So we’ve basically reached the halfway point of the effects portion of this site. Up to this point I’ve described my setup for Board A consisting of distortions, fuzz’s, overdrives, boosts, Wah’s and filters. So why this setup and not modulations, delays, and reverbs first?
The output of this section is extremely hot, and if you were to put Board B (modulations, delays, reverbs) up front, the overall effects of Board B would be lost. The effects on Board A are meant to degrade and distort the incoming signal to a point where it sounds nothing like its original tone. In doing so clarity is sometimes lost. If you were to have a delay up front you would most likely get a middled repeat or a terrible note sustain. I don’t want to say its wrong to have the modulations first because any combo can be right. For my playing style though having Board B be #2 in the chain just sounds right.
Another way many people thing about placement is also relative to where these effects would naturally occur. Distortions are meant to simulate the overdriving of an amplifier from the incoming signal. Having distortions in front of most effects then simulates the emulation perfectly. As for delays and reverbs, they try to copy the room dynamics after the amplifier has started producing sound. Having these effects last in the chain represents their sound emulation. Again though rules are meant to be broken so this is just a loose guideline.
I’ll leave discussing modulations since that will be a big chunk of the next section of posts.
The board was made by my father, the ever skilled multi-tradesman out of solid maple and laminated maple. Yes the board is heavy as hell but it has stood the test of time, since this sucker is about 7 years old. Originally this board was one single unit, but as the pedals were added the weight got worse, and the need to cut the board in half was very apparent. I also wanted to be able to surround myself with the board to avoid having to walk from one end to the other just to switch effects (not a big deal when I’m not singing but not ideal when I am).
Not present in this picture is the hidden power supply underneath the board. I had no other choice if I wanted to keep the collection of pedals together. It works well and so far has not caused any unforeseeable issues.
What we also designed into this board was a slight gradient. I didn’t want to have a flat unit primarily because of the wah pedals. Having a slight tilt really helped create accessibility for many of the pedals on the upper portion of the board, especially since many of them are different heights.
I hope this picture helps to clarify the order of pedals and how some might sound downstream of others!