Andy Othling is a guitarist from Albuquerque, New Mexico who writes and records his own music under the name Lowercase Noises and plays with bands Archabald and Future of Forestry. He runs a YouTube channel and a site called Reverb Nerds that focuses largely on ambient guitar playing and sounds. Let’s learn a bit more about his current pedalboard!
What type of pedalboard do you have?
I’m using a Pedaltrain PT-3. It gives me enough space to have a good amount of pedals without getting overwhelming.
What is your signal path?
Walrus Audio Deep Six
Electro Harmonix Micro POG
Walrus Audio Mayflower
Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander
Xotic EP Booster
Ernie Ball MVP (with Boss TU-3 on tuner output)
Electro Harmonix Superego
Malekko Ekko 616
Dr. Scientist Tremolessence
Strymon El Capistan
Boss DD-5 (in hold mode for stutter/glitch effects)
ZVex Instant Lo-fi Junky
Disaster Area DMC-3 XL controller is connected to both the Timeline and BigSky via MIDI
Two this1smyne mini expression knobs are also controlling different parameters on the Timeline and Bigsky
How many variations have you gone through on your board?
Oh man, definitely a lot. It seems like I’m usually doing at least two or three different projects at the same time which all require different sounds/styles, so I’m always trying to figure out ways to make my board more versatile. Sometimes I entertain the idea of splitting things out and making different boards for different occasions, but that just seems more complicated. I also just like to leave room for experimentation and weirdness… things outside the standard overdrive/delay/reverb sounds.
What are some important tips for putting together an Ambient board?
Well obviously having some solid reverbs and delay are key. A volume pedal is pretty important if you want more synthy/swelly sounds, and I like having a compressor on board for added sustain and fatness. A lot of people are confused when they see multiple delays on my board, but honestly one of my favorite things is to stack two or even three delays to get a big soupy sound. I’m also a fan of the more textural side of ambient guitar, which to me is about very non-guitar and even non-musical sounds to fill the space and provide a complement to the more standard ambient sounds. The Lo-fi Junky, Micro POG, Superego and even the wacky modulation on the Ekko 616 can provide sounds like that.
You get to play with a lot of pedals. What’s the first thing you usually do when you get a new pedal?
Usually when I get something new it’s to serve a pretty specific purpose, so the first thing I do is see if it actually does that thing well. But whether it does or not, I always take the time to really explore all the possible sounds from the pedal. I’ve had it happen where a new pedal didn’t actually do what I originally wanted all that well, but ended up sounding really cool in some other setting or for some other purpose.
Tell us about reverbnerds.com
I’ve been making ambient guitar related YouTube videos for about 6 years now, and last year I really started feeling like it would be beneficial to make a place outside of YouTube where I could put all this content together, make it easier for people to peruse and digest, and really just provide a single place where people can go for tips specifically about ambient guitar. So far it’s been a great success and people are really getting a lot out of it!
Order Lowercase Noises new album “This is For Our Sins” here.
Your Pedal-Board looks amazing! What patch cables are you using? They look very low profile, which is exactly what I’m looking for.
You go Andy! i’m saving up for the Strymon Big Sky as I have some great ideas for using the choral for some great ambient background sounds…
Christopher: Those are Lava Cables.
What is the pot value of those mini-expression knobs? 100k or 250k? Im running through a bigsky.
what kind of power supply is being used there to power all those pedals?
Hi Alex, Great question, Andy is very active on Twitter and I’m sure he’d be happy to answer that for you over there. https://twitter.com/andyothling (If you don’t have a twitter account, let me know and I’ll ask for you) 😀 Thanks!
I know Andy uses or has used the voodoo labs power supply. I just saw it again in one of his newer Youtube video uploads. It is a great one! Check out the True Tone 1 spot CS12 power brick too. Its is priced competitively and in my opinion provides the most bang for the buck.
actually if you look in the gap between the Bigsky and the Dr Scientist pedal you will see the voodoo labs power brick underneath.
The link in this article to “reverbnerds.com” goes to a weird ad feed, not the website it described. I’ve been a huge Future of Forestry fan for years, and just discovered Andy Othling via his Ambient Guitar videos on YouTube, and I’d really like to follow his website as well. Has his site gone down? I tried variations of the url and several Google searches which yielded nothing. If anyone can help, I’d really appreciate it.
Hi Jared, Thank you so much for the note. I removed the links, but going to have to check with Andy on if he started a new site or not. In the meantime he is on Twitter and I’m sure would love to hear from you at https://twitter.com/andyothling.
Andy is the reason I bought the Big Sky. I got to really hear it through his music and loved the versatility and endless capabilities it had. Its my favorite pedal on my board!