Today’s pedal line is from William Syms. 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.
Hey there Effects Bay, my name is William Syms and I am an avid follower of Pedal Line Friday posts, so many great boards out there! In my main band(Omahara) I play bass guitar and this has always been the instrument of choice for me. I do play a little doom/drone/ambient stuff with my baritone guitar(Domicile) but this board is built for my bass in mind. I have been building up my board for many years now and have been waiting for it to be complete before sending it in to you only to realise that a pedal board is never complete but an ever evolving creature. Any who here it is as it currently stands in order of signal path:
Boss TU2 – Stock standard tuner, set to bypass as I do a few high bends and need them to stay in tune as much as possible. I’ve thought of getting one of the TC Tuners to save on real-estate but in the end I have never had any problems with this one and when it isn’t causing you problems why spend more money?!
Tone Butcher Pocket Pus – This has been a staple on my board for about 3 years now and I just can’t get enough of the crazy noises it can make. If you try to play through it, it gives you a shrill treble filled fuzz sound which isn’t ideal for my bass. So I have it set up on a stand next to my board so I can operate it with my hand during quiet passages and this is where this pedal shines for me. If you leave the volume rolled up on your instrument the Pocket Pus starts reacting to the tiny noise the pickups amplify and it outputs this fantastic sporadic glitching splutter and adds an extra element to any ambient passage.
Ampeg Sub Blaster – As soon as I heard this pedal in a review online I had to get it. It fattens up the low end with its octave down settings and gives you heaps of extra power in those heavy moments. These old things are super rare so if you come across one buy it!
Xotic X-Blender – Without the X-Blender I wouldn’t be able to get the sound that I have always wanted. I love the fuzzy blistering bass sounds of musicians like Brian Cook, and Caleb Scofield but my main gripe with using fuzz pedals is how much of your low end they rip out. Enter the X-Blender. I have all of my fuzz pedals in a separate loop and dial in as much fuzz as I like while blending it neatly with my clean tone. I get the best of both worlds, fat sound and over the top blistering fuzz!
ToyRoom Effects Fuzz Face – I have always loved ToyRooms amazing one-off builds and have been following him on Facebook for a few years now. One day on my walk to work he posted this pedal with a small blurb just stating “First in gets it”. I had absolutely no idea what this pedal did but aesthetically it encompasses everything I love about these small company builds. It turns out this thing is a power house of disgusting fuzz and I love it. Do yourself a favour and check out ToyRoom Effects based in Sydney Australia.
Sovtek Big Muff Green – This pedal is fairly self-explanatory for anyone who is into pedals. Sovtek Big Muff’s just have the power behind them that pushes your entire sound just that little bit further and sounds so clear and you just can’t help but grin like an idiot every time you hear it kick in. This is my first go to if I want dirt in my signal, plus paired with the ToyRoom it creates an absolutely killer sound. In particular it is the Green version that really has the sound I like. I have tried the EHX Big Muffs and the Black Sovteks and they just don’t have the same feel to them.
Black Arts Tone Works Destroyer – Here is my amp destroying, ear bleeding, face-melting, so harsh it’s not even funny, sound that I find the very rare occasion to employ. It is two maxed out fuzz pedals in one the single knob controls the volume output of the fuzz circuit on the right and the left has no controls whatsoever. This is for those rare blasting noise moments where nothing else has ever delivered before.
Loop back to Xotic X-Blender and out to:
Ernie Ball JR Volume Pedal (250K)
TC Elctronics Alter Ego (PGS Version) – This little dynamite took a while getting used to but I have now got it dialled in exactly how I like it on the EchoRec setting and it is beautiful. Definitely a recommended delay, but again, it takes a while to get used to.
ToneButcher Adverb – I’m not sure if ToneButcher are still going but these micro pedals he built are fantastic. It has so many pre-sets that you can’t not find the sound you love. The thing I particularly like about this little pedal is that even when you dial in huge cavernous reverb it doesn’t strip the low end out of your signal like so many other reverbs will.
AKAI Headrush – Here is a pedal I have had a love hate relationship with ever since I bought it back in 2011. I love being able to set atmospheric layers under my sound which this pedal allows me to do with ease but in the last year or so it has developed this scratchy pop which inevitable finds itself into the loops and wrecks the entire sound I was building. But after pulling it apart and blasting all the dust out, making sure all the components are nice and clean, and checking all the connections for anything loose, I put all back together and… it’s still doing it!!! The rest of the pedal is just fantastic though, delay and tape are really nice and warm and all settings are easily accessed through the 2 stomp switches. If yours is clean and working this pedal (other than being very very large) is a great addition to any board.
Well that is my current board and I look forward to next week’s pedal geekary. Thanks!
Just in case you want to know what’s hidden away on dusty shelves:
Death By Audio Fuzz War
Fuzzrocious Rat King
Nobels Distortion Xtreme
Fuzzrocious Ram The Manparts
Fairfield Circuitry Unpleasant Surprise
EHX Holy Grail Nano