preamo - power amp, where to put my rack multifx?

Started by fendrix, November 24, 2023, 11:45:28 PM

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Hi everyone, the time has finally come to assemble my arsenal to set up my home studio.
I'm wondering, having a preamp and a power amp, does it make sense to insert a rack multi-effects unit in the send return of the preamp?

For example, it would be normal to put the chorus in the send return of a 5150 head, but since the units are already separate, where would you put it?


There is not a single answer to this - it depends very much on how you are using the studio and what equipment you have available.

If you are basically using the room as a practice space and will be using the pre and power amps to drive a guitar cab then it makes sense to use the multi FX In the preamp send return path as if you were playing live. If your setup is mainly for recording or you will be listening to the guitar through a mixer and studio monitors (in which case you may not need a dedicated guitar power amp at all?) then I would consider putting the FX in a send buss on the mixer. If you are going from the guitar amp straight into an audio interface then you may not have send/return inputs or latency may become an issue so this would suggest reverting to the amp send/return. If the preamp has line level outputs and the FX line level inputs you could probably just set it up in series without using send and returns.

The thing about studios is that whilst there are conventions that have been widely adopted there are numerous ways to achieve the same thing depending on what you are doing. As an example, I have a breakout panel on my racked TC2290 that allows me to patch it into the FX loop of an amp, as an insert or buss effect from my console, to break out signals from the FX loop to mix/record them as additional guitar signals, and to utilise the FX loops for addition processing - all in a couple of seconds from the front panel. Whilst this might be overkill for what you are looking to achieve it illustrates how the same effect to be used in a bunch of different ways depending on what I need that day

I hope this helps a bit - my experience of setting up a studio has been that there is lots of trying what works before settling on a workflow and even then it constantly changes with experience and as new equipment is added


In most cases: chorus, delay, modulation and reverb pedals belong in between the fx loops af amps, or in front of the power amp (but after the preamp). Overdrive, distortion, fuzz and wah belongs in front of everything, because it is meant to "excite" the sound of preamps. EQ-pedals can be used both before and after the preamps. Read about the "4 cable method" for the use of guitar gear.