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When it comes to guitar tone, big things can indeed come from small packages. Nice Rack Canada is always pursuing the greatest possible user value from the smallest possible dimensions.

We recently put this rig together for a retired physician who is pursuing his musical passions by playing in a 60’s & 70’s tribute band.

The client expressed to us that he wanted to focus on performance & enjoyment, not mechanical cues. We designed this programmable system that allows the user to instantly recall hundreds of settings combinations for a wide variety of material.

Gear manufacturers have been able to produce incredible sounding diatonics, dynamics. modulations, delays & reverbs from compact DSP based, MIDI controlled pedals. Harmonic stacking in the MIDI controlled DSP realm is joining the list of it’s digital cousins at a quality never experienced before.

In years past digital attempts at dynamically expressive harmonic stacking pedals have left users wanting for better. Chase Bliss Audio has been forging bold new colours with their “Brothers” OD/Fuzz/Boost, and now we can enjoy Strymon’s Sunset - a collection of “bread & butter” OD sounds in a MIDI controlled DSP pedal that sounds amazing!

The Sunset is a dual voice OD, the “A” side of the pedal is switchable between 3 voices.

  1. “Ge” - A diode based transparent drive.

  2. “Texas” - Classic TubeScreamer voicing.

  3. “Treble” - Treblebooster ala’ Dallas Range Master

The “B” side of the pedal is switchable between 3 voices.

  1. “2 Stage” - Think of jumped inputs on a British amplifier.

  2. “Hard” - 0-50% on the drive knob lands in OCD territory with the jerk factor, 50-100% on the drive knob is all the Rat you’ll ever want.

  3. “JFET” - Classic JFET pre-amp tones.

The pedal has 300 slots in the user memory, allowing MIDI equipped players to recall any combination of settings & routings. Voices can be routed A —> B, B —> A, or Parallel. Bright Cut or Boost can also be recalled on a per preset basis.

The Sunset is a massive “win” for players who know the value of MIDI. In this rig’s application the Sunset provides every OD flavour that the set list could ever call for in the smallest possible dimensions.

Boss MS3 Strymon Sunset 02.jpg

The Boss MS-3 is reflection of the “smaller, more powerful, lighter, better sounding” pursuit by Roland’s design team. The MS-3 is multistage audio platform, audio switcher & MIDI controller in a very small footprint.

The MS-3 incorporates hundreds of Boss pedals & Roland rackmount algorithms into a signal path that can be dynamically ordered on a per preset basis. Imagine owning every boss pedal ever made, using only what you want when you want in the order that you want - on every single preset in your set list.

To provide the smoothest transition for our client from his analog past to digital future, we build a number of “template presets” for the system prior to the client collecting the system from our shop. During a 2 hour training session with the client, he was able to learn the MS-3’s external editor & librarian application. By the completion of the session the client was building his own presets, ready to confidently conquer any new setlist additions.

Dynamic control over any parameter can be added to a preset. Functionality is controlled by a Boss EV-30 Expression Pedal and a Nice Rack Canada Expression Switch Box. We globally assigned 1 of the switches to Tempo, the 2nd switch assignable on a per preset basis,

To further “future proof” the system we added 2x Audio Insert Points with 9VDC to the system’s In & Out Connections box, routed to 2x of the MS-3’s external audio loops.

Regardless of how you want to use your gear, we encourage you to bring us your sonic, performance & logistic criteria. We’ll design & build a guitar rig for you that will exceed your imagination’s limits.