Pedal Mania

Joe’s Pedal board.

Hows it going. Do you love a Big Muff? Or maybe your more into the Butt Probe? Or simply an Angry troll is more your thing? Whatever you’re into, in todays modern world you can find almost anything you desire. But before you get carried away, yes, I am talking about guitar and bass effects pedals. I did not make up the Big Muff, Butt Probe or Angry Troll, they are legitimate products on the guitar pedal market. It seems the clever guys and gals who sit patiently soldering circuit boards and resisters together have a pretty funny sense of humour. Long live the ridiculous pedal names. 

Here is list of some the best, most crude and down right funny effects pedal names;

Hairy balls – Fuzz
Scrotum Smasher -Distortion
Granny Puker – Octave down distortion
Erogenous Moan – Reverse tape simulation
Ego Compressor – Compression
Two Timer – Analogue delay
Verbzilla – Reverb.

Guitarists and pedal effects go hand in hand, its very rare that you will see a guitarist without some kind of circuit board to stomp on. The non user does exist, and depending on what you are trying to achieve with your sound may mean you have no need for effects of the pedal variety. It is also becoming more common to see bass players with a pedal rig of their own, in fact I would say its probably just as common, and I am no exception. With the ever evolving sound of True Strays a few pedals have become nearly necessary. So here is a run down of what I use.

For Starters its probably worth pointing out that I am running 2 sets of pedal feed, one for the upright bass and one for the electric bass. All the pedals are powered by Harvey Benton Powerplant.

The Upright feed consists of a tuner and a preamp with built in EQ and notch filter running into a a two way switch box. This is the top row on the pedal board picture starting from the right hand side.

The tuner is a Boss chromatic TU-3 it is also a mute, so when I am playing Electric I can mute the signal to the front of house from the upright.

The tuner runs into a Headway EDB-1. I can’t recommend this piece of kit more, its great. Made by a small company in Oxfordshire (Headway), If you play any acoustic instrument get one of these. It helps control your frequencies and sculp your tone. The double bass can be a tricky beast to contain in a live amplified situation, especially when in a small room with a loud band. The EDB-1 helps take back control of your sound, and also boosts your signal to the front of house engineer. Win-win. From the EDB-1 I run a feed to the Front of house and a feed to the Artec two way switch pedal which then runs into my amp. 

The Electric bass feed. Again, from the right, I start with a Boss Chromatic TU-2 tuner/mute. This then runs into an Artec Graphic EQ. The EQ helps me to keep a bit of control over the sound I’m sending to the FOH and also has a volume to help me balance the electric bass to the upright volume in the amp onstage (I am running 2 instruments into one Amp). From the EQ pedal I feed into a; 

Electro Harmonix Bass Soul Food. This is a distortion effect pedal. I have this on constantly at a low gain as my ‘clean’ sound. This gives the bass added warmth and a little drive without overdoing it. This runs into a; 

MXR El Grande Bass Fuzz. This pocket rocket is a BEAST. Its only let out of its cage when world domination is the required result. And if I want to actually swallow up the whole venue into a bass frequency whirl pool of doom, I’ll push the button that says ‘DEEP’. Beware of this little beauty!!! This pedal runs into my ‘everyday get along with your neighbours distortion’. 

The T-Rex Bass Juice. I love the sound of it. Its a real warm and fuzzy distortion. If you’ve ever been prescribed Codeine from your doctor, then this is the sound that replicates that feeling. A warm fuzzy feel good hug. It has a great blend knob which allows you to mix the distorted signal with the original clean signal. This means that unlike some distortion pedals for bass which cut off your low tone as soon as you engage them, you can keep the full bodied sound of your bass with added distortion. Dreamy!

From here I run into a DI box which balances the signal to go to the FOH and then into the two switch box to send the feed to my Amp (which is a Mark Bass Little Mark iii running into  Mark Bass 1×15 Traveller Cab.

There it is folks, my current pedal board set up. Next on the list is a compressor pedal. Should I go for a ‘Baby Boom’ or a ‘Preacher’ or maybe up my game to a ‘Philosopher’???

Peace

Joe