Inspired from Pedal Line Fridays a few years ago, I created the Pedal Label System. Seeing those Pedal Line Friday posts, I started to notice a trend of marking settings on the pedals. Especially, if you pack your pedals up and play shows. The transportation of the pedals often moves the knobs, or the padding of cases will cause the knobs to change position. The solution has often been one of the following:
1) Memorize the settings. That’s fine, but for me, I hated doing that. Another thing to lock in the brain. I also like to explore and play with the pedal settings and having multiple settings for a single pedal on a board with multiple pedals, settings can get lost in the mind.
2) Mark the settings using tape (masking, duct or gaffer). This is a cheap and easy solution, but there are some problems with this option. First off, drawing circles and dashes on tape, makes your $1000+ board look sloppy. More importantly, you have to deal with adhesive residue left on the pedal. Sticky gunk sucks! Even worse yet, masking tape tends to turn into cement after an extended time on the pedal. Want to change your settings or sell the pedal, you’ll need to spend some time cleaning the pedal – not fun.
So these are the problems that eventually ended up inspiring the development of Pedal Labels. With Pedal Labels we address these issues. Pedal Labels use low tack adhesive. What this means is that no ‘gunk’ will be left on the pedal. You can peel these off cleanly! Pre-drawn knob circles printed on the labels. Simply draw a line from the center point to the edge. Having a consistent design on the labels.. help keep the labels looking pro. Frankly, they look natural on the pedal. Labels are printed on white material so it’s easy to see.. and the material is water-proof (or beer proof depending on your situation).
To track multiple settings, simply use different color pens for drawing lines. It doesn’t get much simpler than that to maintain multiple settings at a glance.
One thing for me that I noticed after developing the Pedal Labels – when playing on stage, and you hear something not-quite-right, that’s a crappy situation. I usually start running down a multiple item checklist of possible bad scenarios, but the bottom line, where things can go bad is generally at the pedals, specifically if your foot accidentally pushes a knob on a neighboring pedal, or your cable running across the board causing the same problem. By having these labels, you can quickly ID the problem at a glance (lizard brain thinking – do the knobs match the label?), because remember, you’re in the middle of a song.
Guitar techs have been loving these labels. Guitar techs have to deal with multiple set up/tear downs and they need to get things back to their starting settings quickly! Over the years, some great players have been using these labels.
Check out Troy Van Leeuwen from Queens of the Stone Age labels (read about the rig here):