During Stu G’s recent tour through South Africa with Micheal W. Smith we asked him to talk us through his pedalboard setup. Stu G predominantly uses JHS, Walrus and Eventide pedals, along with the GigRig G2 switcher and humdinger.
Stu G: My chain starts with a Gigrig Humdinger that’s underneath the board which functions as a buffer. There are lots of cabling underneath the board. From there it hits the Gigirig G2 switcher. All the pedals are in different loops patched into the switcher. The JHS Pulp & Peel v4 Compressor is in the first loop and it is on pretty much all the time. I love the circuit, especially the blend knob that allows you to blend the original circuit back in to prevent it squashing too much. 2nd in line is the JHS Kilt V2 which is a collaboration between myself and JHS Pedals. It is based on an Bixonic Expandora pedal that I used to use in Delirious? when we made the Metamorphasis record. Bixonic aren’t making them anymore so Josh (Josh Heath Scott, founder of JHS Pedals – ed) and I decided to launch our own version with a bit of a spin on it. V2 has a red remote that turns gain 2 on and off. I switch it with the Gigrig switcher.
Next in the chain is the Fulltone Fulldrive which I use just to tickle the distortion. It’s a pre-mosfet one and I have CompCut on all the time. The Fulldrive is my “touch of overdrive” and the Kilt is set to a bit more. For the big solo stuff I use the Walrus Audio Iron horse which is a Rat type pedal. I use it to play Micheal’s 80’s and 90’s stuff to get the sound of the solo’s that were played by Dan Huff and other guitarists at the time. It sounds very authentic to me. I don’t own an original 80’s or 90’s Rat, but this one is fantastic. In loop 5 I have the Jackson Audio Prism which is always on. I have the volume set to unity and I use it as a tone shaper to adapt to various rigs. After the Prism comes my volume pedal. With Delirious? I always had the volume pedal first in my chain, but for Micheal’s stuff it is less noisy after the drives. Next in line is the Walrus Audio Julia Chorus pedal which is just brilliant. I often use it in conjunction with the Iron horse for that 80’s solo sound. That is followed by the EHX Pitch Fork for octave up shimmer type sounds. I use that instead of a Whammy due to the size.
This is followed by the JHS Lucky Cat Delay. I love the modulation it has. I am a big modulation guy. Last in line are two Eventide H9 pedals. The one takes care of reverbs and tremelo’s and the other one is for delays only. I have two expression pedals connected to the H9’s. The one changes the feedback of delays on the one H9 and the other expression pedal takes the entire direct signal out of the reverbs on the second H9 for those real ambient sounds. I have the G2 switcher in stompbox mode most of the time. For Micheal’s gig I run the pedal board in front of the Kemper Profilers like I would with my normal amps.
I use a Quartz Timer from Selah. I am not using it as a midi brain as some people do as I use the G2 for that. I’ve got all the songs of the set programmed into the Selah with all their different tempos. The Selah sends the tempos via midi to the H9’s and via the tap tempo output to the Lucky Cat. You just hold the pedal for a second and it will switch to the next song on the list. I had one gig that I needed it for and I set it up in the simplest way possible and I’ve kept it the same way ever since.