My New Pedalboard – A full Tour of my gigging board
As you all know, we review pedals on this website. This means that we gather a lot of pedals of various kinds. You may also know that I am in a sort of function/wedding band. So recently I’ve decided to put together a full, new pedalboard that I would need to get various times for various songs for the band.
Well, the new pedalboard is now finished, and I thought it would be good to put an article together to go into the pedals, the layout, the cabling, the power and what I plan to do with the pedalboard going forward. Most of the pedals mentioned below have a review article, which will be linked below. So let’s first talk about the aim. What was the aim when building this board? What did I want to accomplish?
So going into this new pedalboard, what was my aim? Being in a function band, I need to cover a wide range of sounds. So may require a few pedals. However, I also wanted it to be easy to swap pedals and try new things (being that I also review pedals, I tend to chop and change a lot). Also, I needed the board to be functional! To stand up to gigging, be sturdy and strong!
A small other note is that I wanted to build it, mainly for the fun and learning experience, but also so I know how everything worked and the order etc. this way if anything was to go wrong or I wanted to change things around, I would know the order of things.
So why don’t we start at the very core? The board itself! What is the board and where did it come from?
The New pedalboard “Board”
Let’s talk about the board, for the board I was looking at various pre-made boards, however, speaking to Lewis from LT Guitars (he made my custom guitar). He was keen to build a board! So away he went! I think the board came out amazing! Perfect size! Enough space for me to expand, or shrink to one level of what I want to. I went ahead and covered it with Velcro and started to put the pedals on.
So what pedals did I use? Well, let’s go over the pedal types, why that kind of pedal and which ones I went for! Starting with the most simple pedals.
The first two pedals in the chain are both utility pedals. The first is a tuner! Everyone needs to be in tune! For my tuner I have only ever had two tuner pedals in the years I’ve been playing the guitar. Both have been the Boss TU pedals. I am currently using the TU-3 on this board. I have no issue with the Boss TU-3 tuning pedal, works exactly as I want it to!
The next utility pedal is my Digitech Drop Pedal. For some songs on the set, we have changed the key, and if I’m honest, I’m too lazy to detune or work out the chords! Just as easy to hit the drop-tune pedal and carry on. This pedal is just for pure laziness!
So, Compressor time, I am not normally a bit user of compressors, so it took me a while to use one. However, after trying the JSA Eureka compressor, I was hooked! For lovely clean funky sounds! You can’t beat it! It’s an easy way to make your cleans stand out! Almost like cheating! The eureka is on my board and whenever I need a super clean and funky sound, I click it on!
The First Boost
This is something I have only recently started doing, but I have put a boost pedal at the start of my gain stages, This allows me to drive my overdrive pedal and get more gain if required. For this, I am using the JSA Dumblemost pedal. I am massively under using this pedal, but love the sound and flexibility of the Boost side, with the added Treble and Bass controls I can punch in a bit of bass if needed.
If I am playing a song that I need more gain for, I can switch this on and this will drive my main overdrive pedal more, giving more gain, but not increasing the volume by much.
For my main overdrive pedal, I am currently using the Mosky Golden Horse. This is a super affordable Klon clone. I am using the pedal to drive the amp fairly hard, then I can use my volume to clean it up if needed. Pair this with the JSA Dumblemost beforehand and I can have as much or as little gain as I want. I find myself keeping the tone fairly central and leaving it at 12 o clock, then adjusting the volume as needed.
Being that this pedal is in a “mini pedal” form factor, it makes it a great addition because it doesn’t take up much room on the board, but allows me to widen my gain staging and sounds. Great purchase for the price!
Now, this isn’t an effect I use a whole lot! I don’t require high gain in the music I play with my function band, however, I do like experimenting and having a distortion pedal on my board, just in case! For distortion, I chop and change between two pedals, the Fuzz Imp Shroot II and the Brelliott TOPD. Both are incredibly good pedals and have their sounds! So I tend to just change them out as and when I feel like it. It all depends on my mood and the sounds I might need.
The second boost on this pedal is more of a solo boost, Just using it to add a tiny bit of gain but mainly increasing the volume. I am using the Bleak District Landscraper for this. I have used this pedal for everything in the past, However, I like it as a Boost pedal because it has such a nice sound to it and also it doesn’t have a tone control, meaning that is something I don’t have to worry about.
You may notice the Landscraper is a two-channel pedal, Meaning I can use it to get two different boost levels, I can set it up so channel one is a clean volume boost and channel two is a volume boost with a bit extra gain. I find that massively helpful for solos and punching above the rest of the band.
Everyone needs a bit of wobble in their sound. If you read our article about getting a better clean sound (read here), adding a bit of modulation will expand and make your clean sounds sound lush as well as your overdriven sounds. For modulation, I have gone for Chorus, and when talking about chorus there is only one option, Boss CE-2w. Fantastic pedal and simple to use but sounds incredible.
So the delay is a hard one because I love delays. It is one of my favourite effects. However, I am currently on two delay pedals and chop and change between them. I mainly use the Bleak District Tapescape. It’s a wonderful tape-type delay with various controls for modulation, a very nice delay! However, I have also been using the JSA Atmos delay, which sounds different and can be used in different ways. Both are amazing pedals and will continue to swap between them both.
– JSA Atmos Review (Coming Soon)
– Bleak District Tapescape Review
Few other things to mention, all the 1/4 jacks on this new pedalboard are from our good friends over at Pedal Patch. Super simple to make custom cables and keep the board as tidy as possible. I will shortly be swapping all the dc cables over to pedal patch customs.
For power, I am just using a tone city power brick! It is fairly slim and fits under the board lovely. It has a few power options allowing for higher current (great for the Digitech Drop pedal). I have had no issues with the power brick, which considering the price is a great win!
It is also worth noting that this isn’t a set-and-forget pedalboard. I will be chopping and changing pedals as I See Fit. However, the layout and pedal types will stay the same. So I might swap an overdrive pedal for an overdrive pedal or a modulation pedal for a modulation pedal. The pedals will always stay in the same order and have the same kind of layout.
So that is my new pedalboard and the layout of it. I will be running this board for a few months, then I might make an updated article about it, see what has changed and what is new. As I have mentioned above, pedal wise it will be chopping and changing fairly frequently, however, the order and layout will most likely remain the same. I might look at getting a pedal switcher, so I can have presets and scenes. We will have to see!
What is your pedalboard looking like? Let us know over on our Instagram page. We would love to see all your pedalboard builds and what you have done to them.
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