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    Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

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    HwyStar
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    Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by HwyStar on Sat May 10, 2014 12:31 pm

    Just got a new volume pedal:  http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Engineering-VM-PRO-Buffered-Volume/dp/B00DEG7AOG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399742855&sr=8-1&keywords=mission+vm+pro

    The highs and dynamics are back!  I was running a total of 30 feet of wire and by putting this volume pedal at fifteen feet got back the tone I was getting when I was plugged in directly to the amp.

    The only other thing I was going to test was a ten foot wire instead of fifteen.  I am hoping I won't here the difference but this just proves to me how important a buffer up front in your signal chain really is!

    Right now my chain is: guitar->15' cable->volume pedal->wah->tuner->15' cable->amp. That's it! The H & K midi pedal with amp effects is doing the rest of the work.

    This amp really sings with a buffer up front!


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    Rullian

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by Rullian on Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:44 am

    Does volume pedal adjust the gain as well as volume? Through the GM, my visual sound volume pedal adjusts the gain as well as the volume which is not what it does with my other board. There it adjusts the volume without changing the gain level - just like working the master volume on the amp.
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:24 am

    AFAIK, if the volume pedal is located between the guitar and amp, it will behave very much like your guitar's volume knob, meaning it will affect both volume and gain. If you don't want it to affect gain, then the amp's fx loop is a good spot for it (after the amp's pre-amp section), and that is what I am leaning toward with my rig. So far I am not having much luck (nor is anyone else it seems) with getting an expression pedal to behave like a conventional volume pedal... so I am trying out some regular volume pedals. This means having audio cables going back and forth from my pedal board to the amp, which I am not accustomed to, but I guess I can live with it.

    Incidentally... if the only item in the amp's fx loop is a volume pedal (IE: Ernie Ball Jr 25K), and I have ~40 ft of cable (20'+20'), do I need a buffer? Or is the amp's fx send buffered?

    This weekend I am having a big shootout, a last ditch effort to get an expression pedal to work like a regular volume pedal (I do not have high hopes) as well as experimenting with a EB VP JR 250k in front of the amp and a EB VP JR 25k in the amp's fx loop. I'll let ya's know how it goes!
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:43 pm

    I did some highly scientific tests with my Grandmeister today, with volume pedals Smile

    Ernie Ball 250k (6180) vs 25k (6181)

    First up is the 250k pedal, because it seems to be the most popular, and, all my guitars have passive pickups, so it seems like a good place to start. I put it between my guitar and amp (the most common location for this particular pedal). It functions exactly as I expected: it controls both volume and gain, because it is essentially replicating the guitar's volume pedal. The control is very nice, smooth, and even. However, I don't want it to affect the gain, I only want it to affect the overall volume. So I then tried putting it in the amp's fx loop (post pre-amp)... the good news is that it leaves the gain alone and only controls volume... the bad news is that it has a weird uneven taper. Well, at least I'm on the right track here!

    Next up is the 25k pedal... I put it in the amp's fx loop and VIOLA!!!!
    - controls volume: check!
    - does not affect gain: check!
    - smooth even taper: check!

    winner-winner-chicken-dinner!!!

    Granted, I might be an oddball for wanting the volume pedal to only control the volume and not the gain, but regardless I'm happy to have found a solution that perfectly suits my needs. I hope this info helps someone...
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    Egads

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by Egads on Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:55 pm

    Good to hear you found one that works for you. It's also great information to hear about the two different models/pots. Do you know if the taper is different or just the resistance?

    Is the built in delay after the loop or before? If before, the volume pedal won't work well for swells, where the delay tails carry on.

    I'm fairly traditional, in that I run my volume pedal in front of the amp and am OK with the gain change (I also ride my guitar's volume knob, so that's what I'm used to).
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    Zybler

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by Zybler on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:05 am

    Like the science test approach :-)
    I've heard about some guitarist with two volume pedals, one before amp and one in the loop. Total control and a real big pedalboard.

    I'm happy with a Ernie Ball 250k before amp, I just have a Hall of Fame mini in the effect loop.
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:54 am

    Egads wrote:Good to hear you found one that works for you. It's also great information to hear about the two different models/pots. Do you know if the taper is different or just the resistance?

    Is the built in delay after the loop or before? If before, the volume pedal won't work well for swells, where the delay tails carry on.

    I'm fairly traditional, in that I run my volume pedal in front of the amp and am OK with the gain change (I also ride my guitar's volume knob, so that's what I'm used to).

    As far as I can tell, the taper is the same in both but it's affected by the signal type. For example, the 250k's taper was fine until I put it in the amp's loop... as if that "active" signal caused it to behave differently.

    All of the Grandmeister's effects are after the loop (thankfully!) otherwise that would be a bit of a deal breaker. They are also after the volume pot which made me hopeful in terms of using an exp pedal as a volume pedal, but I have had no luck (nor has anyone else it seems) in getting a exp pedal to behave properly. Because the exp pedal wants to control 100% of the pot and that's just no good for practical use.

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:26 am

    Gravydb,

    I picked up the GM36 with TM112 and FSM foot switch. Is the only way to get the EB25k to work right by going in and out of fx loop? Can i plug this right into footswich? Thanks!
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:35 am

    I highly recommend putting it in the amp's fx loop. That's where mine is. The downside is you'll have extra cables running back and forth (I'm a bit OCD and prefer a tidy stage) but it's the only way I can get a VP to behave the way I want.

    I "think" you could connect the FSM to the EBVP using a "TRS to dual TS" cable, but best case scenario is that it will NOT behave like a conventional volume pedal, instead it will act as a remote control for the amp's volume knob (meaning, toe down will = a dimed amp).

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:55 am

    THanks for the reply I have it connected to FSM footswitch now via one cable and it just reduces volume, no good. Is it a limitation of the EB pedal that it doesnt work with footswitch and only through fx loop.?

    Does this mean that i cant use this pedal for controlling other programmable function via footwswitch?

    I have a Polytune 2 connected to the tuner plug. is this a good spot or do u recommend somewhere else?

    Lastly where would you recommend the wah pedal in all this?

    I agree with the OCD too, i hate messy cables.....
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:54 am

    You're welcome!

    If you connect it to the FSM with a regular TS cable it won't work right. You need to use a TRS to dual TS cable, with the TRS end connected to the FSM and the dual TS ends connected to the in/out of the VP. I believe (take that with a grain of salt) that will allow the VP to function as an expression pedal, and then yes you can assign whatever parameter you want. But it will never function like a conventional volume pedal in that scenario because it will simply be a remote control for 0-100% of the amp's volume knob. Personally, if I wanted an expression pedal for controlling a parameter, I'd just buy an expression pedal and be done with it, instead of 'rigging up' a EB VP for the job. But that's just me Smile

    Tuners: I've read quite a few reviews which state that there is some tone/volume loss when a tuner is connected to the EB's tuner jack. Something to do with the signal being split inside the VP. Other folks state they don't notice a difference , or only a negligible (tolerable) difference... and it seems to vary depending on what model tuner is used... My advice would be to check for yourself, and if you don't notice a difference (or if the difference is something you can live with) then you're good to go. I agree with the general logic that it is best to keep a tuner out of the primary signal chain. Many folks use a A/B box for this. And now I'm going to totally contradict everything I just said by telling you that my tuner (Korg Pitchblack Pro, which is rackmounted along with my GM) is the first thing in my signal chain, right before the GM, and it is an 'always on' device. With my VP in the amp's fx loop, I can heel-down for silent tuning. I don't notice a loss of tone with the tuner being in my signal chain. I guess my point is, there doesn't seem to be a hardfast rule for this stuff. Ya just gotta try different routing ideas with your particular gear.

    Wah pedal: I don't use em but IIRC they are best located between the guitar and amp, not in the amp's fx loop. I believe most folks put them very early in the signal chain.


    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:58 am

    U rock man!! Thanks!!!

    One other thing do u use any MIDI interface and the iPad app?
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:23 pm

    The only MIDI I'm using atm is the FSM. Back in the day I had a rackfull of midi'd processors and somewhat recently I migrated from a G-System based rig to the GM. I gotta say I feel liberated now that I have such a nice simple clean rig. I'm not running any external fx at all (well, not counting the VP!). The GM provides all I need!

    I haven't tried the app yet... I would love to, I definitely see it as an awesome tool! I'll try it sooner or later...

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:29 pm

    So you do all preset manipulation via head and footswitch. Is it pretty easy? I'm thinking of getting the IK Multimedia iRig MIDI
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:47 pm

    It couldn't be easier Smile I'm in an original progressive band, and for recordings I'm more particular about achieving specific sounds but for live work all I need are 3 basic sounds: clean, crunch, and lead. I use the 'preset' mode, and I use several banks of patches because I need specific fx settings for certain songs. The GM's design makes it SO easy to dial in and save the parameters I want. The app would make it even easier to manage... I gotta get that thing going... and yeah I'll def get the IK iRig, I've been so close to pulling the trigger on one of those!

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:52 pm

    yeah i'm stopping on my way home today! I have the older ipad and my guitar center has it on sale for $40! the newer one is $80 then u have to get an adapter and 2 midi cables...no brainer for me
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:59 pm

    Wow $40! Cool. Let me know how it works out for ya. I don't have an iPad but I might be able to borrow my wife's or my son's. You know, when they aren't on them (which is NEVER haha). I've been tempted to try the PC version that Fredo developed, just haven't gotten around to it, and of course I'd still need an interface device... seems the M-Audio USB Midisport works well.

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:25 pm

    sure will! thanks again I got my first stage use this weekend at church so i need to get comfortable with this!

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:17 pm

    So is there a trick to get this to work? I plugged EB pedal into fx loop. Nothing happens when I rock it. I tried swapping in and out. Nothing. How e do u have it plugged in? Do I need a special type of cable? I've got a hosa stereo cable that's gray and orange plugs on both sides.

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:22 am

    Yes there is a trick. PUSH THE FX LOOP BUTTON. Damn I feel like an idiot. When I launched the iPad app I was looking at options and then it bit me in the face!!!

    The app is quite nice too. I'm gonna have a blast playing with this.

    I'd really like to plug into foot switch but this will do. Is there a pedal other than the Yamaha FC7 that will do what we need?
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:00 am

    Haha, yeah that fx loop button will getcha every time Smile

    The cable I'm using at home is this one, just an inexpensive Hosa dual TS cable, for the sake of keeping things tidy. Just 2 cables going from my pedal board to the amp - the midi cable and this dual cable:


    For live shows, I'm putting together a set of much nicer cables - 2 proper 25' TS cables for the VP pedal, and a rugged 25' MIDI cable, bundled up with this: http://www.pedalpython.com So essentially there will just be one 'cable' going from my board to the amp.

    For expression pedals (connected to the FSM), I tried the Yamaha FC7 and it works great. I also tried a Moog EP3 and it too works great. There's an older Moog, the EP2, it will not work because it has the wrong polarity. The EP3 has selectable polarity. I learned that stuff when trying (unsuccessfully) to get an expression pedal to behave like a traditional volume pedal... no luck with that as you know, but those pedals work GREAT as expression pedals for controlling various parameters.

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:09 am

    so the yamaha when plugged into the footswitch will operate volume properly like we want? Whats the benefits of the EB in fx loop then? THe yamaha looks kind of cheesy....

    Also not sure where u live but my guitar center in south florida has the MIDI for $40 while online its listed for $70. weird but ill take it
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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:05 am

    No, it won't behave like a traditional volume pedal. If it did we wouldn't have to go with the EB in the FX loop! It will only act as an expression pedal. You can assign many different parameters for it to control (delay time, flanger intensity, EQ, you name it!!!), and yes you can assign the volume but like I said it will simply behave like a remote control for the volume knob (toe down = dimed amp) which of course is not how most folks want a volume pedal to behave Crying or Very sad

    Yeah you got a crazy good deal on that unit!

    stugotz74

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by stugotz74 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:22 am

    Got it! I made a drawing of the wiring so i don't have to guess!

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    gravydb

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    Re: Buffered volume pedals are where it's at for me!

    Post by gravydb on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:43 am

    Sweet! Does the iRig come with midi cables or do ya have to buy them separately?

    Here's what my pedalboard looked like pre-GM. Note the 2 Moog exp pedals:


    And here's what it is now:


    so clean and simple!!!

    Incidentally, with the G-System, an exp pedal DID behave like a regular volume pedal!!!! Somehow TC got it right!


    Last edited by gravydb on Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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