Jan 24 2015

Pedal Label System – Pedal Labels!

Pedal LabelsInspired from Pedal Line Fridays a few years ago, I created the Pedal Label System. Seeing those Pedal Line Friday posts, I started to notice a trend of marking settings on the pedals. Especially, if you pack your pedals up and play shows. The transportation of the pedals often moves the knobs, or the padding of cases will cause the knobs to change position. The solution has often been one of the following:

1) Memorize the settings. That’s fine, but for me, I hated doing that. Another thing to lock in the brain. I also like to explore and play with the pedal settings and having multiple settings for a single pedal on a board with multiple pedals, settings can get lost in the mind.

2) Mark the settings using tape (masking, duct or gaffer). This is a cheap and easy solution, but there are some problems with this option. First off, drawing circles and dashes on tape, makes your $1000+ board look sloppy. More importantly, you have to deal with adhesive residue left on the pedal. Sticky gunk sucks! Even worse yet, masking tape tends to turn into cement after an extended time on the pedal. Want to change your settings or sell the pedal, you’ll need to spend some time cleaning the pedal – not fun.

So these are the problems that eventually ended up inspiring the development of Pedal Labels. With Pedal Labels we address these issues. Pedal Labels use low tack adhesive. What this means is that no ‘gunk’ will be left on the pedal. You can peel these off cleanly! Pre-drawn knob circles printed on the labels. Simply draw a line from the center point to the edge. Having a consistent design on the labels.. help keep the labels looking pro. Frankly, they look natural on the pedal. Labels are printed on white material so it’s easy to see.. and the material is water-proof (or beer proof depending on your situation).

To track multiple settings, simply use different color pens for drawing lines. It doesn’t get much simpler than that to maintain multiple settings at a glance.

One thing for me that I noticed after developing the Pedal Labels – when playing on stage, and you hear something not-quite-right, that’s a crappy situation. I usually start running down a multiple item checklist of possible bad scenarios, but the bottom line, where things can go bad is generally at the pedals, specifically if your foot accidentally pushes a knob on a neighboring pedal, or your cable running across the board causing the same problem. By having these labels, you can quickly ID the problem at a glance (lizard brain thinking – do the knobs match the label?), because remember, you’re in the middle of a song.

Guitar techs have been loving these labels. Guitar techs have to deal with multiple set up/tear downs and they need to get things back to their starting settings quickly! Over the years, some great players have been using these labels.

Check out Troy Van Leeuwen from Queens of the Stone Age labels (read about the rig here):

Troy Van Leeuwen - Queens of the Stone Age - Pedalboard Break DownAdditionally – Kim Thayil of Soundgarden and Rob Crow of Pinback to name a few!

If you’re looking to purchase some pedal labels, please check out the website, where you can purchase direct! Also, be sure to follow Pedal Labels on Twitter and Facebook for deals, give aways, etc!


Jan 23 2015

Pedal Line Friday – 1/23 – Julian Estrada

Today’s pedal line is from Julian Estrada. If you have a pedal line (doesn’t have to be in a board) for your rig, please email me a photo, bio, description of pedals and routing to pedalline@nulleffectsbay.com. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 1/23 - Julian EstradaHi,
My name is Julian, i´ve followed your blog for the past 3 years and its always a source of excellent content. I submitted my pedalboard a couple of years ago, and since then it has suffered some small changes, i´ll detail all pedals anyway.

Dunlop CAE Wah:
Such a sweet beast, heavy as a coffin, but worth every pound, this artifact really makes a guitar wail like it should, lots of voices in between. great pedal!

Joyo Ultimate Octave:
China’s take on the Foxx Tone Machine, works great, is not outstanding but gets the job done for those Jim McCarty(ish) Cactus sounds.

Voodoo Lab Superfuzz:
The right amount of overdrive and fuzz combined into one, depending on the amp it can sound very different, but it always sound great. My main dirt box on the board.

Carl Martin DC Drive:
Awesome OD, can cover most cool tones from a slight crunch to an almost hi gain distortion, really powerful pedal and really cheap compared to it’s “rivals” the FullDrive or the CAE OD.

EHX Micro Pog:
A modern classic, probably the best pedal in its genre, great tracking (better than the POG2 IMHO), sub octave is absolutely sick.

MXR Carbon Copy:
Another modern classic, beautiful dark delay, great for recording, not so much for live situations, since it’s so dark it gets lost in the mix easily, but still a great pedal.

All powered with a Joyo power supply which works perfectly.

I’m a semi-pro musician from South America, right now i’m focused on a retro rock band heavily influenced by Zeppelin and stuff like Cactus and Mountain in the spirit of more recent swedish rock bands like Graveyard or Greenleaf. Not much stuff to hear yet, but be sure to check us out at:
https://www.facebook.com/gargantuateama

Thanks!


Jan 22 2015

Great Deal on the DigiTech Hardwire Series SP-7 Stereo Phaser

Great Deal on the DigiTech Hardwire Series SP-7 Stereo PhaserThis morning I came across a great deal at Musician’s Friend’s Stupid Deal of the Day. It’s for the DigiTech Hardwire Series SP-7 Stereo Phaser. This is a great pedal that offers 7 phaser types from vintage to modern. Comes in with Stereo in/out and tap tempo control.

Here is the official description of the SP-7:

The HardWire SP-7 Stereo Phaser offers seven phaser types based on vintage and modern pedals. With seven different phaser effects in true stereo and tap tempo speed control the SP-7 offers more than any other phaser pedal on the market. As the most advanced phaser pedal on the market, engineered to perfection with true HardWire bypass with constant high-voltage rails, the SP-7 Stereo Phaser is always set to stun.

All HardWire pedals are designed and built to withstand the extremely rough life traveling from stage to stage. Every time you kick on a HardWire pedal the purest tones flow through uninhibited. HardWire pedals make your music and personal tones stand above the rest.

Check out this very thorough demo by N Stuff Music:

Ok.. the deal – DigiTech Hardwire Series SP-7 Stereo Phaser lists $189.95 and is usually available for $140, but for today (and not sure how long this particular Stupid Deal will last) it is available for only $59.95 through Musician’s Friend!!!

If you own the DigiTech Hardwire Series SP-7 Stereo Phaser, please comment below and let us know what you think of it!


Jan 21 2015

Seymour Duncan Releases The Vise Grip Compressor

Seymour Duncan Vise Grip CompressorThe guys at Seymour Duncan let me know about a new pedal that they’re really excited about – the Vise Grip Compressor. This is a highly configurable compressor allowing to pull off all styles of compression for your needs.

Here is the official press release issued by Seymour Duncan:

The Seymour Duncan Vise Grip Compressor is a studio-grade soft-knee compressor designed for guitarists who want to take control of the dynamics of their sound, from a subtle smoothing-out of peaks and valleys to the most squished and pinched extremes and everywhere in between. The Blend knob lets you add as much or as little of the original signal as you like to the compressed sound, while the Mid/Full/High lets you choose the character of the blended signal by deciding what frequency range of the dry signal is blended in with the wet. The Sustain knob determines how long your notes will ring out and the Attack control regulates how quickly the compressor reacts to your initial pick attack. Higher settings give you a late attack that lets your picking dynamics come through before the compression kicks in. And the Volume control does more than just let you match the output with your bypassed sound: you can also use it as a boost while taking advantage of the Blend and Mid/Full/High controls.

The Vise Grip can give you a simple dynamics adjustment – like a subtle or extreme increase in sustain for country “chicken pick’n” or a little extra clarity, body and volume for a clean solo – or you can use it for more intense effects like a classic ‘squished funk’ rhythm scratch or to introduce a lo-fi, treble-heavy edge which is perfect for a garage-band vibe. Then you can blend in just the right amount of the uncompressed signal and let the Mid/Full/High switch restore sparkle to the high end, fatten up the uncompressed signal for increased harmonic overtones, or simply make sure your effected sound remains consistent with your bypassed guitar tone. It’s also useful for keyboard, mandolin or any instrument where excessive dynamic range is an issue.

Check out this great video on all the functionality:

If you’re looking for a great compressor, the Vise Grip Compressor might be the one. The Vise Grip Compressor is available for only $159 on Amazon.com and is available with FREE shipping! Let me know what you think by commenting below!


Jan 20 2015

Great Deal on the Carl Martin Buff Deluxe Dual Buffer

Great Deal on the Carl Martin Buff Deluxe Dual BufferThis morning I came across a great deal on a buffer! This is on the Carl Martin Buff Deluxe, which is a dual buffer (don’t come across that often) with dedicated tuner out. First, I wanted to talk about buffers. If you’re not familiar with buffers, check out this post – “Let’s Talk about Buffers” – first and then come back.

Buffers are great for getting a solid signal, and often should be first in your pedal line. It’s important to note that some pedals hate buffers (which is a matter of taste). Often fuzz pedals have a hard time with the impedance, so experiment with placement that works for you.

Here is the official description of the Carl Martin Buff Deluxe Dual Buffer:

Dual high quality signal buffer from high to low impedance with a tuner out and mute switch.  The Buff Deluxe is designed to run in conjunction with large multiple effect boards with a lot of “true bypass” effects. The problem with the use of “true bypass” effects is that the guitar signal remains high impedance, resulting in high note loss due to the many feet of cables running at the pedal board, and not the least from board to amplifier.

Ok, now to the deal. And if you want this, you need to jump on it. At the time of this post.. there were only 3 units in stock, and the price can jump/change when the unit count drops. The Carl Martin Buff Deluxe Dual Buffer lists for $278, and is usually on sale for $194.60, but is currently on sale at Amazon.com for a crazy low price of $72.66 and includes FREE shipping. Um.. that’s $122 off regular price. No brainer.

 


Jan 19 2015

Talking with Jody of Coast Sonic

Coast SonicI just recently discovered Coast Sonic Pedal Providers (www.CoastSonic.com), and I was quite impressed with this site.  I was impressed with a couple of things. First off, their site is clean, incredible easy to navigate. Secondly, their selection of builders.. is awesome – and we’re talking about the good stuff. Finally, I dig their ‘presence’ in the social space. Great stuff on Instagram and they provide interesting stuff on their news section.

I contacted Jody and had a few questions for him.. and boom.. mini-interview time!

- Do you have a physical store as well as a virtual presence?

We like to refer to Coast Sonic as “the World’s Local Pedal Shop”. We’re an online only shop but we strive to offer the kind of customer service you would get if you walked in to a local music shop. We feel that just because you might not live close to a great music shop it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to one and by that we don’t mean just the ability to oder great gear. We are very passionate about helping people find the right tools for the tone they are after, we love gear and so do our customers so it basically like a bunch of friends meeting up online to share what the love.

- Where is Coast Sonic based out of?

We’re based in Encinitas, California – a costal surf town located between San Diego and Los Angeles. The “Coast” in Coast Sonic refers to our geographic location, right on the coast of Southern California – and for the “Sonic” part; we’re right in the middle of some really great music scenes.

- What inspired you to start Coast Sonic?

Coast Sonic is a new venture by Carlsbad Guitars – our first music business. Carlsbad Guitars has been around for about six years specializing in guitar parts, vintage guitars and amps. We built a stellar reputation serving customers around the world and developed a loyal customer base. It was our customers continually asking about effects that lead us to start carrying pedals. As pedals really started to take off for us we decided to create coastsonic.com to better serve our customers. We purposely use a very simple design to make it very easy to navigate and find exactly what you are after. The majority of our listings include video demos as well to help with the decision process. So to make a long story short the creation of Coast Sonic was inspired directly by our customers, they kind of led us in this direction and we’re very thankful for it.

- I see your focus is with pedals, but are you interested in expanding to instruments, amps and accessories?

Our focus is with pedals for sure, specifically we specialize in hand made effects from some of the best builders around the world. It’s this boutique side of the pedal industry where we feel the most creative stuff is coming out of, small to mid-sized companies staffed by passionate builders actively trying to deliver something new and of the highest possible quality. There are piles of online warehouse type stores offering every mass produced pedal you can think of plus every other type of gear you can imagine. They have so much stuff that it’s just not possible for them to be knowledgeable in all of it, we want to be the exact opposite. We carry a well curated selection of the finest effects and offer top notice service and advice to support it. This is our main focus and concern, do one thing and do it really well. A few of the brands we carry like Greer, Cusack make some incredible hand made amps as well so in the future we may bring those in, we’ll let our customers demands decide. What ever we add to Coast Sonic it will follow the same ethos of being hand made, quality comes first gear.

- Are you seeing any particular trends in the world of pedals happening right now?

For awhile it seemed every company was trying to do a bit of the same – for example transparent overdrives were a huge trend for a minute. A lot of the “new” pedals of the last few years just ended up being a slightly tweaked version of another company’s hit pedal. While the trend did produce some great pedals it’s really refreshing to see the trend now being that companies are really trying to get more creative and really develop something new wether it be breaking new ground entirely or taking a new approach or a new twist. We’re seeing a lot of effort being put into not standard effects – looking outside the safe bets and clones and really exploring new areas. 2014 saw a lot of cool new directions being taken and 2015 should be really exciting. For us pedals are like an artist’s paint brushes so to see companies working to really widen the colors we can paint with – that’s a really exciting.

- Who/what are some of the new editions to Coast Sonic?

We try to strike a nice balance between brands that are veterans of the boutique pedals world combined with newer/smaller brands that we feel are doing really great and innovative work. Our latest addition was last week when we added Wren and Cuff to our lineup. This is an exciting one for us as not only are we big fans of extremely high build quality and attention to detail that goes into their line but also we’re big fans of a lot of the player’s who use Wren and Cuff. When you have player’s as diverse as J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Brian Ray (Paul McCartney) and Ben Harper using the gear you know you’re got something great. We also recently added Black Cat Pedals whose owner Ton Hughes literally wrote the book on vintage effects – Analogman’s Guide to Vintage Effects ao again you know the quality being delivered is second to none. On the smaller side of things companies like Fuzzrocious, Fuzzhugger and Devi Ever FX are recent additions to our store who are all pushing the boundaries of pedal building.

- Are you offering any deals currently?

We do minimal discounting, the quality of the pedal brands we sell speaks for itself. With custom/hand made pedals the quality of the parts cost these brands a lot more to build so a lot of them just don’t have enough markup in them to allow discounting. We have a few annual sales but firmly believe that the companies we are selling are already offering an incredible bang-for-the-buck so most of them ask us not discount their lines. We do have contest and giveaways though planned all though 2015.

- Are you planning anything exciting for 2015?

We’re aiming to offer quite a few really unique items this year. We just received a Coast Sonic exclusive version of the revamped Screamer V2 from Cusack Music that is only available from us.  We have an exclusive version of the popular Earthrise Overdrive from Epigaze Audio being made just for us. It that takes the already great build quality to the next level with custom components and puts a real interesting twist on the whole hand painted pedal idea. We’re really eager to share this one with everyone – we’ll be announcing it soon. Plus we’re working on lots of exclusive/limited edition releases that you’ll only find at coastsonic.com and we have a whole bunch of new brands that will be announced over the next few weeks. 2015 is going to be a great year for Coast Sonic and for fans of true quality effects hand made by builders who really care about craftsmanship and their tone.

Coast Sonic & Carlsbad Guitars
Encinitas, CA

Definitely check these guys out. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram and buy something from their store! Awesome stuff!


Jan 16 2015

Pedal Line Friday – 1/16 – Mhyk Monroe

Today’s pedal line is from Mhyk Monroe. If you have a pedal line (doesn’t have to be in a board) for your rig, please email me a photo, bio, description of pedals and routing to pedalline@nulleffectsbay.com. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 1/16 - Mhyk MonroeHey there. My name is Mhyk, I play guitar in an instrumental post-metal trio from Denver called Cult of the Lost Cause (cultofthelostcause.bandcamp.com).

We pull from a lot of different influences to achieve our end result, and pedals have always been something I’ve been interested in as tools to add different shades to music. I’m a fan of stompboxes all the way; nothing against people who dig digital modelers, I’ve just always preferred boxes.

My primary pedal board goes with my Mesa Dual Rectifier amp, and is arranged so that my amp controller can sit in the arrangement.

My secondary board goes with my Peavey 5150 II, and is also arranged so that the footswitch sits in the pedalboard.

The routes are as follows:

Mesa Board: guitar to Polytune mini to Ernie Ball Volume Jr to Dunlop Wah (w/ Fasel) to Fuzzrocious Man the Ramparts Overdrive to Boss MetalZone 2 to Saturnworks effects looper (effects loop in Saturnworks chain: MXR Phase 90
to Boss Tremolo to ElectroHarmonix Holy Grail Reverb to Ibanez DE7 Delay/Echo to TC Electronic Flashback Delay/Looper to Akai HeadRush Looper/Delay); out of effects loop to Boss Digital Dimension Chorus to Boss Noise Suppressor to amp. This board is on a PedalTrain Pro, powered by a Voodoo PedalPower 8 mounted underneath.

The Digital Dimension is the best chorus I’ve ever heard and is always on in my chain; the Ram the Manparts is my favorite OD and I use it in conjuction with the MetalZone as gain boosts for various parts.

pedal-line-friday-1-16-mhyk-monroe-2Peavey Board: guitar to Mooer BabyTuner to Ernie Ball Volume Jr to Dunlop Classic Wah to BlackArts Destroyer Fuzz to Keeley Bypass Looper (effects loop in Keeley chain: MXR Carbon Copy Delay to Boss SuperPhaser to Hardwire/Digitech RV7 Stereo Reverb to Boss DD-5 Digital Delay to TC Electronic Ditto Looper); out of effects loop to MXR Analog Chorus to Boss Equalizer to Boss Noise Suppressor to amp.  This board is on a RoadCases USA floor board, powered by a BBE SupaCharger clean power source.

The Carbon Copy is an amazing delay pedal with an beautiful signal; and the BlackArts is a crushing fuzz pedal.

Not in the chain I also have an ElectroHarmonix Little BigMuff, an Ibanez PH-7 PhatHed Bass Overdrive, a Boss Bass OverDrive, an Ibanez CH7 Chorus/Flanger, an Ibanez SoundTank PowerLead fuzz pedal, and an Ibanez TS9 TubeScreamer. I think some of the Ibanez pedals are drastically underrated for the price and are built like tanks, so I tend to grab them when I see good deals on them.

The main board you can hear in action with my band at cultofthelostcause.bandcamp.com and facebook.com/cultofthelostcause.

Thanks!

– Mhyk Monroe/Cult of the Lost Cause


Jan 15 2015

Gemma Thompson – Savages – Pedalboard Break Down

I’m pretty excited about this one.  I was a little late to the party, but about 6 months ago, I learned about the great London based band – Savages.  This is an all female band that is amazing. Moody, powerful and dissonant are just a few words that I can use to describe this band. You definitely can hear the influences of this band – a little Siouxsie Sioux on vocals. Maybe a little Ian Curtis in there too. The guitar I love. Jagged, piercing and rockin’ for sure. I can pick up some early Danial Ash of Bauhaus in there.

Gemma Thompson is the guitarist of the Savages. Being the only guitarist in the band she has a lot of freedom and responsibility to build up the sonics.. and she kills it. Check out this fantastic KEXP video of Savages:

I’ve been very curious of Gemma’s rig for a while. I’ve seen a few photos, but nothing really great – until now.  Out of the blue I received an email from Brian which included this great photo of her board. He was totally fortunate to have seem them during their NYC residency. Lucky bastard. Check out his post.

Here is the photo of Gemma’s board:

Gemma Thompson - Savages - Pedalboard Break DownBoss RE-20 Space Echo
Boss TU-3 Tuner
Moog MF Boost
MXR M104 Distortion+
Fulltone OCD
Maxon 808 Reissue
MXR M103 Blue Box
Flux Effects Liquid Ambience
Morley ABC Switcher
Boss DD-20 GigaDelay
Unknown Custom Splitter/Switcher
Diago Power Supplies

This board brought up a few questions, and Gemma.. if you’re reading, please help answer. First interesting thing – the Boss RE-20 Space Echo being first in line, and even in front of the TU-3 tuner. Interesting! Also, I’m not sure about the Red box at the end of the board. It *appears* to be splitter type of pedal

Let me know what you think about Savages.. the board.. or Gemma, etc., by commenting below!


Jan 14 2015

Rattlesnake Cable Company

I’ve been working on a project for a couple of years now, but officially in late 2013, I started Rattlesnake Cable Company. It all started with me working on cables for myself. Since I was handy with a soldering iron and worked on pedals, etc., I thought it would cool to build an awesome set of cables for myself. That initial thought began an obsessive journey sourcing parts that I felt worked the best with my set up. After going through various prototypes, I finally ended up with a cable I was extremely happy with.

Rattlesnake Cable CompanyImmediately, musician friends noticed the cable and the thought crossed my mind.. maybe this could work as a business! Pretty soon, cables builds for local musicians started to blow up, I knew this could work. So in late 2013, I officially started the business and wanted to see if I could reach outside of my town of Missoula.. or outside the state of Montana.

2014 was a great year sending cables to all the states in the US and to countries around the world! But one of the highlights came in December, where one of my favorite gear review guys – Just Nick – did a review of the cables! Check out the video below:

I love how he goes into GREAT detail about capacitance! Very important stuff to know about – and Nick does a great job explaining what it’s all about.

2015 is looking like a great year with new products (details coming soon) and with signing on with a new dealers! If you’re interested in a cable, please visit the website and fill out a build request. Since the EffectsBay community has been so great and supportive over the years I’m going to offer a coupon code – EB215 - which will get your 15% off all regular priced cables 10′ and longer. Coupon Code will be valid until 1/19 11:59 PM MST.

If you’re looking for examples of cables, be sure to check out Rattlesnake Cable Company on Facebook and Instagram! Plenty of examples there.

Thanks everyone!!!


Jan 13 2015

Outlaw Effects Launches New Fuzz and Boost Pedals

‘Tis the season.. no we’re not talking about the holidays.. but Winter NAMM! With NAMM, there is the excitement in the air for new products.. and specifically new pedals!!!

The fine folks at Outlaw Effects contacted me and wanted to let me know about a couple of releases they have slated to debut at NAMM this year.  We’re talking about the Five O’Clock Fuzz and the Boilermaker Boost.

If you’re not familiar with Outlaw Effects – they’re a great company making awesome and tiny pedals. If you’re in need of smaller enclosures to maximize your pedal board real estate… these guys are worth checking out! Make sure you follow on Twitter and like them on Facebook too!

Here is the official press release:

January 12, 2015 –Micro effects pedal builder Outlaw Effects will introduce a pair of brand new analog guitar pedals at the 2015 NAMM Show: Five O’Clock Fuzz and Boilermaker Boost.  

Five O’Clock Fuzz offers plenty of rich, cascading sustain with crisp attack and subtle compression, delivering a wide array of fuzz tones in a compact package. Featuring Sustain, Tone, and Level controls, this micro mustachioed marvel covers sounds from waxy smooth, violin-like sustain to grittier tones with razor-sharp bite. Sculpt your fuzz tone into everything from the thick leads of 1970’s classic rock to heavier alternative sounds of the 80’s and 90’s.
Retail Price: $60.00 (Street Price $49.00)

Five O'Clock Fuzz Boilermaker Boost provides pure, pristine, transparent boost in a compact format. Whether you’re looking to add harmonic content, to enhance your tube amp or other effects in your chain, or simply to strengthen your signal, the versatile Boilermaker gives you just the kick you need. Offering 20db+ of clean boost plus the capacity to tweak even further thanks to two ±15dB active EQ controls (Bass and Treble), Boilermaker gives you complete control over your boosted sound without compromising the integrity of your tone.
Retail Price: $60.00 (Street Price $49.00)

Boilermaker Boost Both pedals feature true bypass switching to maintain the purity of your clean tone. Like all Outlaw Effects, the two new pedals are housed in a micro-sized durable aluminum alloy chassis, and feature a staggered input/output design for a minimum footprint.

Awesome.. I love hearing about new pedals being released. What are you guys excited about? Any new pedals that are already blowing your mind? Comment below!

 

 


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