Using Cue outputs and guitar effects pedals


I am assuming I just use an unbalanced jack lead to the pedal and and another unbalanced lead from the pedal to the mixer?

Using guitar pedals with OT

That should work but it sort of depends on the pedal if it will behave optimally…
OT runs line level which is hotter than instrument level and different impedance…
The line out from the OT should be too hot for most guitar pedals that expect instrument level, but some have an input sensitivity knob to accommodate, you’d turn that lower if there is one, or you can try to lower the master cue level from the OT…

Ideally you’d want to convert the line level to instrument level before the pedal, I don’t have much experience with this though, it’s usually the other way around…
You might have better sound running the OT cues to the mixer first and using an aux send, as mixers are usually designed to handle a wide range of impedences and levels and may help bridge the connection…

Something in between might get you better levels/sound, you’ll get sound either way though…
And yes, the TS unbalanced cables would be the way to go…


Thanks for the reply. I would have just assumed I’d adjust the cue level and is be fine but I better check that once my OT comes back from servicing.


You can and it probably should work OK…

Guitars are different than line level gear and there’s an electrical property called impedance which is used in a way to help the flow of electricity go from electric guitar pickups into an amp’s input…
Guitar pedals are designed with this in mind. All of this is referred to as instrument level, or high-z, meaning high impedance…

OT, audio interfaces, and most studio gear and fx are line level which is hotter and does not require the sort of impedance characteristics an unpowered electric guitar pickup would have.
Some pedals like the moogerfoogers are designed to accommodate both types of signals and have an input and output level to compensate.

Sound usually travels through in any case, but the best tone and level will be achieved when the proper connections are made…


Thank you.

I have a passive radial DI box that I can use between the OT and the pedal chain, this should do the trick shouldn’t it?

I had been hoping to do this with the Rytm and A4 as well but only have 1 DI box so will just have to do a few tests and see what pedals work well with the set-up


This would be the most appropriate device, I’m not saying you’ll need one or should buy one, but check the page out as it has a lot of info about this and this box was designed around the connections we’re talking about:


I’d just try it out first the. I didn’t buy pedals for a long time because I thought I needed a reamp box and all that jazz when really I should’ve bought one and tried it out. I have a vibrato I use as a distortion and I love it.


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Thanks guys, it is definitely something I need to read up on and am going to do so this eveing.

I see that there are cheap DI boxes from the company Thomann which are well regarded and have a pad switch, which should sort the signal out for not too much money. This may be an option for me though it means an extra piece of gear to bring, lose etc… :slight_smile:


@Saltaire is right and you should just try it and see how it sounds…
Also consult the specs for your pedals, maybe they’ve been designed to operate at line as well…
Here’s from a mooger fooger manual:
“You can feed virtually any instrument or line-level signal through your MF”

That DI box you posted still isn’t a correct unit for such conversions… See the second faq quote above…

I suggest googling around for mic level, instrument level, line level, and impedance…
You’ll find that it both matters, and sometimes doesn’t matter… :slight_smile:


Yeah, I started reading the article and noticed the error of my ways. I checked my Radial DI and was puzzled how I could use it when the output was a balanced XLR output, seems I had read some daft articles suggesting a DI box for line level to guitar effects pedals, silly me for reading forum replies on Gearslutz instead of genuine articles.



I run my OT directly into my TC Electronic pedals with absolutely no problems.


Yes, TC Electronics does indeed design their pedals with line level use in mind…


I was actually planning on going through the TC Flashback delay and Red Panda particle so I might be fine :slight_smile:


TC Flashback:

Only thing I found about Particle was a promising quote from Muffs:


Great news. Thanks for your help Mike, you’re why I love this place :slight_smile:


There is a tutorial on using pedals in the cue loop in the OT manual as well.


Cool, I was hoping I wasn’t saying too much… And it looks like thoses pedals will run fine…

People will always say just plug things in but there is a deeper technical side to all of this that can indeed affect sound quality.
It’s nice to know the technical side of things and try to make the best connection, or at least be able to decide knowingly if you want to settle for a non-optimum connection or not. If one has nice audio equipment, it’s probably worth the time and energy to connect it properly.

There’s much info on the Internet about this and every manufacturer of every audio device can give you specs on its best intended level/impedance ranges for optimum performance.
If it absolutely didn’t matter you wouldn’t find worlds of info about this on the webz, but in most cases audio passes through so folks just say it works…

Improper connections and impedance mismatches are one of the major influences of “tone suck”, which if one’s not aware of could go unnoticed and your left unknowingly with subpar sound…


Which MF ? :slight_smile:


Shhhhh… :joy: