Zachary Rizer

Performer and Educator: one low note at a time

ALright Gear Junkies, time to talk shop:

Some have said I'm meticulous, some have said curious, and some have definitely gone as far as saying I'm obsessive! Well, anyway you look at it, I love modern gear, and exploring what it can do for me as a musician. I'm anything but old school when it comes to my equipment. I've tried countless effects pedals, tons of amps, and quite a few basses (ranging from $100 to thousands). Recently my current obsession has been diving out of the bass world  a bit into the deep dark tunnel that is synthesizers. Through all of this continued exploration I have discovered entire new worlds of musical possibilities I didn't know existed. I've also solved a bunch of problems I've encountered over the years being a live performing bass player. So check out below what I'm currently using, and stay tuned as things change (they always do!). 

My trusty Dingwall ABZ 6 string bass. Amazing instrument. I've played everything out there from bargain beater squires to to top of the line $5000+ boutique basses. This is by far my favorite bass so far. Best B string in the business, but due to the fanning of the frets, the G and C strings are supple and ring clean and clear. Body is swamp ash, neck is maple, pickups are Dingwall FD3 pickups, and passive electronics. 

The Board!

Check my Youtube channel for pedal reviews of most of my board! Zach's Youtube

I change my board practically every month, but I've been digging this setup for a little while now. The arrangement offers so many options packed in a decently sized package. Signal chain is as follows:

Starts with my Boss ES-8 Effects Switching System:

  1. Boss OC-2 Octave (modded by JHS Pedals)
  2. Fairfield Circuitry Accountant Compressor
  3. Source Audio Aftershock Bass Distortion
  4. EHX Hog 2
  5. EHX Iron Lung Vocoder
  6. Eventide H9 number 1 (pitch effects) 
  7. Strymon Mobius
  8. Eventide H9 number 2 (delays and reverbs)

In the volume loop of the ES-8: 

The output of the ES-8 goes to TC Electronics Mini HOF then into the fDeck high pass filter 

  • Source Audio Reflex expression pedal is controlling both H9's, the Mobius, and the Hog 2
  • using a Source Audio Hub to send midi preset changes to both the Manta and the Aftershock
  • Each H9 is controlled with a Barn3 aux 9 switch
  • All Source Audio pedals, Eventide H9's, the Strymon, and the Hog 2 are controlled by the ES-8 via midi

The case was custom made for my Pedal Train 3 pedalboard by SafeCases

This is my main looping tool. It is a Boss RC-300. The black box in the upper right is a Midi Solutions splitter box that allows me to send 4 simultaneous midi clock signals from my looper. These control my time based effects, and my bandmates time based effects as well. 

The Rig!


With my recent move to Portland, I downsized my rig quite a bit. And I have to say, I'm thoroughly loving this micro setup! I'm using a Tecamp Puma 900, which gives me plenty of punch and clarity, but only weighs 2.5 pounds! My current cab setup is the absolutely amazing MAS-109. Incredible cab. The size to sound ratio is truly baffling! 

I don't always play keys on stage, but when I want to bring the Phatness, this is the ticket! My Moog Sub 37 is a new tool to my arsenal, but I like it more and more each show. Keybass is becoming a continually more necessary skill bass players must develop. I fought it for a while, but because of this bad boy, I'm loving playing keys.