Audio setup & inventory (Part 1)

Posted: December 2, 2011 in General

I am going to list and give a little info on the inventory we have and are using to record the “Slice” project. this inventory is provisional I hope to add some new and necessary gear to our armoury, but it is more a question of budget than anything else. I must confess that it has been a long road putting all of this together and that some of the choices could have been different with extra cash at that precise moment. But that is no regret just a circumstance.

I’ll brake the inventory in 5 different categories that bundle the different domains:

  1. Instruments.
  2. Amplifiers.
  3. Studio Equipment.
  4. Effects.
  5. Software.

 

In Part 1 we are going to look at categories 1 and 2, these relate to the gear that Slice uses in his performances. It is not an impressive set of gear but it get’s the job done and that is a starting point. When working on music you need to approach things from the outside inwards. Form the Musician to the mix. The first slab in the chain is the player, his hands, his emotions & his sensations when playing. from there we step down into the instrument and its tonal and music properties, there further down to the Amps. I  know that we normally pass through the effect loop before entering the amp, but in our review I prefer to dedicate a section to this, since effect are added to the signal chain in various different points and not only between the instrument and the Amp.  

In Category 1 Instruments. The main type of instrument that Slice is using, is the guitar. He has 4 of his own and will be using all of them and some borrowed from close friends, for specific tone.

Slice’s main guitar is his Fender Stratocaster Highway One made USA in 2003 with a rosewood fingerboard, and 57, 62 pickups, Alder body with satin see through red lacquer finish and maple neck. 22 medium jumbo frets, chrome cast sealed tuners and tremolo. He bought this guitar in 2004 and there are no special mods done to the instrument, mainly setup modification and a replace nut.

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This is not a vintage guitar but has a nice warm sound to it with a very wide tonal choice since it is using 57, 62 pickups that do provide a deeper sound. the guitar doesn’t, have a very high attack, and this makes it a rich sounding axe.

Slice Uses Ernie Ball 10-46 gauge strings on this guitar.  

The second guitar is a Vester Manic II this is a Korean guitar that has a very characteristic tonal quality to it. There is not much info about the guitar, only that the pickups have been replaced by Seymour Duncan, it has a locking Floyd Rose tremolo system and is 24 fret. This guitar was originally purchased by me back in 1985 and it has taken a large amount of battering since. it is a very robust instrument and has an incredible tone, the pickup replacement makes it a very hot guitar with a 5 way selector over humbuker’s. This guitar has tons of sustain, and has an incredible medium neck and sweet and smooth fret board in rosewood, the pain is a kind of fire burst.   

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Other electric guitars, where borrowed for specific recordings and include:

  • Fender Telecaster Mexico Red.
  • Squire Telecaster USA Cream.
  • Epiphone Custom Les Paul Honey Burst

Slice is also using  2 acoustic guitars in this project a devotion electro acoustic and a Ibanez also electro acoustic, both guitars have been recorded with the internal pickup via a DI box and by external miking.

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The second instrument that Slice performs is the Piano. He has limited tracks where he covers this instrument and only covers piano, not any organ or synthesizers or alternative type of keyboards. All his piano is recorded with a Korg SP170 in to a Preamp and then to an amp that has been miked and also direct to the console for blending the sound quality.

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Finally Slice is  playing Bass in some songs, He has borrowed a bass since we currently have none form a friend (I have listed the friends at the end of the post to thank their support in the project). The Bass he has used is a Squire PB and Slice marvelled with the playability of the instrument.

In Category 2 we find Amps or Amplifiers, resentfully we do not have any Valve amplifiers all our amps are Solid State. It is a shame for the valve amps add a great amount of warmth and body to the tone.

During most of the recording we have used a two amp configuration, trying to get the best mix of sound and tone from the options we have.

There is no main amp, but the Marshall MG 100DFX is the most powerful amp in our arsenal. This is a 2 channel 100W amp with a 1×12” Speaker separate EQ per Channel and digital modelling effects. This is a versatile amp but it is used to get a more aggressive tone and bring the high’s up also very handy with higher gain parts.

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The second amp we use is a Orange Crunch 20, this amp has a very characteristic sound to it it runs great in clean mellow tones and the EQ provides a very interesting and unique frequency breakdown, it responds very well to low and meds and helps bring the overall body thickness to the tone we use. A 20W amp with 1×10” Speaker one channel with 3 band EQ.

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A third amp is a Park 10W this is a vintage amp that is a second brand of Marshall this is a very small amp with one channel only but a terrific tone, it jus love to scream and cry

Finally but no for this sake less that the rests is the Roland Cube 15W amp modelling styles (OVERDRIVE, DISTORTION, METAL, METAL STACK), 3 band EQ and 1×8”, this tiny box delivers a very wide range of sounds and although Slice uses it mainly for rehearsal and practice it is a brilliant piece of HW.

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