#1
Just wondering what are the pedals you NEED in a live situation. I know that a noise gate is a must. I'm not sure but i think a compressor is pretty important to balance out the sound in your playing. A tuner pedal is always handy too. Are there any other pedals that are good/necessary to have in a live setting?
#2
I would say only a tuner of some kind is a must, but not necessarily a pedal. A tuner pedal is probably the most convenient format to have though.
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#3
What you need depends on what you play.

My amp has reverb and a volume/mid boost built in. The only pedal I consider necessary is my polytune, though I have some others I dick around with. Never needed them live, though.
Quote by Kevin Saale
I would say only a tuner of some kind is a must, but not necessarily a pedal. A tuner pedal is probably the most convenient format to have though.

I'd go with a pedal tuner because most will kill the output when you activate them, and noone wants to hear you tune up.
#4
Besides a tuner, almost everything else is genre & style dependent.
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#5
Quote by Kevin Saale
I would say only a tuner of some kind is a must, but not necessarily a pedal. A tuner pedal is probably the most convenient format to have though.

I have a tuner on my phone so im using that as my tuner so that i can save some money. Also, less gear to bring to the gig is always better i would imagine.
#6
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Besides a tuner, almost everything else is genre & style dependent.

Really? That surprising. What if i turn my amp all the way up and the amp starts to hiss. Wouldn't i need a gate for that? Or will it not be noticeable?
#7
Quote by J23L
Really? That surprising. What if i turn my amp all the way up and the amp starts to hiss. Wouldn't i need a gate for that? Or will it not be noticeable?

Then you should turn the amp down, and let the sound guy worry about levels.

Seriously, you shouldn't need to crank an amp live if the venue is even halfway decent, and the sound guy is awake.
#8
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Then you should turn the amp down, and let the sound guy worry about levels.

Seriously, you shouldn't need to crank an amp live if the venue is even halfway decent, and the sound guy is awake.

Ok, cool thanks or the advice. I've never played live and i just want to be prepared as possible. My first gig is on the horizon and I have a big problem with overthinking things. I'm really nervous but excited all at the same time.

Can you tell me what a compressor pedal is for? I never really understood what that pedal's use is for.
#9
Totally depends on what kind of music you play, if you use your own amp or not, does the venue has a PA (it should have), etc
#10
Quote by J23L
Ok, cool thanks or the advice. I've never played live and i just want to be prepared as possible. My first gig is on the horizon and I have a big problem with overthinking things. I'm really nervous but excited all at the same time.

Can you tell me what a compressor pedal is for? I never really understood what that pedal's use is for.

In short, it 'levels out' the signal. So, if you're playing a lot of - for example - legato phrases, and you're having difficulty getting each note to sound evenly, a compressor can help even things out.

Someone else can probably explain it better, I don't play a lot like that, so it's not something I've ever really needed.
#11
There are so many different ways of setting the functionality and tone of your rig that it's pretty much impossible to objectively determine what is essential for a certain player. You just have to ask yourself "what do I definitely need?" and go from there.

For me, the only pedal that's sometimes essential is a nice distortion pedal that interacts with my picking dynamics and the controls on the guitar properly - for those times when I'm using a non master volume amp that I'd need to crank up unreasonably loud to get the level of gain that I want, or a cheap solid state amp with a lousy distortion channel.

If you're not using the volume control on your guitar, and need to play lead/solos, you'll want some kind of overdrive/boost pedal to bring up the volume level for your lead tone. I tend to think of anything else as an optional extra, really.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

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#12
All I use is an overdrive pedal and occasionally wah. I hardly touch the wah pedal. I'm happy with nothing but an overdrive and a tuner.
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#13
All of my pedals are "essential". If they weren't, they wouldn't be on my board.
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#14
Tuner is number one, Noise gate is number two. Third is a toss up between wah or overdrive, but since my amp has a boost built in I would lean more towards wah.
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#15
Quote by Cathbard
All I use is an overdrive pedal and occasionally wah. I hardly touch the wah pedal. I'm happy with nothing but an overdrive and a tuner.


can't say i hardly touch my wah but if i had to pick then this would be me as well. fx for the most part are icing on the cake. my whole pedal board is just wah, overdrive, delay and phaser (not counting tuner). i also have a 3 channel amp so i have the selector switch. if i had to then i could just get by with my amp. what fx you need is totally dependent on the sounds you need to reproduce live. i don't really sweat duplicating anyones tone exactly but some cover bands would requier you to.

what kind of music do you play and what gear do you have now?
#16
In contrast, I have been playing electrics since @2003 or so, and I just got my first Wah in 2015.

If you looked at my board in its various incarnations, besides a tuner, I always had a distortion and fuzz, plus things like chorus, echo, reverb and rotary pedals.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
Quote by J23L
Just wondering what are the pedals you NEED in a live situation. I know that a noise gate is a must. I'm not sure but i think a compressor is pretty important to balance out the sound in your playing. A tuner pedal is always handy too. Are there any other pedals that are good/necessary to have in a live setting?


I avoid compressors and gates because they screw with my note tails. When I want compression, I turn up the amp.

Pedals are completely personal and depend on what you are trying to accomplish with your music. The Edge has a ton of pedals because sound sculpting is what he does. I think BB King played world stages for 6 decades without using any pedals. Personal choice.
#18
We have said "tuner" 21 times on this thread! Yes, have one. Please.

Everything else is pretty much genre-specific. But generally if you play with a reasonable amount of distortion (especially with single coils) a noise gate is another utility must.

Probably the most common besides the tuner is an overdrive pedal of some sort. And that is a loaded bill.
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#19
Quote by dannyalcatraz
In contrast, I have been playing electrics since @2003 or so, and I just got my first Wah in 2015.

If you looked at my board in its various incarnations, besides a tuner, I always had a distortion and fuzz, plus things like chorus, echo, reverb and rotary pedals.


so it only took 12 years to get it right not bad
#20
Quote by J23L
I have a tuner on my phone so im using that as my tuner so that i can save some money. Also, less gear to bring to the gig is always better i would imagine.



I do not recommend that for gigging. You want a pedal tuner so you can turn silently. Clip on tuners nice, but sometimes bass notes can mess with them.

if i gig, i use a pedal tuner EVERY time. I have three Korg pitchblacks and love them.

If i am messing around by myself, I use my phone a lot mainly because it is always in my pocket.

I use clip on if one is next to me at the time or if my phone is not next to me or if it charging.
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#21
You need all of the pedals.

Rack gear is sexy as fuck as well.
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#22
Quote by monwobobbo
so it only took 12 years to get it right not bad

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#23
Quote by monwobobbo

what kind of music do you play and what gear do you have now?

I play mostly hard rock.
Gear: Jet City 20, Les Paul Standard, and a distortion pedal.
#24
To get a tone that I like, I generally take a compressor, an overdrive, a chorus and a delay pedal. A tuner is also on the board however I do not use noise suppressors/gates.
#25
When I'm rocking out I like to have a noise gate, overdrive pedal and an eq. When I'm playing cleans all I use pretty much is an eq pedal.
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#26
i would probably argue that a pedal tuner and an overdrive are 2 musts. overdrive can be looked at is a preamp boost or a clean boost.

perhaps 3, pedal tuner, a tuberscreamer style overdrive, and a clean (volume) boost, because sometimes you may just need to get louder on command and an overdrive as a preamp boost may not do it if it is oversaturating the preamp section (it would just add gain and compression, perhaps mids, etc).

outside of that, a good versatile reverb like a TC hall of fame is very useful for a majority of musical styles.
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#27
Quote by J23L
Just wondering what are the pedals you NEED in a live situation. I know that a noise gate is a must. I'm not sure but i think a compressor is pretty important to balance out the sound in your playing. A tuner pedal is always handy too. Are there any other pedals that are good/necessary to have in a live setting?


Not Essential:


1) A noise gate is only helpful for high gain metal type tones- no other genre uses noise gates at all because it kills tone. A noise gate is not common on a pedal board of an average player.

2) Tuning pedals are basically obsolete now with the availability of clip-on tuners - They're helpful to power your other pedals, but I would say with confidence that they are no longer required. I may get rid of my polytune once I get a decent power supply because it's a waste of space on my pedal board.

3) a compressor is a completely unnecessary pedal. With any good amp you don't need it, at all. Certain genres like country use it as a a specific effect for leads, but I certainly would not consider a compressor as being essential generally. A good tube amp compresses itself. Leveling out your volume is really a technique issue first and foremost


Essential:

1) Overdrive or gain pedal : For nearly every genre a good overdrive is essential. I use the Xotic AC Booster and BB preamp pedals. These can either simply change your tone or provide a volume boost for solos or leads - that kind of flexibility helps a lot in a band situation. From blues to metal, a good drive pedal will be helpful. Also, as a gigging musician you often have to play backline amps ( amps supplied by the venue)- in those situations, you really need an overdrive, or several, to ensure you get decent driven sounds, especially when you end up with something like a Fender Deville on stage, which is very common.

2) delay : I consider this an essential effect, though some never use it. Delays can be used to provide simple ambience or drastic time-based effects. It helps add variety to a set.

3) Reverb : this is not necessary if your amp has good reverb, but if it doesn't - then this is the most essential pedal you will need - a guitar tone is only as good as it's reverb, with the exception of heavy gain rhythm tones. Even if your amp has great reverb, it helps to have a good reverb pedal in case you end up playing a venue which supplies a backline amp - again, Fender Deville's and Hot Rod's are quite common and have the worst reverb I've ever heard on any amp - for those situations, the reverb pedal is invaluable.
Last edited by reverb66 at Jan 19, 2016,
#28
I used a DigiTech rp500 in front of my amp. There were times I ran that into the mixer directly with amp presets for easy travelling portability. The sound I enjoyed the best, tho, was in pedal board mode in front of my amp/cab. The amp modeling was turned off so it retained the amp's tube flavor.

Tuner? Without question.

Distortion and delay were the most important for me, but since the rp500 has 5 switches I had chorus, compression, and reverb available for a little extra spice.

Some kind of volume or boost helps too for getting a solo on top of the mix. I liked a 15 -25% bump, and that was done with the volume pedal, which also had wah. Hey... I had it, so i used it.

I'm not trying to sell you on mfx pedals. The entry level ones sound great through headphones, but sound horrible going into anything else.

In fact, I would rather plug my guitar straight into the ass of an alley cat than run a cheap mfx into a guitar amp. At least the stage show would be exciting. Sometimes you don't discover this until you've had the opportunity to play through some quality gear.
#29
Quote by reverb66
Not Essential:


1) A noise gate is only helpful for high gain metal type tones- no other genre uses noise gates at all because it kills tone. A noise gate is not common on a pedal board of an average player.

2) Tuning pedals are basically obsolete now with the availability of clip-on tuners - They're helpful to power your other pedals, but I would say with confidence that they are no longer required. I may get rid of my polytune once I get a decent power supply because it's a waste of space on my pedal board.

3) a compressor is a completely unnecessary pedal. With any good amp you don't need it, at all. Certain genres like country use it as a a specific effect for leads, but I certainly would not consider a compressor as being essential generally. A good tube amp compresses itself. Leveling out your volume is really a technique issue first and foremost


Essential:

1) Overdrive or gain pedal : For nearly every genre a good overdrive is essential. I use the Xotic AC Booster and BB preamp pedals. These can either simply change your tone or provide a volume boost for solos or leads - that kind of flexibility helps a lot in a band situation. From blues to metal, a good drive pedal will be helpful. Also, as a gigging musician you often have to play backline amps ( amps supplied by the venue)- in those situations, you really need an overdrive, or several, to ensure you get decent driven sounds, especially when you end up with something like a Fender Deville on stage, which is very common.

2) delay : I consider this an essential effect, though some never use it. Delays can be used to provide simple ambience or drastic time-based effects. It helps add variety to a set.

3) Reverb : this is not necessary if your amp has good reverb, but if it doesn't - then this is the most essential pedal you will need - a guitar tone is only as good as it's reverb, with the exception of heavy gain rhythm tones. Even if your amp has great reverb, it helps to have a good reverb pedal in case you end up playing a venue which supplies a backline amp - again, Fender Deville's and Hot Rod's are quite common and have the worst reverb I've ever heard on any amp - for those situations, the reverb pedal is invaluable.

Thanks!
#30
Tuner pedals are better than clip ons because they aren't as prone to interference when the bass player hits a note on his 1000W rig. Also, they mute your sound. I use my Pitchblack as a mute button a LOT more than I use it to tune with.
Clip ons are great for home use but not so much on a noisy stage.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#31
^+1
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#32
Meh,
Tone wood resonance is tone wood resonance. If the bass player is having a noodling slapfest at 120db even a pedal tuner can't save you because the whole guitar resonates on harmonics of ol bass boy. Tuning is futile until he shuts up.

I have used the clip-on Polytune for live shows and it does work well and is easy to see. I still like a pedal tuner for other reasons like a quick kill switch if a cord gets damaged and to buffer the impedance of my guitar at the board. The Polytune pedal is equally excellent.
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 19, 2016,
#33
I tossed away my Korg clip on because my bass player would ALWAYS hit his guitar at the wrong time. I don't have any problems at all with my Pitchblack. He can be wailing away and it still works just fine.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#34
A pedal tuner can be also useful to mute your amp when needed. A compressor is quite useful for most styles not just country but also great for funk, and most rock styles. It can be used also as a boost to an overdrive. Some compressors help cutting through the band as they tend to compress bass more, thus, allowing the guitar to cut through and find your place in a band situation, especially when using high power tubes like 6l6. It is useless for metal as the guitar signal is already heavily compressed with the saturation of the signal.
#35
Whatever pedals you use in your bedroom at home. You don't need a wah, vibe, tremolo, delay, pitch shifter, etc. if the songs you play don't require them. Also noise gates aren't necessary.