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Effects Loop Questions - Sound Levels
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Author:  mace [ Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Effects Loop Questions - Sound Levels


Some background: Mark V owner for 5.5 years, Flashback X4 owner for 5 yrs. The two have been used together a lot, just plugged and played and enjoyed. Effects return knob at 12 o'clock, no worries. Recently, I wanted to get the exact delay sound of Welcome to the Jungle so I dove into the X4's toneprint creator. While creating the TonePrint, the X4 was in front of a RectoVerb (because of my computer location I didn't use the Mark V Effects Loop to create the Toneprint).

In doing this, I learned:

1) With the X4 is in front of the amp, the wet level was much higher compared to when the X4 is in the effects loop and Send Level is at 12 o'clock. The dry level is the same in both cases.

2) With the X4 in the Effects Loop, and the Mark V "Send Level" at 12 o'clock, the wet level is much softer than the dry level. The overall amp volume level is normal.

3) With the X4 in the Effects Loop, and the Mark V "Send Level" is at minimum, the wet level is about the same as the dry level. The overall amp volume level is low.

I would have expected the wet and dry levels of the pedal to be the same regardless if it was in front the amp or in the effects loop, because both "series" set-ups.

The lesson I've learned is that the pedal must be programmed (Toneprint created) with the pedal in the EFX loop. I learned this hard way. For the past two weeks, I would create the tone print with the X4 in front of the Rectoverb (with very narrow parameters so the knobs on the X4 really didn't do much) and then wonder why the wet sound was so soft later on the Mark V (in the loop). I thought the X4 was defective and losing the Toneprint settings.

Can anyone explain why these two set-ups produce such different volume level results? I'm just curious. What was especially surprising was that changing the EFX Send Level only changed the dry level and not the wet level (considering the EFX loop is series). But, maybe that is an characteristic of the Flashback X4, I have not experimented with other pedals EFX loop (just use 12 o'clock all the time).

One more question:

The manual states: "The MASTER also functions as an EFFECTS RETURN control for the EFFECTS LOOP when the LOOP is engaged (LOOP ACTIVE, toggle up). After you have set the Input level signal strength of your effects using the MARK V's EFX SEND LEVEL control, flip the LOOP to HARD BYPASS and check that you still have unity gain (the sound doesn't drop or increase in volume) and if not adjust the MASTER control(s) until the volume stays roughly the same as you toggle the EFFECTS LOOP in and out of the signal path."

Why would one adjust the MASTER control when trying to balance the level of the EFX LOOP, why not adjust the EFX SEND LEVEL? I'm confused as to why one would want to balance of the sound with the EFX LOOP on or off....because the OUTPUT control is disengaged with the EFX loop is disengaged anyway, so it seems the volume will always be different if the EFX LOOP toggle switch is moved. What am I missing here?

Thanks in advance!


Author:  mace [ Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Effects Loop Questions - Sound Levels

A small update. I put the Flashback X4 into the loop on the Rectoverb and the wet volume was the same as if the X4 was in front of the amp.

So, something seems to be up with the Mark V loop. I wonder why the wet sound is so soft on the Mark V.


Author:  IronSean [ Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Effects Loop Questions - Sound Levels

By Wet level do you mean Effects Loop Off/On with the Mark V Pedal, or Effect off/On with the TC Flashback? Is the Flashback in True Bypass or Buffered mode?

Author:  mace [ Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Effects Loop Questions - Sound Levels


By "wet volume" or "wet level", I mean the volume level of the delay sounds only. Yes, the EFX loop is ON on the Mark V. The Flashback X4 is in true bypass mode and not buffered. The Flashback is in the EFX loop.

It is strange to me that the "wet volume" (the volume level of the delayed "wet" sounds) is independent of EFX SEND level knob on the Mark V. I think what is happening, is that the Flashback pedal is getting signal saturated somewhere when the EFX SEND knob is at about 10-11 o'clock. Above about 10-11 o'clock on EFX SEND, the delayed sounds (wet) do not get louder but the dry volume does get louder when as EFX SEND knob gets turned up to 12 o'clock and beyond.

This all was a surprise to me. But, now having figured this out, I can get more "relative" volume of the delay sounds by having the EFX SEND knob at about 11 o'clock.

Maybe I'm all wet on this... does anyone else have a Flashback X4 pedal to confirm how the EFX SEND knob effects the *relative* wet to dry volumes?


Author:  IronSean [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Effects Loop Questions - Sound Levels

I don't have an X4 to test with, but you could be right: The TC pedals tend to throw the clean sound through untouched, then layer their effect on top of it. So the Effect part could be saturating above 11, while the portion of the signal that's still sending direct still gets louder at 12, 1, etc.

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