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jcshirke

Two Instances of FX Loop Block?

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From the manual: "Send/Return Each of the sends and returns can be used independently or used together as a (mono or stereo) FX loop." Does this mean I could insert two blocks of the fx loop in my chain, so that I could have external fx in two different locations of my signal chain? If so, I'm trying to figure out how that would work.

I have 5 external effects on my small board together with the HX Stomp XL----3 drives, a Nemesis delay, and a Flint. Those fx all connect to an RJM Mini Effects Gizmo (MEG), which has 5 loops controllable via MIDI. So, I should be able to send MIDI PC commands to the MEG from the Stomp telling the MEG to insert loop 1 (or, 2, 3, 4, or 5, or any combination thereof that I create as a preset) into my HX's signal chain wherever I set the fx loop block. But, what I'm wondering is if it would be possible to insert a drive early in my signal path and then a delay or reverb later? To do so would require two instances of the fx block, I assume, and it would also require some way for me to turn the fx I need on in the MEG *and* have them end up in the right place in my signal path.

Just trying to get my head around what I may be able to do with my setup, and what may not be possible.

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Had a quick look at this product line and their manuals. AFAICT, to do what you want requires the full size Gizmo.

The Mini is designed to be used with a single amp/FX Loop.

The full size number is designed to be used with one or two amps/FX Loops.

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5 hours ago, jcshirke said:

Does this mean I could insert two blocks of the fx loop in my chain, so that I could have external fx in two different locations of my signal chain?

 

Yes: FX Loop L and FX Loop R.

You can also use Send and Return (L or R) instead to split the chain even more.

Note that on the Stomp you can only have one parallel path though.

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Seems like there is a split decision. One says my MEG can't do what I want. The other says the HX Stomp XL can. So, obviously, I have to sort it out further.

Here's what I know for sure. Let's say I want to place both a drive and my delay from the MEG into my HX. I can definitely do that by creating a preset in the MEG that will turn both of those loops on. I can then send a PC change from the HX to the MEG to insert those two fx into my signal chain. 

The only issue seems to be if the HX will be able to send the signal from the drive to one part of my chain (fx loop l??) and the delay to another (fx loop r??). I'll figure it out just by trying it as soon as I'm able. I was just curious if anyone had done something similar, or if anyone was  familiar with both units that they knew for sure whether or not I could do this--and, if so, how. 

Thank you for the replies. 

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11 minutes ago, jcshirke said:

if the HX will be able to send the signal from the drive to one part of my chain (fx loop l??) and the delay to another (fx loop r??)

 

Split the signal path and put one of the FX Loops on the parallel path. Move the Split and Mixer blocks to the positions in the signal chain where you get the desired sound.

 

13 minutes ago, jcshirke said:

I was just curious if anyone had done something similar

 

I've been experimenting a lot with the Stomp, trying out various scenarios incl. e.g. a 4-channel "mixer" for 2 acoustic guitars and 2 vocal mics…

There are many possibilities. What can be done. But it's always a matter of priorities, i.e. what you need vs what can be left out, and then it's a matter of the right block sequence. As in: order matters.

 

In general, experiments like these are more manageable by using HX Edit via USB, rather than fiddling around on the unit itself.

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@lou-kash - You can do it with the stomp, but NOT with the Mini Gizmo. He needs the the full size Gizmo.

@jcshirke - Go to the RJM website and read BOTH manuals. They have wiring diagrams which will make it obvious why you need the BIG Gizmo, not the MINI Gizmo.

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Apparently I'm missing something obvious in the wiring diagrams of the rack mountable Gizmo, but I went back to the Stomp XL b/c that's the tool I have to work with, and I am still a complete novice with it. I am working on basic operation first, while slowly trying to add more advanced features.

Anyway, I was just screwing around with a preset from scratch, and I was able to insert all of the pedals from my MEG into my Stomp's signal path. I selected FX Loop L, stuck it at the front of my chain, and added each of my drive pedals in turn to make sure I had good connections. Check. All good. Then I dragged the FX Loop L block after the cab and added my delay and reverb. Check. All good again.

I turned the fx loops on/off manually just by engaging the buttons on the MEG that activate each loop. The next step will be to save them as individual presets on the MEG and recall them by MIDI using the Stomp. I was reading through the manual, looking at the editor, and also just trying to make my way through the various menus the old-fashioned way on the unit itself, but I didn't see where I would enter a MIDI PC number and save it with the preset. 

As for my quest to use the fx loop and insert fx at different points in the signal chain, I'm currently pondering options. Is there an even smaller gadget out there that I could place the drive pedals on by themselves, and then insert that device as FX Loop L early in my chain? I could then leave the delay and reverb in the MEG, designate it as FX Loop R, and place the time-based fx later in my chain. But then I don't know how I'd get both devices into the Stomp, so it would recognize them as separate devices, each on its own MIDI channel.  It seems like a pain to do this, and there may not be a big upside, but now I'm really curious if I can do it using just this small pedalboard and any other devices I could mount under it to handle these external fx and insert them via MIDI as one or the other fx loops available in the Stomp.

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If you don't need the FX Loop Switching functions, there's no reason you can't put any FX you like in a single physical loop and place that on FX Loop R.

If you can find FX that themselves can be controlled by MIDI, You don't need a switcher, except for fancy loop placements within the HXSXL FX Loop.

If ALL your effects were MIDI controllable (Strymon?), you wouldn't even need the MEG, except for fancy loop placements within the HXSXL FX Loop..

How much do you REALLY NEED fancy loop placements within the HXSXL FX Loop? Do you need it in BOTH loops?

How much $$$ are you willing to spend?

As for a smaller, cheaper version of the MEG, I know of none. 

The Boss ES-5 is like the MEG (single loop), but not much less than another MEG ($425 vs $499)

The Boss ES-8 is very similar to the full size Effects Gizmo, and $750.

A little cheaper (vs $900) than the full size Effect Gizmo, and has the two loops you need to do what you can't do with the single loop MEG.

There may be cheaper things out there, and there's always the used market.

 

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8 hours ago, rd2rk said:

If you don't need the FX Loop Switching functions, there's no reason you can't put any FX you like in a single physical loop and place that on FX Loop R.

 

I want to reply to other parts of your post, and I will when I have a little more time. Right now, I just want to make sure I'm understanding the HXSXL's physical ins/outs for the loop, and also what it does internally once the loop is connected.

Can you create two independent fx loop chains? I would think the unit would need to have two sets of sends/returns to do so. Instead, it has one send (stereo) and two returns. 

Internally, it allows you to choose "fx loop l" and "fx loop r" blocks, in addition to "send l," "return l," "send r," and "return r." Reading the manual the "send" blocks are for routing the signal out to other types of gear you might want to hook up to the HXSXL. For my purposes, I use the fx loop block(s). But, I still don't know how to create independent fx loop l and fx loop r signal chains given the unit's physical inputs. 

 

 

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You can have two independent MONO FX Loops or one STEREO FX Loop.

To set up independent MONO FX Loops, get an "INSERT" cable - 1/4" TRS>Dual 1/4" TS.

TIP is FX Loop L; RING is FX Loop R. The RETURNS L/Mono and Right are for the corresponding loops.

The corresponding Blocks are FX Loop L and FX Loop R.

If you want the return to be somewhere else in the signal chain (parallel routing) you can use the separate SEND/RETURN Blocks, but keep in mind you've only got 8 blocks to play with, and there's a slight latency caused by the DA conversion (SEND) and the AD conversion (RETURN). It's not really noticeable (<>2-3ms RT) when used as a Loop, but with parallel routing MIGHT be noticeable, depending on the FX used.

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21 hours ago, rd2rk said:

If you don't need the FX Loop Switching functions, there's no reason you can't put any FX you like in a single physical loop and place that on FX Loop R.

If you can find FX that themselves can be controlled by MIDI, You don't need a switcher, except for fancy loop placements within the HXSXL FX Loop.

If ALL your effects were MIDI controllable (Strymon?), you wouldn't even need the MEG, except for fancy loop placements within the HXSXL FX Loop..

How much do you REALLY NEED fancy loop placements within the HXSXL FX Loop? Do you need it in BOTH loops?

How much $$$ are you willing to spend?

As for a smaller, cheaper version of the MEG, I know of none. 

The Boss ES-5 is like the MEG (single loop), but not much less than another MEG ($425 vs $499)

The Boss ES-8 is very similar to the full size Effects Gizmo, and $750.

A little cheaper (vs $900) than the full size Effect Gizmo, and has the two loops you need to do what you can't do with the single loop MEG.

There may be cheaper things out there, and there's always the used market.

 

 

Okay, the longer version...

I have other pedalboards. Two of them have an ES-8 to control everything. The one I just put together is a small board I've had sitting around, and the MEG was already installed underneath it b/c I used it with a much bigger rack setup that had all kinds of crazy stuff going on. That rig ended up being dismantled a few years ago.

But the board has been sitting here. So, I planned this small board, which consists of the pedals I mentioned at the start--3 drives, a Nemesis delay, and a Flint reverb/trem pedal. I was planning on buying an ES-5 to use with it, but then it dawned on me that I could--or thought I could--do pretty much the same thing, and get more bang for my buck by putting an HXSXL on the board instead. I was wanting a small, portable rig I could take with me when I travel (my daughter plays elite soccer, and we go on long trips a lot) to use with headphones, but I also figured it could double as a small pedalboard to plug into another one of my amps, omitting the amp/cab block(s) and using it for just for its fx.

I thought a good way to accomplish either goal was to insert my external fx in the fx loop block(s) of the HXSXL. I wouldn't say the loops are fancy at all. In fact, they are really simple--dirt before the amp and delays/reverb/trem after. But I can't do exactly what I wanted to do with the external fx in the way I had planned. I guess your point above was that the MEG would need to have two separate, discrete loops to accomplish what I want. 

 

What I might end up doing: Place the dirt pedals in series and run them in one of the HXSXL's mono loops. (I ordered an insert cable today...Line 6 really should provide one, imo, or be clearer about how the fx loops work) Place my time-based pedals in the other loop, either in series, or by using the MEG.  That way, I should be able to place the drives before the amp and the time-based fx after using the fx loop blocks in the HXSXL.

I may not need the MEG at all, as you said. The only pedal that is controllable directly via MIDI is the Nemesis delay. I could just send PC messages to it whenever I load a preset that has that loop engaged. I'd have to switch the drive pedals on/off manually--not a real big deal. And I'd have to do the same with the Flint. I'd probably keep the delay in its on state b/c any time I engaged that fx loop, I'd be using the delay for sure. The reverb/trem would just be an extra flavor when needed.

And--if I really get frustrated or change my mind--I'll just go with plan A and eventually get an ES-5, take the HXSXL off the board, and use it--and only it--as my little travel rig.

Oh--I did some digging, and there is another, smaller device similar to the MEG. I believe it's called the Hex, and it's by Voodoo Lab. It's got 6 loops. Just about positive its MIDI controllable/programmable. $299 (I think).

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