Need help with connecting OP-1 to stereo effects pedal

Hey all. I just got a stereo reverb pedal to use with my OP-1 and I am running into a weird issue.

The dry signal works perfect with the OP-1 track panning. When I play a track, I can pan it left and right no problem.

However, when I introduce the wet signal, this is what it does. If I pan to the right, the wet signal doesn’t change. The original dry sound still pans to the right, but the reverb effect plays on both channels. If I pan all the way to the left, the reverb effect disappears completely. On my pedal I can control the wet/dry mix, so if I turn the dry signal all the way off so I only hear the reverb itself, and pan all the way to the left, I hear nothing at all. Start panning to the center, and the reverb sound starts to come in, and is at full volume when the track is set to the center. Pan to the right and there is no change at all. Reverb just plays out of both channels.

The OP-1 is connected to pedal using 3.5mm TRS to 1/4" TRS cable (the pedal has a single stereo input). The pedal then has 2 outputs for left and right. For this I have a stereo breakout cable (dual 1/4" TS male connections going to left/right outputs of the pedal, and a single 1/4 inch TRS female connection on the other end that I use to plug into my stereo headphone amp with a 1/4" TRS cable).

Why would the dry signal from the OP-1 pan correctly but the pedal effect does not?

Which pedal is it?

It’s a Walrus Audio Descent Reverb. Couldn’t get it to work. Even took it into a local music shop and they couldn’t figure it out either. The Descent probably doesn’t handle stereo like I think it does, or it is actually defective or something. I ended up getting the Strymon Big Sky instead which is a much better pedal anyway, and the stereo works just fine on that one!

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“True” stereo pedals is a rare thing.

Yes, the Strymon Big Sky is a robust stereo pedal which is studio quality. Glad you got that to work.

Heh, yeah the Strymon is pretty amazing.

I also realized that once I sent the OP-1 through a pedal, the output volume dropped down drastically. I didn’t really think about it at first, but it makes sense because the output of a pedal IS indeed low output… it is of course meant to go into a guitar amplifier.

I also have to keep the volume at around 50 to 75% on the OP-1 or the sound gets messed up as well. Which also makes sense because the synth signal is of course line level which is hotter than a guitar.

I’ve read about DI boxes and all sorts of other stuff, but if I just simply keep the volume down on the OP-1 and connect the output of the effects pedal to a little headphone amp and then I can get loud, distortion free sound from the OP-1.

Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there in case it is helpful to anyone else. It seems like running synths into pedals is pretty common, but there doesn’t really seem to be an actual ‘correct’ way to always get a guaranteed good result. Some pedals work great, some don’t… some people say you need a DI box or some sort of attenuator and/or booster when connecting them and some simply just say to plug it in with nothing but cables and everything works fine. It seems like there isn’t a sure fire correct way to connect pedals to synths. Of course I could always be overthinking things as well, which does tend to happen with me quite often.

It would be nice if there were some sort of universal/commercial device that is specifically designed to use for plugging synths into guitar pedals.

But in the end, that is kind of the fun of it as well. Experimenting, and trying different things and different combinations of gear. Heck, Jimmy Hendrix was one of the first people (maybe the first?) to actually use guitar feedback intentionally. So in the end I guess there is really no wrong or right. As long as you don’t actually damage your gear in the process, but from what I have gathered from my research, you won’t damage a pedal or a synth by using them together. You just might have to experiment with the sound until you get it working.

I can definitely say that the Strymon Big Sky definitely sounds amazing with the OP-1 though, and from what I’ve read it generally plays very well with synths. I think for me I will probably do some more research and see which pedals play well with synths before I go out and actually buy it, lol!

Nice info!

I think all of your assumptions are correct. I think the device you are seeking is called a Reamp, which converts line level into instrument level. It’s common in the studio to use one to process a signal from a DAW, console or standalone piece into guitar pedals. They aren’t too expensive and if you like using guitar pedals, its a good investment. That said, the Big Sky can handle line level signals (as many studio quality pedals can). So it shouldn’t require a Reamp with its use. I think the reason the signal comes out low from the Big Sky is that reverb typically drops the level of the signal by several db as part of its effect. The more reverb you add, the more it tends to sound distant and low. Have fun with your Big Sky!

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twice as computationally intensive, and then you’d need to decide how much of the signals you mix (as in how the balance between inputs affects the final mixing of signals) - which isn’t easy at all, and in most cases mono to stereo or stereo-sum-to-stereo gives you decent enough results already.

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that’s a particular weakness of Strymon Big Sky and TimeLine - they cannot handle very hot levels. One thing that happens on mine when I overload them is the pedal gets stuck in always letting the dry signal through, but only on one of the channels. They could have fixed that in a software update I guess… advised me to get an attenuator instead. I did end up with a DI box, which makes things too quiet for my taste but on the other hand, the transformers inside made for a nice distortion unit :slight_smile:

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from here

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