The times of dish-sized Fuzz Face pedals are over – the trend is towards even smaller mini effect pedals.
But with regard to this mini pedals there are some things, the manufacturers should consider.
Little by little many pedals are also available in smaller sizes.
From the smaller Ibanez Tubescreamer to the minimized Way Huge pedals to the Electro Harmonix Nano series you can get the classical sounds in smaller enclosures.
This offers the possibility to combine more pedals on a relatively small pedalboard.
But frequently, the manufacturers forget about the space that is needed by the in- and output cables.
Although the pedal itself mostly is only a few inches wide, its size doubles by the plugs on both sides.
It is worth mentioning that many manufacturers assemble the jacks at the front. By this you can arrange the pedals more close to each other.
But I ask myself why other jacks for expression pedals and especially midi jacks are designed for big ¼ inch or 5 pin plugs.
Doubtless, for the guitar signal the ¼ inch plug asserted itself.
The midi signal only needs 3 cable contacts, so the midi plugs, which are mostly used in a straight and not in an angled shape, could easily be replaced by 1/8” angle plugs.
The manufacturer Engl is pretty innovative. Their system allows a space-saving connection of the pedals. Anyhow, because of their standard ¼ inch jack their pedals can be integrated into every other system.
Recently, Rockboard offers super flat angled midi plugs.
But unfortunately, they are far out of the pedal and this may cause serious space problems if there is a pedal with a 9v input next to the midi in- and output.
Only One Control offers a midi cable with a small and flat plug which allows an alteration of the direction of the cable.
DIY as an option?
In my opinion, a DIY cable like those of Lava of George L. would be ideal.
A Variation of the jacks of expression pedals and midi plugs in addition with the right adapter cable could ensure the trouble-free collaboration with the pedals of other manufacturers.
There are numerous pedals with tiny pots which facilitate plentiful functions without the need for much space.
So, dear manufacturers: If you are creating those tiny little pedals, please don’t forget about the need for space for all connections.