I’m back with another installment of DIY projects for musicians. Here goes…
I’m big on DIY pedalboards, which works very well at this time in my life. I’ve been having discussions with folks online about DIY boards. So here’s a few projects that surfaced…
Pedalboard one was built by a guitarist who is a huge fan of Orange amps. So it makes sense that all of his gear (even the liner inside of his guitar case) is orange. Here’s his pedal board built from a repurposed Ikea shelving unit. (You may have seen this one mentioned in an earlier blog, but I wanted to put all the pedal boards together into one blog for this article). You may note there are four jacks. The logic is there is an effects/send loop installed on the board for the amp head, and then the regular input and output for the signal chain. This fellow is sending “environmental” effects like reverb and delays to the send/return on his amp head.
Pedalboard two is still in process. This is one being built by a bass player who wanted a more refined look. The sides are walnut that he found on clearance at a local lumber store. I’ll be back with an update on this one when it is completed….
Pedalboard three was built by another bass student in a working band. It’s based on one I built with my dad when I was a teenager…similar size and dimensions.
Pedalboard four was built by a guitarist JB Hope and his dad. Love the multi-tier layout on this board. This wasn’t the easiest thing to assemble together.
This is my own pedal board, built over 20 years ago by my dad and myself when I was first exploring guitar pedals. It was repurposed for working life as a bass player. The power supply is a Furman Pluglock. Literally built from scrap wood and covered with a faux stone finish.
This one is a DIY setup by bassist Bryan Beller, who said that the idea was passed on to him from a Zappa guitar tech. I was wondering how to get my own pedal board setup into a better configuration for air travel. I saw this setup on his Facebook feed and asked some questions. These two boards each go into an aluminum tool box (try Harbor Freight). Some of those toolboxes even come with metal inserts that are intended to be used as dividers. If the insert is sturdy enough to use as a foundation for a pedal board, then I would repurpose the insert by adding industrial velcro, power each board with a Truetone 1 Spot, and get a 3 foot cable so you can connect the two boards once you unpack them. That should do it. I’d also pack extra patch cables in case the TSA decides to disconnect or fool with anything; these cables have been known to get lost, destroyed, or damaged.
Bonus application for my own life; I usually have pedal board setups for different projects. I typically need a very different pedal board for doing a musical than I need for a local blues rock gig or solo bass show. This system would allow me to setup and easily store different configurations, then pull them out as I need them.
I usually tell folks to scour music store yardsales, eBay, and Goodwill for old keyboard cases that will work for your DIY pedalboards. I found a Roland hardcase for $10 at a music store yardsale that works beautifully as a travel case for my RC-300. Old luggage can work as well. Ben Titus uses a piece of hardshell luggage that he lined to transport his pedal board setup.
This next DIY is for double bassists. An adult bass student converted a $9 pool cue case found at Goodwill into a bow case. Bonus; there’s a compartment to hold the rosin block. This thing beats my $30 bass bow case in terms of construction and protection.
This DIY is for drummers, shamelessly taken (but fully credited) to Zach Ware and his awesome Instagram (look for him at zdware). I’ve gigged with him…he’s a bad ass but tasteful drummer based out of Richmond, Virginia. He regularly rebuilds “beginner” sets into into amazing kits with better heads, hardware, and custom finishes. This DIY trick is a quick and easy practice pad.