I don’t think I’ve ever met a guitarist who wasn’t on some kind of a gear quest — on that never ending torturous yet joyous search for a particular piece of gear that you absolutely know will present the perfect tone. Or feel. Or really anything good. And you will finally be able to calm the dark voices in your head.
Those voices do stop — for a few minutes, maybe an hour or if you’re really lucky a day, but the inevitable rears its ugly head. You actually do truly without a doubt need the next piece of gear. It matters. Cue the quest redux.
When I talk about those on the quest, I’m not talking about the “others”. I’m marching right along with everyone else. Ask my wife about my affliction and she’ll tell it’s in no way a subtle thing.
But I do recognize that too much “stuff” gets in my way — artistically speaking. Smarter people than myself have labelled it option anxiety and I think that’s a pretty good term. I started noticing a few years ago that having more plugins (synths, compressors, delays, etc.) wasn’t helping me to write better or more efficiently. It was slowing me down and sometimes to a crawl. So I started looking at what really mattered to me, chose the plugins that resonated with me and focused strictly on those.
A little while later, I started applying the same philosophy to my guitar gear. What didn’t work was out. Didn’t matter how much I thought a piece of gear was really really cool. What mattered was — does it work for what I do. How will this new guitar or effect pedal help me to get to the core of my music in a more elegant manner.
So this leads me to my current acoustic pedalboard. It’s a simple affair in my opinion: a Fishman Spectrum into a Tech 21 Boost D.L.A into a Tech 21 R.V.B. Yes, it’s not an acoustic straight into a nice mic, but for my kind of music that’s not really possible in a live setting. And I absolutely love playing with delay and reverb. The last piece in this pedalboard puzzle was the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus I added about a week ago. I suppose it’s weird to buy a pedal to take away sound, but that’s exactly what it did — it took away the noise issues I was having. Everything sounds a lot cleaner now and for lack of a better term “nicer”.
I’m truly happy with this board and I think it’s going to stay like this for a long while. It has to — I have no more space for any pedals! Of course, I could always get another board…