What's your pedalboard building criterion? Only pedals you'd really use or every pedal you have?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by HalfManHalfBass, Mar 3, 2024.

  1. HalfManHalfBass


    Jan 21, 2003
    Hello bass brethren!

    I just wondered: with what mind set do you build your boards?

    I'm constantly battling the desire to put on every pedal I own -in the event that 'you just never know' versus the absolute, bare minimum to get the job done.

    Usually when I try out for a band, I bring more or less everything and then watch bemusedly over the coming weeks as I gradually remove one pedal after another until I'm left staring at just a tuner and an overdrive!

    I wonder if age and/or the ability to lug around huge boards on the off chance that maybe tonight you'll be able to work in a bit of bit crushed, reversed delay with a through zero flanger harmonised in 3rds, versus the extra back-breaking trips to the car in the dead of night eventually wins out? Or maybe sometimes we feel we have to justify owning the stuff we have and therefore it should be on the board for that reason?

    What are your thoughts?
    hieronymous, Danno_Demo and sheesh like this.
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Not to sound like a braggadocio,
    but If I put all my pedals on a single board, I do not think I'd be able to carry it.

    I don't like holes on pedal boards. When I look into that void, the void looks back at me, begging me to fill it with a pedal.

    So when constructing a board, the first choice is the size. Since you hardly ever find a board that is exactly as large as you need, I pick the one that's slightly too large. Then I slap on the pedals I need on there and then I address the void, picking something that might come in handy at one time or another - and failing that, I just pick another flavor of dirt pedal.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'm in the process of full-reversal: selling-off the few pedals I own and a huge-ass mambo Nano pedal board / carry case..will replace with a better multi FX...maybe. The "haul" starts getting old as I get older!

    Dust2Dust, GotGroove, DrBnz and 2 others like this.
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Just what's needed to achieve my tone.
  5. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    What I need is about all I own, and they're on the board. In fact, I've nearly eliminated my pedal graveyard by selling those I wasn't using. I still have a couple of old ones I won't sell that I visit on holidays.
  6. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
    J'Ville, Florida
    Too many effects seems to muddy the water to me.
    Any pedal I don't use gets sold, period.
    Mine is a smaller one. Tuner. OD, chorus, limiter.
    Just for kicks and giggles I was going to try for an all Boss pedal board but I don't want to give up my Darkglass Overdrive.
    I've also had that Polyune for years and don't see the reason for getting rid of it.
    However I 100% think this is all dependent on the style of music you play and the type of bass you play.
    Some effects don't go with certain gear and styles of music.
  7. In my more pedal-intensive days, I found the best solution was to have separate, compact pedalboards: one for rock, another for fusion, and so on. This proved more manageable than lugging around a massive, cumbersome pedalboard through the city. While it meant occasionally purchasing the same (used) pedal twice, the convenience outweighed the cost.

    Furthermore, each unused pedal in the signal chain can subtly affect the overall sound. In my opinion, minimizing the number of pedals is generally preferable.

    These days, I typically use a DI box directly from my bass for most gigs. My "effects board" now only consists of three pedals: a phaser, delay, and overdrive. I have two separate Mono Ticks – one housing a DI box and a foldable bass stand, the other containing my mini board and another stand. Depending on the performance, I simply pick my appropriate Mono Tick and hit the road.
    bignc, moorebass, sloppy_phil and 2 others like this.
  8. john hennessy

    john hennessy Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2022
    Every additional pedal is an additional point of failure in my rig so I take only the pedals I really need. The venue or audience might understand a guitar player having to fix an issue but I usually don’t get that kind of patience on bass. As a result my board is quite small, with 4-5 pedals and my wireless
  9. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray

    Dec 12, 2019
    New Hampshire
    taking this approach allows you to do both!
    BassikLee, RichSnyder, mmon77 and 4 others like this.
  10. I can't imagine carrying EVERYTHING.
    I only put what I'm going to use.
    HalfManHalfBass likes this.
  11. Lucas Carioli

    Lucas Carioli

    May 2, 2021
    I started my story with pedals backwards. I choosed my pedal board first. That Boss BCB-60 is perfect. It came with all the cables needed, and the wires is hiden. I'm not a super professional bass player in a progressive rock band so i don't need more than 5 or 6 pedals to get my sound. I've been choosing the pedals very wisely since; one distorcion, one compressor, one tuner, one phaser and so. When i reach to the point to have more pedals than the pedal board the less needed pedals will be stored or selled.
    JRA and HalfManHalfBass like this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I don’t see any of my pedalboards as permanent or even semipermanent arrangements. I do up different boards for different purposes and put a lot of thought into which pedals to use and how the signal chain is arranged. So each board only gets what I feel is needed.

    I’ve never had more than six pedals on a board at any one time. Most times it was five or fewer. I also disassemble and create a new board whenever my requirements change.

    If I want to experiment I just lay out everything on the floor and play around with it before I even think about mounting anything. If I discover an arrangement I like that isn’t something I’m going to use right away I just make a list of the pedals and a simple block diagram of the signal chain with some notes and save it for potential future use.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
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  13. My pedal board.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    If I don’t need it, it stays home, unless I got a new one.
  15. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I have different pedalboards for different bands/projects. Only those pedals which will be used for that particular band make it to the pedalboard…
  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    What do I think I need? Plus a tuner because I’m always in tune. And a bottle opener because if guitarist is going to keep telling me to tune I need a drink.

    comp, Sex Drive, 1 fuzz, filter and sometimes a delay.
    Jason Hollar and HalfManHalfBass like this.
  17. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    I've had the same handful of pedals on my board for about 5-6 years now. Signal goes Effectrode LA-1A > Barber Linden eq > HX Stomp > Lightning Boy 2020 > Lightning Boy T.I. box. I add other pedals like synths or ODs into the HX Stomp fx chain when needed...and that always just depends on the gig. At one point, I had all that AND a Quilter BB800 on my board, but I got rid of the Quilter and went with a GB Streamliner 600 to pair with my Barefaced Super Twin. Now the board is mainly used on FOH and in-ear gigs.
    HalfManHalfBass likes this.
  18. sheesh


    Dec 30, 2023
    Really struggling with this one. Trying to put a pedal board together nowadays. Before I was just plug and play for most gigs. I can't seem to find the right balance that works for me.
    HalfManHalfBass likes this.

    BASSDROID Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 22, 2007
    Port Huron, Michigan
    I like to keep things fairly simple. I have two Pedaltrain Metro 24 boards, one for upright one for electric, both with Cioks DC7 power supply. Each will hold 4-6 pedals depending on the size. For electric, a LeBass tube preamp and compressor are always onboard. For upright, a Radial PZ pre is always on. The rest of the space is filled up (or not) according to the requirements of the job at hand.
    Jason Hollar and HalfManHalfBass like this.
  20. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    Small one with only what I need (tuner, mild overdrive, chorus, hpf) for band/gigs. Large one with most every type of pedal for fun at home. Also, Helix LT to cover everything between the two for when you just don't know for sure.
    HalfManHalfBass and lomo like this.