First of all, you really have to think how many of the pedals in your collection will you REALLY use. I used to have all my pedals on a huge board and after gigging with them for a while I realized that I am not even using half of them.So I was dragging this huge and heavy guitar pedal board with me but not using it efficiently.
You are probably aware by now going through your set at practice what pedals are most used and which aren’t at all.
It takes some courage to un-mount the ones you don’t use because you always have that question of “What if I needed…?”
Relax! If you didn’t use it in the last 6 months, chances are that you will NOT use it in the years to come.
Once you have a good idea of the pedals you WILL use, lay them down in a configuration that you like, doesn’t matter if you aren’t sure of the logical layout yet. We will need to find the approximate size of board needed for them. Make sure you leave about 1” at least between them for the 1/4” and power connectors. Be stingy with space. It is a valuable asset in designing your guitar pedal board.
Once you have that down, There are several options out there for boards. Keep in mind that the actual board quality, will give you the foundation for a road-worthy guitar pedal board.
I started off with a 3/8” ply wood, covered with runner carped, with aluminum edges a bling-bling gold corners. All made of cheap materials from one visit to my hardware store. The runners carpet played the role of a Velcro (the softer side) and I used the rougher side of self adhesive Velcro to secure my pedals into place.
Not a bad solution for a beginner. But one of the very first weaknesses I discovered almost immediately after the first gig was that the board didn’t have a carrying case, so I managed to break off a pedal knob somehow during transport. Not fun.
Another weakness I discovered was the fact that the board was flat (DUH!). I had no problem whatsoever stomping on the front row pedals. But I had to tip-toe on the ones behind them. Again not fun. I would have been nice if the board had some sort of elevated angle design so I can easily stomp on the back-row pedals without obstruction.
That’s when I decided that I will start searching for a solution for a board of some sort that has these two important facts down. And there are several answers out there you will have to filter through. Since pedals are so personal, depending on what you already have, if you are a touring artist or only a week-end gig player (like me), it really comes down to the flexibility one board can offer.
In my searches I discovered the Pedaltrain guitar pedal board frames. Very light, made of aluminum alloy tubing, they come in several different sizes, have the elevated angle design, and have the option of a soft or hard carrying case. They do come with the Velcro material included to secure your guitar effects to your heart’s delight.
The feature that I like the most is that I can mount (with no cutting needed) the pedal power supply underneath the board freeing this way some precious space on the board surface.
Having said this, I never regret not using my previous bulky board anymore since this puppy meets my strong(s) of a guitar pedal board I was after:
· Elevated angle design
· Carrying case
And heck it looks so sexy on stage!
What more do I need! Ah yes… the pedals. On that subject I will post later.