Building a board from scratch

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by liarhydrant, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. liarhydrant


    Jan 3, 2013
    I have never considered playing live with any fx. I think the sounds of the wood of the instrument, the characteristics of the amp, the myriad idiosynchrosies of my technique and note choices should come through first and foremost. Get those licked then colour in as appropriate.

    I am now in a band with 2 guitarists, each carting suitcase-sized pedalboards with probably 2 dozen pedals between them. I'm not envious, more that I pity what they have to do to get an individual 'sound' rather than have the skills to sound distinct by themselves. Also, I don't want to add to the synthetic madness, otherwise it'll get too wooly.

    Guitar-bashing aside, I have been asked to come up with a distortion pedal, and I can understand the usefulness of having a tuner in pedal form and compression as well. So, I ask if anyone can advise me what are the priorities for assembling a pedal board? I know I won't be needing synth nor metal sounds ever ever ever. Which fx should any self-respecting bassist have at their disposal?

    My current gig is a band covering Black Keys/Dan Auerbach stuff and over dirty blues sounding things. I play a Dean Stylist and a '78 Jazz through a Trace Elliot or whatever is already onstage.

    Thanks in advance
  2. samtastic


    Jan 24, 2011
    I hear ya brother, I was in the same boat once. I started with a boss chromatic tuner, then I added a chorus pedal. After a while I added an overdrive, I like the boss bass overdrive it is reasonably price and has a good sound. My suggestion is to start with only one or two and add as you see fit. Go to the music store sometime during the week when it is quieter and sit and just try some. I purchased an all in one board and it had some good effect but I noticed that it affected my natural sound a lot more then just using individual petals. For me individual stomp boxes allow for more control over your sound. Do a search in this forum for any pedals you are interested in, you will find several opinions.

    Good luck.
  3. TRyan5289


    Jul 18, 2012
    Davenport, Iowa
    I love my Korg pitchblack tuner, and a mild overdrive to add some grit to your sound. I suggest looking for one with separate clean and wet, or a blend knob. As always, try to try it before you buy it.
  4. This is ignorant and arrogant. Effects don't cover up lack of talent, they expand on what you can do with an instrument in a myriad of different ways. They're also pretty damn fun if you're into them. I never had any problem figuring out what to play in a mix to sound like 'me,' but with effects I can take sounding like 'me' and expanding 'me' to places I could never get with wood and string alone. Don't pity your guitarist, they like it.

    What's more, your amp overdrive and EQ are no different than the effects on someones board, except in your mind.

    I'd guess a basic overdrive pedal or fuzz pedal is a good place for you to start, or maybe a multi-effect, but based solely on this post I'd think a multi would frustrate you.

    I don't have a ton of experience hunting for overdrives or fuzzes, but the Deluxe Bass Big Muff seems like a versatile, aggressively priced version of fuzz if reviews and clips are to be believed.
  5. liarhydrant


    Jan 3, 2013
    Yes, I am arrogant and ignorant as charged! I still stand by my initial comments that plenty of guitarists blend in to one homogenous fuzzy noise, mainly because they don't have much fretboard fluency before they delve into the seedy underworld of fx and just regurgitate stock Dorian/minor pentatonic licks over and over.

    That aside, thanks for the pointers. I'd rather pay good money for individual pedals that do one thing well than multi fx where you tapdance through 32 crappy presets to find your own sounds. I shall head up to Denmark Street and testdrive your suggestions. Thanks for your help
  6. Effects are no replacement for skill, but they compliment each other nicely. If that's where you're going I can agree with you there.

  7. i would go with a pedal (you mentioned distortion) that has a clean blend so you can process the affected signal with your original...



    Chorus Pedal (for Sure...!)

    perhaps a delay...
  8. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I think you're getting ahead of yourself with the concept of needing a fully realized board.

    Start off with focusing on what you need, and build as necessary. If you're only looking for a dirt pedal, you don't need a board for that, just one extra cable, however, if you're looking to put together a micro board to also include a tuner, then it can make it easier but still isn't necessary -- mostly tidier.

    Pedaltrain makes a "mini" and a "nano" that are both sized to fit only a few pedals, while keeping everything neat and orderly.

    As for dirt pedals, there are a lot of choices that are popular at various price levels and availabilities. Your budget, your sonic goals, and your willingness to deal with customs will determine what's the best fit for you.