Since its appearance in the late ’60s, psychedelic music has been inspiring hordes of musicians, and has probably been the main reason driving the guitar pedal frenzy of the last decade, since guitarists devoted to the genre seem to need an ever increasing number of stompboxes. The current indie music scene offers thousands of artists that reference psychedelia, from subtly to wholeheartedly. One of the bands that most vigorously (and unapologetically) embraces the genre in its authentic acception is Los Angeles’ Triptides. With their vintage sounding songs that could have been written in the ’60s, their recent release “Afterglow” manages to reference in one record anybody from early Pink Floyd to Jefferson Airplane, the Doors and even The Beatles and The Byrds during their most psych years. Of course, this kind of revival comes with a LOT of stompboxes – the band’s guitarists Glenn and Josh were kind enough to walk us through them…
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner: Keeping things tuned up and ready to go. Been on my board since day one.
JangleBox: My main compressor pedal. I use it to make my 12 string electric guitar sound like a recording from the 60’s. Really nails the Byrds 12 string vibe. Smooth sustain and compression that really brings out the chime in my guitars.
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer: The first pedal I ever bought. I use it for a signal boost and a slightly grittier sound when things need to get heavier but not necessarily fuzzy.
Fulltone Octafuzz: Probably my favorite pedal. Used on tons of recordings. Can turn any guitar into a jagged fuzzy weapon! Creamy with humbuckers, sharp and icy with single coils and if you put a 12 string through it the octaves on octaves effect sounds very far out. The first song we ever used it on was “Who Knows” which features it very prominently.
Electro Harmonix Pulsar Tremolo: Tremolo with a good number of different sounds. Take it out into two amps for a surround sound tremolo panorama. Sounds like ocean waves on it’s lighter settings but dial it in too hard and it can sound like an alien transmission! You can hear it on the lead guitar of one of our first recordings and our very first single “Venus Is Cruel.”
Electro Harmonix Small Stone: I’ve always loved phaser. I had a Phase 90 for a little while but I prefer the Small Stone tone to the MXR. I’ve used it on guitar, drums, vocals, organ, piano… everything except bass! Maybe we’ll phaser a bass one of these days… Anyway, one of our earlier recordings featuring this effect was “Sun/Shine.” You can also hear my Alesis HR-16 drum machine providing the rhythm for this track.
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay: Can’t go wrong with this pedal. I usually stick to the analog delay setting but occasionally venture into the realm of reverse delay for some more disorienting effects. Turning the effect all the way up eliminates the original signal and gives a fully backwards sound which can be pretty trippy in the right setting.
Morley ABY Pedal: This simply helps me use my Farfisa organ and guitars through the same amp when we play live. Much easier than bringing two amps on the road!
Multivox Little David: This effect isn’t on my board but it can be heard on many of our recordings. It’s a rotating speaker effect in a wooden box that looks like a tiny leslie speaker. I believe it was made in Japan in the late 70’s. It has slow and fast rotary effects that can make vocals or guitar sound very swirly. Although it may not sound like a real leslie it has a unique charm and a sound of it’s own. You can hear it on the guitar in our song “Throne of Stars” on the “slow” speed and on the vocals on the “fast” speed.
Electro Harmonix Neo Clone Chorus: I don’t have this pedal on my board right now but we used it extensively during the recording of our record “Azur.” We we’re listening to a lot of Cleaners From Venus and other 80’s pop and this pedal really gave us that analog chorus sound. You can hear two guitars going through it on our song “Saturday.”
As for my guitars, I’ve been playing a Fender Mustang since Triptides started. I eventually bought a Dillion 12 string electric off of a friend back in Bloomington which we’ve recorded and gigged with quite a bit since. It’s basically a copy of a Rickenbacker 360/12. One of the first songs featuring this guitar was our single “Shaman.”
My amp has been a Fender 50th Anniversary Blonde Hot Rod Deluxe since the band started gigging. It’s been through a lot and still sounds as clear as a bell! Also the reverb is very lush and springy.
Xotic Effects SP Compressor: A great, easy to use, compressor that I use to add sustain/consistency to my clean tone. I love the ability to blend the effect so that you can still get an unaffected attack. I usually keep it about 50 percent blended.
JHS Firefly Fuzz: After searching for a new fuzz for a while, I was initially sold on this one via a rad YouTube demo where they played Incense and Peppermints. It’s a tone bender clone and ranges from a big bodied fuzz to thin and sputtery. I use it a lot on low single note parts, and during solos/leads.
Small Stone Phaser: Classic sounding phaser that is found all over our recordings. On the song “Resolve” (which is on our upcoming album) the guitar signal was split into two amps, one with a heavy phaser setting, and one completely clean. The result is a blended phase that sounds pretty interesting, not to mention the mic phasing that probably occurred between the two amps.
Tube Screamer TS9: One of my oldest pedals that always remains on the board. For Triptides I usually keep the gain all the way down and use it as a slight boost/drive for clean leads that need to cut a little more. I also love to keep it on after the Fuzz. It smooths out the harshness of the fuzz and also creates some cool feedbacky stuff.
The next slot is reserved for a number of modulation pedals that I constantly switch out depending on the set. Right now it’s the BOSS Tremolo TR-2 which is pretty self-explanatory.
Other pedals I use in this slot:
1. Modded Boss Chorus CE-1 pedal: It’s one of the boss chorus pedals with the clean channel taken out, so all that’s left is the modulated sound. It basically sounds like a weird vibrato pedal that subtly changes pitch. Sounds great on long chords, leads, or just about anything.
2. Cry Baby Wah: I use the wah as more of a filter than the classic wah wah sound. I like the way it sounds as it slowly sweeps through the frequencies, highlighting certain tones you wouldn’t normally hear.
3. MXR Chorus Pedal: Basic chorus pedal that I put on my board when we play certain songs. Mainly songs off our Azur album. Think 80’s tones.
Stigtronics Delay (no video): This belongs to my friend Dylan who’s been letting me borrow it. Stigtronics is a company out of Bloomington Indiana. It’s probably the most natural sounding delay I’ve ever played. No matter how high the mix of the delay is, the dry guitar sound still punches through. I think it’s analog but I’m not sure. I’m probably going to have to get one of my own.
Boss Space Echo: A very versatile delay that is used for much more than just guitar. Pretty much all vocal delay from our last few albums is from this pedal! I love the ability to EQ the repeats. Out of both delay pedals, I usually keep this one on a more drawn out spacey setting, whereas the first delay is a quicker more subtle slap-back. You can hear it on the vocals of our song “Too Far Gone.”
EHX Holy Grail Plus: A great sounding reverb that I always keep on since my amp’s reverb doesn’t work. This pedal is also heard all over our recordings. Basically every track except bass has some amount of this pedal blended into it in our recordings. Needless to say it is a crucial part of our sound! We probably overdid it on a few songs…
For guitar, I’ve been playing a classic player Jazzmaster for a couple of years now. I’m a big fan of the long-scale neck.
My amp is a Fender 4×10 Hot Rod Deluxe. I think of it as a clean palate to color with all my effects. I don’t think I’ve ever turned it past 4 on the master!
On a side note, we both created our pedal boards out of shelving from Bloomington Hardware and quite a bit of velcro.