Every pedalboard is a reflection of the owner’s playing, their goals & logistics. This system is built for a player with a day job & a weekend cover band to facilitate an open ended catalogue of material while interacting with house system techs in small bars.

Nice Rack Canada recently built this pedalboard system to answer & exceed the demand criteria of today, tomorrow & next year.

1. Forward Flexibility - To achieve this we introduced the client the following concepts;

  • Move away from single use Overdrives to the Strymon Riverside & Sunset. These pedals MIDI capabilities offer the client a total of 600 different Overdrive tones. From Djent to Jazz this board has the right OD for every song.

  • Add 2x Eventide H9’s. The first is placed in a Pre/Post config before & after the Overdrive section of the board for Modulations, Pitch, Diatonics, Eq, Harmonizer & Delays. The second H9 is for Delays, Reverbs & Harmonizer.

  • Added MIDI connection points for Input & Output. The client can have a DAW control the system for him, also MIDI commands can be sent out from the system to control other devices on stage.

2. Consistency of Sound & Quality of Performances. The client wanted to focus on performance and end the tap dancing on his pedalboard. The client was also tired of bad mic placement on his amp leading to his band sounding less than stellar for the audience. Our recommendations were;

  • RJM Music MasterMind PBC, the industry standard setting pedalboard audio switcher & MIDI controller. Instead of having to remember hundreds of mechanical cues during a set list, the operation of the system is now limited to stepping through a handful of system presets per song. 

  • Two Notes C.A.B., a MIDI controlled Speaker IR host & power amp emulation box. Placed at the end of the signal chain in parallel with the signal being sent to the Amplifier, the C.A.B.’s output is sent to the PA system. Each preset in the C.A.B. contains unique power amp voicing, saturation level, speaker choice, mic choice, mic placement & room reverb. These features allow the user to use hundreds of different virtual speaker configurations as the set list demands.

3. Minimum Setup + Maximum Playing Time

  • The client pays hourly for rehearsal space so set up & tear down has to be quick. We built custom In & Out Connections Boxes for Power, MIDI & Audio with labelled connections to match the custom stage snake we built. Set up & tear down can be accomplished in under 2 minutes for the entire system.


Aside from the MIDI workhorses that power this system we installed one of our favourite new pieces of gear, the Fortin Amplification Zuul Mini Noise Gate

The Zuul & Mini Zuul’s Key Input feature combined with a pristine signal path combine to make this Noise Gate the only one you want for a pedalboard. We’re using a split from the system’s input buffer to Key the gate and the results are incredibly accurate in responding to player dynamics with zero latency.

The client loves the sound of the Earthquaker Devices Acapulco Gold. For those who don’t know this pedal emulates the Sunn Model T amplifier and all it’s dooming glory. The pedal also adds a considerable amount of volume to the signal path. To counter the volume jump we built a buffered pad circuit for the Acapulco Gold. The pedal can now be switched in & out of the signal path with no volume increase at all, even when the setting is maxed out.

As a rig building shop we are always honoured to install anything designed by Bob Bradshaw. The entire concept of rig building was in large part defined by Bob, and our industry owes a debt to the pioneering work of Custom Audio Electronics. This rig’s Bradshaw touch comes in the form of the CAE MC404 Wah.


Clean, quiet & over specification system power is provided by a Strymon Zuma & Ojai

Rounding out the control devices are a Nice Rack Canada External Switch for the PBC and a Boss EV30 Expression Pedal.

The System’s I/O Boxes also contain a Nice Rack Canada Clean Boost circuit, a Switchable Ground Isolation Transformer per Output, Input & Output Buffers and a DIN to TS MIDI Buffer for Riverside & Sunset.