My question is why or why not should I use the idea below:

So, regarding individual effect pedals in an signal chain, everybody has a different idea how to set the order, what to include when going on a solo or running clean, and again everybody has a different idea on how to do it.

My thought is a cheap and maybe lousy solution for my setup. It is to give selective DC power to specific pedals. Make a foot switched chain that gives power to the pedals that you want enabled for solo. This would sure require true bypass ones. eg: my setup in () the ones I want to enter in the solo, in [] the booster which has no specific place and also may run all the time

guit -> whah -> (overdrive) -> dist -> preamp -> (chorus) -> (delay) -> [clean booster] -> power amp 

Downsides are:

  • Everything must be true bypass
  • Sudden spikes in noise or weird noises
  • Maybe delay to the time where the effect is fully operational
  • Not being sure if you have a pedal on or off (I mean its true bypass switch)
  • Changing to a second configuration easily done

Upside is:

  • Avoid the pedal dance...
  • Seriously, just press ONE switch and completely change configuration in pedals that could be anywhere in the chain

    Would it work?

  • 2
    The problem has a solution: pedal switchers. Check out this link for a comparison of a few pedal switchers.
    – Matt L.
    Nov 16, 2015 at 13:38
  • True bypass ,to me, means that the signal doesn't go through any circuitry when it's in its 'off' mode. That doesn't mean when there's no power to it, but it means when it's not switched 'on'. No power = no transmission of any signal.
    – Tim
    Nov 16, 2015 at 16:20
  • @Tim, check my comment at Todd's answer
    – thahgr
    Nov 16, 2015 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


Would it work?

No, it would not work.

The problem is if you leave a pedal bypassed, then applying or cutting the power to it does nothing. If you leave a pedal engaged, then applying power gives you the effected sound and cutting power gives you no sound at all. Even a true bypass pedal passes no audio when the pedal is "on" and the power is cut.

Also, a solution for this has already been invented

Although products that do this are not cheap. One fairly widely-known product for this is the Voodoo Lab Ground Control System, which lets you change your whole signal chain with one press of a footswitch.

The original inventor of these kinds of systems is almost certainly Bob Bradshaw, whose early products in this field have descendents being made by Custom Audio Electronics. At one time, Bradshaw was associated/licensed designs to Rocktron under the brand name Rocktron/Bradshaw. Rocktron still makes the Patchmate switcher and compatible MIDI controllers.

  • thanks for your answer Todd, For if it would work, I am not sure if this is the case.. I mean having the pedal switch on and power off, the sound is as if the pedal does not exist. Powering it on, resets the pedal switch ? maybe not in all pedals... if it does not, then why wouldnt it work?
    – thahgr
    Nov 16, 2015 at 13:56
  • On all the pedals I have (which is a large number - 30+? and a mixture of true bypass and buffered), if the DC power supply is off, and the pedal is engaged, no sound will pass through at all. Maybe you can try it yourself on your pedals. Even if it did work, you would almost always get loud pops and strange noises when enganging and disengaging. And again, why deal with that? There are already ways to do this that don't involve something that won't work and would make horrible noises if it did work. Nov 16, 2015 at 14:01
  • I will test it myself one of these days! (I have many mooer pedals) Just the question came to my head today waiting for a code compilation... Now, whether it is useful or not, that is a whole lot different.. Sometimes we do some things just because we can and not because they are useful.. For the downsides, yep I included the things you mention
    – thahgr
    Nov 16, 2015 at 14:12
  • 3
    Hi again, you were completely right, it does not work, as when the pedal does nothing, I tried it out with my pedals. I had it wrongly in my mind on how true bypass pedals exactly work, sorry for my misbelief. You have my upvote!
    – thahgr
    Nov 16, 2015 at 17:49
  • 2
    No need to apologize. Skepticism of stuff people write online is healthy. :-) Sorry your idea didn't pan out and thanks for the vote. Nov 16, 2015 at 18:10

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