A good point, well made

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Re: A good point, well made

Post by S2 »

Nice rig! Bit out of my league (pub and club Cream/Hendrix covers band) but I like to see what others are using for various size gigs.

And yes I imagine the Helix (I know nothing about it other than seeing it on the Andertons website) and the RCF are significantly less kit to cart about.

Thanks.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by James Perrett »

SecretSam wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:25 am I don't recall the old masters using massive pedal boards, so the magic number five might be about right. Your thoughts?

Pete Cornish has been building pedal boards for nearly 50 years which have been used by many well known guitarists. There are some pictures at

http://www.petecornish.co.uk/fxboards.html
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Wonks »

Don't forget a lot of famous guitarist had all their effects switched for them by a tech offstage, so all you saw was a trailing lead or their radio lead on the guitar and all they had to do was worry about playing. Wah wah or a talkbox probably being the only exceptions of pedals that really need to be used on stage by the guitarist.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by BigRedX »

S2 wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:34 am Nice rig! Bit out of my league (pub and club Cream/Hendrix covers band) but I like to see what others are using for various size gigs.

And yes I imagine the Helix (I know nothing about it other than seeing it on the Andertons website) and the RCF are significantly less kit to cart about.

Thanks.

I play in two different bands with different rig requirements (bass in one and Bass VI plus synth in the other) and the Helix plus RCF handles both with ease.

My last two gigs were the main stage at Leeds O2 (capacity 2000-ish) and The Chameleon in Nottingham (capacity 50 + the members of the other two bands) and I used the same rig for both, although I didn't bother with the RCF for the O2 gig as I knew the monitoring would be fine without it.

TBH on the big(ger) stages the bass rig in particular is just for show as the speakers will make zero contribution to the FoH sound and the amp only the pre-amp section (and maybe not even that depending on where the DI is situated). Most of the gigs I do in these situations I'm in the support band, so I simply set up in from of the headliner's (usually Ampeg) rig and no-one is any the wiser!

Regarding the Helix, IMO it's brilliant. AFAICS it's limitations are down to the user's imagination rather than the device itself. However I've been a massive fan of programmable multi-effects since I bought my first (Roland GP8) in the late 80s.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by BigRedX »

Wonks wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:38 pm Don't forget a lot of famous guitarist had all their effects switched for them by a tech offstage, so all you saw was a trailing lead or their radio lead on the guitar and all they had to do was worry about playing. Wah wah or a talkbox probably being the only exceptions of pedals that really need to be used on stage by the guitarist.

You don't even need to be famous or playing big stages. In the late 90s I was playing in a band that used MIDI-controlled backing for some of the synths. Everything that had a MIDI In socket on it was also controlled this way - bass and guitar multi-effects units for patch changes and parameter control, electronic drums for patch changes, synths for patch changes, vocal effects and the mixer that this all went through. The mixer settings could be over-ridden by our sound engineer, but simply the ability to set up a "scene" with all the correct effects and routings and ideal levels for the song made life so much easier. All the musicians had to do was play the correct notes at the correct time. Certainly not being anchored to our pedal boards made the on-stage performance much better visually.

I'm looking at implementing a similar system with at least one of the bands that I'm currently play with.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by The Elf »

As per a previous post, for one of my bands my Cantabile-based rig controls the entire stage system. If we are running to a click/backing/sequencers then every bit of gear is controlled from Cantabile, such that nobody needs to make patch selections - all we have to do is play. Even if we aren't running backing it sets each of us up for the start of each tune.

That said, any of us can override on our own rigs, and it doesn't stop us looping sections to extend where required. It's good to know that we have ultimate control, yet if we mess up the system will look after us.

There's a Helix under each keyboard station. The Helix can function as a 2 x stereo or 4 x mono input device (or combos thereof), which covers a lot of ground for the keyboards (and guitars) that don't have their own preset storage. It also handles a lot of MIDI switching for external gear, such as loopers - and for Cantabile itself.

Cantabile also opens/closes the stage mic between songs (no vocals in this band) and multi-track records the whole gig.

When I first set this system up it caused me a few sleepless hours of 'what if?...', but it's performed perfectly. We have a few 'safety' features to catch anticipate-able problems (missing patch changes, non-functioning pedals, detached cables, etc), but so far we've had no cause to trigger any of these. The only problem we had was the guitarist accidentally catching his Helix volume control - aargh! But now I can lock that control out, so problem solved.

All the stage sounds arrive at a Behringer XR18, again under the control of Cantabile. Monitoring is under our own control - in-ears or speakers. Each artist has his own monitor mixer. FOH mix was set in rehearsal - no need to change, but overrides (and some headroom) is built into the system.

I hit a Helix switch, the gig starts. I hit a Helix switch and we go to the next song. The rig takes care of everything but the playing.

The whole stage system is set up in around 20 minutes, which is important for the gigs we play. I just introduce FOH to our mic/line isolator and we're ready to go - sound-check or no sound-check!

I've gone well beyond the guitar pedal discussion, but just thought I'd show what can be done when you are prepared to take advantage of modern gear.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Sam Spoons »

S2 wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:34 am Nice rig! Bit out of my league (pub and club Cream/Hendrix covers band)

I really like the sound of that :clap:

but I like to see what others are using for various size gigs.

So do I :D

And yes I imagine the Helix (I know nothing about it other than seeing it on the Andertons website) and the RCF are significantly less kit to cart about.

Thanks.


Murray B wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:34 am
SecretSam wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:25 am Dan Patlansky, having been through many pedal experiments, opines that the optimum number of pedals is five. Beyond that, the complexity and signal degradation outweigh the benefits.

I don't recall the old masters using massive pedal boards, so the magic number five might be about right. Your thoughts?

That's interesting - I will of course agree as I have 5 pedals on my board - but I'm not counting the Tuner :shifty:

I have 8 on my board, in signal order Wah, Boost, Dual Distortion, Delay, Octave/Chorus, Looper and Reverb (always on) and there's a tuner in there somewhere. I use three basic sounds with all but the Distortion and Reverb being icing. I could do all my electric gigs with just those two pedals (and only one if the amp had reverb).
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by blinddrew »

I envy the professionalism and control of you guys.
I just stamp on things until the right guitar makes the right noise.

Just not always in the right song.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by S2 »

blinddrew wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:46 pm I envy the professionalism and control of you guys.
I just stamp on things until the right guitar makes the right noise.

Just not always in the right song.

Which is why I don't have anything to stamp on at all. Makes it so much easier!
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by ManFromGlass »

Drew - I hope you don’t have a cat in the studio . . . .with all that stamping on everything
:think:
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by blinddrew »

Next door's cat sneaked in the other day but did a runner as soon as he saw me coming. :)
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by BigRedX »

S2 wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:34 am Nice rig! Bit out of my league (pub and club Cream/Hendrix covers band) but I like to see what others are using for various size gigs.

I did actually use the big expensive rig with the Dad Rock covers band that I was in for a couple of years, and where it was a lot more necessary since our PA was strictly vocals only.
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