Tracking Guitar Masters, Vol. 1 - GuitarPlayer.com

Tracking Guitar Masters, Vol. 1

In 2006, Emmy Award winning guitarist/composer Brian Tarquin did something crazy and started a record label specializing in guitar instrumentals. Given the commercial health of guitar music these days, Tarquin is certainly no Clive Davis, but the New York-based studio owner is passionate about all things guitar, and his BHP Music label [bohemianproductions.net] is debuting with Guitar Masters, Vol. 1—a compilation of tracks from Jeff Beck, Zakk Wylde, Allan Holdsworth, Will Ray, John Scofield Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, and others, including Tarquin himself.
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What were you trying to achieve sonically with the guitar sounds for your track, “Jack Hammer”?
I wanted to do a rock-fusion song—along the lines of a modern day Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer—but with up-to-date grooves. I was going for an extremely saturated sound, so I used my ’78 Les Paul goldtop loaded with Seymour Duncan SP90-2 Hot Soapbars and three amps: an ’85 Marshall JCM 800 and Marshall 4x12 cabinet, a Marshall JTM 45 MKII and Fender Dual Showman 4x12, and a Sovtek Tube Midget 50H and Carvin Legacy 4x12.

To capture the tones, I positioned a Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon mic near the cone of one of the Marshall’s speakers, and then placed a Neumann TLM 49 five feet back, pointing directly at the Marshall insignia. On the Fender cab, a Sennheiser MD 421 was pointed directly at a speaker cone, with an AKG C414 set to its figure-8 pattern used as a room mic. The Legacy cabinet was miked with a trusty Shure SM57. The signals were routed to either the mic preamps in a Trident Trimix mixing console or to Universal Audio 2-610 tube preamps. Finally, everything was sent directly to an Ampex MM1200 24-track deck running two-inch analog tape. For effects, I used an Electro-Harmonix Memory Man—tweaking the Feedback and Blend knobs as I played—a Snarling Dogs Mold Spore Wah for creating textures, and an Eventide H3000 and GTR4000.

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