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I’m running two H9s, one in front of a guitar amp and one in the fx loop. I see that some musicians are running four. Aside from adjusting the Input and Output Gain and the MIDI controllable Input and Output converter gain, is there anything else I should consider to do to factor in these Analog to Digital, Digital to Analog conversions? Maybe it’s academic because the tone sounds great to me, when I can set the gain stages properly, but I wonder, at what point would cumulative conversions degrade the sound?
If you put 4 Factor/H9 pedals in front of a clean amp, the guitar signal will sound “degraded.” The only time I have heard this was in an Eventide demo. Outside of this demonstration, I have never seen or heard someone use 4 FX processors in front of their amp without additional buffers/boosts/etc so I would say the answer to your question is 4 conversions in a row will degrade the sound enough to be noticeable. This is not a criticism of Eventide either. Quite the opposite. When I was 14, I returned a product from another company which will remain nameless because I could hear aliasing artifacts in some presets. I did not know what I was hearing but I knew it sounded bad. Sometimes there is nothing cumulative about signal degradation. 😉
An H9 in front of your amp and an H9 in the amp’s FX loop will do less to your signal than the collection of pedals required to achieve the same result…by a good margin.