You really can run your rig 11 ways without re-patching your pedalboard! 

Hi folks,
Here’s a brilliant article on pedalboard versatility from pedalboard magician Grant at Goodwood Audio (

I really enjoyed this, I’m sure you will too. If you need more info on this, get in touch with Goodwood via their website –

Cheers Simon


Today I wanted to show you how you can run your rig in 11 different ways without re-patching your entire rig.  This is the ultimate in flexibility for the gigging musician who plays different venue types and sizes.  The ability to stay flexible and work with your sound engineer rather than against is going to help you and pay dividends for your future gigs! 

Feel free to respond to this email with any questions that come up.  These routing diagrams will lead to a better understanding of how to can route your rig and get the most out of the gear you already own!


The most common way to run a pedalboard.  This is a great option for the vast majority of guitar players! It’s simple, easy to troubleshoot and quick to set up.  

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Wet effects – Amp 



The signal chain shown in this diagram is the same as mono, but now you can easily blend amps to your choosing.  Both amps are getting the exact same signal from the pedalboard. 

To access this, open up the box and switch the internal DIP switches to ‘Split Sum’.

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Wet effects (in mono) – Amp Left and Amp Right


This is where things start getting exciting.  Now you’re running your wet effects (modulation, delay, reverb) in stereo and can send this signal to two amps.  Now your wet effects interact with the 2 amps and give a wider stereo field, movement and depth.  

Signal chain:  
Guitar – Dry effects – Wet effects (now run in stereo) – Stereo amps 


This can be used in any of the previous diagrams.  Simply patch in a pedal you want to audition to the Dry Out / FX Return jacks on the WDW Box and signal will automatically be re-routed to the pedal you are auditioning. 

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Pedal you are auditioning – Wet effects – Amp(s) 


Similarly to auditioning a pedal, now we are using the Dry Out and FX Send jacks to insert your amps FX Loop for 4 Cable Method.  
Now your amplifiers pre-amp is sitting between your dry and wet effects.  

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Amp input – Amp FX Send – Wet effects – Amplifier power amp


This is one of the most common questions I get.  How do I run 2 amp FX Loops.  Most people assume they need to run cables to BOTH amp inputs, BOTH FX sends and BOTH FX returns.  
In theory, you can do this but it comes with a miriad of issues and potential problems that at the end of the day are almost always not worth the hassle and cost.  
5 Cable method is the way to simplify this approach while also giving your self access to stereo fx loops.  

The main point here is that one of your amps will provide the pre-amp and both amps will use their power amps.  This means your 2nd amp will only have a cable plugged into it’s FX return (power amp).  You won’t be able to use it’s tone controls, channel switching etc.  Just it’s power amp and cab.  Amp #1 will be a master tone, channel switching for both power amps and cabs.  

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Amp #1 Input – Amp #1 FX Send – Wet effects (in stereo) – Left Out to Amp #1 FX Return // Right out to Amp #2 FX Return


This is one of the most underrated 2 amp setups.  Instead of running stereo effects (dry and wet effects are going to 2 amps) you are now running one amp that is dedicated to your dry effects only and another amp dedicated to dry and wet effects in mono.  

This setup allows for separation between amps.  More independent control between monitor and FOH mixes and a clearer mix due to one amp taking the transients and articulation of the instrument (dry amp) and the wet amp being responsible for the majority of the effects.  

Now FOH can craft a mix to the needs of the audience while the musicians can get a separate blend of the wet and dry amps.  

In the diagram you can see the wet effects are run in stereo but sending to one amp.  You can do this to keep future stereo routing options available or you can run your wet effects on mono to one wet amp if that is the main way you are going to use your rig.  As a rule of thumb you should route your rig for the method you will use the vast majority of the time.  

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Dry amp (receives only dry effects) – Wet effects (mono) – Wet amp (receives both dry and wet effects) 


This is building on Wet-Dry.  Everything is the same except now instead of running mono wet effects, we are running stereo wet effects.  

We will have one dry amp for articulation but now have the option for the wide, stereo wet effects we as guitar players know and love.  

Signal chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Dry amp (receives only dry effects) – Wet effects (in stereo) – Left and right wet amps (receive both dry and wet effects in stereo) 


In diagram 8 you saw a 3 amp ‘holy grail’ of a rig.  Wet Dry Wet.  Practically speaking, transporting 3 heavy tube amps, a pedalboard and 1 or more guitars is a big ask.  Most of us mortals want the tone without destroying our backs.  

This is where an amp simulator comes in. 

At the end of your dry chain you can add an amp simulator which will be a global ‘amp’ for your dry, left and right (wet amp) outputs.  

You can upgrade your WDW Box to have 3x XLR outputs.  Now you have 3 active DI boxes right on your board OR use these same XLR outputs to send to 3 real tube amps up to 300 feet away. 

Signal chain:
Guitar – Dry effects – Amp simulator (end of dry chain) – Dry output to DI / straight to DAW – Wet effects (in stereo) – Left and right XLR / DI outputs straight to DAW (receive both dry and wet effects in stereo) 


Out of all the routing diagrams we’ve seen so far, this is my favourite.  It combines the best of all worlds in my opinion.  

You get stereo wet effects, a dedicated dry amp and you only need to carry one amp.  

In my experience, there is nothing like mic’ing up a real tube amp.  The feel, attack, interaction with real tubes while moving air through a real speaker is unbeatable.  But I’m not one to bring 3 amps to a gig.  

Now I can bring my favourite tube amp for my dry output (the core of my sound) and send my wet effects through an amp simulator.  These wet effects get layered on top of my dry amp.  I’ve personally used this type of rig for years and it is a great balance of everything we’ve talked about so far.  

Signal Chain:
Guitar – Dry effects – Dry tube amp (receives only dry effects) – Amp Sim (before or after wet effects is fine) – Wet effects (in stereo) – Left and right XLR outputs send to DAW / DI’s (receive both dry and wet effects in stereo) 


Very similar to the previous Wet Dry Wet examples, this option allows you to use one amps core tone (pre and power amp) in the dry section and then send that signal to your wet effects. 

After your wet effects you can either send to a real stereo power amp and cabs OR use something like a GFI Cab Zeus (or a Cab Sim only) to send straight to a DAW / Stereo DI’s.  

The Suhr Line Out Box (NOT a load box!!) splits the signal from your speaker output of your dry amp and sends it to your dry amps speaker while also sending that signal to your wet effects.  It’s a passive, transformer split with some additional features.  

Some people swear by this method of running WDW.  I like it, but it also has it’s draw backs.  You can no longer mute your dry amp independently of your wet amps as they are all intertwined.  Muting your dry amp will also mute your wet amps in this scenario.  

Signal Chain: 
Guitar – Dry effects – Dry amp and cab with a split from Suhr Line Out Box (receives only dry effects) – Wet effects (in stereo) – Left and Right Outputs send to a power amp and cabs or a cab simulator straight to a DAW/FOH (receive dry, dry amp pre/power amp tones and wet effects)

I know there was a lot of information here.  Feel free to get in touch via the website (

There are plenty of ways to route your rig, keeping future options open and flexible.  At the end of the day though, you will only know what rig works best for you after your own experiments.  There are often ways to test out these ideas as well before committing to a purchase.  
Find pedals you already own that have multiple outputs.  Use these as a buffered split to send one side to a dry out and the other to your wet effects.  Get creative.  We’re here if you get stuck! 

Thanks for sticking with me this far! If you’re still reading, you’re truly a pedalboard nut.  My kind of person. 

Leave a Comment