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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » NM Classic (NM1 or G1)
Micro Modular as a Guitar Pedal
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Aesoteric



Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Bristol
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:08 am    Post subject: Micro Modular as a Guitar Pedal Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey all,

I'm a fairly experienced Nord Modular user...and I love them dearly...although I haven't amassed enough pennies to get my hands on a G2 just yet.
I'm trying to integrate a Micro Modular into my guitar pedal board for a new project, and although I've built hundreds of lovely patches to use...I'm struggling to get a quality signal into it. I'm waiting for a true bypass looper to switch it in and out of the signal path...but I was wondering if anyone else out there had done something similar and found a good solution for getting a hot enough signal without colouring the tone too much. I don't really want to have to integrate a pre-amp...and I dont want to insert it into my FX loop of my amp...A compression sustainer seems like a viable option, but does anyone have any other ideas? A switcher with a level booster pre-circuit could help?

The core rig is very minimal (by choice), simply a Big Muff > Fender Blender > (Micro Modular) > Line 6 Delay Modeller > Trace Elliot Tramp Tube...and the guitars vary between a '62 Jag, a '58 Strat, and an 80 something Tele.

Any tips, tricks or experiences gratefully received. Or tips as to where to look.

My thanks in advance,

Tim.
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elektro80
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Joined: Mar 25, 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Only way to do this well is by raising the guitar signal to a reasonable line level. A DI with a line driver ( preferably the kind with a -10/+4 switch ) will do just fine.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Does the guitar amp have a true line input? Most guys I know who are into serious guitarnoise processing will lift the guitar signal to line level and keep it there using only studio grade outboard gear and then injecting this into a mega PA.
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davep



Joined: Jul 05, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm curious - why don't you want to put the FX in the guitar amp's FX loop? I would think that most or all of the devices you mention would work better placed AFTER the amp's preamp & distortion circuits. Normally, it's better to apply delay & chorus type effects to an already distorted signal, as opposed to applying distortion to chorus & delay signals.
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Aesoteric



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cheers for the input guys...its nice to get some swift replies when you're a newbie, so thankyou all.

My amp always runs entirely clean...all my fuzz comes from the Blender and the Muff...so all my modulation/delays etc. do come post distortion...I lose too much signal quality by using the FX loop of my amp as there's no way of true bypassing it.

I'm gonna try a DI box as part of the true bypass loop...I'm just hoping it won't suck out my precious tone too much!

The reason I'm being so picky about the tone is cos this project (unlike 95% of my guitar work) is not crazy noise stuff...its actually fairly straight song-based stuff (or as song based as I get!) with a few experimental angular moments...

Cheers,
Tim.
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davep



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Tim,

Ah, got it. I think the root of the problem is that the Micro is expecting a line level input (and provides a line level output) so it may not be well suited to be positioned before the input of a guitar amp. Although it's surprising to me that the output of the two previous devices doesn't give you a decent signal to feed into the Micro.

But whatever the reason, I bet the cleanest way to raise the level without introducing possible signal coloration may be to do it inside the Micro patches, using one or more "Amplifier" modules cranked up to X4.00, placed right after the external input module in each patch.

But you may need to then bring the level back down again, since your guitar amp may not like getting a whopping line level input instead of a guitar input. Due to these gain issues, I think the best solution may be to place at least the micro in the amp's FX loop. Or the FX loop of the mixer channel that the guitar amp is connected to.

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marc



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The sound you probably really want to be getting is best achieved by running the MicroModular through the effects loop of your amp; I play through my laptop->mixer->pa when I'm playing with my drone/noise group, but I'm not trying to make it sound like an electric guitar, usually. You could possibly run through a transparent preamp into the mm and out into your amp, but as dave mentioned, the line level coming out is not only a higher signal level, it's also a different impedance. I haven't tried running anything line level into a guitar amp, and while it may actually do some harm (if used often and long enough) to the preamp section of your amp, I suspect it might also compress it harder than a tube amp normally does, though that's pure conjecture.

Anyway, my suggestion is use the effects loop. What I would do for a 'true' bypass is run your amp's preamp out to a decent-but-cheap A/B box (I bought a Morley for $50), it's all passive circuitry, so it'll work unless you're sending in a signal from the PA's poweramp, in which case you'd just fry your box. Back on the subject. Run your preamp out into the MicroModular, then into the 'A' channel of the A/B box, and the In/Out lead back into the poweramp of your amp; leave the 'B' channel empty. That way, on the 'A' channel, the signal gets preamped, runs through the MM, comes back in like a normal signal; when you switch to the 'B' channel, the circuit gets broken, and your amp will bypass the effects loop altogether. It's a hack, but it should work. Also, I just took the backplate off of the A/B on my desk, and it indeed does take TRS connections, so it should absolutely work with a balanced, line-level signal.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome to electro-music.com, Marc. Great to have another person from Allentown here. Be sure to post the next gig of your band.
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