Eko Bass Pedalboard
One of the most useful ways to extend your solo performance is to add a pedal-board to your instrument set-up. With the keyboard instrument coming to the fore in recent years, many musicians who started on guitar, acoustic instruments and even drums have found it essential to acquire some keyboard skills. The pedal-board offers an interesting alternative, particularly as it can be played with your existing instruments. The most agile pedal playing requires sit-down performance, but plenty of guitarists do play standing up and still use pedals to add root notes as well.
Eko produce three portable instruments at low cost that are sturdy enough to take on the road and feature controls that are all operated by the foot. The model illustrated is the K.3X which retails at £239 (inc VAT) and is the largest of the three boards. The 20-note pedalboard is unusual — the 13-note board is the most common — and will enable full runs for any style of music, including classical. Three bass footages are provided: 16', 8'and 4' giving flute-type sounds, while for more attack to your playing you can switch in Guitar Percussion and Bass Percussion (nothing to do with drums, simply sharp, AR envelopes). There is also a sustain switch to extend the release time. These functions are selected by heavy duty press button switches (shown 'on' by nearby red neon).
Additional rotary knobs adjust percussion decay, sustain length and +/- semitone tuning. These are obviously set prior to performance. There's also a clearly marked volume 'wheel' which is easily changed at any time.
The unit is completed by on/off switch and pilot light plus mono standard jack output socket at the rear. Construction is good throughout with smooth action, well sprung pedals, silver trimmed black end pieces and grey panel with yellow legending. No case is supplied so it's a good idea to make a rexine bag to keep dust away from contacts.
Smaller units available are the K.1X at £165 (inc VAT) with 13 notes, and 8' & 4' pitch, and the K.2X at £199 (inc VAT) which is the same as the K.3X except for a 13-note board.
A final thought — why not use a board to link extra pedal contacts to your synth keyboard or sequencer as well? Certainly, you'll find pedalboards let you do much more, and these Eko units are very reasonably priced to get you started.
The Eko pedalboards are distributed in the U.K. by John Hornby Skewes & Co Ltd, (Contact Details).