will demonstrate you how to patch up a distortion pedal or a compressor or even more!
Understanding output sections
Have you ever seen and realized what all those nice and clean and metallic out put jacks/ports are all about on your multi fx? for example Check out the Line6 pod HD500x(Almost same for the same generation of all others). Here is the scenario pic for your reference..
I assume you have mostly used the input and mono outputs, and probably the cd/mp3 for some practice and of course your favorite headphone out, But see that “FX SEND” and “FX RETURN” ones? well they are the ones we will be working with. here is a close pic below:
What is “SEND” and “RETURN”?
Yes I know you send someone to bring in your dinner may be , and he returns on time with it, you are happy. This is a perfect example to understand SEND and RETURN in terms of patching your processor. The SEND jack simply lets you to send/forward your signal/sound to another source, and the RETURN jack lets you to take it back to your processor or multi FX.
So how do I use it?
STEP-1 (The preperation)
Well, Lets say you have a distortion pedal, something like the metal muff or the metal zone, and you want to use it as your main distortion sound with your multi Fx Processor like the pod HD500X,first do the following to connect it:
- Connect a mono cable to the SEND Jack, connect the other end of the jack to the Metal Muff’s input.
- Connect a mono cable in the RETURN jack, connect the other end to the out put jack of the Metal Muff.
- Connect your Guitar to the input of the Multi Fx unit as usual.
- Connect your output to PA system, amp or headphone or whatever you use.
STEP-2 (Inside settings of the Multi FX)
In terms of the POD series, it gives you a flexible access to your SEND RETURN/FX loop to control and use in many ways. In case of our example you have to do the following:
- Select your FX loop option/parameter from the display
- As we are using a distortion pedal, it is ideal to put it before the amp and not after any time based FX(Delay,reverb,chorus etc)
- Select the Fx Loop and set the the send and returns to full in terms of a distortion pedal
So now you will send your signal/sound to the pedal and return it again to the processor.
Reference from the pod HD 500X user manual as followed:
Amp model selection:
If you use an analog distortion pedal and as it is played before/in front of the amp, you have to select a clean channel amp. The Marshall amp models in the pods can be set to 0-5 overdrive/drive to have a better character. Than of course you have to keep on experimenting on what you really want out of it.
Even More pedals?
Yes, You really can hook up a lot more pedals with this method, even I used to hook up my primary pedalboard this way, I just used the amp models only from the POD when I did not have my own amp!
- In terms of Bangladesh, You do not have to buy an amp, at least for the time at stage, and directly set your output jack to the PA SYSTEM.
- Better sound with the blend of Analog and Digital.
- You can have your time to build up one by one pedals with your dream pedal board rather than thinking of an amp
- You can experiment with your sound since the Multi FX unit has a load full of other FX.
- Works with most of the major multi fx processors from Line-6,Zoom.Boss etc.
- You do not get a full analog sound, as it is a blend.
- You have to carry 2 extra cables.
- You have to have separate power supply or battery for your pedals.
- Extra hands to carry the extra stuff.
Well still this is a better option for everyone who already got an multi fx unit, you can carry on to build up your dream pedal board.So keep experimenting with it to have more results ,Good luck 🙂
P.S: Please post your queries down below in the comments section below.
by Sazzad Arefeen
- When a stomp loves a processor(Part-2)
- Pedal Board & Amp Signal Chains(Part-1)
- “Are you deaf?”-Patch Volumes and Tones(Part-2)
- Stomps To Rock(Part-1):What Pedals Should I buy?
- Stomps Vs Multi Fx-Debate?