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Pedal Choice Question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by behndy, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    geeky pedalboy geeks - about how much of your pedal purchases are based on need and how many are based on desire?

    i was updating my profile the other day and noticed that out of the 15 or so pedals i had listed from 9 months to a year ago i don't use a single one of them anymore. and i know the silly aspects of GAS have been discussed a lot, but i couldn't find a thread exactly like this.

    when i started i had no idea what i actually wanted to do with pedals, so about 90% of what effects i bought were because they just looked damn cool. that's the desire choice.

    now, i've gotten to where i have a little better handle on how things go together (giggety) and what i want to accomplish with a new addition or a replacement for something i already have. so i end up buying things less because of their cool factor and more because it fills a need (giggety-goo). fuzz is a great example of this. i went through about 7 before i found one that was best for me. and i still buy them, but only about 1 in 5 is because of gear-lust.

    but "DAYUM that's awesome" based purchases still have their place. there's effects that i wouldn't know that i liked and want to search out the best version of if i didn't dabble in surprise, unknown wiggle-boxes occasionally. Super-Freq Ugly Face? LOVE.

    oh yah..... the geeky pedalBOY description up there? and grrL too i guess... i don't see any of you fine, fine low end ladies popping up in the PYPB threads. pleaaaase prove me wrong. grrLs killing it on bass? hot. geeky grrLs that are all about tech? HOT. grrLs that combine the two? inFERRRNo.

    what up with it?
  2. NateS


    Sep 22, 2009
    Richmond, VA, USA
    i've never bought a pedal because it looked cool. I want about 50 million pedals right now that look cool, but i can't afford it. Every pedal i've bought i bought because i wanted to see what that type of sound would do to my playing.
  3. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I'm pretty sure I could find a use for almost any pedal, so there's no real need/desire balancing act to do as far as I'm concerned - if I think something sounds good then I will happily get one because I know for sure it will get used.

    What I don't do is buy pedals because I feel I need to have a pedal from a given category that I don't have, for example I've never thought "Well I should really try out some flangers/choruses/phasers/tremolos because I might need one".

    Until I scaled back my pedals radically this year my board consisted of three or four octavers (if you count the Micro POG), four filters, three fuzzes, a couple of "synths" and some mixing/switching utilities. I never thought of it as any "overlap of functionality", to me they were all good sounds in their own right and that's why I was using them. I had to scale back out of practicality in the end but I would have all those pedals again if I had space on stage for them. :)
  4. snogaws


    Oct 25, 2008
    mine are based on peer pressure.......
  5. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    The only pedals on my board purchased out of need were the Pork Loin, Musket, Mastotron and MultiComp. Everything else was purchased on desire.

    I don't necessarily need filters, octavers, or modulation but I've got a few on my board that I find myself using quite enough.

  6. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Oh yeah. 90 % desire for me. I just like toys.
  7. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I definitely try to keep my impulse "DAYUM that's awesome" purchases to a minimum, but they do crop up despite my sincerest efforts (pssh, yeah right :D) from time to time. I generally try to only buy something if I have a specific need or planned use for it. Things like fuzz/dirt/od (duh) and Reverb (for reverb-y volume swells) were purchases that I had a specific use in mind. Other things, like my Ring Thing, for example, were impulse buys that I thought might jump start my creativity. Others, like my Stereo Memory Man, were pedals that I wanted, but didn't necessarily have a use for yet. I have written parts with pedals like that after I started tinkering though.

    That being said, there are a ton of pedals that have peaked my interest that I have been seriously GASing for. The only thing that stays my credit card is the fact that I just don't have a use (yet) for some pedals in the band that I am in. Solution? Start another band. More projects = More justifiable pedal purchases.
  8. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    hurm. but what led you to think that that pedal would be a good compliment to how you play? noodling around in store? word of mouth? i wouldn't have anything but a distortion if i hadn't tried a couple things just 'cause they looked interesting. playing a six string, i thought octavers were kinda for ****es at first. oh, so wrong was i.

    y'know, that's really the only thing i like about multi-efx right now. trying an ass load of efx for cheap. then buying a good version of what i like.

    woof. me and you both brother. i just couldn't lug a PT-Pro around anymore. i need to list the MusicOmLabs EFX MK II (mouthful) switcher i don't use anymore. beautiful, smart box.

    HAH! KNEW it!!

    i made a (painful) effort to get to where i never have more then 2 pedals on my board i don't use in a song. i have 4 right now, but we're almost done with something that justifies two of them. but GOD i do love the toys too.

    now THAT is an interesting point. how often do y'all buy something 'cause you're kinda in a rut and you think stepping outside your comfort zone is what you need?

    i LIKE the way you think!
  9. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    good stuff. honestly, about half of the types of effects i own i tried because everybody else loves them. octaver and filter are the two that stick out to me. and then i found uses for them, and after going through too many (maybe 4 octavers before the Aggy, and still a toss-up between the MXR BEF and the 3Leaf) deciding on the one i want.

    so..... yay peer pressure?
  10. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I play a six string as well, and I feel the same way right now about octavers. If I need an octave down, I usually just play the chord. When I had my Ring Thing (the only octaver I have ever owned) the octave down sounded exactly (well pretty much) the same as the sound that I got by playing both notes at the same time. I did like the octave up for pseudo-guitar sounds, though.

    :dodges flying beer bottles and angry slurs:

    I would be interested in knowing how you use your octavers on your six though, Sir Bendz.

    This is a terrific idea.


    Peer pressure is SO gas inducing. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad. I wouldn't have tried nearly as many pedals if it wasn't for seedy recommendations from other TBers!
  11. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    +1 :D

    If it's not TB leading me to buy this or that pedal, usually I do it based in desire. Afterwards, if the suckler fits my playing/rig/band I'm in, I keep it. If not, it goes away.

    +1 to the concept "more bands/projects = more excuses to buy gear" ------> this is the reason that led me back to effects this time...
  12. snogaws


    Oct 25, 2008


    still not getting a fuzz. :spit:
  13. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    I messed around with a lot of pedals coming and going on the 2nd hand market while finding out more about what I want.

    Now that I've pretty much settled down, although there's so much fun stuff I want to mess around with, I justify my purchases based on whether I actually need it in my band (I really want to mess around with flangers/phasers and delay, but I don't actually need one and it won't sound good with my band, so I don't get any), and control my purchases by not getting a bigger pedalboard and more power supplies (i.e. if it can't fit on my board and/or I can't power it, then I don't get it)
  14. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    +1 I'm trying as hard as I can to keep my self constrained to a PT-2 for the band that I am currently in. It really helps keep me from doing things like buying all the moogerfoogers (a constant temptation). I may rig up a mini for my metal/noise band that I am starting up soon, though.
  15. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    lol. i like Sir Bendz. it's like the GAYEST of the knighted gentry EVER.

    ... in the UK "Bender" is slur for a gay fella.

    that's interesting. the first octave thingy i ever owned was the Micro Pog. and i used it almost exactly as you talk about liking the Ring Thing. with just the clean all the way up and the octave up about 3/4 the way up.

    the thing is, EHX's octave stuff.... kinda sucks. imo, ymmv and all that. but an analog octaver is a WHOLE 'nother beast. Bryan Tyler made the same point to me when i asked him "why a pedal that JUST goes down an octave? and doesn't track double-stops or chords as well as the POG stuff does?". with a good analog octaver (Aggy's, the EBS, MXR BOD) you are limited to one note at a time if you don't want it to glitch, which does take a bit to get adjusted to.

    but dayum. it sounds WAY different then just playing a root octave double-stop. it's easier to do lines that are kinda impractical to do cleanly (lot of movement), and it just gives you this crazy fat, sorta synthy thickness if you go high. we have a song where the bassline goes from a 8th note fast version to a groovey half-time version of the same line with thick fuzz, and i hated how it sounded thinner slowing down the line. but playing the slower part an octave higher on the board with an octaver just KILLS.

    i love the idea of a good analog up and down octaver that can track more than one note at a time. but i don't think they exist yet. i think that the EHX stuff is a REALLY bad representation of what octavers can add to your sound.

    hope that helps. i'm getting really hungry so i'm a bit rambley.
  16. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    lol. god, save a link to that. and look at it in a year when you've bought the Musket, realized it didn't cut through as much as you liked, picked up a Pickle Pie B, found out you loved it running through a Team Awesome Fuzz Machine, put a Devi Ever Legend Of Bit Fuzz on your board for vid game noises, picked up a Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion to have 3 extra wacky tones on tap and become someone that dies a little inside when you see an EHX Bass Big Muff on somebody's board.

    DO IT.
  17. Pandafist


    May 6, 2008
    Portland, OR
    The only pedals I buy that I don't feel like I need for bass are Moogerfoogers...
    but that's cause I need them for synths. :D

    I don't buy to 'try', don't buy to flip, don't buy to collect...
    I buy when I think/know I'll use it a LOT or else I typically won't buy it all.
    One or two exceptions I suppose, but for the most part... yeah

    I just don't like having pedals around that never get used. Bugs me for some reason I can't explain.
  18. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    NICoTeen & MetalAfterDark - yeah. when i went down to a PT-2 from a PT-Pro it made me make some hard decisions on use over like for what could fit on there. and i miss some stuff, but not enough to go to a bigger board.

    huh. something i always hated about the transition from hardware to software in the IDM/Electronic music writing was that people went from looking at a drum machine more like an instrument to looking at each of the ridiculous amount of options in software as a one-purpose tool. it used to be you blew all your money on one hardware synth/drum machine/noise box then spent years learning all the ins and outs, weird little intricacies, and even some stuff the original builders didn't intend for it to do. then with the constant revisions of software based stuff you learned how to do one or two things with a program, then move on to the newer revision or clone from somebody else.

    anybody feel like they get way more out of their gear when they limit themselves to less? does that breed a useful amount of understanding and comfortable knowledge with a piece of kit? or does it make you find the limitations and realize you DO need something similar but that goes about the same idea a different way?
  19. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    woof. i HATE looking at a pile of 7 or 8 pedals, all lonely and making goo-goo eyes at you.

    "you haven't stepped on me in sooooo long daddy. i miss you."
  20. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    lol, oops...sorry guy.

    This sounds rad. I tend to throw in the root-octave double stop when things get heavy (with fuzz too), but if I was playing something that was more technical, then I wouldn't be able to do so as easily/comfortably.

    ME TOO! I have this nasty habit of selling off pedals as soon as I deem them "unusable." Sometimes its only after the pedal is gone that I realize that I could have used it in another way or for a different purpose.