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Pedalboard--necessary?

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by dubmon, Sep 26, 2008.


  1. dubmon

    dubmon

    Sep 20, 2007
    Hi JMJ,
    I have a couple pro gigs I got offered coming up with a new artist, and well, I haven't played out much lately, and my touring experience is limited to vans and the DIY world:) This will be a pro level deal with a guitar tech, backline, etc.
    My question is, I only need 2-3 stomps for this thing--a Boss tuner, some kind of distortion, and maybe a chorus or octave at most. Is it totally "un-pro" to have these things loose? Do I need to set up a little board to house them, even if I end up with just a tuner and one stomp, or is it OK to do what I'm used to and just plop 'em down? I recall reading your gear for the Dixie Chicks shows, and you only used a couple things I think. What do you do in a case like that?
    Thanks!
     
  2. kyral210

    kyral210

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester
    Im no pro, so JMJ, look forward to hearing how you do it. I do however play in 500+ clubs. My Signal path is:

    Switcher - Tuner - Overdrive -Chorus

    This is hardly a large pedal set, but I have it gaffa taped down to a piece of plywood. Why? Because when I set up I just walk on stage, plonk the thing down, power it up and im done. I have tried it without the board, and the hastle of putting every pedal in place, powering each one up, connecting each one and then hoping I don't kick the connections out during shows is too much for me!
     
  3. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I guess it also depends if someone else is setting up all of your gear or not. I personally would go ahead and buy a small pedal board.....why not? for the sake of protection alone would be worth it.
     
  4. dubmon

    dubmon

    Sep 20, 2007
    Yeah, I usually just use a stomp tuner and that's it, but on the rare occasion I use another pedal I just duct tape things down to the stage, old school.
    I'm not adverse to setting up a simple board, I'm just broke! I THINK someone else will be setting things up---not sure yet.
    I do want to come off as "pro" as possible:)
     
  5. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    check out rondomusic.com

    they have some small inexpensive pedalboards
     
  6. I'd steer clear of those Rondo boards. The carpet is really poorly attached to the board, and the whole thing is just flimsy feeling. If you're going cheap, I'd say that the Gator Pedal Tote is a MUCH better way to go. It's small enough that you wouldn't look silly with four Boss pedals on it, but it is fairly sturdy and comes with a nice solid gig bag.
     
  7. Rebop

    Rebop

    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    I second the Gator tote if you only have a few pedals.
     
  8. Talk to your backline tech - he'll have some good ideas. I see a lot of one-or-two pedals pedal boards made of just a small piece of plywood with tape or velcro that travels in some case with other stuff. Maybe in your bass case or other misc case. Having them on a board saves time at setup and minimizes errors...
     
  9. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    Man even touring with beck in the Midnite Vultures days I'd just make a pedalboard out of plywood, paint that shizz black, velcro those b#%^*es down and rock. It's handy! Just go cheap and dirty, it'll save you some time for setups and teardows, and you'll get less wear on cables and the connectors in the pedals. Maybe throw a cheap power supply on there, you just have cable in, cable out, and power in. Done.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, when you price what a decent pedalboard costs, the plywood board painted black is quite the winner. That's what I ultimately decided to do for putting together my first pedalboard in 10 years. Hard to justify anything more than that for 3-4 pedals and a couple wirelesses. However, if your frontman is as wild at Trent Reznor, a switching system must really come in handy ;)
     
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Our lead guitar player uses a multi-effect pedal *because* he was tired of setting up a lot of pedals :p

    Although, if you have the pedal already buying a multi-effect pedal is a lot more expensive than a pedal board ;)
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wish I could do that, but I'm married to a couple pedals...an EBS Microbass II that I use to switch between electric and upright, and the VT. I didn't need a board when I was just using the Microbass, but I've recently got the effects jones again and I'm going to add a Zoom B2 in there, so I relied on my mad carpentry skillz to render a 21" x 14" piece of 1/4" plywood and paint it black. I then covered the edges with black duct tape to prevent splinters. That is the extent of my carpentry skillz.

    :bassist:
     
  13. dubmon

    dubmon

    Sep 20, 2007
    Cool--thanks! I guess I'm a bit too worried about appearances since everybody else in this thing are regular touring guys, some for major label acts, who are used to this world but I'm coming from the "who's turn is it to drive?" world:)
    For example, I have some seemingly silly questions, like, do I bring my own guitar stands? I will bring 2 basses (the main one for the set and a BU), a DI, any tuner/effects and cables. Is the best bet to purchase some kinda case for the misc. stuff, like a road case the pedalboard, DI, cables all go in(if it doesn't all fit in whatever pedalboard I end up with)? There will be a backline amp for me supplied. If they use in-ears, do I need my own?
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I certainly wouldn't use a set of ears that have been in someone else's ears, that's for sure! ;)
     
  15. dubmon

    dubmon

    Sep 20, 2007
    Ah, yes of course . . .yuck. Another thing I potentially have to buy I guess then . . . :(
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well slow down on the buying unless you're sure you need it. That's a lot of money to spend on IEM's if you end up not using them.

    Also, you asked about guitar stands. Fender does make tiny little guitar stands you can stick in a suitcase, but when I use rented backline, we always have the backline company bring out a handful of stands. Just add them to your rider.
     
  17. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Here's my plywood pedal board. Nothing too fancy, although the carrying handle was a non-negotiable ;)

    2887024741_2f03663f18_b.

    this all slips into an aluminum briefcase for transport and protection.
     
  18. etherealme

    etherealme Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Louisiana
    I'm no pro touring realm guy by any means but in my experience the importance of having a pedal board is saving you set up time, set up confusion(this is a big one) and wear and tear on cables/equip. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just a slice of plywood that you could then slide in any road case would work wonders. Trust me. Just being able to yank that baby out all ready to plug in and go - well worth it.
    As far as all the other worries and investments - I would expect many of those amenities could be provided if you've been hired for your playing skills. I mean c'mon they've got to be providing ear monitors and stands, right?!
    Good luck! Most importantly though - just relax and have a good time!
     

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