This is one of those posts that I wish we had written during the thick of tracking the album. Once you get away from all of that, it is hard to remember some of the last minute gear decisions that you made in the studio. I can’t go back in time however, so I will do my best to provide the information I do remember.
A lot of you will find this completely uninteresting and pointless, but to those that love gear and who like to know what made the sounds they are hearing, this should be at least slightly entertaining…here are some of the pedals, amps, guitars and other musical devices we used on this record.
At the beginning of this recording process, we (Jon, Aaron and myself) allotted some money to one another to buy one “critical” pedal each. It was pretty fun for us all to see what we could buy and narrow it down to what we needed and then to what is “critical.”
For myself, I chose a Cusack Tap-A-Whirl. This was really the only tremolo that we used on this record and it added a lot of depth and good textures in songs like “Track 1” (I decided to leave song titles out until after the album release…just to add suspense) and “Track 6.” Overall, it has been a joy on and off the record to play around with this pedal. Definitely one of the most user-friendly, effortless tremolo pedals on the market.
Aaron chose a JHS Pollinator Fuzz. This pedal is huge. If you want to add the biggest foundation you can to a song and still cut through the mix, this is the pedal that will get you there. It was mostly used for low, gutsy stuff on just about every song at some point, but this pedal screams high up and gives you a very interesting germanium fuzz sound especially when paired with some humbuckers or P-90s.
Last but not least, Jon chose a JHS Low Drive, which has since been discontinued by JHS. This is a great one-trick pony. It can basically be a little drive-y or a lot drive-y. It is fantastic for cutting through the mix and adding a little grit where needed and worked wonders on songs like “Track 6” and “Track 4”
As far as other pedals go, my JHS Morning Glory was almost always on during the recording process and every now and then I would stack it with a Walrus Audio Voyager to get really cutting lead tones. As far as Aaron’s drives, he used a lot of natural amp drive and threw in a Walrus Audio Mayflower pretty often.
We used a lot of other random pedals every now and then. We had a varying cycle of delays we circulated…Strymon Timeline, MXR Carbon Copy, Line 6 DL4 and an EHX Memory Man were the primary delays used. For the most part, a Boss RV-5 was the only reverb pedal used.
We were fortunate to have a fairly good arsenal of amps on our first EP. On my tracking day, I set up with a Fender Bassman, a Silvertone 1483, a Reeves Custom 12 and a Fender Princeton. I did tracks with everything from each amp individually to every stereo combination possible.
Aaron and I basically used the same assortment of amps, but he traded out the Bassman and added in a Tophat Supreme 16 in the mix. Jon recorded all of his bass tracks using an Ampeg PF-350
So many guitars. For this section, I will try to keep it a little more concise. I’ll also keep the links to a minimum…
As far as electrics, here is what we used:
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Fender Telecaster ’72 Custom Reissue
Duesenberg Starplayer TV
Fender Jazzmaster 62 AVRI
As far as Acoustics, I think we only ended up using two. A Martin 000-18 Golden Era and a Breedlove CR125 Herringbone.
On bass, Jon used a G&L USA L2000 and an Ibanez SR506M.
Although there are a lot of different sounds on this record, basically all of them were made with a Nord Stage 2. Because Andy is an architect of sounds and the Nord is such a killer keyboard, we were able to replicate some incredible sounds on a low budget.
We used synth very sparingly on this record and only used a few different tools.
First, was the Nord. Andy got a lot of unique sounds with the Stage 2.
Secondly, we used a Microkorg.
Last but not least, was a little thing called a Microbrute. And it is incredible. If you are looking for a small synthesizer, this thing is a beast.