The Virtual Pedalboard hits the stage

Hi, I’m Alistair and I’m addicted to pedal. Big pedals, small pedals, old, new analogue, (some digital) and even imaginary - which brings me here.

   *** feel free to just look at the pictures!***

I have been including a laptop in my rig for some time, triggering the occasional synth with MidiGuitar.

By early 2000 I became the only member of the bands with a car big enough for the subs. But only if I left the pedalboard (and the sack truck) at home.

I had been using plugins in Mainstage to approximate my rig for teaching bass and for home practise. It was easy to have the laptop replace the pedalboard.

Then I started thinking inside the box. The Softube Eden plugin nails the sound of my amp, everyone is in IEMs, I don’t actually need an amp on stage.

Then Lockdown happened.

Right about when I was getting irate with trying to route busses in MS so I could get delay trails, I started to see Trey Gunn’s videos demonstrating Gig Performer, saw the wiring view and it made so much sense. - which (again) brings me here.

Can I recreate my entire Stick rig in GP?

With a couple of choice additions…

But Lockdown kills off both of those bands :frowning:

Restrictions lifted for a while in late summer in the UK and Gig Performer hit the stage for the first time.


with DS:UK a tribute to Dire Straits
you can just see the laptop behind the pillar on the left of the image.

And then Seriously Collins

Then it all locked down again.

In June, rehearsal and the gigs resumed for DS:UK. Warner Leisure Hotels in stately homes for the over 50s (way over 50 for the most part!)


why was I bothering with the laptop stand!

Since the release of GP4 I started thinking my rackspaces should really look like the pedals.
I may have got carried away…

I only connect widgets i really need though!

Compare the real thing
(downsized bass-only board, Stick rig will be entirely in the box henceforth)

which brings me bang up to date with a Seriously Collins rehearsal yesterday

(does this count as ‘action’?)

based on this micro board

I am gobsmacked by the versatility of the simple shape widget for creating the design elements.

I’m just having a spot of bother recreating this!

Thanks for reading this far, you must be as obsessed as I am :slight_smile:

Alistair Begg - freelance electric bassist and Chapman Stickist, recovering pedaloholic and delighted GP4 user.


This is brilliant! :beers:

Thank you very much for sharing this with us! :slight_smile:


@Ali_B ,

But do tell, how is the sound comparison between your old pedalboard and the new virtual one?


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Congrats, that looks great! Did you find a way to lock certain knobs/switches to shape so you can drag them around? Or did you very much know how you exactly wanted it and worked your way through?

And what do you use for the stompswitches?


WOW… it must have been an insane amount of work to build this user interface by being forced to only use circles and rectangles, since there are no “Stompswitch” widgets nor “simple lines” or “embedded images” you could have used to achieve this…
Maybe this will show our devs, how important the “look” of a GUI actually is to the users.
Just imagine of how much time and work it would have saved you if you had the abovementioned widgets and elements at hand…


Maybe he doesn’t need switch stop boxes anymore because of variation switches :wink:

I’ll start with the easy one!

Of course these are non functional and just for the look. Switching is achieved with the LED.

This should explain it. It’s the Shape widget again.


This is just pure awesomeness - thanks for sharing this @Ali_B !


Absolutely! At a gig I’m just selecting variation, the same way I would select presets with the G2 on the Physical pedalboard. Variations only have the plugins required, even though the panel may show all the pedals in use on the whole gig.

At the sound design stage I use the full monty. A rackspace with all the plugins and panels with all the pedals so I can switch each of them on and off. If I find myself needing to knob tweak a pedal I may connect more of the widgets to the plugin.

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Not as such. Once you have selected the most appropriate looking knob fro the widget sidebar drag it to size and then CMD+D to duplicate.

Drag a selection box around them and the arrow keys move them. Hold shift and the arrow move them in a bigger jump.

Select a widget, then add some more to the selection and these operations apply to them all
Screenshot 2021-07-13 at 8.39.04 am

Although I did find some odd behaviour with (+) and (-) wouldn’t work at all. @dhj

Sanity is relative. I’ve been prepping for the rehearsal for a little over a week and whenever I hit burnout I would work on my pedal graphics.

From a gig perspective not so much, I only need to see the name of the rack space. During sound design, maybe - if you’re like me.
But it REALLY makes it easier to show non-users how cool GP is.


For all practical purposes - identical.
in direct A/B comparison - almost identical.

*** nerd alert - too much detail ahead***

The phaser is different because I like the Small Stone sound better than the intelliphase, which is basically a Phase 90 with more controls.

the 'Valnøtt" is a Maestro Brassmaster clone. This is not perfect yet. I’m using a Kuassa Fuzz plugin which gets the octave fuzz character and an EQ plugin which gets close to the filter settings. I can’t replicate all of the switch combinations, but I have the combinations I want.

The Douglas Y2K is a Darkglass B3K clone. The Darkglass Ultra plugin nails it.
In Vintage Ultra mode it’s REALLY close to the Cog mini 66 (in the custom Seaweed enclosure) there’s a very subtle difference in the voice but dynamically just as responsive so it plays the same and fills the role perfectly.

The Hooker’s Green Bass Machine was being emulated by the Darkglass plugin but I just discovered the Klanghelm SDRR2Tube which came with my interface has exactly the right character. I had to use a mixer and an LPF plugin to do the Treble knob.
Those are the ones I had to work hardest to replicate.

Amplitubes Ampeg Octaver is a good match to the Octabass. Darker than an OC2 and tracks better
Amplitubes NuTron nails the Mu-Tron III but you do have to tweak the level in and out of the plugin to get the touch response right. (I demoed the Kuassa Wah and that also nails the Mu Tron sound)
Plugin Alliance ADA Flanger is the ADA PBF. The control ranges and tapers are different though, so you can’t match sounds by copying the knob positions. I may play with the widget tapers next time I need a rabbit hole to dive into.
Softube Eden WT800 Nails my Eden VT300 amp. It models the exact cabs I bought and I can dial in 3 of the 4 band EQ, which is the most I would use on the real amp.
Ignite Amps do a valve power amp with KT88 which rounds off the emulation perfectly!
(For years I had the Amplitube Ampeg SVT set flat with a parametric EQ in it’s loop and Ampeg 2x10 which was passable)

It’s a been a long journey to get here. The WYSIWYG routing in GP has made it much easier to combine plugins to replicate pedals

The Valnøtt mixer block gives me clean blend and bypass
Screenshot 2021-07-13 at 9.56.24 am

the pan control of the HBGM Tone M>S Gain block is mapped to the tone control widget
Screenshot 2021-07-13 at 9.57.07 am

The Delay, Reverb and Tremelo aren’t particularly carefully chosen at present. Neither was the M5 on the real pedal board, which was chosen for size and versatility. It sounds OK but it’s not that important.

Have I missed anything?
Time for another coffee…



This is very cool… in addition - I guess you don’t have to worry about wiring any more nor about some pedal giving out. It’s also a little lighter to schlep around I guess :slight_smile:

One can also have a less expensive PC as a backup just in case which is very hard to do with pure hardware units.


I’m just jealous because you’re playing Genesis music.


That’s a downright awesome setup.


This is great! Thank you for the inspiration.


Incredible. And being a big Genesis/Phil Collins fan I must check out your band.

Trey Gunn wants to know “Hey! What’s that Microsynth plug-in? I need that thing!”


Screenshot 2021-07-14 at 8.02.53 am


Love it! Thanks!

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