Welcome to the latest edition of Feedback, a look (down) at the pedal boards and equipment of some of our favorite musicians. Today, we hear from Oed Ronne, guitarist for long-running dream-pop band The Ocean Blue.
Ronne has been playing guitar with the band since 1993, and here gives us an in-depth look into the pedals he’s chosen to bring on tour for the new record. The Ocean Blue is just about to release their 7th full-length record, Kings and Queens / Knaves and Thieves on June 21 via Korda Records.
For the past 20 years or so, we’ve really only done fly-in shows. For this reason, I have to keep my pedalboard small enough to carry on the plane. I usually only travel with one guitar, and amps are usually rented or borrowed, so I’m very reliant on my pedals for my sound. I’ve gone through many iterations over the last several years, and what follows is what I’ve whittled my pedalboard down to for this tour...
BOSS PN-2 Tremelo/Pan: I bought this in high school in the '80s and it hasn’t left my pedalboard since the 90s. I guess they’re sought after now, but I think it’s just a nice, plain-sounding tremolo. I keep it on sawtooth and depth halfway for Duane Eddy-ish tremolo sounds.
Mooer Ensemble King: Chorus is important to the overall Ocean Blue guitar sound, and David uses an old, '80s Boss CE-2. I’ve used the Boss pedal in the band since the 90s, but now that one is getting crackly and space on my board is a premium of late. This tiny, cheapo, Chinese pedal sounds pretty convincingly like the CE-2, only half the size. I only wish the top knobs were big enough to tweak with my toe.
Strymon Deco: This is a tape saturation pedal that also has some tape modulation emulation built into it. I pretty much keep the tape saturation turned on all the time as sort of a subtle compressor, and then turn up the saturation knob for when I want an even, clean-dirt sound. I crank up the wobble for organic, unfixed modulation. Then when you step on the right button and hold it, you get this 70s tape phaser effect. One of my favorite pedals.
Chandler/BK Butler Tube Driver: I bought this in the early 90s in a pawn shop in Kansas when we were doing the Beneath the Rhythm and Sound tour. I believe these were made in the early 80s, but I’m not certain. The same tube has been in there since I bought it, and it sounds sweet and warm. We tend to be a very clean guitar band, not using tons of overdrive, but when we do leads we need something that has warm dirt with lots of sustain, which this has in droves.
TC Electronics Polytune Mini: Just a nice, standard, well-built tuning pedal. This has a nice, large led display and a very quiet mute feature. Also, super tiny.
Uffda Screamer: This is a Build Your Own Clone Overdrive Two pedal I put together about 7 years ago. It’s modeled after the 70s Ibanez TS808, but has a few mods in it, including a clipping switch and a clean boost channel on the left side.
Mooer Gray Faze: Another cheapo space-saving pedal that sounds pretty darn Fuzz-Face-y. It’s a germanium chip fuzz pedal that sounds very even and is useful for long, suspended tones and textures.
Mooer Ana Echo: David has an original Ibanez AD9 analog delay pedal from the 70s that I’m very jealous of! This purports to emulate that pedal, hence the pink color. I’ve never A/B’d them, but this does a fine job for my darker, organic, analog delay needs. It also does that sic-fi analog delay feedback like the AD9 well.
DigiTech Mosaic: We’ve used 12-strings on several songs we’ve recorded over the years, yet it’s impractical to bring a 12-string along for shows. This is my latest pedal and it does a convincing job emulating an electric 12. It’s not 100%, still sounds a little bit like a harmonizing pedal with that tight delay sound, but it’s a cool sound in and of itself. It is also nice to hit for a little bit of a scene change for parts that need to take more center stage without turning up the volume.
Strymon Blue Sky: For Kings and Queens / Knaves and Thieves we pretty much exclusively used the Universal Audio EMT 250 and 140 plugins for reverbs on guitars. This pedal gets me through live, though. There is a reason why this pedal has become so popular, it is just an incredibly rich and thick, high-quality sounding reverb. It has the completeness of a quiet rack-mounted reverb effect in a pedal. I usually keep it on a modulated plate and my ‘favorited’ setting is used on probably 60% of the songs we play live. From there I just vary the decay knob.