Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

My pedalboard is really just a security blanket....?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by chris m., Feb 12, 2018.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    I accidentally posted this to Pedal Owner's Club-- reposted here at The Stomp Box--

    My simple little pedalboard is SD1--->OD3-->Eventide H9 with expression pedal-->carbon copy delay-->GE7. Eventide has a tuner mode so that got rid of a separate tuner pedal.

    I played a really fun gig last Saturday night at a great venue. I play in a six piece funk band-- two guitars, sax, bass, drums, keyboard. We were on for an hour before the headliner. The backline amp was a Twin Reverb. I toyed with the idea of just bringing the OD3 with a battery in it, but then decided somewhat anxiously that I wanted my whole board. The Eventide is nice because it gives me autowah, wah, phase shifter, flanger, chorus, tremolo, Whammy pedal, and a few other interesting effects all in one pedal. But I tend to use it very sparingly....I typically select just one effect that I plan to use on a song, call up the preset, and kick it on just for that song in the spot that it makes sense.

    So for the whole hour the only pedal I used was the SD1. With its mid-hump it worked perfectly as a nice lead boost, providing some compression, focus, and clarity to my lead tone. My guitar stays nicely in tune so I never touched the tuners or kicked on the tuner mode. I never used any of the modulation effects or anything else. Oh wait, that's not entirely true. For one lead I kicked on the Carbon Copy Delay.

    So at the end of the day I think I brought the whole board as well as its extension cord and power supply just because I was a little nervous about not having it. Next time maybe I'll bring one or two dirt pedals with batteries in them and call it a day, with a peghead clip-on tuner. I would even contemplate plugging straight in but with something like a Twin it's going to be too clean for the lead parts all by itself (at least for me).

    chris m.
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    i always bring mine, ...years of tone build up..sd1 is def my main pedal for Fender reverbs,,but its nice to have the tone you need pretty much at all times..

    Attached Files:

    dr_tom and RetroTeleRod like this.
  3. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 6, 2010
    Depends on the gig. Sometimes, just an SD-1 isn't going to be enough.
  4. Kayle McGuire

    Kayle McGuire Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2017
    I totally can relate. I bring my whole pedalboard, consisting of 13 pedals, but I only use 5-6 frequently.
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I can relate. My board is down to this:


    In one band, I sometimes need more sustain so I’ll kick on the OD. And I sometimes need certain delay effects, so I kick on the DD7.

    In the other two bands, I really only need the footswitch (Jazz Chorus - Chorus/vibrato) and the tuner. The board is so compact it’s easier to just bring it anyway.
    czech-one-2 and lefty73 like this.
  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    What is the difference between the TU-3 and the TU-3W waza version tuners?
  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    In my case, that I bent the power input on my TU3 and it stopped working reliably. :)

    Seriously, the big difference is the TBP/buffer switch. As you may have noticed, I like Boss pedals. So I thought having one TBP option might be useful. Now that I’m down to three pedals I probably doesn’t matter.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Thanks, Just curious. I use a TU-3 currently and was thinking putting together another small board and I need a tuner for that.
  9. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Not like your talking about some 17 pedal, 75lb monster board.
  10. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 19, 2011
    As @DaveKS mentions above, it's not like you're hauling around a refrigerator-sized rack. And I'm sure if the gig was going sideways you would've found something helpful in the H9 or Carbon Copy. FX pedals are sometimes better used as problem solvers than the intended effects. Maybe your guitar is sounding a bit sterile through the PA, so you add in a bit of slapback delay or spring reverb to give it a little more mojo. Maybe you're playing a Tele and a Les Paul, and you need a little extra something the SD-1 provide to bump up the output of the Tele closer to the LP. Things like that...

    I think of the pedalboard less as a security blanket and more like a Swiss Army knife. As long as you're willing to, and have the options available to, tinker with it, then you're good. I always cringe a little when I see boards where the pedals are secured (screwed down, zip-tied, whatever) to the board. At that point you're all-in with that board unless you decide to make a significant change. Hey, if you're good, I'm good, but I wouldn't be good. As a cover band and open mic veteran who's used his share of questionable venue- or host-provided backlines, having the ability to swap things in and out as needed is not just nice to have, sometimes you flat out need it. Hence my "problem solver" approach, above.

    Guaranteed there will be a future gig where as you leave you choose the less is more route, and after you get there you realize you need more. Murphy's Law...
    dswo likes this.
  11. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Most rock is just amplified folk music. Relatively simple chords, straightforward root three five harmony. Easy to learn and start playing quickly. Nothing wrong with that!

    In, say, jazz, you usually have no effects and lots of complicated harmonies going on--dissonant intervals, upper level extensions, lots of chord substitution. The whole point is calling attention to your slick and overly complex harmonic additions and inversions.

    Effects are just used to dress up major chords in new clothes. They make the same old thing sound different. Again, not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it is what it is. Case in point would The Edge. Tired of the playing a G5, which technically isn't even a chord? Add delay! It's still amplified folk music, but with a twist. In a creative player, pedals make new sounds, in a not-creative player, pedals are like lipstick on a pig. Just adding chorus to that Dmajor does not make it more interesting or a better song. Try pressing another footswitch.

    I've done a ton of gigs with a friend who is just guitar/cord/amp, and he gets way with it because he's a great player focused on playing music rather than on making sounds. There's a lot ot be said for that approach.
    Gibsonsmu and mpassell like this.
  12. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

    May 13, 2009
    A plumber doesn't bring just one wrench to the job.
    cyclopean and artdecade like this.
  13. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

    Feb 14, 2014
    Denver, co
    I use to have three dirt pedals on my board, and now have none. With My Z-Lux or my Z-wreck I just don't need dirt pedals at all. I wasn't using them ever, but I left them on "just in case." I truly think that is due to the years of always having them on the board. Having them there WAS a security thing. I can remember the first time I actually took them all of the board and played my first show without them. I was so freaking nervous! Not having them on my board retaught me how to ride my volume knob to go from dirty to clean.
  14. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jul 2, 2015
    At a gig with a number of bands, when our turn came, up my amp wouldn't work, and after too long a time fiddling with it, someone offered their amp which was set up ready to go.

    At that point we were late enough that I didn't even bother running a cord over to my pedal board—which I would normally considered essential to my sound for that ensemble. I just plugged into the guy's amp, set the tone, gain & reverb to satisfactory levels and took off.

    With all my usual effects and amp tone absent, I played through the set no problem. I learned a couple of things: 1) When it comes down to the music, I really only need a guitar, a cable and an amp. 2) Don't tighten the speaker lugs right before a gig! (I did that, and the wires got crossed and shorted.)
  15. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

    Jan 24, 2011
    It depends on the gig, but for most live gigs I get I could easily play with just one pedal. I did it for years until the internet told me there were all these other wonderful gadgets out there. I like my gadgets, but I did fine when I had a tube screamer and an amp with tremolo.
  16. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    May 9, 2005
    I have a board with 7 pedals on it. I usually only use one or two, usually delay and reverb.

    I have considered just bringing a couple of pedals, but there is no advantage to doing that, in terms of setup. I went most of my life just stringing pedals together, no pedalboard.

    Once I made a pedalboard I discovered that the advantage has nothing to do with the number of pedals at your disposal and everything to do with ease of setup.

    Stringing two pedals together requires as much or more setup time and hooking up a pedalboard.
  17. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    No pedalboard reminds me of that TV show "Naked & Afraid". Of course unless your amp was a tweed deluxe, then you'd be good to go.
  18. jonhart

    jonhart Tele-Meister

    Jun 19, 2012
    Myakka City, FL
    I agree with some of your points here. Effects have their place as you stated, and often they are used as a crutch. Many players get too caught up in the gear and don’t learn how to play the instrument. They reach a certain level and just roll with it, adding pedal after pedal in attempt to spice things up.

    While I do use pedals, it all just depends on the gig for me. I’m a classical player primarily at this point, but I’ve played electric for many years in various settings. Sometimes I only need overdrive and a tuner, other times I need my whole board. I would never make the generalization that all guitarists who use pedals are mediocre or bad, but it is common.
  19. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    If it's earned it's way onto my board, I'm gonna use it.
  20. mpassell

    mpassell TDPRI Member Platinum Supporter

    Sep 26, 2011
    San Francisco CA
    Or, if it's like my problem of not being coordinated enough to hit the right button at the right time and still play well.
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