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Switching patches (or triggering a loop) while chord rings out?


Alex_SF
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Hi all - I'm a new HD Pro user, and a complete noob when it comes to multi-FX units, looping, etc (used individual stompboxes for years and years, however).  Hoping for suggestions / answers to a tricky situation I need to solve for a particular song: "Moonchild" by Iron Maiden, which I'm doing with a tribute band that I just joined in the Dave Murray role and which just added this song to the setlist for a gig coming up in 3 weeks.

 

In this song, there is a single acoustic guitar under the start of the intro.  As the last acoustic chord rings out, a distorted, sustained power chord swell comes in underneath, and shortly after that the other guitarist comes in with a melody.  So I need to execute that power-chord swell, while the last acoustic chord is still ringing out.  The overlap between the two different sounds is not very long, but there does need to be a little overlap between the decay of the acoustic chord and the distorted power chord swelling in.

 

Can I do either of the following to achieve this, while keeping the two tones separate, and if so, how?

 

(1) Use some sort of effect on my acoustic patch to prolong the sustain of that last chord while I switch to a distorted tone, turn my volume knob down, hit the low-E power chord, and then swell it?  Or:

 

(2) Record that power-chord swell as a loop, and trigger the loop right after I hit the last acoustic chord so it comes in while the acoustic part is still ringing out, and switch to my distorted rhythm patch while the loop plays back? 

 

The real Iron Maiden does this song live today using three guitarists - Dave does the acoustic part, Janick hits the power-chord swell, and Adrian comes in with the melody.  When Maiden had only two guitarists, they did this song live with the intro as playback from the album, then switched to live playing at the beginning of the verse as the band ran out onto the stage (as they did with Aces High when they started the show with that song).  We've gotta do it with only two guitars.

 

I'm running the HD Pro with mono output into one channel of a Marshall 9005 power amp, output mono into the speaker cab with the other channel unused.  So if any suggestions involve stereo operation, I'll have to change my setup somewhat.

Thanks!

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There is no FX spillover when switching patches. That pretty much defeats your suggested option #1.

 

You option #2 could work but since the HD Pro doesn't retain loops when powering off you will have to record the power swell loop in advance during the same session. If you do it immediately before the song you will need to mute your guitar channel or the audience will hear it. And you will have to switch from the acoustic to the distorted rhythm patch after the desired acoustic chord ring duration has ended.

 

If your power chord swell is the same tone (or differs by an FX or two that you can switch on/off) as your distorted rhythm patch you could experiment with another option. Try using a dual-path preset that has very simple acoustic processing in one path, leaving a sufficient number of FX blocks for the swell / distorted rhythm path. In that case your acoustic chord will ring out while you switch paths within the same preset. You can assign a footswitch to arrange for the path switch.

 

How are you handling the different guitars required - acoustic and electric. Variax?

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If your power chord swell is the same tone (or differs by an FX or two that you can switch on/off) as your distorted rhythm patch you could experiment with another option. Try using a dual-path preset that has very simple acoustic processing in one path, leaving a sufficient number of FX blocks for the swell / distorted rhythm path. In that case your acoustic chord will ring out while you switch paths within the same preset. You can assign a footswitch to arrange for the path switch.

How are you handling the different guitars required - acoustic and electric. Variax?

 

I've cobbled together an "acoustic simulator" patch, based on one I downloaded, which has no amp, just volume pedal, compression, EQ, and reverb.  It's fairly close to a real acoustic sound, could use a little more tweaking -- I used to use a Boss Acoustic Simulator pedal in a different cover band with pretty decent results.  Using preamp-only for my patches and there isn't a ton of power amp distortion at living-room levels, though I will need to test it at anticipated stage volume.

 

I haven't messed with dual-path presets yet, but I may play with them a little bit based on your suggestion.  The "acoustic sim" / "distorted rhythm" patches are quite different, as I alluded above.  I'm using preamp-only for my patches, and the "acoustic sim" employs 4 different "Studio EQ" FX boxes for different frequencies.  So I don't know if that solution will work.

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EHX freeze pedal in the effects loop or output of the HD?

 

 

Hmm .. potentially, though part of my switch to a rackmount multi-FX / power-amp system for this band was to simplify and quicken setup and reduce the number of pedals on stage.  I'll keep it in mind though.

 

I'm also going to propose having the other guitarist do the acoustic part, though it wouldn't be totally accurate to how the tributee artist performs it.

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I've cobbled together an "acoustic simulator" patch, based on one I downloaded, which has no amp, just volume pedal, compression, EQ, and reverb.  ..... and the "acoustic sim" employs 4 different "Studio EQ" FX boxes for different frequencies.  So I don't know if that solution will work.

Yeah - that won't work in a dual path preset because 7 of the 8 available FX blocks in a preset are being used for your acoustic. Virtually nothing left for your distorted rhythm patch.

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You option #2 could work but since the HD Pro doesn't retain loops when powering off you will have to record the power swell loop in advance during the same session. If you do it immediately before the song you will need to mute your guitar channel or the audience will hear it. And you will have to switch from the acoustic to the distorted rhythm patch after the desired acoustic chord ring duration has ended.

 

Good point re: recording the power swell loop in the same session.  I guess I'd have to do it during sound check, as long as I can leave the POD unit powered on during the opening bands' sets (I think our backline will stay in place so that's a possibility).  Or do it right before our set starts, as "Doctor Doctor" is playing, with my power amp on Standby.

 

No problem waiting for the acoustic chord to finish before switching; I've got about five measures before I need to come in with a big crashing power chord under the melody.  Just need to time my loop duration appropriately.  I'll see if I can figure out how to do loops with the manual and/or Youtube.  In the meantime, other suggestions welcome.  Thanks again.

 

(For anyone in the Sacramento area, shameless plug: the gig, my first with this band, will be August 6th at the Boardwalk in Orangevale; we're putting on the full Somewhere Back In Time show, with Egyptian stage set, etc.)

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