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Getting started with rack gear

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  • NegativeEase
    replied
    I design and build rack mount systems for tours all the time -going back to the 90s

    You'll want Power Conditioner/distribution and onboard LED light for front and maybe even the back -because unlike pedals -since racks face forward -they are harder to see on a stage if you have an issue or need to change something.

    Also recommend putting any pedals in a pull out drawer with an armored service loop,

    Also, if you get over 3 U in size start considering a single rear mounted bulkhead for all your connections.

    Also, consider which ISO standard you need based on how rugged you need based on how you are going to use and transport it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bogner
    replied
    Originally posted by alex1fly View Post
    Thanks all. I appreciate the perspectives. The tricky thing for me is that I've spent my entire 21 year guitar career on a few pieces of budget gear (think $350 combo amps, $200 MFX pedals, and free VSTs/plug-ins), and now wanting to up my processing game it's hard to know what to choose. Like, I read all these reviews and wonder things like "do I WANT amp-like feel or complex signal routing?" when in reality I've never played with any nice amps or complex pedalboards. Any of the reputable higher-end solutions - Kemper, Bias, Helix, Fractal, G System, Tech 21, Amplifire, Headrush, Quad Cortex - will be a massive playground. I just know that I want to quickly switch between playing some ridiculous djent and U2 with a few taps, not spend forever programming and learning menus, and have it easily route into my FRFR system for playing live - bonus points if it'll apply processing to a microphone or a bass guitar on a separate input/output, too, so I can do all my processing in one unit.
    Get a Kemper and start playing. They come loaded from the factory with some good profiles that do all kinds of tones. If you feel the free stuff is lacking then get some proper produced additional tones and go from there. You have all kinds of options with the unit and it could be a core foundation for a lot of other things but you will be set on "sounds" for sure. The rest is gravy and after a bit you will know what (if anything) is missing and can add from there. I did the rack thing, still do the amp thing and was reluctant and very late to the game of the profiling/modeling game. My only regret in any of it was that I didn't start sooner in the latter category I mentioned. If anything, the Kemper is a great time saver and tool to work with quickly and efficiently. I absolutely love the thing and will soon be grabbing a third unit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mincer
    replied
    The new PSA is tiny. And has all of the same functionality. Seriously thinking of getting one for recording. I owned a PSA-1 in the past.

    Leave a comment:


  • beaubrummels
    replied
    I still have my SansAmp PSA-1 and a Roland SRV-330 in a 2-space as a backup rig if everything else fails.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mincer
    replied
    A SansAmp PSA-1 with a Lexicon effects unit would be all I would need, but I went through a lot of rack gear like GP-100, GT-Pro, Pod Pro etc. When I was doing a lot of guitar synth stuff, I also had my midi converter and synth in a rack. Add in my effects for the piezo bridge, and 2 Echoplex Digital Pro looping devices (I still own these).

    Leave a comment:


  • Aceman
    replied
    I could do a lot with just a Marshall JMP-1, an SPX-90, and a Lexicon unit, or may a Quadraverb...

    That isn't a lot of gear.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hank-
    replied
    Most if not all of the current crop of mfx units don't need the deep editing features available in them to sound good or great. Try out a Helix Stomp or the Boss GTCore for two weeks with the latest firmware update. If these seem too difficult to get working or limiting, only then consider accumulating rack gear. Troubleshooting a rack system live is a royal pita

    Leave a comment:


  • LLL
    replied
    Originally posted by alex1fly View Post
    I just know that I want to quickly switch between playing some ridiculous djent and U2 with a few taps, not spend forever programming and learning menus, and have it easily route into my FRFR system for playing live -
    The thing with rack gear is there is always a learning curve. There will always need to be time invested in learning the various rack units... and once that's learned, there will always need to be time invested in tweaking various tones and programming said tones.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mincer
    replied
    Even something like the Helix Stomp using a midi controller to switch the options.

    Leave a comment:


  • PFDarkside
    replied
    Originally posted by alex1fly View Post
    Thanks all. I appreciate the perspectives. The tricky thing for me is that I've spent my entire 21 year guitar career on a few pieces of budget gear (think $350 combo amps, $200 MFX pedals, and free VSTs/plug-ins), and now wanting to up my processing game it's hard to know what to choose. Like, I read all these reviews and wonder things like "do I WANT amp-like feel or complex signal routing?" when in reality I've never played with any nice amps or complex pedalboards. Any of the reputable higher-end solutions - Kemper, Bias, Helix, Fractal, G System, Tech 21, Amplifire, Headrush, Quad Cortex - will be a massive playground. I just know that I want to quickly switch between playing some ridiculous djent and U2 with a few taps, not spend forever programming and learning menus, and have it easily route into my FRFR system for playing live - bonus points if it'll apply processing to a microphone or a bass guitar on a separate input/output, too, so I can do all my processing in one unit.
    That sounds like a perfect candidate for a Helix, GT1000 or FM12. They all need programming to get the best out of them but they are far easier than things in the past. Start with a blank patch, add the amp and effects you want and tweak a bit.
    Last edited by PFDarkside; 10-14-2021, 03:12 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • alex1fly
    replied
    Thanks all. I appreciate the perspectives. The tricky thing for me is that I've spent my entire 21 year guitar career on a few pieces of budget gear (think $350 combo amps, $200 MFX pedals, and free VSTs/plug-ins), and now wanting to up my processing game it's hard to know what to choose. Like, I read all these reviews and wonder things like "do I WANT amp-like feel or complex signal routing?" when in reality I've never played with any nice amps or complex pedalboards. Any of the reputable higher-end solutions - Kemper, Bias, Helix, Fractal, G System, Tech 21, Amplifire, Headrush, Quad Cortex - will be a massive playground. I just know that I want to quickly switch between playing some ridiculous djent and U2 with a few taps, not spend forever programming and learning menus, and have it easily route into my FRFR system for playing live - bonus points if it'll apply processing to a microphone or a bass guitar on a separate input/output, too, so I can do all my processing in one unit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Little Pigbacon
    replied
    Bring back the ENIAC. Data processing still needs the warm, vintage tone of Genuine Vacuum Tubes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Obsessive Compulsive
    replied
    ^Noooo...my 100buck Zoom MS70 is more powerful than any Lexicon/ Alesis/ Rocktron/ ART from Steve Vai's rack for Alcatrazz tour..lol.

    Rack revival is as ridiculous as film camera revival, when people share pics on the fly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Demanic
    replied
    I just listened to some material that my band did back around '09. I was using an old Alesis Quadraverb to run the guitar in stereo between a Randall RG120-ES half stack and a Carvin X-100 half stack.
    I think that it's time to return to that setup. Except with dual Randall half stacks.

    Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • Mincer
    replied
    Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post

    What I like about the rack is it lives safely behind you. A fractal rack with a SS 1u amp, controlled by a Ground Control Pro that you can find for $200 used is attractive to me now.
    I get it, but these days, a floor Fractal is smaller and easier to carry, unless you are on a stage with all kinds of beer, blood and other fluids flying. And if that is the case, why bring a Fractal?

    Originally posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    An ART SGX-2000 is the cornerstone of any high-performance rack system.
    Hahaha, those sounded terrible, even when they were brand new.

    Leave a comment:

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