To keep things minimal from a liability and a functional perspective, I slimmed this pedalboard down as much as possible. I was bringing my Fender AVRI Jazzmaster, which has that dreaded 60-cycle hum, so first order of business was to omit as much of it from the signal chain as possible by putting a TC Noise Sentry at the head of the board. Following that is a lovely Westwood drive pedal by Earthquaker Devices, which I used to push the crown jewel of this whole rig, the Strymon Iridium amp and cab simulator. The Iriduim was expensive, but giving clients and myself the best possible experience was worth the dough. The Iridium reacts naturally to drive pedals in front of it and reverbs after (or before) it. I am addicted to my direct signal now! Thank you, Strymon! Then I used a Walrus R1 reverb after the amp sim (a very nice yet surprisingly aggressive reverb) followed by a TC Ditto Stereo looper. I use the Ditto a lot for teaching; it’s reliable and straightforward to use. Everything fits on the pedalboard frame and into the case easily.
For my audio interface, I used a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4. For vocals, I used a Shure SM57 with a wind cover and desk stand (any cheap one will do). Headphones were Audio Technica ATH-M20X. I recently purchased a Logitech C920X USB camera for better video, but most people don’t need this. All of this went into a Macbook Pro that is almost extinct.
Always travel with musical instrument insurance. Always. Currently, I use Anderson Insurance, but I have also had Clarion in the past. Do the work and log every piece of gear in a spreadsheet, take pictures, and submit receipts if requested. Declare every item that you’re traveling with, and make sure that you get (in writing) that your policy covers your travel area. Currently, my policy with Anderson covers me anywhere in the United States. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re traveling is the stuff that could go wrong, and there will be some of that regardless.
Test all your cables, and bring an extra patch cable or two. Remember extra strings and a cutter/winder, picks, setup tools (if needed), and any other little things you’ll appreciate down the road.
Consider your surroundings are often changing, so be careful when navigating your axe around the hotel room. I put a nice ding in my Jazzmaster from banging it on the coffee table at my Oakland spot. I guess that’s just rock and roll, right?
Find me in the real world here.
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