This is my dual amp stereo FX chain. It's on a coffee table cut short to 8" and spray-painted black. Used for recording in my home studio. I use the same chain for bass, as well, but I swap out the flanger and chorus for DOD bass versions (FX72, FX62).
There are a couple rack units in the chain, too, and several switches and splitters for complex stereo routing to 2 amps.
I'm attaching a pic showing the signal flow and a pic with each device numbered. There are 30 devices in the chain, besides the amps. This is probably more than you want, but I'll include everything and, if you use it, you can edit, omit, and shorten as you see fit.
I've been playing and recording original music for 25 years, but I lost all my original gear in 2012 to homelessness due to permanent disability. While I was able to continue making electronic music with a laptop and MIDI keyboard during the 3 years I lived in my van with solar power, I didn't have a guitar or bass for 9 years. 2021 is when I started acquiring what I have now, thanks to 15 months of rent assistance.
Here's my website: DECEMBERmusic.org It has 4 new songs from the last 2 years, recorded using these pedals on guitar and bass, and the electronic album from the van days. It's also all here: https://soundcloud.com/december333111
I love my new songs but I'm not completely satisfied with the sound, mainly the high gain guitar, as I've been struggling to get the high gain tone I'm looking for with my budget.
I'm in Beaverton (Portland), OR. I call my music 'metalectric', as it's a strange mix of metal and electronic dance music.
-DECEMBER MUSIC with INTENT for a PURPOSEFUL UNIVERSE
1: TC Electronic Wiretap - used first in the chain to loop a dry signal while I dial in all the pedals and EQ.
2: Saturnworks A/B toggle switch - guitar/reamp into the chain.
3: Saturnworks active 3-way splitter - 1 goes to the next pedal. 2 sends a dry signal to the interface to record for later reamping. 3 sends a dry signal to the key input of the Polaron phaser.
3a: Samson MLI1 passive isolation box w/ground lift - between the splitter and phaser key input. Sometimes gets a squeal without it.
4: Digitech FreqOut - in an apartment, I can't be loud enough to get real feedback. Some neat sounds, wish it were more consistent.
5: Keeley Compressor Pro - a compressor is not a compressor unless it has attack, release, threshold, ratio, and gain. This also has a hard/soft-knee switch. Always on with clean guitar and bass.
6: F-Pedals Yurei - clean boost/buffer.
7: Friedman Buxom Boost - more for tone shaping than the boost. On 18V for more headroom. I do a lot of clean palm-muting and the 'Tight' knob really helps with that. Also helps with high gain, and the mid boost knob can push the gain with more mids.
8: Horizon Devices Precision Drive - whether amp or pedal distortion, this is always on in front. 'Attack' knob tightens the low end. 'Bright' knob sharpens the high end. And the built-in adjustable gate saves the space and power outlet of another gate pedal.
9: Wampler Belle - stands out from other overdrives. The 'Color' knob is very different from a typical tone knob. I run it on 18V to keep it clean, with low gain, to sharpen up clean tones and to be able to use that 'Color' knob on cleans.
10: Electro-Harmonix OpAmp Big Muff - I rarely use this, but occasionally find an instance where it works. Too buzzy and flubby.
11: Revv G4 - I never use this, either. Since I started using tube amp distortion, I don't care for pedals anymore. I have the G20 amp and it sounds very similar but has more mids and has the smoothness of tube distortion.
12: F-Pedals Lorion - another clean boost/buffer before a signal split to two amp inputs.
13: Loop Master ABY - the two amp FX sends go to this, so I can switch which preamp is being sent thru the FX loop chain.
14: Ashly PQX572 - 2-channel 7 band parametric EQ (5 fully parametric, 2 semi-parametric). I run the out of channel 1 into the input of channel 2, making it a 1-channel 10 band fully parametric + 4 band semi-parametric. I don't know how people can stand to use amps without parametric EQ.
15: Electro-Harmonix Tri-Parallel Mixer - used to blend any combination of 2 flangers and a phaser plus dry signal in parallel. Most mods should but don't have a dry blend, so this gives me the ability to add dry. And I often blend a flanger & phaser, 2 flangers, or all 3, to get unique textures.
15a: Arion SFL-1 - it's plastic. It's a bit too middy. But it's a very unique flanger. It gets a really nice vocal tone, similar to a vocoder or talk-box. I've never heard another flanger that sounds like this.
15b: Seymour Duncan Polaron - analog but digitally controlled, 3 presets. 2,4,6,8,10,12,14, or 16 stages. Tap tempo. The usual LFO mode and an envelope follower mode which reacts to the dynamics. It has a second Key input to trigger the envelope follower: when using distortion or compression, there isn't much dynamic range for the env follower to react to. The phaser is in the FX loop and it applies the effect post-distortion, but it's reacting to the dynamics of the dry signal from the splitter.
It can get some nice vocal tones going.
15c: Walrus Audio Polychrome - this is a nice clean tone flanger. A more typical, chorusy flanger. But it gets too pitch-wobbly if you put the depth past 50%. And a bit too harsh and metallic with high gain.
16: DOD Ice Box - the best chorus. As transparent as a chorus can be. And it has a wet level knob. Chorus was meant to be in stereo. This is the start of the stereo chain.
17: Jackson Audio New Wave - stereo pedals with mono-only inputs are frustrating. I wanted a chorus with stereo I/O so I could run a true stereo FX loop with separate preamps feeding each channel. Analog with digital control and 7 presets, 5 LFO shapes, it can do more but it colors the tone too much. Gives it a more fluffy, boxy midrange and cuts the high end, even if it's on full dry. I might sell it.
18: Source Audio Nemesis - a very versatile and highly editable delay, if you're down to connect to a computer to use an app. High & low cut controls for the repeats to fit in the mix. Great for bass, so you don't have a mess of boomy repeats. Every possible tap division and subdivision, pitch-shifted delays, and a nice filter sweep effect.
19: Source Audio Ventris - the plan was to sell this when I got the Space, but the reverse reverb in this is very different and I like it much better. I have a part in a song with it and it has to be this one. Otherwise, the Space is a much nicer reverb.
20: Eventide Space - a really nice reverb with a lot of depth and space. Lots of fine-tuning capability that's accessible from the pedal without menu-diving, which is good because the computer app is very confusing and frustrating to use.
21: Source Audio Vertigo - stereo digital tremolo. Also needs the app to get at crucial settings.
22: Boss SL-2 - synthy arpeggios with guitar! Though it's hard to get it to record in-time, even with it synced to the DAW with MIDI.
22a: Nektar NX-P - volume control for the SL-2. There's a big difference in volume between some patterns so you need to be able to change the volume quickly when browsing.
23: Saturnworks A/B toggle switch - sometimes I record 2 power amps/speakers in stereo, but I often double-track, especially with high gain rhythm parts. So I connect the L & R channels to this toggle, then split the output to send either channel in mono to both amps/speakers. So I get the L delay/reverb/chorus on the L take, and the R on the R take, and each take is a blend of 2 speakers with 4 mics.
24: BBE Maxcom - last in the loop. I used to have 2 Sonic Stomp pedals so I could have it last in the stereo chain, but I swapped them for this: 2 channels of the sonic maximizer, gate, and comp. It helps having the second gate here. The extra comp at the end helps prevent the high B & E from clipping, and it really helps with the SL-2, which is hard to record with mics because it's so percussive and dynamic.
25: Saturnworks reamp box - if you got a good take but the delay or EQ was off, run it back thru and try again.
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 email@example.com.
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