Sin City Presents Magazine November 2015 Volume 2 Issue 11 - Page 58

PEDALBOARD MANIA

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SIN CITY PRESENTS/NOVEMBER 2015

Jason Ebs breaks down his studio

Pedalboard Mania! BY JASON EBS

Ahh…I remember back when I heard my first electric guitar, returning home from my paper route with my big brother Drew and his friend jamming upstairs to Smoke on The Water. I got chills and was instantly obsessed with the sound and I had to make that guitar and amp mine! Soon thereafter I got my first MXR 117 Flanger, MXR 134 Stereo Chorus, and Distortion + -- all without indication lights – and I was hooked on the concept of manipulating sounds with an electric guitar.

Fast forward to present day. I’m a firm believer that guitar tone generates from the player’s fingers much more than any other component, but this doesn’t keep me from creating a lush soundscape of effects and tones. I find that they always help to inspire me to write new songs and keep it fresh.

As far as I can remember back I’ve been a Mesa/Boogie guy (with the exception of touring with Peter Criss who insisted I had a Marshall). I prefer a warmer soupier tone as opposed to the brashness of many Marshall Heads (though I loved my JMP1). I prefer the older Boogies to the rectifier series, as the rectifiers tend to be much more bright & brash to my ears.

EQUIPMENT:

Through the years I’ve used many an amp including Music Man 212HD 130, Marshall JMP1, and various others. Though I have some of them still I find myself using one of these 3 basic rigs:

1)Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp & Simul 395 Stereo power amp w/Furman SPB-8C poweredboard

2)Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp with 50/50 stereo power amp w/Furman SPB-8C poweredboard

3)Mesa Boogie Mark III (green stripe) with travel pedalboard

All 3 of my rigs have corresponding pedalboards, though they are relatively interchangeable. To me, the trick is to get your signature sound from whatever rig you’re playing through wherever you play.

Therefore, I’ve also created a pedalboard that I carry on a plane to power the front end of any rig, equipped with 2 wireless units and a Vintage Mesa Boogie V-Twin tube distortion preamp pedal that captures the sounds of my other Boogie Rigs rather well. Word of advice – I wouldn’t recommend checking your pedal board as luggage, as I hear nightmare stories about them being dismantled by the TSA (thank goodness they are doing their jobs), and also make sure not to make it over 50lbs to avoid an extra fee. Find a carry case that is of acceptable size and carry it on with you – you then have the ability to open it and show them what’s what, as I get some serious looks when I show up with this:)

I love stereo sounds for the expansiveness of the stereo field – on bigger gigs, especially when I’m the only guitar player, I play in stereo with a speaker on each side of the stage so that the sound is nice and full even without the help of a PA. This enables me to send different sounds to each side of the stage, which enables me to duplicate my studio mixes live and give the illusion of two guitar players. If there’s another guitar player in the band, I just use as stereo 4x12 on my side of the stage sending 2 signals to the board mixer – I mic the right side of my cabinet with a 57 and then send a direct signal out of the left direct out so that there’s a great blend of mic’d & direct signal that captures the stereo field.

PEDALS:

They come in all shapes and sizes – so many options! I’ve found a nice combination of the old Vintage pedals (TS808, MXR) with the new makes the best combination for me. One of my favorite pedals is only $15 new, and my most expensive is probably worth a grand by now. If buying new pedals, opt for “True Bypass” to conserve your tone, but let your ears be the judge as that’s what ultimately matters.

My stereo chorus pedal actually BOOSTS the signal instead of degrading it, so it makes up for the signal passing through all of my pedals.

I currently use vintage MXR, Electro Harmonix, Fender, Boss, Seymour Duncan, Danelectro, Guyatone, and Xotic pedals.

Guitar wise, I prefer Les Paul style guitars. I currently endorse Greg Bennett, Legator Guitars, and Yamaha Guitars – though lately I’ve been enjoying an older Dean Flying V:)

SIGNAL FLOW:

Without giving away all my secrets, I find it best to put the boost, compressor, and any distortion boxes first in the signal flow chain; In a mono board I then add any harmonizers followed by flangers & tremolo & wawa and then go into my volume pedal This mono signal goes into my Stereo chorus, which. splits the signal

TRAVEL PEDALBOARD (mono or stereo)