Tipps & Tricks: How to plan your pedalboard

Ask the DudeAfter you have chosen your very own pedal stock it makes sense to plan your pedalboard so you won’t have to rearrange your pedals for every rehearsal or every gig.
When you only use two or three pedals running on batteries they will be connected quite easily and you will not necessarily need a pedalboard. But in the long run no guitarist I know has been satisfied with two or three pedals.

Preparation

The most significant aspect of planning your pedalboard is the preparation. To choose the right size for your pedalboard it is important to think about which and how many pedals you would like to combine on this board.

If you buy a pedalboard first it will either be too small or you will be concerned about the question which pedals (you might never use) you could also put on your board to use the free space.

When you made up your mind about your pedal selection you can arrange them on the ground first. By doing this you can find the perfect order that allows you to reach every pedal even if you are live on stage.

It is also important to consider about which pedals you will use collectively and how to find an arrangement that allows the signal to find a short way (click here for more information about the order of effects).
After these preparations you will be sure about the size of your pedalboard.

Power

To choose the right power supply it is pretty helpful to make a list of all the pedals you are going to put on your board. On this list you can note which current voltage (f. e. 9V) and which amperage (f. e. 100mA) each pedal needs. If you are not sure about the respective data take a look into the instructions or the power list of stinkfoot.se.
And if you use a multi power supply it makes sense to use one power jack for every single pedal to reduce besides noise.

Wiring

With regard to the wiring of the pedals it is important to pay attention to a sufficient distance between the audio cables and the power cables. If this is not possible you can take care that the audio and the power cables are never parallel to each other to reduce interferences.

And also a Wah can cause besides noise if it is put close to the power supply.
The better your pedalboard has been planned and wired the fewer hisses and humming you will get later.

Consolidation

If you want to carry your pedalboard from the rehearsal room to a live show the pedals have to be fixed. In this case it is important that the pedals are fixed but still can be changed quickly. Therefore I would never screw my pedals down but use Velcro.

Optional effects

To add further pedals to your board you can also integrate a small looper into the effect chain.
And especially when you use delays and reverb pedals it makes sense to think about if and how you can use your pedalboard mono as well as stereo. In this case a switchbox might be pretty helpful.

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