Gear: ’88 Fender
Clapton Strato -
caster. 2005 custom
koa Charvel. Various Taylor electrics and
Process: “I was working on Scambot 1
simultaneously with Evidence of Humanity,
and I wanted to approach them completely
differently. John Czajkowski lives a
half-hour from me and he made his studio,
his engineering abilities, and all his amps
and other gear available. Whenever I had
time, I’d go there and have at it. I had no
music prepared in advance. We’d listen to
small portions of the drum track and I’d
quickly compose or improvise something
along with it, then orchestrate that portion
of music—continue until complete!
Marco’s stream-of-consciousness solo was
very comfortable territory for me, and his
endless flow of amazing ideas prompted all
kinds of styles and techniques to emerge.”
Gear: Warr 10-string
and 8-string guitars.
11-string Godin Glissentar.
Process: “Modulator is the most challenging
recording I have ever made. Sometimes
the drum parts were insane, like 8 over
9. The object was to make it appear that
Marco had played to me, not vice versa. As
a guitar player, I had to fit tightly with the
drum parts, but also retain a loose feel. A
combination of fully composed lines and
open improvisation fulfilled that. I recorded
in Apple Logic Pro, and each completed
section would be put into the big timeline
in WaveBurner. The hardest part was
re-writing adjacent sections that didn’t
transition well. I had to re-compose the
endings and beginnings of ten different
sections to make them sound convincing,
which often meant using a similar guitar
approach over the end of one section and
into the next. Sometimes I would edit my
playing as if the audio were a giant score,
but then replay everything once I had found
the right parts.”
Gear: Bill DeLap
custom. Godin Freeway
GM4T. Yamaha Acoustic.
Fractal Audio Axe-Fx Ultra. Line 6
DL4 (for looping). Apple Logic Pro plugins.
Process: “My main goal was to create the
illusion that the drum part was played to
the music and not the other way around.
When I started working on 24 Tales, I had
no intention to ever reproduce any of the
material in a live setting, so I didn’t limit
myself in terms of layers and overdubs—
and that actually enabled me to approach
the task more from a composer than a
guitar player perspective. The beauty of
‘recomposing’ is that you can put the
musical magnifying glass on details of
the existing material that otherwise might
be overlooked or lost—and trust me,
there are lots of ‘details’ in Marco’s solo!
Gear: Michael Tuttle
Custom Bent Top.
Process: “I worked
within Cubase 5 and used the Time Warp
tool to create a tempo map and to assign
time signatures to the different ‘sections.’
After that, I looked for drum sections that
seemed to stand out as individual ‘songs,’
and then began composing. To avoid the
need to replay guitar parts at a later date, I
recorded all my parts monitoring through
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4, while simultaneously
recording a clean direct signal.
That way I could re-amp later through a
Dr. Z Monza with a Wampler Hot Wired
pedal using a Radial X-Amp. Composing
took about eight hours for every one-totwo
minutes of music, and was completed
over an approximately six-week period.”
Gear: Fender American
Ash and Line
6 Variax (for electric sitar) into a Fender
Princeton for clean tones. Ibanez Custom
RG550 into a Mesa/Boogie Nomad 100 for
distorted tones. Fylde Falstaff steel-string.
K Yairi classical.
Process: “I composed the bulk of the music
pretty quickly, just jamming to the drums
with an acoustic to sketch out the main
chord progressions, melodies, and riffs.
The idea was to trust my initial inspirations
to capture the essence of my compositional
style. Then, I spent a lot of time
arranging and orchestrating the parts to
give the music depth and atmosphere so
that it sounded like the drums had been
added to my music. Nailing some of the
guitar performances, especially rhythmically,
proved to be incredibly challenging!”
Gear: Ernie Ball Steve
Morse. Ernie Ball
6120. Suhr Classic T.
Fender Custom Shop B-bender. Danelectro
Baritone. Goodall Concert classical.
Egnater preamps/amp. Port City 4x12 OS
cab with Scumback and Jensen speakers.
Eventide Eclipse. Fractal Audio Axe-Fx.
Process: “After recording a few extemporaneous
ideas across the drum performance,
I studied and beat-mapped the
whole thing to get as much of the intellectual
work and transcribing behind me as
possible. Although painstaking, that freed
me up to compose more intuitively—placing
me smack dab in my fun guitaristic
happy place. As the album is dedicated to
my Navy SEAL brothers, I sought a funky
Cold War, high-desert, spy vibe with playful
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