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Guitar Road Board

Guitar Home Board





Bass Home Board

Bass Road Board

vlayman; THD; blog; TFP

Pedal Boardage, Part doosh

This is the Away Board:


I bolted a enameled cooking grate, like for onna BBQ, to a piece of wood shelving. I use removable Zip ties to hold the pedals, tuck the wiring around ’em. The whole thing fits into a old Samsonite briefcase I had laying around (it’s on the left) what I need not even take the board out of. I plug a wah (not shown) on the right, using a empty lead from the One-Spot, and placing the wah on top of the board to transport in the case.
vlayman; THD; blog; TFP

Pedal Boardage

Damn things is expensive if you buy commercial ones. Me, a One-Spot is fine for, and the other issue is portability.
So I built two.

This is the Home Board:

I built it outta a wire shelf I bought at Menard’s Home Supply, zip-tied the brackets underneath for stability, used releasable zip-ties for the pedals to make it easier and cheaper to change ’em out.

It’s pretty sturdy, even using the wah, but while it might be OK for the occasional gig, I’d not want it on the road. As a way to organize the pedals and make ’em EZier to use in the bedio, however, well, it works!


Sorta M/S witha Durham

Published on TOMB:

I have the [Cathedral Pipes] Durham – feckin’ lurv it!

I’ve been doing a lot of sorta M/S*, using various dynamics (lately a EV E609 or a AKG D1000E) for the mid and a MXL 860 for the side (not a bad ribbon, the best part being it’s diminutive size).

The Durham lets me use any pre I want, so I can use older stuff like a 1589b (Altec) and get a strong signal that I can hear in the cans, even when I’m sitting next to the amp (I leave it set up onna Pro, Jr. next to my mix position).

And it really does seem to “clarify” the signal somehow …

*I often take the ribbon track and delay it .01 or so seconds, double it and phase-reverse the double and bring those tracks back up under the dynamic-mic track, and not always panned LCR, either.
vlayman; THD; blog; TFP

Latest pedalboard 6-15


Using this in a cover band:

1.  Vox Wah: wha’? Serviceable, cheap and easily replaceable, and I like it’s shallow sweep;

2. MXR ’78 Distortion:  nice and flexible, clear and articulate, approaches heavy because I was needing a 70’s/80’s distortion sound, has a neat boost button that’ll blind ya;

3. Visual Sound Rte. 66: compressor and 808-style OD (2 4 1, + 2 EQ’s!), with two very useful EQ’s including two boosts, can be subtle, this version is weird-shaped and big, but worth it;

4. Ibanez Swell Flanger: does what it’s supposed to do, lotsa control, small foot-print;

5. Rocktron Short Timer: nice slap up to short delay, articulate but not too digital in sound;

6. Boss CE3: can be nice and subtle, crisp and digital sounding, but not offensive – you won’t use it for Nirvana-type exaggerated chorusing, but you will to thicken and acoustify your arpeggios and rhythm parts;

7. Digitech Digiverb: pretty transparent, lots of flexibility, I like small plate, room and spring, and I like ’em a lot.

I like the One-Spot as much as my Snark clamp-tuners.

My case is a Samsonite with the board made of a teflon-coated BBQ rack that the pedals are Zip-tied to; the rack is mounted on my former board, a piece of MDF; Neutrik & Mogami cables (except the grey one what is Rat-Shack shite – I hear no difference).

More mic babble

Asked re a new mic either as a 1st vocal condensor or as similar to a SM57, I posted at TOMB:

The AKG C414 UL B is said to be a good mic, but at $700 it may be more than you need to spend – BTW, ” To be 300 under a quoted price, after being discontinued seems rare” – hmm, not so much, mebbe.

If you really want a decent condensor for vocals, there are tons available at US$300 and even well under that price; I usually reco the AT4040 or the KSM27 for nuetralish, or even a CAD GLX3000. For an “older” type sound, I think something like an M-Audio Luna or Solaris, or the tube Sputnik. There are many tube mic’s, of course, but I’ve been very happy with the MXL M69ME that you can find used; I usually reco that as the easiest to find, most flexible inexpensive tube mic that “sounds tube-ish”, and I reco that means it could fit yer requirement for “old tone”.

Dynamics – again, there are many. Usual reco’s include the Sennheiser MD 421 (orig. or II) or really, just about any Senn MD mic; the 500 series handhelds I’ve used are all cool. The EV RE20 (I like the transformerless 320) or somewhat similar to what you already have but generally considered superior, the Shure SM7b.

I have never met an EV mic, other than broken ones, that I don’t like, and some of the handheld N/D’s sound great on vocals, even the 267, and all of the RE’s I have used have been very cool and kinda “old tone”.

I have only really used the Audix OM2, but like that, as well as the AKG D5. Those and the above EV’s are not totally dis-similar to the 57.

Also, XXX mentions the CAD M179 condensor and it is very nice and very flexible, and I have even seen it compared to the 414; it’s a great mic not even considering it’s awesome price. There is a cardoid-only version called the 177 that might be cheaper, yet. Altho’ I would mebbe feel weird calling any mic, “cute”… Twisted Evil


Asked about “at-home mastering”, I answered at TOMB:

You do realize your post may start a firestorm, right? Laughing

I’ll answer as a long-time bedroom recordist, too prolific to afford professional mastering myself, by telling you what I try to accomplish by engaging in what I call, “masturding”.

Your mileage will certainly vary, and what I do is certainly not “mastering” in the accepted sense, or mebbe even in any acceptable sense.


First, I shoot for as much congruity in the 2-mixes (mix-downs) as desired, and “top and tail” the tracks, such that extraneous noise is gone, fades are perfect, etc. I usually like .1 second of silence at the head of every track – it just works for me – and I like to end tracks on a whole second number rather than a decimal, as it’s easier for liner notes.

Then, I decide on sequence.

Next I shoot for consistent EQ on the 2-mix of each song in comparison to the others, or at least the ones right before and after in the sequence. Starting places include high-pass (I usually do 40Hz as a default, fairly gradual shelf slope), and then stuff like “air” (10-12kHz, sometimes, gradual shelf up, sometimes, sometimes a wide peak, sometimes none – depends on the track) and mebbe cut mud around 350 or 450Hz by a couple db, usually at a Q of 1.3 – these are just figures I find I adjust sometimes more than others, as a starting place, with my material, ears, and equipment … There’s nothing the matter with using using similar settings most of the time, BTW, but you have to find them according to your given material, ears and rig. And you might not be able to …

Next I go for peak-limiting (I personally don’t mix into or apply compression to the 2-mix), usually setting peaks at -.3db (which ensures no digital overs in my DAW if I convert to *.mp3 or FLAC later), but always listening to the tracks in sequence to make sure apparent level is correct, i.e., that they sound consistent when played in order. You can’t use digital data to set average loudness levels because the average loudness of an acoustic number, for example, is usually gonna be lower than an electric number, digital data-statistically speaking. So, listen.

Finally, I listen to everything on various playback set-ups, ex., in the car, headphones, I-Pod, the kitchen and bathroom and den stereos …

And I start all over, or just adjust, as necessary.

Hope that’s helpful.


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