A pedalboard makes transporting your pedals much easier, especially if you often play gigs in town. The bigger the board, the more pedals you can fit but the heavier it will get – so be sure to consider how you’ll be traveling with it.
Many players choose to focus their pedalboard on specific effect types and avoid others completely, and that’s fine. The goal is to find the arrangement that best suits your style and sound.
There’s a lot to consider when building your own pedalboard, including the power supply you will need to run it. You’ll also need to decide how many pedals you want to include on your board.
Depending on the type of pedals you have in mind, some will need more power than others, so it’s important to consider this when selecting a power supply option. The good news is there are plenty of different options on the market to ensure your pedalboard will be well-powered for years to come.
For example, the Pedal Power 3 PLUS provides isolated DC power that can handle 9V and 12V pedals up to 500mA. It comes with individual orange status LEDs for each output, and you can even daisy chain multiple units together to expand the number of outlets. Thanks to its custom-wound toroidal transformer, the Pedal Power 3 PLUS offers exceptional noise filtering and clean power.
Another great option is the Walrus Audio Phoenix. It is a little bit bigger than the Pedal Power 3 PLUS, but it is still an ultra-slim power supply that will fit under even the shallowest of pedalboards. The Phoenix features 15 isolated outputs – each one rated for up to 300mA – and four of those are switchable between 9V, 12V, and 18V. Its toroidal transformer ensures excellent noise filtering and clean power, while it eliminates proximity hum so your pedals can be as close to it as you like.
The Mission Engineering 529 is another highly portable option that lets you power up to five standard and one high-powered pedal (via its four 150mA and one 500mA outputs) from any dual wall outlet. This power converter also includes USB-A and USB-C ports for charging tablets and mobile devices. It is designed to be as compact and lightweight as possible, and it features an attractive black finish with blue accents.
No matter what kind of power supply you choose, you will need to factor in transportation comfort when deciding on the size of your pedalboard frame. Remember that the more pedals you add, the heavier your pedalboard will be, and this is especially true if you intend to use it for air travel.
The cables that connect the pedals to your board are a critical element of a great sounding rig. With every new patch cable option, lower profile plugs and even low impedance leads popping up it can be tough to keep up. But what are the important details that really matter when it comes to choosing the right cable for your board?
The first step in planning your pedalboard is to sketch out a layout with your desired effects and their connections. This will help you understand what size of board you need, as well as make sure that you have enough space for all your plugs and cables. Once you have a plan, it is time to find the perfect cables for your board.
One of the best options out there is a good pair of MXR patch cables. These are a simple way to ensure that you have all the cables you need for your pedals, and they also come in a very affordable 3-pack. These cables are durable and will be able to handle the roughness of gigging while keeping your tone clear and pure thanks to oxygen-free copper conductors and spiral shielding.
Another great option for your pedalboard is a set of custom-cut patch cables. These can be purchased from a number of different companies, and they will give you exactly the length you need for your pedals. These are typically made with high-quality components, such as 24K gold plated connectors and Low-Capacitance Oxygen-Free Copper.
These are the best option if you have some pedals with very tight spaces between them. These cables will save you a lot of space, and they still have enough flexibility to bend down to your pedals without causing any damage. The only downside to these is that they are not as flexible as some of the other options on this list, but that won’t stop most guitarists from making them a part of their rig.
One final option that is becoming more popular amongst pedalboard users is a patchbay. This is a small box that will take up very little space on your pedalboard, and it will allow you to route all of your cables through it, rather than running them across your board. This can help reduce tangles and make it much easier to setup and tear down your rig for gigging.
Whether you use a standard pedalboard or one designed specifically for guitar effects, it’s important that your pedals work properly. This includes that they don’t produce excessive hum or buzz. This can be caused by several factors, including improper wiring and defective pedals. If you’re concerned about this, you can try using a high-quality buffer, which helps to reduce the hum and buzz from your pedals.
A buffer also separates the power and ground of each individual pedal, which makes it easier to identify a problem pedal without having to retrace your steps through the entire board. Some brands of pedalboards include a built-in high-quality buffer, while others require you to purchase a standalone unit. A few examples of manufacturers who offer high-quality buffers for pedalboards include Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 3 PLUS, Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS6, and Strymon Zuma.
Modulation pedals change the landscape of your tone continuously, allowing you to create dynamic soundscapes with your guitar. These pedals are typically used by lead guitarists to add more variety to their guitar solos and other songs. There are many types of modulation pedals available, such as chorus, flanger, phaser, rotary, and tremolo.
Effects such as delay, reverb, and distortion can be found on almost every pedalboard. They’re essential for creating a rich and full sound, but it’s important to find the ones that fit your personal style and complement your amplifier. For instance, if you play heavy metal music, you may want to consider a distortion pedal, while jazz guitarists will likely prefer an EQ pedal.
Once you’ve determined the size of your pedalboard, it’s time to start thinking about the pedals you’ll include. Some pedals take up more space than others, so it’s a good idea to measure your pedalboard’s dimensions and make sure that all of your pedals will fit.
If you’re planning to travel with your pedalboard, be sure to weigh it before boarding an airplane. It’s generally not a good idea to exceed the maximum weight allowed for check-in baggage. A heavy pedalboard is not only a pain to carry, but it could potentially be damaged or cause the flight to be delayed.
The case that comes with your pedalboard is a critical consideration. It will determine whether your board can be carried as hand luggage on regular air travel, and it will also play a role in how many pedals you can fit on the board. It’s best to decide on this first before focusing too much energy on specific frame designs or even choosing your pedals. If you’re going to have to transport your pedalboard by plane, you’ll want a hard case for maximum protection. Similarly, if you’re constantly moving around a lot, a soft case might be the best option for you.
Pedalboards come with either hard or soft cases, and there are benefits and drawbacks to both. For instance, hard cases are heavier than soft bags, so this will play a role in how much you’re able to fit on your board. If you’re a touring musician, the extra weight could be significant, and if you have to carry your pedalboard as checked baggage, you’ll probably want to stick with the minimum number of effects to avoid excess baggage charges.
If you’re using your board for gigging, you’ll likely want to consider a padded bag. These are lighter than hard cases, so they’ll be easier on your back, and they’ll also let you move more freely. They’re ideal if you have to change venues frequently and don’t have the space for a large board.
There are also a variety of other bag options available, including backpacks and wheeled bags. The Gig Box series is the ultimate in convenience, with a built-in folding stand and power supply. This makes it perfect for touring musicians, and the black Tolex exteriors and plush interior lining make them look great as well.
Having a 6 pedal pedalboard can open up new possibilities for your music. If you’re ready to take your guitar rig to the next level, it’s time to explore all of the sounds that a 6 pedal pedalboard can offer. With distinctive distortions, velvety reverbs, exotic studio effects, premium Line 6 originals, and more, there are endless sonic combinations that you can create with a 6 pedal pedalboard.