Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
Post Reply
snafu
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:23 pm

Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by snafu » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:33 pm

Hi,

I'm looking through the various Voodoo products and trying to sketch out a switching solution for a moderately complex pedalboard switching system. I'm hoping an expert can guide me on the minimum I need to purchase to build something like this. My ultimate goal is to easily switch between guitars and amps without needing to unplug and switch cables. In a real world scenario, I'd like to pick up one of four guitars, hit a footswitch and start into a song.

Guitar A: Telecaster
Guitar B: Stratocaster
Guitar C: Acoustic Guitar #1
Guitar D: Acoustic Guitar #2 Alt Tuning

Amp A: Fender Super
Amp B: Fender Tremolux
Amp C: Out to PA (acoustic guitar)

Effect A: Wah Pedal
Effect B: Fuzz Box
Effect C: Phase 90
Effect D: Reverb
Effect E: Tremelo (via 1/4" input switchable input on Tremelux Amp)

I would also like to incorporate a pedal tuner into the routing. What combination of Voodoo products will allow me to simply switch between these various inputs (guitars) and outputs (amps), mix and match various effects, and mute between songs to route to the tuner?

Thanks,
Steve

JohnClark
Posts: 7462
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by JohnClark » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:43 am

We do not make anything that would be suitable for switching between different instruments.

Our GCX would be able to switch effects in and out as well as select between amplifiers.

Will the Acoustic guitars use any of the effects and amps used by the electric guitars, or do they simply go direct to the PA?
------------------====Cheers!====------------------
Image
---------==Voodoo Lab Magician & Tech==---------

snafu
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by snafu » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:54 pm

Hi John,

The acoustic guitars would go straight to the PA, completely bypassing the effects and amps used by the Strat and Tele. The one thing I was hoping the acoustic and electric guitars could share is a tuner.

Maybe the better solution is to just get a simple switchable I/O for the acoustic guitars and use two different tuners.

Thanks for the help.
Steve

noah330
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:07 am

Re: Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by noah330 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:46 am

Pretty simple.

You would need a GCX and GCP as well as a Morley ABC.

Send the electrics into the ABC box - will give you three ins and send that out to GCX.

I would put the wah inline unless you want to set it fixed. I did a true bypass mod on my Vox 847 and use it with my tuner.

The rest of your effects can go into the GCX.

As for your acoustic you could either put an AB box into one of the ABC inputs with an electric or maybe someone makes a 4-1.

dawesy1986
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:26 am
Contact:

Re: Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by dawesy1986 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:39 am

Electric #1 -> Loop 1 Input
Electric #2 -> Loop 1 Return

Acoustic #1 -> Loop 2 Input
Acoustic #2 -> Loop 2 Return

Loop 1 Output (Electric) -> Loop 3 Input
Loop 2 Output (Acoustic) -> Loop 3 Return

Loop 3 Output -> Loop 4 Input

Loop 4 Send -> Tuner
Loop 4 Output -> Loop 5 Input

Loop 5 Send -> D.I. for Acoustic
Loop 5 Output -> Wah (inline)

Wah Output -> Loop 6 Input

Loop 6 Send/Return -> Fuzz Box
Loop 7 Send/Return -> Phase 90
Loop 8 Send/Return -> Reverb

Loop 9 Send -> Fender Super
Loop 9 Output -> Fender Tremolux

Loop 10 -> 1/4" switch input on Tremelux

this would require 2 GCX's or 1 GCX and one Pedal Switcher (which could be mounted on a sliding shelf in the rack with the pedals)

i've never tried with a GCX or with my current Patchmate but i always imagined the GCX would allow for guitar A/B/C/D'ing with enough loops, like a Switchblade or Radial switcher?
no good?
Dawesy

JohnClark
Posts: 7462
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by JohnClark » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:32 pm

The Return jacks on each GCX Loop are ground lifted in order to prevent ground loops when used to switch effects in and out. Because two instruments would not have a common ground point elsewhere, this will make the instrument connected to the Return jack not work too well. ;) The cables used or even the GCX Loops can be modified to re-establish this ground connection, but in actual use it is likely better to have a dedicated external switch if you must do something like this to switch between instruments quickly.

Personally, I have always found that for switching between guitars going into the same rig, using a popless or silent end on my guitar cable was all that was needed to swap instruments quickly. I've re-used the same Switchcraft 181 Silent plug on countless cables over the years. Unless the other guitars are on player stands that you just walk up to and play, there is only so fast you can get one guitar off your shoulder and strap on the next one. ;) (wireless... whats that? :? )

I would also just let two different rigs remain as two different rigs. Ground loops are a big enough potential burden in a single rig, no need to ask for more problem potential. A simple kill-switch on each rig will help keep the unused rig quiet while still keeping things simple.

Emergency switching of instruments is also better left to a dedicated external switch, or simple cable swap... remember that Ground Control Pro presets will enable the GCX loops as programmed. If you suddenly are swapping to the guitar that actually has all six strings in tact, then you would be in a certain amount trouble since all your presets select the guitar you just handed off to your tech/brother/best-friend/random-helpful-dude/random-dude-that-just-scored-a-killer-5-string-PRS :o ...


By the way, I'm not denying that there are times where instrument switching needs to be done with a switcher of some sort. Many touring acts running wireless do this nightly, but I'd bet that in every case the instrument switch is separate from the main rig, and probably also controlled by a tech hiding in the shadows. I just prefer to keep things as simple as possible until they absolutely have to get more complicated since I usually have to fix anything myself that goes wrong when I'm playing out.
------------------====Cheers!====------------------
Image
---------==Voodoo Lab Magician & Tech==---------

dawesy1986
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:26 am
Contact:

Re: Need Help Designing a Pedalboard Switching System

Post by dawesy1986 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:14 pm

Interesting to learn that about the GCX' grounding.

I agree with the idea of a separate selector against preset selection for the same reasons John listed (on a side note if anyone can help out, I'm actually hoping to find a "reversed version" of Roland's US20 so I can A/B between two different hex-loaded guitars running into my guitar-to-midi-converter. Don't like my chances, haven't found anything yet..)

If the idea of filling out your pedal board some more with two A/B boxes for all four guitars just doesn't fly with you, as much as I'd usually say 'keep your tuner in a loop so it doesn't colour your tone' perhaps you could run it first (inline) and then use it's mute function to change guitars?
Alternatively a volume pedal could perform this mute just as well.

Also, while I've never seen one in person, I'm SURE there's a volume pedal that can actually "select" between A or B inputs (i may be wrong, perhaps it's A and B outputs - like an A/B that you fade between, not switch between?)

I think Adrian Belew has similar in his ridiculous rig.

Why do you *need* this function - is it speed if you break a string, speed between songs, or just silence between songs?

Cheers, Dawesy

Post Reply