Archive for the ‘Pedal Board’ Category

Hotel California

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009


This song lends itself to using the loop station. I haven’t tried using my octave multiplier to add a bass part to the loop but, I hope it will work.  I noticed that measure 69 and 70 should outline an e minor chord rather than an F# chord.  Just move those 2 measures down a whole step (2 frets) and it will sound a whole lot better.  There are probably repeats further on in the piece but, I haven’t looked for them yet.

Pedal Board Part 8

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Pedal Board w/retractable cord

One thing I want out of my pedal board is convenience and speedy set up. Since most of my performing recently has been at open mics I have to get set up in the time it takes to plug a guitar into an amp. I haven’t used the pedal board at open mics but, if I ever hope to I need to keep this set up simple. A retractable cord is so much much faster and neater than winding a cord. The challenge here is fitting this unit in the lid of my pedal board case; it doesn’t. I researched months ago on-line for various options on adding a retractable cord to my pedal board and this is the closest I got to what I was looking for. I found this in Home Depot for about $30. My first thought was to cannibalize a vacuum cleaner which would leave me with a 2 prong plug. That wouldn’t be an issue if I was just powering my effects; all the power supplies are two prong anyway. I’m planning on plugging my Ampeg amp into it which was 2 prong until I finally got fed up with getting zapped. There are certain modifications that need to be made; primarily, the outlets have to be switched. The other modification is to make it fit. I seem to remember measuring the clearance above the pedals on the left side and thinking there was enough room. That was before I added that red box on the left front-the looper. I may have to make a bigger box.

In the hour since I published this post I started to take the BAYCO model 800 retractable cord reel apart. There are 2 screw holding the housing and bracket together. I removed them and fortunately I was hold the thing together because I felt the spring inside start to move and undoubtedly would have done something violent if I pulled apart the metal housing. Other options are starting to look better.

Pedal Board Part 7

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

This past week I auditioned for a dance band. I had serious reservations about playing the ten disco songs they have in their repertoire but, I really liked the rest of their set list. I, of course, sabotaged my audition by not learning as many of the songs as I could have but, I knew that going somewhere else would force me to make my pedal board road worthy. It did work for the audition but, on bringing it back all hell broke loose; of my four vintage pedals, the only one with a light is the tube screamer and it wasn’t going on and I had no idea whether the other positive center pedals were working or not. Between the 17 signal cords and 12 dc power cords something or another wasn’t working and worse yet, working intermittently. It turns out that a little screw on the power supply that was held in place by a little metal plate had fallen out god knows when. In jostling the pedal board around the screw holding plate had fallen into a place on the inside of the power supply that created a short; an intermittent short. It’s an easy repair but, a bitch to find. This is especially true when one or more of the dc and/or signal cords decides it’s time to stop conducting. I still have to secure a few pedals to the board but, what’s bothering me the most now is the compressor; it’s not working. It might have been working fine before the power supply fiasco but, I replaced the ic and on putting it back together I found a little brown wire that had lost it’s connection to the back of the foot switch. I probably guessed wrong when I connected it to one of the six solder points it might have been attached to. I might also have messed up a path on the printed circuit board. I might have gotten a gob of solder where it shouldn’t be and shorted something out thus, destroying yet another ic. So, for now I’ll just have to be happy that I have the

Wah – Flange – Tube Screamer – Delay/Echo – ( Compressor) – EQ – Octave Doubler – Phaser – Tuner – Looper – Gate/Direct working.

Pedal Board /Part 6

Friday, March 6th, 2009
TPedal Board as of 3/6/09

Pedal Board as of 3/6/09

This is how the pedal board looked today. I moved the hinge so when the back of the lid sits flat on the floor the board also sits flat on the floor. The mic still moves when I stomp on the wah but, that could be because it’s sitting on carpet. The newest addition to the board is a looper and a couple of external foot switches. This thing is a lot of fun and between the drum loops and the octave pedal, which allows me to overlay a bass part, I may not need any other players. I bought the external foot switches from the keyboard counter at The Guitar Center. The looper’s owner’s manual suggested a particular foot switch to use which cost about $30 each. I would have bought it at the guitar counter but, there was some fool grilling the salesman about tuners and I would have waited a long time for my turn. Instead I went to the keyboard counter since the primary purpose for this switch was as a sustain pedal. They didn’t have the recomended switch but, they had a sustain pedal with the same bells and whistles for $15. I should thank that fool for saving me $30 on two switches.

From the guitar end the path of the signal runs Cry Baby Wah, Ibanez Flanger FL301, Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808, Ibanez Delay Echo DE7, Fender Tuner AG6, Roctek 6 Band EQ GER 01, Arion Octave MOC 1, Roctec Phaser PHR 01, Boss Loop Station RC2, MXR Noise Gate.

Pedal Board/ Part 5

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

About the time that I created a boxed enclosure for my pedal board I was trying out heavier microphones on a tripod mic stand.  Since I was using a pedal board I needed a boom and I couldn’t line up one of the legs of the tripod under the boom because it would sit on top of the pedal board.  I tried an anvil for a while and then I thought,” Why don’t I just dispense with the tripod and attach the shaft of the mic stand to the lid of the pedal board?”  It certainly was heavy enough.  Unfortunately, that little space that caused the lid to move was like a lever on the mic stand.  I got smacked in the face by the mic every time I stomped on the pedal board.

Pedal Board/ Part 4

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The pedal board has become a box and has changed from a cumbersome thing to carry to a moderately heavy thing to carry.  A close family member dabbled in the obsession of collecting effects and made some purchases that complemented mine.  He lost interest quickly and thought that he would be better off with the cash.  I relieved him of his well made purchases and since they were purchased with such care for economic factors he got the full retail price.  I was then the proud owner of an octave doubler, a pedal tuner, a phase shifter and a 7 band eq; all positive center.  For a power supply I bought a little plastic project box, drilled holes and installed a bunch of female rca plugs in parallel.  I plugged a wall wart into it and very, very carefully triple checked every polarity with a meter and the literature that came with each device.  This was quite a challenge.  One device’s literature only had the polarity listed in the chinese section.  It looked like this; +  with an arrow pointing to a dot inside a circle.  That information and an English part that suggested a particular make and manufacturer of a power supply established all of my new pedals as a positive center units.  However, these effects were at least 3/4 of an inch longer than the old ones and had the DC in placed at the back of the units.  I had just enough room for an angle plug; something at the time I couldn’t find.  So, I melted the plastic on a straight plug and bent it over.

Pedal Board/Part 3

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Having given up my delusion of being a lead guitarist I never for a moment stopped being a pack rat. My career as a music teacher progressed and in short order put me and my wife in a position to buy a house. With the purchase of a house came all kinds of construction material; one being a piano hinge which we used on the kitchen counter to cover the washer and dryer. Of course, we bought too much and as soon as I saw that piano hinge my mind wandered towards a cover for the pedal board. I built a box shaped lid and hinged it to my pedal board at the back edge to the board and the inside back of the lid.  You may notice that where the hinge is placed it creates a slight angle from the floor up.  You would think that would be a good thing for something that you’re going to work with on the floor in front of you but, when you stomp on it it moves down and if you really stomp on it the lid could close on your foot.  For several years I  developed a very light touch.pedalboarddiagram

Pedal Board/Part 2

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I left off the saga of the pedal board in part 1 with a tube screamer, a wah, a flanger, a compressor, a power supply and a noise gate; all with a positive center power supply.  After that the bass guitarist for my group Hodge Podge moved back to West Virginia and in my deep depression I wrote The Doldrums and got a teaching job my future mother in law found for me in Westchester.  There I joined a group called The Strangers.  It started out as a 4 piece group; 2 guitars, bass and drums with everyone singing.  There was a nice mix of songs that I was familiar enough with that we were out making money in a couple of weeks.  We started adding songs that were popular on the radio at the time (1981).  This was mostly punk.  I didn’t understand punk but, it was easy enough to play.  We added a keyboard player who fancied himself an electronics wiz.  As every new member of a group does he sought to endear himself to the older band members.  Guido asked me what I wanted for my pedal board.  I couldn’t add any new effects until I got another power supply.  When I came to the next rehearsal my signature sound Ibanez compressor had been upgraded to a new one.  This compressor did what it was supposed to do; it didn’t change the sound.  It just added sustain.  My sound was gone.  It seems that Guido had tested out his power supply on the one effect I couldn’t replace.  Polarity matters.  He killed my signature sound.  I stopped being a lead guitarist for 25 years.

Pedal Board/Part 1

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Back in the mid 70’s I started my collection of effects. My first purchase was an Ibanez compressor. I chose it based solely on price. Ibanez did not have this particular compressor/sustainer on the market very long for obvious reasons. It was noisy and it distorted the sound. I liked the sound and when the bassist in the group called the sound wicked I designated it as my signature sound. The noise thing led me to my second pedal; an MXR noise gate. This neat little device also had an XLR out. The tube screamer I bought because it was so much cheaper than the Big Muff. That was long before Nirvana and the value of my bargain basement effect hit the ceiling. After I bought the flanger and a wah it was time to mount the stuff on a board with an MXR power supply. I used a piece of lumber left over from the construction of a closet shelf and 3/4 inch rounded molding to hold the pre velcro units in place. That’s how the pedal board stayed until long after the industry standard changed to negative center power supplies.

Bob and his pedal board

Bob and his pedal board