P&W Rigs/Pedalboards

thiscalltoarms

more gadgets than Batman.
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Why do we as worship guitarists feel like we need the best in every category? When do we decide we've got enough gear, and start putting our surplus money to better use elsewhere? Why don't we spend more time thinking about how our gear habits reflect on how we're (often negatively, in guitar communities) seen as Christians and are actually part of our witness? Is it really okay to use money from the church budget to get ourselves shiny new gear?

The part in bold is something I doubt is happening with most of the guys on this thread. I've been a gearhead since 2002, been on staff at numerous churches. My worship budget is sizable, and we spend it every year, but usually on things like new cameras for the building stream ($5k/camera) or lights ($2.2k/programmable spotlight) or replacing DIs or wireless mics.

They don't pay for any of gear, or strings, or tubes. They DO offer to pay for us to go to music lessons for continuing education / musical development.

On materialism, I probably have one of the most egregious collections and rigs on here. I'll admit/confess/discuss that I have at times had conversations with my mentor and my wife about the way that I've used gear to "get through" clinical depression at times. Is that healthy? Not particularly, but my mentor, wife, and counselor are all pretty unequivocal that as long as I'm being honest about what is going on, it is the sort of habit that is more easily checked and far less destructive than other typical coping mechanisms. For me, the gear becomes something I can fixate on and get excited about and control when I feel things spiraling out from under my feet.

Could I spend the money better? Sure, I suppose I could spend it on anti-depressants, but I'd rather some Veritas, Strymon, Chase Bliss, and Suhr gear.
 

thiscalltoarms

more gadgets than Batman.
Gold Supporting Member
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@flatulentmatt do you guys have music stands on stage ever, like the Monday chapel service or anything?

I’m really not trying to start the debate, just curious on how you guys handle some less familiar songs (or so it sounds anyways) with that style set. Your Sunday service sounds like it was awesome. If I’m ever in NZ in your area I want to stop by :)
We tried to get rid of them. Gave up. We rotate worship leaders and one of our current ones can't see the confidence monitor because his eyesight is HORRIBLE. Keeping music stands for those that need them seems like a reasonable small inconvenience to love someone that wants to serve despite some challenges.
 

Kylote

Member
Messages
4,593
I don't expense anything through the church... I sort of consider it part of my tithe. WL always says to provide receipts to string purchases to be reimbursed but no one ever does. At one point I considered seeing if they'd pay for my re-fret on my acoustic (since about 80-90% of the wear on the frets were playing during service, practicing at church for service or practicing at home for service), but ultimately just paid out of pocket. I did get them to buy a $5 pic holder for the boom stand I use at church :D

I think I've discussed this before, but I am pretty sure our praise band music budget is somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 a year. 2 years ago it was refurbished iPad 2's to replace all the paper copies we were making of everything and last year it was five P16Ms, 5 sets of Shure 215's and the card, interface and distributer to make them work. Don't believe we've made any big purchases this year, so most of that should still be available to us.

I am working towards memorizing music, but I don't see ditching the iPad anytime soon. Even if I have it memorized, I like having the fallback in case I completely blank on something. It also is much sleeker and less clunky than a large music stand on stage since it is affixed to my mic stand.
 

dickjonesify

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7,842
Re: my two mixes. I think I’d like somewhere in between haha.

Also, in speaking with the bass player more, he means he thought he couldn’t hear the bass guitar enough. Which it’s plenty loud haha, turns out he means the attack. So instead of just altering the master, I need to go back to the session and work on that.

Getting closer
 

Kylote

Member
Messages
4,593
Re: my two mixes. I think I’d like somewhere in between haha.

Also, in speaking with the bass player more, he means he thought he couldn’t hear the bass guitar enough. Which it’s plenty loud haha, turns out he means the attack. So instead of just altering the master, I need to go back to the session and work on that.

Getting closer
Makes more sense. Listening to your original mix I could hear the bass pretty clearly. Although I am listening using iPhone earbuds on a $500 laptop and I think the Apple earbuds err on the side of more bass.
 

thiscalltoarms

more gadgets than Batman.
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,919
Re: my two mixes. I think I’d like somewhere in between haha.

Also, in speaking with the bass player more, he means he thought he couldn’t hear the bass guitar enough. Which it’s plenty loud haha, turns out he means the attack. So instead of just altering the master, I need to go back to the session and work on that.

Getting closer
Sometimes a touch more compression and a little extra punch in the eq can push a bass out front. Keep it subtle and it'll pop.
 

Kylote

Member
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4,593
For what its worth, I played it for my wife (who is a fan of the original song by Hillsong Y&F) and she was quite impressed :D

Of course, she then asks me why I don't talk to the congregation mid-song and hype them up :confused:
 

travis_38

Supporting Member
Messages
1,775
I need your helps guys. Having a hard time nailing the low end mixing with headphones. The bass player didn't think that version of Alive was big enough down low haha.

Here's another mix. Too much or awesome?

Sounds dooooope. You guys should package these up and put them on Spotify honestly. Of course I say that completely ignorant of what's involved with doing that.

The part in bold is something I doubt is happening with most of the guys on this thread. I've been a gearhead since 2002, been on staff at numerous churches. My worship budget is sizable, and we spend it every year, but usually on things like new cameras for the building stream ($5k/camera) or lights ($2.2k/programmable spotlight) or replacing DIs or wireless mics.

They don't pay for any of gear, or strings, or tubes. They DO offer to pay for us to go to music lessons for continuing education / musical development.

On materialism, I probably have one of the most egregious collections and rigs on here. I'll admit/confess/discuss that I have at times had conversations with my mentor and my wife about the way that I've used gear to "get through" clinical depression at times. Is that healthy? Not particularly, but my mentor, wife, and counselor are all pretty unequivocal that as long as I'm being honest about what is going on, it is the sort of habit that is more easily checked and far less destructive than other typical coping mechanisms. For me, the gear becomes something I can fixate on and get excited about and control when I feel things spiraling out from under my feet.

Could I spend the money better? Sure, I suppose I could spend it on anti-depressants, but I'd rather some Veritas, Strymon, Chase Bliss, and Suhr gear.
I've been volunteering 1 or 2 weekends a month at my church for almost 10 years. Once my church bought me a pack of fuses from radio shack for my Dr Z... pretty sure that's the extent of my taking from the offering basket. :D
 

dickjonesify

Member
Messages
7,842
Sounds dooooope. You guys should package these up and put them on Spotify honestly. Of course I say that completely ignorant of what's involved with doing that.
Definitely thought about it. Not sure what’s involved since they’re cover songs but I know it’s possible.

If we go that route though, I’ll probably wait to hear the drummer’s mix. He has the tracks also and he’s better than I haha.

I mean, I definitely dig the mix. I’d want someone better than me to master for sure. This is really stretching my abilities already.
 
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947
I was recently playing with a group where the leader joined a small-ish church, pretty much took over the whole music situation, and spent what must've been a lot of the church's money on a new mixing board, wireless tech, flashy lighting, and other stuff, only to leave a few months later when a more appealing opportunity came along, and last I heard they don't have anybody to take his place or make use of any of the stuff purchased. Not exactly the same as using church money to buy yourself a new amp, but I've heard it happens. The whole thing left a really bad taste in my mouth and turned me off of playing at church at all for months.

I'm aware that a lot of classic instruments can cost well north of $10,000, but on the other hand, you get your nice oboe and you're pretty much all set. There's not an endless array of oboe accessories to eat up an additional hundreds or thousands per year. Plus it begs the question, in that with electric guitar it's easier to sound good for less than ever before. For me at least, the sticker price is less of an issue than the constant temptation to accumulate more stuff and tendency of gear (at least in the past for me) to constantly be weighing on my mind/taking up mental thought-space, in no small part thanks to social media like Instagram.

I don't think it's unfair to "judge" what I see on Instagram, if you take a picture to show off your boutique rig and post it on social media then you're pretty much inviting criticism or praise that comes along with that, and the vast majority of huge worship guitar rigs on Instagram are showing off. There's not a lot of ambiguity about it. (Mind you, I think the Insta situation is a bit different from on here, where I get more of a discussion-based vibe and a broader range of musical styles, techniques, and gear used. What I see here rarely strikes me as (humble)bragging or showing off.) This stuff takes the focus completely away from where it should be in a worship setting. This is the crucial difference between what I talked about in my last post and any other hobby that takes up money (which, as a guy who has his share of dumb expensive hobbies like selvedge denim, I completely understand.) This has been a catalyst from me mostly stepping away from Instagram as a network for following hobbies, in the end it was just contributing to me lusting to buy stuff that I wouldn't know or care about otherwise. But guitar gear was a big one. I'm happier and way more satisfied with what I already have.

By the way, for my Helix usage, I usually stick with one patch and use snapshots for different parts/songs. I've though about building a separate patch for each song, but it'd be a lot of work to EQ everything right and I'm happy with how this has worked so far.
 

kingrazor

Member
Messages
3,704
I was recently playing with a group where the leader joined a small-ish church, pretty much took over the whole music situation, and spent what must've been a lot of the church's money on a new mixing board, wireless tech, flashy lighting, and other stuff, only to leave a few months later when a more appealing opportunity came along, and last I heard they don't have anybody to take his place or make use of any of the stuff purchased. Not exactly the same as using church money to buy yourself a new amp, but I've heard it happens. The whole thing left a really bad taste in my mouth and turned me off of playing at church at all for months.

I'm aware that a lot of classic instruments can cost well north of $10,000, but on the other hand, you get your nice oboe and you're pretty much all set. There's not an endless array of oboe accessories to eat up an additional hundreds or thousands per year. Plus it begs the question, in that with electric guitar it's easier to sound good for less than ever before. For me at least, the sticker price is less of an issue than the constant temptation to accumulate more stuff and tendency of gear (at least in the past for me) to constantly be weighing on my mind/taking up mental thought-space, in no small part thanks to social media like Instagram.

I don't think it's unfair to "judge" what I see on Instagram, if you take a picture to show off your boutique rig and post it on social media then you're pretty much inviting criticism or praise that comes along with that, and the vast majority of huge worship guitar rigs on Instagram are showing off. There's not a lot of ambiguity about it. (Mind you, I think the Insta situation is a bit different from on here, where I get more of a discussion-based vibe and a broader range of musical styles, techniques, and gear used. What I see here rarely strikes me as (humble)bragging or showing off.) This stuff takes the focus completely away from where it should be in a worship setting. This is the crucial difference between what I talked about in my last post and any other hobby that takes up money (which, as a guy who has his share of dumb expensive hobbies like selvedge denim, I completely understand.) This has been a catalyst from me mostly stepping away from Instagram as a network for following hobbies, in the end it was just contributing to me lusting to buy stuff that I wouldn't know or care about otherwise. But guitar gear was a big one. I'm happier and way more satisfied with what I already have.

By the way, for my Helix usage, I usually stick with one patch and use snapshots for different parts/songs. I've though about building a separate patch for each song, but it'd be a lot of work to EQ everything right and I'm happy with how this has worked so far.
I know this can be a big issue for some people, I know lots of people that get "social media envy" and when they see people living what looks like perfect lives on facebook or people with really cool gear on instagram it makes them feel like they aren't as good and they obsess over it. But, a lot of people don't have this problem.

If I post pictures of things I've bought anywhere it's just, "Hey, I bought this thing that's kind of cool", and that's genuinely the end of it. I really don't care what anyone else has and buying gear has no impact on my ability to focus on worship. When I'm on stage I don't think about my gear, the only thing going through my head is "don't mess up".
 

Kylote

Member
Messages
4,593
I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a bit of envy on my part when folks post their beautiful guitars, but that isn't to say I'd want them to stop. I know who my financial situation is similar to and who is out of my tax bracket, so if I find myself comparing my gear to someone else's, I at least know who to compare it to and whose my gear will never measure up to :D

I think things on instagram would be more tempting to me if I actually had the expendable income to 'keep up with the Jones' but I literally can't buy most of that stuff so why worry about it.

Plus, my wife likes to remind me every time I am looking at new electric guitars that I only play acoustic at church and I don't need two electrics that never leave the house.
 

kingrazor

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3,704
Plus, my wife likes to remind me every time I am looking at new electric guitars that I only play acoustic at church and I don't need two electrics that never leave the house.
The only instrument I have that ever leaves the house is my 5 string bass. My acoustic, my 4 string bass, and my 3 electric guitars don't ever leave the house lol.
 

-Empire

Supporting Member
Messages
5,970
Playing through the Helix has been a revelation. I used to spend tons of time scrolling through worship gear photos on Instagram and forums, constantly wanting new pedals and bits of gear. I spent a crazy amount of time researching, buying, and building an elaborate pedalboard (mostly for playing at church.) I sold off all of that after I got the Helix. Not only have I been completely satisfied by how easy it is to use, transport, set up, and play live and at home, but it's effectively neutralized my desire for new gear. It does basically everything I want, and for a very reasonable price. This would be great in any setting, but since I play at church, I find it more beneficial in this context than just about anywhere else
Same. 2 years in with mine. You should join the Worship Team Helix Users group on Facebook. Lots of friendly people in there and many new people are making the switch on a weekly basis.

a lot of worship guitarists can be materialistic to an almost comical degree, having elaborate $10,000+ rigs for playing at church once a week.
Agree 100%, but with emphasis on "a lot," i.e. "not everyone." I generally don't get that vibe from people here, and there's no way to know anyone's financial situation or heart so there's no point in trying to guess about it. But I can't say I don't raise an eyebrow when the same high school / college-age kid posts a $3-400+ NGD multiple times per month on the GTPnW FB group.

Honestly I think a lot of people see the spaceship rigs of the big guys and just imitate that because they don't know any better, which is why I started my YouTube channel. Instead of criticizing people or arguing about it, I just make good Helix content, and that has worked far better than arguing. When people hear my Helix sounding better than their spaceship rig, they start thinking about whether it's worth it, and some make the switch.

I've received literally hundreds of emails, messages, and comments from people freed from GAS after selling all their analog gear and switching to Helix because of my content, including at least two saved marriages. I didn't anticipate that I would be actually be making major impacts on the lives of people addicted to gear but it has honestly been pretty fulfilling.
 
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Kylote

Member
Messages
4,593
The only instrument I have that ever leaves the house is my 5 string bass. My acoustic, my 4 string bass, and my 3 electric guitars don't ever leave the house lol.
That is one of her preferred arguments :D

Sort of comes back to that expendable income and priorities really. There are about a half-dozen home/life things that would take precedence over a new guitar (including, but not limited to our third child being due this month, several dead trees that need to be cut down in our yard, installation of flood lights in our backyard for security, need new couches... current couches are about 15 years old and have been used and abused by the kids, the oldest needs braces, we'd like to install a privacy fence in our backyard, our washing machine is probably on the way out etc.)

Most of the folks with the sweet gear are (if they have kids) a tad older and better established professionally and financially, or are young without kids or a ton of financial responsibilities. I don't begrudge anyone for being in a different situation, and I am sure there are folks that are in my situation (early-mid 30's with a few children) that managed their money better earlier in life and can afford more than me :D
 

Spec

Member
Messages
910
...
I've received literally hundreds of emails, messages, and comments from people who sold all their analog gear and switched to Helix because of my content, including at least two saved marriages. I didn't anticipate that I would be actually be making major impacts on the lives of people addicted to gear but it has honestly been pretty fulfilling.

That is awesome!

Puts your stuff into a whole new perspective for me.

Good on ya.
 

crambone

Member
Messages
17,953
Just picked up this little box of fun:


Was out of stock everywhere online (the 8 ohm version at least) but my local shop had it.

Unfortunately, I neglected to buy a speaker cable, so I'll have to wait until I get one to use it.
Serious question: what would happen if you don't use speaker cable? Is that the same thing as shielded cable?
 

yeatzee

Member
Messages
2,458
I'm aware that a lot of classic instruments can cost well north of $10,000, but on the other hand, you get your nice oboe and you're pretty much all set. There's not an endless array of oboe accessories to eat up an additional hundreds or thousands per year. Plus it begs the question, in that with electric guitar it's easier to sound good for less than ever before. For me at least, the sticker price is less of an issue than the constant temptation to accumulate more stuff and tendency of gear (at least in the past for me) to constantly be weighing on my mind/taking up mental thought-space, in no small part thanks to social media like Instagram.

I don't think it's unfair to "judge" what I see on Instagram, if you take a picture to show off your boutique rig and post it on social media then you're pretty much inviting criticism or praise that comes along with that, and the vast majority of huge worship guitar rigs on Instagram are showing off. There's not a lot of ambiguity about it. (Mind you, I think the Insta situation is a bit different from on here, where I get more of a discussion-based vibe and a broader range of musical styles, techniques, and gear used. What I see here rarely strikes me as (humble)bragging or showing off.) This stuff takes the focus completely away from where it should be in a worship setting. This is the crucial difference between what I talked about in my last post and any other hobby that takes up money (which, as a guy who has his share of dumb expensive hobbies like selvedge denim, I completely understand.) This has been a catalyst from me mostly stepping away from Instagram as a network for following hobbies, in the end it was just contributing to me lusting to buy stuff that I wouldn't know or care about otherwise. But guitar gear was a big one. I'm happier and way more satisfied with what I already have.

By the way, for my Helix usage, I usually stick with one patch and use snapshots for different parts/songs. I've though about building a separate patch for each song, but it'd be a lot of work to EQ everything right and I'm happy with how this has worked so far.
I think you hit the nail on the head with that bolded part. Everyone's different (as @Kylote and @kingrazor mentioned), and for you those things are an issue. I would just hesitate on making broad generalizations because not everyone has those struggles currently, or ever. I like looking at gear on instagram, I really like it when friends post their's. I also simultaneously have no desire to buy pedals and build a new board. Again using my car analogy, I like looking at pictures of nice cars because I like the way they look. Enjoying how something looks =/= feeling tempted to buy it. Everyone's different in that regard, and everyone financially will be different as well. Also worth noting you're on a GEAR forum... literally titled as such. NOT a worship forum ;) We like gear, and we like sharing it with friends. Most, me included have no friends in person to talk shop with or get good advice/help. This thread is SUPER HELPFUL. I don't think anyone here that has asked a question has not received a flood of helpful responses.

For the last Helix bit, i'm not sure I understand. If your one patch works for every song, why would you have to re-EQ it? Why not just copy the single patch you like so that you have one per song with the BPM set and then while practicing each song assign the footswitches that you used during specific parts to snapshots for that specific song preset (i.e. Intro snapshot w/ light drive and big verb, Verse snapshot with rhythmic delay and light drive, chorus with heavy drive and low verb, etc.). Save those in a folder on your computer and whenever you play that song again you can just load that preset and you're good to go.
 




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