If you don’t already use a pedalboard, chances are you’re piling your pedals willy-nilly into a plastic bag or a gym bag, all crammed in together with your cables and a number of power supplies. On stage you always have to assemble your signal chain by dumping the bag’s content on the floor. Whenever you play a festival, with other bands waiting for their turn in the wings, setting up your effects feels excruciatingly slow and fiddly. The stage technicians lament the slow progress you’re making. You feel in the spotlight – you’re way too slow, while everybody is waiting for you.
The same seems to happen after your set: The next band’s technicians try to get you to hurry up, as an opening act’s most important attribute is the ability to get on and off stage quickly and smoothly. Due to the rush your teardown is very chaotic, leading to broken patch cables and power supplies. You’ve even lost the occasional pedal or two along the way. Your setup makes you look like a bloody amateur and puts a lot of pressure on you. This may sound obvious, but a pro-grade pedalboard, planned and made according to the Custom Boards method, will solve all of your problems.
The stage managers of headlining bands are not willing to take any supporting acts on tour that will waste everybody’s time. A stage manager carries a weighty vote, when it comes to choosing a support band.
If you’re slow in setting up your equipment, and then mess up that all-important show with a crackling and intermittent guitar signal, you won’t be getting into anybody’s “good book”. If your band has to stop and restart your gig repeatedly, due to avoidable technical problems, it will reflect badly on everybody else by also delaying the headliner’s schedule. You might even put the whole tour in danger.
On large stages the technical level of the whole equipment should be at least on a par with the quality of the music. Your support slot – and with it your chance for getting that big break – may easily go down the drain, if you don’t take into account the role your equipment plays in your band’s success.
Headlining bands and their managements know this. Each member of the crew and each piece of equipment has been hand-picked to do a specific job in the smoothest possible way. No headlining band has ever achieved their success by pure luck. Behind the success there’s always the determination and discipline to fine-tune every aspect of their show.
Your pedalboard is the vital link between your guitar and your backline, and this link should work smoothly. Most equipment malfunctions a guitarist experiences on the road are down to problems with his/her pedalboard, or because they’re using separate effect pedals on the floor.
Your guitars travel safely tucked away in their cases. Amps are either rented or transported in heavy duty road cases. Nevertheless, many guitarists still carry their vital pedals and cables around in a messy tangle in a gym bag. Endangering their sound, and painfully slowing down their setup.
There are several reasons why a guitarist might decide on getting a professional pedalboard: The guitarist enjoys its handiness and sound, the guitar tech appreciates its reliability and fast packability, the FOH engineer likes its great sound, the monitor mixer loves the quick connectivity and the clean stage. And everybody enjoys the appropriate weight.
By building a reputation as a professional band with reliable equipment, you also make life a lot easier for your booking agent. Your manager, on the other hand, is more interested in freight costs and ease of transportability, when it comes to your equipment. This is why small is beautiful, especially with fly-in gigs.
Why, then, is your pedalboard project still unfinished? Assembling a professionally working system isn’t easy, when you’re left to your own devices. Even though the will to see the project through is strong, building the pedalboard might still prove difficult. Many faults of a badly-planned pedalboard may only come to light during use on tour.
The ten hallmarks of a professional pedalboard
If you have purchased all the parts and components but get a feeling that you might not be up to the task after all, we can make your pedalboard for you, using the components you have bought from us. Don’t worry, we won’t let anything go to waste.
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