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yossarian1156

Which effects are heavily dependent on position?

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I've never had a real fuzz pedal before, so don't know much about using them. I threw one in a patch the other day and thought it sounded absolutely terrible. I ran through the different models quickly and didn't like any of them. They also didn't clean up the way that I expected them to. Then the other day, I saw a post that said the Fuzz has to be in the first block and I need to set the Helix to let that first block drive impedance. Sure enough, I put the Arbiter Fuzz there and had a blast playing with it. 

 

Which leads me to my question: Aside from Fuzz, are there any other blocks that are particularly sensitive to placement in the signal chain or global settings like the fuzz seems to be? 

 

 

 

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Yea. Every single effect will sound different dependant on where you place them in a signal chain. This is the same for when using an amp.

 

Normally I'd go.

 

Distortion/Fuzz/OD, then modulation like phaser and chorus, then delay with reverb on the end.

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Everyone tends to have their preferences, but for myself I tend to generally follow these general ideas:

 

Volume pedal at start of chain

 

Compressor typically at start of chain, but can be put after the amp and cab toward the end of the chain for a more subtle effect

 

Modulation effects (a little more organic sounding after amp and cab/iIRs)

 

Distortion pedals just before amp (haven't used fuzz so that may be different)

 

Amp, Cabs/IR

 

Harmonizer

 

Reverbs, Delays (in parallel if used together)

 

That pretty much tends to work for most of the things I need to do.

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Usually you would want FX like Compressor, Drives, Gates right before the amp. FX like Phaser or Flanger, Tremolo tend to be good before the Drive pedal. If you're running a stereo rig then FX like Modulation (Chorus), Delay, Reverb would go at the end of the chain. The only thing I disagree with D-Dragon is the placement of the Volume pedal. In the Digital realm I prefer to have the Volume pedal after the amp and cab. It kinda depends on the effect you're trying to achieve. By placing the Volume pedal before the amp it will act like the volume knob of your guitar. You bring the volume pedal down and your gain on the amp will decrease. If you place the Volume after the amp & cab your gain won't decrease. Only the Volume level. Now you wouldn't want the Volume after any delay or reverb because that will kill the trails of the reverb and delay. For me the best spot for the volume is right after the amp & cab or somewhere around there and before all of the final chain FX. Again this the Digital world. When using a real amp and pedals this totally changes. 

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I generally go:

 

compressor, volume, drives, amp, mono modulation, cab, stereo modulation, delays/reverbs (some in series, some in parallel, depends on what I want)

 

except for fuzz, most won't sound like crap in different placement, just sound different. You can look through some guitar setups in the link below to see the order of how they do it. 

 

 

http://line6.com/tone-templates/

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As mentioned above, placement of any effect will affect it's sound, some more drastically than others. I'll try and call out a few things I hadn't seen mentioned. Experiment with your wah pedal before and after an overdrive/fuzz/distortion, definite difference in sound. I usually go drive>modulation, I find this gives a more dramatic modulation effect ex: it can really bring out the 'jet engine' effect in a flanger. Experimenting with the delay before and after the amp; the delay hitting the front of the amp can sometimes nicely color your tone. I typically put pitch based effects near the front of the chain so they are tracking the cleanest possible signal. Sometimes I run my drives into a compressor a la Trey Anastasio. Just a few ideas. 

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Everyone tends to have their preferences, but for myself I tend to generally follow these general ideas:

 

Volume pedal at start of chain

 

Compressor typically at start of chain, but can be put after the amp and cab toward the end of the chain for a more subtle effect

 

Modulation effects (a little more organic sounding after amp and cab/iIRs)

 

Distortion pedals just before amp (haven't used fuzz so that may be different)

 

Amp, Cabs/IR

 

Harmonizer

 

Reverbs, Delays (in parallel if used together)

 

That pretty much tends to work for most of the things I need to do.

 

Same for me except I prefer some modulation effects (like chorus) after the amp and cab.

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Usually you would want FX like Compressor, Drives, Gates right before the amp. FX like Phaser or Flanger, Tremolo tend to be good before the Drive pedal. If you're running a stereo rig then FX like Modulation (Chorus), Delay, Reverb would go at the end of the chain. The only thing I disagree with D-Dragon is the placement of the Volume pedal. In the Digital realm I prefer to have the Volume pedal after the amp and cab. 

 

Oops, my mistake; I do the same thing. I've always done that in the tube/analog world too. If I want to clean up the sound I'd rather do it with my guitar's volume than with a volume pedal. Of course with Helix, you could have two volume pedals in the chain; one in front of the amp that would clean up the tone and another after the amp to just control the volume without affecting anything else. If you so desire anyway.

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Oops, my mistake; I do the same thing. I've always done that in the tube/analog world too. If I want to clean up the sound I'd rather do it with my guitar's volume than with a volume pedal. Of course with Helix, you could have two volume pedals in the chain; one in front of the amp that would clean up the tone and another after the amp to just control the volume without affecting anything else. If you so desire anyway.

 

To be honest the only thing I really use my volume pedal for is to kill the signal while I switch guitars.  It's either 100% on or off.  I still clean up my tone with my guitar's volume knob.

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There are absolutely no rules whatsoever. Every single effect and its placement will have a more than subtle effect on the sound. Some more subtle/evident than others.

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There are absolutely no rules whatsoever. Every single effect and its placement will have a more than subtle effect on the sound. Some more subtle/evident than others.

...and in the Helix, all you have to do is move the blocks around on the screen. It's a beautiful thing. 

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compression after all drives and after amp will mean that your volume control on your guitar will stay super responsive.

Compression first will mean that you have way less control over how much gain and dirt you have.

 

Fuzz must always be first to work correctly the way most people use it.

I prefer my verbs (except spring) after my amp. I also prefer my delays after all dirt and gain, but sometimes put it before for a different kind of effect.

There are no rules, and yet I find myself following most of the generally accepted conventions most of the time.

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...and in the Helix, all you have to do is move the blocks around on the screen. It's a beautiful thing. 

It is. I really appreciate that as well. 

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