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Easy to use hardware effects like Midiverb II
Old 15th August 2019
  #1
Easy to use hardware effects like Midiverb II

Hi everyone, thanks for taking the time to read this!

So, I have really bad OCPD and work very inefficiently in the studio. I am always second guessing myself and can never commit to anything, since I am constantly obsessing over tweaking each and every parameter to death, going down a rabbit hole, where I lose objectivity from hearing the same thing, over and over again.

Lots of parameters give me options anxiety, so when it came to choosing a hardware based effects unit, the Midiverb II was the perfect match for me! There is virtually nothing to obsess over tweaking and I love its oldskool sound for the older Jungle/rave music that I do.

I am wanting to add another effects unit to my rack, but am concerned about which to get, as I need another that is super simple to use, pretty much preset based and without many parameters to worry about.

Are there any older, recommended hardware effects unit that would suit my personality and workflow, based on what you just read? I would really appreciate any insight!

Thanks again!
Old 15th August 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Lexicon PCM60 would be great for you. Everything is buttons on the faceplate, there's not even a screen. There are 2 reverb options, plate and room with size and time parameters with 4 buttons each. Then there's bass and treble contour. Its a really simple, really great reverb.
Old 15th August 2019
  #3
Thank you so much for this! I am going to look into this now!

Something like you describe, is exactly what I need. It sounds just like the Midiverb II in how it works. A few simple controls, no screen and no menu diving!

This is just a reverb unit though, right? Is there anything that operates similarly easy, but with other effect types too, like delay, flange, phaser, chorus, etc?

It doesn't have to be totally dumbed down, I just don't want to have to worry about every little detail being tweakable. Less is more with me.

Thanks for your reply, I really do appreciate it!
Old 16th August 2019
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantankerous View Post
Thank you so much for this! I am going to look into this now!

Something like you describe, is exactly what I need. It sounds just like the Midiverb II in how it works. A few simple controls, no screen and no menu diving!

This is just a reverb unit though, right? Is there anything that operates similarly easy, but with other effect types too, like delay, flange, phaser, chorus, etc?

It doesn't have to be totally dumbed down, I just don't want to have to worry about every little detail being tweakable. Less is more with me.

Thanks for your reply, I really do appreciate it!
It is only reverb.

A nice, simple to use multi effect is the Kurzweil Mangler. It does have a screen and deeper control. but a lot of the presets sound really good. There's a rotary knob for type of effect and another for 1-16 for different presets. Plus it has a preset called Ned Flangers. I usually turn mine off on that one, so when I power it up, I'm amused.

A PCM60 and a Mangler will get you pretty far.

Old 16th August 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Yamaha E1010 analog delay is a really cool old-school analog delay with modulation. Eight knobs and four buttons on the front, cool old-school dub sound.
A similar (but old-school digital instead of analog) delay & modulator is the Deltalabs Effectron (or Effectron 2).
Old 16th August 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Sooo many alesis units.
Midiverb 1, 2 , 3 microverb 1, 2, 3 , 4
Even their quadraverb 1 is pretty simple, yet with menus. I love these things. Midiverb 4 and quadraverb 2 are way too ' complicated' to program though, for my taste.

And Roland dep 5.
Old 16th August 2019
  #7
Thanks so much for all the suggestions and time spent in replying, I really appreciate it! Some makes and models to look into, which is good!

As for the comment about there being lots of Alesis variants... I thought of this very thing, but wondered if I would be getting too much of the same? I already have a Midiverb II and Love it! Naturally, if I wanted something similarly easy to use, I could stick with the same formula, but I wasn't sure just how different the models are from each other and whether they would be worth getting. I was looking into the Microverb III actually, as it too contains no screen and no editing and a very easy means of adjusting the 'presets' via a couple of rotary knobs. It comes with many more presets, compared to the Midiverb II, as well. I'm not sure how well the flangers, phasers, chorus and delay sound on these other Alesis models, which is why I was willing to venture into other makes and models to suit my needs.

Any other suggestions?
Old 16th August 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantankerous View Post
Any other suggestions?..
Yep
https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/live
I have the TimeFactor. (Mostly interested in delays but even this one has modulations..
I'd guess once one gets past basic 'verbs and into modulations some amount of choices and dialing in will be wanted. When I purchased the Lex plugs for the
DAW the first thing I did was pair down and save a set of simpler modulation and delay patches. Once done it's done and the way ahead is much simpler.
There's nothing to say you have to dive into 'endless menus every time.

I don't have it up any more but when it was the MidiVerb II patch '07 was a fave!
:>)
Old 17th August 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I would recommend a Lexicon LXP-1. Good sounding and straight up knob style parameter controls.
Old 17th August 2019
  #10
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mutetourettes's Avatar
 

i always loved my zoom 1201 from this point of view... and didn't like my digitech studioquad or behringer rev2496 from the same point of view..
Old 17th August 2019
  #11
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I don't know all the old Alesis Midiverb units, but the ones I do sorta know are pretty deep, menu-wise. They're "set and forget" in the sense that I find the manual on the internet, use it to re-teach myself for the fourteenth time how to edit and store a patch, and then forget it all until the next time I have to do it.

I'd second the Lexicon LXP range or the PCM60. They both sound good enough that you might not feel the need to get all that tweaky.
Old 17th August 2019
  #12
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musicalnyc's Avatar
 

Roland SDD-320 Dimension D
Old 17th August 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Can we call compression an effect? (I do.)

So...

A linked pair of dbx163x


-bryan
Old 17th August 2019
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsma View Post
Can we call compression an effect? (I do.)

So...

A linked pair of dbx163x


-bryan
Compression can be used as an effect, though that isn't its purpose. Also, in the context of this thread, probably not.
Old 17th August 2019
  #15
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Farmboy presents's Avatar
Yamaha rev5 or 7 are also fairly straight forward imo.
Old 18th August 2019
  #16
You guys have been a great help. Thank you so much for all your contributions! I am going to have to settle eventually, so am grateful to have ideas to work with.

I can't help but wonder if I am being too restrictive on myself, however. Yes, less is more with me, but it really starts to show when I look into your suggestions and realize everything I could be missing, by not getting a more 'complex' unit. Some of the units above are one trick ponies and I would like a variation of effects. The PCM60 for instance is a mono input, which I wasn't expecting.

The Quadraverb Plus caught my eye, but it does seem like there is a fair bit of menu digging to do, so I am not sure about this one. The Behringer FX2000 seemed pretty good for brand new and the price, but it looks pretty deep as well. I do need the unit to be 1U rack size too. I really should have mentioned this before, but that is all the space I have left in my rack, so all the 2U suggestions, I am going to have to skip over.

Thanks again so much guys, really appreciate all your help.
Old 18th August 2019
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Lunar Attic's Avatar
Maybe have a look at the TC Electronics M350 https://www.tcelectronic.com/Categor...ogtrans(en|en)

1U, built in PSU (no wall wart), two FX lines (reverb and delay/chorus/flanging), no menus, presets only (some tweakability), plenty IO options. 160,- bucks.

T
Old 18th August 2019
  #18
It might be helpful to know your budget and whether you want presets, or just fewer options. If your OCD is troubling you, presets may be the way to go. Even if you don't use the factory ones, and you decide to make your own instead, you'll at least know the effects are exactly the same as you want them, each time.

I say this with nothing against anything anyone else here has suggested, but....

Units like the Lexicon PCM 60 sound very nice, but they're quite expensive and don't have a readout of the parameter you're adjusting. If you want to repeat the settings each time (or "restore" something you like when someone moves all the knobs on you!), you may not like this. The t.c. electronics boxes and Lexicon PCM 70 boxes have presets and a display for the parameters, so you'll at least know what you're dialing in. Of course, they're very expensive, with even a used one costing as much as at least three or four used MIDIVerb IIs!

The Yamaha SPX boxes have a really nice, old-school sound, but there's a little bit of menu-diving with them. And since they're Yamahas, the menus may not be as intuitive as you'd like. That said, they're easily learned, and you can store your presets knowing you'll have exactly the sound you want each time you recall them.

Behringer boxes are a no-go for me anymore, though you may like them. The build quality may not last you a year, even if the sound is great. I--and many others on here--know this from experience, unfortunately.

Again, your budget may dictate some of your options here. Used Alesis MIDIVerb III and IV boxes, or QuadraVerb Pluses aren't terribly expensive, and I've had some for years. That said, if I was looking into getting another external effects box, I'd certainly look for a Yamaha SPX90 or SPX900, if only for the sound and the relative ease of use of recalling the same effects, just the way I want them. Another one I'd consider would be the t.c. electronic M-One XL. It's a 1-U, dual-engine, multi-effects box with presets, and while you can edit them fairly extensively, you may not even want to! Plus, it's less than $300 new, and you'll get some of that classic British effects charm.

Steve
Old 18th August 2019
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantankerous View Post
You guys have been a great help. Thank you so much for all your contributions! I am going to have to settle eventually, so am grateful to have ideas to work with.

I can't help but wonder if I am being too restrictive on myself, however. Yes, less is more with me, but it really starts to show when I look into your suggestions and realize everything I could be missing, by not getting a more 'complex' unit. Some of the units above are one trick ponies and I would like a variation of effects. The PCM60 for instance is a mono input, which I wasn't expecting.



Thanks again so much guys, really appreciate all your help.
Don't be afraid of mono in/stereo out units, or of running reverb mono out. It can work well.
Old 18th August 2019
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
standup's Avatar
Alesis wedge also worth a look
Old 18th August 2019
  #21
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vernier's Avatar
Verb is like salt ..you don't make broth "salty", you make it "not bland". Same with verb ...you're just making it "not dry".

That said, just get a Nanoverb or similar.
Old 18th August 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantankerous View Post
..The Quadraverb Plus caught my eye, but it does seem like there is a fair bit of menu digging to do, so I am not sure about this one. ..
I would offer the Quadraverbs are all the menu diving', but a step back in the qualities from the likes of TC, Lexicon and others.
Old 18th August 2019
  #23
You guys are all awesome and very patient. Thank you for sticking through this with me.

I admit, I am being far from helpful. Call it ignorance, topped with a generous helping of I started this thread too fast and too early, without really realizing what I actually needed and wanted. It wasn't until I read some very thoughtful comments on here, that I realized I have strung you guys along blindly and I am sorry for that.

For a bit of background info, I am mainly looking for an effects box to hook directly to the outputs of my E-MU Orbit V2. I also Have a Quasimidi Technox and a fully expanded JV-1080 that I could process, but since the Technox and the JV-1080 have build in effects, it isn't so necessary. The E-MU Orbit has no effects whatsoever and this is the box I primarily want to process. I am not getting along with plugins, despite having invested a ton in UAD, so am looking to go hardware, for the instant gratification in sound.

Overkill right? I thought the same thing, having an entire effects box, just to process one severely dated rompler, but for me, I think it works. The Orbit Has multiple sets of outputs and I just happen to use it as my main sounds box. It has great pads and stabs, that work really well, when played with my Waldorf Gekko Chord Memory box. I currently have the main outs going directly into the Midiverb II and I LOVE what I am getting. I currently have the sub outs dry however, again, because no effects built in and I have the main outs plugged directly into the Midiverb II, so it is gone. I am wanting another box to hook directly to the sub outs, but I don't want 'just reverb', as if that is the case, I can simply process stuff through the Midiverb and be done. I am looking for something that certainly offers reverbs, but also modulation, delays,phaser, flanger, chorus, etc, to process layers separate to the ones patched into the Midiverb, to add some character, movement and variation to my patches.

So yes, you have that right, I need a box solely to process the sub outs of my Orbit... for now at least, but with the option to patch any of my other synths directly into it if I want to.

So why directly in, you ask? Well, I am using the Dangerous Music D-Box for my summing and monitoring, so no mixer in the studio, whatsoever. With this connection, it is very cumbersome to patch things between my Fireface 802 and the D-Box, due to the connection between the two via the DB25 cable. I can't do aux sends in this fashion, so need to patch my synths directly into the effects boxes.

With the above said, I certainly don't want anything overkill, too expensive, etc, as it already basically a waste wanting to hook things up the way I am, but I do want some effects and movement on my synths, outside of what the offer (or don't), or from plugins. A simple cable swap behind my rack, will allow me to change what synths go into the effects units, but mainly it will stay on the Orbit for now.

To finish things off (I apologize for being long), I am really liking the idea of these newer boxes, as they are cheap and readily available in shops, BUT, I am doing older Jungle/Rave/Hardcore music, so anything that would fit that bill and would have been used in the late 80's, to mid 90's, is what I was striving for, in order to sound authentic and not too clean, crisp and digital, where it would stand out and be hard to fit in a mix with things are much lower quality, like the Orbit, JV, Midiverb II etc.

Lastly, Being directly connected to my synths, I don't think I can work with these mono in, stereo out configurations. Since I am not using an aux send, I believe I should take both left and right cables from my synth and put them the same into the back of the effects box, no?

Yes, my OCPD can be pretty bad and time wasting, so presets are a plus, but limited tweakabilty can work. If something is a must have, but contains lots of tweakability, I will just have to learn to deal with it, just like I always have, I guess. If there is a perfect box for me to eliminate the anxiety of many options, that would be perfect, but I don't want to pass on a perfect box for me, just because I am afraid to get my hands dirty through tweaking.

Any suggestions based on what I wrote above? I really hope this helps to narrow things down and I didn't instead, open up a new can of worms.

I would love to hear anything that is said on the above. I know I am likely wanting to do things in a more unique/unconventional manner. I would love to know if these newer available boxes would still suit me well, or would they stand out too much in a mix and be hard to blend, like I think they would, being too hi-fi, clean and pristine.

Thanks so much again for everyone's patience and help on this.
Old 18th August 2019
  #24
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantankerous View Post
Lots of parameters give me options anxiety... I am wanting to add another effects unit to my rack... I need another that is super simple to use, pretty much preset based and without many parameters to worry about.!
I can completely relate to this, especially when it comes to FX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Attic View Post
Maybe have a look at the TC Electronics M350
+1

The TC M300/M350 is definitely a simple, rack-mount, 1U FX unit you should take a look at.

It's super-easy to dial in a wide variety of good-quality effects with no menu-diving and just a couple of useful parameters with a dedicated knob each, like Delay/Rev-time and Feedback etc. You can run either stereo I/O with FX in series, or what I do which is dual-mono/parallel giving you completely discrete delay and reverb for 2 dedicated Aux sends on you mixer. The units are quite similar-sounding with some subtle differences - I actually prefer some of the reverbs on the earlier M300, but the 350 has much better/larger legending and is this much easier to see, I often need a flashlight to see the M300 controls! Plus these boxes are super-cheap - I think I got one used for maybe $75.

However, while the TCM350 gives you great-sounding, bread & butter FX at your fingertips, I don't find it particularly creatively inspiring, so...

The other thing you might want to consider is FX pedals, which are generally knob-rich, do one thing at a time, and don't involve menu-diving. And these days there are some seriously creative types making pedals with all manner of unusual and wonderful-sounding designs. There are many good threads in the Electronic Music & Production Forum on good pedals for synths.

That said, some of the more sophisticated pedals I've tried like the Strymon BigSky and Eventide Pitchfactor were way too much for my OCD so now I operate under a self-imposed rule of no FX pedals with display screens which makes life much easier.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 18th August 2019 at 08:58 AM..
Old 18th August 2019
  #25
There's also a half rack TC Electronic stereo verb/effects under $100 the M100 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ects-processor

I use it for monitor reverb. sometimes I record the verb track as well, but usually go itb for verb when mixing. I record to a Zoom h6 which has no onboard verb like the tascam dr44wl four track recorder had.
Old 18th August 2019
  #26
Lexicon Reflex. Stereo in & out. Cheap and compact. It just works, easy and simple.
Old 18th August 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

ensoniq dp2 or dp4
Old 19th August 2019
  #28
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack P View Post
ensoniq dp2 or dp4

These are some of the more complicated effect units I've used.
Everything is adjustable and route-able. Not sure that falls in to the simple basket, although, they do have a lot of good presets.
Old 19th August 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tame1 View Post

These are some of the more complicated effect units I've used.
Everything is adjustable and route-able. Not sure that falls in to the simple basket, although, they do have a lot of good presets.
The mental scenario involving the OP that this conjured made me belly laugh, thank you.
Old 19th August 2019
  #30
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Roland Dimension D
5 choices with buttons.
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