EFFECTS: Outboard / External racks or pedals, or Software ?

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by Dalmation, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Dalmation

    Dalmation Kapellmeister

    Jun 7, 2011
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    Hi all ^_^

    I have gear lust & envy but being on a tight budget and with so many VST effect plugins available, should I spend $$$ on more hardware or find a few good VST's to play around with ?

    I've recently changed my accommodation and starting to hook up some of the gear I've collected over years.

    For hardware I have a USB audio interface with lots of analog I/O ( ESI - ESU1808 )
    I have a few keyboard / rack / desktop synth and sound modules. One has digital audio output (coax S/PDIF) which I intend to connect into the ESI. I have a few 'knob box' MIDI controllers.

    I use a PC with a choice of DAW's both free * commercial (thanks to our brother-site) and have collected dozens of VST plugins that can process audio for effects, both free and $$$. I'm comfortable working with versatile PC/VST software but like tactile 'hands-on' feel of hardware.

    On youtube I see lots of guys using guitar pedals or desktop effects modules in their home setups and I'm interested in getting some small hardware effect devices to patch in with my sound generation gear but my budget is tight.

    The effects I like are warm tube saturation/distortion, fuzz, lush/dense reverb+shimmer, chorus, phaser...
    In ebay & Gumtree, some devices I watch for are:
    Zoom - MS-50G, MS-50CDR
    Line 6 - M5
    Boss - RE-20
    Digitech - RP360
    GFI - Specular
    Electroharmonix - Memory Boy/Man
    Strymon - Bluesky, Bigsky
    Eventide - Blackhole, Space, H9
    Neuenbar ?
    ... etc.

    So again -being on a tight budget and with so many VST effect plugins available, should I spend $$$ on more hardware or find a few good VST's to play around with ?

    Thanks for reading ^_^
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  3. dragonhill

    dragonhill Guest

    99% of what you listed is available in VSTs esp. the effects.

    You can always add a distortion pedal or wah pedal later.
  4. Generally speaking, software is less costly than hardware, and if your budget is tight why not get a software controller that you can set up to control all of the ITB stuff you will have, then you can twiddle knobs then to your heart's delight. Right now my only hardware is a few mic preamps, a few compressors and that is all (not talking instruments, amps, etc). I might not even have thise if I wasn't recording vocals, guitars, percussion and such. From your post, since you aren't talking microphones, just being software based would be a viable option.
  5. Yuri

    Yuri Platinum Record

    Apr 14, 2014
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    I've got a couple of Strymon pedals (Blue Sky and El Capistan) and I love 'em. Not cheap, but I wholeheartedly recommend Strymon stuff if you can afford it. I still feel more comfortable playing with actual pedals than VSTs, probably a personal thing, but also because I started playing in an era when VSTs didn't exist, and cheap, usually second-hand pedals were all I could afford.
  6. sisyphus

    sisyphus Platinum Record

    Apr 29, 2014
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    I just got a boss gt-1000 yesterday and it has changed my damn life. as good as itb plugins have come for guitar recording... no, sorry , between that and a kemper, and not dealing with both latency and cpu drain, i am smiling like a damn idiot.
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  7. dragonhill

    dragonhill Guest

    did you try the Helix and Fractal?
  8. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Guest

    @Yuri is right on about Strymon, also the cost.. with Big Sky being one of the most costly.. but well worth it..
    I am waiting on it.. to try and get a good used one without the retail mark up...

    until then you could try some Keeley pedals.. the compressor, and Aurora reverb is quite sufficient for 1/3 the price of the Big Sky...
    drive and distortion pedals are in so many flavors and quality levels, real gear heads and tone monsters ( like me) end up
    with several of them...

    I have recently stepped up to tube amps as well.. which you can do reasonably, but not cheaply , if you want a decent one..
  9. sisyphus

    sisyphus Platinum Record

    Apr 29, 2014
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    I have worked a lot with the Kemper, and one of my collaborators has the Helix, but not the Fractal. Don't have them in front of me to "shoot out", but I am really happy with what is coming out of the gt-1000...
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