A versatile MIDI-capable board for maximum flexibility.

The Board

With the complexity of his guitar parts in the studio with Suede, Neil needed to expand his board while keeping the switching as simple as possible on stage.

The new boss ES-8 was chosen for its midi compatibility, additional volume loop and programmable outputs.

The combination of the 'Big 3' Strymons – Timeline, Mobius, and BigSky – are massively versatile when any of the 128 patches per pedal can be selected per patch on the Boss ES-8. The Whammy DT is also midi-capable so presets can be saved and programmed with ES-8 patch changes. The Midi signal is split using the Molten Voltage Midi Splitty.

The Suhr Riot is itself in the loop of a Boss NS-2 noise suppressor so even at very high gain settings there is no additional noise.

The volume pedal is kept out of the signal chain when not in use due to an additional switchable loop designed for volume pedals. The M-Audio expression pedal runs directly into the ES-8 so it functions with any of the midi-controlled pedals assigned per patch. There is also a designated tuner mute switch on the ES-8 which mutes both outputs whilst sending signal to the TC Electronic Polytune Mini.

Empress Effects' Buffer is used as a main input / output patch box so plugging in the board takes no time at all.

The two outputs of the ES-8 can either be used as a stereo pair or switchable between out 1 and 2. Since Neil plays both acoustic and electric guitars during the show, a patch can be programmed on the ES-8 to send the signal from the board to output 2 which goes to a Radial DI. Output 1 is the main output to an amp.

Power for the board comes from a Voodoo Lab 4x4 and Voodoo Lab Digital, necessary for the several high-current pedals.

Since the Fulltone OCD and Suhr Riot can both accept voltage up to 18v for increased headroom and clarity, the Voltage Doubler from Diago was used on both.

The Specs + Signal Flow