"When you get pedals, you have to invest time into those sounds" – Radiohead's Ed O'Brien talks through his pedalboard

Radiohead's Ed O'Brien goes in-depth on the songwriting and sounds behind his debut album Earth over on Guitarworld.com (opens in new tab) and anyone interested in his tones will want to make a beeline for the part where the guitarist talks about his pedal choices on the 'board you can see below. 

“This is my live 'board with me today - I also have a studio one," he revealed in the interview that initially appeared in Total Guitar (opens in new tab) magazine. There’s a Whammy on there, a Deluxe Memory Man [delay], an Origin Cali76 [compressor], plus a Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe Delay - they make such a great preamp I use that as well.

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"For the delay, they used all the same power, preamp and components as an Echoplex, the only difference is that the delay is digital and not tape, but it still sounds amazing. The Kingsley Page is my boost - it’s just a great tube kick to give things a bit more hair and thicken the signal a bit. 

"I also have a ThorpyFX Mushroom Cloud," O'Brien added, "their version of the Big Muff, which I used a bit too. I also own a Hologram Electronics Infinite Jets. I love that thing, it’s like an amazing synthesizer. I invited the guy who made it, Ryan Schaefer, to a Radiohead show. 

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(Image credit: Fender)

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"He told me he was trying to build this pedal that you literally had on your shelf but don’t necessarily use the whole time. It helps create sounds that are different, you won’t be sure how you got there... But you did! 

"It’s one of those go-to pedals when you need something unusual. It makes your guitar stutter or sound like an accordion with backwards reverb. It’s seriously good.” 

He's clearly a tinkerer when it comes to finding new sounds and adding to his pedal palette, with an RJM Mastermind PBC providing the switching engine to unleash all manner of combinations. "When you get pedals, you have to invest time into those sounds," he added. "You need something you can investigate and dig deep on

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O'Brien also details the pedal he used on the album that aren't on the pedalboard, as well as going into detail on the guitars he used on Earth. He even gave an update on what's going on with regards to the next Radiohead album – head over to Guitarworld.com (opens in new tab) for the full chat. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.