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Pedal Board

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Por:   •  23/3/2013  •  903 Palavras (4 Páginas)  •  242 Visualizações

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How To Build Your Own Basic Pedal Board

Ted Drozdowski

Let’s examine what it takes to build a pedal board. Things to consider are the foundation, or the “board” part of the pedal board, fasteners, power, cables, the effects themselves and how they’ll be chained. And finally the transportation and protection of the board.

The latter affects your decisions about the first. Several manufacturers make prefabricated open-and-play pedal board boxes. These tend to cost between $60 and $300 and are pretty sweet, but since their sizes are predetermined the manufacturer of the board is deciding how much space you have to install pedals and sometimes what dimensions those pedals must be, which are decisions you should have the ability to make for yourself.

Ideally your board should fit in a road case, perhaps designed for a mixer or even a small keyboard, or an old suitcase or attaché case. Anything less will not afford enough protection or stabilize the pedals during travel. And such containers are designed to pack maximum protection into minimum weight, verses building a wooden case to carry one’s pedal board, which always results in a crazy-heavy box.

To get a concept of the dimensions of the container you’ll need, consider the effects you’ll want with you on gigs. If it’s a half-dozen or less, something like a used road case with a 12-inch-by-24-inch interior and a detachable top should do. Just flip it over, unlock the clasps and the detachable top becomes the pedal board base. These show up on eBay and at pawnshops for $10 to $20 or a bit more.

If you’re a pedal hog, and I mean that in a good way, you might want to get a used keyboard case for $50 or less, which can typically accommodate a board with a dozen or so pedals. Buy a few pieces of foam once you have your board assembled and place it on top of the pedals before you close the case to help stabilize your stomp boxes during travel.

If you’ve got a case with a detachable top, the dimensions of your board are determined. Otherwise measure the bottom of the suitcase or other container your pedal board will travel in to determine what the dimensions of the board will be.

Once you’ve got your dimensions, it’s time to pick a suitable material to cut to size for the board. Quarter-inch thick plywood will do. It’s light and durable enough to do the job. I once had a bandmate who used an Ouija board, which looked cool, but was a little too flexible. My board is a particleboard from Home Depot covered with black melamine. It’s heavier than plywood, but it’s lasted for nearly 20 years and dozens of reconfigurations and hundreds of thousands of road miles without compromise. It’s also heavy enough to resist sliding around on stage no matter how hard I stomp a pedal. Further, the black melamine coating looks better than the black paint job I’d recommend for plywood. Making the board disappear on a darkened stage as much as possible keeps it from distracting the eyes of fans from your awesome playing technique, guitar faces, windmills and the like.

The best fastener for securing pedals to the board is Velcro. Get the two-inch stripping in a 15-foot length. That width covers the bottom of many pedals or can be doubled for bigger boxes, and there’s cost savings


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