Jazz Looping Pedalboard (2004)


    <-- Copeland 6DC+ Hex Pickup


    <-- Guitar/Split/Bass Selector switch

I built this for doing solo jazz performances. I was inspired to try the octave-divider-bass thing after reading about Jack Grassel's SuperAx setup. Apparently Jack uses a third pickup which only responds to the bottom two strings to drive the bass. My approach was to install a Copeland 6DC+ hex pickup in the neck position of my Ibanez AR250. This makes it possible to split the strings so the top four strings go out one channel of the guitar's stereo output jack and the bottom two strings go out the other. A toggle switch on the guitar lets you select one of three modes:

Hex Pickup
│Low          │        Guitar Chain
│E&A──┐       │                                              ┌──────┐   ┌────────┐
│     ├───o   │   ┌─────┐   ┌──┐   ┌──────┐   ┌──────────┐   │RC─20 │   │RC─20   │   ┌────────┐   ┌──────┐   ┌──┐
│     │     o────>│Tuner├──>│EQ├──>│Reverb├──>│Fenderizer├──>│#1    ├──>│#2      ├──>│Echoplex├──>│Volume├──>│DI├──> Out
│     │ ┌─o/  │   └─────┘   └──┘   └──────┘   └──────────┘   │with  │   │with    │   └────────┘   │Pedal │   └──┘
│     │ │     │                                              │drum  │   │more    │       ^        └──────┘
│     └─│─o   │   ┌──┐   ┌────────┐   ┌───────┐              │loops │   │drum    │       │
│       │   o────>│EQ├──>│ChiliDog├──>│SansAmp├─────────────>│      │   │loops   │   ┌───┴─────┐
│D,G,B  ├─o/  │   └──┘   └────────┘   └───────┘              └──────┘   └────────┘   │Echoplex │
│& Hi E─┘     │                                                                      │Footpedal│
│          ^  │        Bass Chain                                                    └─────────┘
           └──────Guitar/Split/Bass selector switch

The bass-sounding strings two are sent through a Danelectro Chili Dog Octave and a SansAmp BassDriver DI to make a nice jazz bass sound. The guitar-sounding strings are sent through a Danelectro Tune-O-Matic, a Danelectro Fish N Chips EQ, a Boss RV-3 reverb pedal, and the Fenderizer amp simulator pedal I built. In the split mode you can play live walking bass + chords accompaniments and it sounds like this: (130K mp3)

Then those signals go through two cascaded Boss RC-20 Loop Stations, which mix the incoming signal with pre-recorded jazz drum loops. The loops are mostly from the Peter Erskine Living Drums sample CD, plus a couple I made from recordings. Here are mine:

Joe Morello on Take Five (303K wav)
Joe Morello on Take Six (Take Five with an extra beat spliced in by me) (371K wav)
Tony Williams (edited) on Footprints (700K wav)

I put Dunlop knobs and knob covers on the "Phrase Select" knobs of the RC-20s so I can change them with my foot while playing.

The output of the second RC-20 goes into a Gibson Echoplex, which is used to record complete accompaniment loops with guitar, bass, and drums. The Echoplex allows me to tag endings and switch between multiple accompaniments for the same song.

The Echoplex's output goes to an Ernie Ball 6166 Volume Pedal and a Whirlwind EDB1 Direct Box. The direct box makes the volume pedal's response consistent as well as converting to signal to low impedance balanced. The whole setup is powered by the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2.

I split the setup into two Angstrom 34x12" pedalboards to make it easier to carry, and so it will fit in the back of my Honda Civic hatchback...

My Page About the Copeland 6dc+ Hex Pickup

Hear the jazz pedalboard in action

Jazz Loping