Pedalboards versus rack-setups part 3

This blogpost is the third in a series of three about pedalboards versus rack-setups

In the first post in this series I wrote about the equipment I started out with and in the second post I told you about all the advantages I had from my rack-setup – today I’ll write about what I’m using at the moment and why I chosen as I’ve done.

Actually there wasn’t that many reasons for considering other solutions than my small rack-setup … but there was a few.

One was that I started to play more abroad. Often it was impossible to get the same setup I had back home – meaning that even if I brought my presets with me on a memory-card, it wouldn’t work. And in addition to that, it was very expensive to rent something like my normal rig – and really a waste of money, when I wasn’t able to use the presets I brought with me. I also got tired of trying to duplicate something from my normal setup, within the short time we had for soundcheck. Therefore I started to have smaller programmable boards with me every time I played outside Scandinavia.

Soren Reiff's setup 2013 - a Mesa Boogie Mark IV combo, and a full packed board
My setup 2013 – a Mesa Boogie Mark IV combo, and a full packed board

But the combination of preprogrammed presets and different amps wasn’t working that well for me. It is very stressful to try and change presets during a live gig. Especially if you are playing a repertoire you maybe haven’t played before. Maybe even with musicians you haven’t played with either, so I started thinking about a more simple setup, where it was easier to make changes and adjustments in ”realtime”.

I also felt a little silly when I was invited to sit in with artists touring in Scandinavia and I brought ”my small setup”. Touring artists often come with a simple board and use the clubs combo, therefore it’s kind of stupid to show up with a rack setup, that takes up a decent amount of stagespace, if I should play a few tunes with them. Especially if there already is another combo in the club, that I could borrow. And again there was the preset issue … if you are sitting in for a couple of songs or a set – it’s so annoying if your sound need a slight adjustment, but you have to go through several menues to find the parameters you want to  twist 🙁

The final thing that made me want to do some drastic changes was the fact that I became a dad.

Soren Reiff's board and amped packed in flightcases
My board and amped packed in flightcases

If I’m on tour or doing tv-show there is always people in charge of the backline. But if I should do a clinic, play as a solist somewhere or sit in with a touring band and also wanted to bring my family with me, there wasn’t room for everything in my own car. … you know my setup AND all the kid stuff. If you have kids you know how much you’re bringing with when you are travelling with a kid. And if you try to convince a mother to a newborn baby that all of it maybe isn’t nessecary … forget it. So by a bus or cut down on the equipment.

Therefore I decided to go for a pedalboard, that could ”the same” as my programable rack setup, but only took up one third or less of the space. I’m able to do realtime adjustments for every song I’m playing, and I don’t have to bring my own amp – I prefer to do so, but it isn’t necessary. Of cause some compromises, but I must admit it works fine – and that I’m VERY content with the setup. Sometimes I miss sounds from my stereo setup  but it’s not that often, and luckily lots of stereo chorus isn’t that modern at the moment 🙂

Of cause there a completely other issue about having a board: it’s SO tempting to make changes and buy new pedals all the time … but of cause I don’t do that – I save the money for toys for my kids instead 😉

You can read something about my board here … could be fun to hear what you’re using … and why …

All the very best


Please notice that no manufactors or companies are allowed to use my name and any information on my blog for promoting certain products. But everybody is very welcome to link to this blog.

You can also read about my gear and guitars here!

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