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Label Pedal Settings

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Testing123, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Do you label your pedal settings? You know, make a mark next to a knob indicating the level that knob should be set at around its arc. Of course, some pedals need to be adjusted for each gig and/or venue, but others pretty much stay the same. For those, are you making a mark and if so, how?

    Here are a few ideas I’ve run across.

    • Use a grease pencil/China marker to mark the setting of each knob.
    • Place a piece of tape at the proper location of each knob. You can mark/write on the tape if you choose.
    • Set all of the knobs where you want them, then use your smart phone to take a photo of your settings.
    • Set your knob(s) to the proper setting(s). Then label the tops with arrows pointing to 12 o’clock (use tape, a grease pencil, etc.). On the gig, make sure all of your knobs have the arrows pointing to 12 o’clock:

    • Similar to the one above, set a knob to its proper setting. Then, carefully remove the knob and replace it so that it points to 12 o’clock. On the gig, make sure all of your knobs point to 12 o’clock.
    • Use an oversized thin plastic washer under the knob and nut. Then you could mark the washers with different colors for different settings.
  2. For my digitech bass synth wah before it died I found a good setting where each knob was vertical pointing either directly left or directly right. It let me know if something had been bumped and I could just line them up again.
    Dug2 likes this.
  3. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    With the advent of multi-effects with named user patches I do this less so, but in the past I used to use enamel paint pens in different colours to apply dots to the body of the pedal - all knobs to the red dots for setting 1, yellow dots for setting 2 and green for setting 3. I would then annotate the set list to show which setting(s) to use. Any more then three and it gets a bit messy, but for me at the time it worked.
    I found it to be most useful with a compressor when switching between active and passive instruments where the action of the pedal is so dependent on the strength of the input signal. The thing with enamel paint is that, unlike stickers, the dots cannot be accidentally moved but with care they can be chipped off without damaging the paint on the pedal should they need to be moved. It was a long time ago, so no pictures, I'm afraid.
    As I start to use more and more discrete pedals, especially things like SuperEgo, Freeze and Synth pedals, the time to invest in more pens is approaching.
  4. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    @SteveCS , the enamel paint sounds too 'permanent' for me. In fact, I was considering using paint pens to sort of decorate a custom pedal I had made.
    Anyway, I am thinking about using something simple like sticker dots or arrows:

    61Qx%2BlXYCxL. 519B8pa8d1L.

    This would allow for easy removal should the need arise and quick cleaning with something like Goo Gone if the sticker had been on for too long.
  5. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Here are a few ‘commercial’ solutions:

    Loknob - Powered by Network Solutions.

    The Stompshield | keep your knobs set, no matter what.
    (Be aware that my virus protection program (Webroot), as of this writing, said that this website was "suspicious" and that “When visiting this website there is a higher than average probability that you will be exposed to malicious links or payloads.” I have no idea if this is true or not as I elected not to go there directly. Instead, I watched a YouTube vide about the product here:


    Neat Nobs

    Pedal Labels - Effects Bay

    Setting Saver

    I have no affiliation with any of these companies or websites.
  6. zisme


    Oct 26, 2015
    hampton, va
    nope. my pedals pretty much stay at the same settings, and i remember what they all are. a quick glance to make sure they're set correctly while setting up is all i need

    i've seen where people get the pedals set where they want, pull off the knobs and put them back on so that all of the pointers are at noon (regardless of where it's actually set). kinda neat
  7. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I like the different labeling and protecting ideas. I'm an impulsive knob turner; I love experimenting with alternate settings. When I do find a sound I really like I usually write down the settings in a notebook. I'm considering some of the labeling options, like the stickers mentioned above. My ideal solution might be a happy medium, with some settings marked for favorite sounds. Anything that can be easily removed would probably serve me best.

    Thank you all for your suggestions; I'm adding this thread to my bookmarks :smug:
    Testing123 likes this.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I remember most of mine. For the ones that have a ton of knobs (FEA DB-CL and Brimstone XD) I just take a picture with my phone.
  9. devilstone


    Nov 22, 2008
    Torrington, CT
    My EH Bass Micro Synth and POG came with some sample sounds on a "template". I made some cheesy templates for other pedals I had that I was switching between songs and "drew" the settings on them

    Attached Files:

  10. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I've always liked using the blank template idea too. My amps usually have a page in the manual that I can make copies of. Many effects have a similar template, either in the manual or on the company's web site.

    I looked at the commercial options listed above by Testing123. There are some very clever products. The Setting Saver pen is available from Amazon and Sweetwater. I might pick one up for myself and give some as holiday gifts. I appreciate their simplicity, and I wouldn't need to refer to notes or a cell phone picture.
    devilstone likes this.
  11. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    I too was excited about the Setting Saver pen... that is until I read one of the reviews of it on Amazon, which said in part:

    "One thing though; it will etch the paint on some pedals if you leave it on too long"​

    Hmm... If I'm going to be marking a setting, it's probably because I want to use that setting all the time and thus for a long time.

    I then read the following in the Stagetrix website FAQ section:

    "Can the Setting Saver damage the finish of my gear?

    In general we have seen very few issues, however we found that effect pedals by Electro-Harmonix can experience damage to the finish. Alway try the Setting Saver in an inconspicuous place first."​

    They only mention Electro-Harmonix, but they probably haven't tried every pedal out there, and let's be honest, of the pedals they have tried, they're most likely all guitar centric.

    My interest in this area is to help SAVE time, not take more of it by having to test out ink/paint splotches, etc.

    I think the pen is a good idea and I really wanted to use it, but these issues have left me a little reluctant to do so.
  12. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Testing, I see your point, and totally agree. We're looking for convenience and accuracy, but not at the expense of permanently scarring our expensive pedals. Maybe one of the sticker options would be better?

    Now it's time to read up on the adhesive used for those cool looking decals.
  13. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Let us know what you find out.
    Although I'd imagine that the residue left by most adhesive products can be removed with something like Goo Gone.
  14. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    A water based acrylic paint would be easier to remove than enamel, and almost as durable.
    Easily found in artist supply stores, hobby shops, etc.
    Just apply with a small cheap brush.
    SteveCS likes this.
  15. Bastijnv


    Nov 14, 2015
    Utrecht NL
    Shoot 'm, name 'm, store 'm :)

    Edit: Makes me start thinking, would a smart watch be able to show you these settings during a gig??

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
    dinoadventures likes this.
  16. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    I've been using the Setting Saver Pen (purchased from Amazon) for well over a year (maybe two??). I do not own any Electro-Harmonix pedals, but I have not experienced any issues on mine. I generally evolve my settings - but many 'basic' settings are set-and-forget. I will occasionally clean and replace settings markings if they start getting worn or smeared.

    I use pedals by 3Leaf Audio, Keeley, Cali, MXR and TC Electronic, Darkglass and OneControl.
    tracer03 and Testing123 like this.
  17. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Very cool! Thanks for the user report, @ExaltBass .
  18. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Yes, thanks for your feedback, Exalt Bass. I'm glad to hear you haven't had problems with the Settings Saver.

    Bastijnv, your pics are awesome! I like the way you've labeled each photo with the song or style you want to use those settings for.

    I Googled labeling of effect pedals a bit, and I've read a number of posts on different sites. I also sent an email to NeatNobs, asking about their adhesive. We'll see if I get a response.

    One idea I've seen suggested in different forums is to use a grease pencil to mark settings. Apparently the pencil can be wiped away with a damp cloth, so it doesn't leave any permanent marks. Grease pencils are also called China Markers. They're available at numerous sellers / web sites, including Amazon.
    Bastijnv likes this.
  19. Interesting--I didn't know there were so many commercial solutions out there for this.

    What I do on all of my pedals is to put a few small rubber washers under the knob and then tighten the knob back on with a set screw. Depending on how many washers you use, you can increase the resistance of the knob dramatically so it won't turn in your pedalboard case or while you're setting up, but will still be adjustable when you want to change a setting. For larger knobs (those on my Endangered Audio AD4096 for instance), the Grolsch bottle stoppers that a lot of people use as straplocks work great for this. Of course this means that your pedals need to have knobs with set screw in order for this to work, but I've found that pedals that come with push on knobs will still accept a knob with a set screw as long as the shaft is a similar size.

    Works great and the cost is extremely minimal. I'm not near my pedalboard right now, but I can post pictures next week.
  20. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Yesterday, I happened to find a music store in my area that carried the Setting Saver Pen by Stage Trix, so I thought I might pick one up and try it. As the sales person was processing my purchase, I opened the cap and noticed that the tip looked pretty big. I had previously seen on the Stage Trix website that they had listened to more than a few complaints about the thickness of the tip of the pen and they show that ‘new stock’ now has a thinner tip. Here’s the pick as seen on their website:

    (The bottom pen is the new version with the slimmer tip)

    Much better to make a mark (or 2) in tight places.
    Just to be sure, I had the sales person check when they received their stock of these pens. He told me it had been a year, meaning that the pen was definitely the older, larger tipped version.
    I sadly decided to cancel the purchase. However, this morning I stumbled upon a type of pen I’d not heard of before. It’s called a “liquid chalk marker.” It’s not really chalk, and should not be used to write on chalk boards. It’s more like a paint pen, except you can wipe it away and it won’t leave any residue on nonporous materials such as windows, mirrors, metal, etc. Metal? Wait a sec… This sounds like the Setting Saver Pen. I haven’t (yet) tried this pen, but I’ll bet that it’s pretty much the same thing.

    You can find more info about it by Googling “liquid chalk marker.”

    The only issue I see is that these pens come as a set of at least 3… although I just had a look through some of the Amazon pages and saw a few single white colored liquid chalk marker pens for about the same price as the Setting Saver Pen. So, if you’re OK with white and you don’t mind ordering online, just hit up Amazon with a search string of “single liquid chalk marker.”

    Hope that helps… and let us know if you try the liquid chalk markers.

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