Building a pit rig – part 1

So: the bare bones of the problem.

This year, I am going to be playing in the pit band (and MDing) for a musical I helped cowrite. It’s only been performed once before, and the pit band was me (elecrtic guitar), acoustic guitar, keys+flute, bass and drums. Reviewing the video/audio prior to starting rehearsals, it’s pretty clear that:

  1. we often need two electric guitars
  2. we often need two acoustic guitars
  3. less often, we need two keyboard players

Which led me to thinking, what rig should I use? Last time out, I was using an RJBartram custom electric into a Boss SD-1 and a Tipton Slasher (with a footswitch for gain boost). All very well, but it wasn’t quite as controllable as I’d like for the range of sounds I really needed.

A few years ago, I did a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar with a friend, and both he and I acquired Line 6 Variax 300s and Pod XT Lives, which actually worked very well. LIke an idiot, I sold mine, but usefully Chris, our other guitarist in the pit, has one, so odds are he’ll be getting round the acoustic/electric switching by using his. But that does leave me with the question of what to use?

I did a bit of thinking, and my choices came down to:

  • MultiFX of some sort into Slasher into 1×12″ wedge (not full range)
  • MultiFX with amp sim into powered wedge
  • MacBook running Logic Mainstage into powered wedge
  • iPad + iRig Stomp + Amplitube into powered wedge
  • Roland VG-something + a GK-3 fitted to something I already own

And then I paid a visit to a friend… who just happened to have a Godin and a GR-33 synth. Which lead me down paths of borrowing that and feeding the guitar output into a multiFX, thereby also fixing the ‘sometimes we need two keyboards players’ problem.

I’ll let you know what I eventually went with in the next post.


This post originally appeared on the uk.music.guitar blog.

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