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Live vox FX box with a (British) early 80s vibe? Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 18th April 2019
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The Beatsmith's Avatar

Live vox FX box with a (British) early 80s vibe?

Hi all,

I'm a producer and mixer but have been out of game in terms of playing live, for a number of years, and even more ignorant when it comes to live/stage vox FX boxes.

I'm looking to take a project that's been a studio album for the past few years on the road - and the album is heavy on vocal FX. The vocal style is much in the vein of early 80s British artists like Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Kate Bush.

So on the album there's lots of Lexicon 224, 480, a fair bit of H3000 for Micropitchshift style FX, and in some cases, actual harmonisation (although this is lowest on the list priority wise) or their plugin emulations/equivalents. A bit of SPX90ii here and there too.

I'm aware that many of those artists don't use much FX when live, but for our stuff, it would sound really be lacking if it were 'dry'.

The sound man would be in charge of the FX, it's not something that the singer would be controlling or tweaking on stage. More of 'call up a preset per song' type of affair.

Can anyone suggest something under, say £300 (used) that can handle these duties? I would probably buy second hand, so that budget should hopefully stretch a bit further than new.

Or would we best off racking up the SPX90ii and using that? Or perhaps that for 'Pitch Shift C' and then something for reverb/delay.... that way we could buy another 1 or 2U reverb/delay unit and have a much nicer reverb/delay unit, and buy a rack case too.



Last edited by The Beatsmith; 18th April 2019 at 01:13 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
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The Beatsmith's Avatar


Much appreciated!
Old 2 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Well I'd personally love it if the band handed me a pre-programmed SPX, with prepared setlists that gave me the preset(s) (with a quick description on each) that they wanted for each song. I'm not sure I'm representative of most live engineers these days though . . . I started mixing when the SPX90 was the standard FX unit, and find them extremely easy and fast to use. There might some rare situations where local I/O is lacking on the console, or the engineer is reticent to have a physical place to put the thing, but IMO the ability to accommodate guest engineers' own outboard gear should be pretty standard, and I haven't been in a situation that would make it logistically impossible. Bring cables for both XLR and 1/4" connections to the console.

As far as a companion piece for reverb/delay, I use a PCM70 . . . but I'll admit that many engineers seem pretty intimidated by its operation, and decent used ones will probably run above your stated budget. PCM60 fits the bill on ease-of-use and price, but reverb only. If that's okay, REV5s and REV7s can also be had in your price range and are more flexible, but if you use the EQ on them it's non-recallable. There's always more SPX90s . . .

All of this stuff will absolutely wipe the floor with any product designed to be foot-operated on-stage. If you do end up wanting to control it yourself during performance, there's always MIDI . . .
Old 2 weeks ago
Lives for gear
The Beatsmith's Avatar


We'd have our own live sound engineer and they'd be versed in the presets and sound of the tracks :-)

I'll think about and research the PCM70 - it does look to be a tad over budget, but I'll look into the PCM60!

Thank you!

Old 1 week ago
Gear Nut

If you're insistent on having a hardware outboard reverb unit usually the SPX2000 or a M3000 cover all the sounds I can possibly need. Or really an M1 + D2 should cover it as long as your FOH knows how to dial the sounds in.
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