Build an Apartment Friendly Pedalboard

PedalboardsRecordingTone Tips   |   July 18, 2023

posted by: Tone Tailors

When asked to build an apartment-friendly pedalboard, the answer from guitarists varies wildly! To be honest, this means a lot of different things throughout the gigging and recording community. However, there are a few common dimensions that need to be considered before reaching a solution. Today we’ll look at some of the ways you can build and apartment-friendly pedalboard with optimal use on the stage or in the studio!

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Building an Apartment Friendly Pedalboard

With minimal space in most apartments (at least the ones musicians can afford…) the size of one’s pedalboard is the first thing to consider. Floor space is usually important, especially when you want to leave your board out for easy use once those ideas arrive! Your board should be large enough to accommodate your “forever pedals” without compromising flexibility, or at least as much as is possible. Rockboard makes amazing options for just about every size board, additionally adding space-saving functionality with their MOD series.

build an apartment friendly pedalboard phase materia
Connor Smith’s pedalboard from Lancaster psych rock band, Phase Materia

Turn it Up! But Not At All…

Perhaps the most important aspect to consider is volume. While this mostly comes down to your amp, it’s worth mentioning that without running your amp at a stage volume, you’ll never quite get the full effect of your…effects. The solution is several-fold:

Amp Modelers like Helix, those from Boss, or even the Strymon Iridium give you the full tonality and response of a loud amp without the ear-shattering decibels. Then, once you’ve dialed in your tones and rig, just go DI into the sound system or a power amp at your next gig and you’re there.

The next option is an amp with variable power settings like a Fender Tone Master or Boss Katana. Now, you can run your pedals into your amp while hearing it in the room OR with headphones. This will still allow you to craft your effects chain without any surprises once you hit the stage!

A third option is something like the Universal Audio Ox Box which actually allows your loud amplifier to be played or recorded as if it’s an amp modeler.  This leads us to the next aspect of building an apartment-friendly pedalboard: Recording.

The Bedroom Studio Reigns!

These days recording in your bedroom as never been easier or more rewarding! With the Helix or Boss Katana, guitarists can skip the audio interface and record directly to their DAW of choice. With USB connectivity, the entire world of digital amp modeling becomes available in the blink of an eye! Recording also means you’re one step closer to making the record or songs you’ve always dreamt of.

Now Get it to the Gig!

Finally, building an apartment-friendly pedalboard is about taking it beyond your apartment. Once you make it to the gig, you need to ensure that your board is secure enough to travel and will perform as well as you. Using fresh patch cables, a proper power supply, and having a protective case means your apartment board can see the world and reach its full potential.

For more pointers on how to build an apartment-friendly pedalboard or just pedalboards in general, reach out to us here at Tone Tailors!

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