Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome to my Pedals

Welcome to my pedals.

  • Dunlop Cry-Baby Wah
  • Boss CS3 Compressor/Sustainer
  • Behringer Overdrive/Distortion
  • Digitech Death Metal Distortion
  • Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo
  • ToneWorks (KORG) AX1500G
Honestly, I could probably get much of what of what I have on the floor through the 1500, which is a multi-effects box. I mostly use it as an amp simulator, though, and as a tuner pedal. (There is no one-step tuner, though. I have to lean down and press 2 buttons to go into tuner mode. Clearly a design for the home player, not for playing out. But it is mine, so I like it.

Even as I consider replacement possibilities.

I've been torn about the placement of the wah, before or after compression, but I've decided "That's the way Jimi Hendrix woulda done it". 

You'll notice that I have little pieces of electrical tape with my preferred settings on the fronts of many of my pedals. I have my compression at about 12 o'clock for all but sustain, which gives me the feel of having out-of-control feeding-back overdrive without actually having the harsh tone. I'm not using it all the time, but I do use it a fair amount. 

I have the Overdrive/Distortion set with the gain knob all the way down, so it's just a volume boost. I have a decent, non-harsh clean sound I like, but it's like there's no oomph behind it, so the O/D pedal is there just to give me a some of that oomph.

I have no settings for the Death Metal pedal. It's all the gain, really, so I find myself turning it back so I just have usable gain. And the soundman says I'm still not there yet.

The tremolo is not the most expensive there is, but I could dial it to what feels like a Fender amp tremolo — always remember and never forget, the circuit on the amp that messes with volume is tremolo, not vibrato, and the bar that connects to the bridge is vibrato, not tremolo — while the more expensive pedals I picked out just could not, so this is my tremolo.

As mentioned, the AX1500G is a multi-effects unit, and I don't use it for much. Clean amp and speaker simulation, volume pedal, tuner, and that's just about it. It has all sorts of fun stuff, like univibe, ring modulation, autowah, echo, reverb and lots and lots of different GRRRR sounds, but if I set them up with specific patches, It's hard to switch off the tremolo without changing the echo and gain, so I'm a pedal guy. I've seen multieffect boxes that claim to let me access each effect in a patch, but that's not what I have right now.

The top of my current wish list is for a delay pedal with a reverse setting, to get the weird backwards-tracked sounds, and maybe tap temp off the side. I'm thinking that if I get a SansAmp Blonde pedal, a decent volume pedal and a good tuner pedal, plus power and a box to put them all in, I'd be in a good place.


Furtheron said...

I'm planning on putting mine all in a pedal board - I'm thinking I'll build one as a DIY project. I ought to cover it on my blog or at somewhere like Rock-Til-You-Drop.

I'm a Boss man... i.e. Digital delay, Flanger, Phaser and Chorus all Boss... just a Marshall Guvnor (rarely used) and a Cry Baby... thinking about a Vox replacement make up the rest. I want a tuner... either the new Boss one or I like the look of the little Korg one.

Dave Jacoby said...

Honestly, CraigsList is my brand for pedals, as you might tell. The wah came from my neighbor. The Behringer was a christmas gift. Only the Cool Cat came from the store. Well, the AX came from Musician's Friend, too, but I class it differently from the others.

I have a board big enough to mount everything on, mostly. I like the idea of the Rondo briefcase design, though. And I'm thinking of kicking from the 9-volt habit and getting a OneSpot, too.

I'm sold on delay. It's a very varied and useful thing, going from doubling to slapback to faux reverb to ping-pong to the whole Edge or Gilmour thing. I just reset the first patch of my effects to give me dry, a little, and full-on Albert Lee echo. But for flange, phase and chorus, I'm less sold. What do you use those for?

I'm sure the Boss tuner (old or new) or the Korg Pitchblack will do me, but I've heard good things about the new TC tuner, which can tell you about all six strings at once. I'm reminded of the bassist joke — "The guitarist tuned down one of my strings, and won't tell me which one!" — but there isn't a strong need for that.

The ultimate torture-test for tuners, one I've never seen on YouTube, is to show them outside on a bright, sunny day to see which one you can tune then.

Sammy said...

Dave, you really should get the One-Spot. It's relatively inexpensive and pays for itself quickly. Plus it doesn't suddenly run out of juice.

As for CL for purchasing needs (or eBay), it's the way to go. The second you put your foot on a brand new pedal, it's no longer new, so why not buy one used? I've only been burned once, and believe it or not, I resold the non-working pedal for 2/3 what I paid for it (WITH full disclosure of its non-working problem).

Dave Jacoby said...

I'm sold on the OneSpot, I'm just waiting for the receipt. B)

Well, yes and no. I'm curious about things like Voodoo Labs' power boxes and such, too, but this is a hobby expense, not a money maker, so it's better to get the OneSpot and make use of it unless and until it becomes obvious that there's problems that only a bigger, painted box can fix. B)

And I do keep watching the boards. C'mon, cheap Echo Park! I know you're out there!