Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Build a Pedal Board

How to Build a Pedal Board

As a musician, I am always striving for the perfect tone. In looking for the perfect tone.  As a result, I ended up with a huge pedal board.  It got to be so heavy that it is really hard to set up and tear down every time that you use it.  I decided that I wanted the functionality of all my pedals with my looper and everything combined.  This is where my journey begins.  In order to save my back, I designed a functional, light weight board.

The Enclosure
I started with aircraft aluminum for the enclosure because it is really light and very strong.  With this material, you are able to have a larger but very functional board.

Drilling the Enclosure
By using the above diagram, the holes are drilled. I chose to drill the holes so that I was able to fit as many pedals on the board while still being able to comfortably fit my foot.

The Board Layout
In the board design, it is important to make sure that there is a way to be able to access all of the pedal and reduce any tone degradation. I decided to use a true bypass approach.  I found the following True Bypass Looper layout. It is located at

If you review the wiring, by replacing the jacks you can use the same in and out for the pedal that you are adding. You can even install a tuner if you like.

Here is the inside of the board

Pedal order and the Layout
In order to get the optimum tone, the pedal order is very important.  I usually start from right to left.  I start with my compressor and then go to Fuzz.  Next I put Distortion and then Overdrives before modulating effects. In my board, I chose to put a Sea Blue EQ after the "Dirt Pedals" and before the "Modulating Pedals".  This is subjective to taste.

Here is the completed board

I have designed a second part to make this board modular.  You can unhook the main bard and take it for a practice or you can use the whole setup.  You have a choice which is cool. The aircraft aluminum is definitely the way to go because it is strong and so light.

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