Today’s Show Me Your Pedalboard entry comes from Ben on the other side of the pond in London! Ben is a bass player who tries something a bit unconventional by getting his fretless bass to sound like a synthesizer! Ben’s board features a mix of familiar and not-so familiar pedals to achieve his own unique sound. Let’s take a look at what Ben’s rocking:
From Ben’s fretless bass his signal chain starts off into what I hope is a tuner (you gotta stay in tune!) into an Electro-Harmonix Pitchfork Polyphonic Pitch Shifter. No doubt EHX’s answer to the Digitech Whammy series of pedals, the signal continues into an Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron then into an MXR Noise Clamp. The Noise Clamp is a “Noise Gate” pedal, it reduces the level of feedback and “noise” generated by the constant transferring of your signal from pedal to pedal. Voltages and power supplies can affect your level of noise. A good alternative is the BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor. These noise gate pedals could also be used as an effects loop which is exactly what Ben does here.
Photo credit: Jimdunlop.com
In the loop the signal continues into a ZVex Lo-Fi Junky. The Lo-Fi Junky is a very unique pedal, as the name implies it makes your instrument sound like its running through a very old school Lo-Fi speaker. Think an old warped record playing through a vintage gramophone. It also has some chorus/vibrato/leslie speaker capabilities too. Very cool. Up next is a Mars Attacks booster pedal which is a Chinese Klon Centaur clone. The Klon Centaur is a very coveted sound, but there are a lot of great alternatives out there that (in my opinion) sound better than the centaur. Give Xotic effects a shot, or if you’re really into tone hunting (I imagine you would be if you’re trying to get that Klon sound) and got coin to drop, dig a little for a vintage Ibanez/Maxon Tubescreamer. Those OG Tubescreamers are cheaper than the Centaurs too. Another contemporary alternative is the Earthquaker Devices Zap Machine, which blows away most modern distortions! Check out the PedalsAndEffects review here. After the Klon clone is an OG big chassis Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress Flanger. Those big boxed EHX pedals are definitely the way to go.
Photo credit: wiretotheear.com
Ben’s signal returns into the loop and then out to a B3 Analog delay. These B3 pedals are (sometimes) DIY kits that you put together yourself. Definitely gives you a great understanding behind the engineering of effects pedals, and is a great way to spark inspiration into building your own! Ben’s signal then ends in a Biyang Baby Boom Tri-Reverb. A recommendation, you’ve got a great board here, but you have cables jumping around every which way. It’s a real pain when you’re in a gig and a cable comes loose giving you a weaker signal and you have to bend down and trace your signal from pedal to pedal. There are cables out there that you can have cut to length, so there isn’t excess jumping around the board. Re-organize your board and do some cable management, its really know sweat and reliability is a weight off your mind. No more worrying about something going down because you stepped on it too hard.
Thanks, Ben, for submitting your board! There’s no limitations to what musicians can accomplish using their pedals. A person might find a new way to use a pedal people are already familiar with and “unlock” new sounds. Whether you’re getting your bass to sound like a synth, or your synth to sound like vocals, innovation knows no bounds! It’s great to see what people are up to, and how they’re using their boards. If you think you’re onto something send in your board to email@example.com and it could be featured here on PedalsAndEffects!