The Premier Guitar
it takes a lot more than a few stompboxes, velcro, and
a carrying case to thrive in the pedal wilderness. here
we guide you through the common pitfalls encountered
when assembling your go-to stomp station.
BY JOE CHARUPAKORN
MIX DECAY TIME
DELAY TIME REPEAT DELAY LEVEL
Maybe because they can significantly improve your sound on the cheap, pedals have become perhaps the single hottest commodity
among gearheads. And here at Premier Guitar, the last couple of months have
illustrated that more conclusively than ever before: We gave away a pedal
every day during our Stompboxtober contest, and you all wanted more. So,
we extended the giveaway for another month. Our November 2010 “Pedal
Issue” included reviews of 30 pedals in five of the most common categories,
profiles of five boutique stompbox builders, and a feature on Electro-Harmonix. Still, we were inundated with requests for more pedal action. So
we decided to set up online galleries of pedalboards from both readers and
pros. The latter gallery quickly went on to become our most popular ever.
In a nutshell, it’s clear we’re all pedal junkies. But though trying out and
collecting stompboxes is the fun part of this addiction, there’s one area in which
many of us could probably use a primer/refresher course: what exactly is the
best way to patch them all together?
Although a few cynics might question the need for a pedalboard—
after all, you could just carry all your pedals in a knapsack or your gig
bag pouch—most of us agree they’re good for a lot more than just
transporting pedals. First and foremost, they keep your pedals wired
up and plugged in so you can plug in and play instead of having to
connect and power each pedal one at a time. This makes a huge difference when you’re sandwiched between other acts on a gig and you
have to set up and unpack as quickly as possible, or when you’re at a
recording studio and are continually fighting the clock.
OFF • ON
Right: The generally accepted order of placement for effect types begins with the wah and proceeds to compressor,
distortion or overdrive (if you’re using both, place the higher-gain unit before the lower-gain pedal), modulation units
(if you use multiple modulation units, as shown here, experiment with the order), delay, then reverb.
Illustration by Meghan Molumby