My Personal Guitar Stage Rig
Due to lower back issues, I wanted a lightweight stage gear setup.
I thought dangit, its the 21st century. Are any of these floor modelers decent enough to go straight to PA?
After auditioning several different brands, I settled on the Vox Tonelab LE.
Bought a spare to have for backup.
In addition, I wanted to be wireless for both guitar and in ear monitoring that I control.
So my whole approach was unconventional, and admittedly not for everyone.
The system evolved into something more complex than I originally conceived,
but I was very happy with the results when testing.
Connecting rack end to floor end was a challenge, I had to custom make a cable harness that worked great for a while, but had it's drawbacks.
Enter PedalSnake. Proprietor Jody Page was an old band mate from back in nineteen hundred and froze to death.
I contacted him and ordered the pieces and parts (base snake and pigtails).
Check out his website for the nitty and the gritty of it: PedalSnake
So, first a daigram of the system. Behold...
So it's like dis...
Output from the Shure UT4 wireless receiver goes to the input of the Tonelab LE. Stereo output from the LE then goes to a Behringer FVC100 master volume pedal and returns on a stereo line to the Instrument input of the local mixer, a Rolls PM351.
Stereo output from the local mixer then feeds a custom built audio router that can route the audio to different XLR balanced outputs that go direct to PA. I have setup different patches on the Tonelab LE for electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and even ukulele.
The heart of the router is an Arduino Uno, which is a programmable microcontroller board that receives MIDI messages from the Tonelab LE. I had to program the Arduino (a whole 'nother blog) to output control voltages that respond to specific MIDI program change messages. The Arduino community is very active, there are help forums and code examples if you are interested in doing something similar.
The local mixer also outputs a stereo signal to the Galaxy Audio AS1000T wireless transmitter. The mixer has a line level input for a monitor send from the PA system, and an input for vocal microphone. The vocal mic routes to the mixer first, then loops out to the PA. So I get to control monitoring levels for my vocal mic, my instrument and a "others" monitor mix send from the PA.
I'm keeping the pedal end of PedalSnake permanently attached for faster setup time.
Everything is secured on the 1/4" plywood base with cable clamps and cable ties attached to mounting bases. The spare Blue and Green PedalSnake channels are readily accessible if needed.
First power up test...ready to rock!
Beer wielding anime girl yells things like "Kanpai!" and "Ganbatte!" Cheers! Do your best!
Here's the "Rack". Everything mounted on a custom built case. Pop the top, make AC power and output connections.
5 PedalSnake connections to make. I feel the circular din connectors may hold up better to plugging and unplugging over time, so the Pigtails will stay connected to the gear.
I added some alignment arrows to make it easier.
PedalSnake replaces my old PitifulSnake (no patents pending), a home-made mix of stiff mic and speaker type cables, held together with black tape, whose sticky residue will find your fingers and anything nasty on the floor.
What's that Mr. booking agent? You need a guitarist for a Bikini contest?
Sigh...well OK...give me about 30 seconds to get packed up...