The sweetspots in your tone

July 23rd 2014 | Posted in Feature Guides | 0 Comments

Sweetspot

What is a sweepspot? The term is often used by musicians and engineers but what does it really mean? Is it just a hype? In this feature we’ll examine the myth and look at different ways to locate and achieve the sweetspot in different situations and environments.

The sweetspot is very real. However, it’s not something physical and concrete that resides within your rig. Simply put, the sweetspot is achieved when you think your guitar, pedals and amp, either alone or combined, sound their best. It’s subjective and it means different things to different musicians. Ultimately, only your ears can be the judge.

See the big picture

I can give you a valuable tip on how to get the most out of your tube amp or any other piece of your rig. To make the tubes sing a bit more and to really get that fat attack that will define your tone. It’s the fine nuances when you tweak the amp. However, plug your guitar into the amp with a faulty cable and old rusty strings and the tip you got won’t make much of a difference. The sweetspot can be isolated to “should the treble be set to 5 or 4.7?” but for that tiny little tweak to have any impact at all, you need to consider each part of your rig.

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New Pink Floyd album announced!

July 8th 2014 | Posted in News | 29 Comments

Pink Floyd new album

Pink Floyd has surprised us all and announced a brand new album for release October 2014! The album, titled The Endless River, is said to feature material dating back to the 1993/94 Division Bell sessions featuring David Gilmour, Nick Mason and the late Richard Wright. Few details have been revealed but it seems like we’re in for a treat!

A confusing tweet from David’s wife, Polly, caused a lot of stir in social media last saturday. The tweet said “Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called “The Endless River”. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright’s swan song and very beautiful.” Whether or not this was a mistake against the will of the record company or a deliberate first step in what I’m sure is a massive marketing campaign is hard to tell (I’m pretty sure it’s the latter) but it didn’t take many hours before the news were all over the net.

Former Pink Floyd backing singer Durga McBroom tweeted shortly after confirming Polly’s news and even commented on a picture released earlier this year, which everyone thought was from David Gilmour’s forthcoming solo album. It seems that The Endless River will not only be a remix of the old sessions, which are said to be mostly ambient instrumental music, but it will also feature newly recorded music.

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Buffalo-FX Evolution review

June 17th 2014 | Posted in Big Muff Reviews | 36 Comments

Buffalo FX Evolution review

I’ll be the first to admit it. Whenever Buffalo FX announces a new pedal I await with great anticipation – and great expectations. The last one in their rooster, The Evolution, is inspired by some of my all time favourite pedals and tones. Naturally, I had to check this one out. Here’s my review.

The Evolution is a four stage overdrive. Although an overdrive can be anything from a clean booster to near fuzz the Evolution is really a distortion. At least to my ears. Based on the Cornish G2, this one’s got that unmistakable Marshall flavour, somewhere between a RAT and ram’s head Big Muff played with humbuckers.

The Evolution is housed in a TRex sized chassis, with a bright led, true bypass switching running on 9V battery or adapter. Controls are gain, tone, volume and contour. Apart from the familiar ones, the contour allows you to fine tune the tone response and mid range sweep.

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Debut solo album out this fall!

May 16th 2014 | Posted in Airbag Miscellaneous News | 30 Comments

blog_riis_solo

I will be releasing my first solo album, Lullabies in a Car Crash, this coming fall. The album will be out on Karisma Records, the same label as my band, Airbag. It’s been a rewarding journey where I’ve been able to really do it my way, a both freeing and frightening experience!

Lullabies in a Car Crash is not a huge departure from the Airbag sound or format but rather a chance for me to explore different directions and musical ground that might not have fit the band. I’m truly proud of the album – the songs and all the guitars we’ve recorded. It’s a very personal album, dealing with topics that are important to me but the music also reflects many of my influences, both in terms of song writing and guitars.

I usually don’t talk much about my self here on the site but I know many of you are fans of Airbag and follow me as a guitarist and not just a fellow Gilmour enthusiast. I’ll start mixing the album next week together with long-time Airbag collaborator, Vegard Sleipnes. You can follow the process on MY FACEBOOK PAGE (please give it a Like if you haven’t already). I’ll share notes, pictures, rig run-downs and a snippet or two. See you there!

- Bjørn

The Buyer’s Gear Guide 2014

May 10th 2014 | Posted in News Reviews | Comments Closed

The Buyer's Gear Guide - David Gilmour

At last! The brand new buyer’s gear guide is here! It’s loaded with new items – some new and some old classics. Whether you’re an experienced musician or just playing in your bedroom, you’ll find all you need for creating your tones and expanding your rig right here! As always, the guides are packed with tone tips, troubleshooting and setup recommendations!

New this time are the DELAY and ESSENTIALS guides. The BIG MUFF guide has been updated with six new models, including the Skreddy P19 and Wampler Velvet Fuzz and the OVERDRIVE AND DISTORTION feature five new models, including the Buffalo FX Powerbooster and EHX Soul Food. Be sure to check out the FUZZ, UNI-VIBE and MODULATION for updates as well.

Each guide has a comments field at the bottom of the page. Please feel free to post your comments about the guides and share your experience, tips and gear recommendations with us!

Head on over to the Buyer’s Gear Guides now!

Buffalo FX Patriot review

April 21st 2014 | Posted in Big Muff Reviews | 37 Comments

Buffalo FX Patriot review

David Gilmour’s tones on the 1994 Division Bell tour are many fans’ favourite and not least the huge, smooth sounding distortion on songs like Sorrow and Comfortably Numb. Many have tried to create a pedal that’ll produce the same wall of sound and the latest addition is the Patriot from Buffalo FX. Here’s my review.

Of course, the pedal we’re talking about, the one David used back in ’94, is the so-called Civil War Big Muff. The pedal was the first generation of the Sovtek Big Muffs. A company started by Electro Harmonix founder and Big Muff inventor Mike Matthews after he’d started the production in Russia in the early 90s. The Civil War Muff is known for its huge tone, with lots of gain, a hint of mid range and silky smooth sustain.

I did a review of Buffalo’s Ram’s Head NOS BC239c about a year ago and I’ve been hooked on their pedals ever since. They seem to have figured out how to make good sounding clones and what it takes to make them fit modern gear, without compromising the original tone and mojo. The Patriot is no exception and there’s really no other word than “huge” that comes to mind when I’m trying to describe the pedal.

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Ben Watt with David Gilmour!

April 9th 2014 | Posted in David's Gear Miscellaneous News | 22 Comments

David Gilmour Ben Watt The Levels

Ben Watt, perhaps best known from 90s trip-hop duo Everything But The Girl, will release his new solo album, Hendra, on April 29 and joining him on the track The Levels, are none other than David Gilmour! Watt recently released a clip, featuring David, performing a stripped down version of the song.

According to Watt, he and David met by chance in London just recently: “We didn’t know each other. He invited me to hear his demos. I thought he was joking, but two days later he texted me and invited me down to his studio and we got on well. During my album, The Levels seemed like a perfect track for him. I rang him up and he loved the song and he did it the same weekend. Wish everything was that simple sometimes!”

The clip is filmed in David’s new recording studio located in Hove, just outside Brighton. The room is packed with some familiar amps and guitars and some new and interesting stuff as well. David’s playing the blonde Fender Deluxe lap steel into (it seems) the Alessandro Bluetick amp, using just a clean tone with delay. He’s also using a volume pedal (Ernie Ball?) for controlling the volume and creating swells.

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