Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Mike McQuain. 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.
Pedal Line Friday – 3/8 – Mike McQuain
I actually have 2 pedal boards that I use on a regular basis – one is kept at church, where I play with the modern worship band, and the other is kept at home for practice, recording and the occasional jam session or playing out with friends.
Here’s the church board…
The signal path starts with my Line 6 X2 Wireless unit that feeds both a TC Electronic PolyTune Mini and the input of a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor. The NS-2’s loop send goes to a Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold Compressor and then into my 10-channel Loop-Master True-Bypass loop switcher. The looper order is (1) DeltaLab Phase Shifter, (2) ModTone AquaChorus II, (3) EHX Crayon Overdrive, (4) EHX Soul Food Overdrive, (5) Mad Professor Golden Cello Distortion, (6) Joyo ACTone (Vox) Amp Simulator, (7) Boss DD-3 Delay, (8) TC Electronic Alter Ego v.1 Delay, (9) ModTone Harmonic Tremor Tremolo, and (10) TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb. After the loop switcher it returns to the NS-2 and then out to a DeArmond 1600 Series Volume Pedal that I’ve used for years (and yes, it is big but I wear size 15 shoes so it fits me well). And finally it goes through an Xotic EP Booster than is always on to provide a good strong signal to my amp.
Until recently I had been running everything in front of an Egnater Tweaker combo amp on stage. However, in an attempt to reduce overall stage volume, I am now going direct to the mixer and I have been pleasantly surprised at how well I like the results.
Next up is my home studio board (currently being rewired) that is very similar to the church board, with a few exceptions….
The signal path starts with my Line 6 X2 Wireless unit that feeds both a TC Electronic PolyTune Mini and the input of a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor. The NS-2’s loop send goes to a 10-channel Loop-Master True-Bypass loop switcher. The looper order is (1) Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold Compressor, (2) TC Electronic Quintessence Pitch Shifter/Harmonist, (3) DeltaLab Phase Shifter, (4) Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive, (5) EHX The Glove Distortion, (6) Mad Professor Golden Cello Distortion, (7) Joyo American (Fender) Amp Simulator, (8) TC Electronic Transition Delay, (9) TC Electronic Alter Ego v.2 Delay, and (10) Danelectro CoolCat v.1 Tremolo. After the loop switcher it returns to the NS-2 and then out to a DeArmond 1600 Series Volume Pedal. And finally it goes through an Xotic EP Booster than is always on to provide a good strong signal to my amp or to my recording interface in my home studio. I use an old Lexicon MPX-100 rack unit for reverb and such in my home studio.
Power for both boards is via a Walrus Audio Phoenix clean power supply, which has plenty of power on tap with 15 outputs and no extra noise!
In addition to the two boards, I have a few other pedals I keep around and may occasionally swap out with something. These include the first generation of the series Transparent Overdrive (Timmy clone), Overdrive (OCD clone) and Distortion (Crunch Box clone). I also have an old Danelectro Daddy-O, and a few other miscellaneous things. I seem to suffer from a constant state of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) so I’m buying and selling pedals every other month it seems… yes, it is a sickness but I love it!!!
My guitars include three Les Paul Tributes, each with different pickups for a variety of tonal options. An Epiphone ES-335 Pro semi-hollow, a Gibson SG (for slide), a Frankenstein Strat and a Breedlove acoustic with a Fishman pickup system. I have bought/sold about 50 guitars over the years but have finally settled on a good collection of the “old standards” from Gibson and Fender (just need a Tele LOL).
Over the last 40 years I have gone from no pedals, to a single MXR Distortion+ (wish I still had that vintage unit), to literally spending thousands of dollars on gear in a never ending quest for that magic thing we call tone. I have learned that the most important elements in your signal chain start with your hands and a good guitar and amp. Do I “need” all these pedals? Probably not… but it sure is fun to play around and try new things!