A blog where you'll find original guitar and bass effects reviews, the latest industry news on established and up-and-coming builders, as well as original material and interviews from the guitar effects community.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Guest Contribution: Kevin Ian of The Common Men and His Rig
Hello! Kevin Ian. Vocalist/Guitarist of The Common Men. Post-Punk with shades of Shoegaze, Alternative, Pop, and Post-Rock. Now with the formalities aside, allow me to take you on a guided tour of my rig. As I break down elements of my sound, I will try to give as best I can the background stories surrounding certain pedals. I am currently going through another reconfiguration of my board. I tend to be fickle in certain areas of my sound, but I can break everything down into dirt and delay. As my rig expands, I may find more of a use for filters and modulation in my actual guitar rig, but space issues keeps me focused for now. My sound is broken into two distinct rigs: Guitar and Texture. The picture included is the most recent picture I have of my rig. The guitar rig is on the right, and the texture rig is on the left.
Kevin's guitar and texture rigs
My guitar rig is as follows: - Boss TU3 (recently replaced by a Korg Pitch Black) - MXR Micro Amp: This pedal provides a clean boost and drives my signal across many pedals. It's simple and small. - Barber LTD Special Recipe: This is one of my favorite pedals ever. It is a low to medium gain overdrive. I have played various Barber pedals and I love them all, but this is the one I've fallen in love with. I heard about this one from a friend in another local band, and he sold me his. - Creation Audio Labs Holy Fire: This is the second "secret" to my sound. It's an overdrive/distortion pedal that uses it's own 48v power supply. It's unique controls allow you to add/blend an overdrive/distortion circuit with a simple tone control. It's deceptively simple, but shockingly unique. - Dwarfcraft Devices Spectacular Aenima: This one started the whole venture into noise/feedback looping. It is a fuzz circuit and feedback loop in one pedal. I acquired this pedal back in January of 2010, and life has never been the same since. I will get into the feedback loop option later on, as I will focus on the fuzz for now. The fuzz is gnarly and unforgiving. It can sound smooth, gritty, fizzy, and even harsh and noisy. It has a glitch mode which sends it into a self-oscillation. - MXR Carbon Copy: My original go-to delay, it is now mainly used as a secondary atmospheric delay. It's rich modulation and analog technology makes it wonderful for self-oscillations. - Boss DD20 Giga Delay: My go-to delay, it's main use is allowing me to call upon my "Helicopter Delay" setting quickly with it's 4 presets. It's twist and warp functions are also added bonuses. - Catalinbread Montavillian Echo: this is now my secondary delay. It's delay signal has a phasing quality to it which adds a very nice quality to long phrases and sustained chords. It also has a cut feature which changes the tone of the delays as well. It is a digital delay, but it is meant to self-oscillate--something most digital delays do not do--and I like to throw it and the Carbon Copy into simultaneous self-oscillation for some great fun. - Digitech Digidelay: My oldest pedal on my current board, it is also my most faithful. I now mainly use it for reverse delays, but it has served every single possible purpose on my board since I bought it back in 2007. Texture rig: - Spectacular Aenima: the feedback loop has a knob that controls the amount of feedback--from a continuous loop to a small gated loop which serves solos well when rolling back the guitar knob--to a photosensitive eye that also affects the loop. The pedals in the feedback loop change often, as I tend to fry pedals/break them. I am also always on the lookout for cheap pedals, as sometimes a really cheap pedal will make wonderful noises. - Danelectro Fab Flange - Danelectro Chicken Salad Vibrato - Digitech Synth Wah - Line 6 Tonecore Tap Tremolo - Behringer Echo Machine - Devi Ever LP - Danelectro Fab Distortion - Behringer Reverb Machine Volume can be a huge problem in a feedback loop, so I utilize the Fab Distortion as a volume control in the middle of the board. The Devi Ever LP is made to sound like a broken record, so it adds a nice chirping sound when dimed on the control knob. The newest addition to my rig is a custom Audible Disease Synth Bomb. It's a monophonic synth with 4 photosensitive eyes. The more light it gets, the faster it spins, and so on. I have that hooked up independently to my custom Ego Boost clean boost from Grumpy Toad FX based out of Sacramento, CA. Since unity is about noon, I can actually keep the Synth Bomb's volume under control. I ABY switch it and control the synth bomb with my foot during regular play. However, I do enjoy picking it up from time to time and wave it around the audience :) Be sure to follow my band The Common Men atwww.thecommonmen.tkor directly at Facebook @www.facebook.com/thecommonmen From there you have access to our twitter, blog, and everything else related. Thanks again! I will return with reviews and further breakdowns of my sound and technique! - Kevin Ian firstname.lastname@example.org I have enclosed a few videos demonstrating various aspects of my rig, including live performances: This is a live video taken last year for Capital Public Radio. It features the Spectacular Aenima and feedback looping. This is "The Headshrinker's Ritual."
This video is a small demonstration of the Synth Bomb in my rig.
This is the Synth Bomb live in action, with a little noise action at the end. "The Headshrinker's Ritual