Pedalboard management for live gigs

Hi everyone!

I eventually got my Dwarf, which I intend to use at rehearsals and smaller venues, plugged into the console. I play the guitar and the keys in a garage/stoner coverband.

My main question is : How do you organize your pedalboards and snapshots in order to play live?

My first idea is to create a pedalboard per song with only the effects each song needs and assign them to the footswitches.
Or would it be smarter to create one big PB and a snapshot per song?
Any other idea?

Thanks !


I struggle with this myself. I’ve long used floor modelers from Line 6, first the POD series and most recently the Helix, playing in a cover band with an eclectic mix of genres.

Typically, my approach has been 4 main snapshots - clean rhythm, clean lead, dirty rhythm, dirty lead - and either 4 additional snapshots for specific purposes or 4 footswitches assigned to effects that can be used to compliment those 4 main tones. The versatility that provides has been crucial when playing in a band that has a habit of switching gears at a moments notice. Whether it’s reading the audience vibe or fielding audience requests, scraping a planned tune as one of our singer’s realizes their voice is starting to give out, or even just flat out winging the setlist on the fly (we’re great at that), that approach allowed me to adapt on a second’s notice.

With something like the Dwarf whose navigation is necessarily more limited, I find myself thinking on how I’d manage to use the Dwarf live with those sort of demands. Some ideas that have crossed my mind:

  • general-purpose “clean” pedalboard, with snapshots for lead and/or specialty clean sounds
  • general-purpose “dirty” pedalboard, again with snapshots for lead and/or specialty dirt sounds
  • song-specific pedalboards, with snapshots that cycle through the song structure (e.g. intro, verse 1, chorus 1, verse 2, chorus 2, bridge, solo, verse 3, chorus 3, outro)
  • One big pedalboard (or maybe two), with a basic core tone snapshot and some additional specific tones. Footswtiches on page 1 to cycle up and down, additional pages with footswitch for specific effects to alter those tones.

If you’ve got a pretty tight and steady set list, I’d go the pedalboard per song with snapshots for song structure. If you don’t tend to very your tone vary much within a song, the big pedalboard with multiple snapshots might be a good choice, with some songs maybe just have two or three snapshots required (“Peaches 1”, “Peaches 2”).


Hello there,

I am bang on dealing with this also. I just did a fairly important couple of gigs recently where I had a dedicated pedalboard per song, and had those grouped by banks - one dedicated bank per gig. And that worked.

But I am now trying to get something more like what Trilby has got: that is one main big pedalboard where I can summon effects via the Multi Button to CV - MOD Audio to enable more than one effect from one switch + use an expression pedal.

Sorry to ask, not I can’t figure out how to recall different pedalboards without being connected to the web UI.
When hitting B+C, I get snapshots but no pedalboards. How does one do that plz? :sweat_smile:

Press A first, then B+ C. You must first change the mode.


I have a separate pedalboard for each song. Even with very similar pedalboards, I follow the principle. For me, this makes things much clearer. I’m a singer and guitarist, and I also play mandolin and mandola. After a song, I often have to change instruments and can’t concentrate on the Dwarf. I change pedalboards with midi, then I always have the same process, it’s doable for me.

I had also tried to operate a pedalboard with many snapshots, I quickly came to my limits. Changes in the snapshots can then be very time-consuming, things can be mixed-up etc.

The disadvantage of many pedalboards is that if I change a parameter, it can happen that I have to do this in several pedalboards. There, however, helps the saving of user settings. I can then simply load the user setting of the respective effect in all pedalboards that require the same change. That’s two mouse clicks, so doable.


Good idea, I didn’t know that was possible, I’ll try that !

FYI: Part of your question was raised by yours truly as well:

I kinda miss a built in “live mode” here


Would be nice a be able to have pages dedicated to snapshots like they are to plugins. I usually need 2-3 sounds per song : verse, chorus and solo, so it means 2 pages
The advantage of that would be not to have to press 2 switches at the same time, as every other attempt with one foot ends up just disabling a plugin. :sweat_smile:



the page that binds snapshots to buttons, like @Cyril’s idea, is still limited to two snapshots but it is probably quite the feasable option?

in other words, what does the MOD crew recommend to live gigging musicians?

When I’m on stage with my Heavy metal/thrash band, I’ll have the same base sound but I need to add some “atmospherics” here and there or go to clean for an intro. When singing, playing, moving, showing, whatever… I want to do one press of a FOOT switch and have clear confirmation on my screen of where I’m at. You can’t be pressing 2 buttons at once while flying around the stage! I use a seperate boost pedal for those

When I’m doing my solo gig, I have both acoustic and electric guitar and it’s the same story

Ideally, I could do this for my company band gig, cycling through snapshots for all the different cover songs we do, one song I’m fingerpicking and singing on “Shallow”, than it’s rock chords, than it’s something close to an amp breaking into distortion… That’s hard to fit in 2 snapshots ^^


My take on this is: you need different pedalboards (anyway, CPU won’t handle a copy of my good old pedalboard) and within these PBs, different snapshots that you can recall with a single footswitch each. You’re right, we’re gonna need more than a single page for snapshots.

And yes, I’m curious to know how mod team would handle this.

Agreed. if there is a way to flip through pedal boards with single foot switches, that would cover a lot of the req’s.

Also, that is why in another thread, people were discussing “plugin groups” → create a group of plugin (for axample; | tube screamer + amp + eq + all their settings |) and re-use this group across pedal boards so you have a consistent base sound. something like a “blue print” you can drop on your board.
That’s advanced and impactful when it ocmes to design, dev and workflow management though. (and off tooic here ;))


It can be done using a MIDI controller :

The MIDI solution also works with snapshots. You can also use the “Assign all” button to assign snapshots to a control, the only problem being that you can only scroll through snapshots with a single footswitch :
So I guess using a MIDI controller is the most convenient solution if you want a dedicated footswitch per snapshot.

All of this has been discussed in @LievenDV’s thread linked a few posts above :

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Thanks that’s good to know. Not ideal for me thought, as the point of buying the Dwarf is its compacity and I don’t intend to build a new pedalboard, I already have my good old bulky one. :slight_smile:

I don’t want to advertise a Chinese product that is not perfect but the M-Vave Chocolate MIDI controller is tiny, cheap, has 4 footswitches and you can connect an expression pedal to it. For the purpose of selecting snapshots, it does the job. There are already a few threads that mention it in the forum.


A “live mode” would be a great enhancement, especially if it could make the third (A) switch available as a mapping option.

Realistically, there’s only so much one can hope for on a multi-function device with only 2 switches available. I haven’t seen any indication that this kind of a feature set is a priority for MOD, and even if it is, I’d estimate several months of development time in the best case. Assuming that one wants at least a few to several different sonic options available for easy recall in a session, you’re simply going to need some other kind of solution.

I don’t mean this in an elitist way, but if you’re serious about live performing with the device, you’ll benefit greatly from having an external MIDI controller available. I’ve used the Line 6 FBV Express, others are having success with the Chocolate MIDI, and there are other options available at various price ranges. Personally, I’ve had my eye on a Morningstar device, and it looks like they’ve recently released a new model that looks very nice. For a few reasons, I’m thinking I’ll bring my Headrush Pedalboard back into my workflow, with the Dwarf available for an effects loop and secondary functions like looping. One of my motivations for acquiring it is I never wanted to run out of available switches. The capabilities for switching pedalboards and snapshots is great, especially with the ease of editing snapshots per effect and being able to map two snapshots to a switch for easy toggling.


To piggyback on this; I will throw out a slightly more affordable, but less feature rich footswitch.

I have one in my setup, downside is that its a small company and updates are slow.

They have a 4 switch model and a 6, and its programmable with their internet app.

Edit: I wanted to show a nifty feature on this bridge6. Since its essentially a midi swiss army knife, it can control onboard synths and such. In particular, there is a full chord bank across the scales that can be played using the switches.

I thought it was a great feature that may be interesting to the multi instrumentalist, or users looking to add to their their productions.


interesting options, @unbracketed and @Elk_wrath !

indeed, the new morningstar MC6 PRO is a compelling unit… but “SOLD OUT”. :frowning:

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I’ll take one if it fits in the Dwarf bag :laughing:

If I’m serious about playing live, I take my pedalboard that’s taken me years to put together. To me, the Dwarf is for practicing, rehearsals and smaller venues.

I’ve already had to pay 150€ extra, now that would be 50 for a MIDI controller, then I’ll need a pedalboard and case to carry that, a correct power supply that doesn’t buzz and some more money again for the bluetooth dongle. What I would like is something that silmply works :innocent:
A drag and drop mapping that’s usable would be a nice start !

I know the mod team has a lot on their hands (with weird priorities sometimes, like the tone AI), but for the week I’ve had my Dwarf, is definitely feels like an unfinished product.

I can’t agree because I use the Dwarf for each gig and rehearsal in all kind of venues !
And I don"t see why it could be okay for small venues and not for large ones, could you develop ?