Cracking the code on the Zoom G3
I've made a number of runs at the G3 in the last few days, and I have about 8-9 patches that sound very good to me. The count is somewhat misleading. Because you can use dedicated footswitches to bring FX modules in and out of a patch, it's more like operating an amp plus stompboxes than selecting from a set of preprogrammed sounds. So a single patch that includes vibrato, pitch shift, autowah, delay, reverb, and amp modeling could be played as any combination of these FX, from a straight-up amped sound to the same sound with reverb and/or delay, to additional combinations of modulation FX. That's something like 9-10 "patches" from a single patch.
Zoom G3 multi-FX top view
My initial impressions of the G3 were that the amp models might be questionable, but the mod FX were probably great. At this point my opinion is largely reversed--the Fender amp models I've tried so far cover a nice range of sounds, and the mod FX (like pitch shifting, chorus, flange, detune, etc.) aren't so great. However, the fact that you can put 3-5 mod FX in any order you like and still have room for an amp model means that you can get a lot out of the mod FX that are here.
I've set up one patch with pitch shifters in the following order: 1 octave down, then two octaves up, then a perfect 4th down. That gives me roots and 5ths in each of 4 octaves (8 notes every time I play a single note), and I've only used up 3 mod FX, leaving room for an auto-wah, a vibrato, AND an amp model. Fat, fat, fat.
I'll post a few samples of these new sounds to this site soon. In the meantime, stay tuned.