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Are pedals really that important?


toneprophet

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For that matter is outboard gear really that important?

Remember the first time you were playing the guitar and then the magic happened? When it all came together. I was using a Les Paul straight into an amplifier, and it sounded good. Over the years I have turned into a gear freak, I have owned just about every stomp box/rack every made. The more gear I used the harder it became to focus on playing the guitar. My focus would be divided between making sure I hit all the right buttons/switches at the right time and making sure I was in tune. Where is the joy of playing guitar in that?

Another thing is that I got so concerned about buying the "right" gear, you know the name brand stuff. Remember, the guitarists of the past were using what they had available to them and at that time the gear was pretty much a crap shoot. The gear limitations became a vehicle for the guitarist of the past to create new sounds and signature tones.

I sold everything and have built a simple setup. I use a wah, 2 analog amp modelers set for clean and dirty, a chorus/delay pedal, direct box, and an amp/monitor. With this setup I can get a good tone live or in the studio, but more importantly I am back to focusing on what really matters, playing guitar with everything you got and having fun.

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I think that a good amp + a nice guitar + a good booster that matches the character of the guitar and amp, is pretty much all I need (ok an anologue dalay too, maybe) :)

I've simplified my setup to no end...

guitar > double booster pedal > analog delay > amp

I get great sounds.

in fact, lately at rehearsals, it's been guitar > double booster > amp

:)

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I think pedals are less important to me now than they used to be. Let me rephrase that: having ALOT of pedals is less important to me than it used to be. The whole mission control style board has lost alot of its appeal to me. I attribute this to two things:

1)playing more live- I get sick of carrying it all around when I don't need all of it not to mention how much room it takes up on some stages.

2)stylistic changes- as a guitarist I've gotten more focused on songwriting and singing (which is my main role in my band) so the amount of crazy effects stuff I can do has to take a back seat live to singing. Also, I'm using chord voicings for as much effect as pedals these days.

Still love keeping up with the latest gear though!

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For some people it's very important. Just depends on how much the sounds you hear in your head depend on them.

I don't like the purist mindset that there's something inherhently better about guitar-cord-amp. But that's just me. Everyone's different which is fine, but a lot of my most memorable moments of music involve effects, or outboard processing of some kind..not particularly limited to pedals, everything from the slapback on Elvis's earliest records on.

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Imo, it all depends on the application. What type of music are you playing/creating, what kind of feeling are you trying to convey, can the feeling be better expressed/expanded on with some kind of effect, etc.? Like Thelonius said, effects have been around for a long time, ex. reverb, echo, and not explicitly just for guitar.

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.

sometimes i see setups that i consider to be unrealistic, but for the most part, if someone has between 4 and 8 pedals that they use to get a variety of sounds, i don't really consider that too problematic or distracting.

personally, i find pedals to be quite easy to tweak to get what you want, but rack processors are distracting because of the almost unlimited versatility and such that they provide.
you stop trying to build chord/note progressions and spend all your time playing 2 or 3 riffs through 800 different patches.

when it comes to things like that, yes - you lose focus on what's important.
but i'm a believer of "effects can only mask so much, and truly good technique can shine through no matter what."

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i write songs and i like to play with effects to improve the song and the arrengement. effects, without overdoing it off course, make a song richer. using just guitar -> amp, no matter how great the tone is, would become boring over a 10-12 song album.

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Originally posted by sonaboy

.


personally, i find pedals to be quite easy to tweak to get what you want, but rack processors are distracting because of the almost unlimited versatility and such that they provide.

you stop trying to build chord/note progressions and spend all your time playing 2 or 3 riffs through 800 different patches.


when it comes to things like that, yes - you lose focus on what's important.

but i'm a believer of "effects can only mask so much, and truly good technique can shine through no matter what."

 

 

I really agree with this....I have used both extensively over the years and find racks just too overwhelming and distracting.....Even modelers....

 

The thing about a pedalboard isnt the sound foundation.....the amp & guitar are the foundation, the pedals sculpt the sound....They are complementary, they are easy to tweak and very easy to leave alone once dialed in.....They are easy to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.....

 

For my money - they are messy & create clutter but much easier to deal with and use to compliment the base sound....

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Originally posted by Lorax



For my money - they are messy & create clutter but much easier to deal with and use to compliment the base sound....

 

 

well, true - but even with a few more dollars spent and some minimal effort, most effects rigs can be cleaned up quite nicely - to where they compete with the simplicity of even a rack FX box and the accompanying floor controller.

 

two years ago i threw down $230 bucks to buy a Voodoo Labs PP2 and a large aluminum pedal case - my stage setup time is now under 5 minutes, for two amps, power up, mic placement and soundcheck.

 

and i'm sure many guys in here with much more elaborate setups can compete with that time, even.

 

i guess i just disagree with the initial poster about how switches are too distracting, or make playing to the crowd too difficult. that depends more upon the player, than the rig, IMO.

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The answer to the question is yes. Pedals are that important but do you need 8 distortion boxes and 3 delays and 2 chorus' and 5 boosters and 3 eq's... Probably not. You can tell the difference in a true bypass pedal and non-true bypass but if like the colored sound you are getting then don't change it.

For the most part it all has to do with music styling and what amp you have. For example: a 3 channel amp set for clean, gritty, and distortion may not need any pedals but a one trick pony Fender may need lots. For some a Valvetronix or a Line 6 will render only 1 pedal (the controller).

So are they important, yes... how important they are to the musician depends.

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Originally posted by toneprophet

For that matter is outboard gear really that important?

Remember the first time you were playing the guitar and then the magic happened? When it all came together. I was using a Les Paul straight into an amplifier, and it sounded good. Over the years I have turned into a gear freak, I have owned just about every stomp box/rack every made. The more gear I used the harder it became to focus on playing the guitar. My focus would be divided between making sure I hit all the right buttons/switches at the right time and making sure I was in tune. Where is the joy of playing guitar in that?

Another thing is that I got so concerned about buying the "right" gear, you know the name brand stuff. Remember, the guitarists of the past were using what they had available to them and at that time the gear was pretty much a crap shoot. The gear limitations became a vehicle for the guitarist of the past to create new sounds and signature tones.

I sold everything and have built a simple setup. I use a wah, 2 analog amp modelers set for clean and dirty, a chorus/delay pedal, direct box, and an amp/monitor. With this setup I can get a good tone live or in the studio, but more importantly I am back to focusing on what really matters, playing guitar with everything you got and having fun.



Shiht man, I'm really feeling this - problem is, I have bought more pedals this year than at any other time in my life, and it's had a massively negative effect on my playing.

:cry:

Might be time to go for a more 'Will Oldham' setup.

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I think that playing straight into an amp is great and I have had some great moments doing so. But I LOVE my effects and use them most every night that I play out to recreate a sound from the studio or cover song. I think that this seperates my sound from some others around. I start with a great amp and guitar tone then I use my pedals to add flavor and take it to the next level.
I'm Glad to hear that you are happy w/o effects....but you'll be back. Mark my words! You'll be back!

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To me pedals are tools and colors.

An artist could do great work with a paper and a pencil. He could also do great work with watercolors, oils, and even with computers!

I play straight into the amp most of the time. Still, to answer the question, pedals are indeed that important to me. They are not essential, but they are great additions to the guitarists' arsenal. And they're fun!

And in some cases you need a pedal for a specific effect, such as delay. The amp may be able to provide some effects by itself, but in a more limited fashion.

Regarding having different pedals of the same effect, I will say that is often useful, at least when recording. The audience may hear an overdriven/distorted guitar, for example. In the studio a player could choose between a TS9, BJFE Baby Blue, Nobels ODR-1, or HAO Rumble Mod. All may be overdrives, and all can yield very different tones. The same with delays, compressors, etc.

Ideally one day I'll be able to have all of these sounds in a single digital unit. Roland's COSM technology (is it 10 years old?) is a step in the right direction, but guitarists don't want to spend to much time designing sounds. And in terms of sound quality digital has come a long way since the 80's. I think a big challenge now lies in feel and responsiveness to touch, but we'll get there :)

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They must be becuase I have only had my electric for one week (bass for 7 years acoustic for 3) and I have a want list of ten pedals already.

I view guitar effects as a way to get where you want to go, musically and tonally. When they get in the way of playing, it's time of scale down.

I am loving my D*A*M MKII. It shall never leave me.

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Originally posted by Thelonius

I don't like the purist mindset that there's something inherhently better about guitar-cord-amp.

werd!!!

 

If it helps you express yourself, then its important. I use my FX, they are as important as my guitar. Sure, I could play without them but I wouldnt be making the same point or statement

 

Kage

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Originally posted by Eddie

To me pedals are tools and colors.


An artist could do great work with a paper and a pencil. He could also do great work with watercolors, oils, and even with computers!


I play straight into the amp most of the time. Still, to answer the question, pedals are indeed that important to me. They are not essential, but they are great additions to the guitarists' arsenal. And they're fun!


And in some cases you need a pedal for a specific effect, such as delay. The amp may be able to provide some effects by itself, but in a more limited fashion.


Regarding having different pedals of the same effect, I will say that is often useful, at least when recording. The audience may hear an overdriven/distorted guitar, for example. In the studio a player could choose between a TS9, BJFE Baby Blue, Nobels ODR-1, or HAO Rumble Mod. All may be overdrives, and all can yield very different tones. The same with delays, compressors, etc.


Ideally one day I'll be able to have all of these sounds in a single digital unit. Roland's COSM technology (is it 10 years old?) is a step in the right direction, but guitarists don't want to spend to much time designing sounds. And in terms of sound quality digital has come a long way since the 80's. I think a big challenge now lies in feel and responsiveness to touch, but we'll get there
:)


+1:thu:

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The first ten years of my playing the only FX I used was a single distortion box. Then one day I realised all the artists I love are getting wonderful sounds with fx that enhanced the music a huge amount.

Then I fell down the rabbit hole :freak:

Since buying a mark IV I've only been taking a wah and maybee 2 other pedals to a gig (often none) but when I was using a twin I needed quite a few pedals.
Even when I have a pedal board full of FX I barely use any of them. But for that moment when a certain effect is needed its absolutely magic!

The more I learn to use fx creatively and well in my music the more I will.

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I simply cannot play without a flanger. I need at least a distortion, a flanger, and a delay, and really I need an overdrive and a disortion; and really I need a clean boost for my clean guitar picking, which I would like to add chorus to.

I own over ten flangers and I'm thinking about playing solo shows in which I call my act "Flanger Ensemble." I would add my Tube Factor, Line6 DL4, and put my Boss DD-5 in the loop of the Lovetone. I probably don't even need a guitar, I'd just tweak the knobs.

Lovetone ? Flange With No Name
EH Flanger Hoax
Boss BF-2
Morley Chorus/Flanger (Chrome from the 70s)
Digitech TurboFlange
DOD FX-75B
DOD FX-72
MXR Stereo Flanger
Alesis Phlngr
Boss RBF-10

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