I was wondering how people integrated guitar pedals into their modular setups? So far I’ve been keeping the two worlds pretty separate—creating loops with guitar, and then modular patches layered on top, but I’ve got a few pedals that I think would sound even better in a modular context. Can you just run create a chain with the pedals in between the modular and mixer/final output?
the only problem afaik is impedance mismatches and levels. Modular is usually around 10Vpp, while guitar levels are usually way lower. Also guitar pickups expect a very high impedance, while most line-level gear and modulars need a much lower one.
Some pedals work nice with line-level gear and only need a bit of attenuation (eg. Eventide stuff), some don’t in my experience.
A low impedance output feeding a high impedance input is not an issue. The other way around is a problem, of course, but we are talking about pedals and not guitars themselves.
I have seen this word incorrectly applied twice today. “Impedance” is the extension of the concept of resistance to AC signals. It matters for things like passive pickups and dynamic microphones but isn’t a first-order issue with most electronic circuits’ outputs.
Having said that, I did my own pedal conversions with TC Toneprint series (Hall of Fame and Flashback delay). The piggyback PCB has 5:1 -> pedal -> 1:5 level shifting and +9VDC regulation:
(seconding) harvestman’s black locust is well designed for this purpose, if you want an off-the-shelf solution. basically it is just attenuation -> output and amplification->input but the wiring is cleverly done and nice to have wet/dry.
i also always thought the pittsburgh patch box was a clever thing but i guess it didn’t sell well enough
I also have a Black Locust and an ADDAC Pedal integrator. Both are neat. If you want to save space, the ADDAC is obviously the way to go. Also, I find that I always leave the Locust channels fully wet and use the mix knobs on the connected pedals.
Due to the feedback wiring of the Locust, it can lead to some nasty results when unplugging cables. No problem in the studio, but on stage it could cause irritations. Depending on when kind of music you make of course
never thought of using pedals with modular until i found out the other day about the new empress echo system delay. after reading that you can have two different delays hard panned left and right to the outputs i ordered one immediately
was planning on just routing it through an aux channel on my k mix and using it send and return style like i did with BAM… maybe not the most kosher thing for eurorack signals but it hasn’t failed me yet
personally, i’m not really a eurorack user. but i have a random handful of euro modules that don’t see much use. they would see far more use from me if they were on the floor and wired up for normal line level with a bypass switch. (for eample i have a teletype, two analog delays, and a DIY fuzz/filter thing, which would make a nice pedalboard addition.) indeed, i usually use aleph in a pedalboard with some kind of true-bypass effect loop, and with more pedals in line with the channels 3/4 IO. right now, i would probably buy an empty Patch Box if they were still made. DIYing one is more trouble than it’s really worth to me.
i do have plenty of buchla modular. an obvious and deliberate quality of the buchla system is that audio signals are normal line level and can be arbitrarily patched in and out of other things. always seemed pretty sensible to me.
scott from harvestman is a friend. i remember when he was doing the black locust and other feedback-oriented modules, and using them in a setup with a very small rack, with bass/guitar/amp and some stompies, seemed extremely fun for industrial/metal sounds.
i was about to say, “aagh! don’t blow up your k-mix!”
but looking i see the inputs are rated up to +28dbu. so you probably won’t smoke it. still seems like a scary precedent, patching +10v into anything digital that expects line level. in any case the k-mix output is limited to +2.6dbV, which is a small fraction of the eurorack range. (but maybe you are talking about using some line-level eurorack interface module.)
The obvious drawback is that you have to clearly define what is audio and what is not, and that’s not always an obvious choice. Many things can be either (or both) depending on the circumstances/context.
Agreed. When I had a euro set-up one of my favorite modulation sources was the SynthTech Cloud Generator. Not really designed as a modulation source, but I got some incredibly interesting results using it as one.
Is anyone familiar with a DIY PCB for this use? The ALM SBG is the closest to what I’d want since it offers expression pedal CV scaling to control pedals from the modular, but it doesn’t build in any CV control over the mix, which is a missed opportunity IMO. I suppose these are all relatively simple circuits and could be done on stripboard or something.