From time to time I receive questions about what equipment I used to record a particular solo, like the one below from Lainee (sent via Myspace). Apart from guitars, my setup has basically been the same since 2005, so I thought it would be worth a post here.
1) I really love your tone on New Born Race. I think I saw once on a video that you were using a Pod Pro thru a Marshall, and was wondering what you recorded that solo through? Also the envelope filter/wah effect you are using in it, what is it? I love it, It’s sort of bubbly round and screamy all at the same time (can’t find a better description) – I just cant seem to come up with that tone/effect my self (always comes off sounding more ‘whiny’ and ‘thin’ rather than screamy and round)
First of all Lainee, thanks for the compliments! In the video below, you can see the solo Lainee is referring to (playback version for the album trailer):
For Newborn Race I used the bridge pickup on my Luna Andromeda, the Pod Pro, and the Dunlop 535-Q wah pedal, recorded directly into my computer’s sound card (the photo shows the whole chain). I always record with no added effects or EQ. During mixing, Arjen made many adjustments: EQ, compression, limiting, short reverb, long reverb, and delay. EQ usually involves hunting down and reducing any ugly frequencies, and often adding a bit of top. It depends on the solo sound used, and the characteristics of the backing.
You mention having a problem with only getting thin, whiny sounds. The only solution I know of is to try a load of different wah pedals until you find one you like. So far the Dunlop 535-Q is my “go to” wah, but sometimes I use a Bad Horsie II. The Dunlop Crybaby classic seems good as well — that will probably be the next wah pedal added to my own collection.
Another thing you can try is to “tune” your wah by opening it up and adjusting the range of the pot under the treadle to find the “sweet spot.” (see img below)
2) Your trem technique is brilliant, so fluid. Was wondering (for example on the Luna andromeda) when you set up your trem, how many springs do you have on the Floyd to get such a smooth and fluid motion and tone with it?
There are 2 springs on my Luna Andromeda (9-42s, standard tuning).The number of springs will depend on what gauge strings you use and whether you tune to standard pitch or some other tuning.
All of my guitars’ bridges are set up to be “floating,” which means that I can pull slightly up on the bar as well as press downwards towards the body. Floating trems have both advantages and disadvantages: you get a silky smooth trem action, but have to be careful when muting so as not to press too hard on the bridge and make the tuning go sharp. In general, tuning takes longer with a floating trem (for me, anyway).
I hope this answers your questions, Lainee. Best of luck with your music!
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