Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Ryan Lynch. 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 – 9/20 – Ryan Lynch
Guitar > Circuit Benders Black Box Audio Destructor > Boss DD3 > Sonic Research Turbo Tuner > DOD Meatbox > Strymon Lex > Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest > (Alchemy Audio Dead Bat) > Tonebutcher Adverb > Boss RC2 w/ Skull Taps > Amp
Hello internet, my name is Ryan and I play guitar in Omahara.
You may be looking at this photo going ‘heh, that’s not a pedal board *glances over at mothership with hog2, everything by strymon ever and a 85 port routing switcher* but that’s exactly the point. As a guitar player I have often been tempted to play within, or hide behind, effects. Not this time. Our new album Upsilamba is many things, for me as a guitar player it’s a call to be brave. No more hiding. I’m also fulfilling both guitar and bass parts on the record and in live performances.
Lets start with the thing I actually play, the instrument you see pictured is a custom made, 1 of 1, frankenstein beast made by yours truly. This guitar started life as an oddly shaped cheap & nasty thing, in the discount section of my local shop. I loved the shape, bought it, gutted it, re-fitted it with high quality components and turned it into a workable instrument. This is actually the second iteration, it was black at first, now it’s green, has a wooden pickguard, the pickups are also new, they’re Bareknuckle Supermassive p90’s. They’re brilliant. For this album I’m using three different tunings, BEADF#B, AEADF#B and GEADF#B. Yeah, gets loose.
Circuit Benders Black Box Audio Destructor
I’ve played a lot of ‘crazy’ effects over the years, this thing is something else though, it is just brutal. It’s kind of like a bit crusher, square wave fuzz, oscillator, all in one. The expression basically controls how many people die per minute, there are other knobs to flavour the chaos slightly but you are essentially helpless. This device produces a huge volume push and is super dangerous in a live setting. It’s like the collective screams of all the old tech on the electronic waste pile at your local tip.
Well nothing new here, I don’t actually use this device for delay but rather sending the delay in to oscillation which I then layer at different pitches to create a sound bed, noise wall or to make certain members of the audience leave.
Sonic Research Turbo Tuner
This is the best tuner in existence in my humble opinion. You can have all the pedals in the world but if you’re not in tune, you suck.
With the help of this pedal I have killed 2 subs, destroyed the speakers in my laptop listening to demos and made countless live sound engineers very uneasy and/or upset. For the uninitiated the meatbox is a sub-octave synth pedal that replicates your guitar signal at 60hz & 30hz. As you can see I basically have the octaves cranked, I use the Output control as a gate and send the effected signal to the PA speakers. Throughout the new album I use the meatbox to perform bass parts under looped guitar parts, in the closing moments of the album the Audio Destructor and the Meatbox are combined to create an almighty beast of a tone that makes the other guitar players in the audience ask me how the hell I do it after the show.
This wonderful rotary pedal is used quite a bit on Upsilamba, it gives a wonderful flare to some jazzy parts and supplies the appropriate demonic undertone to a segment that sounds almost like a game show, a game show where members of the audience are accused of ungodly things…
Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest
This stays on, all the time. The black forest has a great EQ and is capable of some huge overdrive tones, but I have it set so as to basically further articulate the sound of my amplifier, which is clean. This is handy for when we’re touring and I have to use other amps, I can always find my sound using the black forest. It’s the cornerstone.
Alchemy Audio Dead Bat
This is connected to the Black Forest and is a one knob wonder that starves power away from pedals, in this case producing a crackly ‘dying battery’ effect. I use the Dead Bat for some volume adjustments, and for occasionally making everything sound broken.
This is a wonderful little box of secrets, Tonebutcher make the best pedals in the world. End of story. This device has a lot of different sounds built in to it, for this album I am using it has a Hall Reverb, which I used to leave on a pretty maxed out setting all the time (shout out to all the guitar players out there hiding behind reverb) but now it’s only on supersoak mode on occasion, sometimes backed right off and sometimes I even turn it off! Bravery award!
Boss RC2 w/ Skull Taps
It’s a loop station. I loop things with it. Mostly I am looping ambient & textural parts, the performance of this new material is far too visceral and loose to try and loop syncopated rhythm parts. I have tried many loopers but actually find the Boss to be best on this occasion. Very sturdy and reliable. The Skull Taps footswitch allows me to stop & cancel loops immediately which I do constantly, a must for live looping. It saves me bending over all the time so a big plus there. The only thing I wish I could do is control the volume of the loop with an expression pedal rather than curling the knob with my foot, if anyone thinks the RC2 is hackable in this way then send me a message!
Amp – Blackheart Hothead 100w
Finally, my amplifier is a 100w hand wired tube amplifier which I set clean. It’s got a wonderful deep ocean bass response with the higher bits shimmering on top like the moonlight reflected off the water’s surface. It does have a dirty channel which I only use if the ritualistic nature of our performance summons an inter-dimensional beast that can only be tamed with crushing levels of volume & feedback. Better to have it and not need it, you know?