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Labelling foot switch?


Loco23
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So I sometimes get confused when I'm passing through different presets and I'm jamming along to a new song but forget which F1 - F4 has the delay/ reverb or distortion needed from a new section of the song.

 

I thought maybe using a physical white label and labelling e.g.

 

F S 1                        F S 2                   F S 3 

Distortion       Delay           Modulation      E.t.c

 

Does anyone else use a similar method or something different?

 

 

Obviously, I'd run into trouble if I had a song of two delays/ FX that needed activating/ deactivating...

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I find that labeling switches is somewhat amusing. I mean a guitarist obviously has no problem memorizing, in many instances, complex compositions but has problems memorizing which footswitch to engage? Is it something along the lines of trying to sing while playing a complex guitar part? Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with wanting to do this, I just find it amusing.

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Being foremost a singer but also playing guitar


at the same time, not to confuse myself in the heat


to much, I've set up my presets as:


 


The expression pedal is the "first" fx of the preset.


(Usually controlling my Voice fx unit)


F4, the second fx, F3 the third etc,


Then F1 is always a ProgramMessage to


the Voice processor.


 


There is one preset per song so whatever


comes up first I can hit the F4, whatever it is!


 


Just one way of doing it, I guess :) 


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The Dyno label maker rules supreme - but then I run a pretty standardized set of fx. 

 

Stomp (1st stage dist) - Spec (anything, but most often 2nd stage) - Mod (again, anything) - Delay.

 

For me it's less about remembering - it IS fairly standard - and more about quick visibility on a dark stage. By the same token I have all the ins/outs I use Dyno'd - more visible than the factory lettering. When you're doing a bunch of back-to-back festival sets, the minutes matter in setup.

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Generally I switch to the view with FS1-FS8 on the screen. I can generally rememeber which Dist etc.. is which for each patch. I also tend to build my patches so I map the FS in similar positions and I really only have 5 patches I uses very much.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I find that labeling switches is somewhat amusing. I mean a guitarist obviously has no problem memorizing, in many instances, complex compositions but has problems memorizing which footswitch to engage? Is it something along the lines of trying to sing while playing a complex guitar part? Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with wanting to do this, I just find it amusing.

 

 

Absolutely !  It's one less thing to have to memorize/learn/deal with ! Simplify, simplify, simplify is my mantra now.  In fact, it's one of the main reasons I'm currently using my digital board- to simplify ! My analogue pedals all  come in different shapes, sizes and colors all of which make it very easy and intuitive when playing live.

 

I found those magnetic labels to be really cool !  Unfortunately however if I use multiple patches the assignments may very well change in between. 

 

Like others what I do is simply try to keep my assignments in the same basic order. It's rare that I use more than a single patch these days, but when I did, I would always try to keep it consistent. For instance, if I'm building very complex patches, with different multiple pedals assigned to a rythm tone, different multiple pedals assigned to lead tones, and those would both change between songs, I would make sure that each patch had rythm on the first button, lead on the second button, individual pedals elswhere as example.  So if I were playing a song where the rythm required compression, slight chorus and subtle gain, I would map all of those to one pedal.  Then, say the lead required reverb, heavier gain, delay and flange, I would map all of those to the "lead" pedal.  Then say if the bridge used the rythm sound, but just added one or two effects, I would  map those to a third button.   It worked out reasonably well, because I knew for every song I would  just go in order.

 

But making individual patches for individual songs is a LOT of maintenance ! And if the setlist should change on the fly ... well, when I decided I couldn't keep up with all that, and that I could do fine with just a few different patches that had different effects in each patch, I would make sure that it was something like  "mod 1, mod2, gain, gain, gain, comp" on each one. That way, whichever patch I'm on, the very first  pedal is a flanger, or a phaser, or a filter, the third one is slight gain, the fourth one slightly heavier gain, etc. Again, I can just go in order.

 

That's really the only way I can think of dealing with a potentially large number of combinations (or permutations, since you can change the order?)  Particularly for those of us who can't read that tiny screen from standing distance.

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Absolutely !  It's one less thing to have to memorize/learn/deal with ! Simplify, simplify, simplify is my mantra now.  In fact, it's one of the main reasons I'm currently using my digital board- to simplify ! My analogue pedals all  come in different shapes, sizes and colors all of which make it very easy and intuitive when playing live.

 

I found those magnetic labels to be really cool !  Unfortunately however if I use multiple patches the assignments may very well change in between. 

 

Like others what I do is simply try to keep my assignments in the same basic order. It's rare that I use more than a single patch these days, but when I did, I would always try to keep it consistent. For instance, if I'm building very complex patches, with different multiple pedals assigned to a rythm tone, different multiple pedals assigned to lead tones, and those would both change between songs, I would make sure that each patch had rythm on the first button, lead on the second button, individual pedals elswhere as example.  So if I were playing a song where the rythm required compression, slight chorus and subtle gain, I would map all of those to one pedal.  Then, say the lead required reverb, heavier gain, delay and flange, I would map all of those to the "lead" pedal.  Then say if the bridge used the rythm sound, but just added one or two effects, I would  map those to a third button.   It worked out reasonably well, because I knew for every song I would  just go in order.

 

But making individual patches for individual songs is a LOT of maintenance ! And if the setlist should change on the fly ... well, when I decided I couldn't keep up with all that, and that I could do fine with just a few different patches that had different effects in each patch, I would make sure that it was something like  "mod 1, mod2, gain, gain, gain, comp" on each one. That way, whichever patch I'm on, the very first  pedal is a flanger, or a phaser, or a filter, the third one is slight gain, the fourth one slightly heavier gain, etc. Again, I can just go in order.

 

That's really the only way I can think of dealing with a potentially large number of combinations (or permutations, since you can change the order?)  Particularly for those of us who can't read that tiny screen from standing distance.

 

All this makes sense to me. I used to play live over 20 years ago and never really had to deal with patches, presets, compressors, delay, reverb, etc. I just had a very simple rig - all the guts rackmount (rockman sustainor/stereo chorus/dealy, digitech ips33, peavey addverb, digitech midi pedal, peavey stereo power amplifier, and usually lots of peavey 4x12 cabinets -  at least four). So it was always just a few footswitches. I don't play live anymore, but with the gear available today I can see where it could get confusing.

 

I also think that the part of the brain where memorization of songs happens is a different area from where footswitch assignment goes.

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"I also think that the part of the brain where memorization of songs happens is a different area from where footswitch assignment goes"

Totally !   I often woodshed without even being plugged in, so my pedalboad foot doesn't get any muscle memory at all :)

 

Things were definitely simpler back in the day.  Take a stack of Marshalls, turn the head all the way up, voila, you had your distortion plain and simple. But if you wanted a great clean, you got yourself a Twin.  If you wanted .... well, you know the deal. The technology offers great capability but at the cost of complexity, just like everything else these days. 

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i design one or more presets per song.

i also ensure that each preset uses only one fs (solo boost-gain, harmony, reverb, etc). And this single fs is "synchronized" with the bank position/letter occupied by the preset.
eg
I have designed 2 Aqualung presets: 2AQUALUNG1a (main riff+solo) and 2AQUALUNG clnP3- (acoustic parts).

In one live setlist 2AQUALUNG1a is stored in position C, the fs 4 soloing is FS3.
In nother live setlist 2AQUALUNG1a is stored in position A, the fs 4 soloing is FS1.
In this way I always know that the appropriate fs is right abv the preset position letter:
ie
all presets in position A use FS1, all presets in position B use FS2, and so on...

 

in this way no "brain ram" is consumed 4 memorization.

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