Touring with just a pedalboard?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by gtrfinder, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    A thread in the amps section got me thinking.

    I don't tour the country playing music, nor have I ever, so I may be way off on this, but... If I were going to tour I don't think I'd bring an amp with me. Unless it was a big multimillion dollar tour of my dreams (see Pete Thorn threads for clarification)

    I would put together a pedalboard that would be extensive enough to work in any situation. Everything would be covered: pedals that would be good with high-powered clean amps, small low-powered amps, dark amps, bright amps, even no amp and straight into the PA if needed.
    I figure that just about any backline is going to provide one of the following: Fender Hot Rod Series something, Fender Twin Reverb, or Marshall JCM somethingorother. Even if one of these wasn't provided I'd have something to run straight into the PA (POD-like device).

    Does anybody out there do this? It just seems like traveling with an amp would become a hassle pretty quickly. If I had a pedalboard and 2 guitars I think I'd be set. Not saying this would be the "best sounding" rig, but it would work in a live environment and would be a heck of a lot easier to transport.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. mike@nortoncable.com

    mike@nortoncable.com Member

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    I've seen a good bit of backline setups, our sistercompany here in philly does nothing but backline, allot of larger artists do this, show up with a case of guitars and a pedalboard, just rent some JCM900s or mesas etc.


    A cool setup on a pedaltrain JR is easy to deal with :)
    DD20, Wah, Overdrive, Distortion, Boost, Chorus
    nice and small, you could integrate a D.I. into the bottom of the board & use that for PA sends, and the DD20 has 2 outputs so you could run stereo/2 amp setup.

    Its do able, Would save you the hassle of humping amps around, plus I've never seen to many tube amps that dont need daily attention after moving them, gota make sure the tubes are in the sockets,potholes can damage reverb tanks etc, bing bang and booming without Calzone style ata cases can take its toll on an amp. Potentially, depending on what pedals you use- theres a chance of havinga really good setup, theres some killer stuff out there :)
     
  3. Tbone135

    Tbone135 Member

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    I've done that (carry pedalboard only) before, it worked out pretty well.
     
  4. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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  5. jrm

    jrm Member

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    Our band's producer does that. Brings a PODpro and lets loose the rock. Great tone, and great presence. He jsut walks in wit hhis guitar and is good to go!
     
  6. mcholley

    mcholley Member

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    One big problem....sometimes, the amp they bring isn't cutting it, and there's not always time to react....

    I was in Japan, and when we got to Sapporo, it was a different backline than the rest of Japan. Wow, that was an ugly soundcheck, and a memorable show for all of the wrong reasons.

    So, I always at least have my own head as well....

    Mark
     
  7. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    another perspective...one of the bands I was working in did some touring around Germany and Switzerland where backlines were mostly supplied and we always declined and brought our own amps and drum kits with...

    we worked hard on our sound in practice and we were able to recreate it under any circumstance everytime and not leave it up to some unknown amps in various stages of repair or under the control of a soundman who may or may not know what he's doing ...

    we could always count on a good stage sound and had fewer variables this way...all the soundman had to do was to raise or lower the faders...the good soundmen used to comment on how easy it was to do sound for us...a 10-15 minute soundcheck and we were done...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  8. Dog Boy

    Dog Boy Member

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    I ALWAYS take an amp.....unless I can't. I have played for 10,000 with my board into a pod blasting thru a vocal monitor at my head. I hated every second of it but it worked.

    Taking an amp is an additional headache but what you gonna do? Depend on that trebley mess that is a reissue Twin? Its worth it to me to take the amp.
     
  9. kldonegan

    kldonegan Member

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    If I fly, pedalboard gets checked and guitar comes on the plane. I'm at the mercy of the venue/backline guys. If I can, I try to get an AC30 or Deluxe Reverb... nothing too bootiki. The real kicker is when they say "Oh yeah, we've got a Twin and a little 1x12 all-tube Fender combo. Take your pick!" Then you show up and it's either the louder that god red knob Twin or the solid-state Stage 112...

    Bus/van I'll generally take something of my own.
     
  10. Aj_rocker

    Aj_rocker Member

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    i usually use what the venue gives me. i've had amps which needs a re-tube to fully ss.

    the advice i would give you is know your gear (k Rosser). Secondly one thing that i have had to learn is you work with what you get even if it sounds nasty, i once played using a amp which was clean on 2 and distorting on 3. I did the gig, and the soundman was really nice about it the sh$t amp and sound. i had to laugh, it was the only way to get through the gig and yes the gig required fully clean which didnt happen but still the artist was happy.

    I quess my advice would be carry a board with what you need but then carry a Eq pedal, theres one amp i use alot (at church) which has a massive mid hump and using a Eq pedal smooths it out a little and makes me alot more happy wiht my sound.


    Aj
     
  11. this1smyne

    this1smyne Member

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    I'm all about bringing my own amp, but when you are stuck without it, having a verstile board is a second best. +1 AJ on the EQ pedal, get a good one and keep it to mimic your tone (even some solid states can sound decent with good EQ). Or get something like the stage hog to pocket a good tone no matter what.
     
  12. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Hey - will I now be known as the TGP 'know your gear' guy?

    I'm OK with that, though I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way...

    Out in the real working world of music, I've found the players that get over are the ones that really know how to work the gear they have, even if it's cheap import stuff

    I believe the 'connection' to your gear is more important than the 'quality' of your gear.
     
  13. serviviente7

    serviviente7 Supporting Member

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    When we travel I just bring my pedalboard and guitar. In our rider every player gives the producer of the event 3 choices for amps. Mines are:

    1. Marshall JCM TSL
    2. Mesa rect.
    3. Fender Twin (last resort)

    I am always willing to compromise but they are usually pretty good getting one of these or something comparable but if is not in the ryder they have run it by me. No chances taken. Lucky me!

    I also tried doing the POD thing but I did not liked that. I used it only in the studio.
     
  14. sgs

    sgs Member

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    I've done it plenty when I fly to shows, or am gigging overseas. I've got my pedalboard set up so it works well with a clean, single channel amp. I usually ask for a Deluxe reverb since you can find those just about anywhere. I've also done the Pod thing, though that's usually a last resort...
     

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