1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

MODULAR PEDALBOARDS: Pedalboards with bypass loops and patchbays?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. I think I might have seen a pedalboard or two that used patchbays (rackmount type but are mounted on the pedalboard) in conjunction with bypass loopers.

    The concept truly makes a modular synth setup out of stompboxes, providing instant reconfiguration and repatching ability with true bypass footswitching. Pedalboards are no different than my modular synth rig, you select what circuits you want to use to create your rig and install them at whatever point along the signal chain you wish to. The only difference really being that the modular synth is far more reconfigurable in a convenience sense. On the other hand the stompbox useage provides incredible amounts of availability and choice. There needs to be a melding of the two concepts.

    Anyone have any examples of such a system or can you point me to one/several/many? Y'know, a pedalboard with a patchbay and bypass loopers?

    Just doing a little research for a possible upcoming project. ;)
  2. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    Built this patch bay yesterday. It feeds a 4 core cable, (multicore) - feeding input, send/return and one spare to take a footswitch for the onboard para EQ - this cable goes to a Fender TBP1 that currently use to gig with. It would work for my other preamps. (Alembic/Demeter)

    So there is just one cable to the rig. right now i use a cable from the bass to the patch bay at the pedal board. I may use a wireless again...

    There is a 2 loop switch pedal on the board which switches the EQ in/out or mutes the signal chain and feeds the tuner only.

    This set up allows me to use a passive or active bass with the Vol pedal, an EB Jr with the 25K pot. The signal feeding the vol pedal is the preamp send.

    Otherwise, a passive bass sounds too dark if feeds the EB Jr directly before hitting any preamp stage.

    Attached Files:

    • pbb.
      File size:
      42 KB
  3. Nice! Cost effective and useful, good job.

    On the input impedance problem, a Boss tuner placed in front of your entire chain will solve any impedance issues. Nearly any small Boss pedal has an input impedance of 1MegOhm (just like your better quality bass amps have!). So even a cheapo distortion pedal by Boss can work, you do not even need to engage the pedal (you may leave it bypassed) .... the Boss bypass circuit still engages the input buffer even though the "effect" has been bypassed. So a $25 eBay Boss distortion pedal of some type ... pic a pretty one I guess ... or one of their stomp tuners (I use the TU2) ... leave it bypassed and it works excellently as an input buffer. Select one of the Boss "ODs" and it can be used as a clean booster and an input buffer.

    Keep in mind that the unit does not need to be engaged for the input buffer to be in-chain, so even if the Boss effect you found sounds like ass when it's engaged, you may leave it bypassed and still get all the advantages of a 1MegOhm input impedance. And ~yes~ the unit must be powered up for the input buffer to work, but the device does not need to be engaged.

    Just avoid Boss devices that have the acronym "COSM" on them if you're wanting a Boss device to use for this buffer purpose ..... those COSM devices don't always have that same nice high impedance level of 1MegOhm like the non-COSM units.

    Worth mentioning. :)
  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Here's a little mini patchbay I cooked up. The Send/Return jacks are switched so if nothing is connected the signal is simply passed through.



  5. Excellent! Works great, doesn't it?

    I see you ventured in to the metal stamped lettering. I've seen it done on some boutique gear.

    I gotta say your p-board is pretty space-efficient. :) The stepped shelves work well. Which PSU system are you using?

    Yea ... see ... I'd like to see (or do) something along the lines of a full-on patchbay that each FX is I/O'd to. The patchbay (something like a 32 jack rack mount unit) would have all of the S/R and I/O of each FX pedal, the patchbay would then facilitate the re-ordering or even a specific patch with far greater ease. Or ....

    THE PROGRAMMABLE SWITCHING MATRIX .... fostering a new mindset of the pedalboard user?

    Lately, I've been thinking along the lines of a CV switch matrix instead of a simple passive patchbay. That way preprogrammed "patches" of various FX pedals could be instantly called up via the switch matrix. Midi the works and you've got a full-on "modular synth" of sorts that has digital program memory for the routings.

    Something like the Hinton Switchmix or the WMD Sequential Switch Matrix.

    Switchmix = http://www.hinton-instruments.co.uk/paprod/modular/switchmix/index.htm

    WMD Switch Matrix = http://wmdevices.com/ssm.php

    "Yes" stuff like this requires dedicated power supplies and a few other doogotz, but the implications are mind spinning. Read up on these devices, let it soak in what could be done with them. It almost hurts when the realization of potential sets in! The possibilities are nearly boundless.
  6. Funny how this just came up on my radar today, and then I see this thread...

    Hank & Cupcakes' "Hank" has such a setup:


    Patch bay is upper right of right board. Read more about Hank at Effects Bay.

    "On the top right of the right board I have a patch that I built so that I can easily connect the whole system. It basically receives audio from the splitter sends it into the pedal board and returns it to the amps. It also allows me to on/off some of the splits that I send to other pedals / amps in the amp rack. There are actually also a Zvex Octane fuzz and an additional POG and Boss Compressor for low octaves on the amp rack" – Ariel 'Hank' Scherbacovsky

    Blu bro likes this.
  7. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Just one 1Spot and a daisychain cable or two. :)
  8. volerium


    May 21, 2012
    Wichita, KS
    Very nice and clean set up. What board and case are those?
  9. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Thanks! It's a cheap toolcase I gutted and added detachable hinges to, the board is DIY made from particleboard with velcro strips stuck to it.
  10. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    This is the mindset that I use with my full experimental rig. I us a Wounded Paw Blender as my main controller, but my thought process is to think about each parallel loop in a specific modular concept and filling a specific place in mixing the signal back down. (ie. one may be an octave up synth swell with long decay, another is a sub octave with more attack, another for rhythmic elements like arpeggiator, pattern trem, delay or rhthmic expression control...) I think about "patching in" entire chains of effects more than molding tone one effect at a time.
  11. See the "X-Rig" thread in my sig. There's a ton of info on parallel circuits in there, including comprehensive routing diagrams and various methods to obtain parallel routings. 24 pages, 444 posts, and over 35k views. Truckloads of my own experiments, bass mods (the dual output mod I did to my J, along with the footswitch operated pickup selector), with more to come.

Share This Page