Pedal Board

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Below is my current layout and arrangement. Now that everything is being powred from a good PSU, the tones I'm getting are amazing. By far the best tones I've heared from my gear!


Below is an older shot from over a year ago. There's been a few changes and additions.

Pedal Board

This year I have been developing a pedal board for my bass effects. These days, basses are really well catered for with specific units designed for bass players.

I chose a Boss case and PSU, although recently I have replaced the PSU with a One Spot 1.7A unit which is driving everything far better.

I really like the input and output boards on this case, it means the effects pedals don't take a hammering every time I unplug my bass.

The case packs up with the cover and it just works. It's got a great handle and I can pop the PSU and cables inside and shut it all up.

I'm using various interconnects, EBS flats, Planet Waves Solderless and a number of Dunlop direct connectors (which are great).

I've built a few pedals and I've added a few more Overdrives to my board this year. I'm at a place where I'm really happy with the results and every pedal has a specific purpose.

1) Tuner: or me, a tuner isn't just for setups on stage, it's useful to track tuning and intonation when i'm playing a fretless.

2) Compressor: Easy and simple, one knob and a three way switch. Perfect...hey, every bassist needs a compressor right?

3) Pre-amp / EQ: Great for dialing "THAT" tone, or driving a specific volume or EQ into a pedal. it's especially good for getting the best out of an Octave Divider.

4) Octaver: MXR BOD, a lush and organic sounding analogue Octaver.

5) Envelope Filter: MXR again, plays really well with the Octaver and this pedal is funky.

6) Blacksheep Outlaw: bass overdrive at it's best. This is a great OD, but has a very distinctive sound. Sits in a mix really well.

7) Gareth Overdrive: Based on a Timmy OD with a few tweeks.

8) Lion Of Judah: based on a Wamper Tripple Wreck with a few personal mods. an awesome pedal which cah get REALLY heavy if needed. Complex and thick sounding.

9) Swollen Pickle: A wild Fuzz pedal with a great mid scoop EQ.

10) Joyo American Sound: Oh my....sounds so sweet, warm and textured. It handles light to medium OD very well and it cascades into the bad lands very well.

11) MXR El Grande Bass Fuzz: this is one wild child. But in ambient / textural scapes this thing sounds great.

12) TC electronics Corona Chorus: a really nice smooth chorus.

13) Zoom MS 70CDR: this pedal is amazing, it handles all my textural and ambient delays / reverbs and other stuff. It's a little treasure box of wonders.


Input, EQ and gain stage

Boss TU-3 Tuner

I use a Boss TU-3 tuner in bypass mode. So I can check my tuning during a song (great for fretless work) while still playing. It's pretty accurate and tracks well.


EBS MultiComp

The next pedal in my chain is an EBS Multicomp. It's a really simple multi band compressor and sounds great. It's a worthy stop gap until my FEA labs Dual band Compressor about 6 months!

Every Bass pedal board needs a compressor in there somewhere, ideally right at the beginning of the chain. I'm a big fan of Dual band compressors and this is about the best currently available outside of the FEA labs gear.

It's a really simple unit to operate, only one knob operates the compressor, so it's a no brainer to use. The three way switch operates the various modes. The dual band mode allows for quite strong compression, which still sounding good.


MXR Bass Preamp

This is the heart of my pedal board. 18db cut or boost (which is a lot) of Bass, parametric Mid and Treble. The mid control is quite amazing and it's Q value is just right. It can cut though and drive my other effects really well. My octaver tracks amazingly well with a 12db boost at 700 Hz and it sounds great too. This pedal is so good, I'm thinking of abandoning onboard active EQ electrics on my future basses. This pedal is way better than anything else I've tried.

It's a great unit and don't coout the tone, whilst allowing a huge array of control. I use it a lot to drive the mid range though my octaver. Or darken or brighten my distortion. It's great to get this done early in the chain so it can drive through the other efftects.



Modulation, the Funky stages


MXR Octave Deluxe

I LOVE this pedal, it's a great sounding analogue Octaver. It tracks well and has a great tone...although it's a bit of a one trick pony, it's a great sound. The Preamp EQ helps drive this effect.

Hmmm what a lovely Octave sound this unit produces. Push though with some mids and it tracks really well. The growl control is really nice.


MXR Envelope Filter

This pedal is just a whole lotta funky fun. It's great on it's own or in combo with the octaver. It's great fingerstyle or slap...but again it really only has one or two useful sounds...but they are amazing! This works great with my Octaver too. Bootsy Colins look out!

This unit has a lot of controls which help to centre the tone and levels on a certain auto wah sound.


Meridian Funkulator

On Order. This is both an Octaver and an Envelope Filter in a single box. But each effect is independantly switchable. The Q on the envelope filter can be controlled via a foot pedel which allows some amazing swells. The octaver has a really nice tone to it and is voiced differently to my MXR pedal. So the two compliment each other. But the real fun with this pedal is the octave up synth's awesome and is easily the best feature of the whole pedal. Funkulator indeed. My copy has a Talkbass custom case graphics :D



Grit, Grind and Fuzz

MXR El Grande Bass Fuzz

This is one hot pedal. It's quite unlike any other fuzz that I've tried. It sounds more like an overdrive but on steroids. This pedal is not for the faint hearted and it has grit like you wouldn't belive. Think Blackstrobe's "I'm a Man" and that's pretty much this pedal at it's lighter settings. The tone control is a great upper mid filter, which helps cut through. This is great with the octaver or Filter and driven really well from the preamp EQ pedal.

It's a pedal of exteams so the control bands of useful tones are quite short and narrow and I'm sure you can see from my pencil marks! The gain is very very hot and quite wild. But the fuzz this produces is more like an Overdrive sound and not the usual fuzz tone, which is why I keep it. Monophonic gritty bass lines is where this pedal is at.


MXR Bass OverDrive

This is a great sounding Overdrive, less clear than my El-Grande but takes the preamp well. It's great for distorted chordal work and some very distinct grind. The real sweet thing here is the blend and tone control. This pedal is great when combined or driven after other pedals.

It's hard to dial in a really light overdrive but when it's engaged it's a lot of fun and a great tone. Like all good pedals, it's real fun is how it plays and interacts with other pedals.


Joyo American Sound

This pedal is amazingly cheap and realy delivers way over it's price point. When using this pedal to dial in the lightest of Overdrive or power though a blisting explosion of grit, the tone still cuts though really well.



Ambience, Shimmer and a touch of Wobble

Zoom MS-70CDR

This pedal needs a lot of juice to run but oh is it so sweet? It's a digital moddler which sticks to all that digital does well, namely Chorus, Delay and Reverbs. Of which there are numerous of each. My favs here are the TC Corona Chorus, MXR Carbon Copy and HD Reverb models...awesome, perfect and all in one neat little stomper.

This needs a lot of power for such a small unit, 500ma. But it's worth the bother. It's a real gem from Zoom. It does so much SO well.


TC Electronics Corona Chorus

This pedal is just so nice in softer gentle songs. No need for a fretless here...this pedal adds a lovely sheen over the top end and seems to add a nice sustain too. I liked the model of it on the Zoom MS70CDR so much, I bought the dedicated pedal for it and it's slightly better and more featured. It's combined with the tripple chorus on this unit. It's easy to power and even easier to get a great sound from. It's packed with the "tone print" feature.