As you may remember, I built a pedal board for my keyboard rig last year (see related posts at right for the full story). Well, after playing with it for almost a year now, I've pretty much settled in to the way I actually use it, so for parts of yesterday and today, I slaved away in my hot and humid garage to make some revisions.
Here's where I started the adventure. Here's what I learned in a year:
- I like my volume pedal under my right foot, and don't like to have to cross my foot over to get to it.
- I almost never use the separate volume pedals -- as a general rule, I don't like modifying the send level to the Zoom G3, as it changes the way the effects interact with the source sounds
- Moving between effects in the G3 can be a pain. The G3 can run up to six virtual stomp boxes at once, but only displays three of them. To move back and forth across the "virtual pedal board" requires kicking two switches simultaneously, which sometimes doesn't work so well -- usually when I'm in a hurry to change effects mid-song
- I'd added a ik multimedia blueboard foot controller for my iPad setlist/prompter application, and it needs to go somewhere
A couple of things you can't see here:
- The cabling coming from the keyboards to the pedal board didn't work the way I needed it to
- The cabling was too short
- The cabling used a single umbilical for both keyboards, which looked awful when I chose to use only one keyboard
Obviously, it was time for some rearrangement.
Here's the new arrangement, as it appears today. You'll notice that I'm down to the big master volume pedal (far right), the expression pedal for the G3 (second from right), the dual sustain pedal (center), a new silver gizmo with a blue wire and two switches(second from left, more on that later), the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic (bottom left), and of course, the Zoom G3.
The big empty space in the upper right is plenty big for the Blueboard. I'm only hoping it's convenient enough to reach when scrolling through a song or set list live.
By this point, you may (or may not) have guessed that the silver gizmo with the blue wire and two switches is there to make moving around the G3 easier. Stomping on the left switch of the silver gizmo is like dancing on the "1" and "2" switches on the G3 at the same time, and the right one is like getting G3 switches "2" and "3" together. Pretty cool, and it works exactly as expected. The wiring for the G3 mod was found on the Ashbass site.
I couldn't mount the Blueboard yet, as it's over at the practice space. I'll play with that tomorrow night when we get the band together to rehearse and work with a new guitar player (who will, hopefully, decide to stick with us for a while -- it'll be his first night). I've also finally got another Ernie Ball VP Jr on the way, which will probably not be here in time for practice tomorrow. It will replace the M-Audio plastic-fantastic piece as the expression pedal once it does arrive, which should be late this week.
Once everything is in place, the new iteration of the pedal board should look something like this.