Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Roy Vazquez. 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.
Hi! I’m a multi-instrumentalist from Querétaro, Mexico. I play bass in an experimental band called Ex Replica and an improvisation group called Gentle Wave. I also write about gear for GuitarGraph.com and occasionally review albums I like for Indierocks! Magazine.
It’s great to be sharing my Pedal Line with the Effects Bay community. I know that being obsessed with pedals is not a trait you would associate to most bass players, but I’ve loved going further with sound possibilities through these little metal cases for years now.
The following is the pedalboard I use with Ex Replica, where apart from bass y also play synths and keys. We do a blend of post-punk and dark techno. With me on the band are a guitar player, a drummer and… another drummer/percussionist.
If that sounds interesting at all, you can check out a preview of our album here and a live video here. We’re still finishing up with mixing of the first album, so there’s not much online apart from that.
So, now that you know a bit more about what I do, here’s a rundown of my pedal line:
Lots of people might disagree with putting a compressor right at the beginning of the chain, but I just love what it does to my Fender Jazz Bass. So I leave it on all the time and treat that as my main signal that will then feed into all the other pedals.
It really balances out the sound and produces a crisper, sort of punchier tone. You might be wondering if I stole this idea from The Mars Volta’s Juan Aledrete. And I sure did. Guilty as charged. I picked up that trick from him when I first started getting into pedals and bought a CS-3. I then switched to the discontinued CS-2 as soon as I found one at a local pawn shop.
From the compressor it goes right to this Russian-made fuzz machine. Fed through the CS-2, it produces a really vintagey and raw fuzz sound. That doesn’t sound so good on bass most of the time to be honest. That’s why I always use it with the…
Absolutely love this thing. I also leave it on most of the time. It really enhances the bass response while rounding up the tone, giving it more body. I love the distortion sound that I get from the CS-2, the Big Muff and this thing set on clean.
It can get really loud and cut through the drums, but it’s also pretty well defined and you can catch every note in spite of the distortion. With various distortion pedals I tried, the bass notes got all muffled up and you ended up with this chunk of indiscernible bass sound that would disorient any audience members and piss off my guitarist.
I rarely use this one but it’s a nice thing to have. It’s meant to produce sort of a funky aqua-bass sound. But the way I set it up, it’s just for filtering out the high notes and leaving this sort of sub-bass sound that I use to fade out of certain lines.
This one is great to add some color and body to the tone without sacrificing any low end. That’s what the people at BOSS were going for when adding a low filter and they absolutely nailed it. If you crank up depth and level you can also get some really nice atmospheric sounds.
Talking about atmospheres, I purchased this thing mostly to produce crazy noises. You get some absolutely insane sounds by messing around with the settings on its many delays, but I also use it to add some nice delay to bass now and then. I also use the looper on some parts of Ex Replica’s set.
Nice Tremolo. Perhaps not as nice as the discontinued PN-2, but still pretty good.
I use this for two main things. The first is chopping up the signal whenever I play long sustained notes with the Big Muff on. By putting the center and right knob at 100% you get this really chopped up effect that can resemble an arpeggiated synth bass line in it’s own crazy way. You can then play with the left knob for varying speeds.
The second is for just getting some nice ambient tremolo whenever I plug a guitar into this pedalboard.
From the Tremolo, my signal just goes to this volume pedal that I use to lower my own volume on softer parts or as a kill-switch whenever I’ve got several pedals on and a song or a certain part needs to end abruptly.
The VP JR then has a nice output that’s specifically for a tuner. This is a nice little tuner too. It lets you know which string is off tune by strumming all the strings at once.
Here’s everything from a different angle:
Power Supply and Board
For the power supply of all pedals except the DL4 and the VP JR I use a Godlyke PowerAll. Amazing thing. Very quiet. It has never failed me.
The VP JR is passive and the DL4 is connected to its own Line 6 power supply. I could connect it to the PowerAll, but just choose not to just because I get paranoid and the Line 6 came with its own Power Supply.
Finally, it’s all velcroed on a Pedaltrain 2 that I then pack up in the flight case I bought it with. Never had a problem with those either.
Final Words/Request For Help
That’s my pedalboard for now. It was a lot of fun, and years of research/product-hunting to put together. The journey has been worth it thus far. Hope you enjoyed checking out too!
I’m actually on the process of making some changes. I’d like to add a nice Octave pedal for Ex Replica’s next shows but my pedalboard, as you can see, won’t fit one more thing. I’m thinking of getting rid of the Russian Big Muff and switching to a less sizable distortion pedal to make room for a Pitchfork or POG.
So, any recommendations on either smaller bass distortions or small octaves would be highly appreciated. Thanks!