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Featured Pedalboard: John Oates

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Daryl Hall and John Oates have been making hit after hit for decades. John Oates and guitar tech Frank Robbins recently gave us a bit of insight into John’s board and John’s career. Read more below.

What pedalboard is this and what is your signal chain?

Frank: These 2 pedalboards are the ones that John uses for Daryl Hall and John Oates shows.

The smaller pedalboard to the left holds 3 Line 6 Relay G50 wireless receivers and a Lehle 3@1 switcher, as well as the Ojai that powers them.

The signal goes from the wireless receivers to the Lehle, then over to the other pedalboard, where it continues through a Dunlop Crybaby 95Q, a TC Electronics PolyTune, a Greenchild K818, a Durham Electronics SexDrive (which is always on), an MXR Carbon Copy delay, a Strymon El Capistan (of course), a Line 6 MM4 Modulation Modeler (for chorus and phase ) and then into a Seymour Duncan ShapeShifter Tremolo. The signal is split at that point with one side going direct to a vintage blackface Fender Pro Reverb, and the other side through a Boss GE-7 set for a slight bass cut (when needed) into a Dr. Z Maz 18. All these pedals are powered by a Zuma power supply, which also feeds the Ojai via a long jumper.

John Oates Pedalboard

How are you using the Ojai on your board?

Frank: The Line 6 Relays require a high milliamp power supply, and the Ojai does a killer job supplying them!

Could you share a favorite setting you use on El Capistan and for what song?

John: I use the El Capistan on a lot of songs during the H & O set. I set up a basic 1/4 note delay with about 2 repeats and a quick decay. Add a bit of “tape” wow and flutter to warm it up. I tap to each individual song tempo.

Frank: We found a sound that he liked a lot and we preset it there. He uses it right from the start of the show with Maneater and on several songs throughout the set. The tap tempo feature is critical and accurate.

You and Daryl Hall have been performing, recording, and writing songs together for over 40 years. What are some tips you could give to keeping a musical relationship strong and healthy for decades?

John: We have a long history, know how to get the best out of each other and how to stay out of each other’s way.

When writing songs, what is your process like?

John: For me the rule is ” no rules ” anything goes…it could start with a groove, a chord progression, a title or an emotional reaction or all of those.

When you first got started, can you look back and say what one thing helped solidify your music career?

John: Hard work, a thick skin and dedication to learning from those who came before.

Follow Hall and Oates continued musical journey here!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Guys,
    Would you say that The Strymon Iridium would pair well with The Deco , suggestions and your invaluable guidance please.
    Thank you,
    Nigel .

    1. Hey there! Iridium works great with Deco 🙂

      One of my favorite combinations, as Deco is very versatile.

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