Picking Apart Ben Wendel’s Pedal Board

The Woodwind & Brasswind posted a video of Ben Wendel showing his pedal board.

One of my “quarantine” projects has been figuring out a good performance pedal board for if/when it is safe to go out and perform again. Let’s dive a little deeper and figure out what exactly his setup is.

First off, it is a mess. Seriously Ben, you shoot this video in a room that is clean, and looks great. But the cables for your pedals? Maddening……a disaster Ben. FEMA has been notified. 1/2 a Beard if it was on Riffs, Beards and Gear. You need a board, and clean cables. How can you show up with that mess? Yikes.

Ok, so, the actual gear. Ben pretty much spells out what he has except for two KEY items. The microphones. Which is sort of important. The best I can tell he is using a AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone as his “dry” saxophone mic. Which is awesome. But…..it needs phantom power. So where is the phantom power for the mic? I don’t see it on the board. The “effects mic” seems to be a Sennheiser e908b microphone, another mic that needs phantom power.

Also, is there an iPad or something on the stand?

Here is the list of equipment I see:
AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone – $1099.00
Sennheiser e908b – $279.95
Mooer Volume Pedal – $85.00
Boss RV-3 Reverb/Delay – $148.00
Mosky Mini Obsessive Overdrive – $33.99
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork – $174.40
TC Electronics Ditto – $109.99
Boss RC-30 – $299.99
MXR Mini ISO-Brick – $99.99

YAMAHA YDS-150 DIGITAL SAXOPHONE

The YDS-150 effectively emulates an authentic saxophone experience digitally—from the sound and key layout to feedback from the instrument—while maintaining the sense of unity between the saxophone and musician. The Digital Saxophone breaks the barrier to entry for new or returning musicians providing the ability to quickly express themselves creatively and musically.Unlike MIDI Wind Controllers, the YDS-150 incorporates a key structure that replicates that of a traditional saxophone, offering players the natural feel to which they are accustomed. A genuine brass bell enhances the acoustic presence of the instrument thanks to the company’s new proprietary Integrated Bell Acoustic System technology. The sound and vibration of the speaker unit at the top of the instrument are transmitted to the bell through the sound pipe, and in turn, the instrument itself vibrates similarly to a traditional saxophone. Vibrations are carried to the mouth and fingertips through the mouthpiece and keys to give players authentic instrumental feedback. What’s more, the Digital Saxophone sings with longer reverberation thanks to the brass bell, making it possible for musicians to play in a naturally expressive way.

EWI Solo

How do you take the venerable Akai EWI, and make it total garbage? You strip away the wireless, make it longer, and give it a shitty speaker.

For your pleasure, the “geniuses” at Akai have brought forth…..the EWI Solo.

Sheet Of The Week – Yellow (Coldplay)

One of my favorite songs. So simple….so great.

  Yellow by Coldplay for Eb Instruments (103.1 KiB, 6 hits)
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  Yellow by Coldplay for Bb Instruments (103.6 KiB, 2 hits)
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Pedalboard 4.0

Covid-19 lockdown has lead to some experimentation. And some rethinking of what I wanted the pedal board to be able to do.

First, when doing gigs, sometimes you get a venue where they insist on doing their own sound. Fine. But then they have a “board” which has 16 inputs. And the keyboard player needs stereo input. And so does the guitarist. And the singer’s multi-effects pedal is stereo. And so…..there are now no inputs left. So the EWI you brought along can’t be used.

OR the venue has a “sound guy” who’s really just there for the free drinks and the people. The “sound guy” is not going to be adjusting any volumes. Well, depends if he has a drink or not.

And….what if you want to run the EWI through an effects chain? And the sax? Can you do both at the same time?

Pedalboard 1.0 attempted to address this by using the Eventide MixingLink. However, I could never get the volumes of the two inputs to be close to the same. Generally, the sax mic was a lot louder than the EWI. Even with the MXR MicroAmp on it, it was sort of hit and miss.

Pedalboard 2.0 didn’t really fix the problem of the EWI, and introduced a POG, and a Pageturner.

Pedalboard 3 ushered in a smaller board, and me giving up on trying to get the EWI on the effects chain. Pedalboard 3.1 had some changes. I dumped the POG, added a reverb, and made an Arduino page turner. The EWI was still not included.

Which now brings us to Pedalboard 4.0……

Continue reading Pedalboard 4.0

Vindor ES2 Wind Controller

If you can forgive the Youtube videos they have up of a guy clearly in need of some serious Jonathan Van Ness intervention, a company called Vindor has a intriguing, reasonably priced wind controller that is actually shipping. I believe they had a version 1 of this but I never heard of it.

Anyhow, it features:

  1. Louder integrated speaker with clearer sound*.
  2. Use MIDI, built-in oscillators, internal physical model or sample player (using SD card).
  3. Pitch bending and effects through gestures.
  4. USB-C connector*.
  5. MIDI through USB or DIN via inexpensive external adapter*.
  6. Works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  7. Playback through USB (Vindor ES becomes headphones and microphone).
  8. 4 hours of untethered play time if using headphones.
  9. 1/4″ jack for connecting with amplifiers and effects pedals.
  10. OLED screen for interactive configuration.
  11. HiRes MIDI support provides 14-bit resolution (16000 steps vs 127) for synths that support it.