News archives for January 2014
OK so finally, months after I meant to actually do it I’ve now had chance to sit down and tell you all about the gear I used on ‘HOME’
Like usual I went into the studio armed with just about every bit of gear I have, which since the last album has at least doubled in quantity! There were also a good few amps at the studio too along with a couple I borrowed so I really wasn’t stuck for choice. I think in total we had about 12 amps in there! Amongst it there was nothing new, just all classic old stuff - Vox, Marshall and Fender. It’s funny really but after trying out loads and loads of different combinations of amps, guitars, pedals etc I still ended up settling for pretty much the same gear as what I use live for the bulk of the album! Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned there, still won’t stop me always being on the hunt for more though!!
The amp I used the most was the blonde Marshall 2144 combo. It has all the grit and drive I need without getting harsh and it cleans up lovely with the guitar volume. The speakers in it are Eminence Governors and they sound fantastic, record really well too. They have all the good stuff in terms of punch, clarity and fullness but none of the nasty stuff that sometimes needs EQ-ing out. It was just a case of dialling in a sound in the live room then experimenting with mic positioning in order that we were picking up the amp as close as possible in the control room. I’m not a fan of adding EQ afterwards, I’d rather spend the extra time moving the mics around so they’re hearing the amp in the same way I am: even moving a mic half an inch can make a huge difference. I did all the tracking in the control room so if the sound coming out of the monitor speakers wasn’t quite as I was hearing it from the amp itself, I’d keep moving mics around until it was! For a close mic we used a Shure SM57 and then there were a couple of Coles Ribbon mics a few feet further back.
The other amp I used a lot was my little Princeton Reverb. Cranked up it sounds killer, especially with humbuckers! It has the most gorgeous vibrato and reverb too so I ended up using that on a lot of tracks. I had it running flat out and then just controlled the amount of break-up with the guitars volume. The cool thing with this amp is that you can run it through another set of speakers – its stock speaker isn’t really up to much but running it through a nice pair of 12’s transforms the amp completely. Again out of all the speakers and cabs we had in there it was the Governors in the Marshall that sounded the best with this amp so whenever we used it we didn’t have to move a thing! Of course there were a few other amps I used for the odd bit which I’ll list but the main ones I used were these two.
Now then, pedals…. I used two: a DOD Octoplus and a Klon Centaur. The Octave pedal was just used on Hyde 2612 for the main riff, other than that it was just the Klon. This I used as a clean boost to effectively push the front end of the amp a bit harder. I had used an old EQ pedal for this purpose for years but in the studio the Klon did a much better job so I stuck with that. It effectively makes everything sound bigger, you get a bit more compression and drive and the guitar cleans up a bit better when it’s on. Typical settings on that were drive at zero, tone at 12 o clock and level about 1 – 2 o clock.
For guitars it was all the usual suspects I use live plus my Linus LP on a couple of tracks to add some different texture to some rhythm parts. So here you go, following is what I used on each track...
HOME – Probett LP into Marshall with Klon for main part, Linus LP into Marshall for secondary rhythm parts
BROKE – Red Strat into Fender Vibroverb for main rhythm part. 335 into Princeton Reverb (vibrato switched on) for secondary rhythm part. Probett LP into Marshall for middle solo.
INSATIABLE – Probett LP into Marshall for main guitar riff and solo etc, then into Princeton Reverb with vibrato switched on for rhythm bit in verses
INSIDE OUT – Red Strat into Marshall with klon for all guitar parts. All the variations in sound on this song was just done from the guitars volume / tone controls
FREE – Probett LP into Marshall with Klon for main rhythm chorus part and for atmospheric bits in the verses. 335 into Princeton for secondary clean rhythm part in verses. 335 into Marshall for the middle feedback thing – I was in the room with the amp for that bit (quite loud!!). Probett LP again into Marshall for outro solo.
SUGAR – 335 into Princeton for intro section, then into Super Reverb for main rhythm part. For the solo that comes after the piano one it was again the 335 but this time into an old piggyback Fender Bassman going flat out!!
YOU MAKE IT REAL – 335 into Princeton for main guitar part then red Strat into Marshall for solo.
FEELING GOOD – Probett LP and Linus LP into Marshall with Klon for all main parts. I used the Princeton for a little clean rhythm part too.
POSSESSION – Red Strat into Marshall for main guitar part. Probett LP into Marshall with Klon for first solo, then into Princeton with the Klon for the second outro solo.
HYDE 2612 – My old cello slide guitar into Marshall for all the guitar parts in this, just with the Octoplus kicked in for the main.
IMPOSSIBLE – 335 straight into the Princeton. Simple!
STRAIGHT TALKIN’ WOMAN – 335 into Princeton for main rhythm part. For the solo it’s the Probett LP into the Princeton with Klon kicked in.
Hope that’s of interest! Here’s hoping you all had a cracking Christmas and New Year...