July 23, 2024

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……

The goal was to get the EWI back into the pedal board AND have just ONE cable coming from me to whatever soundboard or sound person awaits.

Originally, the Eventide Mixinglink was going to be the device to do this. On paper, it has not only an XLR input with optional phantom power, but also a line in. However…..you cannot “mix” the level of either. The original solution was to get a MXR Micro amp to bring the EWI level up to that of the microphone. However……then the issue becomes that the microphone is still HOT while the EWI is being used. So it pretty much nullifies the effects…..or muddies them with the open mic. The other idea is to put some sort of ON/OFF on the microphone, and that sort of works.

The solution I came up with, that no only fixes the level problem, but the “open mic” problem was to stick a Radial HotShot ABi at the beginning of the board. Then have that dictate what input is what, and then also to have pad and trim on the inputs….and……Boom. Pretty much all the levels are now even (microphone with sax on it, and then ewi……..dB levels pretty much the same). Sweet.

So, now, the NEW addition is an HX Stomp. Why you say, when I already have an H9 on the board? Well, cause the H9 really doesn’t multi-task well. It does ONE thing and does it EXTREMELY well. So, for a Q-Tron like effect, the H9 does it. But I can’t also harmonize it. Or if I wanted a reverb on everything (hence the HoF pedal). So…..being under COVID-19 lockdown, I started seeing people use the HX Stomp, and decided to get one. It is connected right after the Eventide Mixing link, then sends things TO the H9, and then gets the stuff BACK from the H9 then goes to HoF pedal, which then goes to back to the MixingLink.

Ok, so WHY get a HX Stomp? Why not. It does a TON of things, and I can take whatever from the H9and mess it up with the HX Stomp. Or mess it up and then send it to the H9. Or I can do stuff to whatever is coming in before AND after sending it to the H9. Lots of choices. Which was the idea.

And there are two Expression Pedals (actually, volume or expression pedals acting as expression pedals), and I put the Arduino page turner on this board as well.

Ok…………so…….is there a 5.0 board in the works?

Probably not? I can’t think of what else effects wise I would want on here. The ONE thing I do what to do is make the HX Stomp able to be controlled over bluetooth by an iPad. That is seriously THE only thing that sucks about the pedal. I am either going to get a bluetooth midi adapter for it, or maybe see if I can get the Arduino pageturner able to talk to it and the Eventide H9 (which already has a bluetooth midi adapter on it). Doesn’t fix the problem of being able to really being able to select things and DO stuff to the HX Stomp on an iPad, but I could have it something in Forscore and send midi commands to change things on it. That is one thing that the Eventide H9is pretty awesome about. You can tweak things on the pedal in real time via your iPad. And then using forscore and the BLE Midi adapter, have commands in Forscore on songs to select the preset you want on the H9.

I think if I get to this, it will probably be a 4.x version rather than a 5.0…..but who knows. Probably going to be in this COVID-19 lockdown until 2021 sometime…….which is probably when my next live gig is :-/

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