Today’s pedal line is from James Hume. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
Hi, I’m James Hume, and I played in the band Midnite Hobo for two years (for any of you that read Questionable Content: questionablecontent.net)
The lineup: Right to Left
Korg PitchBlack Tuner -> Boss CS-3 Compressor -> Vox Standard Wah -> Custom modded Danelectro Pastrami Overdrive -> Dunlop High Gain Volume Pedal -> Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi -> Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz -> Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion w/ turbo switch (beneath the dano overdrive, connected with the green cable) -> Electro Harmonix Memory Toy Analog Delay -> Boss BF-3 Flanger run in stereo to a Laney LX 20 and a Washburn BD 30 bass amp. All these pedals are powered by a Godlyke Powerall wall wart adapter with an 11 point daisychain.
On the shelf/still being built: Boss Os-2, Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah, Rebote 2.5 Digital Delay, Ibanez Tube Screamer with 808/9 toggle, as well as symmetrical/asymmetrical clipping, Ampeg Scrambler, Ross 4/8 Stage Phaser, Small Clone Chorus with depth knob. I build and do most of my mods myself, for example the clipping mod on the Dano Pastrami is an LED clipping diode mod, swapping the original red LEDs that clipped symmetrically for a 1n914 and either a bright Blue LED poking through the first O in Distortion (like the ds-1 keeley mod) and a 1n4001, which switches between an open, more classic sounding breakup and a more modern, more compressed sounding distortion. The turbo switch below the pastrami is also homebuilt, and the ultrabright blue LED is pretty blinding.
A couple of notes on my rig:
First things first, the pitchblack. It’s a great tuner, haven’t had any problems since I bought it three months ago. The strobe tuning mode is cool, and works a treat.
The CS-3 was bought at a similar time, and is great for just grabbing and holding the notes. I keep the sustain wide open to just keep the notes going with whatever distortion I use, and it works a treat. It also keeps the broken chords and arpeggios going long enough so you can go get a bite to eat and it’ll still be going.
The Vox is just standard. The switch stopped working about a year after I got it so I got it fixed with true bypass and a decent switch. Pot’s a bit scratchy, so that needs to get fixed, and the curve on the wah seems pretty off with distortion, like there’s a real edge on the filter… But no problems aside from that.
Like I explained above, the Dano is a lovely bit of open, tube-y grit that works well in front of everything else. It goes all the way from clean boost to a light, crispy breakup, all the way to a top boosted , full on Crunch. Nice little pedal when stock, even better with the mods.
Dunlop High-Gain Volume pedal is great for doing massive swells, and works perfectly behind the dirt.
The Little Big Muff is just what you’d expect. Rock solid and reliable, sounds wonderful in conjunction with the flanger and delay to get those David Gilmour-esque tones. Pulling back on the volume pedal means I can even get a nice, smooth overdrive sound out of if. Again, wonderful pedal.
The Dano CC Fuzz is pretty basic, fuzz to flab to fizz, and I’m planning on replacing it with a zvex fuzz factory as soon as my local shop has one in. Can’t wait to get ripping with that beast.
The Turbo Distortion is a pretty boring pedal, if I’m entirely honest. Rather flat sounding, so it’s getting replaced soon as well, probably with an Xotic BB Plus Preamp. Still, it works for now as my standard distortion, kicking the turbo switch for solos. But still, not my first choice.
The Memory Toy is a beautiful piece of kit. It’s currently replacing a busted Rockburn delay which I was trying to mod (stupid bloody surfacemount components) and has been working a treat. It does wonders for just layering your tone, but my only problem is the mix knob. At noon your tone isn’t all there! At 11, it’s almost there, but the delays aren’t strong enough to double your playing, and the further back you dial it, the more the clean signal is boosted! It just makes things difficult to intuit as far as signal blend goes. Anyway, it’s an awesome analog delay and I just love cranking the time and the repeats until just before it starts oscillating: pure heaven. I physically can’t live without a bit of delay in my line, because I would just miss the lovely fullness it gives. It’s also great to play around with 😛
And finally the flanger, which I love for splitting my signal and flanging the parts out of flanging phase with each other. Lovely and lush when you run it stereo, but equally nice in mono. Still need a gig with a stereo mix to try it out, but it should be awesome when I get that going. I love all the modes on it, especially the Gate/Pan setting. Mono signal with distortion and a bass guitar has an awesome gated, percussive feel, a lot like a sequenced synth which I love!
My guitars at the moment are an Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 and an American Standard Squier strat that’s been vintaged and scalloped from the 12th onwards. Both are Fun guitars, but I’m looking at getting rid of the Epiphone and replacing it with a lovely Ibanez RG 470 with a Fernandez sustainer. Sweet sweet sustain 😀
My pedalboard is an Ikea Gorm covered in loopy Velcro, and I’ve got so much gear I’ll be expanding over into another one quite soon, not quite so Velcro covered.
A bit about myself:
I’ve played a couple of different instruments in a couple of different bands, from j-rock to metal covers of Lady Gaga, queen to The Rolling Stones. My real passion, however, is mixing and getting everything to sound just right. I love mixing everything, and generally do the set up for my bandmates gear if they don’t know that the hell they’re doing. My most recent band was Midnite Hobo, an all-ages-of-rock band formed and based in Singapore. We broke up three months ago with the end of school, as both our lead singer and other guitarist left. Since then I’ve just been letting my G.A.S. Get to me, hoping I run out of things I want before I run out of money, but isn’t that the life of a musician?
A.k.a. Darth Achaeron
Follow me on twitter @darthachaeron