The Anti Effects Pedal Movement?

       ...From the now notorious Joe Bonamassa article, to the general vibe in the used markets. 

   A few years ago, guitar pedals / effects and the BYO effects community were all the rage. Some people predicted the dropout in the sales market ( I mean , c'mon , how many Klon Klones does this planet need?), but few for saw what is now being considered the "Anti- Pedal" movement.

     From local bands to major artists, the once massive effects boards have become less common. Many smaller bands find that the gigs cannot accommodate, and frankly, they are sick of having 2k worth of gear out in the open, ripe for the picking for some scum-tron.

     Many major artists used to rely on backstage/ front of house switcher systems. Many of those artists eventually went the "dreaded' fractal route ( tube amp purists cringe at the thought). From there though, there was what appeared to be a breakaway.


     "It makes it easier, and I can once again focus on my playing". That seems simple enough, but why the backlash? Why is it that we are concerned about who is using what? Have you noticed the cookie-cutter boards online lately? Is it because we now lost our sense of individuality?

     A famous quote regarding Pink Floyd was that they would eventually become " Slaves" to their equipment ( though it is worth noting the person who said that was backstage and most likely tripping face). Have we become slaves to the gear, or is it just the illusion that more is better? Does the ability to buy music gear make one think they have bought musical practice? This is not to say pedals and effects cannot ad major tonal variety, but there is something else that needs to be considered. Are we asking "why" , or just jumping to the "how much" and "when/where".

     I myself now use a small 2 pedal board, down from about 10 or more vintage pedals. In my case, it was less of a choice, as my landlord CONSTANTLY bugs me for rent (seems like every month). That being said, I have to admit... I like it more... One fuzz, one wah, and I thank goodness my amp has good reverb. I am not saying this is the way to go, but I am saying there is something in the wind. I am not saying " this is the way" or "follow me" , but I am curious on Your thoughts...

   What was once a way to further expression is now coming off as a " your not cool without a time-line , a big sky, a kloney-klone". I get it, but is it just a knee-jerk movement , bound to be another fad in the ever changing world of guitar effects? I guess time will tell....

3 comments:

  1. This "backlash" seems to be in every facet of the industry today. I think a lot of musicians and professionals associate it with analog vs digital and new vs old tech, but now it seems to be more based in tradition and pride. My comparison to the DJ industry is the latest digital systems and computer controllers versus vinyl systems or even CDJ users. Nobody who experienced the effort that went into these systems wants to admit that a 2 pound plastic controller is just as good or better. Pedalboards are just the same. Today's musicians can achieve a great tone with less equipment. There's obviously more factors in effect here, economically and technologically, but I think the backlash from others in the industry is based in tradition more than anything.

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    1. I totally agree, there seems to be a tradition of "backlash" whenever something is considered trendy, or "the new norm", regardless of the validity

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  2. I think that pink floyd had a good point back when they were using effects pedals, but their effects pedals didnt really offer anything else but a minor boost. Today, there is so much hardware out there that you have to really know your shit. Take Aphex Twin's Syro. His album took over 150 pieces of equipment to make it. The album was incredible and remarkable. Though so many other artists made albums influenced by Aphex, he stayed true to his sound and just walloped everyone with what he had (150+ pieces of equipment). But my favorite song is the last track of Syro, asiatsana {102}

    The song was probably recorded with a mic and the window open so we can hear the birds chirping outside (honetly this is an assumption). It's just a beautiful song that can make me cry on a bad or even the best day of my life. it just shows how much you can affect someone's emotions from music whether you have 150 pieces of analog equipment vs. just a piano, and this is all from one artist. Use everything you have, whether you have 150 pieces of equipment or 1... or nothing. If you have heart for it then you'll make it interesting

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