What’s on my board…

Posted: November 4, 2011 in General
Tags: , , , ,

I love pedal boards. I love finding the best order for pedals, rearranging mine, looking at pictures of others, I love it all.  Just for a bit of fun I thought I’d post what I currently have on my board.

Korg Ptichblack – great tuner, fast and accurate. Looks great

Devi Ever 90 – I love this pedal, its a very distortiony fuzz, but a fuzz nonetheless. Cleans up well by rolling back the guitars volume, but I usually play it full tilt. Can get wild with the intensity set high, and is frigging loud. Great stuff.

Railhead Effects T.U.A – Oh how I love this distortion. The T.U.A is one of those pedals that make you play better just from the sheer enjoyment of using it. Some say there is no “chugga chugga” palm muting to be had here, but I have no idea what they are doing as mine chugs along, even with everything set at 12 o’clock! My favourite distortion pedal hands down, I can’t find a bad setting (unless I really, really try!) and one that blows so many distortions out of the water.

Digitech Bad Monkey – Everyone seems to have a monkey. They are great for pushing a valve amp, but I can’t be dealing with it on its own. Used as a clean boost generally.

Karma Pedals OCD clone – Great OD cloned by Ben at Karma pedals. A one-off in this enclosure. I love it after the Bad Monkey because the monkey just gives it a bit of bite. I love this for the calmer, but still dirty, moments.

WMD Geiger Counter – My all time favorite pedal. I love this beast. And it is a beast, and a bloody dear one at that. I once read that using this as a distortion is “the equivalent of riding a lion to a pony show”, and couldn’t agree more. It is hideous. The first time I used it I honestly thought the thing was fucked up. It shook me a bit, the knobs go way beyond a normal useable range and the amount of options is overwhelming. Thing is, 6 months on I’m still finding new settings and sounds from this, its scope is a s good as limitless. Some of my all time favourite distortions and fuzzes come out of this – imagine an aggressive, bitey mess with 8 bit undertones and zero sustain. It is truly breathtaking and I salute WMD firstly for producing this and secondly for William Mathewson for being such a top bloke when I emailed him about something. This isn’t something I use all the time, but it is a great tinkering pedal and doe’s something nothing else can. Had 2 of these and the screen fell out of both! It is a quick and easy unessential fix though, contact me if you have the same problem and I’ll fill you in on how I did it.

0xd FX Barefoot EXP – LDR expression pedal made by, er, me! I use this as it is tiny and makes the Geiger Counter even more fun (when used in the right setting!). It’s nice to have one of my pedals on my board, and anything more feels a bit pretentious. Not 10% sure about the artwork after all, but still it’s pretty small so you have to squint to see it!

ISP Decimator – Incredible noise gate, can’t be doing without this.

EHX Small Stone Nano – Classic phaser. I had one, sold it because I believed the Malekko must be better, missed it like crazy and ended up buying another one! I love the thick chewy phasing you get out of the SS, and this nano version doesn’t have the volume drop the original SS did. I find the ‘black’ setting is too deep for most applications, the basey end of the swosh actually bothers me, so I usually have it set on ‘orange’ at around 12 o’clock, which gives the generic phasing speed most people would think of. For me that’s good enough, when I want it I switch it on, the rest of the time it is off, no need to fiddle. How it should be for an effect like this. NFA, how I like it (No Fucking About). Ideally I want a Mojohand Nebula to sit as King beside this on my board, but one is proving pretty hard to track down so for now she sits alone!

Malekko 616 – Excellent analog delay, with a useless modulation mode. Self oscillates maybe a little to early, but this can also be great fun. Repeats are nice and mellow,  very organic sounding. I have trouble with this pedal in my loop though, which is probably a loop problem and not the pedals fault. I used to use this after a EHX Metal Muff (muff love here, people knock this pedal because “you should be using your amps distortion yah de dah de dah”, when sometimes I want to sound like a 14-year-old with too much gain and not enough mids shredding in his room, we’ve all been there and it is a place I plan to always revisit once in a while) and it made the MM sound epic. Some people prefer a digital delay, but for me this is the real deal without breaking the bank.

Not on the board, but sometimes come out to play…

Behringer SM200 – Quite a good slow gear style pedal. Not a very widely used effect, and not an effect I’d want to pay a fortune for (although I do have my eye on a VFE Bumble Bee), but quite a cool effect none the less. Having never played a Boss Slow Gear I’m not sure, but to me the controls seem slightly off. I have a GT8 with a slow gear patch on it, and that feels much more useable, the reset threshold is much more natural. Still, I think Behringer get a hard time when they produce a generally great product considering how much they cost. The enclosures are fine, despite what others will tell you. I’ve stamped the hell out of mine for over a year and it is barely scratched, yet alone cracked. Consider Behringer a way in, buy an effect, test it, see if you use it and if you can justify it then shell out for a more expensive ’boutique’ version. Just don’t compare a Behringer Vintage Phaser to a Blackout Effectors Whetstone Phaser (unlike a good portion of the Ultimate Guitar users seem to do) and you will be happy. Probably.

Barber Dirty Bomb – I love this distortion. Barber make great pedals, and this is fantastic. The reason it isn’t on my board is because it sounds so amp like that I can’t justify it alongside my amp. That said, nothing compares to cranked tube distortion, no matter how much it costs, but this and some other pedals (Okko Dominator I’m looking at you) come close. I like my distortion pedals on my board to sound vastly different to my amp, and so for that reason this little guy is off. Can’t praise it enough though.

EHX Metal Muff – This is the big one with top boost. I sometimes love the cheesy wasp-in-a-can distortion this biggun’ creates, at least for messing about with. I can’t take it seriously for either live or recording applications, but I can’t deny it is a fun pedal. If you need convincing just roll up the gain, bass and treble to around 2 o’clock, scoop the mids down to 9 o’clock and pretend your 14 all over again playing on a crappy 10w practice amp in your bedroom. Sometimes you just can’t beat it. The muff also responds well really to my Bomb Idea sag pedal – at just under 4v it starts sounding like a fuzz, a very velcro-y fuzz, and if you go to around 3.5v it starts farting and spluttering.

EHX Small Stone Nano – Classic sounding phaser, I’m on number 2. I had one before, sold it to get the Malekko Phase which had a more tweakable ‘colour’ and a small footprint, and ended up buying another Small Stone Nano. Don’t get me wrong, the Malekko is a good phaser, but the SSN is an excellent phaser. It may not be the most complex or adjustable, but to me that is its beauty. It’s a very lush sounding pedal, and I love it at a slowish rate over my cleans. This beauty won’t be leaving my board anytime time soon.

Axl SC-2 – This cheapy stereo chorus pedal is actually pretty sweet for the £18 I paid for it. Not true bypass so you do notice slight tone suck when it is not being used, but it shimmers pretty well and I love the fact you can blend it in with the dry signal. Can sound pretty creepy (think TSOL Silent Scream/Weathered Statues) and has a good control range. If it wasnt so effing big it would probably sit on my board in a true bypass loop, but sadly being the monster (and an ugly one at that) that it is it is relegated to the cupboard, only to play occasionally.

Zoom FP-02 – Expression pedal used with the WMD Geiger Counter. Turns the lion into an enraged bio-mechanical death machine.

I also think I should mention pedals of the past – Axl SC-2, Malekko Phase, Marshall Guv’nor (original), Boss CS3 (with pedaldoc mod), Korg Ax1500G and the Boss GT8 which will all always have a special part in the pedal part of my heart! Playing a PRS Custom 22 through a Traynor YCV50 Blue, loaded with JJ E34L’s and JJ 12AX7’s

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