• How to simulate rotating speakers

    I often get questions regarding David’s use of rotating speakers and how this effect can be achieved without actually having to buy a Leslie. Rotating speakers have been an essential part of David’s tone since the early 70s – both on albums and not least in his stage setup.

    The classic old school way of using Leslies is to just plug the guitar into the cab. David did this on Narrow Way, Brain Damage, Eclipse etc. The tone is easily recognizable with a fat swirling sound with bite and grunge. However, David would usually – and still is – blend the rotating speaker cabs with his Hiwatt rig. This is easily done by simply splitting the signal from the guitar/pedal board and feeding it into the two setups. The result is a smooth warm tone with a mild chorusy swirl. The whole “secret” to David’s setup though is that the rotating speaker cabs are mixed much lower than the amp rig.

    So what‘s the difference between using a rotating speaker cab and a chorus? The split signal creates a stereo effect, which is something a chorus can’t do by it self. The rotating speaker also resonates and creates dynamics and acoustics that a pedal can’t replicate. The construction of the rotating cab is essential with the horn literary throwing the sound in all directions creating a unique resonance depending on the distance to the surrounding walls etc. In technical terms this is called the Doppler effect. A chorus on the other hand is just a pedal with its obvious limitations… no matter how good is sounds.

    Let’s look at David’s different setup to better understand the difference between the tones. The setups have changed somewhat over the years. Between 1971-75 he used Leslie 147/760 cabinets, which have an aggressive tremolo tone with a distinct bite and attack. A good reference is the Wembley 1974 show. Between 1977-1983 he used Yamaha RA200 cabinets which have a unique chorusy tone achieved by three horns/speakers on an axis. Compared to a Leslie, the Yamaha has a much more open character with a subtle tremolo. The Yamahas can be heard all over Is There Anybody Out There – Wall Live and David’s 1978 solo album. In 1994 he used custom designed rotating speakers called Doppolas. These had a tone that was not as aggressive as a Leslie but neither as liquidy as the Yamahas. The Modena, Italy 1994 show is a great reference (Shine On, Sorrow, Another Brick in the Wall).

    In David’s stage setup the rotating cabs were on for most of the songs. This is perhaps hard to understand because while they’re easy to hear on Is There Anybody Out There – Wall Live they’re barely noticeable, if at all, on PULSE. Still, that’s the whole idea. You’d hear it if they weren’t on PULSE and they were also mixed much higher on the Wall tour especially. It may also be hard to hear that the album version of songs like Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Comfortably Numb were recorded with the amp+rotating cab split. Again, the rotating cabs were mixed low. These are also examples of how a rotating speaker can make the overall tone warmer and smoother without dominating with a distinct tremolo/chorus tone. On the other hand, songs like Raise My Rent and Dogs are drenched with the Yamaha high in the mix.

    Between 1977-1983 in addition to the Yamaha RA200 cabinets David also used an Electric Mistress flanger. The difference between a rotating speaker cab and the Mistress might be hard to recognize as he would use both at the same time but a good reference is Mihalis, where the Mistress is in focus and Raise My Rent where the Yamaha is loud and there’s no Mistress. The Mistress has a liquidy chorus tone with a slight metallic “jet” colour while the Yamaha is a slightly muddier chorusy tremolo tone.

    Replicating the effect of David’s amp+rotating speaker combo is difficult if not impossible without actually carrying a rotating speaker cabinet like a Leslie, Yamaha RA or Doppola. There is lots of sims on the market though like the Boss RT20, DLS Rotosim, Line 6 Roto Machine and the classic Korg G4. Most of these simulate the sound of a Leslie in solo pretty well but IMO fails to replicate the mild liquidy tone of David’s Yamaha and Doppolas. The other option is to use a chorus and perhaps a model that has a bit more defined tone like the Boss CE5. The Electric Mistress (late 70s model and Deluxe) also does a good job simulating a rotating speaker and the right settings can get you very close to the Yahamas. It’s important to keep in mind that when a chorus, phaser or flanger is referred to as a good rotary sim the reference is usually towards fast settings for that distinct tremolo tone. That’s not what you want for David’s tones. Therefore, a phaser or UniVibe might not be the best option unless you want to have something to nail Any Colour You Like.

    Chorus single amp setup
    Using a chorus as a colouring modulation and for replicating David’s rotary sounds require two different setups. A normal way of using chorus would be to place it after the gains and in front of the delays. In a rotary sim setup the chorus should be placed at the very end of the chain after the delays.

    Flanger single amp setup
    The Electric Mistress 9V/18V and Deluxe are IMO a great way to replicate David’s Yamahas – the tone is quite convincing with a Muff especially. Unlike the chorus I think the Mistress sounds best when placed after the gains and in front of delays both for a normal colouring modulation and rotary sim setup.

    Rotary sims single amp setup
    If you’re using rotary sims I strongly recommend that it has a master effect volume control or a dry/wet mix. Otherwise the effect will be too dominating. More so than a chorus and flanger I recommend that a rotary sim is placed at the very end of the chain after the delays… unless you want to use to replicate a more conventional Leslie tone. Units like the Boss RT20 also allow a stereo setup but keep in mind that if you decide to split the signal in two setups you need to split it before the rotary unit to maintain the “clean” tone from your amp and mix it with a “wet” tone from the second amp.

    Split signal setup without rotating speaker cabinet
    An even more authentic setup would be to split the signal between two amps and use a chorus, flanger or rotary sim between the split signal and one of the amps. This is easily done with a Y splitter box. Keep in mind that you need to either set the “wet” amp with a lower volume or use a chorus, flanger or rotary sim unit with a master effect level control to be able to mix the “wet” effect lower than the “dry” amp. This doesn’t mean that you need two Hiwatt stacks though. The “wet” amp can very well just be a 10-15w combo like the excellent Laney Cub that’s placed next to your main amp. This will be just enough to get that slight stereo spread and natural acoustics.

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149 Responsesso far.

  1. John Ugolotti says:

    Hey Bjorn! I am considering doing a two amp setup, and I am wondering how I should proceed in this manner. DO I run all of my effects including the electric mistress into both amps and then have only the boss rt-20 run into the other amp? Or should the electric mistress go through one amp only? I guess I am trying my best to have one amp simulate the Yamaha rotating cabinet and the other one be the normal rig. I haven’t considered what amp I would get yet in terms of the second amp but my rig currently consists of a Hiwatt T5 running into a Marshall with Celestion speakers. And finally I am wondering if throwing a boss chorus into the mix will help me get even closer to the tone. Sorry for the long question! I am obsessed with getting that wall tone, especially the comfortably numb tone. I know for the studio version he might not be using the electric mistress but I do enjoy its use in the live version, I find it makes the tone even more eerie. I appreciate the help!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi John, what David did was to run a mono signal out of the pedalboard and this was split going into the Hiwatt rig and the Yamaha cabs. The Yamahas was mixed slightly lower than the Hiwatts. To simulate this, you could split the mono signal going from your pedalboard into your main amp and have the second line going into the RT20 and then into the second amp. David would also use CE2s on the second leg of the Wall tour. They seem to have been used to create a semi-stereo signal, making the two mono signals wider before they run into the Hiwatts and Yamahas.

      • John Ugolotti says:

        Would you say the best way to simulate a yamaha ra200 would be to mix the electric mistress with the boss rt-20 and the boss CE2, keeping them all relatively low in the mix (And in stereo)? Or is this over kill, because I have heard this might be the best approximation to a yamaha ra200.

        • Bjorn says:

          That sounds a bit overkill to me but as always with tone, it depends on your taste and what you hear. What I hear when I listen to David’s Animals and Wall tones in particular, is a fairly dry tone but you can hear that stereo Yamaha way back in the mix. I think the RT20 alone is capable of this, also in mono. Or, the Boss CE-5. The CE-2 doesn’t really sound like a rotary cabinet.

          • John Ugolotti says:

            I just did a stereo set up for the first time, so I can certainly see just using two different amps together is enough to create a difference, plus with the RT-20 it sounds perfect. Thanks for the help!

  2. Ash says:

    So live, did Gilmour run the rotary side of his rig in stereo? If so, this implies the Hiwatts were run mono, with the rotary side adding a wide, moving image. If that is the case, replicating the sound would require a split of the pedal board to feed a mono amp for the basic feed, with the other side going to a pedal (Vent, Pulse, etc.) that splits into stereo for the lower rotary mix. Would hat be correct?

    • Bjorn says:

      This is explained throughout this site. He’s been swapping between mono and stereo since the early days but the essence is that his pedalboard is in mono. From there, he’s sending a split signal into 1. the Hiwatts and 2. the rotary cabs. So two mono, which creates a sense of stereo. The rotary is mixed lower to add more subtle modulation, rather than a dominating effect.

  3. Andrew Hutton says:

    Greetings from Canada Bjorn! Do you have any speaker suggestions for a homemade rotating speaker?

    • Bjorn says:

      Not really, I don’t have much experience with that. There are similar projects out there so do a search for some insights.

  4. Paris says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I’ve been using a Mini Vent as my rotary effect for the last month or so, which I really like, but I’ve been trying a few different placements in the chain to see what works best. From what I’ve understood from your posts here and your website, you prefer the Lex right after your delays.

    I also have a Strymon Flint, which has tremolo too, and was wondering if you had an opinion of whether you’d like the Flint (and generally reverb pedals) before or after the Lex. Other than that I tend to place both pedals after my Dawner Prince Boonar.

    So basically, asssuming you were running all pedals in one amp (or in two wet amps), in what order would you place the Boonar, the Lex and the Flint (given it has tremolo as well)?

    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve done different things over the years but I tend to stick to this setup: guitar > Lex > Boonar > Flint. Now, you probably don’t want to have a tremolo after the delays but reverb should be after delays so you need to decide how you want to use the Flint :)

  5. Nathan says:

    Do you know much about how David used the CLS-222 on the PULSE rig? I’ve noticed the only songs you list it as an active effect are Any Colour You Like and Brain Damage. I’m curious about the signal flow – IE did it color the whole rig, just the stationary speakers, or just the Doppolas for a double-swirl? Perhaps the Dopplas only have one speed and he used it for the high-speed effect?
    I bought one recently and I do like it a lot, it’s not the most realistic I’ve heard perhaps but it’s close and it makes for a very pleasant swirl, and it has a really fantastic stereo spread. Its preamp and output level controls also make it versatile for where want to put it in your rig.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m not sure what settings David used or how it was mixed in. There was a lot going on in that rig that’s never been discussed by David or his tech. The CLS was placed last in the chain, after a stereo split and fed into both the Hiwatts and Doppolas. More on David’s Pulse rig here.

  6. J. Hart says:

    I recently found myself very, very happy with a patch I made on my Line 6 HD Pod Pro, with the mono signal going into a pitch vibrato (based on the Boss VB-2), then into both the left and right channels, which have identical amp and cab settings, but with one condenser mic and one dynamic – the same way I mic my tube amp – then the stereo signal goes into a stereo panner. Now, sure – you could assign the expression pedal to change the modulation rate for both effects to be fast at the toe and slow at the heel, but both of these effect models have a volume sensitivity control, so they can speed up and slow down based on the dynamics of your playing, and at different rates – they’re never in sync. I’m quite pleased with the results, and occasionally switch on a ProCo Rat model at the beginning of the chain for some grit, and a slow stereo barberpole phaser at the end for extra churn, and it is fantastic.

    Oh, and Bjorn – I watched the “Wider Horizons” Gilmour documentary over the weekend, and he shows off the Fender 1000 pedal steel, playing something new that uses a lot of the pedals!

  7. Any thoughts on using a keeley vibroverb to simulate a rotating speaker (or really any of gilmours effects?). I grabbed one, expecting to be able to emulate a lot of his sounds, but really haven’t been able to dial any in. I’ve been having better luck using a flanger + chorus with my Dr Z amp, or running directly into my old vibrochamp and using the trem effect

    I’ve gotten some pretty fantastic gilmour tones and effects with the help of your site. Currently have a maz 18 jr, and a 76 vibrochamp, for amps. Pedals are: buffer, Vick audio rams head, ProCo rat, TC spark, elec lady, TC corona Chorus, vibroverb, TC flashback. Guitar is an american strat that’s been completely gutted electronically, and is essentially a gilmour signature I built myself (ssl5, cs ’69, cs fat 50s, 250k split shaft cts pots, sprague .022 uF orange drop cap, and installed the mini toggle. Have the shortened trem, customized knobs to have the oxidized numbers, and installed a callaham vintage upgrade kit since I have a 2 point trem. I used to have a 1983 fullerton reissue strat that would have been perfect for this rebuild but made the mistake of selling it years back)

    • Bjorn says:

      The Vibroverb is a UniVibe type pedal so it doesn’t really do the proper rotary/Leslie thing. It’s more a phaser tone that David used on Dark Side. For rotary, I recommend pedals like the Strymon Lex, Neo Ventilator or the Boss RT20. The latter is probably the best option for David’s tones as it allow you to dial in the right amount of the effect and mix it in with the dry signal, which what David did.

  8. F Javi says:

    Hi Bjorn. To simulate the liquid and soft sound of the doppolas in Pulse with a pedal, do you think that the best is the Boss Chorus CE5 placed at the end of the chain? or have you tried some other better? With the CE5 what would be the best configuration of the 4 knobs: Level, Rate, Depth, Filter. Thank you very much !

  9. Hayden Roberts says:

    Is it possible to just use a rotary reverb?

  10. Johnny says:

    Hi Bjorn. I’m about to buy an RT20. You said that using it at the very end, we should split the signal before. So you mean that we already have to go out from the delay in stereo and then go into the RT20 (And go out from it in stereo too) ?

    • Bjorn says:

      You can either use the RT20 as a mono unit, like any other pedal, or for stereo but then you’d have to use two amps. You can either split before the RT20, after the delays, and have one signal go into one amp and one singal going from the RT20 into a second amp. That would be the closest to David’s 90s setup. You could also run everything into the RT20 and run a stereo split after it into each amp. Personally I use the unit in mono without any split.

  11. Nicholas Love says:

    I’ve had great luck with the MXR analog chorus. It has a level mix knob that can be dialed back to a very mild barely noticeable swirl all the way to full blown 80’s chorus. I find on the lower settings it can get a convincing Yamaha tone.

  12. Roberto says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I have 2 amps. Until today this was my setup:
    From the end of the pedalboard the right signal go to the first amp (signal dry), and the left signal go to the Leslie Sim (EHX Lester K) and then to the second amp (signal wet).
    This configuration is the same as yours… at the end of this article “Split signal setup without rotating speaker cabinet”.

    this the OLD CONFIG:

    signal L ———-> LESTER K ————> Left Amp
    signal R—————————————–> Right Amp

    Now I bought a Boss RT-20 (and this pedal have the “effect” knob and “direct” knob), so now I can mix the signal dry and wet….

    So I Think about this:

    Put the RT-20 at the end of my pedalboard, and plug in stereo my two amps; then with the “effect” and “direct” knobs i can mix the two signal.
    In this way I have the “Dry” signal in both of amps and “wet” signal (set at low volume) in both of amps….
    So… in this way I have the Dry signal and the Wet signal (rotary) in stereo!

    this the NEW CONFIG:

    signal L –> —-> Left Amp
    BOSS RT-20 —> DRY 60% WET 40%
    signal R. –> —-> Right Amp

    NB: DRY signal is the same for both amps… but the wet signal il “rotary” and add stereo effect…

    What do you think? Is correct for a Gilmour-sound?

      • Roberto says:

        in this way I have the signal “dry” in both amps and the signal “wet” in stereo mode!
        because I think that a Rotary Effect in better in stereo…

        or, for the Gilmour sound, is always better one amp dry and a second amp “wet” with rotary effect but obviously in mono?


        • Bjorn says:

          Rotary does sound better in stereo as you get more of that doppler effect. David always split his signal between the dry Hiwatts and the rotary cabs. In that way you get one signal that’s always dry and the rotary cabs act more as a modulation or chorus on top of that. It gives the guitar more presence and doesn’t take away too much of the original tone and character.

    • Bjorn says:

      Looks like a very cool setup!

  13. James Bettes says:

    A very cool option if you can ever find one is a Cordovox Acordian amp’s Leslie speaker. I picked up a cordovox amp system a while back and finally got the leslie working. The best part is it can combine with other a standard chorus (I had issues when using a chorus to simulate a leslie and using another chorus further up the chain).

    A cordovox was basically an organ in four parts (a tone generator with preamp section, power amp with speakers, a Leslie speaker, and an accordion type device for the keys, all connected with giant cables). The leslie is about the size of a small combo amp (21″x21″x14″deep) and weighs light enough to carry with one hand. It only has an 8″, 30 Watt speaker and no horn but it does the Gilmour doppler thing quite well. It’s definitely a pain in the but to mic out and mix with the HIWATT and requires a second amp to run but it sounds better (albeit more limited) than any of the sims I’ve been looking at. You usually find the amp and tone generator without them but when they do appear, they aren’t very expensive. One caveat, the motor is not loud but loud enough that recording at bedroom levels is not an option, although at moderate studio levels, it is low enough to be about the level of a little amp hum. I’m obsessed with eliminating hum and excess noise and it’s low enough I can live with it.

    At the moment there I was able to find one for sale for $150, which is less than most of the sims I have looked at. Anyone interested in this as an option can contact me via facebook (PM) and I will send put together some sound clips of how it sounds.

    If it’s allowed, I can post some links to some sound tests here.

  14. James Bettes says:

    Been using this site for years but just now posting. Firstly, a HUGE thank you for being my primary resource for everything guitar.

    I use a chorus and a EHX pulsar tremolo as a poor man’s solution. The chorus provides the modulation element of the doppler effect and the tremolo gives it that tiny bit of warble missing with just the chorus. The pulsar works well for this because it allows for shaping the tremolo (length of volume drop can be shorter than length of full volume as opposed to an even up and down sort of thing) as well as the shape of the cut (square or saw shape). It’s also stereo and when running it with a stereo rig works even better at this.

    I also find the tremolo also works to add a bit of ‘movement’ to flange and phase which helps make them sound less artificial. I even can use this combo (chorus+tremolo) as a decent alternative to the mistress (which tends to sound too dominant in my setup and my DEM needs servicing anyway). But with some added movement to ‘thicken’ it (chorus) up it gets close to David’s more subtle Mistress tones. I assume an actually rotary sim would work better for that (flange simulation) but for the time being it does the job.

    BTW: I am using a Mooer Ensemble King for chorus for this and don’t get as good a result from my BOSS CE-5. And the tremolo mixed very very lightly (almost indiscernibly so).

    One day hope to get a good rotating speaker pedal but in the meantime this works good enough for me.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for sharing James! Very interesting approach. I have to try that. The Mooer Ensemble King is great and an excellent alternative to the old Boss CE2.

  15. Phoenix says:

    Bjorn, as always, thanks for an amazing resource–your website! I just ordered a Pigtronix Rototron because the price dropped from $300 to $169. The downside seems to be they don’t have a volume or tone control.

    After reading your article above, it occurred to me that I can run my strat into an ABY, then send one output to my regular chain of pedals and into my Suhr Badger, but send the other output to the Rototron and into my Swart Space Tone.

    That way I can adjust the volume directly on the amp and blend the simulated leslie sound with the Swart a little quieter than the main amp with the rest of my effects.

    Does that make sense and sound good?

    Two final questions:
    Normally, I use a Fulltone Mini Dejavibe 2 in my chain, would it be overkill to keep using that in the main chain and have the rototron in the second output, or would they be good together?

    And do you have any experience or comment on the Rototron?

    For the record, I love Gilmour’s tone of course, but I’m not trying to copy it. I just happen to love the Leslie(ish) sound, I like the slow swirly sound. And I really like it a lot when I start getting harmonic feedback, because that swirly sound really does nice things to feedback.

    My best,


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Phoenix! I’d definitely keep both. The Rototron is a rotating speaker/Leslie simulator, while the Deja is a UniVibe phaser. They sound very different from each other and serve different applications. David would always blend his rotary speakers with the Hiwatts, creating a subtle modulation that was always on. The UniVibe was used for specific songs, like Breathe and Time.

  16. Bruno says:

    Bjorn, Did you try the RotoChoir? It’s a option for my budget.

  17. Bruno says:

    Hey Bjorn, do you have any experience with the ELX Lester G? Any comments?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s OK but I think it colours the tone a bit too much. Kind of like running a Hammond through an amp like John Lord. I pefer the Strymon Lex or the Neo Ventilator.

  18. Tomas Ekström says:

    Hello Björn,

    Using a Mooer E-lady (instead of an EHX mistress) to simulate the Yamaha rotary speaker, what settings would you use?

  19. Andy Betts says:

    Very interesting post Bjorn. I have a question regarding my rig, and would like some suggestions on how you think would be best to achieve the same result.

    have a stereo rig which is in it’s basic form like this:

    Guitar > Marshall JMP1 Stereo Pre-Amp > Marshall 9200 Stereo Power Amp > 2 x Marshall cabs

    Could I get the same sort of effect if i inserted the effect through one side of my stereo signal?? I was thinking of getting the RT20 but would like it in my rack system…. Unfortunately It’s not midi controllable, so i need to give it some thought.

    • Bjorn says:

      As explained in the feature, you could simulate David’s setup a number of ways. With your stereo rig, I would perhaps try to send the same effect signal to each amp but have the RT20 placed after the split on only one of the amps. That way, you would have a dry signal from one of the amos, which would be your main and one with the modualted tone, which could be blended in behind the main amp.

  20. Nicholas Love says:

    Hello Bjorn! Thanks for all the great advice so far. I used to have a Leslie G37 that I would split my signal to, but I’ve since sold it as it’s use was far too limited and it was too heavy to lug around. I’ve been trying to get close to replicating that 78 solo album tones without it, so I’ve been splitting my RT-20 to my Lone Star Classic while sending my dry signal to my Lionheart 50. The sound is good, but the Lionheart head with a 2×12 cab and the Mesa Lone Star combo (which is near 100 lbs) is still too much moving. I was thinking about purchasing a Roland JC-40 which is a smaller 40 watt version of the Roland JC-120 and using its chorus effects to simulate the quieter mix from David’s Yamahas. Do you think that would get me close to the sound of his Hiwatt/Yamaha mix? Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Possibly, although none of these amps are dead on the Hiwatts. The Roland is equiped with the CE-1 chorus, which could be set to simulate a rotary effect but I think the RT20 is a better match. With the Roland, you would get some of that prsitine clean sound though. Hard to really give a good answer as I haven’t tried that particualr setup.

  21. Paul says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Checking into this thread. Refers to using a stock !983 Telecaster with a variant of RH Muff (Vicks or Buffalo) and an RT-20 on a single amp setup (might try 2 amps at some stage). Can you give me specific RT-20 settings to achieve the Dogs 3 solo tones? Or would you say using a Mistress sounds more convincing? Got a 1979 Deluxe. When you say range is off do you mean the knob is fully anti-clockwise? This is all through Laney 5W Lionheart. Thanks buddy!

    Cheers from Sunny Australia

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! My RT20 settings: mode 1, rise 12:00, effect 8:30, direct 11:00, balance 11:00, overdrive off, slow 2:00, fast (rarely use it) 12:00 (all settings are o’clock).
      David used both the Yamaha RA200 rotary cab and a 76 Mistress flanger for the live tones but the studio version of Dogs was just the Yamaha, so in that sense, the RT20 alone would be the most accurate alternative. On the Deluxe, I usually set the rate and colour around 10:00 and, yes, the range fully anti clockwise, which is as off as you can get it :)

  22. Hey Bjorn! I would like to emulate this 2 amps configuration on a single amp but I’m not sure I’m thinking it right.
    My current path is:

    (…) –> CE2 –> (mono input) Boss DD20 (mono output) –> Amp (mono input)

    And what I would like to do is:

    (…) –> Y splitter –> | right : CE2 –> (right input) Boss DD20 (mono output) –> Amp (mono input)
    | left : (left input) Boss DD20

    I can’t experiment it yet since I don’t have any Y splitter.
    By the way, do I really need to buy a Y-box for this purpose or a splitted jack (one to 2) can do the trick?

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t think this will work on a single amp. You’d get two signals going into one amp and what you’ll hear is just the one mono signal… possibly even muddier. You need two amps to be able to do this. Those cable splitters are usually of poor quality. The best way to split the signal is with a splitter box and preferably one that’s buffered since you’ll be driving more cable.

      • It actually worked pretty well!
        I removed the DD20 from my pedalboard and placed it into the Amp (ENGL) effect loop (single send –> stereo return). I plugged the DD20 right output straight to the effect loop right return and then I placed the CE-2 between the DD20 left output and the left return of the effect loop.

        IMO it worked pretty well since it made the CE-2 signature sound still recognizable but way less dominating. I wonder if I would have achieved the same result with a Dry/Wet knob.

        Worth the try Bjorn!

        I am buying a RT20 this week end, I am curious to hear if I can get a step closer to this magical Hiwatt/Doppolas PULSE tone!

  23. Ben Ferwerda says:

    For anyone with only one amp who wants to mix the signal of a flanger or any other modulation, the Xotic X-Blender is pretty useful.


    It has control for wet/dry and you can put effects in its loop. It also has a volume control among other things which is handy with the electric mistresses with a volume drop. Its probably not the best way to replicate Gilmour but a neat tool nonetheless!

    Happy Gilmourizing!

  24. Kris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I currently I have a Boss RT-20 at the end of my chain going into my Hi Tone custom 50 with 2 x 12 cab loaded with their Fane clone speakers. I take it, it would sound more authentic (to replicate David’s use of his Yamaha RA 200) if I split the signal and placed the RT20 between the splitter box and a 2nd amp. Currently don’t own a second amp or splitter box. Could you recommend a good Y Splitter box and 2nd Amp for this type of set up? As always thanks Bjorn!


    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Kris. Any splitter box would do, I guess. I’d go for an amp that’s somewhat similar to the Hi Tone, with a clean tone and lots of headroom. You don’t want it to distort. Check out the Hiwatt Tube Series or the excellent Laney Lionheart L5 studio.

      • Kris says:

        Thanks Bjorn, what are your thoughts on a laney cub stack vs the Lionheart L5 studio as far as a second amp for this application?

        Also I was trying to find some information on how to actually wire this. I would be using the mono inputs in my delays like I have now Echosex 2 > TC Nova > then into the splitter box > one cable into my Hi Tone > other cable into the mono input of the RT 20> and out to a 2nd amp? Or would I be utilizing the stereo outs on the delays etc? Thanks!


        • Bjorn says:

          You’d run everything like you’d plug into a mono amp. One signal from your pedalboard into the splitter, then two mono signals from the splitter, one into each amp. The Lionheart is no doubt a better amp – both sound and quality – but the Cub would do a nice job as well.

          • Kris says:

            Thanks for the advice Bjorn! What are your thoughts on a Laney cub head and cub 2 x 12 cab vs the blues Jr. in terms of a 2nd amp for my amplification described above. I picked up a splitter box and reconfigured my pedalboard to run two amps with my RT-20, just shopping around for a 2nd amp, but don’t want to spend alot of money, but at the same time don’t want to buy something cheap that is not good quality. Thanks!

            • Bjorn says:

              The Blues Jr has a more transparent tone and more headroom I guess. Depends on how you want that chain to sound like. The Laney is slightly darker with more mids.

              • Kris says:

                I guess I am trying to create a more authentic simulation of Gilmour’s use of the Yamaha RA200, by placing my RT-20 between the splitter and this new amp I plan on buying. You mentioned you recommend getting a 2nd amp that would sound similar to my Hi Tone Custom 50, with fane clone 2 x 12. I also may experiment with running this configuration in stereo as well. Given that, do you recommend the blues jr or the laney cub stack? Sorry for all the questions Bjorn :)

                • Bjorn says:

                  Well, it depends entirely what sort of tone you want, as I explained in my last reply. The Laney is similar sounding to the Hiwatt, while the Fender is something very different. Personally, I’d go for the Laney but the Fender has more headroom and is perhaps better suited for this application :)

  25. DIMITRIS says:

    After fuzzes and muffs and delays, I think most of Gilmour fans start to wonder how to add this Rotary magic to their tone!
    Considering, it’s a bit of trouble having a real Leslie Cabinet (even creating your own can sound terrible if you don’t know the tricks of making an amp) I thought of having a Strymon Lex running through a second amp setup.
    1. Wouldn’t the Strymon running from two small combo amps in stereo mode create more natural acoustic dynamics, than through a mini stack. For example 2 10watt Laney Cubs, rather than one Laney Cub stack. Would 10w and 12w cub combos -alone and in pair- handle fuzz, boost, modulation, delay and the leslie simulator?
    2. It’s an amazing pedal for Leslie sounds, but can you get a tone close to the Yamaha Rotary Cabinet with the Strymon Lex? Some many knobs on it… somehow?

    • Bjorn says:

      You mean splitting the signal? One with the Lex and one without? Sure, that would be the closest to David’s setup. The thing about the Lex is that it’s probably the best sounding Leslie simulator out there but David perhaps more known for having used the Yamaha RA200 and the custom Doppola speakers, which had a more chorusy tone. The Lex is better for replicating his 1971-75 modulated tones, which were a Leslie 147.

  26. Bas Vis says:


    Nice articles,

    I use the Korg G4 after the pre-amp of my Laney Cub-head and split the signal into the Korg G4 and the poweramp of the Laney. From the Korg G4 the signal goes to 2 monitor speakers next to the main speaker of the laney cub. It sound great and have a lot if fun playing it!
    I like your website. Nice work!

    P.s. Love your last record Lullebies in a car crash.. Got the vinyl! Sounds great!

  27. Ardavan Rad says:

    Hi Bjorn, thank you so much for your fantastic articles as always.
    I really like David’s solo tones in “what do you want from me” and “raise my rent”,
    I’ve got a Vox AC4 blue tube amp, a custom deluxe start , a Yamaha RT20 rotary stimulator, a Voodoo Lab Microvibe, Big Muff with tone wicker, McRae Carbon copy delay, TC Alter Ego V2, Xotic EP booster and a TC spark booster, and my overdrive pedals are: Fulltone OCD, Okko Diablo, Xotic SL, Wampler Plexi drive and a Super Crunch box and also a Providence Stampede dt distortion pedal.
    I only enjoy practicing at home.
    What set up do you think I should have, especially what set up on my Boss RT20 rotary speaker?

    • Bjorn says:

      That’s a lot of gear and I’m not sure what you want me to suggest but the best place to start is with the amp. Check out this feature for some amp set up tips. As explained in the feature above, where to place or how to use rotary sims depends on what tones you want. I usually place the RT20 before the delay like a chorus. You can also place it after the delays.

  28. Kris says:

    Forgot to include my volume pedal in my above pedal order:

    Guitar Fender Jimmie Vaughn > Tc Electronics Mini Tune > Crybaby Wah > Analogman Bi Comprossor > P19 > Dover Drive > Buffalo FX Power Boost > Electric Lady > Earnie Ball Volume Jr (2050k) > Pigtronix Rototron > TC Electronics Flashback x4 > Amp HK Tubemeister 18.

    Thanks in advance!

  29. Kris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I am finally wiring my pedal board together and had a few questions for you. First what do you think of my pedal order?

    Guitar Fender Jimmie Vaughn > Tc Electronics Mini Tune > Crybaby Wah > Analogman Bi Comprossor > P19 > Dover Drive > Buffalo FX Power Boost > Electric Lady > Pigtronix Rototron > TC Electronics Flashback x4 > Amp HK Tubemeister 18.

    Also I wanted to get your opinion on my placement of the pigtronix rototron. Not sure If you have tested this pedal out yet but basicially its a rotary sim with deep chorus etc, that features a depth/blend nob similar to the Boss RT-20. Do you recomend placing it before or after my delay? Thanks!

    [The setup looks great! Rotary sims can be placed with the modulations, in front of the delays, but with a real Leslie you’d feed the whole signal, including the delays so personally I like having the sim last. – Bjorn]

  30. Adrian says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Learned a lot from this article, as I often have on your site. Thanks for all the tips and ideas.

    I’m using a Neo Instruments Ventilator II myself. I got it because it give you the ability not only to set a separate mic distance for the low and high speaker, but also to blend in as much wet and dry signal as you like. I’m pretty happy with it, it does really well to emulate a Leslie 112 (in my limited experience).

    I run it last in my chain before a single hot rod deluxe amp, after a Skreddy P19 that I boost with a Buffalo FX powerboost. I only recently got the powerboost and love what it does to my tone.

    The one thing I’ve noticed since getting the powerbooster, though, is that any time I kick it on, even with only a mild boost dialled in, it turns on the overdrive LED on the Ventilator. The LED lights up when the input level is too high, but the Vent has no input level potentiometer, so fixing this means either dialling back the boost volume to the point that I might as well not have it on at all, except maybe as an EQ for cutting bass and treble. I could turn the volume on my muff and other pedals so that the boost is more noticeable, but then the unboosted signal is too low in the mix.

    There’s no way I could use the powerboost to push the front end of my amp if I can’t even use it as a mild boost. And, putting it after the vent in the signal chain just doesn’t sound right for those Gilmourish tones I love. Any idea how I might tackle this issue? I’d appreciate any tips you might have for me in your vast wealth of gear knowledge.

    Thanks again for all the great articles,

    [Hi Adrian! I don’t have enough experience with the Ventilator to be able to suggest anything here. In terms of David’s tones, he doesn’t actually use the boosters to boost the volume but rather to add tone and character. Much like you’d do with an EQ although more subtle. The P19 is a “stacked” Big Muff meaning that it was designed to emulate the tone David got from pairing a ram’s head Big Muff with a Powerbooster. Adding a booster on top of that would be a bit redundant I think. In your case, I’d use the booster to enhance the clean tones and also as a dedicated overdrive for those mid 70s crunchy tones. – Bjorn]

  31. Lane says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    awesome site! Thanks for all you do here. I’m in Floyd tribute and was able to finally acquire a Yamaha RA 200.. I am struggling to find the live “Is there anybody out there” milky tone. Lots of discussions above, but any tips on settings? It seems to me the mistress and the ra200 make the majority of that sound.. right? My rig consists of CS-2 › BYOC Muff › BK Butler › EQ › Tremelo › vintage univibe › Electric mistress › delay › tone bone splitter › into Reeves & ra 200

    The Yamaha has a non-speed pedal controlled slow speed that is slower that the slowest speed with the foot pedal plugged in. I have been running it at “1” speed using the controller.. But thinking thats part of the problem is that is too fast and it should be on the slowest setting.. But I’m at a loss. My tone is too thin and its not milky.. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    [I don’t have any experience with the RA200 so I can’t really help you here. There’s some info and setup tips in the RA200 feature. Keep in mind too that David played in stereo, which adds to the lush tone and the Yamaha was mixed lower than the Hiwatts. Hope this helps. – Bjorn]

  32. Cooper says:

    Hey Bjorn, I looking to get a Leslie Sim. either the Lex or the Leslie pedal. do you have any opinion on the Leslie. I’m chasing the DSofTM tones. I only have one amp the Laney Cub 12, And don’t really have the room for a second amp to split the signal. I was wondering if I could split the signal to a pair of KRK Rockit 6’s through my mixer and get the desired effect? Thanx for any insite and you site rocks. _Coop

    [Sorry for my late reply, Cooper. I haven’t tried the Leslie pedal yet but based on the clips I’ve heard it sounds very promising. I’ve used the Lex for some time and I’m very happy with it. Even in mono it sounds pretty convincing and awesome for those DSotM tones. The drawback of both in regards to David’s tones is that neither has an effect mix knob. Obiously, Leslies didn’t but to be able to get the real effect without a split, which you can control the volume, these pedals will sound as if your guitar runs straight into a Leslie. The only simulator that has that mix is the Boss RT20, which is a lousy Leslie but a very cool chorus/flanger kind of thing and you can get some really nice rotary tones with it mixed low. So for David’s mixed setup, I’d go for the RT20. For real Leslie tones I’d go with the Lex. Studio monitors might work but they aren’t designed to give the same frequency spectrum as a guitar amp so it won’t be accurate but try it and see what happens :) – Bjorn]

  33. Roger Sartori says:

    I have a BBE Soul Vibe, “winner of the Guitar World Platinum Award… the most convincing of analog rotary simulators, delivering that Leslie experience complete with slight pitch changes as the horn comes and goes.” (words from the manufacturer). This pedal is excelent for clean tones but I can’t mix it with a big muff (clone) or distortion… have you had any experience with this pedal?

    [Tried it briefly. Muffs are a bit too aggressive and saturated for UniVibes but have you tried setting the vibe before the Muff? That usually does the trick. – Bjorn]

  34. Rob says:

    p.s. I should mention, this isn’t spam and I’m not connected to that company – genuine question!

  35. Rob says:

    Hi, great article, very educational (as are the comments and questions it generated). While searching for pedals that mimic the Leslie cab i found this and would be very interested to know whether you have any knowledge/experience of it and, if so, what is your opinion?


    [Never tried that one. I know Jacques are making some fine pedals though. Anyone here tried it? – Bjorn]

  36. Dan Richter says:

    Hey Bjorn, hope all is well. I was wondering, I sometimes use and external cabnet with my Peavey Delta blues. If I placed a rotary pedal just between the amp and extention cab would that give me a closer sound to how DG sounds. Also, how soon will your D Allen Echos review be up, I am VERY interested in what you think of them. I don’t want to bite the bullet yet with so few reviews out there. Thank you again for all your help.

    [Hi Dan! Never plaug any pedals between the amp and a cabinet. Pedals are designed to handle the weak signal of your guitar so they will most likely fry if you do that. You could possibly blow the output transformer as well since the load isn’t right. What you want to do is to either use an effects loop, if your amp feature one or, in the case of having tow cabs, split the signal and have a head for each cab. I’ll have the Echoes review up in about a week. – Bjorn]

  37. I Am The Sea says:

    Hi Bjorn so….basically:

    DSOTM – WYWH Strymon Lex

    Animals – The Wall – Pulse RT20



    [In a nutshell :) – Bjorn]

  38. Andrew says:

    Hello teatcher !
    You say:

    “Rotary sims single amp setup :

    If you’re using rotary sims I strongly recommend that it has a master effect volume control or a dry/wet mix. Otherwise the effect will be too dominating ”

    So Bоss RT-20 is still the best for this purpose for a single combo/amp ?
    Thx !

    [The RT20 is one of the few sims that feature a master effect level so yes, I think it’s a good choice for replicating David’s Hiwatt/rotary setup. In terms of Leslie tones, I think the Ventilator and Lex sound much better and you can use a blender, like the Mosquito One, as a master effect level. – Bjorn]

  39. Nathan says:

    Thanks for the tip. I think I still also want to wait until Hammond finally divulges more details about the new Leslie pedal. Another important spec for me is that I want to be able to control it remotely, as my plan is to incorporate it into my rack setup, using either the 3rd (mono) output from my Alembic or the line outs from my power amp to run it separately into a 2nd power amp.

  40. Nathan says:

    Ok, well 2 more questions: Do you know if the Lex works well in an effects loop, or even between separate rackmount preamp and power amp? Also I know you’ve said before that the Lex doesn’t do well with a Big Muff, does the Ventilator do any better?

    [I haven’t tried it in an effects loop so I can’t really tell. I don’t think any rotary sim without a master volume works that well with heavier distortions but then again, they weren’t made with that in mind. If you plug your guitar with a Muff or whatever into a Leslie, it will sound very dark and muffled (pun intended). That’s why you want to split the signal separating the rotary. – Bjorn]

  41. Nathan says:

    So I’ve read up a lot about the Strymon Lex, the Neo Ventilator, the HK Rotosphere, and the Korg G4, so I’d like to know, in your opinion, if price is no object and I have the capability to run a separate amp in order to mix it down, what is the ultimate rotary simulator? I’ve been leaning towards the Ventilator based on my research so far, but I’d like to get your opinion. I’m building a balanced rig that I want to be able to faithfully replicate Gilmour tones all the way from DSOTM to The Wall to PULSE.

    [I think the Lex is supperior. I’m sure others disagree but that’s the one that seems to work best for my setup. The Ventilator is great too but I think the Lex is slightly better in replicating the subtle nuances of a real Leslie – I’ve A/B tested all of them with a Leslie 147 and 760. But, if you want authentic tones, then neither of these will quite fit the Animals and Wall Yamaha tones and the PULSE Doppola tones. All rotary sims are designed to replicate different leslies but these sound very different from the Yamaha and Doppolas, which are much more chorusy and liquidy. Personally I prefer the Boss RT20 for these tones, which is basically a very deep and dynamic chorus. Anyway, if you need to choose only one, I’d go with the Lex. – Bjorn]

  42. Oliver says:

    Hi Björn,

    to add a (hopefully) new question to this discussion…

    This question is related to a recording situation or a live situation with miked amps.

    I know that David was using a setup melting the Leslie, Yamaha or Doppola with his Hiwatt. My question is about the stereo setup. Im using the term Leslie representing all the rotating stuff…
    Did David use more than one mike to capture the rotating speakers to get the Leslie effect in stereo? And how did he mixed it with the monophonic Hiwatt?
    Hiwatt on channel 1 and the mono Leslie on channel 2?
    Or did he spread the Hiwatt to both channels and blended the Leslie in stereo to both channels?

    If the Leslie is used in stereo, I would need three amps in my bedroom setup with a Leslie simulation? A Hiwatt or whatever in the middle and two amps for both Leslie sim channels on the right and the left?

    Or is the bedroom setup a “Hiwatt” and another clean amp for the monophonic rotating sim?

    Hope that is not too confusing…

    Thank you and keep on shining…


    [Hi Oliver. It’s not that well documented how David mic’ed the amps on stage in the 70s or during recording sessions, so it’s hard to tell in detail. From Animals to PULSE, he would use a stereo setup on stage, two Hiwatt stacks and two rotary stacks. I’m not entirely sure if he actually played in stereo during the Animals and Wall shows, or if they used a mono signal and split this with a line splitter (and chorus for Wall). If so, the double setup would have been just for volume and power. PULSE was a stereo setup with a dual channel setup and chorus in the left channel for a wider stereo.
    Studio is a bit different. One rarely record a stereo signal for a guitar. You can spread a mono signal by using two or more mics, delay or moving the tracks but recoridng and mixing a stereo gitar is hard because it will take up a lot of place in the frequency palette. The normal way of micing a amp+rotary setup would be to use one or more mics on the amp and blend this for a desired mono tone. Likewise, you would normally mic a rotary cab with one mic at the horns and one at the drum (or the speakers of the Yamaha) and mix these for a desired mono tone. Then you mix the rotary mono with the amp mono, either behind each other for a mono blend or slightly panned for a stereo spread. However, as far as I can hear, David always mixed the two together for a mono blend. Dogs has a lot of rotary while Comfortably Numb has very little.
    So to answer your question, the proper way to set up would a splitter after your pedal board with one line to an amp and one to a rotary :) – Bjorn]

  43. Martin says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’d like to share my experience with a real rotary speaker. Mine wasn’t expensive at all, it is a DIY box consisting of some Leslie parts. I didn’t make it myself, but got it from Ebay. It is small and relatively easy to carry. With a wide range speaker behind a rotary drum, but without a horn, it is more subtle than the Leslies I know from several concerts and records. It’s passive and I run it with an Orange Micro Terror top. For most of my music, I stick with a very basic setup and don’t use this Leslie, but I’ll definitely use it together with my regular amp for my new project with an amazing church organ player. The Neo Instruments Ventilator (which is made aboout 15 miles away from my home town, just like the great Rodenberg overdrive pedals) is obviously as close as you’ll get to a mic’d Leslie, but as you point out in your article, there is one aspect about such a speaker that not even the best sim can replicate.

    You don’t find such a little Leslie like mine on Ebay every day, but the components like rotray drums appear there very often. With some professional help (certainly not without it), it should be possible to build such a unit. If this is not an option, the Motion Sound SRV-112 might be, because it is not such a big and heavy beast. Have you ever considered getting such a smaller rotary speaker?


    [Thanks for your input and tips, Martin! I’ve never used rotary speakers on stage but I’ve recorded a lot of stuff for my band with a Leslie 760 cab. Too heavy to drag around though. – Bjorn]

  44. Alan Day says:

    I love trying to work out this stuff too. I have a small venue rig. My pedalboard (including Boss CE-2 and Superdelay) This is fed to a Peavey C-30. The C-30 “FX send” goes to a Tech 21 Rotochoir via a volume pedal. The Rotochoir is fed to the PA in stereo (via stereo Di) and is never turned off – rather the volume pedal is used – this way there is no “straight amp” sent to the PA when you don’t want rotating speakers as there would be using the Rotochoir bypass switch. You get no rotating speaker in the C-30, just Chorus and Echo but lots of controlable 3D in your space from the PA and the monitors. Sounds delicious.

    [Sounds great! Thanks for sharing! – Bjorn]

  45. Dan Parker says:

    Thanks for this Bjorn, really interesting and shows how involved his sound was! I would love a rotating speaker sim.

    When did he start using stereo/split rigs? I am trying to understand just how he keeps that bell like neck tone on tracks like Fat Old Sun and Embryo when using fuzz – I can only assume he used stereo rig with one amp being clean?

    [I think he first went setereo on the Wall tour. Before that, and after PULSE, if was all mono. The tone he gets with just the fuzz and Strat is very much the Hiwatts and how they’re setup for a clean, powerful tone. – Bjorn]

  46. Jamie-Rhys says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Great article. I wanted to know how the Behringer RM600 Ultimate Rotary Speaker Modelling Effects Pedal like, and I was wondering if you could tell me if I could get a similer sound from it as you can get with the Yamaha Rotating Speakers? Thank you.

    [The RM600 is very similar (if not a clone) of the Line 6 Roto Machine. It’s got a nice Leslie tone but I don’t think it works that well for David’s tones. It’s very dark sounding and without an effect volume/mix control it’s hard to get the tones you want. I think the best way to go is either to get the Boss RT20, which has a mix control, or simply a chorus. – Bjorn]

  47. Daniel Komarek says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    nice article! I just found a Korg G4 in a music store 2 and a half hours from me. I just had to try it and it was very very good. but the price…. 400 euros!!!!


    [Ouch! Those units are great though! – Bjorn]

  48. Mohammad says:

    hi bjorn
    i bought a old leaslie few weeks ago and since i dont have an extra head im using it with a 10 watt solid state amp . when i use it with my blues jr as a second amp it sound a bit harsh its not really smooth . i was wondering should i just use my clean signal with mix of big muff or is the any way i can smooth out the solid state
    also here`s a little demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjhIcI8uSsw

    [Congrats! Hard to tell as I haven’t tried your setup but in general I’d say be careful with the treble. Try rolling it all the way down back up until you hear the breaking point between smooth and too brittle. Same goes for the pedals. Keep the tone knob on a moderate level. I’m not sure what else to recommend. – Bjorn]

  49. Matt says:

    When did Dave use the chorus pedal vs the electric mistress? I always thought that the chorus replaced his univibe.

    [Hi Matt. David’s been using UniVibes since 1972, mainly for Breathe and Time. Although the UniVibe was featured in his setups until 1975, he mostly used a Phase 90 in 1974-75. The Mistress flanger was introduced on the market in 1976 and David used it for lots of stuff between 1976-83. Boss introduced the Boss CE2 chorus in 1979-80 and David featured two in his Wall stage rig for a stereo spread. He still used the Mistress at this point. Between 1984-2005, the Boss CE2 was David’s main modulation effect. – Bjorn]

  50. Brad says:

    I just want to add my two cents to suggest a solution that many people may not be aware of. It won’t be easy on your back, but… Fender Vibratone. Leslie 16. Cordovox cl-2o or cl-30. These are all the same rotating speaker cabinet, just branded differently. They all contain an authentic Leslie two speed motor assembly, essentially the bass rotor part of a full leslie cabinet, and a 10 inch speaker. This is what SRV used to record ‘cold shot’–on the fast setting. The beauty of these for gilmour sounds is that they are made to run WITH the ‘dry’ speaker in your combo amp.

    This means when you run the motor on the slow speed, you are blending a lush subtle phasing chorus effect with your dry speaker. I can’t emphasize enough how ‘gilmourish’ this sound is. The fast setting gets you ‘any colour you like.’ They can be found on ebay or craigslist. If you spend some time looking, they are still to be found for $300-$400 in decent shape, especially if you keep your eyes out for the Cordovox one as most people go after the Fender, then the Leslie models. No reason for a rotary SIM…nothing like the real thing.

    Downsides…they weigh about 75 pounds. But they aren’t as big as you might think. No bigger than a Super Reverb. Also, plan on having to mike this set up in a live setting unless it’s a relatively small room.

    One day I might get tired of lugging it around. At that point, I would probably get a Strymon lex running with a blender pedal.

    Hope this helps,

    [Thanks for the tips Brad! Those old Vibratones sure sound awesome! – Bjorn]

  51. Nico says:

    Oh boy! My brain is right on the verge of exploding.

    The first option would be using only the Mistress, not a rotary sim. I’d go on with the traditional chain (Distortion+OD+Delay) all the way to the splitter, then add the Mistress in the “wet line” and leave the other line straight into the main amp (let’s say, the Hiwatt). Apart from that, your personal choice would be putting the Mistress before the splitter, so that both signals are flanged, AND including the rotary sim in the “wet line”.

    So, to resume, in any case, the wet signal (whether it has a Mistress or a rotary sim) would remain distorted and delayed, right?

    Thank you very much!

    [Yeah, well, what David did on the Animals and Wall tours, was to have the Mistress before the split. The signal fed to the Yamaha rotary speakers would then feature both the Mistress and roatry, while the Hiwatt only featured the Mistress. Likewise, on the PULSE tour, the Doppola rotating speakers, would also feature chorus, which was used instead of the Mistress. The principle is the same. But your summary is correct. Regardless of the Mistress, the split should be placed AFTER the delays. Option 1: gains > modulation > delays > split > Mistress/rotary amp A + main signal amp B. Option 2: gains > delay > split > mistress/rotary amp A + main signal amp B. – Bjorn]

  52. Nico says:

    Bjorn, there’s something I don’t understand. In case I choose the stereo setup with two amps, on which place of the chain should I put the “Y Splitter”? Before or after the distortions? Do I want the “wet” amp to be distorted? In adition, do I want the Muff to be influenced by the Mistress?

    I’m thinking on this: using the Mistress as a splitter, 1st place after the guitar. The DIRECT OUT goes to the Muff+OD+blabla (basically, the main chain), while the FLANGED OUT goes to the 2nd chain, with the rotary sim engaged (and perhaps a 2nd delay unit, I’m not sure).
    In this case, I would get the main amp with the distorted sound and the second amp with a non distorted wet signal.

    Is this what you mean?


    [There are many ways to do this. David feeds his signal, whith delays and all, into a split between the Hiwatts and rotary speakers. If you want to simulate this using two amps, I’d place a splitter after the delays and have the Mistress in line A after the split and Line B dry. Personally I’d have the Mistress in the main chain and use an additional chorus or rotary sim in Line A but that depends on how modulated you want the signal to be. – Bjorn]

  53. Brad says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    So I was very surprised to learn that the very electric mistress-like sound of the clean guitar in the middle section of pigs is not in fact a mistress, but the yamaha rotating speakers? So the mistress was first employed by David post studio Animals, but on tour? If that is the case then the Yamahas much produce a much different and variable sound than say a regular leslie, or a vibratone (just the base rotor of a leslie), because that section of the song sounds much more “phasey” or “flangey” than I can get my vibratone to sound, or how I have heard leslies sound. Of course, much can be accomplished in the studio with different miking techniques, etc., but I just wanted to confirm this. Also, it’s the Yamahas on the first solo in dogs, and not something, like a phase 90? Did he use a phase 90 at all on animals?

    Thanks a lot for your response. I wonder if you have a comment specifically about that middle section of Pigs, as it sounds sooo “mistressy”!


    [The Mistress can be seen on David’s board during the late 1976 tour rehearsals. Given that the pedal was introduced only earlier that year, I’m pretty positive that it wasn’t featured on the album. Besides, the first Mistress sounds very different to what you hear on Dogs and Pigs. David has also stated in several interviews that Dogs was recorded with a Tele into a Hiwatt+Yamaha combo. All those little fills and solo bits on Sheep is also the Yamaha. Hard to describe the tone but it sounds very different from the Leslies and Vibratone. These have the doopler tone while the construction of the Yamaha, with the three speakers on a rotating axis, makes it sound more like a very deep chorus or flanger. There’s no phase 90 on the album. – Bjorn]

  54. Nihar says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I was wondering on what your thoughts were on the Danelectro Rocky Road rotary sim… From youtube vids the slow sound sounds very nice. I will be using it with a split set up going completely seperately into a Fender Mustang set in developer mode (absolutely no modeling at all). Alo, would you recommend splitting the signal after all my pedals so the second amp gets all the delay and OD or should I split my signal at the beggining so the second amp only has the rotary sim? BTW the dano pedal does not have a mix control, but I will just adjust the volume of the amp to control how much I want the effect.

    [It’s OK but I think there are better sims on the market, like the Boss RT20. Taking it up a notch you can’t really beat the Strymon Lex, but it’s much more expensive. There are many ways you could split the signal. Personally I prefer having splitter after the delays with one signal straight into one and the other with a rotary sim between the split and the amp. – Bjorn]

  55. John says:

    Have you had a chance to try the Tech 21 RotoChoir yet?

    [I haven’t had the chance yet. Like most Leslie sims it’s lacking the mix control, which is vital for replicating David’s tones. Based on some of the demos I’ve heard it sounds a bit too chorusy for my taste but I need to try it to make a comment. – Bjorn]

  56. Dry Stef says:

    Hi , I’M JUST USING lovepedal PickleVibe after Comp and before Muff ,Chandler,Boss Ps6, two Delays, then split the signal in two -then a long delay for SoS -to one amp or two amps.The combination Picklevibe and PS6 (SHIFTER knob pos.) is very interesting .Bye

  57. Art says:

    Well, I put my chorus at the end of the chain and I definately can hear the differance! I think it sounds more authentic for sure. I keep the mix at 70-75% though, I tried a 50% mix and it seemed TOO subtle to notice playing alone much less in a band setting. So, my chorus has a new home and I may just throw some other modulation in there despite my original plan to stay more basic.

    [Glad it worked out! – Bjorn]

  58. Art says:

    Hello Bjorn, A big thanks for all the great info on your site. I’m running a very bare essential’s setup but want badly to get a liquidy PULSE like colouring with a rotary sim setup. My modest pedalboard consists only of an MXR dynacomp, OCD, Boss CE-5 and a Carbon Copy delay. Assuming I read the directions for the single amp setup correctly, I am to place my chorus last in the chain after my delay, correct? Will there be that noticeable of a differance putting the chorus last in the chain that is only going out to a single combo amp? What exactly is the differance in sound with the chorus last as opposed to after my overdrive? I’m not planning on running any other modulation so the colouring from the chorus/rotary sim setup will be essential. Thanks again and God Bless!

    [By placing the chorus last, after the delays, you’ll get an overall more liquidy tone. Especially when you use an unit with a mix control and set it slightly lower than you’d normally would. Some would have a chorus or flanger as the main modulation and a second chorus at the very end for rotary sim. Anyway, you might not hear a big difference from placing the chorus in the middle of the chain but try it and judge for your self. – Bjorn]

  59. nick says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Hope you are well. The new site is awesome, well done!
    Have you heard of or seen the Strymon Lex in action? It seems to be getting a lot of rave reviews out there.. I am seriously considering it.

    [Thanks! The Lex is by far the best sounding leslie sim I’ve ever tried – including the Boss RT20 and Korg G4. It’s incredibly detailed and responds very much like a real leslie. Whereas most sims tend to sound like a sophisticated chorus, the Lex sounds like the real deal. However, you rally need to use it stereo. The mono setup is OK but fails to do the pedal justice. I also miss a mix knob or effect level control, like the RT20. In terms of emulating David’s rotary sounds it works OK for cleans and mild overdrives but gets way too dominating for distortions. – Bjorn]

  60. Mike says:

    Great article and love the new look!

    DG is a major influence but I’m not trying to replicate any particular album or song, although this posting is motivated by the opening solo of the live SOYCD from the new WYWH release. I don’t have any modulation tools yet and I’m trying to decide between them (univibe, phaser, flanger or RT-20). Any suggestions on which I should go for? Ideally, one of them would go well with clean or overdriven leads and could be subtle or dominating depending on the situation.

    Much thanks for any words of wisdom.

    [Depends on what tones you want. A UniVibe, phaser or flanger are quite distinctive and will colour your tone. I’d say that you can use a phaser to emulate UniVibe tones but not the other way around. In other words, a phaser is a more versatile pedal than a UniVibe and David also used phasers to simulate his Dark Side UniVibe tones on the 1974-75 tours. Still, phasers are quite limited in terms of David’s tones as they’d only work for Dark Side and WYWH. It would sound quite strange to have phasers or UniVibes on Comf Numb or Coming Back to Life :) A flanger is basically a very deep and dominating chorus. You can use chorus to emulate flangers but not the other way around. In short, a chorus would cover most things and not be as dominating. I’d consider one of each for the pedal board – either a phaser or UniVibe and either a chorus or flanger. – Bjorn]

    • Bruno says:

      Hey Bjorn, Would you recommend a nice ( and cheap) Chorus pedal to emulate flangers tones? Tks!

      • Bjorn says:

        Why not just get the Mooer ElecLady? It’s a great sounding clone of the Electric Mistress flanger.

        • Bruno says:

          Perfect… And do you think that I still can get close to the Leslie Sound( tremolo) in Brain Damage and Eclipse? Tks again

          • Bjorn says:

            You would be able to dial in something similar but a phaser would perhaps be even better. It’s sounds closer to a UniVibe and Leslie, which is what David used on those tracks and you would also be able to nail Breate, Shine On and Have a Cigar. Check out the mooer 90 phaser.

            • Bruno says:

              Great idea Bjorn! I’ ve used my MXR Phaser 90 in those songs, and , you are right, sounds very similar, to my ears. Even better wih my BBE soul vibe! Speaking in Mother’solo and Confortably Numb solo, do you think that a chorus/flanger effect is necessary to get close?

  61. Hunter says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I was wondering, has David been using the rotating speakers on every song hes ever performed or recorded since he incorporated them into his rig and just mixed them higher or lower or does he turn them completely off some of the time.

    Thanks A lot

    [They’re mostly on. As far as I know, WYWH was the first album were he used the amp+rotating cab combination but he’d been using the setup live since 1971. If you listen to the Wembley 1974 show, you can hear the subtle lesie tone on all the songs. Animals, DG78, Wall and Final Cut were all recorded with an amp+rotating cab setup on most of the songs. During the Animals and Wall tour the Yamaha rotating speakers were on for all of the songs. David didn’t use rotating cabs for Momentary or the following 1987-90 tour. On Division Bell he used a Maestro rotating speaker cab on several songs including What Do You Want and Keep Talking. On the 1994 tour he used the Doppola rotating speakers on all the songs but Learning To Fly. There was no rotating speakers on Island or the 2006 tour. – Bjorn]

  62. richard says:

    hey bjorn,
    how are you doing?
    i was just wondering if you could answer me a question. i want to split my signal to two amps and have the modulation pedals assigned just to one of them. not in order to get a leslie- or yamaha-tone, but just to mix the wet signal lower thus the modulation is not that dominant.
    you know what i mean?
    where do i put the delay then? since when i put it in the one chain i get only dry repeats, otherwise i get the wet repeat, but only with too low volume..
    is there a solution i don’t get? ;)
    thanks man!
    wish you all the best,

    [If you only use mono delays I’d place the delays before the split and the place the modulation after the split on of the lines. – Bjorn]

  63. Richard says:

    Hi, first of all, I love your site, I think all the info is amazing, I don´t know how you know so much about Gilmour´s stuff, but every time I need a reference I come back to check what you have said about it. thanks very much for this.
    Well, I have a question, I have a VOX AC30C2X amp (recent), I already saw that is not one of your favorites to get Gilmour´s tone, but well, As I play a lot of U2´s stuff, there is no chance for me to get another one soon, so I´d like to know, how can I get the most from this amp, in order to play Pink Floyd´s songs, specially from “The Wall” album era.
    I already have these fx: Big muff (recent edition), Englis Muffn´, Soul Preacher, Deluxe Electric Misstress, Micro Q-tron, Cathedral Stereo Reverb, all from Electro-harmonix, Digitech Whammy and Eventide´s TimeFactor Delay. I play with an American Standard Telecaster and Epiphone Alleykat. I will really appreciate any recomendation. Thanks in advance. Congratulations for your great site.

    [Thanks for your kind words! Glad you enjoy my site :) I’d use iether the normal upper input (for passive pickups) or a combination of the channels. Use a small patch cable and connect the upper normal and lower bright and plug the guitar into the upper bright. I’d place the EQs fairly flat around 12:00 and the master at about 2/3 of the channel volume (if you combine the two channels you need to set the bright slightly lower than the normal). Not quite sure about the tone cut but somewhether around 11-12:00 I guess. The secret to David’s tones is to get a clean signal with lots of headroom for the pedals. Having the master lower than the channel volume allow the tubes to heat without really breaking. For clean Wall tones I’d just engage the Mistress and a delay. For the leads I’d go for the Muff+Mistress+delay. You might want to consider a booster or overdrive for a bit more tone variation. Another Brick, Shine On etc needs an overdrive. – Bjorn]

  64. Phil says:

    Hi Bjorn, great article.

    Do you have any experience with the Neo-Ventilator rotary sim pedal? From the videos I have seen, it looks a very good way of simulating rotating speakers with a pedal.
    Another question – what would your view be on using a rotary pedal into a single amplifer, but with two speaker cabs set apart roughly 3 foot. Even without, it sounds lovely.


    [I haven’t tried the NV yet. Splitting the cabs would create a sort of a stereo effect although you’d get a much more dramatic effect with a dry and wet signal. – Bjorn]

  65. Tony says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Another vote for the Dynacord CLS…i have the earlier version the CLS -22…great,fat sounding analogue unit….i have mine set up a little bit different to most,i use it in a rack in a homemade semi wet/dry/wet setup… my main amp is a old Marshall superbass head with pedalboard as normal going in the front end..i then use a DIY line out box i made to take the second speaker out to line level to feed the rack with a Pod Xt pro,the CLS-22 and some more boss pedals..BF-2,CE-2 etc …this goes to a stereo tube preamp and then into a stereo power amp and a couple of 1 x 12’s either side of the marshalls cab…. i can run my normal sound with the leslie effect (either fast or slow) and get some great sounds….we cover a lot of stuff including the floyd and some reggae and we don’t have keys so this gives me the option of running two different sounds at once…the fast leslie setting and the dry guitar sound can give the impression of an hammond in the background…!….



    [Thanks for your input! – Bjorn]

  66. Sean G says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Just wondering if you’ve given the Digitech EX-7 a shot for the Leslie simulation? I’ve got one in my rig, and it seems to work pretty well, but I haven’t really had much to compare it to. The one thing that is fun is that the EX-7 is built like a wah-wah and you can control the speed of the leslie effect by the wah-action. I’ve got a demo of it if you’re curious. Fire an email and I’ll send along the mp3

    [Never tried it so please send me the clip :) post@gilmourish.com. – Bjorn]

  67. PAUL says:

    I am already splitting the signal in order to get ‘true’ Stereo. My current rack set up I’m using a recording output from my Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp to a Damage Control Timeline Delay. I was hoping to run the Stereo output of the Timeline to the Ventilator, then stereo output of the ventilator to the Balanced Canon A and B inputs of a Behringer Virtualizer. Inside the Virtualizer, I’m using whats called a Mid-Side patch to create the ‘true’ stereo. I’m running another completely Dry signal from the Effects Send of the Mesa Preamp, also to a 2nd TRS balanced ‘A’ input of the virtualizer. The Stereo output of the Virtualizer runs to a Stereo Valve Poweramp. A channel Output runs to a forward facing 2 * 12″ Speaker Cab for the ‘mid’. B channel Output runs to another cab, which has 2 speakers, facing each other in a di-pole configuration, 1 wired out of phase to the other. This is used for the ‘wet’ stereo, side, patch. It sounds amazing! You stand in front and it’s like wearing a set of Stereo headphones. A Stereo rotating speaker sim would be the icing on the cake.

  68. PAUL says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    If I was to say, buy a Neo-Instruments Ventilator to get a Leslie Gilmourish sound, would there be a major disadvantage by running it before the Stereo Delay in the Effects Loop, rather than after the Stereo Delay? Out of all the Leslie sims, I think the Neo sounds the most accurate. Only problem is that it is only a mono input, not stereo. You can do a optional solder mod internally, which will allow you to set it Stereo Bypass. This means, it’s only Stereo when it’s not on(Bypassed), but mono when it is. Guido Kirsch(the designer), says if it was a stereo input, it would be 2 leslies? Other pedals, like the RT-20, and Rotosphere, have stereo inputs. I really wish the Neo was the same. Only thing holding me back!

    [The signal out should be mono since you either want to run it into one amp in solo or in a split with one dry amp and one with the rotary effect. I haven’t tried the Ventilator myself but it sounds pretty accurate. – Bjorn]

  69. Marco says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Here’s another pedal with Direct Out for great leslie tones with a stereo setup:
    Have you ever had the chance to try the Arion Stereo Flanger?
    I am a “flanger addict” :) and own a huge lot of flangers: for my taste the Arion is second only to the Mistress (IMHO it kicks the MXR’s ass)… it has a sweet juicy tone and it’s far more versatile than a Mistress, even though the Lady has that something, you know…
    Arions are plastic, but far more reliable than Behringers; I prefer the Flanger to the famous SCH-1 chorus, by far… Unfortunately the few Youtube videos don’t give it justice, but I got super great leslie tones with it!
    Highly recommended as a cheaper, smaller and 9v alternative to the Mistress!


    [Thanks for the tip! I’ll check it out :) – Bjorn]

  70. Jesse says:

    Good read, although ive grown out of my gilmour tone phase, I still use alot of the effects I bought to emulate his tone. One thing I didnt have was a phaser or chorus. I really liked the leslie/univibe tones, but the univibes are pretty expensive. I wound up buying a kit and building a 1×10 leslie cab for about the same price. It is extremely light even with the alnico speaker I put in it and weighs slightly over 20lbs. I use the cab much like David does, I have it on all the time (with a 2×12 on the other output tap) with a very slow gentle setting to lightly color the tone. It gives the the tone a more “complex” 3D sound without getting two “swirly” or filtery with distortion like my MOOG MF-103 does, which has it’s place as well.

    [Thanks for your input! – Bjorn]

  71. Shannon says:

    FIrstly, great article Bjorn, as usual!

    Now to weigh in on the rotary speaker simulator models out there. I’ve tried pretty much all of them and own a couple of real rotary speakers (Rotary Wave and an old Solid State Leslie) and will say that there is no clear cut answer on which is better. The Boss does a great job of clean tones, probably the best of the lot in that regard. But on overdriven and distorted tones it blows the big one. It sounds far too much like a flanger in that case. The best all around solution to my ears was the Line 6 MM-4. Although on cleans the Line 6 didn’t quite get the sparkle in the top end that a real Leslie has. The DLS Rotosim also ranks very highly but again seems to miss some of the top end chime of the real thing.

    For those looking for a good single amp solution I’d highly recommend a good chorus with a “blend” knob. The current Boss lineup work well for this (CE-5 and Super Chorus) and can get you relatively close, or at least within the ball park. The Red Witch Empress is my personal fav along with the Diamond Chorus but those are both pretty pricey considering the relatively modest effect we’re after when copying David’s “can’t tell it’s there but miss it when it’s gone’ chorus/leslie sounds.


    [Thanks for the tips! – Bjorn]

  72. scott...oz.. says:

    Hi Bjorn,how you doing?
    I played a small venue last night(60 people) and put my cub with the 2×12
    weber thames cab under my AC30..I ran all effects to both amps(except delay just to AC30) but the CE2went only to the cub(set at 11 and 1 o’clock).
    I had the volume approx60/65% of the AC30 volume…
    I just left the CE2 on all night for every song we played…
    Well F#@k me backwards…This is now my new set up..
    I tell you all now it sounded fantastic…
    I will tweak it a bit more but it was great…

    Tone and Quality rule…..

    [Well, I’ll pass on fucking you backwards but I’m glad to hear you’ve found your tone! Thanks for sharing :) – Bjorn]

  73. Marco says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    A small addition to my previous “Mistress coment”:

    I got great “rotary results” by using the Deluxe Mistress itself as a Y splitter, and 2 amps. I either kept the Direct Out clean, or put a phaser or univibe there: this second option isn’t maybe the gilmouriest thing in the world, but it sounds great, especially if you perfectly synchronize the 2 rates (same rate or half/double rate).


    [Cool! – Bjorn]

  74. Philipe says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I really enjoyed your article, and I wonder if you ever tried the mistress and the RT-20 together. I mean, firt the mistress and then the RT-20, placed in the “modulation’s place” of the chain. I did that with mine (I have the deluxe mistress and a RT-20, just like you do), and it sounded amazing, for me and my floyd friends. Said that, do you really think the RT-20 placed in the end fo the chain wound do better? On the RT-20 settings, I ajust the efect’s level about 9 o’clock and the direct’s level about 3 o’clock, for a predominating drier sound, with that wet flavour on the end. Have you ever tried that?
    Well, thanks for your website. I came here at least once a week, and really like what I read.
    Sorry about my poor english.

    [Thanks Philipe! I think I tried every possible option when I did research for this article :) Mistress + RT20 sounded great although a bit too dominating for my taste. I prefer the Mistress alone. If you want to use the RT20 as a Leslie sim it’s best in front of the delays. If you want to use it for David’s sounds I think its best at the very end of the chain with the effect level at around 9:00 as you say. I keep the dry mix at 12:00 though but that depends on how wet you want it. – Bjorn]

  75. Marco says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Well spectacular article!
    I own 7 different Electric Mistresses (18v/9v/deluxe) and, although my favourite is the 18v, I think the Deluxe Reissue is the one that comes closest to the Yamaha.
    As you suggested, set Color at 10, Range at zero, Rate at 9 and IMHO it sounds extremely close to the Yamaha in Pigs Three Different Ones – rhythm/middle section.

    Yeah as you said – the Mistress doesn’t get detuned at high rates: that’s true for all versions, except for the Deluxe Reticon. Great sounding, but with the Range set high it detunes a bit.

    And as stated in The Tone From Heaven, no two Mistresses sound the same. That’s also true: all versions sound different and even 2 identical units always sound slightly different; but at the same time each version has that unmistakable “Mistress Flavour” that no other flanger has. All Mistresses are very similar if compared with other flangers. That’s her magic.


    [+1! – Bjorn]

  76. Kamil says:

    Are you going for Waters The Wall show in Norway?

    [Nope but I will see the UK, London shows. – Bjorn]

  77. S.J.Wilson says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    A instant result! This artical was a MASSIVE help this week!

    I’ve been lucky to aquire myself the position of lead Guitar in Manchester top Floyd tribute in the last year (no names,this ain’t a plug!) & it has to be said your site has been vital to Me in aquiring a lot of the info to pull off a 2.5 hr show. Though David & Jimi have always been my favorites, My tone/effects & thus style were more comparable to Radiohead,Jane’s Addiction or The Edge before I took on this pursuit.Using 2X Vox AC30’s (which I’d split from a TC Electronic Nova Delay), Electro Harmonix Memory Man,Tube Screamer,Whammy etc etc

    Like I said your features have been invaluable but even with all the effects, SSL equiped Strats ‘n all something slightly was lacking which was “Driving Me Insane!” & I could only possibly atribute to David’s amazing rig?

    I ditched the AC30 (which give’s too fuzzy a tone with the Big Muff even with cut full up!) just this week for a Hiwatt DR103 but after reading your artical split one feed off to a “quieter” AC30 with a Boss RT20 & Electric Mistress (for the Wall tunes) & “F**kin’ ell!!” I was blown away! Instant Pulse tones etc & the solo’s for “Dogs” & “Young Lust” which had sounded too wet before were just perfect with a bit of tweeking!

    All this in time for a huge gig in Birkenhead, Liverpool this weekend! Fantastic! we’re doing a rehearsal in a Old Church Hall tonight with our full lightshow & rig set up & I can’t wait! Your insight has made all the difference!!

    A thousand thanks, your site is crucial for all us Floyd Loving Guitarists who strive to capture the Zeitgeist!

    Cheers, Stu.

    [Thanks Stu and good luck with your shows! – Bjorn]

  78. Eric Nyberg says:

    I tried it this afternoon, and I agree with you Daniel. I think I’ll just stick with the Mistress for the time being.

  79. Daniel Krause says:

    Hi again…

    As a response to Eric Nyberg’s message.
    I’ve tried this with my Twin Reverb and it doesn’t really get very “leslie-ish”. I don’t know how to describe it any further though…lol
    What I sometimes do is use the CE-2 together with the Phase90…but mostly for the slower stuff.



  80. Vadim says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Wonderful article!
    I want to share the news that David could join Roger at a concert in Moscow on 23 April. On our official fan-site pink-floyd.ru reported that David and his adopted son arrives in Moscow on April 22 at 17.30.

    [I’ll believe it when I see it… – Bjorn]

  81. Albert says:


    Dave Kilminster has a Boss RT 20 on his rig for Roger Waters The Wall tour.

    You hear it at some point?

    in an interview, he said he researched what David used on the album and live and was impressed with the equipment. He thought, “I can simplify it”

    and we agree, it takes an incredible tone

    [I must admit that I can’t help but frown when the lead guitarist in Roger’s band says he can “simplify” the tones and all he had to do was to ask for it and he’d get all the gear in the world… anyway. The RT20 does a great job replicating leslie tones but I haven’t hear Dave’s tones yet so I can’t tell how he does it. I’d assume though that he’s using it as a part of his main chain, which is not quite how David’s using the Yamahas as explained in the article. You have to split the signal in two with different level mixes to get the authentic tones. – Bjorn]

  82. Eric Nyberg says:

    My thought is that if I run the Mistress on a Leslie setting and have the Vibrato setting on a low intensity that it might have that subtle “wobble” to it. I’m at work now so I can’t put the theory into practice but I’ll try it sometime. I don’t know what it will do but it might be interesting.

    • Al says:

      I run a boss ce 1 in stereo through two deluxe reverbs and run the tremlo on one of the deluxe reverbs slow and low. Kills gilmour tones. Everyone overlooks the ce1 for gilmour tones which when run in stereo has one dry one wet signal so you can mix them between the amps. The stereo effect is mind blowing kick in a muff and off you go

  83. gdkzen says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. Consider for a moment, the fact that many people (myself included) use digital technology not for radical effects, but to accurately (sometimes) emulate older, more natural tones like the leslie, binson or echoplex.

    I think that there is a simple philosophy at work here, and you see it with all of the great tonesmiths like David Gilmour and Eric Johnson. Effects are used my these artists as a way of enhancing the natural beauty of the guitar. It is used to a markedly less degree, by these artists, to morph the guitar into a non-guitar sound. They approach it in different ways (For instance: Geddy Lee once said that the use of post EQ was much more prevalent amongst British players, while American players tended do this to a lessser degree)

    There are actually some great videos on youtube which show the internal engineering of rotating speaker cabinets actually working. Really incredible..

    [Agree! – Bjorn]

  84. Luk says:

    Amazing article, Bjorn.
    I always used the stereo setup, as I have a TC Nova, which has L/R inputs and outputs.
    One channel (WET) goes into the Normal channel of my amp the other (DRY) goes into the Brilliant channel.
    Its not STEREO perse, its mono actually, but it works, as the effect is not that dominant and more subtle.
    Sometimes I actually used two amps on stage, especially when you need to mic them.


    [I’ve never tried this my self but I’ll give it a go. As you say it’s not stereo but it might give you some of the same effect at least in terms of blending dry/wet. – Bjorn]

  85. Allan says:

    The rotary effect is by far my favourite modulation type. I’d love to own a proper leslie/ doppola, but I just don’t think it’s very practical, unless you can justify it by touring and recording as a working musician, or if you have alot of space in your home studio.

    The RT-20 has been on my radar for ages. However, due to financial restraints I’m more than happy with the mistress just now.

    I use my SUF 73 Ram’s head, Mistress and Flashback delay and can get the exact 80/81 wall tones.

    I’m currently looking at a chorus and od, and that’s my limit of pedal buying for this year, but next year I’m looking myself up a used RT-20.

    I love the clips you put up of it, and I just don’t think you can get that slow leslie tone without a simulator, although the mistress comes close :D

    hope all is well, Allan.

    [The Mistress do come close but I agree that it’s not the authentic tone. It nails the Yamahas pretty well though but perhaps not a Leslie. – Bjorn]

  86. Eric Nyberg says:

    Bjorn, what are your thoughts on running a solo 65 Deluxe Reverb on a very low intensity vibrato setting and with the mistress, would the two combined work for a good Leslie sound?

    [You mean with only the ’65 and no split? I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell. I’d assume it’s much like adding a CE2 with the Mistress, which doesn’t really do much but perhaps the ’65 will be able to create more convincing tones. Let me know if you get to try it :) – Bjorn]

  87. Hugo says:

    Great Article Bjorn..

    I own the RT-20 and with the proper setup it does a great Job for GIlmour stuff. But the problem addressed by Brandon is true. For a full recreation of the tone you would have to need a way to change the mix of the RT-20 without the need to nail and change the mix pot.

    I’m thinking in place all my pedals in front of my amp and place the RT-20 in the parallel fx loop and place a volume pedal after the RT-20. Set the mix in the loop at 50% and the mix pot of the RT-20 to the max amount of wet that I’ll need (the direct sound should be placed at 0). This could bring me the mix between 50% wet and less wet just by lowering the volume pedal.

    Of course I wouldn’t be able to use my OD channel but for rhythms (for other type of music) since the delay must be placed outside the fx loop, but I think it might work…

    For those without a parallel fx loop a pedal like the barge concepts should be enough or maybe the BOss LS..


    [Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  88. Albert says:

    Without doubt, the best tips of the week, congratulations.

    I experimented with many rotary speaker simulator, I have a leslie, needed something more practical, but do not want to lose that wonderful sound.

    The Boss RT 20 has exceeded my expectations, many features, great sound.
    I call it “a great tribute to the rotating speakers. ”

    [+1! – Bjorn]

  89. Patrick Archambault says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Just a quick note to tell you that your site is really great. I am fortunate to have a Yamaha RA-100 and for me that I never managed to get a pedal that comes close, but mix with wet / dry signal you can achieve something interesting.
    Keep up the good work with your site and your band.
    a wink of Canada

    [Thanks Patrick! – Bjorn]

  90. Daniel Krause says:

    Another great article Bjorn,

    I think the rotary sound is the most difficult one to replicate with stompboxes. You can use a chorus, flanger, vibe, phaser, but never really get “that” sound.
    I used the RT20 a lot. At a certain point I was using my normal stereo setup (Twin Reverb with Sound City 50+) and my Blues Deluxe dedicated to the RT20. This sounded huge! I could get very convincing Gilmour sounds out of this.

    I would still like to have a Yamaha or the Tollerance Sound doppolas though ;-)



    [+1! – Bjorn]

  91. gdkzen says:

    It’s interesting to note that the Leslie was invented as an output option for organists. In Pink Floyd, it was used by David who then inspired Rick Wright to channel a piano into it (via a rig that the guys at Abbey Road built) – giving us the iconic tones on Echoes!

    The more subtle sounds of a rotating speaker (by running the drum and horn slowly) create, what is in my opinion, a much better modulation effect for lead work than chorus. If you listen to just about any guitarist in the 80’s, chances are he is routing his lead tone through a ton of stuff including a chorus. That sound is now totally dated. At the same time, David’s sound remains classic.

    [Some sounds will define an era while others will be timeless. I think the more organic sounds will be more timeless and you can’t really beat a Hammond and Leslie :) – Bjorn]

  92. Hey Bjorn,

    LOVED this article! I have a Boss RT-20 and a Fulltone Deja-Vibe. I found that the RT-20 is just a REALLY dominating effect unless you turn the effect level way down (like around the 10-15% mark). My problem with this is that I use the “fast” setting on it a lot for SRV stuff and for some of my original stuff – and you have to have the effect level up a bit to get those type of tones, so I’ve always been frustrated trying to get a more subtle sound out of the “slow” setting like you hear on PULSE. What I ended up doing, however, was to place my Deja-Vibe after my Wah pedal in the chain and BEFORE all the gain effects. This made a huge difference and now it blends in very, very nicely on a slow speed with my BYOC Large Beaver and my BD-2. So, for the PULSE tones, that’s the one I use for solos. For the “Animals” sound, I use my RT-20 and it pretty much nails it.

    [Great tip! I’m using a Dunlop Rotovibe in much the same way. It’s tone is somewhere between a UniVibe and phase 90 and placing it in front of the gains makes a huge difference. I mostly use it for my own sounds though and not su much for Gilmour’s. – Bjorn]

  93. Paul says:

    Another great article, Bjorn! Was watching Jonny Lang on satellite last night and saw he has a H&K Rotosphere as a sim. Sounded good to me! Ever get your hands on one of those?

    [I’ve tried it a couple of times but never owned one myself. Sounds good though. – Bjorn]

  94. Superb article Bjorn. The depth of your knowledge is stunning. I love that Dogs aggressive rotating speaker sound. Almost as if the guitar is drooling or slobbering. Gasping for breath. Great!!

    [Thanks Howard! Dogs is a great example of different setups as well. In an interview with Guitar World 1993 David talks about how Dogs was recorded and you can hear the Yamahas all over the album. The rhythm guitars and most of the solos on Dogs were mixed with the Hiwatts in focus but the two fast solos in the verse sections are quite the opposite with the Yamahas mixed high if not in solo. – Bjorn]

  95. Jaco says:

    Hey Bjorn, great article, as always! I would like to add the suggestion of using a Fender Vibratone, i have one and it beats a stompbox all the way! It’s also a great alternative for hard to find or expensive equipment, these Vibratones can be found for a nice price. Although not a “real” Leslie since a rotating speaker is absent, the sounds you get are really great. Another heavy user of the Vibratone is Stevie Ray Vaughan, just listen to Cold Shot or Couldn’t stand the Weather.

    [Great tip! – Bjorn]

  96. Kamil says:

    It`s hard to create good rotating speakers effect when you`re using a multieffect which has effect like rotary. I`ve got a Boss me-20 and when i`m playng Shine on effect is to dominating.
    In first solo it sounds even good, but when i`m playing Syd`s theme i`m getting annoyed.

    Pozdrowienia it means greetings in polish :)

    [Pozdrowienia! I always recommend to make it as simple and basic as possible and Shine On is one of those songs that just an amp and nice sounding will do the job. Add a mild overdrive and delay and that’s pretty much what you need. Listen to Albert Hall and Gdansk 2006. It’s very basic. – Bjorn]

  97. Nate says:

    Good read. It’d be fun to have a rotating speaker, but obviously that wouldn’t be very practical for most of us. Playing with a stereo amp setup is much more doable, and also a lot of fun!

    [It’s certainly easier to travel with and you can do lots of cool things with different amps in a setup. – Bjorn]

  98. Scott says:

    Nice tip Bjorn. I totally agree that it is hard to replicate his rotary sound without an actual rotary speaker. I have the CLS222 and it gets close.

    [Those are great I agree :) – Bjorn]

  99. bernhard says:

    hi bjorn,

    thanks for the article, great read as always. rotating speaker sims have kept my ears on the hunt for a most convincing sim, I have to say the best sim I found is on the eventide mod factor, the only pedal I know of where you tweak the speed of the rotation fluently, this is also true for the depth. I use the pedal a lot with my home setup. you can beautifully mix the effect under your guitar signal without having to split it. the result is a nice, soft, swirling leslie sim, somewhat chorusy, quite creamy…

    I warmly recommend to try out the mod factor if you get a chance, the pedal needs some patience, the results (except the phasers imo) are always quite convincing….

    cheers, b.

    [Thanks for the tip! I have yet to try the Mod Factor. A bit of my point with this article was to also explain that a rotating speaker is much more than just the chorus/tremolo it produce. In my experience it’s much easier to replicate a rotating speaker cab with sims when you record because then you have pretty much eliminated the resonance and acoustics of the cabinet and you’re left with just the tone. On a stage though the rotary cab will resonate and reverberate in a way no pedal can replicate. That doesn’t mean you can’t get great tones with sims but it won’t be the same. – Bjorn]

  100. Vincent says:

    I think with a Neo Ventilator or a Strymon Lex and two amps or maybe 3 amps (1 master amps and small amps for the effect), we could manage to get very near of that great tone! I’ll try!

  101. Gabriel says:

    Wow, great article Bjorn! Mi favourite “Tip of the week” so far. I never had the chance to try a Mistress (they are quite expensive here) and never understand how David used it.

    Thanks Bjorn! keep up with the good work!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

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