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Old 05-02-2021, 10:23 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Default Gave in to pedal board temptation

I've spent a lot of time electric guitar>cord>amp, though I love amp tremolo, some amp generated gain at times, and even a touch of spring reverb.

But I also do some "you might not even guess that's it's a guitar" playing, not just with a MIDI interface, but with computer-based plugins that modifiy the conventional guitar pickup signal. There's a lot to be said for plugins: inexpensive, you can side-chain easily, reroute/chain at will, do running automation changes, sync to project temp, modify settings after playing. Even if one does one or two of those things some of the time, for recording they are a wonderful option.

I used to play regularly with a keyboard player who I've played with since the 70s. We work together vary informally, very "off the cuff" -- always have. He had a serious ladder fall, then age related issues with his hands, and finally we got a pandemic/"stay home old folks." We haven't played together in nearly 2 years, but we're thinking of seeing what our old bodies can do this summer. It will likely be just the two of us, and what my long-time friend can do may be limited, so I'll need to fill a lot of space, and make those choices in one to two take contexts.

Out of curiosity, and because there was little else to spend any extra money on during the stay home times, I collected a few new and used guitar pedals during the past 2 years to, and now I figured it was time to make a pedal board for this kind of "live in the studio" thing.

I went cheap for the board, a Gator MBone. There's no "basement" under the deck and though the surface is already Velco'ed, the type of Velcro is not very grippy. Both are OK for my use, as I don't need a gigging board that I can sling over my shoulder in a bag.




Pedals I selected:

Polytune mini tuner. Works well, doesn't take up much space, provides a "mute switch" for changing guitars, and as I really like the polytune feature for quick checks after using a vibrato arm a bit too much.

Dunlop mini Cry Baby. I used to be a wah addict. I tell myself I can control my addiction now, and will only use for cocked wah settings or sweeping into a feedback frequency.

Boss compressor. I find it useful for playing soft picking parts that don't fall below the level of being heard and for taming a Tele or the like when aggressively picking.

Janglebox compressor. Oldest pedal on the board, OG model I bought shortly after it was introduced. Not only can it get the electric 12-string Byrds sound that I love, I also use it as a feedback exciter that'll get that sustain into feedback sound at reasonable volumes.

Behringer "Tube Screamer." I resisted this as an "everybody's using one, and I want to go my own way" thing in the 90s. Came across this already cheap "green box" clone used. You know, they really do work well with a Fender guitar into Fender amp combination.

EHX Big Triangle Big Muff reissue. I love a Big Muff, and this one sounds great and takes up less real estate. Note my settings: you don't need to go overboard with the full-on fuzz-bomb levels they can produce.

Walrus Audio Lillian Phaser. This one has a lot of subtle phaser settings, but you can make it take over too, like this example I recorded shortly after I found this used/demo model this winter (the following link will open a new tab with an audio player):

A Negro Speaks of Rivers

EHX Canyon. For such a small box it does a lot of delay variations surprisingly well. I still have an very big old green Line6 Delay modeler, but this one takes up a lot less space. The EB Tap Tempo lets me set the delay times.

EHX Attack Decay. The newest pedal to me, though I bought it used. Does the reverse delay "backwards guitar" thing which my old Line 6 green delay modeler did too, but this one's poly mode is something else on top of that. It's the largest pedal on here, and not something I use all that often, but when I want to get weird, this one will do that.

Boss Reverb pedal. I have some amps without reverb and sometimes I want to use them with 'verb. This one adds a few non-spring reverb things too that I might use once in awhile, so it earned a spot.

Truetone 1Spot Pro runs most of the power, and an older regular wall-ward 1Spot gets the rest of them. No power supply noise issues in my first shakedown runs.

One more thing I learned in this project, particularly with the Mbone board that doesn't have an option to run cabling trough the "basement" -- those short flat patch cables are great for this sort of thing. You can get pedals closer together and they stay down flat on the deck so you don't need to strap them down to the Velcro.
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20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....

Last edited by FrankHudson; 05-02-2021 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:26 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Good info here - thanks for taking the time.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:49 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Frank, great pedalboard. I too have bought a bunch of pedals over the past year just because I was bored.

One thing you can try is to put feet on your board so that there's enough clearance to put the 1Spot underneath - that's where mine is although I didn't need to put any feet on the board. I wonder if my 1Spot is thinner than yours.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:49 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Frank, great pedalboard. I too have bought a bunch of pedals over the past year just because I was bored.

One thing you can try is to put feet on your board so that there's enough clearance to put the 1Spot underneath - that's where mine is although I didn't need to put any feet on the board. I wonder if my 1Spot is thinner than yours.
The Gator MBone is kind of different, it's just a piece of plastic, likely hollow in the center, but there's no appreciable space underneath, and of course no slots or holes to run cabling down there either. I went with it due to reasonable cost and because the curved shape allowed the most pedals with the most footswitch toe tapping space for the place it has to fit in my somewhat crowded playing location.
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Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet
-----------------------------------
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:47 AM
redir redir is offline
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Not unheard of but still somewhat unusual to have two compressors on a board. How are you using those?
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:13 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
Not unheard of but still somewhat unusual to have two compressors on a board. How are you using those?
was thinking the same.. curious...
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:55 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
Not unheard of but still somewhat unusual to have two compressors on a board. How are you using those?
Not a chain-one-into-the-other thing, but a one or the other. The Boss is more subtle and I've set it for that. The Janglebox on the other hand is for when you want to hear the squish that is part of the Byrds electric 12-string guitar sound -- but the other thing I find it does really nicely is the "sustain a note while facing the guitar speaker and wait for feedback to emerge" thing. I've used an EBow, I have a guitar with a Fernandez Sustainer, and I have the DigiTech Feedback pedal that almost made it onto this board, but the Janglebox does this trick as well as anything, sounds really organic doing it, without needing a whole lot of volume from the amp to get that feedback loop happening. That kind of sound is sort of old school electric guitar, Hendrix and Zappa for example did it quite a bit, using just high volume amps.

I've never run the Tube Screamer clone into the Muff fuzz either, though I know some like to stack drive pedals.
__________________
Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet
-----------------------------------
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:27 PM
redir redir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
Not a chain-one-into-the-other thing, but a one or the other. The Boss is more subtle and I've set it for that. The Janglebox on the other hand is for when you want to hear the squish that is part of the Byrds electric 12-string guitar sound -- but the other thing I find it does really nicely is the "sustain a note while facing the guitar speaker and wait for feedback to emerge" thing. I've used an EBow, I have a guitar with a Fernandez Sustainer, and I have the DigiTech Feedback pedal that almost made it onto this board, but the Janglebox does this trick as well as anything, sounds really organic doing it, without needing a whole lot of volume from the amp to get that feedback loop happening. That kind of sound is sort of old school electric guitar, Hendrix and Zappa for example did it quite a bit, using just high volume amps.

I've never run the Tube Screamer clone into the Muff fuzz either, though I know some like to stack drive pedals.
Cool. I get it. I have always used compression. For some reason I decided a few months ago to ditch the compression pedal. This was during pandemic times when the band was not together. Well we got back together and I played a few rehearsals without it then brought it back in and was like... Oh yeah! That's the sound I've been missing. It's often thought of as a subtler affect but in live settings I think it really enhances. It's kind of like a presence knob on an amp or something.
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