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Juggling pedalboards between bands

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Chaddycakes, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Hey guys. Many a bassist has pulled the rookie mistake of bringing too big a pedalboard to a gig, intimidating the bandleader or even overplaying the board. Lets hear some ideas on how to juggle pedals between two bands, for example you want to always have a compressor, a volume pedal, a tuner, and a power supply for your blues band, but you want to add a couple distortions, a chorus, and a flanger for the original band.

    Who uses two pedalboards?
    Who rips it out every time?
    Who just carries it all?
  2. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    In my experience, I either need it all, or I don't need any of it.

    E.g. your blues guy clearly doesn't actually need any of that stuff :)
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Didn't read the post. Read the title. I want to see it.
  4. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    I'm having to just carry it all.

    In one band I don't need any pedals, but since they're there I'm starting to use them a bit.

    In another band it's all about the pedals. Need 'em all. In fact the guitarist is using my second (guitar-centric) pedal board...he found out that using an iPad as a pedal board was not as great of an idea as he had hoped.

    In BOTH bands I need the two vocal pedals I have mounted on the board so I always have an excuse to carry it.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    for me it's three different boards, one for bass and two for two different guitar rigs.

    the bass board consists of a pedaltrain mini with a turbo-tuner, a chorus (rarely used), bass muff (rarely used), and a sansamp BDDI (always used, it's the preamp for whatever power amp i'm using to push my cabs).

    having the bass board be small and simple means it's always appropriate.
  6. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    I have two boards these days. Used to be three, but down to two now.
    One board runs the classic rock/ metal band, and the other runs the 70s rock and function bands.
    There are a couple of pedals common to both boards, but since I'm only in one place at a time, it works with just a little prep (5 mins)
  7. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    1 big board for 1 band:
    3 fuzzes, VT bass deluxe, Line 6 m9, boss limiter, ehx freeze and DIY feedback loop

    I have a small wood board velcroed between the line 6 m9 and the pedalboard to detach the line 6 m9 and its expresion pedal and carry it in a backpack to the "other" band rehearsal. If I had the money I would just by everything twice--- :meh:
  8. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio

  9. Bakkster_Man


    Jan 15, 2006
    Doesn't need a tuner? :eyebrow:
  10. I need to see pics of this. Maybe in PYPB? Love the modular setup idea.

    OT, I'm planning on having two boards, one for my main (originals) gig and one for the house and my side project gig. The house boards would serve in a covers type scenario and anything else I probably wouldn't bother too much with pedals. Guess it just depends on the gig. I definitely wouldn't pull out the ultra rig for an audition though, unless I knew that the type of band I was auditioning for required/needed/allowed for fun pedal experimentation.
  11. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I have a thoroughly ridonkulous setup that includes a pedaltrain full of pedals, and a Boss ME50-B (multi) sitting next to it. I use this setup for my two originals bands, both entirely instrumental.

    For situations where such a thing is either unnecessary, impractical, or otherwise undesirable, I just bring the multi, using it primarily as a tuner and volume pedal.
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I have a medium sized pedal board for my funk band.
    I have a second board with a looper and additional delay on it - I use both for looping gigs.
    And sometimes I pull my IE Nimbus off the board and use it by itself.
  13. I have 2 boards one is super simple with a Rocktron Heart Attack and Zoom B2.1u, the other has all the goodies.

    I generally take the big board all the time because I'm expected to show up with some crazy effects even on the Blues and C&W gigs. Plus the pedal board bag also holds all my cables, amp and other essentials so it's just easy to grab and go.

    The small board if for occasional quickies and is the practice board at home.
  14. I'm currently bringing everything, but I do believe that this was a major factor in getting me fired from a blues gig. I would use a second board if I had an extra $500 I could just throw away on such a venue. The below picture is a little out of date as I am now using a bigger board with a Danelectro Daddy in between the fuzz and the flanger and there is a TC Helicon Harmony-g to the left of the volume.

    A third pedalboard for vocal effects would be overboard huh?

  15. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    Here you go!

    A second expresion pedal is on its way
  16. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    I posted a thread about a week ago that got one reply. I made a modular board. Unreality it's just a board with a removable riser in the back. It's got all my basic stuff. Tuner compression, slight dirt blender. The fun stuff stays on the big board. It's secured with that 3m double locking Velcro.. I felt like a genious.
  17. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    well, where's the link?
  18. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    As the one person that commented, I immediately thought of your solution when I read the OP. Can't find the link handily right now.
  19. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Personally, I use two pedal boards. As it turned out, I ended up wanting the same effects for each band...I just wanted a nice boutique-ish setup and then a beater version for rowdy places.
  20. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I play a variety of gigs and styles as well as a fair amount of session work. I'm a big advocate of effects - but I also recognize that they aren't needed all that often!

    That said, I pretty much always use the same "big board", whether doing a tv jingle session, country date or with one of my 'regular' bands:


    Granted, a lot of this stuff is "utility" stuff (true bypass looper, buffer, tuner) but the other pedals on this board are my favorites. I did start using a TurboTuner recently though. This board also has an "auxiliary" loop in case I need a delay, chorus or such - it inserts into the back panel along with a 9v dc outlet.

    If I'm doing a quickee fly-date, I sometimes put together a micro-board just for that gig. Something like this, but I usually just bring the bog board above:


    There are two important issues though, imo, with bassists and big pedalboards:

    1) Psychology! The vast majority of artists, producers and engineers just want to see the bassist walk in with a Fender and a cable. So, right off the bat, you are dealing with some pretty set-in prejudices! I'm fortunate to have built a career and reputation for good tone and tasteful use of effects (see point 2 below), so I usually get a little extra grace - but if it's a new set of clients I will either leave the board at home or simply try not to draw attention to it. I've literally done sessions where I threw my jacket over the board until I got more comfortable & established a rapport with the engineer and producer over the course of the day!

    2) Taste. If I'm being honest with myself, I probably didn't really use effects to their best musical advantage until I was in my 30's! Things like using too much overdrive & getting lost in the mix, inappropriate delay/time-based sounds that were distracting and overall making poor tonal choices. It's embarrassing to admit, but important to be honest with ones self. The quickest way to invoke the prejudice detailed in point 1 above is to make a poor effects choice when working with people! I've found that over the last 8-10 years that a big pedalboard is a lot more palatable to folks when you use it musically. Yes, this tends to mean a little more infrequently too! Just because the pedal is there doesn't mean you have to stomp on it every other song! ;)

    Bottom line? "If it sounds good, it is good". (Rupert Neve) So, if you can be objective about your own role in the ensemble/band you are in & always make sure the music is served by your choices - I think you'll have better acceptance when you bring out the ole 'deli tray' on the gig! (Mitchell Froom called my board the Deli Tray once - ha! He's Mitchell Froom so he can say what he wants! ;))

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