Let's Talk Music Gear
Gear: What IS that thing?
The Loop Monster
This is the live rig I've been using for the last, um, year, I think? What I love most about it is that, other than the outboard compressor (the SP), everything is digital, and so, once I get it dialed in the way I want it, as soon as I turn it on, it's ready to go! I don't have to remember where dials on the pedals go, for example (except, again, on the SP).
What makes this setup work is that I play Emerald guitars (an X-10 slimline and a Virtuo) that have an electric/acoustic split path, so I can send the piezo acoustic pickup through the compressor and into the HX Stomp (multi-effects unit), and the magnetic electric pickup somewhere else (the Tonex, discussed shortly). The Stomp adds an impulse response (IR), purchased from Worship Tutorials, that sort of gives the "microphone" sound the piezo pickup is missing. The Stomp also provides the time-based effects (delay and reverb). In the effects loop of the Stomp is the Boss OC-3 octave. I have the OC-3 in polyphonic mode, which allows me to make just the top two strings of my guitar bass notes. It's pretty brilliant. I had a friend of mine who plays bass help me tweak that signal, which he did using compression and equalization on-board the stomp. The octave signal is added to the acoustic signal and they both go out together into the looper, the big red pedal, a Boss RC-600. I have one of the footswitches on the Stomp programmed to cut the effects loop and its other blocks so the acoustic signal goes straight through both paths. (A complicated way to say it turns the bass off.).
The Tonex came out not quite a year ago. It uses machine learning to let you profile your own amp, so you can take your amp with you on a pedal. I don't have amps anymore, so I use ToneJunkie profiles (up until recently, they were volume-matched, so I don't have to volume match them). It's a pretty brilliant way to model an electric sound and I love it. On both Emerald guitars, there's a toggle switch that quickly takes the guitar from piezo mode to magnetic mode, a feat no other hybrid guitars I've ever had (and I've had them all) can do.
The Boss RC-600 is the multichannel looper I use. The looper lets me play snippets of songs or rhythm parts and loop them, greatly expanding the potential of my show to sound bigger. Also plugged into the looper is a Roland HPD-20 electronic hand drum. With all of these instruments at my fingertips, I can sound pretty convincingly like a band. I try to weave different elements of my playing into shows, from soft, fingerstyle guitar arrangements to full-on-in-your-face band arrangements with searing solos. I love to talk gear, so come ask me about it if you have questions! Thanks for reading about my pedalboard!
© 2023 Glade Wilson