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Hey LL

I remember when my “pedalboard” was a tattered red Fuzz Face and a Vox Wah.

I look at what I am running now, and it’s science fiction.

I am a bit different with the way I set things up.

This time around, I’m going to have two main areas, one is for Rock, i.e. Normal Sounds for use when I start gigging again, and then another large area for Ambient sounds – in case of solo shows, I need all of those beautiful SpaceTime and a UltraTap sounds available. Plus certain Space reverbs, many for use with the energy bow. And maybe looping too.

I have never, ever set up a midi pedal for a performance, or for song by song…because I don’t usually play songs – I improvise a lot.

Now – it may come to pass that I will start doing that (playing regular songs in a band), at which point I’d be asking you for tips, but for now, I’m trying to imagine banks of ten that are just…useful.

So – here’s a rough description of what I’ve done so far, and what I’m thinking for the rest of the banks:

Bank 00. Raw guitar sounds. 00 is flat EQ, so just the dead, effectless guitar. Great for tuning. Then I have two clean sounds, that are roughly a Les Paul and a Fender, then, the rest are distorted sounds.

I like having pairs of the same basic sound, so for example, I have one Wizard’s Tele at 0 db, and a second at +6 db so I can play rhythm with the first, and then get a big volume boost for solos with the second. Sometimes that plus six becomes plus 7 or even plus 9, but I do take a care not to overload the input of h9 number 2 too much.

So I’ve got two pairs, and then three “singles” so maybe Sculpt, Butter Churner and Wahvolver, all set to +9 for solos.

So that’s bank 00.

In all above cases, the second two H9s are just left at Flat EQ, so it’s literally raw sound, clean or dirty.

Then I copied the entire bank to bank 10, with a slight difference, this time, I have four clean sounds and six dirty, and, I’ve added either a Big Clone Chorus or a Long Flyby Flanger to each one, but they are all pairs – so a pair of clean choruses, a pair of clean flanges, a pair of dirty choruses, and a pair of dirty Flangers. Plus one extra patch that is a distorted Rotate Slowly with a lovely tape echo added.

So some basic choices of basic chorused and flanged sounds there – all pretty normal.

Bank 20

This is a land of solos. It’s 9 copies of Wizards Tele, all at plus 7 I think.

Each one has a different effect:

Vintage Wah
Spinning Chorus
Barrel Roll Flanger
Stopped Phaser
Swamp Moon Vibrato
Auto Fast Slow Leslie
Tumbleweed Tremolo
Watery Dark Mod Filter
Square Mod Wah
Electricity Ring Mod

So obviously, with the same base distortion on the whole bank, it’s a real joy to just solo forever in this bank…and the ten voices I chose are each pretty spectacular and have great pre-programmed expression pedals too.

For the moment, I’m not using the GCP for expression pedals, because the H9s work so beautifully already, I rarely can fault their choices.

So that is a hugely fun bank.

That’s where I’m at.

I will, I think, have various banks that zoom in on particularly great sets of H9 sounds.

I’ve programmed the entirety of both SpaceTime and UltraTap, so I could see maybe two banks featuring twenty of each…

And a bank of the best reverbs. And a bank of the best pitch shifters.

And a bank of the best delays. Once those are established, I could then pick and mix the best sounds from each of those into more banks more similar to my first few.

I am going to use the numbers for Rock, and the letters, start with A for Ambient.

I need banks of different clean tones with reverb for my ebow playing.
I need banks of different clean tones with SpaceTime for my ebow playing.


That’s what I will be trying to establish today – what each of the remaining banks should be, before I go too much further.

So, a very flexible, free and utterly anarchic way compared to your ordered universe of songs. I get why you do it, but it’s mostly, not for me. I might set up a Hendrix bank, so I can play Purple Haze or Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). I might set up a Fripp bank so I can play Red.

But I would try to capture tones that were useful for playing many Hendrix or Fripp songs, not just one. I realise – easier said than done – but I’m a gonna try!

Wish me luck. I really enjoy these conversations by the way.

Dave 🙂