Help me with my first pedal board?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by BigPants, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. BigPants

    BigPants Member

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    Hi,

    I've never really been a big FX user when playing, mainly because I found pedals and multi-fx units a bit average. I suppose it's because I learned and gigged at a time when digital FX was the big thing and analogue stuff was 'out'. Recently I've started dabbling with pedals again but I find it a pain to keep setting up. At the moment I have a Vox Wah, Biyang Distortion, MXR Dyna Comp and an MXR Micro amp. I play a mixture of a 1980's '52 reissue Tele, USA Std Strat + Hotrails (switched) and a '92 Les Paul though a Vox AC30. I might add a couple more pedals, maybe Chorus, Phaser.

    1. What's the best way to start thinking about the board? Should I make something or buy? I would rather spend on new pedals than a board. GigRig is out of my league (and ability) at the moment.

    2. 9V power - if I want to avoid batteries which supply? Any pitfall? I already know my Wah doesn't have a DC in.

    3. Should I have two loops - one for modulating FX and another for the rest? The AC30 is fairly modern and has an FX loop.

    4. Any advice on patch cables? I quite like the look and sound of GeorgeLs.

    Any advice at all most welcome.

    Nick
     
  2. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    If you have a setup that you don't plan on changing and are handy with tools I would make it. If not get a pedal train jr for starters.

    Best Voodoo Labs Pedal Power Plus 2. Isolated outputs (no noise). You could also use a 1spot daisy chain, but make sure all your pedals are compatible. Some boutique pedals specify NO daisy chain power. I use a few basic pedals with a onespot with NO issues. YMMV.

    I would put wah, drive/fuzz/boosts out front, and put the modulating stuff in the effects loop. Esp delay and other "time" based effects.

    LavaMan Lava ELC would be my choice here.

    Good Luck.

    dk
     
  3. BigPants

    BigPants Member

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    Is there a link that anyone knows of for some photos of home-made boards? It would be interesting to see how people attach pedals and how cabling works. I suppose I could use double-sided velcro to secure?
     
  4. Steve Foley

    Steve Foley Member

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    The velcro is what most folks use, although a couple other ideas include drilling holes in through the board, and using zip-ties around the pedal, or using bicycle chain links. Screw one end of the link onto the pedal where the bottom plate screws are, at the corners of the pedal, and the other ends stick out. Screw through the ends sticking out onto the board.

    I second the regulated power supply idea. When I first considered this, I thought it was a lot of money to spend, for a "pedal" that didn't "do" anything, but after buying a few packs of batteries, my spendthrift ways set in, and I figured out how many pedals I could be buying with the money I was spending on batteries. Besides, some pedals REALLY can sound crappy, when the batteries are getting to the end of their life. Another good (I think better) power supply is the Aspect Designs Juice Box, although it's probably a little pricier.
    As far as pedals without a DC in, I've drilled a hole in the chassis on a couple of pedals, and installed a jack, with a 9 volt connector at the other end. That way you can just unplug the connector, should you want to go battery at some time, but still have the benefit of regulated power the rest of the time. Frankly, once I got a board put together, I hardly ever took it apart to just use one or two pedals -- too much trouble. Now, take it apart to add in, or rearrange pedals, shoot, that was my hobby. It can get addicting.
    As far as the board configuration, think about where you'll be using it onstage, and whether you need access to a microphone or music stand; if so, you may want to consider a board with sloped sides, so you can slide the legs of the stand under it. I usually use a flat board, and put two of the legs under the board, so it sets right in front of the microphone with a boom.
    As far as size, 16 or 18, by 30 or 32 seems to be about right, for me. Depends on how much you want to get on it. It can get pretty heavy, if you get too much on it, but much smaller, and you're giving up some options you may want to try out, later.
    Do a search, and there are a lot of ideas about pedal order.
    El Steve-0
     
  5. BigPants

    BigPants Member

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    Wow. Two great responses. Thanks guys. Lots to think about but I have some ideas now. There are also a couple of threads on here with photos of people's stuff. Very inspiring.

    I think what I'm going to do is knock something up myself and see what configuration and that my overall needs are. That way I can take my time and build something better or save up for something pre-built.
     
  6. Steve Foley

    Steve Foley Member

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    You're welcome, and welcome aboard!. I'm not doing anything for you that many others here on TGP have not done for me already - thank them :bow.
    El Steve-0
     
  7. CommonJim

    CommonJim Member

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    I've been doing the same, (set up, tear down pedals each show) as well. This past week I purchased a Pedaltrain Jr. and a BBE Supacharger and I can't wait till our next show to try it out, (it's been getting lots of use at home).

    The jr. is a smaller board. I've got a Boss Tuner, Wah, Boss DD-3, MXR Phase 100 and a Rat pedal attached and that pretty much fills the available space. Nice to have all the patch cables, etc running underneath the board.

    Check them out here: http://www.pedaltrain.com/ptjr.aspx
     
  8. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    You might check out GP from a couple months ago. They had an issue that devoted a lot of space to this topic, with interviews with Pete Cornish and Bob Bradshaw, two of the heavy hitters in the custom pedalboard biz. They also had a tutorial on where to place them in the chain.

    I recently bought the Gator powered board and gig bag. They make a smaller one also. Here it is. Good luck

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/prod...wered-Pro-Size-Pedalboard-with-Bag?sku=150148
     
  9. Marc Roy

    Marc Roy Member

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    I'm in the same situation, so I finally buckeled down this past weekend and put together my first ever pedalboard (after close to 20 years of playing). Had a friend of mine build it for me. My board is very simple, but effective and all I need really.

    The board itself is a small PedalTrain in a hard case. I went for the hard case for extra protection. My board consists of a Diamond Compressor, Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah, OceanEFX Pearl Drive and Maxon AD999 Delay. I power everything with a DC Brick. Everything fits nicely on the PedalTrain, and if I ever want to add another pedal, I can remove the DC Brick and have it mounted under the board (with a few modifications). I use Planet Waves Cable Station cables as jumpers for the pedals. These cables are really easy to make. The cables are all nicely tucked under the board using a tie wrap. I definitely recommend the PedalTrain.
     

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