Pedalboard for SINGER/rhythmguitarist?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by carljoensson, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    767
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    Dec 30, 2006
    Hi there,

    GAS strikes me ever so often, and hanging around here doesn't help. I've acquired quite a few pedals in recent years to my bandmembers amusement, though they'd rather see I don't step on them. The thing being that my main job is being the singer rather than guitarplayer. And well, my guitar skills are limited, the sound of the band quite rootsy (americana) so there's no big need for sonic adventures.

    Basically what I've found is that I need to organize a very basic board, easily workable, since I really don't have time to tweak knobs inbetween songs - I'm supposed to pull the bad jokes, keeping the crowd happy.

    So, I'm just curious to hear other people's experiences on this. And how you all make it practical. For my homestudio I could have drawers and drawers full of pedals - but on stage, I think I'd better keep it limited.

    This is my order of priority: (the pedals I own)

    1. Tuner - (Korg DT-10)
    2. OD - for a little breakup (Timmy)
    3. Delay - for slapback/or "atmosphere" (DanEcho)
    4. Tremolo - (just ordered an Empress, with taptempo)

    ======= The above: all I really need, the ones below ... a result of my daydreams/ my GAS... ======

    5. Fuzz - (SunFace NKT fuzz - I hope I'll learn to tame it)
    6. Comp - (Barber Tone Press - have yet to learn it and find out if I need it)
    7. Chorus - (just got a Boss DC-2, while great it's still just a chorus)
    8. Reverb (Boss RV-2, for special fx, I play a Vibrolux with springverb)

    (my Roland tape echo, My Teese wah, my Ibanez Af-201 envelope filter, various phasers, Boss RC-2 looper, volume pedal - alll will just have to wait at home, at least so it seems for now).


    Don't know if anybody will find this very interesting. I'm not so much asking for advice regarding the choice of pedal - as I am interested in "pedal technique". How to work fast with your sound in a live environment. I also can't have a very big board, since it must be next to the mic-stand.
    I have yet to find out how fast and easy it is to work with a Tap tempo pedal (Empress trem). If great, I guess I might upgrade to a tap temp delay some time down the road. For now though, my band isn't really doing any delay-rhythm-driven songs, like dotted eights etc, so maybe I'll be fine without it.

    Oh well, if anybody wants to chime in I'll gladly read what you have to say.

    Thanks,

    Carl
     
  2. this1smyne

    this1smyne Member

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    Mt P. SC
    I lead worship with electric guitar and my full board at my feet, but i don't do the 'stomp' thing too often.... usually just between drives, or to kick in my phaser for some thickness or something... light delay.
    You'll find that its just a matter of becoming one with your board ;) I learned quickly that i had to stop reorganizing my board (even though its my fav hobby) and put things that i will use regularly live at one end (volume, drive, tap tempo) so I won't have to dance with my mic. Once you know where things are you won't have to look down, you won't have to even think about it! My foot tends to start moving towards my tim as we approach a driven chorus and instinctivly falls on the volume when i'm ready for the band to fade out.... just takes some practice.
     
  3. krisharmony

    krisharmony Supporting Member

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    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I have a couple of drive pedals, trem and reverb plus tuner. May throw a Leslie sim in there too but I prefer to keep it simple. As others have done I'm going to get a Pedaltrain Jr. to ensure my board stays small. I don't really switch pedals on and off much during songs though. Typically just one gain pedal per tune.
     
  4. Lampasas

    Lampasas Member

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    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I sing as well, and would go with #1-4 plus the fuzz for those moments when you want crazy end-of-set feedback. Delay, trem, and fuzz probably won't get used much, but are nonetheless essential IMO. My board stays just to the left of the mic stand, so it really can't be more than 14 inches or so long, or else I'll lose my balance reaching for pedals on the far side. I personally stay away from tap tempo for that same reason (balance).

    As for your pedal selection, nice choices. I've owned several comps, but never felt I really needed one after using it for a while. You can do without reverb if you have another guitarist. I think whether or not you wah depends on your personality type. I can't pull it off-- too nerdy. Chorus is a toss-up. I've only ever used Leslie-type stuff on recordings, so don't have anything like that on the board.

    I keep my pedals on a piece of wood that's smaller than the Pedaltrain Jr., but will probably get the Jr. eventually. Gigging musicians that play rootsy rock stuff really shouldn't need more space than this, IMO, unless you're a sideman that's being paid to cover a whole lot of ground both live and in the studio (which I'm not). It sounds like you know all this already, however, and have already prioritized properly. So my advice: crank Timmy, use your guitar's volume knob, and don't forget you have a couple of other toys if things get boring.
     
  5. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    I think some sort of true bypass loop would be a good tool. I like the idea of the Clean/Dirty Effects Switcher by loopmaster. It allows you to switch between two separate loops with one switch.

    http://www.loop-master.com/product_info.php?cPath=33&products_id=141


    Or you could just use the standard true bypass triple loop box for three basic sounds all at your reach.

    A good use of the volume knobs on the guitar can help a lot if you don't have a multi channel amp.

    But for the most part you should try to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)

    And practice with your pedal timing. Try to get it so you don't even have to look downward.

    I don't really like Boss / Digitech 's non true bypass, but I love how easy it is to activate the switch. I just think its easier than a 3pdt true bypass switch. But if you got one of those slanted enclosures, this could help with the tricky stomp switches. I guess its all about practice using your tools, until its seamless, and a part of your performance rather than a hindrance.

    dk
     
  6. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    767
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    Dec 30, 2006
    Hi everybody,
    Thanks for chiming in. It's interesting to hear about other people's experiences. Like you all, I don't really change sounds much within a tune. But maybe sometime it would be nice to have an extra gear to throw in, like a fuzz to complement my OD.

    JayRue's idea of using 1-4 + fuzz, is pretty much what I'm thinking. I did build a pedalboard 16,5 inches wide (six pedals + wah in two rows). But seven pedals seems overkill for me. If I remove the wah it could hold eight pedals...hmm.

    Before I bought my RMC3 I had a Dunlop 95Q. A springloaded wah - which was great (not in sound, but in function). It went wah-wah as soon as I stepped on it, and switched off automatically. Right now though a wah is just too hard to switch on/off while singing. But if there was a great sounding wah with a springloaded system - I'd trade my RMC3 in a second.

    JayRue's and dk123123dk's tip on using the volume knob is a good one. The Sunface is a dynamic pedal and could be very versatile with this. (I'm gasing for a Honeybee too though.) The tip regarding using a loopbox for simplicity seems great. But for me a bit too much, I don't use that complex sounds.

    Keep It simple stupid. Is exactly where I'm heading, as well as, keep it classic and cool - the lead player can freak out, the rhythm player keeps things steady. The music we play isn't exactly looking to be modern or cool, rather old, dusty and down home.

    I understand that tap-tempo can be a bit tricky as well. But I'm so longing for playing tremolo set to triplets that I really need this.

    Chorus might not at all be a thing for THIS band, it might stay at home. I love the idea of a BOSS VB-2 (or the BYOC version) - but I've got a Bigsby on my archtop and a strat so I'm pretty covered for that.

    I'd love to read more!

    Thanks,

    Carl
     
  7. Mig60

    Mig60 Member

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    Location:
    Spain
    i play in a trio, guitar and singing, 4 pedals plus tuner, on a Pedaltrain Jr.
    The one i use most is a clean booster for soloing, and sometimes wah, or tremolo for some parts. The delay and overdrive are changing between songs.
     
  8. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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  9. georgeb4

    georgeb4 Member

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    +1

    This is what I do and it saves a lot of tap dancing. Typically in a song I will only have one effects setup (ex: chorus + delay) and the ability to preset your effects loop before the song and turn it on/off with one foot switch is a big help. Put your overdrive right next to it so you can hit both at once, unless you are worried about doing that on accident.
     
  10. disguiseglasses

    disguiseglasses Member

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    Colorado
    Great ideas, all. Keep it simple,
    organization is key, I've found.
    I'm playing solo gigs with lots
    of looping and noise while singing
    and it really is a matter of
    becoming instinctual with everything.

    Also, keep in mind that the mic
    stand doesn't have to be the end all.
    With a boom, you can kick it to the side.
     
  11. missing_dave

    missing_dave Member

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    Location:
    boston
    hey carl..just so you know where im coming from we have three singers and do eagles "style" stuff..harmonies etc. and although a rock pop band we all come from the petty,eagles,wilco etc camp of thought...

    dump the excess....stuff like chorus,comps even the vibey,trem stuff...if your playing just rhythm than the other guitarist could/should handle those textures?
    maybe coiming in and out in the song (playing wise ) can help push or lighten the tunes instead of effects?? different chord voicings etc. than the other guitar..and with the stuff your doing a capo for the songs chords will add some nice jangle to that style..

    just my .2,dont want to come across like a know it all..im far from it..just throwing out a different angle on things.. ive found over the years that as fun as effects can be the stuff that counts are the parts and tone and songwriting..especially in the rootsy style music your/were doing...at least try it and build up from there:AOK
     
  12. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

    Messages:
    767
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    Dec 30, 2006
    Hey Missing_Dave,

    We seem to be from the same school of sound. I hear you loud and clearly (and sadly) and think you're absolutely right about scaling it down and letting the other musicians handling the textures. Unfortunately I seem to be the only real gear nut in the band and the one most eager to explore different sounds... And that's for good and bad. But in november the drummer lay forward the proposition that all the fx-stuff was maybe something I could do in a side-project instead of with the band ;-)

    I agree. I'll leave the chorus, vibe and maybe comp at home. But I really feel like seeing what could be done with the trem before i ditch it.

    Deep inside I know that practising more flatpicking/travispicking is what would really take me forward in sound, in songwriting etc. But I'm always looking to buy a shortcut.

    Thanks for the advice!


    Carl
    (Just put my Sunface and my Boss DC-2 up for some kind of trade against a Honeybee. I'll never tame the Sunface, and it's too expensive to lie around unused)
     
  13. missing_dave

    missing_dave Member

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    Location:
    boston
    i hear ya..im a fiddler/explorer as well with the whole tone journey..it never ends!!:D
    another idea(im just throwing these out here) could be do jam along (and sing) with your own CD? letting you rehearse every pedal step and tone change you want? then when you come in and have it down...even the muppet animal in the back banging away will notice how good things sound..or in some cases not notice at all..sometimes even more of a compliment if ya ask me..
    either way good luck with the journey and tunes:BEER


     
  14. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

    Messages:
    767
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    Hi,
    The thing with gearhunting (for me) seems to be that it's more a way to daydream, than likely to ever take me home. I'm not really looking for "tone" so much as dynamic sounds. And when I'm done pedal hunting, I'll probably GAS for some Neumann mic, a semi-pro studio compressor - ... in this way, no it never ends.

    The "jam with my cd"-idea is not bad at all. I should try that. Or play along to my Boss RC-2 looper (- only for practise! ;-)

    Thanks again,
    Cheers, :BEER
    Carl

     

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