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Amp-less Pedal Chain

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  • Amp-less Pedal Chain

    I perform at a lot of open mic events, as an amateur musician. Interpret amateur as non-professional, not necessarily newbie.

    At open mic events, there is typically around a minute or so to get set up and start performing your three plus songs, therefore, if you bring gear other than a guitar, it needs to be really streamlined, and ideally ready to plug into a mixer and a power source.

    I have a couple of acoustics and a sweet 1967 Fender hollowbody electric, that I fairly recently purchased. With it I intended to add in some tremolo, delay, overdrive and shimmer effects to my performances. I decided to build a multipurpose amp-less pedalboard, utilizing the Two Notes Cab M + amp and preamp emulator and the VPDI.

    My setup is the VPDI at the front of the chain, followed by compressor, overdrive, tremolo, reverb (shimmer), delay (looper), CAB M +, and output to either powered speakers or mixer. For entertainment, I actually VPd the hollowbody too. It actually sounds very nice with the VP.

    I have messed around with a whole lot of setups and found that with the hollow body I mostly put the VPDI in bypass, therefore it starts with the effects as an electric chain, but if I want the more acoustic sound, I can activate the VPDI and even utilize some of my other voiceprints to emulate a full on dreadnaught sound. It is pretty awesome what you can do when you start experimenting. The possibilities are limitless.

    For my acoustic performances, where I primarily use the VPDI, I have created CAB M+ profiles where only the power amp feature is turned on, so that I am only utilizing the VPDI preamp and IRs.

    Still, for acoustic only performances, where I only use the VPDI, I cannot count the comments I get on how great my guitar sounds. One guitar has the Taylor Expression 2, the other one has the LR Baggs M1A.

    I hope this helps someone on their journey to get great sound for live performances.

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing! This is a very versatile setup.