equipment - detail

Effects Rack

Effects RackOK, from the top...

  • Alesis 3630 compressor
  • Boss GE 231 Graphic EQ
  • Behringer Ultrafex II Enhancer
  • Alesis D4 drum module
  • Yamaha SPX990 Multi FX processor
  • Sony HR-MP5 Multi FX processor (½ rack - left)
  • Boss SE-70 Multi FX processor (½ rack - right)
  • Alesis Midiverb 4 Multi FX processor
  • Lexicon Reflex FX unit
  • 3 x PR Audio 48 input patchbays
  • Alesis Midiverb FX unit
  • Behringer EuroDesk power supply
  • Alesis RA100 amplifier

All the FX boxes/processors in this rack were bought before I ever had a computer for recording and mixing audio. I still use them regularly though, although not as many in a mix now that a lot of the FX/signal processing is done in Logic Pro.
The SE-70 is by far the most useful as far as effects go, the keyboard and guitar multis in that box are excellent for turning any sound into something usable. I also really like the Sony too, you can't add as many effects as the SE-70 but the quality of results is brilliant. You can also use it as a decent signal processor and I 'mastered' the Tzars Of Fashion CD using it. The Yamaha, Midiverb 4 and Reflex are all just 'run of the mill' effects units that provide that extra something when needed. The original Midiverb is often used when a more 'crunchy', 'dirty' reverb is called for.
The Ultrafex is used to add a bit of 'polish', again, this is mostly done using plug-ins now and the compressor is used for adding a bit more 'oomph'. The Boss EQ is never used; it looks quite good in the rack though! I got this before I had a proper mixer and was used to (naively) 'shape' a mix.

The 3 patchbays are an essential part of my setup. These are used for routing all the FX in/outs to the mixer Aux sends/returns, as well as adding additional inputs for other gear. One of the patchbays is used entirely for the inserts to/from the mixer.

All the FX boxes are MIDI'ed up so that I can control them from the computer. Some of them accept MIDI clock signals for syncing delays to your track and some can respond to controller data so you can alter effects in real time. This sort of thing is a bit of a pain to setup though; compared to how easy it is using plug-ins with automation in Logic Pro.