Pedalboard efficiency is often the most overlooked part of your setup. Cheap cables or things that aren’t connected to power properly are often ruining your tone. Michael likes to use Mogami cables for longer connections for multiple reasons:
- when you hit them on the floor they don’t make a lot of noise
- they are well-shielded
- you don’t get all those pops on stage
For pedalboard connections Michael likes to use JM at Cleartone, he sauders at custom lengths and uses switchcraft ends. Michael uses Mogami cable to run between pedals, they travel really well. He also has a George L’s patch cable but he notices they tend to fall apart around the 10 year mark.
A newer cable Michael is using is called the Monorail by Evidence Audio. You thread the centre conductor onto the end tap and screw the last piece in and it grounds it. He also recommends the Lava Cables.
Stay away from the tiny, differently colored patch cable, music store brand cables, or cheap and poorly-made cables. These will end up sucking out your tone.
The way you power everything really matters. Michael uses the Gig-rig - it’s really small and it works anywhere in the world. The only downside to it is that it’s a daisy-chain. Typically this means the further down you get the weaker the signal, which degrades your tone. But the Gig-rig has enough power to power his whole board with the correct voltages. If you don’t travel a lot check out Voodoo Labs or Pedal Powers.
These are really handy for putting your amps far away in another room but not losing power. Usually from about 30 feet on, you start to lose signal level when using instrument cable. The SGI’s help to correct that. You can run 300 feet of cable through them without losing a single bit.
A buffer will boost your signal up through the whole length of that cable. The buffer adds a little bit more low-end and a little bit more top-end. Michael uses an RC Booster but wired in stereo. A simple buffer will usually do the trick.