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Using Guitar Effects Pedals for Vocals Etc
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RedWallStudio
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30th March 2009
Old 30th March 2009
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Using Guitar Effects Pedals for Vocals Etc

I read an article in Mix or EQ a few months ago about how Bob Dylan's engineer would sometimes use a Guitar Effects pedal on his vocal (a fuzz box). Has anyone used low-fi guitar effects for non-guitar type stuff? What have you used and what was cool? I'm itching to pull out all my old stomp boxes and play with them.. but was curious to hear what others are doing. Also, when using a guitar pedal on a single source.. could I use it as an insert? Do I dupe the track and run the signal straight through it.. or do I have to use an Aux send and return.. which I would prefer not to do if at all possible.

Thanks!
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30th March 2009
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I've used a boss delay pedal on vocals, and it worked great. I tried a distortion pedal as well, and it didn't sound too hot. It definitely can be done.
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1st April 2009
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Using Guitar Effects Pedals for Vocals Etc

I do this often, but not with just vocals. I have a lot of unique guitar effects. Spring reverbs, Tape Delays, etc... I often run vox either thru the spring or tape echo. But there are tons of other options... To get the signal out to the pedals I use a Reamp box.It converts the signal back to something a guitar pedal is used to seeing. Then I put it back through a preamp. For spring reverb I'm using a Van Amps Solemate and for tape delay a Fulltone Tube Tape Echo. These boxes have something that the plugs don't. I prefer them, but that's my taste.

On a recent album I sent an acoustic guitar track out to a ZVex lofi loop junkie and blended it back with the original (there is an article about it on my webpage). Snare drums can sound cool through fuzz boxes and overdrives!! I also have a Keeley Comp that sounds pretty rad. I mean shit that collects dust sounds cool sometimes like a Boss Octaver. Occasionally I'll put a Big Muff on a bass or vocal....

--m
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1st April 2009
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I've read that almost all of the synths heard on Gary Numan's The Pleasure Principle, one of my favorite early New Wave albums, went through guitar pedals.
I've used delays, fuzz boxes and flangers on drums and vocals.
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1st April 2009
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Do some research on the recoding and mixing of Tchad Blake (incuding his Q&A on gearslutz) I am sure other guys did it before him, but he is the one that made using pedals for recording famous.
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1st April 2009
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I've used an old Ibanez AD-80 analog delay and it sounded amazing.
Read somewhere that people used to use the old script logo MXR Dyna Comp stompbox compressors. Will have to give that a try.
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Using guitar pedals on voices and thing other than guitars is an old trick and certainly nothing new. If you do this, you need to make sure you deal with the impedance mismatch issues between the guitar pedal and the line level signal you are trying to run through it. Guitar pedals are usually very noisy with lots of hiss and mismatched impedances will just make this worse. Even with properly matched signals, you might still hear unacceptable hiss and steady noise with the guitar pedal. You can use eq to try and chop the noise out, but a better device is the dbx 563X single ended noise reduction processor. A little black 1/2 rack box with one slider control, it removes steady state noise, like hiss from your signal. The device analyzes the audio and looks for things like hiss which always stay at the same level while the rest of the signal (the part with the music in it) does not. The device then automatically notches the frequency with the steady state noise in it. Of course too much of a notch and you will lose other things, but you can control how much it takes out with the slider control. Its much more effective than normal eq and allows you to use noisy things you otherwise would not be able to get away with.

J. Mike Perkins
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1st April 2009
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I tried the deluxe memory man but neither insert or send works, The vocal track gain makes the delay overdrived.
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1st April 2009
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Guitar peddles and drum machines FTW! Hours of fun making cool sound effects. especially cranking feedback on delay pedals
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RedWallStudio
the toneport gx is all of 50 buks.
its not only a sound interface to a puter with low latency, but also has some mic pre models built in plus a slew of fx and guitar and bass cabs//models n sounds etc.
so of course you could use some of the built in fx for vocal mashing about..subtle or drastic.
imho the toneport gx is a steal. check out line6.com and podfarm also.

also another option is some daw software has lots of fx built in.
for example the two daws in my sig.
reaper also has some guitar cabs built in you could try on voc traks n experiment as well as all the usual flange/chorus/reverb features etc etc.
you might not know this..but powertraks my other daw has an echoplex feature also..remember those ?? its all fun to experiment with.
use pedals too.
all the best.
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2nd April 2009
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Sure, it opens up a whole new palette of unique sounds. Give it a go.
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2nd April 2009
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been doing it for years.

first because i could not afford fancy digital multi-fx.

then when i could afford fancy digital multi-fx i could never figure the damn things out.

finally i still use pedals..because it has become part of my sound.

i have 3 reamp boxes made by john cuniberti, and 2 jdi x-amp boxes that i use to interface pedals with line level gear (ie. console, daw ins and outs..etc)

Reamp : Home

Radial X-Amp active re-amp amp-driver

i will usually have 2 sans amp pedals (the original ones with the dip switches) setup for drums and bass....a holy grail reverb pedal, and an old dod analog delay that i use for vocals....and then whatever else i have layin around that sounds cool. i like the zvex fuzz factory alot on bass guitar....even on a snare sometimes. sometimes fun to process direct keyboard tracks (wurly-rhodes type stuff) with phasers and chorus pedals.

what i really miss...and need to buy again...was my fulltone tube tape echo...that thing is amazing as a vocal delay.

just dig out your pedals..grab a box to trick them into seeing instrument level from a daw or tape or console buss output and go to town !!

good luck !!

jchristopherhughes
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Last edited by jchadstopherhuez; 2nd April 2009 at 02:55 AM.. Reason: added links
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Without saying too much Im just going to say two words: Electro Harmonix.
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pedals rule! Our new room has a pedal console... pics to come in about 8 months
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27th June 2009
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Can a passive DI like the Radial JDI be used in reverse when using guitar pedals for live vocals? Or will I need to get a dedicated reamp box for this?
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27th June 2009
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Can someone explain how it would use pedals as effects in my recording setup. Here is what I have PTHD6, 2 192's, 1 192 digital, 1 96i. Could I run the pedals thru the 96i and use them on aux's or is it only possible with reamping?
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8th February 2011
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Putting this to use

So I am attempting to do this live with my band. Could somebody help with the execution. We are thinking about buying one of the Holy Grail Reverb pedals and running a vocal mic through it. questions from a noob (sort of)

1. is there a way to get the reverb effects to more than one mic from one pedal. Is there any way to do this while sending the lines individually to the house for the soundman to mix. We thought of running our own board on stage but we can't figure out how to separate the channels so our house guy can mix them.
2. what else do I need to buy as far as cables or pedals to make this work. right now we just have the mics and the intent to buy the Holy Grail. The cheaper the better on this, so what are the basics that we need?
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1st April 2011
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Here is my Guitar and Vocal Pedal Board

Using Guitar Effects Pedals for Vocals Etc-mygitrig.jpg

I hope this works! I've attached a photo of my effects pedal board.

The Zoom G2.1u in the lower right hand corner is used exclusively for vocals. Many guitar players trash this pedal because they find it too clean, clinical and electronic. There's actually some truth to that, but those same attributes make it perfect for vocals. This thing has 3 digital delays all in stereo (one is ping-pong), it's also got stereo chorus, but the killer effect is the harmonizer. You can actually set the key of the song you're singing in and provide your own harmony by pulling it in and out with the pedal. The cpu in this pedal is the fastest sound processor on the market so there is absolutely NO time lag in the harmony.

The first 3 channels on the mixing board are devoted to vocals. Channel 1 is XLR from a Shure58. I then run a line out from AUX into the ZOOM G2.1u and I run a stereo phone plug out into 2 XLR's for channel 2 and 3. I've found going direct to the pedal from the mike is noisy and not as clean, but it can be done.

I do an acoustic version of Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd), and I use the ping-pong delay on the opening "Hello...hello...hello..." as well as the opening word for each verse. People start looking around, wondering where that voice is coming from. Believe me, it's Awesome!

I know it might look like over-kill for a single person, but I actually use every component on this pedal board at one time or another. thumbsup

Last edited by Tomko; 1st April 2011 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: Explain the Vocal path
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Yes! That looks beautiful and everything; and who doesn't love tubes? I just don't understand how that's pertinent to the subject at hand. RedWallStudio was asking about running vocals through guitar pedals. Are you implying that it would be cool to run a mike through this pedal, without any information regarding how or why?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
Yes! That looks beautiful and everything; and who doesn't love tubes? I just don't understand how that's pertinent to the subject at hand. RedWallStudio was asking about running vocals through guitar pedals. Are you implying that it would be cool to run a mike through this pedal, without any information regarding how or why?
Having a bad day?

Why do you think someone would run a track through a compressor? My guess is for compression... I was following the discussion about effects, that's all.

With sincere pertinency,

Ludo
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Ministry! Tube Screamer on vocals!
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1st April 2011
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NO! This thread is about running vocals through guitar pedals. Why would you think I'm having a bad day? How does your post apply to the matter at hand? Let me clarify, this thread is about running vocals threw a guitar pedal. Do you not understand the fundamental nature of that, or are you simply trying to promote a product for no apparent reason. I think the moderators are probably more qualified than me to determine your agenda.
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2nd April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
NO! This thread is about running vocals through guitar pedals. Why would you think I'm having a bad day? How does your post apply to the matter at hand? Let me clarify, this thread is about running vocals threw a guitar pedal. Do you not understand the fundamental nature of that, or are you simply trying to promote a product for no apparent reason. I think the moderators are probably more qualified than me to determine your agenda.
lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K View Post
pedals rule! Our new room has a pedal console... pics to come in about 8 months
Would like to see that if you have pics now.
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4th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
Yes! That looks beautiful and everything; and who doesn't love tubes? I just don't understand how that's pertinent to the subject at hand. RedWallStudio was asking about running vocals through guitar pedals. Are you implying that it would be cool to run a mike through this pedal, without any information regarding how or why?
wow, ease up now brother....

this thread is 2 years old so im sure the poster has gotten his answer already.. and actually Ludovico promoted two products.
I got a couple of the strymon pedals and reamp them all the time.
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4th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
NO! This thread is about running vocals through guitar pedals. Why would you think I'm having a bad day? How does your post apply to the matter at hand? Let me clarify, this thread is about running vocals threw a guitar pedal. Do you not understand the fundamental nature of that, or are you simply trying to promote a product for no apparent reason. I think the moderators are probably more qualified than me to determine your agenda.
point half way through.
The thread is about using guitars stomp boxes as an FX.
Now it all depends if you consider compression as an FX. What might be in a guitar chain is not always the case in a VX chain.
As for this particular unit, I think parallel reamping is more effective and offers more control for a similar result.
as an FX, the most employed through the years have been, delays, reverbs and some modulation units like the phase 100 and the CE.
Filters are difficult to deal with and even though I have tried and tried, I never had a wha on a final mix you lose the VX through the cycle.
It is fun to try new things but it doesn,t fit everywhere for sure... especially when you listen the morning after...Oli
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#29
4th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-uk View Post
wow, ease up now brother....

this thread is 2 years old so im sure the poster has gotten his answer already.. and actually Ludovico promoted two products.
I got a couple of the strymon pedals and reamp them all the time.
I'm not criticizing the strymon pedal or Ludovico. I just asked how would you run a mike through this pedal, if you had to? What kind of results would you expect to achieve?

I'm interested in this particular subject because some of the pedals on the market have processors that are just as powerful, and sometimes more powerful that the rack mount units that cost thousands of dollars. If you fit them into the mix properly and quietly using the proper wiring or method, you can actually duplicate some very expensive effects on the cheap.

I don't mean to sound rude, I'm am genuinely inquisitive. I've run sound for rock groups and I'm played in rock groups and from my experience some of these uber-expensive rack-mount units look real impressive but when you take the lid off they have the same processors as some of the guitar pedals. So I hope I didn't hurt anyones feelings.
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5th April 2011
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hi, it's cool to try some guitar pedals on vocals. i want to do this for my wireelss mic live, but i don't know what in order it would be. i would conect the 1/4 ts out of the reciever to boss ge7 equalizer then to some analog delay, ,than to a DI box and to mixer. is this ok? any better way? greets.
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