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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the final stages of putting a pedalboard together. I did a rough mock up of the pedal layout. I was hoping to use a smaller board but it will be too tight once the cables and connectors are set. If only everything was bluetooth! The key will be to have slim patch cables and connectors. The cardboard cut out is the interior dimensions of the pedalboard and the working space to lay the pedals.

I did various permutations and came to the conclusion that the current layout in the pics appear to be optimal(maybe?). The delay, mobius and royal overdrive are near the front to have access to the tap tempo/presets/boosts. The board will be angled but i purposely left space for teh Mobius due to its tapping nature which requires both buttons to be hit at the same time to go up or down the presets. I was also hoping to have the delay next to the quartermaster but it is too tight. The layout seems to work reasonably well for the order of the pedals in the loop:

Loop 1: Tuner
Loop 2: Subnup
Loop 3: Royal Overdrive
Loop 4: Soul Drive
Loop 5: Buffer/Boost
Loop 6: Mobius
Loop 7: Delay

Another option is to move the Mobius down and insert another overdrive above (pic 2). Although the board will be angled, i'm not sure how the preset changes for the Mobius will work out and, if it will be a little tight in the real estate space. If i opt for this, will need to experiment with the board before finalizing it.

I received the quartermaster and Yankee power supply today and they seem to work really well. The Yankee power supply comes with a cool USB powered light (which i will use for something else as the power supply will be underneath the board).

If you have any thoughts on layout or other, please share.

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I always want to have my TC Polytune on the first row.
It's a quick and easy access to a "mute" as well as tuning between songs if necessary.
I suggest you take your piece of cardboard and try placing the pedals something like this and see if you like it.
You might even be able to cut down on the size of your board.
Unless you're using a store-bought board of a predetermined size, that is.
Remember, you only need 0.5" to 0.75" of clearance between pedals that touch each other.
None, if there are no jacks.
The room you are leaving is overkill and unnecessary.
I'd prolly be able to fit two more pedals on that cardboard.

 

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I'm buying one - Looking at Pistola and Blackbird boards. Fairly simple set up - power, amp and guitar inputs.
May i suggest a good Canadian company who does awesome work?! I got a pre-made board from these guys and they modified it to accommodate what i wanted to add free of charge! You can get a lot of different custom options like IEC power connections, mono orstereo ins/outs, slots or holes for cabling, and if something you want isn't listed just contact them and i know they would do it for you! Larry is a great guy to deal with! Really reasonable prices too!

Pedalboards from Maple Rock Guitar Works
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I always want to have my TC Polytune on the first row.
It's a quick and easy access to a "mute" as well as tuning between songs if necessary.
I suggest you take your piece of cardboard and try placing the pedals something like this and see if you like it.
You might even be able to cut down on the size of your board.
Unless you're using a store-bought board of a predetermined size, that is.
Remember, you only need 0.5" to 0.75" of clearance between pedals that touch each other.
None, if there are no jacks.
The room you are leaving is overkill and unnecessary.
I'd prolly be able to fit two more pedals on that cardboard.

Thx - keep in mind that the tuner will be controlled by the 1st loop of the quartermaster. The loop provides for silent tuning (thegigrig provides the appropriate plug).
 

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Maybe switch the positions of the Diamond and the L.A. Sound if you prefer your visual cues to more closely mimic the actual signal path to your switcher/looper.
 

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The thing about FX loop/pedalboard patchbays like this is that the whole point is that you can set up sub loops of 2 or more pedals that you can kick in with a single footswitch vs fumbling around trying to hit 2 pedals at once. If you're not doing that you're just adding noise (sure there's the convenience of having all the switches right there and easy to reach, but that can be accomplished by having a single row pedalboard as well; no need for extra cable and jacks). Think about how you can leverage the quartermaster better; are there pedals that you often use in combination (e.g. the boost + one of the overdrives or the subnup + the other OD or the mobius + delay) and group them that way if that is indeed the case.

You can totally squish it all in more and use a smaller board (even with the cable management) but it is a good idea to leave some room for expansion (you look good in that regard).
 

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People don't actually do that, do they?
Use one loop to turn on/off one pedal?
Surely I must be misunderstanding you about that, Granny.
 

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That's exactly what it appears that Alex is doing - see the first post.

The quartermaster has 8 loops and he only has 7 pedals including the tuner.
 

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Right you are.

Listen, Alex. You have to learn a couple things about using looper/switchers.
I will see if I can find some kind of explanation video or something cuz I don't want to do that much typing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
People don't actually do that, do they?
Use one loop to turn on/off one pedal?
Surely I must be misunderstanding you about that, Granny.
Some people do that and I like to isolate each pedal for the sake of tone. The quartermaster unit has a flip/flop function that is fairly useful as well. I may experiment but my experience with isolated loops has been great. The Diamond is closer to me for the tap tempo as opposed to the LA Sound boost which will at most times, be simply on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The thing about FX loop/pedalboard patchbays like this is that the whole point is that you can set up sub loops of 2 or more pedals that you can kick in with a single footswitch vs fumbling around trying to hit 2 pedals at once. If you're not doing that you're just adding noise (sure there's the convenience of having all the switches right there and easy to reach, but that can be accomplished by having a single row pedalboard as well; no need for extra cable and jacks). Think about how you can leverage the quartermaster better; are there pedals that you often use in combination (e.g. the boost + one of the overdrives or the subnup + the other OD or the mobius + delay) and group them that way if that is indeed the case.

You can totally squish it all in more and use a smaller board (even with the cable management) but it is a good idea to leave some room for expansion (you look good in that regard).
I use the loop to isolate each pedal - there are various opinions on this and it boils down to ymmv. I appreciate the comments and may experiment.
 

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I found a number of demos for switchers but none so far that seem to explain WHY to use a switcher.

I guess it all boils down to how many different sounds you want to achieve for getting "your" sound.
Theoretically, the way you have it set up you could get 256 different sounds but that would mean a shit-load of dancing to get them all.

With your switcher/looper you could have 8 preset sounds and each one could consist of one or more pedals simultaneously.
You could even run more than 8 pedals if there was a combination of 2 or 3 pedals that you always use together.
Just connect them in series and assign that series to one input on your switcher.
I don't know anything about your unit but a good one will provide isolation in each loop so the noise thing would be no different than how you plan to use it.
Only the pedals you want to use would be engaged in any given loop and the others would be isolated from the signal path.

The way most guys use a looper is to assign however many pedals they want to use to achieve a particular sound, all to one loop.
Then they will make other sounds and assign the appropriate pedals to other loops.
It means that if your main rhythm tone consists of say, a compressor, OD, chorus and a little bit of delay, you can switch all of those in/out with one toe-tap.
If you want an alternate rhythm tone that has no time based f/x, you just create another loop without them.
You can combine any set of pedals you like and assign them to a loop and access that combination with one toe-tap.
The idea is to prevent the tap-dance that you have to do when you switch from a main tone using 2 or more pedals to a lead tone that uses 3 other/different pedals.
In that situation it would be 5 toe-taps per change, so 5 to switch to lead and another 5 to switch back.
Imagine doing all of that with 3 lead breaks in a single song.
The looper just makes the changes so much simpler and faster.
So you can concentrate on playing rather than having the distraction of having to keep a continuously changing running inventory in your head of what you have engaged and what you don't.

With your looper it looks like you have 8 loops.
That should be adequate for most situations.
Here's an example:
You could have two clean tones, one dry and one wet.
Then you could have two slightly overdriven tones, one dry and one wet.
Then you could add two medium gain tones with two options.
Finally you could have two high gain tones with two options.
That could be your 8 sounds.
Or you could make any 8 tones you want and they'd all be accessible with a single toe-tap.

Again, the question is ... how many tones do you really need?
Isn't 8 enough?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I found a number of demos for switchers but none so far that seem to explain WHY to use a switcher.

I guess it all boils down to how many different sounds you want to achieve for getting "your" sound.
Theoretically, the way you have it set up you could get 256 different sounds but that would mean a shit-load of dancing to get them all.

With your switcher/looper you could have 8 preset sounds and each one could consist of one or more pedals simultaneously.
You could even run more than 8 pedals if there was a combination of 2 or 3 pedals that you always use together.
Just connect them in series and assign that series to one input on your switcher.
I don't know anything about your unit but a good one will provide isolation in each loop so the noise thing would be no different than how you plan to use it.
Only the pedals you want to use would be engaged in any given loop and the others would be isolated from the signal path.

The way most guys use a looper is to assign however many pedals they want to use to achieve a particular sound, all to one loop.
Then they will make other sounds and assign the appropriate pedals to other loops.
It means that if your main rhythm tone consists of say, a compressor, OD, chorus and a little bit of delay, you can switch all of those in/out with one toe-tap.
If you want an alternate rhythm tone that has no time based f/x, you just create another loop without them.
You can combine any set of pedals you like and assign them to a loop and access that combination with one toe-tap.
The idea is to prevent the tap-dance that you have to do when you switch from a main tone using 2 or more pedals to a lead tone that uses 3 other/different pedals.
In that situation it would be 5 toe-taps per change, so 5 to switch to lead and another 5 to switch back.
Imagine doing all of that with 3 lead breaks in a single song.
The looper just makes the changes so much simpler and faster.
So you can concentrate on playing rather than having the distraction of having to keep a continuously changing running inventory in your head of what you have engaged and what you don't.

With your looper it looks like you have 8 loops.
That should be adequate for most situations.
Here's an example:
You could have two clean tones, one dry and one wet.
Then you could have two slightly overdriven tones, one dry and one wet.
Then you could add two medium gain tones with two options.
Finally you could have two high gain tones with two options.
That could be your 8 sounds.
Or you could make any 8 tones you want and they'd all be accessible with a single toe-tap.

Again, the question is ... how many tones do you really need?
Isn't 8 enough?
I used to own a MIDI Pro 8 which did exactly as you described. I gravitated 95% of the time towards 4-5 sounds and decided to get a QMX and simply isolate each pedal (like the Midi Pro) but add a bit of tap dancing. The flip/flop option will help quite a bit (see link).

 

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But it is redundant for any pedal that is true bypass (but fair enough for anything bufferred or always on such as your boost and probably your delay; maybe the tuner). Buffers get a bad rap tho - they are actually a good thing in long cable runs or multi-pedal setups like yours. 1 to 3 pedals all true bypass is fine, especially with short cables from guit and to amp, but once that chain gets longer you will loose high end and gain noise without a buffer somewhere in there

When it comes to isolation, the most important way to do that is at the power supply level. This too is considerred unnecessary in most cases, but if you have positive ground fuzzes (nope) or high current draw digital pedals (the Stymon; maybe the SubnUp or the delay - not familiar with that one) it can make a lot of difference.
 

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OK, so you're not actually assigning one pedal to one loop.
That confusion was due to a slight misunderstanding on your part.
You are assigning one pedal to one input on the looper and that's fair enough.
The inputs are not the loops, though.
They are just the inputs.
The loops are the "programs" if you will.
You do have the ability to create loops but you're choosing to use the unit only for switching individual pedals off/on.
I have no idea why anyone would choose to do that but it's not the point.
That's your business so I'll leave you to it.

Looking back, your original post only asked for opinions on layout.
I did address that.
I apologise for subsequently derailing your thread with all this other stuff.
My bad.
 

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I use the loop to isolate each pedal - there are various opinions on this and it boils down to ymmv. I appreciate the comments and may experiment.
;P

But it is redundant for any pedal that is true bypass (but fair enough for anything bufferred or always on such as your boost and probably your delay; maybe the tuner). Buffers get a bad rap tho - they are actually a good thing in long cable runs or multi-pedal setups like yours. 1 to 3 pedals all true bypass is fine, especially with short cables from guit and to amp, but once that chain gets longer you will loose high end and gain noise without a buffer somewhere in there

When it comes to isolation, the most important way to do that is at the power supply level. This too is considered unnecessary in most cases, but if you have positive ground fuzzes (you don't) or high current draw digital pedals (the Stymon; maybe the SubnUp or the delay - not familiar with that one) it can make a lot of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK, so you're not actually assigning one pedal to one loop.
That confusion was due to a slight misunderstanding on your part.
You are assigning one pedal to one input on the looper and that's fair enough.
The inputs are not the loops, though.
They are just the inputs.
The loops are the "programs" if you will.
You do have the ability to create loops but you're choosing to use the unit only for switching individual pedals off/on.
I have no idea why anyone would choose to do that but it's not the point.
That's your business so I'll leave you to it.

Looking back, your original post only asked for opinions on layout.
I did address that.
I apologise for subsequently derailing your thread with all this other stuff.
My bad.
not at all, it's a guitar forum and suppose to derail! I am going to try what you are suggesting - I was super happy with my tone and noise levels when i had the MIDI Pro 8 which isolated each pedal - that unit did something to my sound compared to daisy chaining each one. I am intending to use one pedal for one loop (send/in return/out for each pedal). I've asked the guys at thegigrig their experiences with users (i suspect it will be "it depends").
 
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