Hi guys,
The pedals thread made me think;
How do you handle effects in your rack(s) and what are your favourites modules.
DSP, analogic, guitar pedals ? The best of all world ?

Good day/night !

My situation is sort of atypical...I have 124U of various rack processors, plus some non-racked ones, a "library" of stompers that I can drop in when/wherever needed, and pretty much everything in my studio involves a patch, so it's easy to reroute things so that I can easily make changes to the signal path. And this is all hardware...doesn't cover the various VSTs.

Thanks for your response,
At the moment i'm routing my audio flow throught ableton for effects. I'm thinking about getting an effects module. z-dsp, Black gole, fx aid of specialized module like a spring reverb or rainmaker. still processing everything I read.

Good day to you !

To chime in with Lugia, here is a minimal FX setup: I have 4HP of multi fx processor (Disting MK4) which is fun, too.
For a minimal setup of pedal board FX I send things out via a headphone Cue and returing it via Mutable Ears. In my case it worked great with the BOSS DM-2W Delay, because I could also mix it back in the FX loop for well controllable feedback :)

PS.: Next up will be an FX Aid as dedicated processing module ;)

Newbi question:
Would it work if I just take the audio out of any madule and connect a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter and go into a pedal and then return?

The levels are different, you will have a pre-distortion on the pedal and a weak level on the return. But you can use an atenuator before the pedal and something like a MI ears to adapt the return signal.
The ALM SBG do that in 4 HP.

I am using the AI006 stomp box adapter for that (2hp)..
plus the befaco hex-system too, but the AI is a nice cheap option

Newbi question:
Would it work if I just take the audio out of any madule and connect a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter and go into a pedal and then return?

-- dadodetres

depends on the pedal - moogerfoogers work fine, for example

Utility modules are the inexpensive, dull polish that makes the expensive, shiny modules actually shine!!!

the guitar pedal ecosystem is really rich so it can be a good way to explore different sounds. personally, and ymmv of course, i found that I liked the sound that came back through them, but not the process of using them. I didn't like the pedals hanging off the rack in a separate path, or how they were less flexible in terms of signal path, or the lack of CV modulation. I ended up moving in-rack for my effects.

In terms of recommendations, Noise Engineering's Versio platform just got a lot more interesting today with the addition of a pretty wild new stereo distortion, and an update to their reverb that uses clocked repeats. Chronoblob V2 is also solid and pretty versatile as a clocked delay that can be stereo or have a feedback loop.

I'm interested in this thread as I'm also thinking of slowly relieving Ableton Live from its FX duties.
So adding to the OP's question, do you guys reckon a matrix mixer, such as the Doepfer A-138M, is an efficient tool for FX send/return duties?

I'm interested in this thread as I'm also thinking of slowly relieving Ableton Live from its FX duties.
-- Mazz

Well, maybe the simpler ones...there's still plenty of things that software can do that hardware can't.

As for what's needed to really integrate hardware with a software "engine," that would be a mixer that has ample sends and returns. Or you can use some spare I/O channels to establish send/returns from inside Ableton to outboard devices. I don't think it's a very good idea to try and get audio out of and then back into the modular just by adding a matrix mixer and plugging effects processors into that. For one thing, there's a big level mismatch, so you'd need extra modules to drop/raise the levels so that you weren't prone to overloading the effects or not having enough level on the return to work within the synth. That's going to cost, both in terms of $$$ and hp.

But there IS a way to make this work with a minimum of additional I/O modules, and that's by putting together a parallel mixing setup for your effects processors.

Let's say for a minute that you could do this exact thing by adding only TWO channels of I/O level shifting, but you've got a PILE of processors. So, drop in a stereo I/O...something like a Ladik A-595, for example. Now you've got what's needed to move a stereo signal out and back. Then, add a distribution amp...it's sort of the rack gear equivalent to a buffered multiple...and route your effects outputs from this as it splits your stereo Eurorack send. Then on the other side, use a small rack mixer (I prefer Rane's SM 26B for this, as it works as either a signal splitter OR a 6-input stereo submixer) to submix your processing back to the stereo Eurorack return. The fact that the Ladik module is both cheap AND small can make this work, and all you'll need "outside" would be those two devices, and maybe a 1/4" patchbay if you want to make changes to your routings easily. Alternately, you could use Ladik's P-520 to have four channels of output, and still use a stereo line return while using just the outboard submixer for FX summing; if you had four mono-in/stereo-out processors (something like certain stompboxes, or classic rack processors such as Yamaha's SPX90), one P-520 would handle that and, by using the outboard submixer, you can create a fairly elaborate AUX setup for submixing different voices. And so on...it's the sort of setup that's really only limited by imagination and $$$.

Wow thanks for the extensive and interesting info.
As you say, I was thinking about the usual reverbs and delays, but in Eurorack module format. I have a few stomp boxes for the guitars but I wasn't thinking of using those.
The setup I have in mind when I mention FX is really a simple one. My audio interface has 8 inputs, all of them with pad switches, and for now I have no problem sending audio signals directly from the Eurorack modules into it. It peaks in the region between -18 and -12 dB at unity. So what I was thinking really was just to send mult'ed copies of my audio outputs into a matrix mixer, then from the mixer outputs into the FX modules, and from them either back to a simple (sub)mixer or directly to the audio interface.
That's where I have the Doepfer matrix mixer in mind, but I wasn't sure if I would be doing/buying something unnecessary, or if instead I'm being too traditional and there are better more modern methods.
In any case, I hope this is of interest to the OP too. I'm not trying to hijack anyone's thread...

Yeah, that would work well...fact is, the Ranes I use here are sort of matrix-ish, as they can simultaneously split a stereo signal to several outs AND offer return channels that sum down to a stereo out. If you added a distro amp, then you could derive multiple buffered sends and fire them off to a bunch of rack devices, then sum all that back down with a Rane SM 26B, with all of that only using a stereo pair on your converter for send and another for return. The only caveat I'd make here would be to get a distro that's ONLY for stereo audio...there's quite a few on the usual used gear sites that also have video in various formats, but those aren't what you'd be looking for.

Case in point: https://reverb.com/item/15148196-kramer-105a-distribution-amp-new-in-box-2018-grey This gives you five buffered stereo outs (on 3.5mm TRS jacks) from one stereo input. Then fan those out to some inexpensive rack processors, and return sum them through this: ~McAAOSwotVfjl4z" target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rane-SM26/324341290702?hash=item4b843f56ce~McAAOSwotVfjl4z via a couple of patchbays to allow some more flexibility in effects routing. With devices like the older Yamaha SPX line, earlier Lexicons from the MPX line, etc coming in at the $150-ish range, this would be a good time to look at a setup of this sort.

Thanks, that looks like a good option that would save me €€€, as an alternative to the all-Eurorack method. Although I've been eyeing some Tiptop modules that seem reasonably priced too. Still, I have no idea how they perform. I'll look into it.
And this shows you should never sell stuff, and instead put it away for future use. I had four Quadraverbs in the 90's that would come in super-handy now.

Yep...if you've got tools that work, then work with 'em! The other point to going with outboard effects is that you save hp in your build...and that means more potential sound generation capabilities. Grab a small portable rack case, jam the outboard gear and patchbay in there, and there you go...AND it's still relatively portable, so if you wanted to gig with the setup, that wouldn't be much of a hassle.