It’s pretty normal for guitarists to have pedal boards. They usually have an array of effects to modify the sounds of their guitars — overdrive, fuzz, reverb, echo, modulators, and more. Keyboardists, on the other hand, generally rely on effects built into their instruments.
That’s all well and good, in a studio. Most modern keyboards have all kinds of incredible effects that sound really great. But, they’re a pain in the backside to control quickly and easily on stage. Guitarists have really got it made when it comes to effects that are portable and easy to use live.
Before the days of digital keyboards, when rock keyboard players had things like Hammond B3 or Farfisa organs, Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric pianos and Hohner Clavinets, they used guitar “stomp boxes” for their effects, too. I’ve decided that, for my “rig”, I’m going to go old-school and build a pedal board. I’m getting tired of chasing three volume pedals, sustain pedals, and effects around under my keyboard stand.
The picture shows my planned pedal board layout. Along the bottom, from left to right, are a master volume, dual sustain pedal, and separate volume pedals for the Korg PS-60 and X-50 keyboards. Picking up on the top row, moving from right to left, will be a Rubber Chicken, Pickel Vibe and Gen5 Echo from LovePedal, a Line Six Roto-Machine Leslie simulator and a Tech 21 “Blonde” amp simulator.
Of course, I don’t own all the effects yet, but I’ll start building the pedal board and add the “missing” pedals over the next few weeks or months. And, based on sound, cost, and availability, the actual pedals used may change (or I may put cheaper pedals in temporarily).
Not shown on the board will also be a couple of vocal effects units. I’ve already got the TC-Helicon H1 harmonizer, and I’ll be adding their new Mic Mechanic pedal when it becomes available. They will not reside on this pedal board, as I will operate them with my hand instead of my foot.