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I was looking at pedals recently and came across the TC Helicon Duplicator, its similar to the Mic Mechanic but has a doubling effect and octave as well as reverbs. This might be a very useful pedal to beef up certain Sax parts and probably would be all the effects I would need/use. I have used a Vocalist 300, which I still have, but only used a few effects. Has anyone else used the Duplicator?
 

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Thanks littlewailer (I think?) and SA80. I'm guessing the problem is likely my XLR-1/4" cable. It's probably not shielded, and doesn't have a transformer, so isn't balancing the signal. I'll try a new cable with a transformer first, before investing in something like a Voco-Loco.
 

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I replaced that other cable with a short XLR-1/4" transformer cable. The radio signal's gone, though there's still a lot of background rumble on the channel. Maybe I do need a Voco-loco after all to balance out the impedance. Luckily, it's Black Friday!
 

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Last night, my ska band had its debut performance opening for another act in Quebec. I mostly used my TC Voicetone Create for reverb, with extra reverb in the mix on Mirror in the Bathroom. I used my TC Quintessence chorus pedal just once, on A Message to You Rudy, to give the illusion of a larger winds section.

For their third set, the headliners (a piano, bass and drum trio) covered the *entire* Sgt. Pepper's album, which was awesome. They invited me to sit in on Good Morning, and though I've never played the song before, it wasn't too hard to fake, right down to the rooster crow. And with a slight key and mode tweak, the Quintessence came in handy again.

I'd like to add another range of effects, but will probably try an app next instead of a box, as I'm already set up with Loopy on iPad.
 

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I can't ever resist a "horn effects" thread. I've done a couple videos for EarthQuaker about one of their wonderful delay pedals, the Space Spiral, as well as one of their epic ambient reverb pedals, the Transmisser. I absolutely love both of those pedals, although I'll admit the Space Spiral is the more useful of the two generally. The Transmisser is amazing for extremely long, ambient, atmospheric effect, but the Space Spiral can actually be dialed in as part of your tone if you want a thick, gooey, beautiful analog delay sound.

The latest Progger video features both of these quite heavily.

The dudes over at Horn-FX have been doing some really cool stuff. They've compiled a lot of information from artists and they also build custom boards for players who want that kind of thing. The guys who put it together are genuinely into it and also good musicians. I recommend giving it a look if you wanna see what's out there, it's a whole new landscape these days for horn players who are pedal-hungry like I've always been!
 

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Yeah, it's a great site! That's where I got the rec for my TC Quintessence. Come to think of it, HeavyWeather, it might've been an earlier post of yours that first put me onto Horn-FX. So, thanks!
No prob, glad to share the love!

Now that you mention it, I have a TC pedal that doesn't get a ton of use these days but is still quite good, the Hall of Fame reverb pedal. I really like it. My buddy Mark Lettieri is a prodigious guitarist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (he has a few Grammys and a whole bunch of guitar-god status at the moment) and he uses a ton of TC pedals, too. For the money, they're doing some really good stuff.
 

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I’m a big fan of effects, but I’ve learned (the hard way) that reverb and multi-tap delays that sound awesome when you’re 5’- 20’ away from the source really wash out your sound in about 90% of rooms. The bigger the room - the more natural reverb you get. It’s sucks that you have to listen to it dry on stage, but you should really leave the FX to the FOH guy. If you’re doing a show where you have to mix from the stage, people will hear you better if you just abstain.

Exceptions are timed delays and special effects meant to be heard like wah or harmonizers...

Another downside to on-stage reverbs and delays is the increased likelihood of feedback and audio “clutter” in the FOH mix....
 

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I'm sure you're right, Fader. My weekend show was in a pretty small and very crowded room, with not much in the way of natural reverb. The sound guy told me that with horns, he usually just adds a bit on the top end, but not much else in the way of amplification or shaping. Frankly, the music was raw enough it wouldn't matter too much either way.
 

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I still have my TC Voice Live2, but it gave me a lot of grief. Sometimes it worked, others not so much. It's like the output just died. Had it looked at by a technician familiar with Helicon effects but he couldn't get it to mess up. Like the tooth not hurting at the dentist. It burned me on two gigs, so it's been in the box ever since. Great features, but I couldn't depend on it to work.

I recently picked up a Boss VE-20 and Boss AW-3 auto wah. I have been experimenting in rehearsals and practice sessions. So far I like it. Much simpler than the TC but less features too. Not that I would have ever used everything in the TC unit to begin with. The VE-20 is far simpler to customize. The 3-part harmonies are good (TC has 4). I'll probably get a pedal to work with the auto wah to have more control. The on-board EQ with the VE-20 is good as well.

Once I settle in on the very few things I would actually use it for, I think I'll appreciate the simplicity and smaller footprint of the Boss unit over the TC.

Regarding leaving my sound to the sound engineer, I'll worry about that when the guitar players stick to DI boxes and gut strings. Imagine the blank stares when you tell a guitar player to leave that vintage twin-verb at home because no one in the back of the house will hear the difference.
 

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Just installed the Tonestack app on my iPad. Very kewl--like adding a dozen physical boxes at once, with some vintage amps and cabs to boot. I'm still learning the interface, working out the feedback kinks and level settings, and binding it to my Midi Mongoose control pedal. Not all the fx are optimal for horns, and I'll still need the Audiobus app to chain Tonestack with Loopy--not as simple as adding a patch cable.

The iPad/iRig setup might ultimately be too fussy and undependable for a live performance. While I'm not one to fetishize analog tech, there's something reliably plug-and-play about a physical stomp box. Plus they're more appealing visually to audiences of a certain vintage, even if millennials don't seem to blink twice at a DAW up on stage.

But for $10, this app is a lot of fun.
 

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I’m a big fan of effects, but I’ve learned (the hard way) that reverb and multi-tap delays that sound awesome when you’re 5’- 20’ away from the source really wash out your sound in about 90% of rooms. The bigger the room - the more natural reverb you get. It’s sucks that you have to listen to it dry on stage, but you should really leave the FX to the FOH guy. If you’re doing a show where you have to mix from the stage, people will hear you better if you just abstain.

Exceptions are timed delays and special effects meant to be heard like wah or harmonizers...

Another downside to on-stage reverbs and delays is the increased likelihood of feedback and audio “clutter” in the FOH mix....
Very true. I love having an expression pedal for that very reason. I can pull back the effect when not needed, and then really lay it on when appropriate. Remember that a dry mic is its own effect as well.
 

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I was looking at pedals recently and came across the TC Helicon Duplicator, its similar to the Mic Mechanic but has a doubling effect and octave as well as reverbs. This might be a very useful pedal to beef up certain Sax parts and probably would be all the effects I would need/use. I have used a Vocalist 300, which I still have, but only used a few effects. Has anyone else used the Duplicator?
I've been using the TC Mic Mechanic for reverb only. The TC Duplicator is set to arrive tomorrow and I will report back. Those big boards with four gazillion presets scare me. Hopefully this will give some horn section sense as well as the reverb, without confusing me too much..
 

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I've been using the TC Mic Mechanic for reverb only. The TC Duplicator is set to arrive tomorrow and I will report back. Those big boards with four gazillion presets scare me. Hopefully this will give some horn section sense as well as the reverb, without confusing me too much..
Yes please. I'll be looking forward to your review.
 

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Recently been having fun with a couple new effects boxes: a Red Panda Tensor and an Alexander Syntax Error. They're both super-glitchy, with the Tensor lending stutters and warps to brief loops and overdubs for a faux-analog aura, and the Syntax Error modulating the horn like a Gameboy or Commodore 64 for some chip-tune effects. I'm still playing around with the many, many parameters of these pedals and their combinations, but so far am having loads of fun.

My next challenge will be to hook up a midi footswitch to take full advantage of the presets on these bad boys.
 
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