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Pedal Board Project - Built-In-Monitor

CosbyTron

Member
Messages
24
Hello All, thought I'd share the results of a little weekend project I tackled last week (hope this is the right spot to be posting this, Mods feel free to shuffle it elsewhere :))

I've been in the market for a personal monitor for a while. I play acoustic, electric and I sing, so finding one with 3 inputs that will still pass three outputs to the PA has been a challenge. Also a challenge is floor space. Most of the venues I play are bars without a proper stage. Floor space is always at a premium.

I spotted the SKB Footnote recently and thought something along those lines might fit the bill.



The design is pretty simple, but you'll notice the board at the rear sits below the rest of the pedalboard. That's to accommodate a couple of speakers. I chose a set of "Dual" indoor outdoor speakers which I knew nothing about other than their dirt-cheap price and ok-ish reviews on Amazon.

To power the speakers, I'm using a Lepai 20 watt amp. Trust me, I know this is not a high power setup and it's not going to compete in a big venue. But for bar gigs I think it might be ok. You'd really be surprised by how loud these little amps can get paired with decent speakers!



On the underside of the board, I've routed a channel to slot in a piece of 1/8" ply to cover the cable mess up (the rest of the board is pine). I've also had to brace each of the 3 pine rails where pedals will get mounted. Without a center support, they had too much flex for my comfort.

And here it is all stained and loaded up!



I'm using a little Behringer line mixer to run sound to the Lepai. The guitars each run to a DI, with XLRs out to the board and another 1/4" running to the mixer. The vocals run through a Voicetone pedal, which has two outs (one is a wet signal to the board, the second is a dry signal to the Behringer mixer). The master volume is adjusted on the Lepai and the guitars and vocals can be adjusted individually on the Behringer (all without affecting the signal to the board, it's a personal mix).

After tinkering with it for a few days, I'm decently happy with the results. The speakers distort when pushed too much (only on some frequencies, I'm thinking an EQ pedal in front of the Lepai might help me push them a little harder). Still, this rig gets surprisingly loud before it starts to break up!

I'm already devising a 2.0 for this project. I'm going to try for a cleaner design which reroutes the input and output cables and accommodates slightly bigger speakers without increasing the board's footprint.

I don't have a gig for a couple weeks, so I'll have to report back how well this worked in a live setting. Still, I was pretty excited about the concept and thought others might be as well :-D.
 

Fifthstone

Member
Messages
2,982
Neat idea and nice execution. Does look big and heavy though. Had you considered a powered personal monitor that mounts to a mic stand.
 

CosbyTron

Member
Messages
24
Neat idea and nice execution. Does look big and heavy though. Had you considered a powered personal monitor that mounts to a mic stand.
Thanks! I had looked at the Behringer B205D and I think some kind of Roland Cube meant to be a monitor. I couldn't find one that would let me mix 3 inputs locally while sending all 3 untouched to the board. Our PA is set up to run individual monitor mixes, but depending on the venue, its not always easy to get to to make adjustments. Also, this was an excuse to build something, which I have to confess is as much a reason for doing this as anything else :).

It is a little heavy, maybe 12 or 14 pounds (pine isn't too bad), but the weight isn't too much an issue. Its still lighter than a powered floor monitor. The challenge I'm going to have with this design is transporting it. I'll need to make a cover, it's a little awkward as is. Hoping to do better with the redesign.
 

mc_deli

Member
Messages
1,238
Tell about the Create xt... I've been thinking of getting it... How is the noise, the presets, the comp...?
 

CosbyTron

Member
Messages
24
Tell about the Create xt... I've been thinking of getting it... How is the noise, the presets, the comp...?
I actually just got the Create XT. You can't adjust the compression and EQ (which TC refers to as "Live Engineer" I think). There are a few presets to choose from, but supposedly they are pre-configured for voice. The EQ is meant to adapt dynamically. Not totally sure how it accomplishes that, but it actually seems to work pretty well. The compression de-esses and smooths volume spikes effectively. The EQ is bright (one of the presets allows you to dial that back a little). The manual recommends flattening the EQ on your soundboard, but I have a feeling I'm still going to be tempted to tweak a little.

The way you select effects is strange. If you want to, say, switch from a hall reverb to a plate, you have to find a preset and style that has plate verb already. I'd much rather just select individual effects, but there are a massive number of factory presets, so it's not that big a deal to find one that's close to what you want and then tweak it. For one pedal that handles vocal EQ, compression and reverb (with the ability to layer on a little delay, if you like) I'm very happy with it. A VERY noticible improvement over going dry into the PA. I'll have to let you know what I think of it live after using it for a few gigs.
 

CosbyTron

Member
Messages
24
Just weighed it. 22 pounds fully loaded! Definitely an area to improve. I think this is probably overbuilt. Need to remind myself that its a pedalboard, not a house :p
 






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