Pedal Projects

To go or not to go, and the perils of the no-show.

“The NAMM Show is quickly approaching!”

That’s either a battle cry or a warning, depending on your perspective, heard biannually in the music industry. (At least in non-pandemic years.) The most universal analogy I use for NAMM is: “Think of it as Comic-Con for music gear.” For many of us in the instrument business, the trade show seems to be constantly looming. In addition to convention preparations always occupying the back of our minds, I feel it has also created pressure for companies to release products around its schedule, if not almost dictated it.

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Want to play different pedal sequences in a flash? These handy boxes provide more tone solutions than you might realize.

There is no right or wrong way to wire a pedalboard. It’s really a matter of personal taste and what our ears find pleasing. Every musician has their own thing, and our pedalboards are certainly an extension of that. For some, reconfiguring the pedalboard is a lifelong process, and adding a new device often means something has got to go, because real estate is crucial!

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Modern stomps offer more sounds than ever before, but a laptop can help you delve into an even deeper world of live sonic manipulation. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

The beauty of a great guitar plugged straight into a great tube amp is undeniable. Still, some might say the full potential of an electric guitar is realized only when processing that signal. Of course, some of the most groundbreaking players of all time—from Jimi Hendrix to The Edge—have illustrated this point, and the current deluge of new pedals and thriving builders seems to bear this out.

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Try breaking the signal-chain rules to create new—and dazzlingly retro—sounds for your recordings.

Years ago, while on a meditation retreat in the mountains of Ojai, California, I was reflecting on one of my favorite sayings by Shunryu Suzuki (from his book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind): “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” It was early in the morning, and as the soft blue light of dawn broke over the snow-dusted mountain tops, I had the profound realization of just how narrowly I was choosing to live my life because of my habits and how I was continually and slavishly refining them through my actions. I allowed myself to imagine and feel what life would be like if I let go of ingrained beliefs, and stood squarely in the warm, bright light of new possibilities.

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