By Michael Hodge (reprinted from the Roland Worship Connection by permission)
This is part one of a two-part article by Michael Hodge profiling his pedal boards and how he uses them throughout the varied facets of his ministry.
What a great time to be a guitar player! I have the honor to play on the worship team at Lakewood Church in Houston. Every service is multi-tracked (100+ tracks) and mixed for TV and the internet. There is always a present realization in the band that we ARE recording…yikes! One thing I love about my job is sharing what I have learned to help those we are mentoring and raising up. Here, I’m going to share a little about my pedal board and I hope it might give you some ideas.
I am blessed to have some great gear to use in worship and recording. I actually have a few different pedal boards, including a big one that I use for our services and a small, but mighty, “flyable” one that I use when we travel. All the pedal boards have numerous BOSS pedals, of course!
The following are pedals I actually use, in the signal flow order, on my various pedalboards.
I usually hit the TU-3 tuner first. This is a great tuner and lights are brighter than the TU-2. One cool thing is it buffers the signal a bit and has that extra out for the bypass mode. I’ve also used it in the tuner output of the BOSS volume pedal.
I use different compressors to get different sounds. I have used the CS-3 in the studio for years as well. I like its tone control. Many compressors cause you to increase bottom and lose high end when they are on. I tend to leave the compressor on most of the time when I’m playing live. You can also use this pedal as a clean boost for clean, Coldplay-type lines. Try it sometime!
On my “fly” board I use the PW-10 Wah. It is lightweight and really versatile. It has a Roto-Vibe built in, which saves me from having to have that extra pedal if I’m doing a recording out of the country. I use the Wah a lot for tonal things like on the bridge of Everywhere I Go. I play this “two-string staccato” riff and use the Wah to filter and add energy to the part. I also love it for the guitar fills later in that song. It’s kind of an old-school thing used by The Who in Who Are You. It can add a whole cool dynamic for guitar solos. Thank you Jimi Hendrix!
NS-2 Noise Suppressor
I have just recently discovered the NS-2. An engineer friend told me about it. Where has it been all my life!? This pedal is on my studio board and is just now going on my main church board. At Lakewood there is incredible hum due to the LCD screens both in front of me and right behind me. I am really thrilled at how the NS-2 is taking the hum out. It doesn’t really mess with the tone, which was my main concern. I highly recommend this pedal.
I am really happy with this tremolo. I have some “boutique” ones, too, but for the money, the TR-2 sounds great and can do the real choppy tremolo as well as the smooth. This is a great pedal if you want to add color to a volume and delay swell. It’s cool for clean guitar lines, and I use it sometimes on big, open, crunch whole-note chords.
PH-3 Phase Shifter
I mainly use this live instead of an “Adrenelinn” for the intro of Say So. It’s also similar to the sound on John Mayer’s Bigger Than My Body – very cool when you need it! There are some other settings that can give a great throaty sound with distortion.
We’re just getting started, but these are a few of my “bread-n-butter” pedals. In Part 2 of this article, I’ll talk about some more exotic pedals like the RT-20 and get into one of the staples of modern worship music – delay and my DD-20!
I have collected pedals for a while and have amassed quite a few. Some of my pedals are from other companies as well. I’m into using what I think sounds great. It just happens that BOSS pedals are ruling my pedalboards and have been for a long time.
Signal path for Michael’s BOSS pedals
Michael Hodge is a self-described “pedal geek” and is currently a guitarist, producer and worship band leader at Lakewood Church in Houston. Check out Michael’s guitar tones on any Lakewood recording, such as Free to Worship. If you’d like to get in touch with Michael, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.