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Pedalboards..... It's something guitarists have used since the beginning, and it's uncommon to go onto a stage without seeing one. Pedalboards enable a guitarist to take their instrument into new musical regions and broaden their tone by using various effects.

Make sure you have everything you need to create a sturdy, functional, and low-noise pedalboard before you start wiring things up. That's why we've put up this handy guide, which contains step-by-step instructions, and all of the information you'll need to create your own pedalboard!


1 - Know Your Tone

To begin, you should grasp what you're seeking for and what is required to obtain it. Do you have a specific tone in mind that you want to imitate? Is the pedalboard intended for composition or live performance? Are you searching for only one or two pedals to get the job done, or do you want a world of possibilities at your feet?

 

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John Mayer with his pedalboards on stage

If you're attempting to mimic a specific guitarist's sound, you should look into the pedals they use and how they utilise them. Spend some time researching the market and learning about the various pedals available. There are hundreds of pedals available in a variety of configurations.


2 - Get Your Pedals

Choosing the proper guitar pedal is purely subjective, just like choosing the greatest ice cream flavour or a favourite colour to decorate your living room. No one can tell you what you're going to enjoy. This provides players with access to a wide range of sonic textures, all of which are simply adjustable with the twist of a knob or the flick of a switch. Purchasing pedals may become an addictive habit for some people — it's a lot of fun to play with different sounds and textures!

Example of pedals from EarthQuaker Devices

You can look at our wide selection of pedals on our website and learning about the many types of pedals such as distortion, reverb, fuzz and many more!


3- Assemble and Arrange Your Pedals

There is no clear right or wrong way to build up your effect signal chain. Some guitarists like experimenting with the sequence of their pedals in order to get different tones. However, if you want a flexible board that works in a logical sequence, we've produced a guitar pedal setup diagram below that demonstrates the order that many players use:

Setup 1 : Guitar => tuner =>boost and/or compressor => wah and/or volume pedal =>overdrive =>distortion and/or fuzz => chorus => tremolo => phaser =>delay => reverb => amplifier

Another option is to place your pedals into your amplifier's effects loop (fx loop). An effects loop is an audio input and output loop that is connected to your amplifier's Effects Send and Effects Return connectors after the preamp and before the power amp section. These can be labelled Preamp Out (Effects Send) and Power Amp In on some amplifiers (Effects Return). Some amplifiers do not have effects loops, but those that do allow you to set some of your effects within the loop.

Setup 2 : Guitar => tuner =>boost and/or compressor => wah and/or volume pedal =>overdrive =>distortion and/or fuzz =>amplifier input =>amplifier fx loop send =>chorus => tremolo => phaser =>delay => reverb => amplifier fx loop return

This is especially useful if you obtain your overdrive and distortion from your amplifier rather than pedals. Otherwise, you'd be sending your delay repetitions and reverb ambience into your amplifier's overdrive and distortion, which might sound muddy and washed out. For a different sound, you may also add your modulation pedals into your amplifier's effects loop.


4 - Assemble and Arrange Your Pedals on The Pedalboard

Now that you have a broad collection of pedals or stompboxes, you must choose the pedalboard to house them. When it comes to pedalboards, size is everything. Why? Because, when it comes to choosing a pedalboard, space should always be prioritised.

Pedaltrain Nano+ is suitable for 5 pedals setup

If you utilise five or less standard-size pedals and don't intend to expand your setup, a tiny pedal board should suffice. If you have more than five pedals but fewer than ten, a medium board is a good choice. If you have more than ten people, you should use a larger board. And if you only have five pedals now but intend to add two or three more in the near future, it's best to plan ahead and get a larger board now.

Pedaltrain Pro FX can fit up to 20 pedals!

Remember that pedals with huge footprints take up more space, and even a compact setup with a few oversized pedals may necessitate a larger pedal board to avoid overcrowding. Remember to leave enough space between the pedals to allow for cabling and to produce a clean, uncluttered, and easily accessible layout while arranging.


4 - Connecting and Powering Your Pedals

Before you velcro your pedals to the pedalboard (which usually comes with the pedalboard), you must first choose how to power the pedals. Each pedal will need the use of electricity in order to function. Most pedals feature a DC output that is supplied by a power supply. There are several choices on the market, but you need ensure that your power supply has enough outputs to run the pedals on your board, as well as the right voltage for that pedal. It's not usually the best approach, but using a Daisy Chain Extension Cord from the same power supply to many pedals is occasionally essential.

Gator Power 8 is versatile enough to provide clean and isolated power up to 8 pedals!

A good, fully-isolated pedalboard power supply (or PSU) will guarantee that your pedals receive pure, clean power. If you want to reduce the noise in your guitar signal, this is the most effective approach to avoid unwanted buzzing or hum! T-Rex, Gator, and Joyo are just a few of the manufacturers that make their own pedal power supply. There are many of PSUs available in all sizes that will suit pedalboards of all sizes and even fit below the pedalboards! A PSU, which includes many pedalboard power lines, allows you to power your pedals independently and neatly. However, if you want to learn how to produce a virtually noiseless guitar tone, always use an isolated power supply!

Orange CA038 Crush Patch Cables is intelligently designed to ensure top-notch corrosion resistance and stellar conductivity, keeping your signal pure!

Patch cables are essentially jack-to-jack instrument cables that have been drastically reduced in length. Patch cables, which are often U-shaped, allow you to set your pedals side by side and quickly connect the output of one pedal to the input of the one next to it. Many recent patch cables include ultra-flat connection jacks, allowing you to arrange your pedals very close together to save space.

With a plethora of brands producing high-quality pedalboard patch cables, such as Orange, Ernie Ball, and Planet Waves, Joyo also produces very inexpensive options. We usually recommend buying in high-quality ones because they not only reduce noise but also last considerably longer.