Setting Up Your Pedalboard by George's Music (by Eric Lacovara)
Setting Up Your Pedalboard
One of the most exciting experiences a guitarist (or bass player) encounters in their playing career is the setting up of their effects pedal board.
However, with so many components involved, building or setting up a new pedal-board could sound like a daunting task, but we’re here to help!
Here are some of the primary questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you set out on your journey of tone!
How big of a board do I need?
When considering the size of your new board, you’ll not only want to accommodate the pedals you already have, but also be able to take on any “new additions” which is almost always the case! I always recommend going a little bigger than needed and arrange accordingly. You should also account for the type of power supply you’ll be using, which brings us to our next question.
How do I power this thing?
There are a few good options here, depending on the number of pedals and budget you are working with. The easiest (and most cost effective) way is the daisy chain approach. This is where you’d have one cable that strings from pedal to pedal and is powered off of one adapter.
But more widely used are the “box” style power supplies. These are great when working with pedals that have different voltage requirements (9v/12v/18v/etc). It also lends to a cleaner looking board. Some even offer a sag feature which allows you to manually set the voltage that the pedal receives. A very cool feature to get the most out of certain pedals like Overdrives.
Do I really need multiple levels?
Depending on the sizes of your different pedals, you may want to consider extra tiers on your pedalboard. It allows you to maximize your space and can really help with the “reach” if it’s something you use a lot. Some companies offer angled tiers for even easier access. And the space underneath is great for hiding cables, or even your power box for a nice neat look.
What kind of cables should I use?
There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to cables, but in our experience it comes down to player preference. There will be slight variations in tone, so it’s a matter of how your ear perceives it.
Basically, you want the highest quality you can afford. This will help reduce any potential ‘noise’ in your effects chain. Also, take a current inventory of your present effect selection to determine if ‘straight’ plugs are more logical than ‘right angled’ plugs. This can make a big difference in how you lay your pedals out and how much additional room may be needed.
Do the pedals go in a certain order?
Because certain effects create certain ‘tonal changes’ it really does matter. And if you think about it logically, there are certain effects you want before others. For instance, if you use only delay and overdrive, you want the overdriven signal delayed and not the delayed signal overdriven, hence the overdrive would be first and the delay last. Here’s a good order to get you going:
Tuner > Wah > Compressor > OD or Distortion > EQ > Pitch FX > Modulation > Echo/Delay > Looper
George’s Music is always committed to your satisfaction! We invite you to call any of our Retail Locations or our Toll Free number at 800-544-7625 to help answer any questions you may have.