Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The update for the updated update

I forgot something, somebody was asking if I do not allow comments on my blog on purpose... yup, for now this is intentional, I might change this some day but if you want to post something in a blog in the moment, get your own ;-)

The updated update

Due to public demand here is a more detailed look on my setup for the upcoming tour.

Guitars: Well, big surprise, I will have Les Pauls with me :-) I am not sure yet which ones I will use for this tour, but there will be for sure some of my "high gain" models with EMG pickups (my two fave guitars belong to those ones, my main Custom and my Light Burst Standard Premium Plus), I am also thinking about the one in which I can split the pickups into single coils (nice option for clean sounds) and one that has a Fishman Powerbridge, a Piezo pickup that can deliver some really cool acustic sounds. On top of my usual load of Les Pauls I am thinking about a Flying V in the moment. My very first electric guitar has been a Flying V back then, and somehow I would like to play one again, the only question is if I will still get along with the shape, after playing only Les Pauls for the last 12-15 years... well, I will see, I called Gibson the other day and ordered one, as soon as it arrives I will give it a try ;-)

Amps: My main amp is (and always will be) my Mesa Boogie Tripple Rectifier, best amp that has ever been built ;-) As a backup I will take my Mesa Boogie Triaxis, firing up a Mesa Boogie 2:90 poweramp, both amps will run through Mesa Boogie Rectocabs (I am using the bigger versions). The third amp that I will take with me is the ultimate backup, an Axe-FX Ultra. It is a high-end Pre-Amp/Effects Processor (some people would even call it a modeling amp) that doesn't need anything else, I can plug in my guitar, choose an amp simulation, add the effects that I need, dial in my perferred cabinet and microphone and just plug it straight into the PA. Like this I always have a working backup in case anything goes wrong with my main setup, and this thing even sounds absolutely great, perfect for a backup.

Effects: I am not using much here, there is a Rocktron Intellifex that is in the loops of the Rectifier and the Triaxis, for my rhythm sound there are absolutely no effects anyway (besides the Rocktrons Hush), for clean, lead and effect sounds there are the usual suspects like a bit of chorus, delay or reverb. In case the Intellifex should die I still have the Axe-FX Ultra as a backup, this could also be used as a pure Fx processor, without all the amp/cab/mic stuff.

And this is almost it, the only other things are my wireless system, a midiswitcher (so I can change the channels in my Rectifier via my Rocktron Midimate floorboard) and a Furman Powerconditioner, put everything into a rack, add some strings and my pick of destiny (a Dugain stone pick) and you have my touring setup.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gear - A retrospective

Our next tour will start in september and the first rehearsals are not that far away anymore, so it is time to think about what gear I will take with me on that tour. When I think about our very first tour in 1988, everything was very simple back then, I had exactly one guitar, one amp, one cabinet and one distortion pedal :) Pretty impressive, isn't it ;) Well, that was all I had but it worked, it only gave me one sound, but that was all I needed back then. Today my setup looks slightly different, in the moment I am thinking about 3 amps, 2 cabs, 6 guitars plus some 19" stuff like wireless systems, powerconditioners or multi effects. The good thing is that this setup offers some more sounds and I even got rid of the distortion pedals so at least those little boxes won't fly around on stage anymore :) For all the rest, well, I can plan my setup and test it during the rehearsals.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shows in seated venues are strange...

Yesterday I have been to the Opeth 20th Anniversary show in Essen and it was a really cool show, the band played an awesome set (including the full Blackwater park album, which is my fave Opeth album), but something was just not right... They played in a nice venue, a fully seated theatre, but in my opinion this is the wrong place for a death metal concert. The atmosphere is just not the same if everybody is sitting down, there is not half as much energy as in a "normal" show. I guess they also had to cut down the volume in the first half of the show (the Blackwater park set) which kinda reminded me a bit of the premieres of our DVD, which also took place in cinemas back then, at least it felt a bit like watching a dvd. However, this changed with the second half of the set and from that point on it felt more like a concert. As I said I really enjoyed the show, it was a killer 3 hours set, but next time I will watch them in a normal venue for sure.
Aside from this I checked out the Musikmesse in Frankfurt, I didn't go there in quite some years and I have to say it got much smaller compared to earlier years, many big companies were missing this time, due to the crisis I guess. But at least all the ones that I wanted to visit have been there and I could check out the latest Gibsons, Mesa Boogies and whatever else I was interested in. One thing that improved big time this year was the noise, normally you were bombed by hundreds of people, playing Smoke on the water, Highway to hell, Stairway to heaven and enter sandman, all at the same time, with amps cranked up to the maximum, but today, with modeling amps and noise isolating headphones this is history :) The only thing missing now is a similar system for drummers...