I've recently been thinking about multi effects. I've got a couple of them. Sitting on my desk here next to the laptop is an old Vox ToneLab. It's what I generally use when I'm recording to my DAW. I may work up a patch for it that includes some effects and an amp sound or I may have my pedals on the floor and run them through the ToneLab to get an amp sound in the mix. It's one of the Valvetronix ToneLabs and not one of the original ones. I got it because my first "real" amp was one of the Valvetronix amps, and the tweed Bassman model in it was what sold me on tube amps.
Sitting on the floor next to the desk in front of my amp is a Fender Mustang Floor. I pulled it out of the closet a couple of days ago. When I did, I put the pedals boards in their respective bags and back in the closet. That was mostly to just save some space on the floor, but I digress.
I bought the Mustang Floor back like 7 or 8 years ago. I bought it for a couple of reasons. I had heard some good things about that original Mustang line (the v1 and v2 series), and so I knew it has some good sounds in it. They hadn't announced that the Floor had been discontinued, but I noticed that the were getting harder to find, so I got one used before everyone else realized the same thing and the price on them went up. They never announced that the Floor had been discontinued. Retailers just no longer had them. I'm not sure if they even made the Floor in the v2 line; I don't think they did. I also wanted something that was a one-size-fits-all piece of gear. You need an amp model or a small pedal board or both? You need a 1/4" out or maybe a balanced xlr out? The Floor seemed to check the boxes I had pretty well and was a good bang for the buck.
Neeways, they've both served their purposes well, and they continue to do so. But, I've recently been thinking that the tech in my ToneLab is the same tech that was in that old Valvetronix amp that I bought in 2007, and those Mustang v1 amps came out, I believe in 2010. That means that both of the multi effects that I use are running tech that is 12 and 15+ years old.
That got me to thinking, with the changes in modeling technology that have been made and the addition of IRs and other improvements to multi effects, I'm betting the stuff being made today is pretty good in comparison to what I've got.
I mean there's the Helix/HX Effects stuff that's supposed to be really good. Then there's the Fractal and Headrush units. You've also go Zoom still putting stuff out, and now Mooer and NuX and some of the other more budget minded brands have multis on the market too. So I've started asking around for opinions on what folks are using and what they like and dislike about it.
I think the big question I have to answer for myself at the moment is, if I get one of the new generation multis, how do I see it being used. Do I want it to take the place the ToneLab sitting next to me on the desk? Do I want it to take the place of the Mustang Floor sitting just to the right of my chair? Do I want something that will do both? Once I decide that for sure, I reckon I start to decide what I want to do.
I don't expect myself to do anything quickly. Heck, what started me down this whole line of thought was that I saw a NuX somethingorother last weekend on Amazon, and I almost made an impulse buy because I thought that I had to see what kind of multi that included amp emulation and IRs they were selling for $150. But I caught myself and didn't pull the trigger because the next thought was, if I'm going to spend $150 on something just to see what it was, I may as well spend a bit more and get something that I could be assured would be better than what I've got now.
So, come a couple of months from now, I might have a new multi, and I may not. Time will tell. What I do know is that I will hopefully have one of those MXR Duke of Tone pedals before too long. I pre-ordered it the day they announced it. I've got a Prince of Tone, and it's my current fave drive pedal. I'm anxious to get the DoT and try them side by side. They supposedly dropped today I think. So I'm hoping to get my ship notification on Monday morning.
Are any of you using a multi effect for anything? Let me know what you like or don't like about it.
Snarf is a wannabe musician who currently resides in the great state of Texas. His wife is his favorite. He believes chocolate milk made from milk that is anything less than whole milk is basically water and deserves to be dumped down the sink so nobody has to suffer through it. He hates having to shop for clothes. But he has a thing for really cool bags, and, consequently, has more gig bags than guitars and a closet full of messenger bags and backpacks. He still misses his dog who was taken by cancer 5 years ago. Check out his Reverb shop and see if he has any gear he's trying to get rid of.