There are endless amounts of indie bands out there that all sound completely different because of one reason: they have a certain sound. Though all band’s sound different, they all rely on and cherish the one thing that makes them different, their gear. Gear gives bands a means of self-expression and individuality to their sound, which is what all bands strive for.
Here’s the top gear for indie bands to experiment with to take their sound to nirvana.
Assuming that a guitarist already has a good amp, the next thing to add to it is reverb. Ever see those giant boards in front of guitarists feet? That’s where this pedal goes and it will most likely be on the entire time they are playing. Reverb is almost essential to make your tone flow and sound smooth. You can adjust it to get only slight play-back or turn it all the way up to get a cathedral style sound effect.
One of the best reverb pedals to start with is the Holy Grail line on reverbs by Electro-Harmonix. This pedal is great because it is completely analog, so you get a real, raw reverb sound rather than a digital one. Reverbs are not limited to just guitarists, however; a lot of singers rely heavily on reverb as well to give them a psychedelic sound to their voice.
Delay is one of the most psychedelic effects a guitarist can add to their effects chain. The amazing thing about delay pedals is the array of sounds they produce. From 50’s slapback tones to crazy extraterrestrial sounds, this pedal does it all. It’s quite marvelous actually.
Some of the best and most well-known delay pedals on the market are the MXR Carbon Copy, Line 6 DL4, and the notorious Boss Digital Delay. You can’t go wrong with any of these pedals!
For the Rock N Roll bands out there, this is a must have. Distortion and fuzz pedals are always found on guitarists pedal boards because it gives a boost to their sound when transitioning between verses to choruses or solos. Distortion doesn’t stop with just guitarists, bassists are coming around to using distortion and fuzz effects to produce new sounds. For example, Jack Lawrence from The Dead Weather and Chris Wolstenholme of Muse use fuzz almost in every song.
Some of the best distortion / Fuzz pedals for guitarists are the Ibanez T69 EHX Soul Food and Big Muff effects. For bassists, the SansAmp Bass Driver and EHX Bass Big Muff.
What more can I say then, yes, add synth, experiment with synth. Do whatever you can do to make sure you have someone in the band playing synth in your songs. Almost every band has synth in their songs and it’s not fixed to a certain style either, from heavy rock bands to 80’s new wave, synth is a staple for every band.
One of the most renown synths on the market is the microKORG. The microKORG is perfect for any band because of its compact size. Its wide variety of pre-installed sounds gives you to perfect starting place to find the right sound for you as well.
For a drummer, it might get a little scarce trying to find gear other than traditional percussion gear to get new sounds. One of the best gear additions for indie drummers is a drum pad. Sitting alongside a traditional kit, a drum pad gives a drummer complete control and a great variety of digital sounds. The most used Drum pad on the market is the Roland SPD-XS because of the endless amount of options it gives you.
Being in a band and having a sound that completely your own is the key to success. With these top five pieces of gear for bands, they are endless sounds waiting for you to discover and claim as your own.