Gear Ov Hell: Pedals for the Pedal God

Welcome to a new feature where we discuss what music gear you’re using and/or abusing. Up first: things you put on the floor and hit with your foot.

When I first started playing guitar and bass, I was of the opinion that effects and pedals and whatnot only impeded an instrument’s true, intended tone. I felt that musicians should, wherever possible, strive to make do with only the absolute minimum of unnecessary extras. You should be able to achieve everything you need with your guitar, your amp and little to nothing else. I reached this conclusion because A) I didn’t have any money to buy that cool extra stuff anyway, and B) I had been playing for like 2 weeks and I was a fucking idiot.

Fast forward a number of years and I’ve found myself unable to escape the maelstrom of researching and trying new effect pedals. Anyone who’s been down or is currently going down this path probably reached it in a similar way. “$50 for a tuner pedal? Sure why not, that’s all I really need though.” “You know a little overdrive pedal might not hurt either.” “Actually a tremolo effect might also be useful, let’s get that.” “Oh man I need that fuzz box, I need it bad.” “Holy shit someone made this?! Fuck it it’s mine, too.” You get one, you want another. You get three, you want three more.

pedals1

And once you’ve built up a collection of a few pedals, you can’t just be hauling them around and plugging them in one-by-one each time like a hobo; you need yourself a pedalboard. You can either take the lolbuttz approach or get a little more hands on and make your own. A toileteer recently told me he once witnessed a guitarist using a wooden pallet plank with his pedals duct-taped onto it like a goddamned majestic DIY king. We should all strive to be so kvlt.

All this is an especially easy thing to become addicted to. Not only does hearing new music make you want to emulate certain tones, but in acquiring new gear to get those tones you become more inspired to play, and you get that much better at tuning your sound to match your song, artist or genre of choice. Plus, it’s fun as hell having an array of sonic possibilities at your feet with which to melt faces and/or slay posers. Or fuck dragons if that’s your thing, but I don’t think that has a specific sound yet. Maybe this, but correct me if I’m wrong.

pedalboard1

So if you’re in a similar position of tracking down tiny little metal devices you lay out on the filthy floor and smash with your feet, jump down to the comments and tell us what you’re using. Share what the ever-reliable mailman bro has recently brought you gear-wise and whether or not it lives up to its usefulness – or, if you’re in need of a recommendation, list your requirements. This obviously goes for drummers too, whose pedals have fewer blinky lights but receive infinitely more foot-smashing (and occasionally kick flips).


(Images via via via)

Written by:

Published on: April 20, 2016

Filled Under: Nerd Shit, Open Swim

Views: 1421

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  • BALLS ROLL

    Yes!!!! here’s my board.

    • Do I see a big muff?

      • BALLS ROLL

        my dad gave it to me, that;s the only reason that shitbox does not live at the local pawn shop

        • BOO

        • CyberneticOrganism

          I never liked the sound of those things, too soft

          • BALLS ROLL

            too much secondhand weed smoke bro

    • CyberneticOrganism

      What are those wide ones?

      • EsusMoose

        Line 6’s delay box is the green one and I think the blue one is the modulation box.

        • BALLS ROLL

          Poormans Eventide Harmonizer

    • Pentagram Sam

      upvote for three bucker guitar LP or SG?

      • BALLS ROLL

        Black Beauty LP

    • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

      I noticed your big muff isn’t in the chain. That is incorrect.

      • BALLS ROLL

        that’s just like, your opinion

        • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

          ,man.

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      Makes me smile

  • EsusMoose

    For bass I still just run a Russian big muff into a tech 21 sansamp. I need a compressor but I want a delay, envelope filter, a nice reverb, pitch shift, octave pedal, overdrive… Yeah a lot of stuff.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      The sansamp is a beast, I love that thing. What overdrive are you considering?

      • EsusMoose

        I actually need to watch/listen to them, never owned one for either bass or guitar so don’t really know what I’m looking for

        • CyberneticOrganism

          You can’t go wrong with Darkglass, though they’re pricey; got mine used. But like everyone here has noted you can tune & tweak almost anything to get a decent sound.

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      RUSSIAN BIG MUFF>>>>>>>

  • I just run my Line 6 POD straight into my axefx combo amp

    • EsusMoose

      Dont forget your guitar pro sending the signal out.

    • What’s Misha Mansoor doing over here!?

    • BALLS ROLL

      flush your modeling amp. Valves or death

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      Axefx combo? Tell me more

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      Heh. Heh. Heh

  • When Boss releases the HM-2 Deluxe. It will be a game changer.

    • I just got your name

    • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze
      • I think I need this now. You’re a bad person.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Fuuuuck

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            Yes, but that was is crazy expensive for what it is. I’m gonna post my board in a second.

        • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze
        • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

          Here she is. POG currently after Fuzz War though.

          • I want that Radical pedal. Big fan of the Cathedral reverb, btw. Shit’s noice.

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            The radical is amazing. Pretty easy to dial in some cool sounds. Cathedral took a while for me to learn it’s ways, and I’m still discovering new sounds with it.

          • BALLS ROLL

            you really like those EH pedals

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            It’s only 3 haha. But really, I hardly use the small clone anymore. It’s just like my oldest pedal and for some reason never got rid of it. It just takes up space.

      • BALLS ROLL

        that’s really cool

      • “Left Hand Wrath” , they’re got their target audience with that name.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Is that a real thing?

      • Not that I know of. You would think that they’d try and top one their best sellers at some point.

  • Currently…

    SABIAN 21″ AA Thin Crash
    SABIAN 18″ AAX Metal Crash
    SABIAN 14″ AAX X-Celerator Hats
    SABIAN 21″ HH Raw Bell Ride
    SABIAN 20″ AA Metal Chinese
    Trick PRO1-V Double Bass Drum Pedal
    Pearl Free Floating Copper Shell Snare 14″ x 5″
    Pearl Masters Mahogany Classic Kit

    • Look at that Tyree!!! Listing his drum kit like a pro!

      Cheers!!

    • EsusMoose

      Mmm mahogany

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Not seeing a cowbell in there…

    • CyberneticOrganism

      You ever try Vdrums? I know someone who recently got some for practice purposes.

      • I have a set, yup. Rarely ever use it anymore. I could probably sell it for $4,000 if I wanted.

      • BALLS ROLL

        like tyree needs practice

      • Max

        Practice purpose is all I use them for anymore. I seldom bother to switch them on. I do like ’em though. If you live in an apartment and can’t set up your acoustic kit, they’re a godsend for keeping you in the game.

    • hieronymus bossk

      Gretsch kit thrown about my attic in shambles. Don’t even know what model, or what model cymbals. Some kind of Pearl double bass pedal. Snare has fist-sized hole through both beater side and resonant side. Floor tom has indent of several knuckle marks in resonant side. Haven’t played in almost two years. Danny Carey signature Vic Firth sticks.

        • That ride of his though. It’s very purply.
          http://i.imgur.com/uA47vIm.jpg

          • Lacertilian

            Soon to appear on the next The Faceless album, and then every subsequent tech release after.

        • hieronymus bossk

          I love them. Took me a few minutes to get used to the subtle tapper where your fingers hold the stick, but I really liked the feel of it.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QcaoL1vrtw

          Also; the tapper thing actually improves the blasts because it feels heavier at the top.

          • I’ll have to get a pair to try. I’ve resisted for many years now. If anything, It would be cool to just have a pair to show off.

          • hieronymus bossk

            It’s definitely something different, in a good way. Rolls and little cymbal accents on the ride feel easier too. Makes your stick/hand more mobile.

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      Two of my uncles had pearl kits and both of their parents sold them and kept the money.

      • Poopy. Sounds like Nick Andopolis’s dad from Freaks and Geeks.

        • Dave Vincent’s Perm

          I saw somebody selling a purple Pearl Reference custom shop kit on gumtree. I have little authority on drums but to me it looked awesome.

        • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

          That episode ripped my heart in half.

  • Guacamole Jim

    I’m a drummer, so don’t use pedals myself, but my old band made the switch to digital units (a POD something or other and a 11 Rack, I think) which made life a lot easier. The tone isn’t as good, but it beat using massive pedalboards that always seemed to have something go wrong with them at gig time. I am on board with the convenience of the digital age!

  • I don’t play much electric guitar lately, but when I do, this is my favorite thing to use.
    http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/750/POG2-large.jpg

    • EsusMoose

      I want that.

      • It’s the most versatile pedal I’ve ever had. When used in conjunction with the rest of your board you can do all kinds of crazy shit.

        • EsusMoose

          If only I was willing to spend the 300 or so to get it.

          • I hounded craiglist for months to get a deal.

          • EsusMoose

            I might have to do that, this and the orchestra pedal by ehx are things I want badly.

    • The Tetrachord of Archytas

      I love EHX pedals

      • BALLS ROLL

        I find them to be disappointing in their dynamic ranges

        • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

          Clearly you’ve never played a HOG

          • BALLS ROLL

            I’ve been disappointed by too many to continue to let them hurt me

        • The Tetrachord of Archytas

          I actually agree. I rarely write things where I know what effect I want. I usually find combinations of sounds I find interesting and improvise from there. So I think the singular function of those pedals is less useful. But their potential for unique and weird sounds, especially in combination, is fantastic.

  • Dubs

    Don’t forget to post pictures of your capes if you write Dungeon Synth.

    • When you’re a magical medieval boi, you wear capes everyday!

    • hieronymus bossk

      Not all Dungeon Synth masters wear capes…some wear trench coats.

  • Good disqus theme, CyBro!

    I’m not an electric guitar player, so I don’t know any of this topics. But, I’m interested on knowing which tips do you have for third world country bands to set up their own sound, which twitches or fix can you made to these electronic devices to cheap the costs of this expensive equiment?

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Have you tried ebay? I get almost everything there.

      • We don’t have freely access to dollars right now, so exporting from the US is a No-No in this year.

    • The Tetrachord of Archytas

      Treating tone as part of what makes up a song is a good way to go. As opposed to figuring out tone later, you can develop your ear and taste for it and it can be a part of the writing process. Doesn’t really matter how much or little gear you have either. Every thing you do or don’t have available can become an element in composition.

  • RustyShackleford

    I’m gonna say that the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone pedal is criminally underrated for being too basic. It was literally the only distortion pedal I had throughout all of high school and I was so dialed in how to get precise tones with it. Great for some nice hard rock riffs, or even just SLIGHT gain for blues solos and whatnot. Hooked up to my Gibson studio deluxe and Fender Twin-Reverb, shit was nice! Yep!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I’ve read about a lot of people coaxing a decent sound out of that little shitbox

      • RustyShackleford

        Yeah man. I mean it made all the difference (at least I think so) to have a really nice, powerful tube amp, plus an actually great guitar. So many times people would say “dude you can’t use that pedal for this” and then later it would sound dope haha

      • BALLS ROLL

        the only way to play it is maxed out into the front of a maxed out peavy bandit

      • Scrimm

        It made a decent sound when it landed in my trash can

  • I literally have one pedal and I pretty much never use it.
    http://medias.audiofanzine.com/images/normal/boss-odb-3-bass-overdrive-621905.jpg

    • Oh Ann.

      GL

      • I can sort of play my instrument but i know next to nothing about pedals, amps, etc. I’ve tried to learn, it’s just all too much.

        • Music, to me, is supposed to be all about fun. If you are trying to play and instrument and you are not having fun, then you are surely doing something wrong. So I completely understand 🙂

    • Waynecro

      I have that one, too!

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      Send it to me.

  • Commodore Chomp

    Hadean bassist here. My pedal collection has gotten pretty big over the years, but right now my studio/live rig is super simple. I’ve mostly used the Malazadas (http://www.effectsdatabase.com/interviews/brands/maderite) to get some dirt, but about a month ago I picked up a Boss bass OD to feed into the Malazadas at low gain for more flexibility. Near future I’m looking to add a Boss DD-7, buffer modded EB VP Jr, and Digitech Bass Chorus to the mix. Also considering a Noisekick Horsey (https://reverb.com/item/391712-noisekick-fx-horsey-distortion-fuzz) just to have an “obliterate all clean signal” option at my feet.

    Tuner pedal too, of course. Because my BEAD tuned Grabber isn’t staying that way through a set on its own.

    • Hail warrior!

      GL

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Niiiiice 👍

    • Commodore Chomp

      My Malazadas. An output knob and a drive knob correspond to the OD on the left, and a volume knob corresponds to the boost on the right. Best pedal I’ve ever used in terms of retaining the better qualities of my instrument/amp tone when I’m in top gear.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      And hey thanks for chiming in dude, On Fading is a serious piece of work.

  • BALLS ROLL

    not pedal, but I badly want to find an Eventide 3000 ultra harmonizer that’s not over $1000

  • BALLS ROLL
    • CyberneticOrganism

      That’s bizarre, I can only imagine how much it’d cost were it actually for sale

      • BALLS ROLL

        $6000 is what the interweb says

        • CyberneticOrganism

          *spit take*

          • BALLS ROLL

            expensive conversation piece

  • BALLS ROLL

    Does anyone here have a Boss Slow Gear pedal?

  • Full disclosure: I am a cheap, cheap ass. I only use this 25 year old effects processor from Yamaha (it is terrible) I can get close enough to the sound I want and I do not need to go on a life long quest to find the best pedal (s). I guess it is consider a rack effect? When I play on my acoustic (95% of time), I do not need a pedal.

    GL

    http://c1.zzounds.com/media/fit,2018by3200/quality,85/SPX2000-7c258570d4f8e2f38eeffd201b2b46bb.jpg

    • BALLS ROLL

      those older rack units like that have pretty swell effects

      • The effects are OK, it is just the navigation that is super clunky. But given it was bought it 90′, I guess it was cutting edge then.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Here’s mine. I call it “Limehouse Willie”

    • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

      running out of room?

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Almost! Everything fits snugly right now. The drive pedals are close enough to where I can switch one off and another on in the same kick.

    • This also doubles as an S&M dungeon for rats.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        If I had a nickel for every time I heard that

  • Scrimm
    • CyberneticOrganism

      Correct.

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      Maybe one day I’ll paint my shitty MT-2 navy blue and scribble on it in orange to convince myself I actually own a decent pedal.

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      …to rule them all

  • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

    uh, all i need is distortion . . .

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    Shit I was mentioned in passing on a Toilet column I finally made it

  • Óðinn
  • Óðinn
  • HessianHunter

    When I play synth, I basically always run it through a Z-Vex Fuzz Factory http://www.zvex.com/products/fuzz-factory

    • HESSIANHUNTER

      GL

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      I bet that sounds sick!

  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

    I hate pedals. Because i want them all.

  • Waynecro

    “And once you’ve built up a collection of a few pedals, you can’t just be hauling them around and plugging them in one-by-one each time like a hobo.” This line cracked me the fuck up. Perhaps because I was picturing a hobo with a bindle full of pedals.

    When I played bass in bands, I sometimes used a wah pedal and a distortion pedal (pretty much every band covered “For Whom the Bell Tolls”). I might have had a chorus or reverb pedal as well, but I usually played through just an amp. I have a pretty sweet-looking death-metal-distortion pedal for guitar that I got ages ago, but I seldom play through an amp these days. I usually play through a Vox headphone amp.

    • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

      i had one of those distortion pedals as a lad

      • Waynecro

        I must have gotten it when I was, like, 15. If its settings aren’t just right, it squeals like a motherfucker.

        • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

          thats prolly about how long ago i had it, and we’re around the same age. i dont remember it gettin a lot of use

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, you have to fuck with the settings forever to make it sound good at all. It’s harsh and noisy as fuck. My brother had the grunge-distortion pedal that company made at around the same time, and it actually sounds a bit better.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            kinda makes me wanna get another one

    • CyberneticOrganism

      After hearing that Flea version of the national anthem, I’ll never touch a bass wah again

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    my humble rig. I dream of earthquaker devices and dwarf craft pedals additions

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Just looked up dwarfcraft, holy shit those are cool.

      • The Tetrachord of Archytas

        Yeah I heard about them through Bon Iver who apparently used the shit out of em for his second record. Coheed uses em too apparently just because they’re unpredictable in a good way

    • Owlswald

      Cathedral reverb is the shit.

  • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze
    • CyberneticOrganism

      Brilliant

  • Ol Dirty Blastbeard
  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    Next time we talk about amplificatory devices. Specifically power amps set to explode.

  • Max

    There are a few different ways to achieve the Entombedcore sound, but here’s my way (pictured below – pedal on far right is a Noise Suppressor; sorry about the blurry focus). I contend that the settings and signal chain sequence are more important than the actual pedals themselves (well, more important than the brand, anyway).

    I pretty much exclusively use Boss pedals; I have many more besides what’s pictured. (I even have an alternate set-up with different Boss pedals to achieve the same Entombedcore sound – that way I don’t have to double-track my guitars; I just send one dry take through each of the signal chains.)

    Not because I’m a paid shill or because I even particularly love Boss. But simply because they’re so ubiquitous. I know that I can always replace them pretty easily, they all agree with each other since their electronic schematics will follow similar designs, they’re relatively cheap, and if anybody ever wants to try emulating my sound, they can source the ingredients just as easily as I can. I’m not interested in boutique pedals where, like, only twelve of them were made and once you’ve busted it, you can never find that particular sound again.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Fight distortion with distortion. Nice.