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Tips for a clean pedalboard?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by kesslari, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. 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
    Well, I have a pedal now.
    And I'll probably have another, and I can see where this is going, there may be more.
    So rather than make myself crazy with setup and teardown, a pedalboard seems like a reasonable thing to consider.

    Looking at the "post your pedalboard" threads, there are some that look like the walls blew off of a rat's nest.

    Others look very clean and tidy - even though they have different size pedals from different manufacturers.

    What tips can you give a pedal greenhorn on how to set up a clean pedal board?
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I don't have any information other than what I and a large number of TBers do:

    Use a pedaltrain, get George L (or similar) cables so you can have the exact lengths you need and use zip ties for cables to keep them neat and in place.
  3. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA

    it would also behoove you to carefully plan out the board before velcroing everything on. some even use pieces of paper cut to size and arrange them on the board, leaving room between the pedals for cable ends (of course).

    there's also nad's way: make a mess of pedals and cables all over the living room floor, drink scotch, and flail your arms wildly until your pedalboard is all set up. somehow his board always looks neat and tidy. :confused:

    have fun! :)
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Give your pedals a little bit of room, and don't try to jam pedals into every single little available space. If you have pedals in multiple rows, try to keep the rows even. Also, route all your cables wisely and with a little thought to aesthetics. If a cable gets in the way of your pedals, tape it down out of the way. And tape down any slack from your power supplies. Coil them up and tape them down on an inconspicuous area of the board.
  5. 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
    Thanks for the good tips and pointer to the prev thread.

    One other question - slanting the board is to give easier access to a second row of FX, is that correct?

    Any tips for building a slanted board (if it's worth doing)?
  6. Check into the Pedaltrain before you build. I just got mine for $89 including the case and shipping. It is slanted and allows you to mount the power supply underneath. The board has slats that let you route the cables underneath. The case is big enough for me to put my music and other cords in there, making one less thing for me to carry. Also comes with velcro.
  7. DopplerShift


    Apr 19, 2005
    Chicago Area
    If you use a bypass looper, you can have your pedals arranged every which way and still be able to control them from the front row.

    It also lets you chain groups of effects into one loop where you can go from a lush wet signal to a totally dry one with one stomp.
  8. +1 to a looper. Great tool.

    I prefer to build my pedalboard(s) to my own size/shape - and use a riser for the 2nd row - instead of mashing my feet on the first row of pedals in a frenzied moment on stage....:eyebrow:
  9. JSK5String


    May 19, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    +1 Paper cut outs are very important if you're going to build your own versus buying a Pedal Train or something similar. Paper cut outs placed on a a bigger board-sized piece of paper will help you avoid violating the age-old rule of "measure twice/cut once." Cutting twice on your paper model will be much cheaper then cutting twice on your board...

    Also, if you do go with two rows, a slightly elevated second row will do two things for you. 1) Give you easier access to stomping on them, and 2) a place to hide the unsightly cable mess you may have.

    I've since dumped the A/B/Y and put my wireless unit in its place, and also dumped the Boosta Grande and replaced it with an EQ (for boost only), but you can get the idea from these shots...





  10. 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
    That looks good. With the walls on it, I'm guessing it was easy (or would be) to put a lid on it?
  11. but of course it also requires twice as much cable, which is kind of a hurdle when trying to have a really clean board.
  12. DopplerShift


    Apr 19, 2005
    Chicago Area
    Twice as much only if you are using 1 pedal to 1 loop. But if you use an average of 3 pedals a loop youre looking at 33% more cables. But youre also eliminating the need for a riser, implementing a solution for pedals with bad bypasses, and centralizing your pedal control into one unit. A 2 loop looper, for example, would add 4 extra cables but sooo much functionality.

    But since we're talking about cleanliness here, a looper pedal may work against you on that with more cables. But it kinda eliminates the need for cleanliness and order in a way. Having your pedals neat and all nicely lined up is not as necessary when you control them from one spot.
  13. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I thought that a neat and tidy pedalboard was a sign of a warped and demented mind.

  14. JSK5String


    May 19, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    Thanks for the compliment. Yes, that's exactly what the walls are for. If you look closely, you can see Velcro on top of them. I have a cover with a hole cut around my mic stand that I put on in between sets and overnight to keep drunks from spilling drinks on it when they come up while we're on break to tell me they played bass in a band in high school. :help: It only takes one drink spilled on your pedals to make you do something about it...

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