my digital effects
effects for my acoustic instruments
My dulcimers have natural sounding pickups, which feed the excellent Boss DD-500 delay unit. This box processes the signal to the highest of audio standards, so the integrity of the acoustic sound is preserved. The delay effects that I use for dulcimer, with a few exceptions, are subtle and you might only notice them by their absence. They add warmth and place the music in a natural sound space.
My guitars also have natural sounding pickups and most of my traditional songs and airs, like my dulcimer music, are also given subtle treatments from the DD-500. My more modern and adventurous guitar pieces however, benefit from the depth of the DD-500’s programming which, as well as having sophisticated delay effects, can also add a little modulation. Each of these special pieces has its own, carefully programmed patch (or patches) using a variety of state-of-the-art delay types.
On some pieces I use the Boss RC-30 loop station which allows me, as a solo artist, to either play duets, layering sounds with different textures (with or without rhythm), or to add atmospheric ambient sounds to live performances.
effects for my electric dulcimer
My solid-body electric dulcimer is effectively a dulcimer version of an electric guitar with a smooth-sounding humbucking coil pickup. To process this signal, I use the Boss GT-1 guitar multi-effects unit. This highly quality unit is extremely powerful both in programming and facility. It holds almost every electric guitar effect and can be programmed to have many effects operating simultaneously and in any sequence. Each piece has its own patch (or patches) and the output, set to be compatible with PA or acoustic amp, still sounds like an electric guitar amp stack.
All these units, and other tech I may need, are safely housed on an attractive wooden Ruach pedal board, which can be configured differently for each show. Under the pedal board is a Strymon power supply that provides clean power to the effects units.