First of all, the order of the effects in the chain is exactly as specified above. This is important, because different chains produce very different sounds. I don’t have technology that would re-order the chain on demand. I can just turn things on and off and make adjustments to particular effects. (Not that that’s a real drag–I get a lot of different sounds out of one chain, certainly more than I can use in a night.)
The RP200 is the real workhorse. It has amp modeling in it, which saves me from having to drag a big guitar amp around with me, and it has a lot of useful effects, like a pitch shifter, whammy, flanger, phase shifter, etc. I’ve set it up with 40 sounds designed specifically for use with my Audix Fireball mic. If I only carry one box to a gig, that’s the one.
The RP200 goes into the Boss OC-2, which takes whatever is coming out of the RP and adds a note one octave below, and another note 2 octaves below. This is well below the normal range of a harmoncia, and it’s a big, deep sound–more like a bass synthesizer than a harmonica.
The OC-2 goes into the phase shifter, which adds a kind of swirl to the sound. I can set the rate and depth of the swirl, so it can sound like a slow rotation, or a fast vibrato, or anything in between. It’s really useful for making the sound deeper and more animated.
Last in the chain is the Headrush delay. This adds repeats to the sound, which I can sync to the beat (manually–it’s not tightly synced via MIDI, which is what the rest of the Spinning Plates use). A delay can do so many nifty things to a sound that it’s impossible to list them all here–anything from making it a little thicker to making it sound like you’re playing in a cavern or a canyon. I have great delays in the RP200 too, but it’s always nice to have one at the very end of the chain.
That’s the setup. When Spinning Plates post some of the recordings from the gig to http://spinningplates.us, you’ll be able to hear these effects in action. I’ve heard the recordings, and I promise you will not be bored.