After a few weeks of phasing out the old recording space, a few more of renovations, and a few more spent recreating their new home, Dan & Mick turned on the cameras for the first ever broadcast from what we’re temporarily calling “The New Pedal Shed.” Congrats, gents!
The story of the episode this week was less about a particular type of pedal, a gear hack for getting more out of your rig, or experiment with sound. Rather, it was Dan & Mick sharing the journey of what it took to get the new space prepared for the weekly dose of rock and riffs that is TPS. While few of us will ever find ourselves in the situation where our famous YouTube show is moving studios, chances are most of us play most of the time in a mostly confined space with neighbors in close quarters. Dan & Mick confessed, they’re no sound booth experts. Yet the experience they invited us into in this week’s episode did include some things to consider when going for big sound in small spaces.
Think About Room Infrastructure and Architecture
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time tinkering with gear and daydreaming of different combos of amps, pedals, and guitars. However, rarely, if ever, do I pause to think about the physical space I play in. Believe it or not, your room, be it a bedroom, basement bunker, or living room, has a tonal and special quality. In a way, it’s a piece of gear.
As Dan & Mick recounted their recent move in, they had the opportunity and challenge of a blank sonic canvas. One difference they noted in the new space was the distance between them and the gear behind. The old shed had less real estate, which meant delivering the show with amps roaring but a few inches behind. However, the new space has a few more feet to work with, which resulted in a different sound.
Similarly, Dan & Mick both noted the difference a little baffling made in the new space. In that beauty of a wood-paneled shed, the sound had more hard surfaces to bounce off. With the new spot cloaked in theatre cloth and sound-proofing in the windows, the guitar sound had a notably different bottom end and less reflective reverb in the room.
In the end, Dan noted “[so far] we’ve done a basic level of sound proofing in here.” This meant being strategic of where and how they invested resources and time and being open, even expectant of, updates and reworking in the future.
So what’s the lesson for the rest of us on the other side of the screen? Think about where you’re situating your gear. How is it interacting with your space? How are other objects in the room adding to or getting in the way of your desired sound? Like much of your guitar gear, your physical space is interactive and reactive. Your gear can sound drastically different depending on the size, orientation, material quality, and even furniture in the room. Take the time to experiment with it.
Get Organized! Hang Extra Gear On The Wall
For me, nothing kills inspiration or squashes creativity like having to hunt around for that pedal I know is kicking around somewhere or realizing that I need to rebuild part of my board because I’m missing a patch cable. Save time and don’t murder creativity: take an afternoon and get your guitar space feeling and looking organized.
For Dan & Mick, the new space not only meant a larger room for different sounds but more real estate for their gear arsenal. Even if your gear collection is a fraction of what is on TPS each week, a little organization can go a long way. The best part? It doesn’t need to cost much.
For example, even if all of your pedals aren’t in use, some simple shelving will allow you to have them on hand for when you need them. Of all the things that changed on TPS with this move, one thing that remained the same was Dan’s proprietary innovation of “That Pedal Shelf.” Way back when, Dan did a quick tutorial on the design and install of these little wall boxes. If you’re into that style of deco, check out the TPS guide here and your pedals will be a practical art installation in minutes.
Whether your space for playing is an epic reverb chamber of endless square footage or, like me, a tiny room tucked away in a basement, make it home, make it work, and create sounds bigger than the room itself. If you’re in need of some gear to get organized like cables & adapters, guitar stands & wall hangers, or pro audio gear to create and capture your music, head over to Riff City in store and online and we’ll help get you set and sorted.
Cheers, Dan & Mick, welcome to the new home!
TPS Rig Rundown:
Guitars: Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster, Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster, Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335.
Pedals: D’Addario Pedal Tuner, RYRA Tri-Pi Muff Fuzz, Keeley D&M Drive, ProAnalog Devices Manticore, Analog Man Bad Bob Boost, Longamp Roxanne, Strymon Timeline, Dawner Prince Boonar, Chase Bliss Audio Gravitas Analog Tremolo, Dunlop EP-103 Echoplex.
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Vox AC15 Custom with Celestion Greenback speaker, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III.