Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fidelity Video- Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy is one of the most talented and imaginative acoustic guitar players on the scene. Largely playing solo, he has a unique technique of playing. Here is his TED talk.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Current Pedal Rig



I have finally put together my pedal rig! I bought a new Gator GPB-BAK-GR metal pedal board which measures just under 24 inches wide and just over 10.5 deep. You can easily tie wrap all of your power connections underneath and Velcro holds down the pedals. I love the grate holes on it which also allows you to feed cables underneath for power and to connect the pedals together if needed. I also purchased a Donner DP-2 power supply which mounts underneath. I hate relying on batteries so this is a great set up for me. I have 5 of the pedals on the 9V, my Kotzen fly-rig uses 12V, and my Hawk Booster uses 18V. So the Donner works very well and it also has plenty of juice to power all of the pedals. I did some research on the many pedal power supplies available and I am glad that I did. The Donner DP-2 has more juice than most of the other power supplies in its price range. The Kotzen rig uses 12V at 150 ma, and most of the others only ran at 100 ma on the 12V. My Hawk pedal requires 18V and there is also one 18V output on this guy. So far no issues whatsoever in running all 7 pedals. I still have room for 2 more 9V pedals if I need them.

So far I am not set on the order of the pedals, but I started off by putting my little KLIQ mini tuner as the first in line. I chose this because it takes up so little space on the board. It works well, is easy to see and is good to shut off the board while you change out guitars. Next in line I have the Boss DS-1 to give me a some distortion. So far I don't use this pedal very much, and it would be the first to get replaced by something else. Next I go into one of my favorite pedals, the Supa-Trem, which give me a great tremolo sound and also gives me a little boost on the volume. I have the ability to set my speed and my mix, and I have a cool half speed switch and a hard/soft switch to give me a few options for some cool sounds.

After the tremolo I go into the Kotzen rig which gives me multiple effects, which on their own would be pretty decent for a complete rig. The first section is a delay which gives you some nice options, time, drift and repeat knobs. This is best for accompanying a nice clean sound. The Sans Amp section offers a nice reverb, 3 band EQ and a drive. This offers a nice classic rock sound. The OMG section gives you tone, drive and boost adjustments, which are great for playing a solo so you can cut through the mix. All sections have their own volume adjustments, and the boost is added in with its own switch and volume adjustment. This pedal is well worth the money and again, it truly stands on its own as a rig. I call it the rig within the rig.

Next I run into my Jemini Steve Vai pedal, which I found used. I don't see them around much new. This gives me two cool sounding drives each with their own tone and volume adjustments. It is essentially two pedals in one, but only one is active at a time. When you hear them you will know why you don't need both of them on at once! This gives me a couple more options for guitar solos and some rhythm crunch, depending on how I set them up. I then run into my VOX pedal, which I don't use a ton. I think I can also see myself replacing this with something else in the future with something to spice up my clean tones.

Finally, I make the grand finale into my Flynn Amps Rory Gallagher Hawk Pedal. I must confess that I am not totally in control of this pedal yet and I am still learning how to use it. It is a boost pedal with a couple of tone adjustments on it. It really requires a different style of playing than I am used to, and in order to use it effectively you need to know your volume knobs on your guitars well. Rory was a master at this and if you watch his live performances, he is a master of using his guitar volume to get the tone he wanted with the boost pedal enabled most of the time. I have some practice ahead of me if I am going to really use this guy effectively.

Overall I am pleased with the rig, but I am sure I will adjust it as time goes on. I like the way everything is easily moveable and slides right into a carrying case. There are some other pedals I would love to try out, but I really don't want to get too crazy with effects. This really is a bit overkill on the overdrive and distortion options for the type of music I play. I play through a VOX AC15 and I love the tone of the amp, so I don't like to muddy it up too much. But hey, right now its fun to play around with! If you are looking to set up your rig I think the Gator board and the Donner DP-2 works very well for a small rig like this.


Saturday, June 4, 2016