Rack is Back....part 3...4... I've lost count.


That's not new, its always been there.
So. Operation 'remove the monster pedalboard' has started. TL : DR - another shelf.

Poor impulse control. After tea (spaghetti and meatballs), I decided to make a start adding the extra shelf. This is a trial. If it goes well - after the 'lockdown' I'll get stuff from Ikea to remake the rack from scratch - taller, and with another drawer for the Helix control. And use all of the lessons learned from previous builds.

Before - Rack v4. Which was rack V3 made tallerer to fit the Kemper. V3 was a development step from V2..... and so on. The pedal board is an IKEA monster.
2019-09-20 22.45.30.jpg before.jpg

The monster Ikea pedalboard.......
ped board.jpg
So. Its a monster, and takes up alot of space. And as its just a simple frame...it comes apart easily.

Some screwing and sawing ensued....




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That's not new, its always been there.
and ta dahhhh!

empty 1.jpg
The top and bottom shelf are a little larger than the middle one as some pedals need more height than others. New shelf has spent a long time in the garage and needs a bit of cleaning up.

empty 3.jpg
If this works out - I'll spring for some nicer drawer runners and add yet another shelf for the helix control. I'll get new sides from Ikea and make a more aesthetically pleasing version.

...and the exodus begins
The shelves need space for the power supplies - one for the drives - and 'some' for the other power hungry digital pedals.
middle.jpg bottom.jpg
The old pedalboard is going in the garage (in case the vertical village is a failure).....after I remove and reuse the velcro. I'll try heating the glue with a hairdryer and see if it can be peeled off and used on the shelves.
2020-03-25 21.15.11.jpg

I'll cable this bad boy later - but it shouldn't be too hard (unless it is, I'll need to make some cables). I like making cable looms.
NB - and top tip - I keep a keyboard in the rack... as its way easier to rename Kemper profiles by sticking a keyboard into the usb port.
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That's not new, its always been there.
(pst forgot to mention - pedals on shelves are a PITA because they are really hard to turn on and off at will - you may need to look for a gigrig type solution as well)
I like the cut of your jib you young scamp !

I rarely need to change pedals, but any excuse to buy gear.......
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That's not new, its always been there.
So. Velcro. The 8cm wide strips on my old pedalboard were harder to peel off than I imagined. But they came off. (NB heating the glue just made a sticky mess...)

And went on the shelves (now the pedals don't fall out of the back of the rack.). Started cabling. Each drawer gets power a dc power cable, signal in/out, and a midi cable. The WhammyDT gets its own dc supply (as its so manly, and insists on the full 1.3A or it flounces on/off- and a control cable (it came with a footswitch).
Some pics showing why I don't like 'above ground' pedal board cabling.

Top drawer
cable drawer 1.jpg
The 2x spare power sockets on the cheapo psu may go off to the Bad Horsie and Little alligator volume pedal if i can think of a way of incorporating them.

Next shelf down....

cable drawer 2.jpg
This drawer is where the digital noise to ground will appear and.... get dealt with by having a separate power supply (from wall wart to pedal). The Hog has its own 'swap-a-roo' centre positive cable too (which is well-labelled as it can properly feck up other pedals if used by mistake). Also - before you launch into 'you cant use the Whammy on a shelf' - you can - its entirely midi controllable (on/off/preset and treadle). The Hog has midi - but only for the expression pedal. And an expression pedal input....and a CV input - also for the expression pedal. AND an button on the pedal to trigger the expression function too. Literally 4 different ways to play Killing in the name of. The Freqout is crying out for midi control......

When it's all together I'll add more cable ties. Probably.

Next job- dismantle the old ped-board loom, and pull some of the rack cables out, and........... start again. Maybe make some shorter cables.

[update - I've uncabled the whole rack......... so many cables !!!]
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That's not new, its always been there.
So. I've recorded a new record breaking time of 4 1/2 hours to re-cable the monster.

But its done*


There is some digital noise from the pitch/synth drawer - which i think is the positive ground of the Hog..... but its easily removed with a noise suppressor.. Drive drawer is fine (but prey to drive pedal order shenanigans). The Kemper is still in the SPDIF I/O loop (which isn't a loop but......), its fx loop is mapped onto a Loop 1 of the Helix - I can still do the mad thing on having the Kemper in the Helix, and a real world pedal in a Helix loop inserted into a Kemper FX block - that signal does some travelling** !!

The power/speaker/line out/usb connections are all easy to detach now. The control loom*** to the small pedal-board is now the only cable I can't detach - but it can be stowed on top of the rack........ So... its now fully mobile. As long as it doesn't involve stairs.....

The cabling at the rear isn't super neat - there is a alot of excess cable in the fx loops at the mo (a job for another day). The looms let the drawers open and close - (which is nice !).
[I'll insert a photo in a bit]

So. Success - I've freed up just over half a square metre of floor space in exchange for a fiver and 2 evening of sweating and sore knees****. Small victories.

* apart from small jobs like removing the huge cable excess, tidying up, preset editing, fixing the RGB lighting in the drawer.... and such.
** latency - I've not noticed any - it would be measurable using a DAW, but even with 2-3 rounds of ADA and some processing, its a non-issue.
*** yeah, I give things dull names, what of it ?
**** OOER fnarr fnarr !!!1!
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wondering around
Cool - how do your pedals integrate into the signal path - do you have each one in a separate loop for triggering through the Helix/Kemper or are you running some in front of the modelling amps?



That's not new, its always been there.

how are the rails holding up when you are using the whammy and freqout? or are they on set-and-forget settings?
Ha ha !
I've tried it for a lark and it is possible to use the treadles on the shelves - having the Marshall 9100 'boat anchor' in the rack means the shelf might break before it tips over. The Whammy is midi'd via the Helix - no need to touch it ever again (as long as i can remember the midi commands) - I also got the optional controller for it which changes preset - but its way easier to switch it on/off/change its settings via midi from a Helix footswitch. The Freqout is a 'switch on and forget' pedal (though its crying out for midi or an expression / FS input). Same with the Hog (later in the year I'm up going to swap this for a Hog2). A switcher would be cool, but I don't think I need one (never say never!).

Integration. its much like it was before - its just broken into 2 smaller pedalboards each in an FX loop. So I can put them (as a group) infront of real or virtual amps. Think out like a drive pedal block in Helix - but with a few different flavour options.

Helix loop 3 is drive pedals (in a long chain)*
Helix loop 4 is Hog>Syn-1>Whammy>Freqout **
The GR-55 feed stereo to the returns of loop 1 & 2 and its guitar signal to the aux guitar input. This pedal has enough loom to be pulled out onto the floor for 'expression pedal action'
The Kemper is connected via SPDIF, and its FX loop is connected to Helix loop 1 ***.
Loop 2 send goes out to my ABY box to send to the realworld amps. the H&K goes back into the Helix via the XLR input, meaning it can have reverb !!!!!!!

* I rarely use more than one pedal / change pedal, so this should work out well, and they're at a comfortable height to twiddle the knobs.
**why have a Hog and a Whammy - 'cos its cool ! There is a fair bit of overlap in function, but the Hog does other cool stuff like gliss/freeze. They're also cool with acoustic instruments to add + and - octaves. You're allowed to have things that can do the same thing.
*** This is very cool. I can put any pedal or effect into the Kemper without feckin around with cables. Using the SPDIF like a loop (to hold the Kemper) on the Helix is a bit complicated - as its a main In/Out - not an FX loop. You can't use the 'multi' in or out option - gotta set specific in/out option for those presets.

In the next 'post-Covid' iteration - the Marshall 9100 is going at the bottom of the rack. A low centre of gravity will help with cornering speeds.
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That's not new, its always been there.
I've checked online and can't find a mod for the Freqout........... Even just adding a simple footswitch extension socket or exp input for 'mix' would be cool.


That's not new, its always been there.
Are you going to do a 'build thread' with weekly progress photos?
Yes. As an ex tissue engineer - this should have been right up my street.

In other news.

The digital noise was all from the Hog and it wacky positive ground. And the noise in the drive pedal loop was down to the coiled cable acting as a frickin' aerial to pickup that noise. All done, and the loops are silent now.

A mid-cableing shot....
2020-03-29 18.14.46.jpg

The rig is.... done. For now. Although - there is a pedal shaped space on the drive shelf. And when the weather is warmer, and Ikea open - I'll remake the frame taller - with better drawer runners.
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That's not new, its always been there.

I've put my Little Alligator and Bad Horsie onto my super old pedalboard case, so they can be part of the rig*.

Or with the Marshall DRP-1 - a super mobile patio friendly headphone rig. Much like a 1960-2000 Dalek, the monster rack can't handle steps -and its waaaay too heavy to carry - otherwise it'd be out on the patio for summer evening shenanigans.