Annie Clark of St. Vincent recently came into the shop with a list of criteria for a new pedalboard system.
1. Fly as checked luggage, doing lots of fly gigs this year with a new record coming out.
2. End the tap dancing routine and focus on playing guitar, singing and interacting with audience.
3. Must Sound Great
4. Be easy to set up, no full time guitar tech on tour.
A week later Annie picked up her new rig comprised of a Z Vex Mastotron, Death By Audio Interstellar Overdrive, Boss Super Shifter, Eventide PitchFactor & an Eventide Space. The effects are wired in True Bypass Series, Routing via a RJM Music Mini Effects Gizmo, controlled by a RJM Music MasterMind. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Power Supply. Custom System Interface, Silent Tuning Option & Tap Tempo Switch by Nice Rack Canada. Annie re-purposed a Moog Expression Pedal that she liked the feel of.
With St. Vincent using an Ableton Live Rig to playback ambient sound effects and percussion, I was able to take inbound PC messages from Ableton into the MasterMind. Making the pedalboard respond to incoming preset messages freed Annie to focus on playing and singing while letting go of the memorized & stressful pedalboard tap dance routines for each song.
The entire rig is set up in under 3 minutes requiring only 5 patch points.
Sonic quality is a obviously of concern when your effects are either premium hi-fi like the Eventides or Boutique Unique devices by Z Vex & Death By Audio. The RJM Music Mini Effects Gizmo not only handles your audio well, it sounds damn good too.
Packed into a Pelican 1720 Rifle Case with wheels makes Fly Dates and New York City living easy. This rig will go to the 4th floor of a walk up, ride in the trunk of a cab and handle a TSA molestation with no difficulties at all.
Annie commented that having a pedalboard like this would increase the efficiency and artistic quality of each St. Vincent performance. When you see a St. Vincent live show that you enjoy, remember a part of that quality came from Nice Rack Canada being able to interpret the unique needs of the player, the music and the logistics.