What is the Purpose of the 4 Cable Method?
The 4 cable method is a way to connect an FX processor to your amplifier and Torpedo device. It will isolate your amplifier's preamp and power amp sections as independent components. This way, you will have the ability to place your digital effects either before the preamp, in the FX loop or even after the Torpedo, depending on how you connect your FX processor.
To be compatible with the 4 cable method, your FX processor must have an FX loop. If your FX processor is 4 cable method compatible, you will usually find a chapter about this in its user's manual.
A Note on Effect Placement
- The location of your effects (pedals or multi-FX) within your signal chain is very important. You can of course follow the usual rules concerning effects layout, with certain effects placed before a preamp (OD, fuzz, compressor etc.), or in the amplifier’s FX loop (namely time-based effects: chorus, delay, reverb etc.)
- An interesting option is the possibility to place some effects after the Torpedo device. This is what we call the "studio setup" in our user manuals: in a studio, most of the time, time-based effects will be placed in auxiliary, meaning AFTER miking, or directly in the DAW. This will lead to a cleaner sound of the associated effects, that will not be augmented by any potential tonal modification when they are placed in an FX loop (i.e. distortion and compression from the amplifier’s power amp stage). The other interesting option when putting effects after the Torpedo is the alteration of the Mono output signal of the Torpedo into a Stereo signal (if - that is - you are using Stereo effects)
- As the effects we are talking about will be managed by your FX processor, the information on effects routing must be referred to in the associated device’s user manual
- If your FX processor embeds a speaker simulation or any form of amp modelling, be sure to switch them both OFF
- You will note that we place DI boxes after the Torpedo device. It is very common to use DI boxes on line level products on stage (even if not mandatory due to the output signal being strong / balanced) to prevent any phantom power supply being sent from the mixer to your Torpedo (something that should be avoided as much as possible)
Placing the Effects Before the Amp and After the Torpedo
In this setup, we put the amp and the Torpedo in the processor's FX loop and connect the guitar to the processor's input. In your FX processor, select all the pre-amplifier effects that you want to use (overdrive, distortion etc.) and place them BEFORE its FX loop. Select all the post-miking effects (Reverb, Delay etc.) and put them AFTER the FX loop.
Placing the Effects in the Amp's FX loop and After the Torpedo
In this setup, we place the processor after the amp's preamp; we also position the amp's power amp and Torpedo device in the processor's FX loop. The guitar is connected to the amp's instrument input. In your FX processor, select all the effects that you would want in an amp's FX loop (Flanger, Chorus etc.) and place them BEFORE its FX loop. Select all post-miking effects (Reverb, Delay etc.) and put them AFTER the processor's FX loop.
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