We Live in Exciting Times

I sometimes wish I was a different guitar player.

There are so many amazing pedals out there nowadays. We really are at some kind of pedal renaissance right now. People are making all kinds of amazing pedals that I never thought I’d see. It kind of makes me wish I was more into complex signal chains with tap tempos, expression pedals, etc. But to be honest, I have no idea how to deal with those things.

I went through my Radiohead phase. I’m happy to report that I’m over it. I got into Wilco for a girl (true story). That was when Summerteeth was current. I got out. I walked away. As a result of all of this, I bought a few strange pedals that I thought would give me “art” cred.  I still have them. They sit on a shelf waiting for me to change.

Nonetheless, I find myself drawn into all of the demonstration videos about the latest pedal and how to arrange them in a signal chain. For example, I spent some quality time watching the Jason Isbell Rig Rundown. Side note: it made me very happy to learn he got gigs just because he has a Coodercaster. I have one, too! Anyone need me to show up and look awesome for your gig? Email me! At the same time, all of those pedals he uses are overwhelming. His controller is crazy.

I’ve been conflicted. Lately, I don’t find a lot of time to play as much as I’d like. So checking out the latest pedal trending is a relatively easy thing to do, especially when I’m procrastinating at work. I subscribe to several pedal-based Instagram handles. It lets me see all of the amazing stuff coming out these days. But when it’s time to think about what I’d do with the latest and greatest thing, I get completely confused. Do you overdrive a compressed signal or add a delay before an overdrive? I have no idea. I do know that the real answer is that you’re supposed to experiment around, but I don’t have the patience for that sort of thing. I just want to sound awesome and I want to look awesome, but I don’t want people to see how hard I am working to sound and look awesome.

The dangerous thing is that I have a job that pays pretty well. I can buy pedals now, so I have. Let me know unveil my new pedalboard.

20151219_114042-1

My latest pedal board setup.

It’s a Pedaltrain Metro 16 pedalboard. I posted a first draft of this pedalboard setup a while back on my facebook page, but I spent this past weekend revising it. Basically, I had to include a few old and new items, so I rearranged and rewired things. To satisfy all of you gear nerds out there, here is the signal path.

  • Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Pedal (tuner)
  • JHS Pulp ‘n Peel (compressor)
  • Mojo Hand FX Superlative (overdrive)
  • Behringer UV 300 (vibrato)
  • Catilinbread Adineko (oilcan delay)
  • Old Blood Noise Endeavors Black Fountain (oilcan delay)
  • Keeley Magnetic Echo (tape dely)

The compressor is always on. It’s got a very nice blend knob which is handy when I’m switching between different guitars. The Superlative models an overdriven small amp really well. Since I play relatively small amps, it allows me to keep the amp at the sweet spot just before breaking. Those pedals are mounted on the top of the pedalboard since I’ll never be punching them on or off very much.

As you can probably tell, I’m trying to figure out delay. It’s not so intuitive for me. The Adineko is set to be very sloshy, viscous, and uneven as an oilcan delay should be, but it’s not set to be a long delay. The Black Fountain is set to a lower viscosity, but with a longer tail. The tape delay is set to be a slapback. They’re all rather crazy delay pedals on their own. I’m hoping to figure them out even more with this new setup.

For me, the main revision to this board is the inclusion of the Behringer. I really love this pedal. It’s cheap and it gives me the Boss VB-2 vibrato without having to pay for a Boss VB-2 (as much as I’d like to have one). Ever since I learned that Big Al uses a Boss VB-2 that he bought at Real Guitars in San Francisco, I feel validated in wanting a vibrato pedal in my pedalboard. Most rececntly, I was checking out Taylor Goldsmith’s pedalboard and I saw a VB-2 prominently sitting there.

I’m pretty happy with my setup now. I can’t think of anything else I want although I’m sure you could show me something to make me take that back. So I guess that means I have to refocus back on my playing. Good. I was getting scared that I’d never get out of this whole pedal craze. It’s too much for me to handle.

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