This is my new physical pedalboard: Mod Dwarf and Midi Controller only, that’s all. And most importantly, it’s for everything: not only do I play guitar or mandolin through the Dwarf but vocals run through it as well at the same time. I’ve come a long way to this PedalBoard, which took a lot of effort and money. Maybe this story will help others to get there faster than it did for me.
I decided to start a band again about five years ago, after about a 15 year break! Of course, I approached it the same way I had learned: analog, because that’s the religion! Tube amp and one or two analog pedals. With the sound I struggled from the beginning, the sound fit well to the guitar, but not to the mandolin, and after all it is not really flexible. So I bought more pedals.
I must say that I am an absolute minimalist: The pedalboard was always comparatively small and I actually play only one guitar (and one mandolin) and don’t even want to have more than one. I had acquaintances with pedalboards as big as door leaves and whole rooms full of guitars. With me, things always have to be small and manageable, because possessions weigh me down. And the gear did… Still, I was dragging myself to death by now: the tube amp! My goodness… heavy as two sacks of cement, then still felt 12 kilos of cable and the pedalboard, guitar, mandolin …
One day I was supposed to sing, because our singers were always unreliable and we fired one after the other. So I bought a mic and realized that the best way to sing was to use some effects as well. The equipment grew and grew and got heavier and heavier.
I’m an IT guy myself no more believing in the analogue religion: why the hell analog? I sold my tube amp and bought a modeling combo. So now I had a mixture of analog pedals with a digital amp, which wasn’t exactly a revelation sound-wise either. So sold the the amp, bought a new, but again digital, the Roland Blues Cube. Nice and light (14 kg! instead of the 46 kg of the tube amp with box), nice sound and: I don’t hear any difference to a real tube amp. There may be others who can, I can not.
The PedalBoard then became more and more digital.
Yes, and then… then came the Dwarf. I was blown away, right from the start! Especially the routing possibilities, and the possibility with a little imagination to recreate everything you imagine in sound so. So I rebuilt the pedalboard again, this time in two parts, one was the Dwarf, the other a distortion pedal (because I still thought that the distortion of the Dwarf was not good enough), a reverb pedal (because I wanted to save DSP) and a midi controller.
Then came the Collision Drive (thanks @brummer), which made me take another look and test the distortion in the Dwarf. The distortion pedal flew off the board.
Then looked again at the reverbs and did tests. The reverb pedal flew off the board… Yes and today? 30 cm pedalboard, which I can easily put in the pocket of the gig bag of my guitar and mandolin (dual bag) with currently 23 (!) Pedalboards on board. I can now carry all my equipment at once and have more options than ever. Singing and instrument playing through the same device!
Oh yes… my PedalBoard always has underbody lighting. Something redneck is mandatory…