Dec 082017

Today’s Pedal Line Friday submission is from Michael Kay. If you have a pedal line (doesn’t have to be in a board) for your rig, please email me a photo, bio, description of pedals and routing to Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.

Pedal Line Friday - 12/8 - Michael Kay

Pedal Line Friday – 12/8 – Michael Kay

Here is my set-up: TC Electronic Polytune Mini –> Catalinbread Karma Suture (germanium version) –> smallsound/bigsound Fuck Overdrive –> Earthquaker Devices Pitch Bay –> Red Panda Particle –> Empress Tape Delay –> Catalinbread Pareidolia harmonic tremolo (based on the Fender Brownface amp tremolo) –> Catalinbread Talisman (plate reverb emulator).

Currently I use the Karma Suture as a low-gain drive that cleans up with the guitar volume knob. It is an amazing pedal and the one problem is I miss using its higher gain sounds. The Fuck Overdrive (that is it’s actual name) is a wide-ranging, ragged, fuzzy drive with a unique envelope-controlled input voltage function. It creates a beautiful crackly dying amp sound that can be really expressive. I currently use it for high gain broken fuzz sounds though it also excels as a dynamic overdrive without the crackle. (The builder, Brian Hamilton, is also the keyboardist in a fantastic band, Cymbals Eat Guitars.) The Talisman is always on at a subtle setting as my general reverb, unless I use an amp with nice built-in reverb, in which case I can extend the decay and increase the mix to use it as an ambient effect. It’s a glorious-sounding pedal.

I should note I always use a very straightforward, clean sound on whatever amp I’m plugging into, and try not to play too loud. Part of the evolution of this set-up is that I think it gets great sounds even at relatively low volumes. Another goal with these pedals is to run the gamut from classic rock sounds to much stranger, and this works really well, though I still have much to discover. One of my favorite bands is Los Lobos, who over many decades have mixed together structured, roots-based and catchy songs with creative, out-there guitar parts and sounds, and I aspire to be able to do that too.

I play in a four-piece band in the Philadelphia area called The Barrel Fires that has a mostly-classic rock sound with original material. We gig periodically in the area. Our EP from a couple years ago already is a bit out of date compared to our current sound but it can be found at, along with a newer, home-recorded tune. We also are on Spotify and iTunes and have a YouTube channel full of iPhone videos:

Thanks for giving your readers a chance to share about their gear and projects.


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Pedal Line Friday – 12/8 – Michael Kay
Source: Effects Bay