Nov 19 2014

Hank & Cupcakes

I think it’s fun discovering new music (for me anyway). And having this blog, I do get exposed to some great stuff. Friends of the site, musicians, etc.. always contact me with questions or wanting to let me know about a band that I might want to write about. A few days ago, John, contacted me through Facebook and told me about Hank & Cupcakes. He mentioned that the bass player had an impressive pedal set up and that I might be interested.

Hank & CupcakesHank & Cupcakes? Ok.. I’ll bite. Within seconds.. I was super interested. This is a 2-piece (bass / drums) band, with some catchy and complex sound. This band sounds WAY bigger than 2 piece. I had to learn more.

Let’s start off with this live vid:

So I sent a message to the band and Ariel “Hank” Scherbacovsky wrote back. He was super into the idea of letting me know what was happening on his board. He was kind enough to send the following photos of his set up:

Hank & Cupcakes Pedalboardsand

Hank & Cupcakes Pedalboards

So here is the breakdown of what’s happening. Lots going on!

Board 1

Visual Sound Time Bandit Tap Tempo Click Track Sync
Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter Tap Tremolo
Electro-Harmonix Freeze
MXR Phase 90
ColorSound Tone Bender Fuzz
Boss DD-20 GigaDelay
Electro-Harmonix POG2
DigiTech Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Chrome Whammy
Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress Flanger

Board 2

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer (Vintage)
Electro-Harmonix Bass Balls (Vintage)
Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal
Moog Moogerfooger MF-101 Low Pass Filter
Eventide Pitchfactor
Mark Bass Super Synth
Custom Patch Box

Boss RC-50 Loop Station

On the Amp Rack

Zvex Octane fuzz
Electro-Harmonix POG2
Boss CS-3 Compressor

I asked Ariel about the patch and this is what he had to say about that:

On the top right of the right board I have a patch that I built so that I can easily connect the whole system.It basically receives audio from the splitter sends it into the pedal board and returns it to the amps. It also allows me to on/off some of the splits that I send to other pedals / amps in the amp rack. There are actually also a Zvex Octane fuzz and an additional POG and Boss Compressor for low octaves on the amp rack

Pretty cool! Let me know what you think by commenting below. Please check out Hank & Cupcakes. They’re currently on tour, so see if they’re playing near you! And John (if you’re reading this) thanks for letting me know about these guys!!!!

Nov 14 2014

Pedal Line Friday – 11/14 – Giacomo Di Benedetto

Today’s pedal line is from Giacomo Di Benedetto. 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 Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 11/14 - Giacomo Di BenedettoHi, my name is Giacomo,I write from Italy, I use these pedals: Boss Tuner TU3, Palmer Deepressor pedal that is a strong bass compressor and it has the pad button for switching between active and passive bass pickups, Harley Benton Bass Overdrive BOD-1, Digitech Bass Drive, Electro-Harmonix Knockout pedal for pumping the attack and for the last one Seymour Duncan SFX-06 Paranormal Bass DI box with equalizer, very powerful pedal that has balanced output and unbalanced output in the same time.

On YouTube
On Facebook

Thank you very much for posting and Best Regards.

Nov 13 2014

Zane Carney Pedalboard Break Down

First up.. I wanted to do a quick reminder that the T-Rex Quint Machine Give Away is still happening. Don’t miss out on this one. Details here. Okay.. back to the post….

I wasn’t familiar with Zane Carney until I saw this pedalboard pass by me. So I wanted to dig further!

Zane is fantastic guitarist (solo work) as well as with CARNEY and Broadway’s Spider Man -Turn Off The Dark. But his big break was being hand picked to play with John Mayer on his world tour and latest album. So John Mayer considers him ‘guitar-worthy’. That’s something to take note.

Here is a clip I found from John’s tour:

On Zane’s instagram page, he posted his board from a couple of weeks ago. He mentioned it was stolen and had to build a replica while the other board is sorting through some legal hassles. I thought this board was quite cool, and worth mentioning:

Zane Carney PedalBoard Break Down

Here is the break down of pedals:

JHS Bun Runner (Tone Bender Fuzz)
DNA Analogic VT-1 Virtual Tube
Maxon Analog Delay AD999
Ernie Ball VP-JR Volume Pedal
ZVex Super Duper
Maxon Analog Delay AD999
Electro-Harmonix POG (vintage)
Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man (vintage)
Boss TU-3 Tuner
Voodoo Lab Tremolo

Are you familiar with Zane? Let me know what you think by commenting below!


Nov 7 2014

Pedal Line Friday – 11/7 – Rafael Rebolleda

Today’s pedal line is from Rafael Rebolleda. 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 Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 11/7 - Rafael RebolledaHi everyone,

Rafa here, from sunny Madrid, Spain. I’ve got to say I’m an avid reader of Friday Pedal Line to the point I read *every* single post when I discovered it a few months ago.

I’ve built several boards over the years (I’ve been playing for almost 20 years now, always very interested in effect pedals), but a few months ago I decided to sell everything and get the stuff I needed for the current sound in my head. I also wanted my sound to be as self contained as possible, so I also sold all my amps and went for one in the pedalboard that I could plug into any cabinet.

So, I started with the premise of a Pedaltrain 2, but after many tries, it soon became clear that I couldn’t fit all the stuff in it. I upgraded to a PT-3 with two Mondos below. I also use Lava cable everywhere. I’ve got to say I was *very* skeptical about the whole cabling affair, but after many tries it absolutely makes a difference, even a single latch cable between two pedals. I was very surprised, to be honest, but anyway… try it out and see if you like that difference or not. There’s no right or wrong.

Now, onto the line itself:

Dunlop Cry Baby 535Q 20th Anniversary Edition: Tried and true, I went for this one because of it’s flexibility with different pickups and distortions or fuzzes. It weighs *a lot,*though. In hindsight, I’d be tempted to try the AMT Japanese Girl because of its smaller footprint, given all the issues with space constraints that I’ve

Visual Sound Pure Tone Buffer: (below the wah) I went for a buffer because my chain before the preamp is seldomly on. It’s also probably cheaper to get a buffer than lots of low capacitance cable, so you might as well throw one in instead, depending on your set up. In my case, I might actually do without it.

BOSS CS-2 Compression Sustainer: So this an ’82 version, which I like better than the Dyna Comp (very nice too).

BOSS PS-6 Harmonist: I’m actually not very much into the harmony things, but I do use and love its momentary “slide” to pitch feature. It’s like having a momentary Whammy (which I love, but it’s damn big for my occasional use). I usually set it up to octave up and rather fast in and out, but it’s also very useful when set up in super slow-mo to two octaves down, for example. If I didn’t have the MicroSynth I’d also use it eventually as a regular Octaver.

EarthQuaker Devices Arpanoid: EarthQuaker is one of the most refreshing and inspiring makers right now, IMHO. All their stuff sounds GREAT, and If I had more space I’d surely be using some more pedals by them. But anyway, the Arpanoid is an arpeggiator, with which you can do very interesting stuff like doubling, octaver, random notes, sweeps… very interesting if you’re into the “noisy” weird soundscapes.

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synth: Another inspiring company, with many boxes full of secret sounds. As well as the usual suspects (synths, sweeps, filters, wahs, etc, all FANTASTIC stuff), the MicroSynth serves me as an outstanding, surprising and massive fuzz, octaver, extreme eq/filter and volume swell. Incredible piece of gear once mastered.

AMT Bulava SS-30 Preamp: I love tubes just as everyone else, but after lots of tube amps, I wanted something with very low maintenance while responding nicely to pickup output, as well as an effect loop. The Bulava has extensive tone shaping controls and despite being positioned as a high gain preamp (and it certainly can be), I use it around 9 o 10 clock on both drive channels for a super-responsive boost/overdrive + classic distortion box. Sounds amazing with my SD Hot/Vintage/Cool rails in either single, parallel or series, or with Bare Knuckles Trilogy + Holydiver. However, I’ve got to say I didn’t like it when driven by P-90s, but I haven’t used it so extensively in that config. Bonus points for the cabinet emulation out, which I use for headphone rehearsing. A couple of interesting alternatives that I found along the way are the ADA Preamp + Guitar Cabinet Simulator (and there are other options just for this like the AMT Chamaleon), the very interesting Traynor QuarterHorse, or the Randall RG13,

GigRig QuarterMaster: One of my goals with this pedal board was to reduce noise. Also, a looper allows me to have more freedom when laying out my pedals on the board without caring about tap-reachability. So the QuarterMaster manages the Bulava’s loop and the following effects go within.

Mooer Noise Killer: I’m pretty sure there are better options out there (I’ve had excellent results in the past with the BOSS NS-2), but I needed something small. Works for me… on with gainy stuff, off with clear arpeggios and stuff like that.

MXR 10-band EQ: I went through the BOSS GE-7 and the Mooer Graphic G , but both failed to have the nuance I was looking for. This is a very powerful tool to sit the guitar into the mix, which is a really important issue. Damn big and heavy though.

Mooer Eleclady: Basically a clone of the EHX Electric Mistress, but I actually like this one better. Great sound, very flexible and bonus points for the filter switch. Subtle or crazy, I love this unit, and it doesn’t get any better in terms of size. I also have a vintage ’86 BOSS BF-2, which is great, but I like the Mooer better.

MXR Phase 99: Quite the classic, but twice: parallel or series, vintage or modern. I’ve got to say that I dearly miss a MIX knob on all MXR phasers, so you have to be careful with the pickup output and drive that goes in (it also plays nice, but noticeably different, in front of drives). I love the series and out-of-phase setting which approaches the sound of a Uni-vibe (of which, by the way, my favorite is the JHS Warble Tron, for which unfortunately I have no space left on my board). I also tried the Mooer Ninety Orange (see, I was attracted by their footprint and tried lots of them), but the 99 is way more polyvalent. I’ve tried different BOSS in the past too, but with no satisfaction. I have very fond memories of the Coron P-400 Phaser, though.

Dawner Prince Starla Tremolo. Sounds great and does everything I expect it to do, like really killing the sound on square waves. My only complaint is the on/off switch is not latched, so every time I power on the board I have to press it to play nice with the QuarterMaster. I would’ve liked to find a tremolo that was this size and quality and had more versatility (like some of the nice stuff the BOSS Slicer does), but I didn’t find it. In my search I tried the Mooer Trelicopter (doesn’t kill the sound) and the ZVEX SuperSeek Trem, which is great but too big and heavy for this particular occasion. I also considered the smaller Seek Trem and the Sonar, but what I’ve found is that the ZVEX guys need some UX fella to help them out with laying out the features. They sound great and are full of interesting features, but many things are obscured and the information displayed can be misleading. It’s a pity, really. I also think the Empress Tremolo 2 is great, but again too big for me this time and the Starla was a very good fit in terms of pure geometry.

Empress Vintage Modified Superdelay: Delay was one of the holy grails for me, so it took me a while to get to this one. In all honestly, I find it too expensive. It definitely sounds great, but it’s almost too much. Anyway, I tried the -of course- Mooer Reecho (just… somehow lifeless and boring) and the Moog Minifooger Delay, which sounds absolutely AWESOME but it’s too dark and muddy for many of MY uses. The Empress, however, was very clean (the LPF and HPF help), and also features the reverse feedback mode, pioneered (at least in my mind) by Eventide (and somewhat summarised in the PitchFactor and greatly emulated in Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig, which appears sadly abandoned), which I love. EarthQuaker has several delays that sound absolutely fantastic in different ways and which I almost fall for. Anyway, I wish it was cheaper and smaller, but it is undeniably great and I’m a very happy owner, make no mistake.

EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath: Great name for a great pedal. I fell in love instantly the first time I heard it. Fantastic for ethereal and ambient soundscapes as well as some random short delays to add texture… do check the demos. I love it with the MicroSynth, for example. I don’t think it can work as a regular reverb, but it all depends on what you’re looking for (see next).

Malekko Spring Reverb: How can I put it? I think this is the best reverb ever, when thought of as an amp extension. I tried -here it goes- the Mooer Shimverb (meh) and the TC Electronic Trinity (basically a tuned version of the Hall of Fame), which sounded ok, but IMHO, no spring emulation (and this is what I was after) comes close to Malekko’s. It *feels* great. Now, I’ve got to say I was tempted by the HardWire (DIgitech) Supernatural Reverb for it’s ambient stuff, but once I found the Afterneath, it was clear the Trinity was out and the Spring was in. AWESOME stuff, seriously. The Spring is the last one in the QuarterMaster, so we go to the loop return on the Bulava.

Mooer ABY: Between the Bulava and the amp I’ve got this ABY box to switch between the amp and an IK Multimedia iRig HD which I use to record on the iPhone or the Mac. I’ll probably get rid of it though, as I can already use the Bulava’s dual output (straight and emulated), so I’m looking for something useful that fits in here. I might go with a Loop Master Passive Micro Mixer to rehearse while listening to some music. Suggestions welcome!

ISP Stealth Power Amp: At first I thought I’d use the EHX Caliber 22 & 44, but it turns out they don’t have much headroom beyond their 50% output. The Stealth, on the other hand, has plenty of headroom and power to rehearse with a band. It also can’t get any simpler, and that’s something that I appreciate given the rest of the rig.

All in all, it took a lot of trial and error to get the sound that I was looking for and and the config that suited me, but I have to say I’m very satisfied with this rig and I foresee a long relationship. Feel free to ping me if you want more info, and keep the lines coming… they’re a great source of knowledge and inspiration.


Oct 30 2014

Talking with Jon Carolino about.. you know.. pedals

The other day I was wasting time on Facebook, and came across an interesting post on the Gear Talk group. It was a small clip of Jon Carolino performing some ambient work with a Telecaster. It reminded me of one of my favorite ambient guitar players Andy Othling, and then I started exploring a little more. First off, his board is pretty great, is perfect for what he’s trying to pull off. Second, his YouTube channel has some absolutely great stuff from technique to amazing ambient songs. Here is an example:

I reached out to Jon to see if he would be interested in answering a few questions about his set up, and he was into it. First off, let’s see this board!

Jon Carolino Pedalboard

Here is a breakdown of pedals:

Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
5 channel True Bypass Looper
Disaster Area DMC-6L Midi Controller
Strymon Timeline Delay
Strymon Tap/Favorite
Strymon Timeline Delay
Strymon BigSky Reverb
Neunaber Wet Stereo Reverb
Neunaber Slate V2
Visual Sound Route 66 Overdrive/Compression
Korg Pitchblack Tuner
JHS Morning Glory Overdrive
JHS Moonshine Overdrive
Strymon El Capistan Tape Echo
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator

Like I mentioned, I wanted to talk some pedals with Jon.. so here we go!

- What is the Disaster Area switch? Midi controller? Couldn’t find that model on their site.

The Midi controller is a Disaster Area DMC-6L. Its the early version of the ones they first made. Looking forward to upgrading some day. Matthew over at Disaster area makes some incredible equipment. This controls both of my Timelines and the Bigsky. REALLY helps for the live stuff.

- What is the pedal right of the Route 66? In other vids.. I saw a Freeze there at one point.

Right now I’m auditioning the Neunaber Slate V2 using their Hold with Reverb algorithm in place of the Freeze. Works the same as the freeze just with the stereo wet included too.

- What true bypass loop strip are you using?

Honestly I don’t know. I bought it off ebay back in like 2007 before True bypass loopers got cool ;) I saw the Hillsong guys use them and it really made sense to start using one with so many pedals, not just for a cleaner tone but for was of use. I’m really looking forward to getting a Disaster Area DPC 5 or 8 in the future so I can have all my pedals set to be turned on or off via midi.

- I see you’re using 2 Strymon Timelines.. what’s the reasoning there?

Ah! The golden question. Cuz I can ;) No, really though, I LOVE layering delays. Its been a favorite thing of mine for a years. So I used to have a to of other delays on my board but the Strymon Timeline IS my favorite. It can do anything so many other pedals are trying to do an more so it made sense to just get rid of all the other pedals and get another one. So now I can layer different delay tones mixing the two timelines together. The first timeline gets more of the analog and auto swell action to where the second timeline gets more of the different spacious delay tones and stuff. It really just gives me an infinite way to mix and play. I love Strymon’s stuff. So awesome.

- Were you using a BlueSky before the BigSky or did you just jump right into the BigSky?

Yup. I was using the Bluesky before. I actually sold half of my pedalboard to be able to fund buying a Strymon Timeline and Bluesky several years ago. It was SOOOO worth it. From that point I always said to myself, “If Strymon ever comes out  with a multi reverb pedal like the Timeline, I’m jumping on it” and they did. So I sold my Neunaber Stereo Wet and my Bluesky to get one. Its probably my most favorite and used pedal on my board.

- Based on other shots, looks like the JHS Morning Glory and Moonshine are recent additions. What made you go in this direction?

Well for a LONG time I was using a Visual Sound Open Road. Its a FANTASTIC overdrive. But I always heard really good things about the JHS Morning Glory. So when I got a chance and the funds, I decided I was going to invest in some new drives so the Morning Glory and a Timmy were purchased. I instantly fell in love with the Morning Glory. It just had some kind of magic in there that really speaks to me. So yes, it has become my favorite drive.

So I was trying to find a nice thicker drive with a bit more gain and my friend Brian Howerin had a moonshie he let me test out one day. It sounded amazing. So I went on a quest to find one in trade of the timmy and a boost. Once I got it it was like “man this is what Ive been missing”. Its a great OD. Since I like a brighter more chimey-er clean tone, it really helps thicken up my tone when I need it.

- Do you find yourself swapping out pedals often? If so, why?

Eh…it just depends. As far as new pedals, I really try to make sure that I acquire a pedal for a purpose. I don’t want to just have a bunch of pedals just because I can. But as for swapping out pedals on my shelf, it just depends on the application. If I’m going to be playing a worship set at a church, then ill make sure to have overdrives and stuff on there. If I’m just doing an ambient solo act or something, Ill have more modulation and reverbs and delays since, as of right now, I don’t use much overdrive in those applications.

- Do you do any looping with your ambient soundscape (similar to Andy Othling), if so.. is the primary looper a Strymon Timeline?

Oh yeah! Make sure you check out my Youtube ( Andy Othling is and was a HUGE inspiration in me getting into ambient music as well as Youtubing.

As for the looper, I use a Boomerang III

- Do you play in any bands or other projects? If so, does this board seem versatile to handle those projects, or do you need to swap pedals out?

Mainly solo right now. I have been thinking about taking this full band live more as a collective rather than a set group of people. And as I said in the earlier question, I just switch out gear all according to the application.

- If you had to keep one pedal on the board.. only one.. what would it be and why?

Strymon Bigsky. I think I could still get any kind of ambient thing done with just that one pedal ;)

You can learn more about Jon Carolino by checking out the links below:
Twitter: joncarolino
instagram: joncarolino

Let me know what you think by commenting below!


Oct 17 2014

Pedal Line Friday – 10/17 – Mike Gavrailoff

Today’s pedal line is from Mike Gavrailoff. 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 Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Also, remember to enter for a chance to win a VFE Effects Focus Pedal. I’ll stop taking submissions on Oct 20! Don’t miss out!

Pedal Line Friday - 10/17 - Mike GavrailoffMy name is Mike Gavrailoff and I’m a freelance musician out of Montreal. Mostly country, folk and rock. Check out my sites at and

my chain is this…

Boss A/B (for lap steel and guitar)
Dunlop Volume Pedal
Boss Chromatic Tuner
Boss Noise Suppressor
– small loop of Boss Blues Driver
Boss Tremelo
Electro Harmonix Clone Theory
Boss Digital Delay
Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler
Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Nano

not on the board Boss Acoustic Simulator, MXR Phase 90, Fender Footswitch, Guyatone Vibrato, EHX Nano Clone, Fulltone Fulldrive 2


Sep 24 2014

Talking Pedals with This Patch of Sky

While searching for venues/bands for my own upcoming mini-tour of the Northwest, I stumbled across This Patch of Sky out of Eugene, OR. After a couple of listens… I really really dug ‘em. This Patch of Sky is a instrumental / post-rock band. Similar to Explosions in the Sky, who I’m also a huge fan of. After talking with them about possibly doing a show together and venues around Eugene, I asked if they would be up for a quick gear related interview. Often bands with instrumental / post-rock vibe have interesting selection of pedals.. and they do!

Here is a video with a live performance and interview. To learn more about This Patch of Sky, check ‘em out on their site, Facebook and on Twitter!

Kit Day – Guitar

TC Electronic Polytune Mini
Ernie Ball VP Jr. Volume Pedal
Strymon OB.1 Optical Compressor
Fox Pedal Kingdom Overdrive
Push + Pull Pedals Triton Fuzz
Diamond Memory Lane Jr. Delay
MXR Carbon Copy Delay
Strymon Timeline Delay
Tap Tempo
Strymon BigSky Reverb
Neunaber Slate Stereo Effect Pedal
Disaster Area DMC-3XL Gen2 MIDI Controller

Kit Day - This Patch of Sky
- What is your primary goal with this board?

My primary goal is to be able to achieve multiple sounds as needed depending upon the song while still maintaining a great sounding tone.

- How are you using the Disaster Area DMC-3XL Gen2 MIDI Controller?

The DMC-3XL allows me to control the banks on the Bigsky and the Timeline, and allows me to use the loop feature on the Timeline while still being able to use the other effects.  I’ve also been experimenting connecting the DMC to Abelton Live to send midi clock to the Timeline/Bigsky as well as send program change messages for different song presets without needing to touch either pedal.  It’s seriously a very powerful tool to have on my board.

- Tell me about the Neunaber Slate Stereo Effect Pedal

I picked up the Slate to have as a second reverb option on my board.  What I like about the slate is that it’s reprogrammable.  You can flash the pedal to use any 5 reverb options via Neunaber’s pedal customizer software you install on your Mac or PC.  The software also includes a virtual trim pot that let’s you mess around with the tone of the reverb which is pretty neat.  The other reason I chose the Slate is because you can write/draw on the surface with a permanent ink marker.  As you can see, this is my kid’s favorite pedal.

- I thought your choices for overdrive and fuzz were pretty interesting. What eventually led you to the Triton and Fox Pedal?

I hate fuzz.  Fuzz was one of those things that always made me cringe whenever I heard one, mainly because of how muddy they get.  I was looking for a pedal that could turn a fender amp into a heavy sounding amp when I needed it to.  I went through quite a bit of pedals and never achieved the sound I was looking for.  One of my friends let me borrow his Triton Fuzz, and after playing a few chords I was instantly hooked.  I love how deep and gnarly sounding it can get.  A good example of this pedal is on ‘In The House Of Wolves’ at the 6:21 mark.

The Kingdom Transparent Overdrive by Fox Pedals I recently picked up.  I was playing through a surf green Timmy which I liked a lot.  I wasn’t looking for a new overdrive whatsoever, but I happened to stumble across this specific pedal and loved the tone they were achieving.  After picking one up I was pleasantly surprised at how versatile it was.  It has characteristics of a Klon Centaur but allows for a LOT more head room.  I especially love the OD and Clip switches.

- You currently have 3 delays (MXR, Diamond and Strymon) – What roles do each play in your sound?

Being in a post-rock band, I obviously have a hard on for delay and reverb.  The Carbon Copy is almost always on.  I use it not so much as a delay, much more of a sweeping, lush, background effect.  The Diamond Memory Lane Jr. I always kick on for leads.  It can add a lot nice trailing delays which I love.  Mix this and the Carbon Copy together with a little bit of reverb and you’re good to go.  So why do I have a Timeline?  I don’t really use the Timeline as a delay pedal.  With the capacity to store 200 presents, I use it more as a “random effects” pedal.  I can go from awesome ambient pads to lo-fi vinyl sounds.  It’s basically a synth for a guitar.

- Do you feel that this board is where you want it? Or are you still trying to achieve your sonic goal?

It’s pretty dang close.  Obviously as technology continues to move forward my board changes.  Right now I am definitely content with my setup.

- What would you say is the most used pedal on the board.. and why?

Oh man – that’s a hard one!  It’s a toss up between the Bigsky and the Carbon Copy.  On almost every song we’ve ever created, the Carbon Copy most likely has a presence in the recording.  The Bigsky is newer to my board, and I just can’t turn it off.  It’s such an awesome sounding pedal.


Joshua Carlton – Guitar

Ernie Ball VP Jr. Volume Pedal
Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff
Home Made Boost
Ibanez DE7 Delay
Line 6 M9 Stompbox Modeler
Timmy (Surf Green)

Joshua Carlton - This Patch of Sky
-   What is your primary goal with this board?

My primary goal with my board is tone.  I was taught early on how important tone is and over the years have trained my ears to find the specific tone that I love.

- I was unable to identify a couple of pedals. What is the orange pedal and the white pedal?

The orange pedal is home made boost pedal.  Nothing too special about it.  The washed out “white pedal” is actually a surf green Timmy OD.  It’s newer to my board.

- I noticed you’re using the black russian Big Muff. Why is that the Big Muff of choice?

I love the Black Russian Big muff.  It has that warm dark fuzz that I like. I don’t like pedals that are thin and whiny, the black Russian gives me more of a deep sounding bass fuzz which I love.

- How many modeled pedals/presets do you use on the M9?

I actually only use about 3 or maybe 4 presets on the M9. My favorite 2 are the particle verb (pretty much never catch me without it),  and the Octoverb when I want a bit of shimmer (you can hear it a lot on Heroes And Ghosts). I use the particle verb set to Hazard on ‘In The House of Wolves’ to get that dark drone where you can’t hear the attack of the guitar. It’s such a great setting for stuff like that.

– What took you to the direction on M9 vs. getting individual pedals?

I chose the M9 over actual pedals because I am always experimenting and there are so many options with the m9. And to be honest, even for it being modeled they all sound really good. Line 6 has made some big strides in modeling. Almost every time we play a show someone asks me about a certain effect I am getting and its usually M9.

- The DE7 is an interesting delay/echo. What do you like about in particular?

The DE7 has been with me since the beginning, it all started with me being a fanboy of Explosions in the sky. I read somewhere that that’s what Munaf Rayani was using so I just had to get one! Ha! I usually just use it as a secondary delay nowadays.

- What’s the next pedal that you’re interested in?

Our other guitarist Kit has a ton of Strymon gear and I gotta say I am pretty envious, but I don’t want our stuff to sound to similar, I like the way Kit and I play off of each other. I do have my eye on an old Evantide Space. The broken glitch setting seems pretty brutal.

- What would you say is the most used pedal on the board.. and why?

Definitely the M9 hands down.  It’s used on every single song we do.


Joel Erickson – Bass

Boss TU-2 Tuner
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver (Keeley Mod)
Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff
Ernie Ball VP Jr. Volume Pedal
MXR Carbon Copy Delay
Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb

Joel Erickson - This Patch of Sky
-   What is your primary goal with this board?

I wanted to be able to get a variety of timbres other than just the standard bass sound. This board allows for bass swells, huge fuzz bass, and some approaching more of a affected guitar sound which allows me to fill other roles and be more versatile in songwriting.

- I believe the Blue Boss is a BD-2 Blues Driver (Keeley mod’d). How did you end up with this on the board?

The BD-2 was originally Kit’s and he gave it to me when he picked up some other pedals.

- I see that you and Joshua both prefer the Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff. What about it do you like? Have you tried the Bass Big Muff?

The Big muff allows me to get that huge doom bass sound that is on And Death Shall Have No Dominion and In the House of Wolves. It’s my go to pedal on any darker song we write. I’ve actually been wanting to try out the bass version of it as I’ve heard it works better with the bass frequencies but i have this one pretty dialed in so we will see if I ever get around to it.

- Having two *dirt* pedals on your board (BD-2 and Big Muff) do you use these in combination or do they offer two differing textures of dirt (Medium grit vs Full fury)?

Most of the time I use the two fuzz pedals for different purposes. I usually use the Big Muff when I am fulfilling the typically bass role and I want it to sound burly. I use the BD-2 most often with the carbon copy and holy grail. I can tremolo and come out with a full texture approaching a guitar or heavily affected cello. The BD-2 seems to work better with the higher frequencies for that type of stuff.

- How do you use the MXR Carbon Copy with your bass? By the look of the settings it looks like pretty extreme setting.

I use the carbon copy for bass swells mostly. It works well in the laid back parts of songs and gives bass support without more rhythmic playing breaking up the flow. I also use it for tremolo work as previously stated.

- Likewise, how do you use the Holy Grail? Drone? Or specific parts of the songs?

I’ve only ever used the holy grail on a high setting with the carbon copy for tremolo work. I’m starting to play around with it more to see if I can incorporate it in other ways

- Are you interested in any any other pedals for the board? If so.. what?

I am looking to pick up a tap delay of some kind. I also really want a compressor pedal to have more control over my tone.

- What would you say is the most used pedal on the board.. and why?

This changes from album to album. Overall, it’s probably the big muff though. It’s just so fun to stomp and that thing when the song climaxes and scream away. I have also been trying to use less effects on this new album so when I do use them, they are more meaningful.

Let me know what you think by commenting below!


Sep 16 2014

Bass Fuzz Pedal Shootout

Bass Fuzz ShootoutThis morning I came across a great video by chicagomusicexchange - a bass fuzz pedal shootout! I definitely get asked about good fuzz for bass, and I’ve recommended a couple of these, but it’s really cool to see them side by side so you can see the differences. The video is fairly quick and there is no ‘dialing’ going on, but you get a general sense of the overall fuzz tones happening.

When it comes to bass and fuzz, it’s important that the fuzz is actually heard in the mix. Often time, fuzz will get lost, so think about the mid-range growl and the top note harmonics in the fuzz.. and think about how it will fit in with the guitar(s). Something that might not sound super great in the video.. might actually cut and be great in the band setting.

Here is the video:

Here were the fuzz pedals used in the demo:

Death by Audio Fuzz War
Devi Ever Ruiner
JHS Pandamonium Bass Preamp & Fuzz <= discontinued
Electro Harmonix Big Muff Bass Pi
Zvex Woolly Mammoth

So what stood out for you? What was not great? What fuzz would you call the most useful? What fuzz would cut the mix the best? Let me know by commenting below!

Sep 12 2014

Pedal Line Friday – 9/12 – Ethan Sims

Today’s pedal line is from Ethan Sims. 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 Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 9/12 - Ethan SimsHi, my name is Ethan Sims. Currently between bands. Here’s my signal path

Korg Pitch Black Tuner
Morley Wah
EHX Octave Multiplexer(big box edition)
Fulltone Ultimate Octave Fuzz
EHX Hot Tubes (nano edition)
Way Huge Angry Troll Boost
Akai Head Rush E2
EHX Holy Grail Reverb(nano edition)

From there it goes into the studio channel of my Bassman Ten. My main guitar is a Fender Telecaster.

Aug 29 2014

Pedal Line Friday – 8/29 – Jesse Davidson

Today’s pedal line is from Jesse Davidson. 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 Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include iany links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 8/29 - Jesse DavidsonHey pedal line! My name is Jesse Davidson and I live in Dothan Alabama. I’ve never submitted to this before but I would love to share my rig with you! I do not have any links to music just yet but I will soon. Anyone can follow me on twitter: jesseredeemed and Instagram: JesseJaguarkick

Pedalboard chain.

I have a parts caster telecaster and an epiphone es-339 as my main guitars. First in my chain is a t1m mini buffer. From there it goes into a polytune and then into the cmatmods compressor. The comes my bypass strip. In the strip I have an EM drive and a JHV3 Ghost drive. (The blank space in the top is reserved for a micro pog)

From the bypass strip it goes BBE sonic stomp, VPjr volume, strymon timeline, eventide timefactor with t1m aux switch as my secondary delay. I also use the infinite repeats function with swells to make a really nice pad like underscore when there are no keyboard players. From there it goes into my strymon bigsky and then into a strymon bluesky. This all runs through a badcat Luca. I am powered by a fuel tank jr. And a furman power conditioner that is mounted under my Pedaltrain pro. I use lava instrument cables, George L and planet waves patch cables and Blue Herdim guitar pics. Westone triple driver in ears monitors as well.