The 8th Pedal. What? Why?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Rich_S, May 17, 2019.

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I started my present pedalboard back in the '80s with five pedals, all Boss: CE-2, BF-2, a pair of DD-3s, and a GE-7 for a lead boost. When I started playing again in the 2000's, the Intarwebz' bad influence got me interested in more pedals. I added a second level and more pedals. I got up to seven and ran out of room. Then I swapped in a couple of mini-pedals to make room to squish one more in there. (Although I must admit I bought the Phase 95 NOT because it's a mini-pedal, but because it's awesome.)

    So now I'm up to eight pedals, not counting the tuner: DIY Stratoblaster clone, BB Preamp, Phase 95, CE-3 chorus, BF-2 flanger, Grand Canyon delay, TR-2 tremolo, and... THE 8TH PEDAL.

    For a long time, it's been my DIY paisley Rat clone. I really love the Rat, but any time I needed dirt, I found I preferred the BB Preamp, so the Rat was going unused. Recently, I was digging the sounds Warren Cuccurullo got in Missing Persons with his Foxx Tone Machine, so I swapped out the Rat for an MXR La Machine. If I'm not using the Rat, might as well replace it with something really outrageous that's nowhere near BB territory, right? Wrong. La Machine, while a great pedal, just doesn't fit in with the rest of the board.

    Then I was testing out my island of misfit toys board, where I recently stuck a bunch of things that didn't make the cut on the main board. I played a couple songs through the MXR Custom Comp and LOVED it. Maybe the Custom Comp should be on the main board!?! Maybe I have all the boost/dirt I need and a compressor is the flavor that's missing.

    So, I stuck the Comp on the floor next to my board and played a bunch of songs for our upcoming reunion gig, playing along with the recordings. Compressor on, compressor off... I can hear a difference, but really - in the band mix - it's subtle. So that got me thinking I should just go back to the Rat.

    Which loops right around to, "Love it, but I always end up using the BB instead". Arrrrrgh!!!

    I'm starting to wonder why I have 8 pedals. Maybe I should just take the 8th off and spread the 7 out a bit.
     
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  2. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Meister

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    My last pedal board has 3 pedals - overdrive/chorus/delay.
    It's all you need.
     
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  3. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    I have recently been thinking along these similar lines. I started building up my pedal arsenal a couple years ago because it felt obligatory. Then I realized I wasn't using most of the pedals on my smaller pedalboard, much less the full pedalboard.

    A few weeks ago I pruned it back from 5 or 6 pedals to just running a TS9 and a Wah pedal. I sounded perfectly fine without all that other stuff. I never felt my creative impulses diminished. The more likely case for me is that all those pedals can become a distraction and it interrupts the flow/level of engagement of my playing.
     
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  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    One dirt, a boost if that's how you roll, one mod, two at the most, and one delay or verb. Any more than that and you need a MFX.
     
  5. ShortintheSleeve

    ShortintheSleeve TDPRI Member

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    I roll with six these days besides the tuner--Tumnus, Les Lius, ProCo RAT, Canyon, VCR, and a Viscous Vibe. Between the first two, I can get pretty much any rock rhythm sound for my band's music. I've got the distortion turned up to near fuzz-like levels on the RAT and use it along with the volume portion of the VCR for solos. The Canyon, the chorus and reverb sections of the VCR, and the VV I each use for specific songs and those songs wouldn't be nearly as good without them, but I use them far less than the three ODs.
     
  6. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm doing four reunion shows next month, with the band I was in back in 83/84.

    But we're an acoustic trio. No pedals for me. Just decent monitors. One of the guitar players likes to use an acoustic amp with a touch of delay and chorus. The banjo player and I will just plug into the board.
     
  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    How do you know it’s all he needs?

    (PS, My board is the same as yours, plus tuner.)
     
  8. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

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    I agree the internet is, for lack of better phrasing, like GAS on a flame (see what I did there?).

    I can say that the internet has prevented some purchases as well. Ever want a hyped pedal until you see a video?
     
  9. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    I have way too many pedals. One board has eight, another I’ve trimmed down to 5 counting a tuner. I like different flavors of overdrive on each board, but one delay or reverb is all that’s needed for the end of the line for me.
     
  10. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

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    Currently have 5 on my board. A crazy cacti (fulltone mosfet 2 clone), a speaker cranker clone that's not wired correctly and more of a fuzz, ibanez bc10, Karman Line by Hungry Robot pedals, and a DBA Reverberation machine clone for normal reverb and full on live in oil can tank.
     
  11. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    On one board, I have a Comp > three dirt pedals (TS-type, Zen Drive, Direct Drive) > Chorus > Volume Pedal feeding tuner > Delay. I guess that's eight. Oh, wait, I have a little tiny trem pedal, too.

    On the other board it's Comp > MXR CMBAOD > Ibanez Jet Drive > TC Nova Modulator >Volume Pedal feeding Tuner > TC Nova Delay. Seven on that one. But the Nova Modulator is like several pedals in one. (Phase, Flange, Trem, Vibrato, Chorus) That's the board I use the most as it has a power supply and a road-type case.
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Maybe rather than a versatile rat for the eighth spot, you need the opposite of a versatile pedal there?

    A really extreme fuzz might be the ticket if sometimes you want a different kind of dirt.
    I'm trying to get used to a Zvex Fuzzolo this month and having a tough time of it.
    Way too much bass plus shrieking squeal when I stop playing.
    But the gnarly grind is not found in Rats and TS variants.

    I find I end up making OD and dist pedals all sound the same, or if different really just an issue of too much or too little of some frequency range.
    For this reason i think it is indeed a waste to buy more OD pedals with the sort of sound you like, because it ends up being similar but not as good, or similar but a little better, so why even use the other one.

    Fuzz pedals can also sound awfully close to the same once I dial them in and use touch to make the final tonal footprint.

    So to get away from several pedals I use for basically the same sound, I've been trying to choose drastically different sounding pedals, which I then have to get used to using.
    I'm a player of habit and naturally gravitate toward the same basic range of sound, so if I want different sounds I really have to work at getting them, pretty much like working at playing in a different style.

    It has knocked me out to hear recordings where I end up making FF, Bender and Muff circuits sound exactly the same, cannot tell them apart on the recordings.

    Same with various OD pedals, my basic sound stays basically the same, maybe a little better and a little worse, or one has too much bass and mushes the amp out.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  13. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    for some kinds of music.
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Seriously?
    What kind of music NEEDS chorus???

    (Hahahahahahahahahahahaha)
     
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  15. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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  16. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Meister

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    Kind of a big footprint and you’re trying to downsize but the 10 band eq has completely transformed my board.
    [​IMG]

    It does everything. I’ve got it first in my effects loop so I can shape everything before it. Noise gate pedal at the end of the pedal chain before the amp and then this up in the loop and I can run some pretty crazy combinations of pedals with very little noise. Seriously, though, maybe look into an eq pedal. It can really do a lot more than just eq.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Meister

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    Obviously, not the kind of music you play
    Seriously mate, don't take the piss. It's not cool.
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was joking about chorus, hence the laughing.

    You sounded pretty serious when you told the OP three pedals was all he needed?
     
  19. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    I have two boards... one with tuner, OD, 2nd OD/boost, and vibe. The other with those plus 2 more ODs, compressor, chorus, delay, and wah.

    Horses for courses.
     
  20. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    goth and death rock and husker du and french oi! duh. modulated dirt is also a big part of japanese hardcore.
     
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