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Effects pedals for lap steel guitars


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I build lap and console steel guitars and I use vintage parts for vintage tones when I can find or afford them. My preference of wood is cherry and walnut. My latest project was a 6 string console steel in cherry and has NOS Danelectro pickups. It sounds amazing played through my Fender Ultimate Chorus amp with only a tube preamp to modify the sound.

 

Ok with that said... I have never really used effects pedals even though I have quite a few that I have collected through the years. I have a Digitech RP 200, Zoom G3 & B3 in multi effects pedals. I also have the complete set of 8 Danelectro FAB pedals (fuzz, chorus, 600ms delay, overdrive, metal, echo, distortion, & flange), a TC Electronics Sky Surfer Reverb, and TC Electronics Afterglow Chorus, as well as 2 passive volume/expression pedals. All purchased or gifted new and have never been used.

 

I am reaching the stage in my life (I'm retired) where I want to make use of some of these pedals to modify my sounds but I do not know which pedals to use with a steel guitar. Can someone please give me some pointers as to which of these pedals would work for 60s &70s rock, country, and/or blues?

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

 

The pictures are some of my past steel projects.

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Edited by DocFMF
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Woah, those are some great looking instruments.

Well, I think you could go a long way with a volume pedal, reverb, tremolo and overdrive or distortion effects for classic rock, country and blues

There are some adventurous players that use more exotic effects, Robert Randolph, Susan Alcorn, ...

I think you can cop a ot of these sounds with the Zoom G3

also the reverb, trem and dirt effects in the Zoom G3 are decent

Here's a clip of Robert Randolph exploring different effects, sounds amazing

Susan Alcorn is more the eerie type

 

[video=youtube;MFSi24fdEHQ]

 

 

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Thanks so much. Robert Randolph is impressive. I have seen several of his videos. I am truly amazed at his skill, although most of his music is a little over the top for my taste. I'm more of a David Gilmour, Buddy Emmons, and Don Helms style kind of guy. I am learning several Pink Floyd, Dire Straights, and Allman Brothers songs so far. I also like to try to play along with BB Kings Bluesville on Sirus radio with my Open G steel and or Fender FR50 resonator also tuned to Open G late at night in my work shop With a few Lone Star beers. For country I use C6th tuning and for rock / bluegrass I use Open D or E.

 

I'm no musician yet, but for learning to play at 58 following a stroke..... I think I'm doing pretty ok. That and I am also learning to play bass at my local VA Medical Center's music therapy program. I know there's a lot on my plate but it helps me organize my thoughts not to mention keeping me out of trouble LOL.

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Maybe it's just me but...… Susan Alcorn's look, demeaner, and music makes me think that she must be a very troubled individual. Her and Mary Halverson's music sounds like a cry for help or a bad acid trip. Or both. But that's just my opinion..... Then again it must take some serious talent to make unholy noises like that on purpose.

 

I'm thinking it might be a tribute to beached whales.

 

Bring on the bagpipes.....

 

I was still onboard with the (for lack of a better term) err ummm music.... At least until she started piling rocks and metal bits on the strings and began touching the objects with what looks like a dental pick then started sawing on the strings with a file. That's when I gave up.....

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I'm debating but since it will have a volume and tone for both necks and in the sake of simplicity, I think I'll just use the volume knobs to control which neck will give the juice to the amp. But I have been toying with the idea of using Strat 5 way selectors to go with a standard 3 way setup, a phase shift on both pickups, and an off setting for each neck. Or telecaster 4 way switchs and skip the phase shift.

 

That and I'm going with Fender TBX controls for the tone knobs. TBX is a passive treble bass expansion circuit double pot used in some early telecasters. I used one in my Tele-Lapster shown above with very nice results.

 

But then again I could always go with a LP style 3 way switch between each output in an on off on mode just before the output jack.

 

There are so many options and I have not decided yet.

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[ATTACH=JSON]{"alt":"Click image for larger version Name:\taaaaaaaa1.jpg Views:\t1 Size:\t59.6 KB ID:\t32426987","data-align":"none","data-attachmentid":"32426987","data-size":"full"}[/ATTACH]

 

Getting back to pedals.....What order do they go in? Also I do have a separate effects loop for each channel on one of my amps. I figure Ill go with the outer neck with Blues tuning and some raspy gain and spring reverb from the amp and the neck closest to me tuned for Country clean with a hint of chorus also from the amp.. I'm going to build a pedalboard for each genre I like to play. that will make it easier to hop from one to another genre with it's own steel guitar and. pedals with minimum setup that will be ready to go when I am. I have enough guitar amps to go around too...….. Snap even easier.

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I talked to a friend who took a look at my pedals and said I should build 3 pedal boards. One with my multi effects pedals, another with my direct in pedals, then the one for my effects loop in this order. Tuner, Compressor, Octaver, Distortion, Fuzz, OD, Metal, Flange, Chorus, Phaser, and Tube Pre amp on the clean channel input, On the effects loop it will go like this Reverb, Echo, Delay, Trem, EQ, Volume, and Looper. The board for the multi pedals is just to keep them in order and ready if needed. Can anyone see any issues with this plan or the order of the pedals? I am going to try it out tomorrow when everyone is out of the house.

 

Or I can connect the tube preamp between the two pedalboards and just plug it all straight in the clean channel on any of my non effect loop amps and run 100% clean on the amp. The tube preamp doesn't make my fender ultimate chorus a tube amp but does add more tube like gain than stock (which I like).

 

That and I was told that when I have the pedals dialed in I can then use the amps onboard chorus and reverb to blend the sounds from the pedal boards.

Edited by DocFMF
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Do lots of studio work?

 

Nope not yet, my forte is building instruments but I do intend to do more studio work as my skills progress. I mostly practice out back on my gazebo serenading my neighbors.

 

Here are some examples of my work.

 

#1 Red Oak Resonator Dulcimer

#2 Maple Pair of Mandolins

#3 Walnut Dulcimer

#4 Scrap wood Fretless open back Banjo

 

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Edited by DocFMF
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I finally got the pedals assembled and working well. I definitely like the sound of the individual pedals over my Zoom and Digitech multi effect pedals as it seems that I can get more useable tones with them. The multi effects seem for lack of a better term...… Sterile. But then again I am new to anything but built in amp effects such as gain, reverb, & chorus. Like the ones found in Blackface Fender amps.

Edited by DocFMF
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