Today’s pedal line is from Bartow Mills. 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.
This is my current set up for bass guitar. With this board I can easily and endlessly dial in psychedelic soundscapes, synth tones, wet slurpy filters, dub sub bass, and everything in between. My 1 rack unit which goes into my amps loop is the Aphex 204 Aural Exciter w/ big bottom. My pedal chain goes like this:
Bass > MXR Bass Compressor > Iron Ether Oxide Fuzz > Pigtronix Mothership (18v version modified for low end tracking) > Aguilar Octamizer > Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe > Jacques Trinity > Strymon Mobius > Eventide Space > SFX Thumpinator > Fuzzrocious BDPG > 3Leaf Audio Enabler > Amp *Genz Benz Shuttle Max 6.0 (with the Aphex 204 in the Amps loop).
MXR M87 Bass Compressor – This compressor is extremely transparent. I use it to roll off dynamic peaks in my playing while still maintaining dynamics in technique. Mostly the only time it is squashing anything is when I play too hard on the low B string. Ensures that I don’t spike hard using some of the more extreme effects that use sub frequenices (Octamizer and Mothership).
Iron Ether Oxide – Fantastic gated fuzz. I’m considering switching this out for a Chunk Systems Brown Dog, but for now it stays. I usually keep a tight fuzz on the very top of the frequency range to get a saw wave synthesizer energy. I also use it to “check” all of my modulation options in the other pedals. If I have even the most subtle phase for instance I can kick on the fuzz and get a clear idea of how the tone is being modulated. It’s also a great way to accentuate any modulation and filter sweeps using a bit of fuzz on top.
Pigtronix Mothership – Analog synthesizer that has a clean blend, sub octave, vco, and ring mod. Lots of options on this pedal including whammy expression, sub octave out, and glide. Very tweakable and a wide range of synth tones can be dialed in with this unit. It can be somewhat wild and taming tones to a nice unity gain can be tricky but in my opinion it’s the best stompbox style synth that exists.
Aguilar Octamizer – An analog octave pedal with a clean blend. This pedal tracks really well and there are some really deep synth tones that can be pulled from it and is mainly what I use it for. Yes, I like synth.
Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe – Low pass and envelope filter of the gods. I use this pedal mainly as a low pass and pull a really specific sub/dub bass range with it. The clean knob allows me to blend back in my bass’s flat eq and add some bright mids/highs to a nice thick dub background. Very cool and tweak-able pedal.
Jacques Trinity – Envelope wah pedal. I use it mainly for filter sweeps with a fuzz or synth by pressing/depressing it’s unique expression pedal/pump. I’ve always found typical expression/wahs to be awkward to use by having to lift my foot off the ground and adjust the pedal back and forth. The pedal that comes with the Trinity is a small pump that has a pretty great range. I just sit my toe on the pump and rock it back and forth to get quacky envelope sounds or wide filter sweeps.
Strymon Mobius – A universe of modulation that is vast and deep. The 100 presets alone are enough to explore for a very long time. Mostly I use it for psychedelic modulation effects that include chorus, flangers, bubbly filters, autoswells, bit crushed synth sounds, etc, etc. This is a very diverse pedal and an end all to modulation for anyone’s pedalboard.
Eventide Space – Like the name implies, this is where the soundscapes happen. Lush fields of reverbs/delays that shape all of the pedals in front into endless voids or distant sirens. With 100 legit factory presets it is hands down the best reverb/sonic-soundscape-maker out there.
SFX Thumpinator – This pedal is a bandwidth optimizer for bass guitarists. It completely obliterates sub harmonics that exist below 30hz. Most amps/speakers/systems can’t handle frequencies this low but those sub harmonics peak their heads up every so frequently damaging speakers and adding unwanted mud. Having this little pedal on the board makes sure all the craziness that lies before it doesn’t get muddy and too shaky and tightens up the low end dramatically. Awesome tool for any bassist in a studio or live application.
Fuzzrocious BDPG – The “Broke Dick Peanut Gallery” is a one of a kind overdrive/preamp for bass guitar. 3 knobs – gain>volume>tone. The tone stack goes from really dub scooped tones to bright metal highs and everything in between. It’s the best tone shaping tool on my board and helps to breath new life into the effects before it.
3Leaf Audio Enabler – The Enabler is another preamp at the end of the board. It is very warm/tube like and can help shape tone a bit further. It also has a great DI out so I can go straight to the front of the house at any venue bypassing amp/eq/di if I am backlining and not wanting someones amp to color my tone too much. It also has an Aux in and a Headphone out for practicing with a metronome/beat machine and using headphones.
My amp has a nice parametric eq that I tweak a little but for the most part keep flat and transparent (which it does well) and let my tone shape up mostly on my pedalboard.
Lastly I run the Aphex 204 Aural Exciter with Big Bottom in my amps effects loop. The Aural Exciter cleans up frequencies in the low end and brings out more tight low bass while not increasing volume. It is very helpful for large venues with subs and really shakes teeth in the front row, I usually run my DI to the FOH from my amp so the Aural Exciter is applied only when I use my amp.
That’s all for my current set up. It is a dream come true to own such a wide range of effects from nearly all of the best boutique builders in the business. I am really happy with the quality and consistency of each effect on this board. If you’d like to hear this effects chain in action look for me playing gigs in the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area with my two bands “Realifeactual” and “Star Count”.