A Love Story
One musician's feeble foray into effects pedals and tone.
My first show with effects. Pedals used (and chain used): Boss Chromatic Tuner, Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb, Blackstar HT-Drive, Digitech JamMan (with channel changer).
Another restructure of the pedals (and chain): Morley AB switch, Boss Tuner, Holy Grail Reverb, Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Overdrive (new), Rocktron Banshee Talkbox (new) JamMan (with changer).
New pedal restructure (and chain): AB switch, Boss tuner, Holy Grail Reverb, Boss DD7 Delay (new), Banshee, Twin Tube, Boomerang+ Phrase Sampler (new), JamMan (with changer).
New pedal setup (and chain): AB switch, Boss Tuner, Holy Grail Reverb, Twin Tube Overdrive, Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler (with expression pedal, in hand) (new), JamMan (and changer).
Before I went on my "Taste of Chicago" Tour in Oct '08, I knew I needed a board to keep all the pedals on (it was taking far too long to set up) so I built one.
Here's this setup (and chain): AB switch, Boss Tuner, Holy Grail Reverb, Banshee, Twin Tube Overdrive, Boomerang+, DL4, JamMan (and changer).
As you can see, I simplified. I traded in the majority of my pedals for the Line 6 M13 and bought an Expression Pedal for the M13 as well. The Rocktron Banshee started to fail on me so I ditched it.
So here's the simplified chain: AB switch, Line 6 M13 (and expression pedal), JamMan (and changer). I was pretty happy with this for quite some time, but gear heads are never truly satisfied.
I basically just added a Wah for an added dimension. Otherwise everything else is the same.
The chain is as follows: AB switch, Line 6 M13 (w/ expression pedal on the far right), Cry Baby Wah, Jamman (w/ foot switch).
I upgraded my Jamman to the stereo version and dumped the Digitech channel switcher (as it was rather redundant with the new Jamman). Some of my buttons on the Line 6 started failing on me (like my tuner button) so I got the TC Electronic Polytune. (Not pictured: Polytune and Line 6 expression pedal off to the far right.)
The chain: ABY switch, Polytune, Line 6 M13 (w/ expression pedal), Cry Baby Wah, Stereo Jamman.
The addition of the TC Helicon Harmony Singer! This pedal has been such a huge timesaver in looping harmonies. It also did away with the Morley ABY switch as I was using the other input for my mic and the mic I use for harmonies/looping plugs directly into the Harmony Singer. (Also, I accidentally dropped my wah and it stopped working, so that's out of the chain at this time.)
The most simplified chain yet: Polytune, Harmony Singer, M13 (w/ expression pedal), Jamman.
My gear tech (my oldest son at 13 months) was making some determinations on what needed to stay and what needed to go. Just you wait, kiddo. Things are about to get nuts...
Oh, the rabbit hole... I got a killer deal on my dream loop station (Boss RC-300) in Oct 2018 and everything changed. My gear tech (pictured at 2.5 years old) made some suggestions and is far more pleased with what there is to work with now. With the exception of the Polytune and Harmony Singer, I basically scrapped it all and started fresh.
So with no further adieu, the most complicated chain to date: Polytune, Harmony Singer, MXR Dyna Comp, Dunlop Volume X, Dunlop Cry Baby 535Q, EHX Micro POG, TC Electronic Spark Mini, Xotic EP Boost, Fulltone OCD, EHX Hot Wax, MXR Phase 90, MXR Analog Chorus, TC Electronic Triple Delay, TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2, Boss RC-300 (w/ Boss FS7 switch). I may have a problem...
Also peeking its head out of the background is another upgrade, my Fender Professional HSS Strat.
I need to rebuild an actual board and case for these now...
Sadly, my beloved Harmony Singer failed on me mid gig so I'm trying out the EHX Voice Box for the moment. Also swapped out the Hot Wax for the Fuzz Bender (having the OCD and Hot Wax felt redundant; the Fuzz Bender gives me a new tonal characteristic) and the classic Dyna Comp for the Keeley Compressor (so much more EQ flexibility). I also added in the Morley ABY Mix so I didn't have to unplug my guitar every time I wanted to switch from Marty to Strat, which is frequent.
I don't love the layout (some pedals are awkward to push, sometimes I accidentally kick another pedal and ultimately change the settings, the patch cables look messy, loose wires everywhere..., etc), but it will have to do for the time being.
Pedal chain: Morley ABY Mix (new), Polytune, EHX Voice Box (new), Keeley Compressor (new), Dunlop Volume X, Dunlop Cry Baby 535Q, EHX Micro POG, TC Electronic Spark Mini, Xotic EP Boost, Fulltone OCD, Keeley Fuzz Bender (new), MXR Phase 90, MXR Analog Chorus, TC Electronic Triple Delay, TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2, Boss RC-300 (w/ Boss FS7 switch)