Time to Revamp the Pedalboard!

tenchijin2

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I just joined a band last week after having been bandless for the past 6 months or so. I've mostly played and sung in cover bands and this is no exception, but the genre is a bit different. The band has a trumpeter and a saxophonist, so the material takes advantage of that with more pop/funk songs from the last 50 years. The band is Funk Town PDX.

So at my audition on Friday I was acutely aware of how useful a compressor would be for that kind of music! I'm not a pedal collector by any stretch. I think I have fewer than 10 pedals, but my rig has been geared more for rock and roll cover bands. Also, my older Boss CH1 and DD3 are getting kind of noisy and the inputs are failing. I've replaced them before but I decided to just start over and develop a new approach.

So I ordered a Truetone H2O to replace the chorus and delay. I'm excited to try that. Should be here this week.

I've been playing through a Fender 68 CDR lately and using a Crowther Hotcake (which I bought mostly for use with my AC30) for OD. Sounds great, no objections. But I don't have a tubescreamer type OD, so I also ordered a Truetone Route 66 because it also has a compressor.

I think between those and my old Dunlop Crybaby I should be set!

I'm planning to go Crybaby--> Route 66--> H2O--> Verbzilla--> amp. Simple, versatile.
 

tenchijin2

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Now it's NPD :)

My TrueTone H2O has just arrived. Can't wait to give it a go tonight. Tomorrow the Route 66 arrives.
 

tenchijin2

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Well, it sounds great! I put it between my Hot Cake and my Verbzilla, into a 71 Twin Reverb. Very tweakable, and exactly what I want a chorus to sound like. Can be made to sound downright phasey or even like vibrato.

And I must say, I'm loving the Hot Cake with the Twin. Never tried it before (I haven't played much since I got either one). I bought it for use primarily with my AC30, but the funk band I'm in really lends itself to more Fendery tones, IMO. But anyway, the Hot Cake just makes it sound like it's on fire. Exploding flabby saggy awesomeness, like a big tweed breaking up. I think I may keep the Hot Cake on the board even after the Route 66 is in place, and use it as a heavier drive for really gnarly blues stuff.
 

tenchijin2

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And the Route 66 is now on the board. I spent some time with it and have some opinions. Again, this is going into the '71 Twin.

Compressor: not quite what I expected. I need to work with it some more. I wasn't able to get what I wanted to hear from it. But it is fairly adjustable so I need to play with it and see if it can do what I want.

Overdrive: I like it. Very smooth, and not severe. I'm using it as a lighter crunch to complement the heavier sounds of the Hot Cake. I haven't experimented with its range to see how heavy it gets but I'll get around to that.
 

tenchijin2

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The next project was actually modifying the pedal board itself. I've used this simple flight case box for years. The drawbacks are that it doesn't have any cable routing or power routing options built in. Also the interior fabric is not fuzzy enough to act as the other side for the velcro with any authority. So every time I close it up and lift it, all the pedals fall to the bottom. Every time I set up I have to arrange the pedals. Anyway I haven't gigged enough recently to care but I decided I wanted to fix it.

Step one was buying a piece of 1/4" thick neoprene foam. I wanted neoprene because it's stouter than the craft style foam you buy at the fabric or craft shop. Once I had that I traced the outline of each pedal then cut out a spot for each. With the foam inside the box, the pedals now sit neatly into their spots.

Next I laid out the power and audio cables and used tie-wraps to affix them to certain spots to keep the cables out of the way.

Finally, I used a piece of 2" thick craft foam and put it into the lid of the box so that when closed it presses the pedals down, preventing them from moving.
 

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