Building Christmas-Themed Pedalboards

Chris Toft

Chris Toft

From time to time, we here at Andertons like to put our heads together and set ourselves silly little challenges for a bit of fun! With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to put together some Christmas-themed pedalboards for different genres of music. Everyone loves a theme, right?! So here are the rules…

  • There can only be four pedals on each board.
  • Each pedal has to be a Christmassy colour – We’re going with red, green and gold!

Christmas at Andertons

Hair Metal Pedalboard

For a good Hair Metal tone, you’re going to need plenty of gain, chorus and delay. Compression is also essential for those epic power ballad clean tones! Spandex leggings and perms are optional!

    • Strymon Sunset Dual Overdrive – Not only is it called the Sunset (Sunset Boulevard being synonymous with Hair Metal), Strymon’s dual overdrive features six different gain stages across two channels. The two channels can be stacked to imitate the sound of an overdrive pedal hitting the front end of a high gain amp, serving as a great boost pedal too!
    • Eventide Tricerachorus Stereo TriChorus – Eventide’s chorus and micro-pitch detune effects can be heard on most Hair Metal albums from the 80’s. Their new Tricerachorus is a lush tri-stereo chorus that will fatten up your solos and make your clean tone sparkle!
    • MXR Carbon Copy Analogue Delay – All good Hair Metal solos should be dripping in delay! The Carbon Copy is a great sounding analogue delay that will add depth and modulation to your tone without getting in the way of the notes.
    • TC Electronic HyperGravity Multi Band CompressorTC Electronic’s Hyper Gravity Compressor can be used to fatten up and balance out the volume of your clean tone, adding sustain in the process. Combined with the Tricerachorus, your clean tone will be chimey and sparkly and will be met with a sea of fans holding their lighters in the air!

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Texas Blues Pedalboard

For that classic spanky Texas Blues sound, you’ll need a green overdrive (you know the one), a good wah-wah and some sort of modulation pedal for adding some colour. Grab the cowboy hat and chaps and saddle up!

  • JHS The Bonsai OverdriveFor the Texas Blues sound, the classic green “Screamer” tone is essential. The JHS Bonsai is loaded with nine different TS style tones, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to overdrive options.
  • Earthquaker Devices The Depths Optical VibeThe Depths is a fresh take on the classic rotary speaker sound and will add anything from a pulsating throb to a fast swirling motion to your tone. You can’t fit a Leslie speaker on a pedalboard so this is the next best thing!
  • Tone City Tape Machine DelayThe Tape Machine Delay from Tone City is an extremely affordable way of adding some lush tape style delays to your solos without all of the annoying shortcomings of the original tape units.
  • Jim Dunlop Gary Clark Junior Signature Cry Baby – A good wah-wah pedal is a great way of adding some expression to your solos. The Gary Clark Jr. Cry Baby features a lower frequency range and a tight sweep for articulate and percussive sounds, ideal for blues soloing.

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Funk Pedalboard

When it comes to playing funk, the importance of a compressor cannot be overstated! You’ll want some gain for busting out those groovy solos and a flanger is a great option for adding some sweeping motion to your rhythmic passages.

  • Strymon Compadre Dual Compressor and BoostThe Compadre features two different compression modes – Studio is based on rack mounted, studio style compressors and Squeeze is based on traditional stompbox compressors for a “chewier” tone. The Compadre also has a built in clean and dirty boost for lifting your solos, so two birds, one stone!
  • Behringer EQ700 7-Band Equaliser – An EQ pedal can be really useful for shaping your tone beyond the capabilities of your amp. The Behringer EQ700 allows you to fine tune your tone by cutting or boosting specific frequencies, for a bright, articulate funk tone.
  • ThorpyFX Camouflage FlangerFlangers can be used to great effect when playing funk by adding a “whooshing” aeroplane like motion to your parts. The Camouflage is easy to use with controls for harmonics, manual, treble, blend, rate and depth so you can tweak and tailor your sound to your exact liking.
  • Fender Santa Ana OverdriveAside from literally having the word “Santa” in the name, the Santa Ana delivers authentic tube-like tones which can be used to lift your funky solos above the mix.

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Ambient Pedalboard

When it comes to choosing pedals for ambient music, the world really is your oyster (or Brussel sprout if we’re being Christmassy)! For this kind of board, you’re looking for anything that creates huge, spatial, otherworldly tones, so we’re thinking reverbs, delays and octave/synths here!

  • Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo MachineThe Volante is packed with a ridiculously wide scope of delay and echo possibilities which are perfect for creating ambient soundscapes. The “Wear” knob is a particularly cool feature which allows you to increase the “age” of the delays for some unique, darker lo-fi tones.
  • TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 x4 ReverbWhat would an ambient board be without some huge reverbs? The Hall of Fame’s lush ambient and shimmer modes transport you to a different plain whilst the Mod and LoFi modes offer up some nice alternatives.
  • Electro Harmonix POG 2 Synth OctaveEHX’s legendary POG 2 is a polyphonic octave generator that delivers a plethora of unique synth-like octave tones. From the surreal jangle of an 18-string guitar, to rich, thick walls of symphonic sound, the POG 2 is an ambient players’ dream!
  • Exotic XVP-250K Volume PedalA volume pedal may not be the most exciting addition to your board, but it plays an important role in ambient music. Using a volume pedal with plenty of reverb and delay can create huge swells of sound that ring out for eternity!

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So there you have it…four vastly different pedalboards for different genres of music, all with a somewhat Christmassy theme! We’d love to see what you can come up with so please share your creations with us on social media! Oh, and Merry Christmas folks!

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Enjoyed this blog?

Why not check out some of our other pedal related blogs below!

Chorus Pedals – Are They Cool Again?

5 Ways To Use Delay Pedals

Boost, Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz: A Beginner’s Guide to Gain Pedals

The Andertons Staff’s Pedalboards!

Chris Toft
Chris Toft
Chris is a Senior Digital Product Marketer at Andertons and a self confessed guitar nerd. With a love of all things 80s Rock and Hair Metal, Chris favours humbucker equipped guitars, high gain amps and plenty of chorus and reverb! Clean tones and spandex leggings are optional!

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