Dotted Eighth Delay Studies

Setting up the U2/Hillsong delay in a variety of situations.

The Sessionists

Esther Subra (vocals), Serena Chew (keys), Justin (guitars), Alphonsus (drums and percussion)

Thoughts on G.A.S.

Why you should save up for an expensive guitar.

Setting Up Disaster Area DPC-8EZ and DMC-8D MIDI Controllers

An easy-to-follow video tutorial to get those patches programmed!

An Overview of My YouTube Channel

Feel free to browse some of the playlists on my channel. Hopefully this leads to you liking and subscribing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My (Old) Lead Tone

Edit as of 29Aug12:
I have undergone significant revision to my pedalboard, and hence, the post below is rather out of date. However, I still believe it provides some insight if you do have the pedals/amps that I used to own.

Original post:
I'm writing this post in response to friends/jam mates/fellow YouTubers asking me how I get my overdriven tones. I've included pictures (without Instagram, for clarity) and settings that I hope will be a useful starting point for you tweakers out there.

Guitars: Yamaha AES-820 or Yamaha RGX-820
I used to play in metal/hard rock/Japanese bands and have retired to play much milder music, but every so often I'll let out the shredder in me. My Yamahas have proven to be a good outlet for shred, with higher output pickups, shorter scale length to reduce the level of 'quack', lower action for easy bends, and higher string gauge to dig real deep.

The Yamaha AES-820 and RGX-820
These guitars have been my good 'ol faithfuls since my teenage years (my black AES has been with me since I was 14), and they've developed a character of their own, quite distinct from the typical guitar tones you hear. They're both alder, which I think is a good tone wood for rock since it's percussive and tonally neutral for your pedals/amp tone to shine through. The RGX has Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz pickups, while the AES has Dimarzio Customs.

Compression: the Visual Sound Comp66
This is one pedal everyone should get. Having the Tone Control helps to take out the higher frequencies so that the overdrives don't make your guitar sound too harsh, especially for those high gain rock tones.

Comp: 3 o'clock, Tone: 10 o'clock, Gain: 10 o'clock
The overdrives: the Carl Martin AC Tone and Xotic AC Booster Comp
I like to stack overdrives, and my observation is that overdrives stacked together sound better if they have the same affinity for a particular tone; vintage-voiced overdrives sound good with other vintage-voiced overdrives, distortion pedals sound good with other distortion pedals, etc.
Gain: 2 o'clock, Treble: 11 o'clock, Bass: 1 o'clock, Level: 10 o'clock
In this situation, I'm using the AC Tone to drive my AC Booster Comp, and for a solo I'll kick in the boost to drive the Booster comp harder (and louder). Having a boost pedal in front of an overdrive has the effect of compressing the signal further, which is good for keeping those notes singing loud and clear.

A good trick I've learnt is to have the overdrives operate at a higher voltage for greater headroom, allowing you to change between a crunch tone and a lead tone just by changing your guitar volume. The AC Tone runs at 12V and the AC Booster Comp runs at 18V.

EQ: the Artec 8-band Graphic EQ
Different amps will react differently to your overdrives, so it's important to have an EQ pedal to "doctor" the tone (as Eric Johnson puts it). I have my EQ set up to have a slight bass boost for warmth and a upper treble boost to add "sparkle".

Delay: the Boss DD-20
I like the DD-20 for its versatility (and I can't afford the crazy vintage delays out there). It has a nice analog delay, which helps to double as my faux reverb sound. A tap tempo is absolutely essential to lock in with your drummer!

Amp: the Vox AC15 Handwired
If I tell you how much I got this for, you will hate me. :) Rock tones can be squeezed out of the EF86 preamp, which has high headroom and has just the right voicing for searing lead tones. It's loud even at the volume setting I've shown you below, so please have a volume pedal in front to keep the neighbors happy!
Brilliance at 1, Bass shift at 1, Triode mode

 Happy tweaking!

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