Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Max of Totem Terrors. 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.
Pedal Line Friday – 1/13 – Max of Totem Terrors
Hi. I’m Max, and I play bass for Totem Terrors. Here’s my current pedal set-up.
I use two homemade boards, which I cut from a large piece of MDF I found outside IKEA. I do it this way because my balance isn’t very good, so I prefer to have all my pedals in a line rather than stacked, with one board each side of the mic stand.
My routing is really simple. It’s basically just one line, no tricks. It took me a while to figure out the best order, but this is what works for my sound.
You’ll recognize one or two of the pedals straight away but I use a few homemade pedals too. I’ll tell you about them in sequence.
Digitech Whammy V
I love this thing. Ever since I heard Tom Morello’s solo in Killing In The Name I’ve wanted one, though I mostly use the dual octave mode. I bought this before Digitech rolled out the bass version, but hey, it’s a pitch-shifter — it can handle bass just fine.
The first of my homemade units. This is so new (just built this week) I haven’t figured out its best place in my chain yet. It’s a boost pedal with selectable frequency that also has a compressor section and a switchable octave fuzz. A friend of mine wanted me to design and build it for him because of his love for late 60s / early 70s psych guitar sound, so its made using period-authentic architecture.
Another of my homemade units. I generally use a very bright, clanky bass tone, but I also love early PiL bass sound. So I made this – Jah Wobble’s Metal Box bass sound in a metal box. It has two controls, one for bass and one for treble, and it gives that syrup-thick, super round bass sound in one click.
EHX Bass Micro Synthesizer
My board is mostly a combination of homemade, super expensive or super cheap. This counts as super expensive and was a big investment because I didn’t know if I’d use it much. Turns out I use it a lot. It’s surprisingly versatile, if you don’t mind manually changing the settings mid-set. Sounds amazing with a chorus pedal after it.
This is another of mine. It’s a bass distortion unit I made before EHX rolled out the Bass Big Muff, and I didn’t want to use a regular Big Muff because they sap too much low frequency. I had been using a Boss Bass Overdrive, but the sound was too brittle. This has a dial to retain some dry signal, it has 1000 times gain, and heavy clipping. Sound-wise, it’s got that rusty chainsaw thing going on.
Joyo JF-05 Classic Chorus
When I wanted a chorus pedal, I went into a store and grabbed a handful of units to test. I honestly expected this one to be cast aside pretty quick because it’s cheap and one-dimensional. In the end it came down to this or the EHX Clone Theory. The Clone Theory could do a heck of a lot more, but this pedal’s one single sound was actually the exact thing I came looking for. At less than a quarter of the price, it was an easy decision. It makes the Micro Synth sound amazing.
Behringer BDI 21 V-Tone Bass Amp Modeler
Everyone knows Behringer basically make inexpensive clones of otherwise expensive pedals. I got tired of trying to dial in my bass sound to whatever amp the headline band had brought (my band plays a lot of support slots), but I wanted to make sure a SansAmp style pedal was worth it before spending serious money. This one worked so well I never got around to replacing it with a real Tech 21.
You can hear my music here: https://totemterrors.bandcamp.com/
Watch videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eMK7A5oPI0
And follow my pedal building exploits here: https://www.instagram.com/deiode/