Which pedals do I need to get started playing in worship band? Last of the trilogy
In the first two posts I looked at the two basic types of pedals you need for the electric guitar role in a modern worship band. Now unless you want to spend all Sunday morning plugging them in, changing batteries and kicking them around there are a few other extras that will come in handy to save time and energy as your collection grows – it will grow! In fact think of them like shoes. Men, ask your better halves how many pairs of shoes is too many. I rest my case…
Getting a pedal board together is a real guitarists right of passage and so much more efficient than plugging in and unplugging everything all the time. Plus (and this is in no way the main reason that most guitarists get boards) it looks cool! Options are:
Lump of ply wood, cut it to size, paint it black. Velcro on top, rubber feet underneath and you got yourself a board! Crude but very effective and you can easily change size as the collection grows.
Pedal board bag – loads of companies like Gator and Warwick are now doing pedal sized gig bags. Lightweight, tough and sometimes with a pull out tray too. Try Ebay for these
Pedal train – brilliant quality lightweight aluminium frame with Velcro in various sizes with hard of soft cases. great product!
T Rex Tonetrunk – copy of Pedaltrain
Furman/SKB/Modtone – all these companies do plastic boards with integrated 9v volt power supplies.
Boss BCB6 – plastic with built in power supply – perfect for Boss pedals
Custom made pedal board – lots of companies can build you a full flight cased board. Look on the web and Ebay for details. They look rock and will survive an earthquake but weigh a ton. Ideal for full time mega church guitarists with impressionable interns to lug it around.
Yes most pedals take batteries but don’t bother with them, they cost a fortune, run out at the most difficult moments and can be fiddly to constantly change. Get a decent power supply. Yes you could get a cheap generic wall wart, but do make sure the voltage is correct for the unit, polarity is set the right way and the connectors fit properly otherwise you could well fry your pedal. You are much better off getting one designed for guitar pedal applications. So again here is a list from cheap to expensive.
Visual Sound One Spot – genius little power supply, lightweight, robust, comfortably powers loads of pedals anywhere in the world so auto switches between 110v-240v, and a great price. should be on your short list!
Godlyke – similar to the one spot with optional 12v and 18v converters
T Rex fuel tank – good quality with various models covering most voltage options
Dunlop DC brick/Gator G bus/BBE Supacharger – similar units to to t rex
Harley Benton PowerPlant – really inexpensive power supply with 8x 9v, 1x 12v dc and 1x 12v AC inputs from Thomann.com for UK and Europe. 9v only has 500ma draw so can’t power as many units as some of the above but should power the average board easily.
thegigrig.com – generator/distributor – extremely clever pro level power solutions. well thought out and good value too.
thegigrig.com – virtual battery – brilliant solution the size of a 9v battery for pedals that need isolated power (they hum!) like the Line 6 echo park and vintage fuzz units.
Voodoo Labs pedal power – big unit but robust and loads of power options – well loved by pro players.
Finally if you’ve just spent good money on a pedal set up, don’t spoil it by using cheap patch cables between pedals. Those cheap multi–coloured ones from Maplins or Radio Shack can reduce your tone, break easily and pick up noise. The same applies to guitar cables too.
Tip – Straight non angled plugs can take up loads of space so if you are trying to cram a few pedals onto one board try to get cables with small 90 degree plugs to save room. Here are some ideas:
George L’s – brilliant customisable cabling system with 90 degree plugs. Cut your cable to size with scissors and simply screw it into the plug, no soldering required! The cable itself doesn’t last forever though so may need changing every couple of years, especially if constantly plugging and unplugging
Planet Waves – good value cables with decent plugs
Monster cables – expensive but with a lifetime guarantee so you never need buy another!
Award session cleartone cables – good value UK made cables with silent jack so you don’t ever get that loud pop when you unplug, handy!