Any pedals that you love, but can't use live?


Hey friends,

Are there any pedals that you love to use for home/practice/studio time, that just sound terrible, or don't "do the trick," when you're playing live?

I imagine there have got to be a number of things that just don't work out when you introduce them to a small venue/club.




Fuzz Factory. I love everything about this pedal but I just can't find a use for it with what I do live.

I even keep it on my board purely for the novelty of it when I'm messing around by myself.


When I play live (which is now just a few times per year), I almost always plug straight into my amp--not because my pedals sound bad live, but because (1) I tend to play blues/rock live with a band, (2) it is simpler to set up with no pedals, and (3) the subtleties of many pedals are lost in a live setting. If I do use pedals live, I usually just use a few Fulltone pedals (e.g., MDV2 -> Clyde Deluxe wah -> Robin Trower Overdrive).

Heady Jam Fan

Fuzz pedals were this way for me. I love the sound of a Fuzz Face, big Gilmour fan (and Hendrix), but I love midrange in my own tone and never have to worry if I am getting lost in the mix.

I have been using a Rat to get some fuzz-like tones and I want to try the Lunar Module again now that I have an amp with more midrange. The Skreddy P19 also looks cool, but I prefer FF's to Muffs. Most of the time, I just rock out with a couple TS9s.


Some pedals require you spend a lot of time dialing it in, to shine live. How are you going to do that in 30 minuts soundcheck, where 25 minuts are used for drums and vocal monitors. Sometimes you barely get your amp dialed in. I keep it as simple as I feel I can. I rely on programmeable stomps, so the outcome can be as predictable as possiable. There's no need for me to carry a lot of gear, if it is useless, or I dont have the time to set it up. The amps channels, the level of the loop and 2 dirt pedals are usually what I am able to do at a soundcheck. So that leaves alot home. The live board has to be the perfect balance between tone and praticality. Weight and numbers of pedals are an issue as well.

I have a lot of pedals at home. I experiment a lot. This is my hobby, so if I cant explore, then I get bored, fast. The trick is to translate those experiments into something usefull, both in rehearsal and live. Now if I had to use these pedals live, I would be thrilled, but it would require a 45 minuts guitar soundcheck, three roadies, a live tech, my own soundguy and 5 minuts break between each song.

Another thing is the subtleties. If you are recording off the clock, or at home, then you can work on a lot of miniscule details in toneshaping. A non programmeable box is basicly a one or two trick pony live. A wonderfull pedal like Lunar module is able to do so much. Live it is mostly the "Gilmour Now" switch. I have two or three settings memoriesed, but it can do so much more.

Thirdly the pedals themself. There are pedals, which in the right settings, are wonderfull to listen to, but simply doesnt cut it with a loud band. Muff variations and high gain pedals mostly fall into that category, imo. Reverb is another hard one. I like reverb, but it makes the guitar seem distant, unless the sound guy knows his stuff. So I have a hard time fitting it into a dry rock context. When I go more ambient, then it's no problem.

...sorry. Got carried away.


Many fuzzes.

Don't cut through the mix, sound harsh, or you have to set everything else up around them to sound right at gig levels, leaving the rest of the rig sounding awful if you turn it off.


ADA flanger. I had the reissue from the nineties. Absolutely the best flanger, but when you stomp on it, the volume jumps up appreciably. With certain distortion pedals ahead of it, the volume jump is HUGE, unuseable live. If I get back into it, I'm going to build a loop with a volume control.

A lot of modulation effects do this to one extent or another. They all should have an output volume control.

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