Lately I've been seeing so many people trying hard to be Pete Thorn on guitar forums and subreddits. These huge 20 pedal rigs with loops, cables everywhere, and then their amp pedal in front or off to the side. Most of these look like a train wreck and all I can think of is:
1) how long is this going to take to set up and tear down at a gig?
2) how do you ensure the knobs on your 20 pedals don't move?
3) I've experienced this with my smaller compact pedal rig, if a cable goes out, it's kinda hard to figure out which one when your board is ultra-cable managed with everything velcroed or tied down.
4) most guys aren't running 4CM, so all of their effects are before the amp. Kinda defeats the purpose of a high gain amp IMO. If they are in the amp's loop, then there are really long cables running back to the amp killing tone and requiring even more pedals in the form of buffers.
I get it that all the analog stuff is kinda a pendulum swing reaction away from modelers, but this is getting silly now. What is the next big thing? Racks again, maybe half racks? iPads through tube power amps? What solutions do you think will become popular over the next 10 years, or am I off base and these ridiculously huge pedalboards are here to stay?
I've used both "real amps" (I've owned several tube amps, solid state amps, and solid state/digital hybrid amps) and modelers. Right now I have both: a Mesa Boogie Roadster and a Line 6 POD500. But I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS hated pedalboards with a passion. Now, you can't claim "Oh, you're a digital guy who just never owned effects pedals" because I had a small tube amp, a large solid state amp, and about 20 effects pedals when I was in college.
I'm thinking that if I do get in a band in the future, I might use an overdrive pedal for distortion and maybe use my POD500 just for effects since I do really like layered sounds with reverb, chorus, delay, noise gate, and maybe even compression, but I don't want to have to do tap-dancing, nor do I want to have 20 pedals on the ground -- and what if I want heavy delay on this one part of one song and really light delay on this part of another song? Does that mean I need to have two delay pedals? Or that I have to bend over and reconfigure the pedal and keep track how each pedal is set up for each song?
In the past, my solution to this was... If I'm playing in a band without any digital modeling or multi-effects units, I just keep the pedals to the bare essentials (overdrive, delay, wah-wah, and noise gate, for example). But even that kinda seems like a lot.
So, yeah, hopefully the pedalboard era is winding down.