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Should I use a Re-Amping device before hitting pedals from my synths?
Old 4th April 2008
  #1
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jonnypowell's Avatar
 

Should I use a Re-Amping device before hitting pedals from my synths?

I'm starting to collect a few guitar pedals and want to know if it's a good idea to use a device like Radial X-Amp before hitting them from my analogue synths?
I have to have the input really low on my pedals at the moment and the output low on my synths.
Just wondering if I will benefit by investing in one of these?

Cheers,
Jonny
Old 4th April 2008
  #2
I have. very happy with my IBP (Little Labs).
Old 4th April 2008
  #3
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Thanks, but can anyone explain to me the benefit I'll get by inserting one in the chain?
I'm sure I've read people recommending this before, but I can't remember why..
Old 4th April 2008
  #4
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I think it depends a lot on the type of pedals that you're using. If it's a distortion pedal it may be a good idea as some of these react with the guitar pickups in certain ways to get their tone. Most other types of pedal will be fine if you keep the levels down.
IMO it's not really that necessary with synths as your not getting the same interactivity. Most pedals have very high impedance inputs so as not to load the guitar / cable, synths should drive them fine.
May be worth using an aux send to feed them to give to better level control.
Re-Amp devices are really for 're-amping'.
Old 4th April 2008
  #5
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jbuehler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnypowell View Post
Thanks, but can anyone explain to me the benefit I'll get by inserting one in the chain?
I'm sure I've read people recommending this before, but I can't remember why..
Some people claim it has to do with impedence and ultimately noise. I have never noticed it to be anything worth caring about because I only use really nice pedals. As long as you keep quality in your pedals high the sound w/out the reamp will be fine.

However, there is a major issue with some pedals in that they don't even power up with a TRS cable plugged into them. They are designed for TS only. I have noticed this in Boss pedals mostly.

This would mean that you would have to fabricate a cable to go from TRS balanced to TS unbalanced and have the wires aligned such that the pedals will turn on....or you can reamp! Obviously this is assuming your synths have balanced outputs, if they have TS there isn't an issue but than again you wouldn't have asked this question if that were the case.

In summary it all depends on your pedals. A reamp isn't needed for sound with good pedals but it may be needed for connectivity if you don't want to make your own oddball cable.

Also, if you can hear crackling or hum it means you have a bad cable, it does NOT mean unbalanced TS cable sound horrid in general. TS cables get a really bad rap they doesn't deserve.
Old 5th April 2008
  #6
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Tibbon's Avatar
Depends what you want. Putting it through a Big Muff? Nah. At that point you don't really care about noise anyway. MF101? Nah. Trying to get a special chorus? Maybe.
Old 5th April 2008
  #7
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Thanks for the responses!

Yeah, I'm using a big muff and a Q-Tron.
Want to get a few Moofer-Foogers as well...
Old 5th April 2008
  #8
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Dean7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
Some people claim it has to do with impedence and ultimately noise. I have never noticed it to be anything worth caring about because I only use really nice pedals. As long as you keep quality in your pedals high the sound w/out the reamp will be fine.

However, there is a major issue with some pedals in that they don't even power up with a TRS cable plugged into them. They are designed for TS only. I have noticed this in Boss pedals mostly.

This would mean that you would have to fabricate a cable to go from TRS balanced to TS unbalanced and have the wires aligned such that the pedals will turn on....or you can reamp! Obviously this is assuming your synths have balanced outputs, if they have TS there isn't an issue but than again you wouldn't have asked this question if that were the case.

In summary it all depends on your pedals. A reamp isn't needed for sound with good pedals but it may be needed for connectivity if you don't want to make your own oddball cable.

Also, if you can hear crackling or hum it means you have a bad cable, it does NOT mean unbalanced TS cable sound horrid in general. TS cables get a really bad rap they doesn't deserve.
What does using really nice pedals have to do with not having to worry about impedance? I'm confused there.

Also, aren't most synths TS instead of TRS? If they were TRS wouldn't you just plug a TS cable in to them if you were going to an unbalanced signal?

Anyway, as long as you're not overpowering your pedals you should be in good shape. Does it sound good to your ear? BTW, this might be of some help:

Guitar Pedals for Keyboard Players | Sweetwater.com

You could use something like they suggest to attenuate your signal a bit before hitting your pedals. Ideally you could use a re-amping device, but as they pointed out they are spendy.

And you might check this out:

slowburn :: More pedals: Analogman Chorus, Ibanez FL9 Flanger

Quote:
That brings us to the question of whether or not you can even safely use a guitar pedal with a synthesizer. Keyboards run at line level with low impedance, the pedal expects a guitar type signal with higher impedance. We will talk about this more in a later entry, and I am not an expert so don’t take my word for it… but for now, the short answer is yes, as long as you are careful with your volume levels going into the pedal (it most likely expects a lower level than you will be sending into it), and as long as it sounds good to you coming out of the pedal, you’re okay with just plugging in the stompbox directly after your synth just like you would a rack effect. The longer answer involves buying some extra equipment when just plugging it in doesn’t sound good, but we’ll talk about that another time.
Hope this helps!
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