We recently caught up with Sarah Lipstate of Noveller to discuss her live setup and pedalboard configuration. Active since 2005, Sarah Lipstate has enough guitar and guitar pedal knowledge to fill a few books. She'll be playing at The Broad in Los Angeles on November 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and at Elsewhere in Brooklyn on November 7th.
You just finished a tour promoting your most recent album, A Pink Sunset for No One. What did your live pedalboard rig include?
SL: I change my pedalboard configuration constantly. For my European tour I definitely had to pare down my board because I was traveling solo and had to make sure that my suitcase weighed under 50lbs. This is what I ended up putting on my board: EHX Superego+, EHX Mel9, EHX Synth9, Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter, EHX Pitchfork, Way Huge Saucy Box, Way Huge Swollen Pickle, Dr No Octavia, Montreal Assembly Count to 5, Walrus Audio Descent, Tomkat Pedals Day Dreamer, Eventide H9 Max Copper, Meris Polymoon with Preset Footswitch, Meris Mercury 7, Boomerang Phrase 3 Sampler.
The way you sculpt soundscapes when you perform is impressive. How do you “build” a track live?
SL: I rely on my Boomerang looper to allow me to build my pieces live. The Boomerang has three separate looping banks plus overdubbing so I can have a lot of control over the layers that I'm recording live. The challenge in doing loop-reliant music is keeping the piece dynamic and exciting.
What are your favorite algorithms for the H9? Do you tend to use the pedal in one specific way live and in multiple ways in the studio?
SL: I've built some signature sounds in my music using the MangledVerb algorithm. Lately I've been utilizing some really exciting presets in the Synthonizer, ModFilter, Resonator, Band Delay, and Ultratap algorithms. Since I had to streamline my pedalboard for my recent tour in Europe, I used the H9 to recreate some of the sounds that I was missing by removing pedals. I added some chorus, tremolo, and phaser presets to my H9 and was able to pull off my set using fewer pedals.
Pedals can be guitar and chain-specific. Do some pedals just sound good with everything?
SL: The H9 sounds great with everything I throw at it!