Congrats, man! I remember how cool it was when I found my tone...
Okay, so it was only a few months ago, but it's still a flashback... I had been using 2 rack rigs: my main rig was Triaxis/2:90, the backup was Marshall JMP1/Tubeworks. While I liked the tones I got out of both, they were a major pain in the a$$! I couldn't go out for a quick jam session without taking at least 3 pieces of gear (rack, cab, and MIDI controller). At the time, I was playing a lot of big band gigs... there's nothing like bringing a full rack of gear to only use one preset all night! Plus, when the sound guy would say "your distortion sounds are too trebley", then I'd have to adjust a dozen or so presets to get the distortion sound right. Again, it sounded killer, but I think I spent more time hauling things around and tweaking things than actually playing guitar. Still, I'm glad I did the rack rig, because it helped me to zero in on my dream amp tone, and most of the FX I'm using now were all part of my rack rig at some point.
The first thing I did was sell off my Marshall rack, using the money to get a Nomad 45 combo. The other guitar player in my band Naughty Butterspoon
was using a Nomad 55, and it was amazing, so I wanted something similar but smaller. I made the Nomad rig, which is basically for backup/practice, pretty simple--I use a Crybaby 535Q and TS9-DX out front and an Alesis Nanoverb in the FX loop for chorus/delay/rotary.
Within a week of getting the Nomad, I was already working on selling off the Triaxis rack to get a Mark IV combo. This rig is a little more complex, but still easily tweakable and quick to set up. I use 2 wahs out front (Crybaby 95Q and Bad Horsie), a Rolls Patchwork to switch amp channels and pedal loops (TS9-DX, CP-9 compressor, Proco Rat 2), and a G-Major in the FX loop, all controlled by a DMC Ground Control. It's still a lot of gear to haul around, but the nice thing is that if I just want to jam or play a big band gig, I can leave the rack and pedalboard at home and only take the amp. Plus, when the sound guy starts giving me [email protected]
#$ about my EQ, it only takes a few seconds to change.
Anyway, it took a couple weeks to get the tone I was looking for out of the Mark--I kept reading the manual, writing to other Mark owners asking for their settings, etc. I remember the day I "figured it out"--I had finally found my tone. Yes! I called my girlfriend all excited because I'd found my tone, and she asked me "Is that like finding Jesus or something?"