Pedals And Effects 5: Rachel Eckroth of KT Tunstall

Pedals and Effects is proud to present its newest entry of The Pedals And Effects 5 featuring pianist/keyboardist Rachel Eckroth. Based out of LA, Rachel is an accomplished and incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist who has a very unique style. Taking notes from jazz, indie, pop, Rachel weaves in and out sonic convention making her one of the most interesting musicians in the scene. Rachel plays with KT Tunstall and is currently working on a new album with Tim Lefebvre and Gary Novak due out summer 2017. Without further ado, here is The Pedals And Effects 5 with Rachel Eckroth!

Photo Credit: Revive Music

Photo Credit: Revive Music

   1. What is your number one/go-to pedal on your pedalboard and why?

My number one pedal is the MXR Carbon Copy Bright. It's a great delay pedal that is very responsive and warm. I think it's a go-to for a lot of musicians. I always like to add a slight delay to my keyboards, especially the non-synths like Rhodes and Wurly, just to give them a little more body and presence. There is a small mod button on it that gives the sound a slight chorus effect, which I love. You can also move the pitch around with the Delay knob, which is especially effective if you are playing a solo and want to be a little more expressive - think pitch bender minus the cheese. 

   2. What is your favorite combination of pedals? It can be a combination of 2 pedals or multiple pedals!

I've been having fun mixing delay pedals together to create rhythmic patterns as well as large sonically intense pads.  One effect I like is to set the time or delay knob on one pedal at a steady tempo, then use the other to move the pitch around.   Also, messing with both pedals simultaneously creates a wall of sound even from just a couple notes on the instrument.  I tried this with the Carbon Copy Bright and the Moog MF Delay.  It's nice to own a few pedals that do the same thing, because brand to brand they all have their own characteristics and nuances.

The Earthquaker Devices Afterneath pedal is an awesome one to pair with a delay too.  It creates a huge cinematic sound underneath your main sound and pitch can also be manipulated.  

Photo Credit: Rachel Eckroth

Photo Credit: Rachel Eckroth

   3. When did you realize a pedal(s) could evolve your playing/sound and what pedal(s) was it?  

One of my first pedals was an Ibanez Tube King.  I first used it with my Rhodes, which allowed me to give the instrument a real strong lead sound. That brought it a little more into synth land, rather than a usual comping space the Rhodes traditionally lives in. 

   4. In the future, what would you like to see pedal builders create (from scratch) or modify on an existing standard?

I'm not sure, I still have so many to try out.  

Photo Credit: Rachel Eckroth

Photo Credit: Rachel Eckroth

   5. What advice can you give to musicians who are trying to expand their musical horizons with pedals and effects?

Spend some time using them in different ways, try doing things with your pedals that they aren't really made for.  You can find a lot of new music this way.


All of the gear that Rachel mentioned is available on!