I’ve been playing guitar in my friend, bassist Ben Lee’s group, The TOaG Quartet since Jan 2018, which is when we first got together. We play original current non-vocal music, heavily jazz influenced but sonically similar to rock/fusion. Instrumentation is Upright Bass, Drums, Trumpet and Electric guitar (with effects). We also use a laptop for sound files/samples. Our current repertoire features compositions by Ben and Trumpeter Matt Kelly. I’m having a lot of fun and am honored to be a part of such a strong project.
Anyway, we had a first recording session this past Friday and I’m trying to make notes while it’s relatively fresh in my head. It was originally just supposed to be a “Demo” to get gigs/promo with but it went well and we got about 45 minutes worth of music down in 3-1/2 hours, so Ben may end up releasing it, we’ll see. It was live in the studio, no punches/edits, etc. (Update, we did release it! 🙂
We recorded at Airship Laboratories in Richmond CA, it was my first time there and we got off to a early albeit very slow start but in the end got great quality results.
We were lucky enough to have our session recorded by Neil, the owner, who is an all around cool guy as well as being very knowledgeable in many areas, including guitar sounds/amps/tracking! We even “geeked out” a little on boutique pedal talk, haha.
Ben had spoken to Neil ahead of time to get amp recommendations for me, to see if I should bring mine or use the studios. My only requirement for Ben was, “Clean Headroom”. A Fender twin/etc would be fine. Also, I wanted to use my stereo setup, so 2 amps were needed, they said they had two which would work well, so I left my amps home.
The amps ended up being a Fender Vibrolux and Allen Accomplice (which is apparently a high end hand wired Fender clone, I believe). The Fender had 2 10’s, A Guitar Warehouse G10CS (8ohm 75 watt) which funny enough is the speaker I use in my 2×10 Panama cabinet!). The other speaker was a “Jupiter”. The Allen had a “Weber” vintage series “Ferromax” 12″ speaker.
Both amps where ‘baffled off’ and double mic’d! Yes 2 mics on each amp, which got a huge sound!
I ran two very short cables out from my last pedalboard pedal, a DigiTech Polara to my (stereo in) Bright Onion Pedals Stereo ABY and 2 20′ 1/4″ cables from that to the amps.
I also used my A/DA GCS3 as a backup or dry effectless option just in case.
So, the full chain was:
Guitar -> A/DA GCS3 (Cab sim on, XLR out to board) [Dry] -> (GCS3 passthrough out to pedalboard) ->
Morley MWV Mini Wah Volume -> Wampler EGO Compressor -> EHX Pitchfork (w/AMT expression) -> EXH Freeze -> DigiTech CM2 -> EarthQuaker Tone Job -> Red Panda Particle -> Bogner Burnley -> Diamond Tremolo -> CBA warped vinyl II -> EHX canyon (w/FS-5u tap tempo) -> Ditto X2 (stereo) -> TC Flashback (stereo) -> Digitech Polara (stereo) -> Bright Onion Pedals Stereo ABY (stereo)
1 -> Amp B -> Allen (1×12) [Wet]
2 -> Amp A -> Fender Vibrolux -> (2×10) [Wet]
Board is PedalTrain Classic2
(The last 3 pedal’s are chained stereo: Ditto -> Flashback -> Polara -> Bright Onion)
I didn’t use the Morley at all and shouldn’t even of had it in the chain.
I didn’t use the Ego at all either. I may have stepped on the Pitch Fork briefly but I don’t think so. I used the Particle but only very briefly on “Devil’s Breath”. (it was a last minute addition and was not happy at where it was in the chain).
I used the CM2 for most of the solo on “Gray and Green”, you hear when I engage it. I was very happy with OD sound on this!
I used the Burnley on “Little Known and Not Long … ” on 2 of the 3 takes, so will see, honestly I was not happy with the distortion sound I got, I may be looking to replace this one.
I was using the CBA on “Little Known … ” but since it’s so slow and quiet, everyone was asking, “what is that ocean sound…” haha, cause it’s analoge can you can totattly hear it swirling even when off, so I ended up using the flashback in “Mod” mode with the effect up but the delay and feedback off, like a chorus pedal.