The Division Bell 1994

Read more: settings and setups

After a three year break Pink Floyd returned to David’s Astoria houseboat studio in mid 1993 to begin writing and recording for Division Bell. The sessions also materialised into Pink Floyd’s final album, The Endless River (2014).

David is seen with elaborate setups and a return to many of the old effects he used in the 70s. His tones on the album are warm and mellow and although there are some moments reminiscent of the past, Division Bell seem to portray a more mature side of David and his playing.

1993 recording sessions – effect setup

David used a fairly large arsenal of different effects for the sessions consisting of a combination of different Pete Cornish boards and stand alone pedals.

It is not documented how these were routed and combined but it gave David a chance to experiment and explore different tones and approaches during all stages of the writing and recording of Division Bell and subsequently The Endless River.

This pedal board was originally designed for Pete Cornish prior to the 1987-89 MLOR tour as a backup board. It seems to have been David’s main board during the 1993 sessions. It’s documented if the board was modified prior to the sessions however, the addition of a Boss GE7 can clearly be seen.

Pete Cornish 1987-88 pedal board

MXR Dynacomp
Pete Cornish SS-2
EH Big Muff
EH Electric Mistress
Boss CE-2
Boss DD-2
Boss GE-7
3 X Send Returns
2 X Amp Feeds

The board was originally designed as a backup board for the 1987-88 Momentary Lapse of Reason tour but never used. It seems to have been David’s main board during the Division Bell/Endless River sessions being a centre piece of his elaborate effect setup. It is not documented whether the board was modified prior to the sessions although at least the addition of a Boss GE7 equalizer can be spotted.

Pete Cornish 1980-81 The Wall front stage pedal board

Electro Harmonix Big Muff (Ram’s Head)
Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress
Pete Cornish custom volume pedal
(send return to MXR DDL)

The board was originally used as a part of a mini rig when performing in front of the wall during the second half of the The Wall shows. The board can be seen laying next to the 1987-88 board during the 1993 Division Bell/The Endless River sessions. It is not documented whether the board was modified prior to the sessions although the volume pedal had been taken off.

David pictured in Astoria, his house boat studio. The pedal board and amp setup was fairly consistent for all 1993 sessions.

Mini-rack setup and additional effects for amps

MXR Digital Delay
Alesis Quadraverb
2x Boss CE-2
Conn Strobo Tuner

The amp setup featured a mini-rack with delay and reverb processors. It is not documented how these were set up with the amps. The setup also featured two Boss CE-2 chorus pedals for enhancing the stereo spread.

Additional effect units for 1993 recording sessions

Additional pedals seen at Olympic Studios

Univox Super Fuzz
Colorsound Power Boost
Ibanez TS10 Tube Screamer
ProCo Rat
2x Chandler Tube Driver
Tube Works Blue Tube
Tube Works Real Tube
Roland BF-1 flanger
Roland AP-7 Jet Phaser
Demeter Tremulator
Uni-Vibe with expression pedal
Ernie Ball volume pedals

Additional pedals seen at Astoria

MXR DynaComp
Boss GE-7
Digitech Whammy WH1

Additional effects heard on Division Bell/The Endless River but not identified

Heil Talk Box (Keep Talking recording sessions)
Zoom multi effect processor (Take it Back/Keep Talking recording sessions, for E-Bow)

All of the pedals listed above are identified from footage from Astoria and Olympic Studios (a few units are still to be identified and confirmed and therefore not listed). The setup is mostly consistent but small variations occur, as listed in the list for additional effects spotted in Astoria.

Both Division Bell and The Endless River also feature effects that can be identified by listening to the albums but the units have not been spotted on any footage.

Several stand alone pedals are seen lying on top of what looks like a third Pete Cornish pedal board. The familiar round switches are seen but the board doesn’t seem to match any one the known Pete Cornish boards. This one is yet to be identified.

Guitars and amps 1993 recording sessions

Fender Stratocaster
– 1983 57 reissue, candy apple red alder body with white pickguard, maple neck, EMG-SA active pickups (with EMG-EXG expander and SPC midrange presence controls) and shortened tremolo arm.
Fender Telecaster
– 1952 reissue, butterscotch blonde ash body, black pickguard and maple neck. The guitar was used for the Allons-y (1-2) sessions and possibly Take it Back (Division Bell).
Gretsch 6121 Chet Atkins
– 1950s with orange double binded mahogany body, maple 22 frets neck with ebony board and Bigsby tremolo system. Used on the Nervana sessions.
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
– 1955 model with Gibson P-90 pickups. Used on Great Day for Freedom (Division Bell) and possibly songs on Endless River.
Gibson J-200 Celebrity acoustic steel string guitar
– David’s main acoustic for the 1993 sessions.
Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4 acoustic steel string guitar
– Set up with high octave tuning. Used on Louder than Words.

Note: Promo footage for The Endless River feature David in Astoria playing a daphne blue late 80s Eric Clapton signature Stratocaster. Official sources indicates that this is false and that the footage dates from a session with Louise Goffin in 1990.

David employed a number of guitars for the 1993 Division Bell/Endless River sessions. Here at the Olympic Studios playing a Gretsch 6121 during Nervana and a ’52 Telecaster for Allons-y.

Fender 1959 Bassman 50W reissue combo
– 4×10″ Eminence Blue Alnico speakers and 2x6L6, 3x12AX7 and 5AR4 (Rectifier) tubes.
Hiwatt 1970s SA212 50W combo
– 2×12″ Fane Crescendo speakers and 2xEL34 and 4x12AX7 tubes. Modified to allow a normal and brilliant input combination.
Maestro Rover rotating speaker
– with a 6″ 35w speaker.

David’s amp setup seems to have been fairly consistent during all sessions at Britannia Row, Astoria and Olympic Studios. Again it’s a return to the typical 70s tones mixing clean amps and rotating speakers for a lush and spacious sound.

The setup featured two identical stacks of a combination of Fender Bassmans, for pristine clean tone, and Hiwatt SA212s, for presence and mid range.

One or more of the amps were fed into a Maestro Rover rotating speaker and two Boss CE-2 chorus pedals were used to enhance the stereo spread. The amps above are listed with stock specifications. It is not documented whether David’s amps are modified in any way.

Guitar and amp setup

David used Guild and Herco tear drop heavy gauge picks. All electric guitars were strung with GHS Boomers (custom set 0.10-0.48) and acoustics with Ernie Ball Earthwound Lights.

Fender Bassmans were mic’ed with Neuman U87s and the Hiwatts with Shure SM57s. The mics were placed 8 inches to a foot away from the speaker cabinets. It is not documented how the Maestro Rover was mic’ed.

Acknowledgements and credits
Division Bell (album 1994), The Endless River (album 2014), PULSE (album 1995), PULSE (concert film 1995), The Endless River official EPK (2014), Guitar Shop Magazine (1996), Guitarist Magazine (1995), Guitar World Magazine (1994), Guitarist Magazine 2003), Guitarist Magazine (February 2014), Thanks to Rafal Zychal, John Roscoe, Richard Mahon and Kit Rae for help with research. See feature for other references.