Randall Brown (Quartjar) Pedal Board, October 2023
Let's look at this from input to output, or right-to-left as the photo goes. I've activated every pedal for dramatic effect. Guitar was not attached—as evidenced by the unplugged Rattlesnake cable in front the whole rig—to avoid accidental cosmic sonic overload.
My dual-amp chain is Electro-Harmonix heavy, as I'm a big fan. Recently, I've been trying out some odd Catalinbread pedals and a curious Way Huge machine.
I used the two lines/two amps approach to get (1) layered/dual overdrive textures and (2) the spacey "fake keyboardist" effect.
First, the guitar goes into the Boss Chromatic tuner. This is in first place to catch the best signal from the guitar, and also to act as a full-chain kill switch. From there, the signal goes into an EHX LPB-1. This is up front to boost the pictured Telecaster along both signal chains. It needs just a little to catch up to the Fender Flame that's peeking out from behind the Tele.
From there, our signal heads into an EHX Switchblade and outward to the two chains—forward and back-shelf. The forward chain makes its way to a Roland JC120. The back-shelf chain goes to a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.
The forward chain starts with an EHX Ravish Sitar. It's first to catch the purest guitar tones. It adds the sitar-ish drones and some buzzing textures that kind of swirl around on their own in a nice way. It's interesting to discover what these swirling extras will do to pedals down the line. I like the tempered chaos it can offer.
Next up is an EHX Intelligent Harmony Machine. I tend to keep it on an octave-down POG-style setting. It plays well followed with the overdrive that I'll get to in a moment. It also adds a bit of low to the odd "Dune"-themed pedal that follows it.
The Way Huge Atreides Analog Weirding Module is a lot of sound in one pedal. It mixes fuzz, lower octave sub-tone, a little phase, and a lot of attitude. I generally don't mix it with anything, though it does some fun stuff with the two that come before it. I'm considering adding Way Huge's other Dune-themed pedal, the Stone Burner, for more spice-fueled mega-texture.
Next is the EHX Cockfight, which is great for a sharp tonal change, especially when it goes into the overdrive that follows it.
A Tonebutcher WeeWah is next, offering very specific auto-wah. My band has a whole song that uses the WeeWah and Ravish Sitar together for a funky space-travel vibe.
The EHX OD Glove is next, and I consider it the main overdrive of the whole system. Nice heavy tonal chunk.
This line ends with some delay and drone. The BOSS DD2 delay is the oldest pedal in the collection, and still does its thing like a champ. It's next-to-last in line so that it can catch everything that comes before it. I can let a cacophony fade out in the delays.
The EHX Freeze is last, so that I can play over the drone it catches. It's a trooper of an effect, and I might add the new EHX Deep Freeze to take advantage of the tastefully expanded "momentary" mode.
And all that goes into a Roland JC120, usually with the chorus on a slow-but-deep setting.
The back-shelf line has been the most fluid, as I've switched out pedals in fine-tuning the fake keyboardist approach for a variety of sounds. It also features a couple of choice overdrives to add a second layer of that to what the OD Glover offers.
It starts with a Pizza Pi, a boutique overdrive built by a local electronics wizard. It's in first place for this line so that it can act as a boost-with-character. It doesn't go fuzz/distortion crazy, but when you engage it, it sounds like a couple of Marshall stacks appear out of nowhere.
Next, two heavy-hitters of the fake keyboardist approach: an EHX Mel9 and a Key9. The Mel9 is a jewel for drones with lots of character. The Key9 adds rich tones of tremolo-drenched organ.
I very recently added the EHX Talking Machine as an advance auto-wah. It's part of my sudden sub-collection of discontinued pedals. I'm still in the experimental phase with this one, planning to let it layer some funky vowels into the Big Muff that follows it.
For some modulation fun, the next one is an EHX Blurst. I must admit, this is one that I've not found my favorite use for. I love the artwork on it, though.
Then comes a real workhorse of the fake keyboardist set, the EHX Canyon. It's dual-octave setting is a go-to "more" sound for me. It creates a nice, nasty synth tone when pairs with the EHX Big Muff that follows.
The Big Muff's main duty is to offer a counter overdrive/fuzz tone to the OD Glove on the forward line. Once I had these two going together, I'd found my favorite RAWK tone ever.
Next is the EHX Small Stone Phaser. It's probably going to get semi-retired soon, as I have the new Fender Waylon Jennings Phaser on pre-order. I decided I wanted a more layered phaser than the classic Small Stone offers. The Blurst might get semi-retired, too, when that one comes in.
I end this line with two Catalinbread oddities—both discontinued now. The pink one is a Bicycle Delay, and it's pretty crazy. It's delay will repeat in scale-up or scale-down notes. If you turn up the repeats too high, it will go way out of control. But set them just right, and you've got R2D2 singing along with you. Very "space is the place."
My newest pedal is the last one, a Catalinbread Zero Point. It's a flanger that only "flanges" when you step on it, kind of akin to the Freeze's drone capturing style. The Zero Point only does one thing at a time, and that's probably good. Its second mode requires a funny little power-off/power-on hack. I like the ability to momentarily flange. Who knew?
So that's the current state of it. For the future, I'm intrigued by EHX's new Pico line.
About a million years ago, I used to run a blog called EffectsBay. On that blog, the most popular feature I would run was Pedal Line Friday. This is where readers of the site would send pics of their pedalboard and a short (sometimes long) write-up of routing and thoughts about specific pedals and the reasoning why they liked it, etc. Readers. loved this. It was a great way to learn about new applications or techniques regarding pedals. It also brought a little inspiration and knowledge about pedals you were not familiar with. It also brought a great sense of community - people like sharing and absorbing cool things, right? It was a super popular feature, and I loved putting them together.
All you have to do is send a pic of your pedalboard (or pedal line - it doesn't have to be on a board) along with a short (or long) write-up of the board. We want a list of pedals (manufacturer/model), routing would be great, and, most importantly, why you use those particular pedals. Also, this is a great way to promote your band or musical project - include that information as well!
You can send the pic and the write-up to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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