The cycle of cause and FX

“What you sell in haste will cost much to reacquire”

Some folk seem to be able to change their equipment at the drop of a hat but, for me at least, I find that over time I often regret the loss of things I’ve sold…

When I first started getting into playing Bass Guitar I was listening to a lot of music in which the bass players made use of effects (FX) and I began to amass a small herd of effects pedals.
In time I ended up with an enormous pedal-board (dubbed the bass-station) which became something of a nuisance to lug around to gigs.

Roland Boss VF1 multi-effects unit
Boss VF1

In an effort to down-size and travel lighter I began to experiment with multi-effects units, at first floor-based units but then I got hold of a Boss VF1 (half-rack) and that started me on a slippery slope that led to me selling off most of my pedals in order to purchase rack-mount units.
You can probably guess where this is headed… eventually I ended up with a 6 unit rack of effects.

This kind of use of effects is (apparently) quite unusual behaviour for Bass players so much so that in 2009 when Leigh Barnard came to rehearse with us prior to the Detling Summer Celebration he thought I was running the rehearsal PA and asked me to adjust his voice in the foldback!

Of course now there is a resurgence in the popularity of FX pedals over rack units (and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this isn’t part of a manufacturer driven fashion-cycle that keeps trying to persuade us to buy the latest thing…) but I digress.

Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron+
EHX Q-Tron+

Earlier this year I was invited to play for a charity fundraiser event (I mentioned this  in my blog post ‘Fun playing some different songs’ back in April) which involved playing some disco-style tunes. As we were rehearsing the set I began to miss one of the FX pedals I’d sold off, an Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron+ (one of the earlier polished metal cased units) and managed to track one down on eBay.

It felt odd to be buying back a pedal I’d previously sold (though in truth the one I bought the second time was not in as good condition as the one I’d sold) and I’m determined to try (very, very hard) not to re-buy everything I sold – but it did get me thinking about other pieces of gear I’ve owned and sold on over the years. I don’t miss all of them but there are some that I realise I sold in order to buy another ‘latest thing’ and, for the most part, those are things I miss.

With years of experience playing bass in a wide range of situations a dear friend once said that if you were to cut me in half you'd find the word 'bass' written all the way through - yes I know that's so cliche - but that doesn't make it any less true! Like so many people I have more than one 'day' job - but most of my work-time these days is spent working for Interconnected Solutions.