Today’s pedal line is from Jason Williams. 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.
My name’s Jason Williams, I perform vocals and guitars for the band, Animal Holograms. I found out about your site from a friend of mine, Nathan (Hot Nerds, Some Girls, All Leather) who you recently featured. Animal Holograms and Hot Nerds are actually playing a show together next month in Chicago.
I’ve been playing the guitar since I was nine years old and haven’t let go of it, tired it out or found it any less limitless as a tool for manipulating pitches, timbres or human emotions since. I started Animal Holograms as a solo project while playing in other bands and often recorded guitars clean for my songs, then later manipulating them using all sorts of odd combinations of plug-ins, spending hours re-arranging the sequence of FX, their parameters, sending them to multiple buses and experimenting with “subcutaneous audio tissues” or “ghost nested” reflections of the source track in order to achieve an original sounding albeit only subconsciously perceivable, though present ambiance.
A few years of this led to finally getting the right people to perform Animal Holograms songs live, but I found myself without the outboard gear needed, let alone a single clue how to re-create or simulate the sounds I achieved mixing in-the-box with fancy plug-ins. So I recently started constructing the board pictured in the attachment. It has only four FX components:
1. Electro-Harmonix Vox Box
2. DOD Supra Distortion
3. Deltalab DD1 Delay
4. Lexicon MX200 Dual Channel FX Processor (reverbs and delays and the offshoot FX created by manipulating these like chorus FX, as well as a few others like pitch and modulation FX)
The guitar (Fender Telecaster) runs through the EH box (not effected, simply bypassed), the distortion pedal, then the delay where the signal is split. The main signal (the prominent “source” guitar signal) is sent through the DD1’s “Output ‘A'” where it ends up running through a Marshall VS-100 half stack. The “ambient signal”, or as I put it before the “subcutaneous audio tissues” or “ghost nested” reflections of the source signal, goes out from the DD1’s “Output ‘B'” where it is sent to the Lexicon MX200’s mono input and patched back out to a combo amp or a B-52 stack. The signal is heavily reverberated, often delayed and creates essentially a washed out, organic sonic sea of sound for the main source signal to comfortably float in, giving a greater sense of space, color and atmosphere. The ambient signal is quite a few dB’s quieter than the main signal, since the intent is not to combine, clash or compete with the first signal , but rather sit modestly in the background and serve more of a contextual, textural and supporting role sonically.
The only other input is the microphone which runs through the EH box and runs directly from there to the PA. If set to Vocoder, the pitches/notes played on the guitar are recognized by the vox box and synthesize a vocoder effect keeping to the key of the song by analyzing the various frequencies present in a chord (ex: An A minor chord, depending how its played, will have, let’s say, an A4 (440Hz), C5 (523Hz) and E5 (659Hz) and replicating them synthetically. Its really the only effect I use on that pedal except for vocal reverb and the occasional pitch manipulation using the “gender bending” parameter.
We’re in the process of preparing to record our first full length. The tracks we have available on sound cloud are a mixture of heavily produced demos with electronic drums and full band with live instrumentation (ex: Hello, my Dark).
To hear specifically heavy & prominent guitar effects songs using my pedal board listen to:
Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully you’ll consider featuring this homemade, very “MacGyver’d”, though beautiful as it can be abrasive sounding pedal board of simple design despite a relatively complex routing configuration and its various (seemingly endless) set of functions.
– Jason Williams