There exists a certain breed of musician that anguishes over tone, spends hours sifting through the Harmony Central message boards and checks Craigslist daily for an original Digitech Whammy. You can usually find them in the first row of concerts several minutes before and after the performance, leaning over the front of the stage to get a glimpse at their favorite guitarist’s rig. I’m usually one of those guys - I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out what my sound is, and how to get that specific sound in a series of pedals, amplifiers or pick-ups.
Because I love picking other musician’s brains about what they’re playing, what new gear they love and what gear they hate, I’m going to be writing a series of posts about the gear we’ve used to play live and to record our latest album, Kissing in Brackets. For part I, I’m going to talk about my new pedalboard as a whole.
I decided to make the actual board by myself, out of wood from Home Depot and fabric from some other store. It’s really not terrible to do if you have the right tools and a day or two to commit to it.
I decided I wanted two shelves, with a little extra room on one side for some expression pedals. The room underneath the shelf would act as a place to store any sort of power supply that I needed. I ended up going with the Voodoo Labs supply.
The fabric was easy to apply - just stretch it over the surfaces (after disassembling everything) and use some spray adhesive. That stuff is so strong that I can’t imagine it ever falling off of the board.
And…… This is what I’m playing out of at this moment. I’m planning on adding a wah pedal of some sort and potentially an expression pedal to better control the Line 6 DL-4. As for the order, we’ve got
PolyTune > Barber Tone Press > Trachouse Clean Boost > Ibanez TS 808 (Keeley mod) > Pedals By Tone Marshall Bluesbreaker/Guv’nor type pedal > Roger Mayer Axis Fuzz > Line 6 DL-4 > Analogman Chorus > Digitech Reverb
The best part of this specific set-up is that all of these pedals play really well with each other. I usually run at least two of my overdrive pedals at once. Lately I’ve been falling in love with the Pedals by Tone Bluesbreaker clone, which has more crunch that the TS-808 and a really wide range of sounds depending on where the gain and volume knobs are. I usually turn the tone know up to about 3/4. The space-ship-looking pedal next to it is a Roger Mayer Axis Fuzz that I found on eBay. It’s an older one, and I love it dearly. I got it when I was really getting into Axis: Bold as Love as a teenager, an album that I’m still in awe of. The fuzz cuts through so directly in a way that I really can’t explain well. I can’t wait to find a specific use for it on a Scott Pine track.
My other new acquisition is the Analogman Chorus, which I’ve also been keeping on nearly all the time at practice. I wish I had it when I was recording The Best Kind of Ill - the sound is exactly what I always envisioned for that song. We’ve been writing a lot lately, and that pedal has found its way into many of the songs. I’ve yet to take it out live, but I’m sure it’s going to be an enormous upgrade.
Hooray for stuff,