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Photo: Keith Urban marks the settings on his vintage Marshalls.
Appleton: One of the huge benefits of the Palmer Speaker Simulators [used with Rush] is consistent tone, night to night. They really keep things sounding perfect every time. Of course, I always mark the settings on each amp—just in case a knob should get bumped.
Termini: Cabinet placement plays a big role in Mastodon’s tone. The size of the stage and venue is going to make a big impact on where we’ll situate the cabs in order to get good, accurate sound and make the guys feel comfortable. The climate and venues are going to affect tubes, the amp’s performance, and guitar tuning. I mark settings on amps and pedals as a good starting point, but let the sound guys tell me where to go from there. The amp’s volume and gain is going to go up or down and if and when I will be opening and closing my noise gates.
Trejo: I always have my settings marked on amps, but leave it up to our sound engineer to dial the tone in the wedges. But, there have been a few instances where power from a club is low and just makes the amp sound horrible, so that’s when I’ll step in and try to match tones as close as I can. It’s all about trying to be consistent and keeping my players happy and worry free.
Dickson: When covering a big range of music or tones from a deep catalog, the settings will always fluctuate from night to night or tour to tour. With Eric, during the Soldano years Presence and Treble would vary day to day, but we’d always crank the Bass, Mids, and Normal Volume/Master. When we used the Twins, obviously they’d be pretty much set the same way every night—a lot less options on those! When it comes to chasing recorded tones, it’s so hard because of the x-factors that are only available in the studio during recording like mics, speaker cabs, and rackmount effects so I just tried to go with the guitar and amp from the recordings. Even if the band plays exactly the same chords, leads, breaks, tempo, etc., as the record it wouldn’t sound the same to the audience.