Readers’ Pedalboards #12 “Big Bertha”
Sometimes you see a pedalboard and just think “Where do you even begin to get your head around all of those buttons?!” This was the case with Allen Bays’ board which we spotted on Instagram. The bottom row of loopers and midi switchers had a story to tell so we contacted Allen to ask him about how this all connects, how he uses it, and what guitars and amps it is paired with:
“Love your products. The Cali76 is the best Compressor I’ve ever heard. It’ll be really, really hard for any other company to sell me on using anything else! Thanks for the shout out. Really appreciate you guys!”
“I’m a full-time Creative Arts and Executive Pastor at my church in Chesapeake, VA. Naturally, I play a lot of worship music. I used to tour in some underground Rock/Indie bands when I was younger but now I’m pretty much always in the 757 area unless I get contracted for a random gig or event. I also am a studio session player for a couple studios in the Hampton Roads area. I work out of Collector Norfolk mainly and my friend Stuart McCloud’s studio in Chesapeake on some projects.
I’m really into U2-type tones, I’ve been a fan ever since I can remember hearing them for the first time being younger. They are my biggest influence tone wise along with Hillsong United and Angels and Airwaves but I’m pretty diverse as I’ve grown musically and gotten older. I also really enjoy Blues/Alternative Rock/Indie sounds and play that frequently. My new thing recently the last few years has been the New Wave 80’s Pop stuff like The 1975 and LANY. I love the slappy/dance guitar lines drenched in cool chorus effects. A guilty pleasure, for sure!
“I play three main guitars. I have several others for studio work if it’s called for but my main are an American Standard Strat with a Dimarzio Area 61 in the neck, an Area 58 in the middle, both noiseless and a Seymour Duncan Lil 59 in the bridge. It’s so buttery in the coil positions and the bridge position really opens up and has a nice bite. I also play a 1968 Gibson 335TDC Candy apple red; a really amazing piece that’s all original. Then my American Standard Fender Telecaster. I have two noiseless single-coils in that – it sounds amazing!
“Amps; I have three I choose from. I run a lot in stereo as well. I have a Badcat Black Cat 30R with 212s, a Jackson Newcastle 30 head and a Port City 112OS cab and lastly, my ride or die Black Face 65 Reissue Fender Twin Reverb. There’s really no sound that I can’t find in one of these amps. I’ve owned so many through the years and I’m here to stay with this lineup for quite some time. I love Ruby and Tung Sol tubes so I have a variety of those in my amps.
Guitars and amps are a lot of fun for me, and I take them seriously but pedals are my weakness! I love creating sounds, textures and different noises. I have 2 boards, my main one below that I call “Big Bertha.” It’s kind of a local nickname that the local music scene pegged my board as years ago. I’ve run with it ever since. I use this board a lot when I’m playing in the studio, playing long sets or need a variety of sounds live. I love the midi capabilities.
Here is my chain for those who are into that: Guitar into…-> Goodwood Audio Interfacer
-> Goodwood Audio Interfacer
-> Jackson Audio Prism
-> Disaster Area DPC 8EZ (loop order:)
- Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
- EHX Nano POG Dual Modded by Matthews Effects
- JHS Klon Klone
- Addrock Ol Yeller
- JHS Superbolt
- Xotic EP Booster
- JHS Mini Footfuzz
- 1981 Boss DM2
(Then I have a Dunlop Volume Pedal post drives)
-> Eventide Modfactor
-> Eventide Timefactor
-> Eventide Space
-> Goodwood Audio Interfacer
“All power comes from 3 Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2s, cables are George Ls and my cases are from Brady Cases (Shout out to them, I’ve had an endorsement with Brady l for quite some time). My board is a Pedal Train Pro. My midi controllers are all from Disaster Area. I have the Smartclock, DPC 8EZ and the DMC 8 with a Mod wheel.
Shout out to Origin Effects for reaching out! Great company, PR and gear. Cheers!”