About a "New" G System…
OK guys, I´ll break down all my thoughts about the “New G-System” topic, in the most productive and constructive possible way.
As many of you, I´m a long term G System user and the fact that TC abandoned the further development of this great piece of gear, feels totally sad… I think (though I´ll never know TC economic interest on developing a new unit), this company has all the elements to design and build a totally great Multi FX + Signal Router, after its long experience since the last IB Modified G. Of course I´m not a marketing expert, and I don´t know the “insides” of developing such a piece of gear, but I´ll do my best to explain my POV.
This is something TC has never been into, and it should still be that way.
I don´t see a new G System as a modeling unit + effects, because that would be a really different territory, marketing-wise. In my opinion, The G System, as well as the Fractal FX8, is focused on AMP DISTORTION / PEDAL DISTORTION consumers, and it should stick with that. (Side Note: the FX8 has built in digital emulated OD/Distortion pedals).
2. SIGNAL CHAIN MANAGING
Many times, the G System signal routing capabilities are underestimated. In my opinion, this is a KEY ELEMENT of this unit. Just adding a couple of accessory elements (such as ABY boxes, etc.), you can build very complex setups, and manage them through the G System. In my case, it´s a WET DRY WET Setup. The G System is literally the brain of everything, and I have a really complex setup, where I use pedals right after guitar, pedals after the G Insert, Tube Preamps in the G Loops, etc.
Just maybe, TC could focus on a really pro unit, with several improvements and an outstanding connectivity, while releasing a “Lite” version at the same time, focused on great price tag and medium complexity setups.
These are my suggestions regarding SIGNAL CHAIN MANAGEMENT:
A. LEVELS SETUP should be highly improved. A LOT of people gave up on the G System (and talk sh*t about it) just because the levels setup is too complex. And I´m not talking about just tweaking +/- dB. I´m talking about IMPEDANCE and LEVEL issues in every connection (mostly when using 4CM, which is the way to go), that with some amps / FX loops are really difficult to setup correctly. Or at least without using “extra” gear (buffers, DI Boxes, etc). The G System is the most “far from plug and play” piece of gear I´ve seen, and that´s a serious issue. Somehow, Fractal has managed to do this well, at least according to what many owners report. I don´t know if a “self-leveling” technology can be applied, but that would be definitely the end of the levels nightmare.
On this point, I´ve been very lucky, because my EVH amps work amazingly well with the G. The FX Loop of EVH amps is Serial and super transparent. Anyway, I´m not saying that setting levels right was easy.
B. Connectivity additions: I still think the “splittable” brain is one of the best things TC has ever done, and they should keep it that way. Adding connectivity to the brain could be difficult with the 1-space rack unit format. Having said that, and if physical format wasn´t an issue, I think 4 loops for dirt pedals is more than enough. Apart from those, what I´d like to see is actually a couple of loops designed specifically for PREAMPS, and a couple additional STEREO loops located POST-PREAMP.
Also a DRY OUT connection would be super usable when running W/D or W/D/W setups. It would send the DRY signal (loops and Pre Amp) to the Return of your amp (or a Power Amp), as well as to the “Post” effects sections, ending in the regular left/right outs.
C. Regarding effects, maybe it´s time to move from (almost) fixed signal chain, including specific footswitches for each effect type, to TOTALLY FLEXIBLE signal chain.
This would include:
• Migrate to FX BLOCKS concept. I don´t see the need to make everything flexible (like “put anything anywhere”), for example Wah after Delay or crazy things like that. But some Modulation fx sound cool in front of the OD/Distortion, as well as some Delays. I´ve heard of people using a Comp after Dirt too, not my thing, but could be done. I don´t mind the “put anything anywhere” concept, but if that makes the unit more expensive or hard to develop or whatever, some “fixed” blocks wouldn´t bother me.
• Use simultaneously two or more effects of the same type.
• Ability to put more than one EQ in the chain. This would be GREAT to shape the DRY tone in a different way from the WET tone
• Of course, all this means A LOT OF ASSIGNABLE footswitches, maybe with the ability to “digitally label” each one with a dedicated mini screen over each footswitch (Line 6 has already done that, with their HX EFFECTS)
3. HARDWARE & SOFTWARE
One thing that makes the G System unique, is the buttons layout. Plenty of flexibility there. You can turn ON/OFF every effect within your current Preset, and that´s amazing. I´ve never seen another unit doing that (Fractal FX8 is a pain in the a*s regarding this topic). So, it would be wonderful if they didn´t sacrifice this for a cheaper and more “menu-navigating” unit.
The issue with the FX BLOCKS concept is that they require a complicated menu navigating system and a big comfortable screen; but that happens only if you want to control 100% of parameters FROM THE UNIT (Hardware). Maybe they can take SOURCE AUDIO concept from their One Series pedals: just a few knobs onboard, but a huge DEEP EDITING cellphone app (you can even swap for ANOTHER effect! Like converting your Chorus into a Flanger…)
I´d ditch the onboard Expression Pedal (s) idea too. If you want an expression pedal or two, TC could build and sell them.
Regarding another heavy demand issue: the TONEPRINT ability. It would be super cool for sure, but maybe hard to achieve from a technical POV, or maybe crazy expensive, I don´t know… If we don´t have Toneprint ability, at least the provided SOFTWARE should be really complete and professional, with DEEP EDITING tools.
Well, I won´t talk much about this. I have a bunch of things I want, that will be different from others ideas. I´m sure TC is smart enough to improve the G effects and maybe add some more. The other reason I´m being brief is because a Software with Deep Editing Parameters would give you anything you want from any effect.
Sure, I´d like a Tone control over the Stereo Detune, adding Modulation for dark vintage Delays, a Fulltone TERC-like 80s Tri Chorus, a usable and fully programmable Wah, and many things more…
But what I REALLY think is a MUST is this:
)))) STEREO ((((
For all Modulations and Time-Based Effects!!!
Sorry for the long post guys, so much more to say, but I just wanted to revive this thread! Pray for the new G!