Pedalboard Malaise

Everyone needs a stompbox.
User avatar
Shadoweclipse13
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8153
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:22 pm
Location: Stuck in the dimension of imagination

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:23 am

I'm kinda with Brad in that I sometimes play different styles or try to get specific sounds that my experience will suggest using one thing or another. Sometimes, I'll just play songs I know, sometimes I'll noodle in an ambient/post-rock kind of way, and sometimes I'll just make noise because I deeply love sound effects.

For me, the trick is how you approach thinking about it: frequently I'll look at pedals on my board, or things I want, in the context of a gigging musician, things like "that takes up too much space on my board, and I'll never use it live", etc. I realized a while back, that I'll never be a gigging musician, so it doesn't matter to me if it takes up too much space on my board or not. If it's something I'll use at home, then it's cool.

I do play with the idea of having a minimal board (as in also, not instead of), but would likely just use a few pedals from the big board for that, so they have to be easily removable from the big board to transplant to a smaller board.

Every now and again, I get the random impulse to sell everything and find a less expensive hobby, but I think that's more about the money than anything else. At the end of the day, playing and making music makes me happy, and I've found a number of things (pedals mostly) that help me achieve what I consider to be my sound. I do try to make sure that I don't have multiples of pedals that do the same thing, and make sure that if I do buy another pedal, it's something different from what I have.

I loved what Dan and Mick from That Pedal Show did to store their pedals that they aren't using, and I've been considering doing something similar. Especially for the fact that most of the pedals I own, also inspire me visually, I thought it would be cool to have them mounted on the wall like that: That Pedal Shelf
Pickup Switching Mad Scientist
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2457
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by somanytoys » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 am

Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:23 am
I'm kinda with Brad in that I sometimes play different styles or try to get specific sounds that my experience will suggest using one thing or another. Sometimes, I'll just play songs I know, sometimes I'll noodle in an ambient/post-rock kind of way, and sometimes I'll just make noise because I deeply love sound effects.

For me, the trick is how you approach thinking about it: frequently I'll look at pedals on my board, or things I want, in the context of a gigging musician, things like "that takes up too much space on my board, and I'll never use it live", etc. I realized a while back, that I'll never be a gigging musician, so it doesn't matter to me if it takes up too much space on my board or not. If it's something I'll use at home, then it's cool.

I do play with the idea of having a minimal board (as in also, not instead of), but would likely just use a few pedals from the big board for that, so they have to be easily removable from the big board to transplant to a smaller board.
Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel.

I'm not gigging and playing out right now, but I do plan to one day, so at the moment it's about what I want, and I'll already have lots of things to choose from to use when I do start playing out again. I try out different sounds to see what sounds are best for a part or a line, or paired with the bass and drums, and sometimes it can be 2 different settings, that give the same part 2 different dimensions or 1 a better cut through the mix to accentuate it. Or I can leave the pedals off.

I have a large board, a small board, a bass board with a looper and a Beat Buddy drum pedal, and I also will use just a small string of varying pedals with a single small amp, to go minimalist. As I said above, that can be just as fun, concentrating on making the guitar give up the different sounds more. I like options. I have personally had more regrets about things I didn't buy when the opportunity was there, than any and all of the things I've bought and then sold, even when I lost money on them.

It's something that everyone has to decide for themselves, though, everyone's situation is different.

I don't golf, hunt, fish, work on cars or have any other expensive hobbies. I just have one, single, expensive passion,
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
cestlamort
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4112
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by cestlamort » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:19 am

I’ve often joked that, even with a brisk gear turnover, guitars are cheaper than golf...

I have surely said this here before but I find the Ibanez UE racks that I use to solve some of the pedalboard malaise. Having two racks that cover most things, I find that I have limited myself and also freed myself from the perpetual striving for the latest greatest true bypass spaceship in a pedal. I still will buy a pedal now and then, especially older reissues, but the effort and planning to incorporate it in the live setup often means that these stay on the sidelines. I figure that if I cannot do it with a compressor, EQ, chorus, flanger, overdrive, phaser and an analog delay, it is my fault. That said, I have an eventide h9 for reverbs and tuner and whatever else may be needed. Anything more requires mental and signal path gymnastics.

There is something really wonderful about plugging in to some new gadget that makes the guitar sound like what’s in your head or what you never would have thought of. I’ve had fun with the boss me-5 for that reason, for example.

My advice: pare everything down for a while then add stuff slowly back. We live in the effect pedal gold rush boom years. It’s okay to step back.

User avatar
Jaguar018
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6982
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:48 am
Location: Burbs of Washington DC

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by Jaguar018 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:47 am

Buying guitar pedals is my last 'expensive' hobby. I no longer really get guitars or amps. The other main things I buy are sneakers, but I'm pretty maxed out there; I get a pair three or four times a year.

I think I just need to box up and hide my second board, and maybe take a few pedals off my "#1" board too.

Not being a pedal hoarder, the money side starts to bug me. I have I Moogerfooger 104M delay and a EAR 4096 MKII delay. They are pretty cool sounding and looking, but part of me just wants to get the money for them and do whatever.

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8275
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:55 am

I've been doing a little bit of a mini-purge at home lately just generally.

I've lived in my current residence for 9 years, and things just start to pile up.

There are things I moved into this place 9 years ago that I've not used once, and which have no sentimental value. It's time for those things to find a new home. Some of them are trash, and some of them are "not trash," but whether they're thrown away, given away, donated or sold (mostly just the first three), it's time for them to go.

The crazy thing is, over the past couple of months I've removed cubic feet of stuff from my house and I can't tell the difference. Mostly a few shelves feel a bit less cluttered, some cabinets are merely "full" instead of "stuffed to the point of barely getting the door closed," etc. Which lets me know that I've still got a ways to go.

I was a long way from "hoarder" status, but still closer than I'd like to be...

User avatar
fuzzjunkie
Expat
Expat
Posts: 3879
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:32 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by fuzzjunkie » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:59 am

We do live in a golden age of effects pedals, but except for a few, like some of Meris or Fairfield Circuitry offers, they do they same things as countless other pedals.

Unless you want to go down the rabbit hole of, I so need the best Big Muff, or unobtainium transistor Fuzz Face, or analog delay, it’s best to pick one from each category and be done with it.

That’s my pedal. That’s my sound.

Decide what is essential to your sound and stick to it. Write songs around that sound and it will become yours. Otherwise you’re just mucking about, which is fine, but it won’t develop your abilities much.

Get (or keep) a dirt pedal or two, a modulation of some sort if you need it, and something spatial, like delay or reverb. If you have an amp with tremolo/vibrato and reverb then maybe all you need is a Tone Bender and an Echoplex, or a Tube Screamer and an AD-9.

Add to that base only if you truly need something. Gee, I am playing more with more clean tones than I expected, maybe a compressor or a digital reverb would fill things out?

Or go rack. Like C’estlamort. Once you go rack, you won’t go back! At least in 1988 that was true.

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8275
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:27 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:59 am
Once you go rack, you won’t go back! At least in 1988 that was true.
I fantasize about it being true again. Anything to stop this feeling of drowning in a sea of 5,096,999 different 'boutique' TS-808s...

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2457
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by somanytoys » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:01 pm

I'd like to go a bit more rack one day, but I still haven't really incorporated or even played around much with the 2 SPX 90s that I have.

I have some pedals that could be called redundant in a way, but those really apply mostly or only to varying dirt pedals, although often I do buy 2 of the same pedal, either as a backup if they're a limited run, or for the 2nd pedalboard.

That's kind of funny mentioning all of the boutique TS-808s/TS-9s, Brad.

One of my first pedals was a Keeley BD-2, although I was actually lusting over his TS-9 mods for a while, but bought the BD-2 (and a 4 knob compressor and Katana) instead. I never owned a TS-9 until a friend gave me his in around '07 or so. It's cool, it's modded, and has a socket installed, and I have both the 4558-D and Burr Brown chip to interchange, for that massive difference in sound. I've used it over the years, but it's not been a staple or anything. Also, I recently bought one of Peter's Pale Horse pedals during his VFE going-out-of business-sale , because I've liked supporting Peter and I like all of his other pedals that I own. But of his pedals and everything else I've bought over the years, a boutique TS-9 hasn't been one of them. Until next month (when he builds it).

That pedal is one of the OGs, that everyone from the 80's shred hair metal bands (the better bands, not like Warrant or Poison) to SRV used, in highly contrasting ways. And with all of the Ibanez models, all the mods and all the boutique variations that are made, it's the one pedal that I've not really sought after.

I guess I'll enjoy comparing the Ibanez against the VFE, maybe even swapping out the chips for some real cork sniffing.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8275
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:02 pm

Oh, I've had tons of fun dorking out about all of that stuff. I'm not above it or anything.

I'm just kind of bored of it, lately.

User avatar
i love sharin foo
Mods
Mods
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:26 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by i love sharin foo » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:46 pm

I had about a decade and a half where I cared more about gear than playing. With about 70% of that skewed toward pedals, where my only drive was to acquire more. Always looking for something that worked “better”. I think that I really only played when I was either trying out a new pedal, guitar, or amp or else making comparisons.

Pretty recently it really dawned on me that I had been doing that. I’ve since jumped back into actually playing again. I’m now having a better time than I ever have before. It sounds dumb to say out loud, but I have never enjoyed playing as much as I am now. I have all my pedals and don’t plan on a mass liquidation or anything. I’ve just recentered my focus on why I play.. which is to PLAY! I’ve been doing lots of book studying, learning things that I meant to years ago. I’ve been honest with myself and finally figured out that MY fascination with pedals is, to a large degree, a crutch to circumvent my shortcomings as a player.
"There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine..."

User avatar
Shadoweclipse13
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8153
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:22 pm
Location: Stuck in the dimension of imagination

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:25 am

somanytoys wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 am
I'm not gigging and playing out right now, but I do plan to one day, so at the moment it's about what I want, and I'll already have lots of things to choose from to use when I do start playing out again.

... ... ...

I don't golf, hunt, fish, work on cars or have any other expensive hobbies. I just have one, single, expensive passion
I'd be happy to just jam with some other people at home. Shows are a lot of fun, but I honestly prefer the low-key, jam kind of environment, to making sure that a show goes off without a hitch.

I wish I only had one expensive hobby. Woodworking isn't cheap either ;D

i love sharin foo wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:46 pm
I had about a decade and a half where I cared more about gear than playing. With about 70% of that skewed toward pedals, where my only drive was to acquire more. Always looking for something that worked “better”. I think that I really only played when I was either trying out a new pedal, guitar, or amp or else making comparisons.

Pretty recently it really dawned on me that I had been doing that. I’ve since jumped back into actually playing again. I’m now having a better time than I ever have before. It sounds dumb to say out loud, but I have never enjoyed playing as much as I am now. I have all my pedals and don’t plan on a mass liquidation or anything. I’ve just recentered my focus on why I play.. which is to PLAY! I’ve been doing lots of book studying, learning things that I meant to years ago. I’ve been honest with myself and finally figured out that MY fascination with pedals is, to a large degree, a crutch to circumvent my shortcomings as a player.
That's amazing Justin. That's what I need to get back into. I've got a few things to figure out at home (furniture builds this summer), and then I want to get back to playing.
Pickup Switching Mad Scientist
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:57 am

I know many folks get inspired by the sounds they get from effects and it leads to new musical ideas. It usually doesn’t work that way for me. I’ve got to strip that stuff away when writing or I’ll just end up pointlessly noodling.

User avatar
Jaguar018
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6982
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:48 am
Location: Burbs of Washington DC

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by Jaguar018 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:21 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:57 am
I know many folks get inspired by the sounds they get from effects and it leads to new musical ideas. It usually doesn’t work that way for me. I’ve got to strip that stuff away when writing or I’ll just end up pointlessly noodling.
My life consists mostly of pointless noodling at this point. :mellow: That is probably where most of my malaise is coming from. Playing with a purpose, whether it's with or without effects, is where the best part of playing music is.

Collecting gear can be really fun. The aesthetics of gear, for some of us-- including me-- can be entrancing. But I feel like I am a little burnt out. Planning/commissioning custom builds and rehousings just feels a little empty.

I feel like I am not the only one on here that has gone through the looking glass/rabbit hole/whatever and come out the other side. Now I am realizing what I need and don't need to be a good player and have fun. I'm tired of chasing that effects dragon's tail that is never really going to get caught.

User avatar
Maggieo
Expat
Expat
Posts: 10137
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Nebraska, USA
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by Maggieo » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:51 am

Jaguar018 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:21 am
marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:57 am
I know many folks get inspired by the sounds they get from effects and it leads to new musical ideas. It usually doesn’t work that way for me. I’ve got to strip that stuff away when writing or I’ll just end up pointlessly noodling.
My life consists mostly of pointless noodling at this point. :mellow: That is probably where most of my malaise is coming from. Playing with a purpose, whether it's with or without effects, is where the best part of playing music is.

Collecting gear can be really fun. The aesthetics of gear, for some of us-- including me-- can be entrancing. But I feel like I am a little burnt out. Planning/commissioning custom builds and rehousings just feels a little empty.

I feel like I am not the only one on here that has gone through the looking glass/rabbit hole/whatever and come out the other side. Now I am realizing what I need and don't need to be a good player and have fun. I'm tired of chasing that effects dragon's tail that is never really going to get caught.
I'm just coming out of a Guitar-Cord-Amp phase and rediscovering how much fun pedals are, so I reckon this sort of stuff is cyclical. Like Cylons. :ph34r:
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

User avatar
øøøøøøø
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8275
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Pedalboard Malaise

Post by øøøøøøø » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:38 am

I've been in and out of several cycles of gear-obsessiveness myself.

This is probably not true for everyone, but it never made me happier or more fulfilled. Only poorer.

Of course, I still have much of the gear I acquired during those phases. Much of it has appreciated in value, and almost all of it gets used at least now and again. So not all bad, I suppose.

Post Reply