I have been told this day would come. That one day I would tire of lugging four amps, two pedalboards, and 5 guitars, to every service, gig, practice, show, and just to play in the living room instead of the office because I needed a larger (and hence, better, of course) sonic space. And I have resisted. Valiantly, in my humble opinion. (Hmm…hard to be humble when using words like ‘valiant’ as descriptions for oneself.) It’s been 6 years of this. I have managed to become a little more professional at gigs, and have knocked down the rig to two guitars, two amps, and one pedalboard. Although that pedalboard does split in half so that it can go through doorways. And therein lies the issue. Because that was not a joke.
(Alright, there’s the current board. As of…well, at least today. Who knows what new and wondrous tonal inventions tomorrow may bring. I’m hoping it’s delay. Oh, and I just weighed it…90 pounds exactly of tone. Yes, I weighed my pedalboard. I’m a loser. Luckily, the front portion with the Midi Mate’s disconnects for easier transportation. That only leaves 76.5 pounds. 38.25 pounds per arm isn’t too bad, right?)
There are few things I love in this world more than my pedalboard. And most of those things have tubes. But in the past month, I have smashed it into more walls, places on my truck, and stage equipment, then would probably be considered professional. 😉 I have also dropped it, trying to prove to myself that it was not too big, and that I could carry it half a mile perfectly. (This was at a venue with an exceptionally long parking lot……it’s not like I go out to a field with my board and measure myself walking with it. As plausible as that may seem in some of your minds, as something I might do.) Hence, my journey in all things tone has come to crossroads.
In honor of the Christmas season, I have ordered these options in homage to a classic film. Extra points (for what, I have no idea) if you can name the film.
A) Sell some pedals and get a smaller board.
–I thought about this for like, 2 seconds. The answer was no.
2) Replace my board with the Line 6 M13.
–Alright, now I’m just lying. This has never, and never will be, an option. (And just as a side note, ‘never’ is a completely meaningless word for a gear-junkie guitarist.)
D) Chop off half my board (I know, imagining me with a wood saw is a little Fargo), and then re-add it to the board as a third tier.
–This will mean more wood, and will make it heavier, but will also make it less lengthy, meaning my arms won’t be extended to their breaking point as I carry it. And maybe I’ll actually be able to get through doorways without my killer waltz/Thriller moves. I will definitely miss those.
Obviously, (D) is the clear option. Not only does it allow me to continue to resist the bloody current of the recent tide of M13’s, POD’s, and Axe-Fx, and keep my signal pure (at least in my own mind), but it also allows more space for subsequent pedal purchases. Which, as always, is the proper point of all this. I could really use the grass roots octave string effect I’ve been dreaming up, as well as a sequence filter. And I haven’t bought a delay in a while…
Someday, in the not so distant future I fear, everyone will be carrying their guitar rigs in the palm of their hands. Everyone, that is, except for me. I’ll be the idiot still mic’ing up six Matchless and four D13’s (it’s a dream I have), and running through a giant board with the perfect mix of bypass, buffers, and ingenuity to keep my signal pure; standing proudly in my corner of the stage; still believing that people can feel the difference. That last part is actually true. Probably so’s the idiot part. Nevertheless…long live tone.