Today’s pedal line is from Daniel Labrador. 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 email@example.com. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
I play guitar with Atlanta-based reggae/dub/afrobeat group Bird City Revolutionaries (new record coming out this summer!), you can check us out at our Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/BirdCityRevolutionaries
Here is my pedalboard (descriptions given in signal path order):
– On ocassion I run an Area 51 wah (with range selector and quack controls) at the very front (not shown here). It’s a fantastic wah, and Dan at Area 51 is a standup guy – he repaired the switch for free when it went bad, and when I got it back he had tossed an extra set of rubber feet in the box because I had taken them off. I think it took a total of 10 days to turn around (including mailing back and forth).
– Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone – I have a love/hate relationship with this guy. It does a great job at providing tons of sustain and a little extra boost, I use it mostly for clean lead parts. Cons: because of the way it works, there’s some glitchiness at the beginning of the very first note you play as it begins to track and adjust your level. Also, the “grit” knob is pretty useless. I wish I could change the clipping circuit in there to something that wasn’t so offensive to me.
– DIY Zenclone – I built this one myself, only modification to the original circuit is a stacked op-amp. Very happy with this guy.
– EHX Ring Thing – love this pedal. Interestingly enough my main use for it is dry + octave up… go figure. I also have presets for dry + octave down, vibe, ring mod and a couple of Whammy-type presets (shifted signal only with expression pedal, octave up or down). I bought it for its vesatility and the fact it has presets – covers ring mod, chorus, trem, vibe and pitch shift all in one box. It does polyphonic pitch tracking and it works fabulously.
– EHX Stereo Pulsar – best cheap trem on the market for my money considering how versatile it is, I really like the waveform skew knob and the ability to switch between square and triangle. I usually use this with depth at max for a hard square chop. There’s also a lot of crazy territory at the extremes of each knob – for example, the depth knob reaches “100%” at the 1:30 – 2:00 position, after that it begins to invert the phase as the bottom of the oscillator wave crosses the “no signal” line. It would be easier to explain on a blackboard. However, if there are any new arrivals, this guy would probably be first to go since I can cover most of what it does with the Ring Thing.
– Ibanez DE7 – permanently set to just barely self-oscillate. Toggle switch was permanently blocked off to “Echo” mode with the tiny wood chip you see to the right of the switch. This is one of the best-sounding delays I’ve EVER used, especially for self-oscillation. And they’re a steal – I got two of them used for $50. The big wooden block is to make the switch easier to push – I’d had trouble engaging it on a couple of different board positions so I permanently glued that sucker on there and problem solved.
– Subdecay Prometheus – black model, would’ve preferred the blue w/o butt-ugly graphics, but this was the one up for sale. Probably has the most impressive guts of any pedal I own – beautiful workmanship inside. I use this for step-filter and auto-wah sounds.
– TC Electronic Nova Repeater – my main delay due to tap tempo (essential for reggae/dub). Usually set to dotted 1/8ths (of course), tape mode, and knobs like you see above (although FX level is usually a hair lower). Only complaint is for guys like me with big feet the row of tiny push buttons is easy to step on – ESPECIALLY that Kill Dry button right above the bypass switch. I hardly have that problem anymore though, I guess I’m used to pressing with the very tips of my shoes by now.
– Line 6 M5 – for our live set I mostly use this for reverb, phase or flange, although I have a bunch of awesome presets I’m dying to work into songs. For dub, it’s super important that this is at the end of the chain – if you want the Lee Perry sound, the modulation must be after the delays. This is also my tuner to avoid duplication (and save space).
– TC Electronic Ditto Looper – love it. Just recently bought but I’m pretty happy with it – I’ve had hours of fun just noodling around at home but I’m also looking forward to using with the band – would love to be able to do some self-harmonized parts for a few of our numbers 🙂
Regarding the rest of the board, some of the cables are DIY Mogami with various plug types, the rest are Hosas or from the jar next to the register at Guitar Center. Mini altoids case slightly visible at upper left, digital clock on upper right. The M5 and Repeater are both using their factory adapters, everything else powered by a Pedal Power ISO 5 (Prometheus mounted on top). The board itself is homemade – the base was a cabinet door from a flat-pack desk, top shelf was scrap cut from a different piece of flat-pack furniture. Plus one dollar cabinet handles, rubber feet, and velcro.
Main guitars played through this are a 2003 MIM Fender Tele and LTD M-103FM, and it all goes into a Fender Princeton.
Thanks for running such an awesome website, keep up the good work 🙂