Rattle That Lock 2015

David Gilmour’s new solo album, Rattle That Lock, feature some beautiful guitar work and quite a lot of new sounds. The studio setup is a departure from the familiar Pete Cornish boards and a return to experimenting with both old and new stompboxes, as well as a range of different amps and guitars.

Rattle That Lock was mainly recorded in David’s new recording studio, Medina, located in Hove, Brighton. Parts were also recorded at his farm in Sussex and the houseboat, Astoria. Pink Floyd’s Endless River (2014) was recorded simultaneously with Rattle That Lock and the equipment and even some of the sounds overlap, making an interesting link between the two albums. See the Rattle That Lock tour 2015 gear guide for a rundown of David’s current stage rig.

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock  pedals

– David’s elaborate pedal rack as seen in his new recording studio, Medina (Hove, Brighton, UK). See list of pedals below.

Effect pedals recording sessions

Top row
Effectrode Fire Bottle (modified with additional knob for trim pot)
Effectrode PC-2A Compressor (modified with additional knob for trim pot)
Origin Effects Cali 76 Compressor
Demeter Compulator
Origin Effects Slide Rig Compact Deluxe Compressor
Effectrode Helios Fuzz
Peterson Stomp Classic tuner
BK Butler Tube Driver (“Tube 1”)
Lehle parallel L
Blackstar HT-Dist

Middle row
Effectrode Tube Drive
Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Blue
BK Butler Tube Driver (“Tube 2”)
Boss GE-7 equalizer
MXR Phase 90 (“script logo”)
Electro Harmonix (1976-77) Electric Mistress
Boss Fet Amplifier FA-1 (assigned to Electric Mistress)

Bottom row
Effectrode Tube-Vibe
Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter Tap Tremolo
Coloursound Powerboost (original non-master volume)
Custom master volume control for Powerboost
TRex Replica
Providence Chrono Delay
Boss DD-2 digital delay

Additional units recording sessions

Binson Echorec 2
Conn Strobo Tuner ST-11
TC Electronic D Two Multitap Rhythm Delay
Fulltone Deja Vibe
Digitech WH-1 Whammy
DeArmond Volume Pedal

Custom routing switching system for the pedal rack

Pete Cornish All Tubes MKII pedal board
– David’s 2006 pedal board is seen used on several sessions for Rattle That Lock, including for the song 5 A.M. It is not documented where he actually recorded with the board, or if it was used for the filming of the documentary. See the Live in Gdansk 2006 gear guide for a complete documentation of the board.

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock Black Strat

– David recording with his Black Strat, the main guitar used for the sessions.

Guitars and amps recording sessions

Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with black pickguard, Fender 1983 ‘57 reissue maple neck and Fender ‘71 neck and middle pickups and a Seymour Duncan custom SSL-1 bridge pickup.
Gibson Les Paul Gold Top
- 1956 model with Gibson P-90 pickups and Bigsby tremolo system.
Gretsch Duo Jet
- 1950’s model with Bigsby tremolo system.
Fender Esquire “Workmate”
- 1955 sunburst ash body with black pickguard and maple neck. Fitted with a custom Seymour Duncan neck pickup.
Fender Deluxe lap steel
- Blonde, stock pickups. Open G chord tuning (D G D G B E).
Taylor NS74 acoustic nylon string guitar
Taylor acoustic steel string guitar
Martin D-35 acoustic steel string guitar
Martin 1945 D-18 acoustic steel string guitar

Note: David’s Medina (Brighton) recording studio feature a wide range of different guitars, some of which were also used on the Endless River sessions. I’ve only listed the ones that can be confirmed from footage from the Rattle That Lock recording sessions and interviews with David Gilmour. He might have used other guitars as well.

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock guitars

– David used several different guitars for the sessions, here seen with his old ’56 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, 1950’s Gretsch Duo Jet and a Martin acoustic steel string.

Fender 1958 Tweed Twin
Hiwatt SA212
- loaded with Fane Crescendo 12” speakers
Fender Tremolux
Fender Champ
Magantone 260
Gibson tweed Ranger
Leslie G27
Alessandro Redbone Special
- driving the Leslie G27
Yamaha RA-200
Alembic F-2B preamp
- driving the Yamaha rotating speaker cabinet

Note: There are no official sources confirming which amps David did use for the Rattle That Lock recording sessions. I’ve listed what can be spotted in his Medina (Brighton) studio but he most likely only used a couple of these, including the rotary cabinets.

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock amps

– David’s new recording studio features a wide range of different amps – from left: Fender 1958 Tweed Twin, Yamaha 1976 RA200 with Alembic F-2b preamp, Gibson tweed Ranger, Hiwatt SA212, Alessandro Redbone Special, Leslie G27. See list of microphones below.

Guitar and amp setup

All pedals and amps are connected with Evidence Audio Lyric HC patch and instrument cables. All amps are mic’ed with Neumann U87s, Neumann KM86 and Shure SM7 for Yamaha RA200 cabinet and Neumann KM84 and Sennheiser MD421 for the Leslie G27.

Further reading

See these in-depth features for more on David’s gear: The Black Stratocaster, Telecasters, Gibson Les Pauls, Slide Guitars, and Electric Mistress.

See the Rattle That Lock tour 2015 gear guide for a rundown of David’s current stage rig.

Acknowledgements and credits
Official Rattle That Lock EPK, Official Endless River EPK, Amazon Front Row 2015 interview with David Gilmour, Guitarist Magazine (issue 390), video and photographs from studio sessions and tour rehearsals, Brighton Centre pre-tour warm up gig September 5th 2015, European tour 2015, David Gilmour Gear Forum.

89 Responsesso far.

  1. Gibsder says:

    Hi Bjorn !

    I found a backtrack guitar to Faces Of Stones on Youtube :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgHmNRoPdK8

    Best regards

    Jean-Claude

  2. John Nebus says:

    It’s definitely in there. I hear it. It’s mixed in with his dry signal. Probably with the Lehle. Very subtle, but I hear it clearly.

  3. John Nebus says:

    Hey Brandon, I’m pretty sure that’s the Electric Mistress

  4. Brendan R says:

    Bjorn, Could you offer some advice on how David is getting his sound on the first few notes of the In Any Tongue solo? I know the notes but it sound like a whammy pedal, or some effect that is altering the pitch?

    • Bjorn says:

      As far as I know, that’s just a guitar, a Big Muff and amp… probably a Hiwatt SA212. That slightly nasal tone, is the scooped tone of the Muff and the mic placement, creating a room.

    • Jason Brooke says:

      Hi Brendan – I think what you’re describing are ‘pinch harmonics’ which you achieve by letting the thumb on your picking hand very briefly make contact with the string immediately after plucking

  5. John Nebus says:

    I listened very carefully to on any tongue and I agree that he’s probably using the muff. I own a late 70’s mistress and I hear that clear as a bell throughout the song especially in the lead. I’m just guessing but I would say he’s using the ca 2 compressor because of its transparency. Your guess is good as mine on which delay he’s using. Beautiful lead as usual 🎸😎🎸

    • John Nebus says:

      That’s a late 70’s ehx electric mistress flange. He’s probably mixing it in with a direct signal using the lehle parallel L.
      All just guesses but I got a pretty good ear 🎸😎🎸

    • Bjorn says:

      On the album, I would guess he’s getting that smooth transparent tone from playing loud and from the fact that the Hiwatts are providing lots of mid range, which adds to the smoothness. I doubt he was using two compressors… if any.

  6. Matteo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’m planning on playing “in any tongue” on my next gig,
    I know that very little is confirmed about the “rattle that lock” recording sessions, but at first impression, what pedals do you think he’s using on that song? well basically during the solos :)
    thanks
    cheers

  7. John Nebus says:

    Thank you 🎸😎🎸

  8. David uses open G on the softer lap steel tunes, Great Gig, Breathe, A Boat Lies Waiting…. For the harder sounding songs, it’s open E, High Hopes, One of These Days, a few things in TER. Interestingly I’ve seen Shine On Part VI called out as both but I have found it sounds better in open E on my lap steel.

  9. John Nebus says:

    Are you sure about the open g lap steel tuning ??? Shouldn’t it be g b d g b d or does David actually tune the first string to an e ???
    Your site kicks some major ass !!!
    To say the least 🎸😎🎸

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! The slide is tuned for D G D G B E. It’s confirmed by David’s technician, Phil Taylor :)

  10. Thanks Bjorn. I tweaked my signal chain a bit and it sounds much better. Also I’ve found it to be key that you finger pick and not use an actual pick or plenum on this song. It muffles the sound just a bit to give it that warmth.

    Btw, are you planning on expanding the Rattle That Lock & RTL Tour sections to show what he’s using on each song?

    And 1 other question, what’s a good way to identity which amp he’s using on a particular song? You always list them very well and I usually default to the Hiwatt but I know that there are cases where he’ll use a fender or mesa boogie.

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s always hard to tell just what he might have used for what song. You can always guess, but I only list what’s confirmed by either official sources or footage. I’ll try to expand the RTL section :)

  11. Uwe says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Do you know what kind of guitar (Strat or Tele) / pickup selection, and effects David Gilmour is using to get those two types of tones, which I like very much:

    – song “5 A:M” at 2:12. It seems he’s playing with the pick hitting the pickups or maybe playing with the fingers? or tone is very compressed? the Notes just “pop” at your face

    – song “today” at 0:50 the rythm parts ? what is that very metallic sound achieved with? sounds a bit detuned also….

    Thank you for your help!

    • Bjorn says:

      5 AM is recorded with a Gibson Goldtop using the neck pickup and compression. There might be a very clean Tube Driver there as well but I doubt it. The compression is set very high so what you’re hearing is him using his fingers and a very pronounced attack from all the compression.
      Hard to tell how he recorded that rhythm on Today. He used a Tele live but I can’t tell what guitar this is or what effect. Sounds very produced so perhaps they used some digital plugin or a harmoniser pedal.

    • Jason Brooke says:

      Re: the today rhythm bit, it sounds like it’s being flanged and is quite dry in the reverb department

  12. william says:

    on the effectrode page says that gilmour use the Blackbird Vacuum Tube Preamp is taht true?

    • Bjorn says:

      David is seen using the PC-2A, Tube Vibe, Fire Bootle, Helios Fuzz and Tube Drive from Effectrode and I’m sure he has most of the other models in his collection.

  13. Patrick says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Love the site! Thanks so much for your work to make this such a useful resource. I use it for both non-Gilmour related information and for Gilmour stuff.

    This might be a dumb question, but in the pictures above it looks like the MXR Phase 90 maybe has a power cable attached to the top or front of the pedal? I was under the impression that the vintage ones and the ’74 reissue were battery powered only. Would you happen to know if it’s a modification to a vintage Phase 90, or one of the reissues?

    (maybe I’ve made a mistake, and the thin black cable in the picture isn’t connected to the pedal at all)

    Thanks for your time.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Patrick! Hard to tell whether this is an original Phase 90 or a reissue but you’re correct, neither has a power jack. There is a cable on that pick so they’ve either modded it or used a battery clip converter.

      • Patrick says:

        Thanks for your reply, Bjorn. I was just looking on the modulation page in the buyers guide, and I think you mentioned in the comments that you use a battery clip converter on the ’74 script reissue? If I’m not trespassing on your time too much, can I ask if it noticeably changes the sound at all? I’m thinking of getting one, but the battery power only kind of put me off until now.

        Thanks again.

        • Bjorn says:

          I haven’t noticing any changes. Keep in mind that the 74 reissue, like the original, is hardwire bypass. That means that the signal is travelling through the circuit when off, which results in a slight high end roll off when you got the pedal in the chain. I don’t see that as a problem, and I think the 74 is hard to beat and worth having but if you want that sweet tone, with true bypass and led, then check out the Whirlwind Orange Box.

  14. Brad Roller says:

    Bjorn, any idea on how the custom volume control from Cornish works with the power booster?

    • Bjorn says:

      You mean the master volume control on the pedal?

      • Brad Roller says:

        Well in the photo of his pedal rack, beside his powerbooster is a small grey box with one knob and it says it works as an volume
        control. It says “T&B VOL”. I was just curious how that worked with his powerbooster.

        • Bjorn says:

          Ah, yes :) I guess it’s basically a master volume like the Colorsound reissues. It would give the pedal more headroom and volume. I haven’t seen any other info on it. I guess they wanted the sound of the original.

          • Brad Roller says:

            I see. I just can’t figure out how it’s connected to the powerbooster? If that makes sense? I’m thinking about asking Pete Cornish himself :P I’m too curious for my own good! I’m also looking to buy the color sound power boost reissue without the master volume, and I’d like to have some sort of way to control the volume other than a volume pedal.

            • Bjorn says:

              I don’t really know, I guess there are several different way to that but since it’s a stand alone unit, I would assume that it acts like a looper for the Colorsound, only effecting the volume of that unit. That way you don’t have to tamper with the original circuit.

  15. Elito Urbina says:

    What champ amp does he use?

  16. Why does it take 30 different pedals and about 10 different amps to play a guitar. Don’t get me wrong I love David’s sound but why does it take all the electronics?
    On the other hand, nice job. I always wondered
    what kind of equipment David used and it seems you answered my question.
    I have seen David play with just one amp and a couple pedals and he sounded great. Maybe if I had the money and played like David Gilmour I would experiment with equipment to get the absolute best sound I could. Right on Mr. Gilmour

    • Bjorn says:

      David rarely use more than 2 sometimes three effects per song. Usually just an overdrive and a delay. But he needs lots of different sounds to be able to faithfully recreate his tones from the Pink Floyd catalogue. He used different pedals in the 70s compared to now, so he’s bringing them along to be able to cover those tones.

  17. Philipe Antunes says:

    Hey Bjorn! It’s just my impression or David isn’t using his black strat, but fender custom shop clones? I’ve notive in the picture above that that guitar he holds hasn’t any scrath from the decades of playing, it looks brand new… Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      According to himself, he used the original Black Strat for the album… and the tour. However, he’s often seen using a NOS during guest appearances and promo stuff, which I’m sure is what happened here.

  18. David never fails to amaze Me. It is very clear that even at His age ( 70 ) His well of Creativity is far from dry. I Play a lot of Blues and David I feel is My # 3 Mentor. George Harrison being # 1 and Eric Clapton being # 2. As long as David wants to keep Blessing Us with His work, I will be buying it to Cherish as always. ~Pepper Roberts~ Austin Texas USA

  19. Excellent info as usual! I’ve heard a rumor that DG switched out the Whammy WH-1 in favor of a Whammy V–do you have any info on that, or pictures? Thanks for the info as always.

    • Bjorn says:

      As far as I know and can see from pictures, it’s the old WH-1 but I might be wrong. Let me know if you can find any evidence on him using the 5 :)

  20. As always….. a Great break down. It is cool to see that David is sticking to what has worked for Him and Us for years. Thanks Bjorn …. Your the best… ~Pepper~ Austin Texas USA

  21. Jim says:

    Bjorn, you never fail to come through and amaze!
    I like how you capture David’s sounds in your own studio. Keep it up!

  22. Dam says:

    Ey Bjorn!

    Look at this video, sec 00:47: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amAuwfXVXoc

    He is also using a Digitech Digiverb (:-0) and a voodoo-vibe!!!

    Where did you see the deja-vibe?

    Regards.

    Dam.

  23. craig says:

    Any chance of backing tracks for new album?

  24. Benja says:

    Any idea what mic he uses to record his vocals? It can be seen in some of the video material.

    • Bjorn says:

      Not sure about the specific model but he’s mostly using a Sony tube condenser. It seems to have been his main vocal mic since the early 2000s.

  25. david moss says:

    hi Bjorn,
    There”s a nice spacey feel to the echo on 5am could you give me an idea if its a pedal or
    studio effect. keep up the great work.
    regards, Dave

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to tell what he used for any of the songs as there are no official records or footage confirming anything but live he’s using the Les Paul Goldtop, into a Alessandro head. I’m pretty sure he’s using the same setup on the album… the Goldtop at least. There’s a lot of compression going on, a tad delay and it also sounds like there’s just a hint of overdrive.

      • Jeff says:

        I was wondering myself which guitar he’s using on 5am. I have a Les Paul and can’t quite get that really nice poppy sound even with heavy compression and a touch over OD. I was wondering if it was in fact his Gretsch Duo Jet as that axe has a really nice pop built in. Saw the show in Chicago on the 4th and was hoping to see then but there’s very little lighting to open the show so I couldn’t tell.

        • Bjorn says:

          The P90 pickups on his Goldtop, with the heavy compression, is the key to the tone.

        • Frank says:

          Definitely 56lp.I have a cheap Epiphone 56lp standard pro,P90 PUs,moded with bigsby,sounds exactly the same.
          I use a Carl Martin opto-comp,but imo the comp doesn’t matter a lot for this 5am tone.

          • I use a completely digital setup. The Line 6 Amplifi system. The negatives are the obvious lack of ‘real’ tones but the positives are that I have a massive amount of equipment at my fingertips. So all I did here was play around a bit to find the right combination in the chain. I changed the compressor to a compressor/sustainer with no treble and went really heavy, tweaked the overdrive and amp setup again lowering the effects on the high end and really opened up the reverb in a ‘dark hall’ scenario. I’m dead on the tone now.

    • JSTN says:

      so much compression!

  26. David says:

    Another great article! Thank you very much Bjorn! I play through a Blackstar HT-20 studio and I love this amp, I had no clue David used a Blackstar HT distortion pedal! Do you know what he uses it for?

    • Bjorn says:

      Distortion, I guess :) I’ve no idea if he used it on the album but it looks like he tried a bunch of new stuff so he might have used it. He might not.

      • Ian Hamilton says:

        I’m wondering if he used the Blackstar HT pedal on the Barn Jams (Part 3), noting this was recorded back when Rick was still alive – much earlier than 2015. In any event, I am curious about what distortion he used on that song. I’m using a combination of my Vick Audio OverDriver and a MojoHand FX Rook Royale to get something approximating his tone. I am wondering as well how much those P-90s in his Gretsch Jet Duo are contributing to the tone vs. his usual pickups in the Black Strat.

        • Bjorn says:

          I’m pretty sure he used a Tube Driver as you can see him using the Pete Cornish pedal board. As far as I know, the Blackstar is a fairly new addition.

  27. Snorktop says:

    Thank you for this. Any idea what the Lehle parallel L is used for?

  28. Dean Rutter says:

    So on the track “And Then…” from the new album. How did he get that sustain on his guitar? It’s not feedback and it’s not an e-bow. Sustainiac fitted on a guitar perhaps? I’d be surprised if it was but I can’t think how else he got those long sustained notes. I have 2 guitars with Sustainiac pick-ups and it certainly sounds like a possible solution.

  29. Andre Kovacs says:

    Great gear review!
    Here is an article from Fender where DG describes his gear: http://www2.fender.com/experience/artists/david-gilmours-fender-guitars-rattle-lock/

  30. Jonathan Hart says:

    Listening to “In Any Tongue” today I noticed that the string section seems to hint at “Comfortably Numb”…as does what I believe I hear is the high-strung Ovation!

  31. Brad Roller says:

    Lol If I were David Id have to go and change all the settings to something crazy sounding before they took pictures of them. Just to screw with peoples heads ha

  32. Bo says:

    Drool…Nice look at those settings. Thanks Legend

  33. Charles says:

    Thanks for the post Bjorn! What do you think of the new album overall?

  34. waxpacknerd says:

    Cool stuff, I wasn’t surprised to see that the Boss Fet amp was assigned to the Electric Mistress given the notorious volume drop they are guilty of.

  35. Danny says:

    Great breakdown of his gear……No Muff on his effects rack ?…I guess he’s moved on from it ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! No, he may have used a stand alone pedal but there’s nothing visible in the rack. He does use a ram’s head on the current tour though.

      • mark says:

        Great site Bjorn!……I notice the mic’d up amps and wonder if its from there they then go into the mixing desk? Or P.A for rehearsals? Any info on the mixing console and recording equipment? Many thanks

        • Bjorn says:

          I haven’t seen a detailed image of the mixing console, so I can’t really tell but yes, the cabinets are mic’ed and the signal is fed to the front of house mixing desk and then out to the PA. Not sure about the mixing console in his new recording studio but his mixing in Pro Tools and his houseboat, Astoria, feature an analogue Neve console.

      • Gary Jarvis says:

        I thought it was interesting David said he hadn’t used a Muff in 20 years. Maybe not on record? Clearly used one on OAI tour.

        • Bjorn says:

          Not so much in the studio, although there are some moments here and there. He’s been using the Cornish G2 for some time and the Big Muff was really the staple in the late 70s and early 80s but not so much these days. However, he used the Sovtek Civil War a lot on Pulse and a Big Muff (and G2) has been used extensively on both the Island tour and the present one…

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