Two pedal boards might be just the thing (long)

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by StompBoxBlues, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I play in a blues band. We rehearse once a week. Recently I spent a LOT of time converting a shoe rack from Ikea to a pedalboard (pics are on the the "show us your pedalboard" thread....not the exact name but the long one that has been going on forever) and spent a lot of time picking, trying pedals, adjusting, to finally come to a, more or less, regular configuration that lets me get the sounds I want and need to have.

    So my pedalbaord has been really a great thing. I was surprised that I had to kick some pedals off the board that I thought for sure I wanted on it, but either (remember this is a blues band...I also love playing Hendrix/Trower, etc.) I never found an opportunity to use them in any songs we do now, or used them so seldom it seemed silly to have it on there permanently. Other pedals I thought I might only use occasionally, ended up being used a lot and found a home on the board.

    Point is, I was not a great judge of what I "needed" for my pedalboard, besides some of the most obvious. It was exactly like I was packing for a trip to Hawaii and packing my favorite Parka, gloves, and wool socks because I really LIKE them.


    So anyway. I get used to my sound. From memory, on my pedalboard now is: MI Audio Blues Pro, Marshall VT-1 vibrato/tremolo, Marshall ED-1 compressor, Boss GE-7 graphic EQ, Ernie Ball Jr. Vol pedal, and on the pedal in the loop is Visual Sound H2O echo/chorus, EBS Dynaverb.


    The other night, I had some pedal I wanted to use, and just on a whim got out a few pedals that had been either kicked off my pedalboard for reasons I mentioned, or hadn't ever got on yet...mainly I just didn't want to play blues but more of my Hendrix-like roots. So I quickly set up a Dunlop Crybaby wah, Mojovibe (I love that pedal, but just doesn't go in the blues we play), Jekyll & Hyde silver OD (that might find it's way on my board again) which I recently found out after playing with it and setting it to settings I never tried before...sounds Marshally...this was the pedal I wanted to play with, AND my old, 70's Ibanez FL-9 flanger...THAT pedal has been collecting dust for YEARS...and an ibanez DE-7 delay.


    I didn't come up from the basement all that evening into the night.
    My god...it was like I was a whole other guitarist! I was playing fluidly, and non-blues ideas were flowing...I was just jamming, and if I had been recording I could probably have gotten ten new songs out of what came out of me. I was blown away. Getting some serious, and seriously different than I usually end up with, TONE.

    I was sorta doing this too, because I have been getting together with a fantastic drummer, and a great bassist once before, and we will be jamming this weekend...my blues sound wouln't cut it as well for that. I guess I tailored my blues sound for a full band, and I need more oomph for filling out a trio.

    Anyway, for now I just will have these spread out on the floor, but I see a real need for a second, for different styles, pedalboard.

    Sorry for the long post, just thought I'd share experiences.
     
  2. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

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    Inspiration.

    That's why we keep buying new pedals.

    It's fun, ain't it?

    :)
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Yeah..it really is. I think my absolute favorite thing though is rediscovering a pedal you either just forgot about, or never explored enough, or got tired of. That along with finding new life in a pedal you didn't think so much of, because you changed settings, or order, or another pedal came along and made the old one shine in conjunction with it.

    Along the same lines...with this "pedals I don't use in the bluesband" thing, I found myself making breakthroughs in my playing, at the same time, I was suddenly playing stuff I played back in '76, old Hendrix lesser covered tunes like "Hey Baby (Land of the New Rising Sun)" and "Stepping Stone", "Freedom", and that all. It just came out of me suddenly because of the sound I was getting...

    That, and for the first time in years I went from =.011 strings to 0.010 and that little less mass on the strings was just so great...it was like I have been warming up for my "at bat" with three bats, and now am swinging one. I can get som nice stuff with the heavier strings, and I did like some of the "fight" in the strings, but I just went down that little one gauge and it feels like I came home. I hope this lasts!
     
  4. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    I recently admitted to myself that I will need a 2nd board for similar reasons as you have mentioned. I had to stop kidding myself and just admit that I have a problem, a fun problem at least.
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Yeah...so far haven't had to resort to something like "well...you know, OTHER husbands go out drinking, picking up strange women, out til all hours. I mean if you PREFER that I give up this hobby...." because my wife is wonderful (and would probably laugh in my face at the absurdity) and really supportive.

    There are MANY worse problems one could have. Even just vegging out on the couch every night has it's price in wasted time, non-accomplishment, probably worse health.

    But I'm justifying, really, it can be expensive, but I limit myself when I notice I've been spending too much. I'm spending way more time playing, and am really happy with it. My wife too.
     
  6. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    I have been using 2 boards for years now. Pain to haul some days, but worth it, always worth it.
     
  7. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Note to self: yes, keep all those great lead pedals I've acquired and don't use much - they all sound great and will eventually rotate back into use - and, they'll bring out other aspects of my playing.

    Thanks guys. I knew I was holding on to these boxes for something:eek: :)

    jon
     
  8. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I've recently started doing the same thing. I had a huge board, 30" long with about 15 pedals on it, which I downsized to a 24" with 10 pedals about a year ago. Still, I found myself doing bluesy gigs with a particular band and just didn't need all the extras, and besides felt a little silly carrying the "command center" into a blues club....my solution was to make a "blues board", about 7x18", with just a TIM, tremolo, and AD900 delay on it, powered by a Pedal Power. Sometimes I would swap a Dyna Red for the TIM and a Phase90 for the trem for more rock jams....and I really enjoyed just traveling light and didn't really miss anything on the big board. But, for certain jamming situations or larger gigs in rock clubs, I'll go ahead and bring the whole board, which has an RMC3, fuzz, Red Witch phaser, envelope filter, three dirt boxes, tremolo and DD-20 delay. I like having all the tonal options at those times, even if I only use them once or twice a night. But's it's also nice to just grab something small and simple and get a good basic tone and just play.....
     
  9. amper

    amper Member

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    Hah, that's funny, I'm just the reverse. I've been playing for years with a whole string of Boss pedals for our noise-pop/dream-pop/shoegazer sound, but lately, I've found myself assembling a "Blues & Hendrix" type of pedalboard.
     
  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking about doing the same thing.

    1 small board w/ power supply, delay, comp, maybe a Honey Drip, and tuner. That's for the Cowboy gigs (which I seem to be doing more and more of these days)

    And another board, same size, with Wah and/or Volume pedal, Chorus, and maybe a high-gain pedal, for more daring sounds (GRIN) And some long power supply cables to connect to the other side. Hell, maybe a power supply on that one too.

    That gives me 2 'grab & go' units.

    With some luck, I can still get away with just a guitar and an amp on some of these gigs - Sheesh!

    Dana
     
  11. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I know just what you mean.

    Since getting my indyguitarist DS-1 pedal, I really want to join a trio-type band (plus singer) using the DS-1, my marshall jackhammer (on OD), and my rc-20xl. It's such a great deal.

    And when I was comparing the DS-1 to my Hot British, I started fiddling with the knobs on the HB again, something I've only done twice before (first time was when i got the damn thing). I never realized the thing could sound so good without being on the fat voicing!

    It's really fun to experiment. The HB is an extreme of what you're talking about, though, since it's got a plethora of knobs and switches, and turning a knob just from 12 to 12:30 makes a HUGE difference; there are almost infinite types of sounds you can get from it
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    The weirdest thing to me is how I sometimes get familiar with a new pedal purchase. I often have a set idea about where I think I am going to want to set it. Sometimes it produces the sound I was after, sometimes I have to adjust a little. Sometimes I slightly go into a territory that feels "wrong", and it is hard to sometimes break out of my set ideas...I mean after all, I've been playing for 30+ years right?

    Wrong. I find all the time that if I remember to "be daring" (jeez...I never thought I'd get so set in my ways) and actually set it "wrong" and find out what sounds I can get, I get surprised, like the other night. It's really stupid, and I didn't used to be that way, but I do it more with certain pedals too, often OD's for some unkown to me reason.

    It's at the edges that the fun often begins. Just like, I think many guitarists are surprisngly conservative in their equipment, and for that matter world view, I thought I was different :) but anyway, it is like when you play and think you did GREAT and folks seem a little indifferent, and other times you feel like you totally "lost control" and made lots of blunders and all, an things were out of control, and folks come up afterwards and say "MAN...that was KILLER! That was the BEST!"

    I think maybe it translates when you honestly are playing out of control, and something takes over.

    Anyway, I gotta either buy a small pedalboard, and make it my "other" musical side board.
     
  13. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice thread StompBoxBlues...

    I bought a discontinued pedal case from Pedal Train (when they went from one pedal board to 3 different ones) and built a pedalboard to fit inside. I have tried to impose some self-control by limiting myself to only as many pedals as fit on the board. If I pack it tight I can get 8 (including wah). My self-imposed rules force me to sell off any pedal that has been judged to be not as useful/good sounding as its replacement. Hanging out on this forum allows me to educate myself on the many options out there, and to buy and sell pedals at a relatively low cost, so I get to try out a bunch of them.

    Bottom line, my pedalboard resembles the computer in "War Games" trying to find the lauch codes. Each slot on the board has had a constant stream of new and different pedals occupying it. But every once in awhile, a pedal comes along that sticks. Lately (the last 3 months or so) I have hit a great streak by getting my COT 50, my Eternity, and my Maxon ad-80. All three of these pedals are by far the best of thier respective types I have tried out. They now have taken up permanent residence on the board, along with my Teese Picture Wah, my ChoralFlange, and my beat-up Small Stone. Open slots are becoming scarce, and I wonder if my gas will, at last, come to an end (or at least trouble me far less than it has for the last few years!). All I need now is a fuzz that I can live with (a difficult proposition for me...), a stompbox tuner (probably a Korg dt-10), and one more Maxon AD-80.

    Of course I have entertained the notion of a small additional board (big enought for only 3-4 pedals) that I could populate with GAS-inducing pedals, so that I could continue to seek inspiration by "cheating" on the pedals on my permanent board....!
     
  14. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've had two boards for a while. The church board is determined by the need for minimal hiss, the style of music and the Vox amp which seems a bit pickier than my usual Fenders. It's also a full sized Pedaltrain and fairly bulky. The other one is a Korg PME40x populated with an Overdrive (copy of a SD9 with a pair of JRC4558s) , a Distortion (fairly D+ish), analog Chorus and analog Delay-works with all my amps and covers rock and blues jams nicely. If I was doing covers I'd probably need a different board with more modulations on it. It's nice to grab a little briefcase with the Korg, tuner, cables and chords inside, a little Fender combo and I'm good to go for almost anything...
     

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