Guitarist and producer Chris Greatti joins us in discussing our home-studio layouts. Plus, we talk about musical obsessions.
Q: What is your current home-recording setup?
Chris Greatti — Guitarist/Producer
Photo by Gianennio Salucci
A: I do all my sessions at my house in L.A., so it's fully set up to track any instrument quickly while still retaining a super casual vibe. I just got the Adam A77X monitors (which I'm loving). The vocal chain is a Peluso 22 251 mic into a Universal Audio LA-610 pre/comp into an Apollo x8p. As for guitars: 2020 Fender Ultra Jazzmaster (which I use on everything), Gibson '61 reissue SG, my custom Carbonetti Strat-style, Gibson Firebird and Hummingbird, some old Silvertone acoustics, etc. The amp situation du jour is a Kemper (for quickness) with a Dumble preset from Top Jimi. The pedalboard features some classics from MXR, EarthQuaker, and Strymon. I prefer my Fender P bass with flats. The synth setup just got upgraded, too: Moog Sub 37, Roland Juno-106, Mellotron M4000D, and some terrible toy Yamahas. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, I just bought seven sunset lamps and they're improving my life drastically.
Caroline Polachek, Lewis Taylor's Lost Album, Teenage Fanclub, Portishead's Dummy, Yves Tumor, perpetually a little Lady Gaga, and Van Halen. I've been getting back into the Strokes, too. Their guitar parts are always so creative and they're insanely tight and unique as a band. But to be honest, I've been crazy busy this year producing albums for Yungblud and Palaye Royale (not simultaneously, but in quick succession) and have mainly been in the headspace for those projects, deliberately trying not to take in too many outside influences.
Portishead - Wandering Star (Official Video)
Daniel LeSaux - Reader of the Month
A: My recording setup is small, but I was able to pack a lot into a tiny space. I built my own cabinets to maximize the use of the room. My pedalboard is at lap level to make tweaking easier. My studio is called "Moose Tracks," a nod to the state of New Hampshire, where I live. In my digital workstation I use a PreSonus Studio One with a PreSonus 1824c interface and a PreSonus FaderPort II. I have KRK Rokit 5 monitors, KRK KNS 8400 headphones, a Mackie Micro Series 1202-VLZ Mixer, and a Mackie Big Knob Passive Monitor Controller. My outboard effects include: Klark Teknik EQP-KT Passive Tube Equalizer, Klark Teknik 76-KT FET Peak Limiter, Klark Teknik KT-2A Opto Electrical Tube Leveling Amplifier, PreSonus Studio Channel strip, and a Samson S-Patch 48-Point Patchbay. I have way too many pedals to list!
I've been chasing the perfect on-the-verge-of-breakup clean tone, similar to the tone Larry Carlton has been using in his recent releases. That tone is so alive and expressive. It takes high gain and a gentle touch to achieve it. And as soon as you dig in a little bit, the notes explode! It allows so much tonal variation depending on the pick attack, the pick angle, and whether you use upstrokes or downstrokes. It also makes it easy to switch from rhythm to lead just by varying the pick attack. To get that tone, I'm playing a stock Epiphone Dot using a blend of both pickups into a Custom Tones Ethos Clean II running into a Two Notes C.A.B. M+ with a 1x12 Electro-Voice open back cabinet sim. I have an MXR Carbon Copy in the FX loop and an MXR M300 as a send on the Mackie board. I'm currently working on an album of original tunes using this setup.
Rig Rundown - Larry Carlton
John Bohlinger - Nashville Correspondent
A: I've laid down all my dough on recording rigs four times in my life. A few years back when the Mac tower that drove my Digi 002 died, I shifted from my Pro Tools rig to a streamlined Universal Audio Apollo Twin/Logic combo. Although the old system was primitive, I knew it well, could work fast, and get decent results. After this last change, I feel like I'm relearning the rig every time I turn it on.
Shawn Hammond - Chief Content Officer
A: To track myself (guitar, vocals, keys) and Connor, my drummer, live together, I use a 4-input Audient iD44 and a 2-input Apogee Duet feeding GarageBand. Guitars (and keys, which go through my guitar rig) are miked with a Royer R-121 (sometimes also with an SM57). A Shure KSM32 large-diaphragm condenser is the drum overhead, a Rode M2 dynamic is on snare, and an Audix D6 is on kick. For bass, I often go direct into a Warm Audio WA-2A tube compressor, in addition to miking the amp with the Audix. For vocals, I use a Shure SM7B. Monitors are a pair of KRK Rokit 7 G4s.
Using all the aforementioned stuff—and getting back to gigging!
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Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Flare is a dual-function pedal with a tube-like booster and a 1970s-style ring modulator effect that can be played separately or together.
Flare’s ring modulator is based on the iconic tone of the original Dan Armstrong Green Ringer. This vintage classic was made famous by Frank Zappa who loved the unusual modulations created by generating a harmonic octave over notes. Messiah’s version offers two control knobs: a “Sparkle” tone attenuator and output Level control. Its taupe-gold body, purple and green knobs and stick-figure rock ’n’ roller holding up a flame convey an appropriately rockin’70s vibe.
In a unique twist, Messiah’s Flare pairs the ringer with a warm tube-style boost instead of a fuzz. Flare feeds the booster into the ringer for an extra punch, while preserving the Green Ringerspirit. The ringer side also turns any fuzz into an octafuzz, and it has the ability to quiet signal background noise fed through it.
The booster side features a single Boost knob to control the MOSFET circuit, making it very tube-amp-friendly with a warm, organic boost and gain of up to 32dB.
The pedal is a distinct improvement over the 1970s pedal that inspired it. “Most ringer pedals don’t track well,” Tom Hejda, owner of Messiah Guitars. “The player can’t rely on repeating the same effect even with the most consistently played notes. We carefully matched the components, so our ringer follows your every move, producing that slightly dirty octave you expect on demand.”
Messiah developed this vintage octave pedal with flexible features so that people who love that messy, dirty Zappa-esque sound can get there with ease but there’s also something for those who have not fallen in love with fuzz or the Green Ringer alone. Flare offers an array of sonic options while retaining simplicity in the controls.
Each Flair Pedal Includes:
- 3 control knobs: Boost, Sparkle, and Level
- Two effects – Ring Modulator and Boost – can be used together or separately
- Space-saving top side jacks
- Durable, cast aluminum alloy 125B enclosure with fun artwork
- Easy to see, illuminated True-bypass foot switch
- Standard 9V pedal power input
Flare Pedal Demo
Messiah Guitars pedals are designed with an explorative player in mind. Like their custom guitars and amplifiers, Messiah’s pedals are hand-crafted in Los Angeles for a long life with guaranteed quality.
Flare retails for $199.00 and can be purchased directly at Messiah Guitars or you can hear it in person at Impulse Music Co. in Canyon Country, CA.
For more information, please visit messiahguitars.com.
This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal.
If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and QUACKS like a duck, then it must be a duck. That's how we came up with the name for our new envelope filter. This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal. Trevor explains how this is possible in the launch video, as well as gives a demo on Le Canard’s operation.
The attack control determines how quickly the filter responds to the envelope, and the decay sets how quickly the filter releases afterward. The range controls which frequency spectrum the filter does its magic on. Add to this relay-based full-bypass switching with failsafe, and you've got one crazy little quacky beast. It is so expressive that you'll want to give up on your rocker-wah forever.
The MayFly Le Canard envelope filter features:
- Super fast responding envelope follower. Touch it and it jumps!
- Range control to dial in the character of the filter
- Attack control to control how fast the filter moves on that first touch
- Release control to control how slowly the filter slides back to baseline
- Full bypass using relays with Fail SafeTM (automatically switches to bypass if the pedal loses power)
- Cast aluminum enclosure with groovy artwork
- MSRP $149 USD ($199 CAD)
Introducing the MayFly Le Canard Envelope Filter
All MayFly pedals are hand-made in Canada.
For more information, please visit mayflyaudio.com.
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more.
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.