Premier Guitar's Rebecca Dirks is on location at Park West in Chicago, IL, where she catches up with Living Colours' Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish during their 2013 U.S. tour.

Premier Guitar's Rebecca Dirks is on location at Park West in Chicago, IL, where she catches up with Living Colours' Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish during their 2013 U.S. tour.

Vernon Reid's Guitar
Vernon relies on a Parker Vernon Reid Signature MaxxFly with EMG SAX neck and middle pickups and an EMG 81X bridge pickup, along with a Roland CK-kit-GT3 MIDI pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo. He strings up with D'Addario Jazz Rock .011 - .049, and uses all sorts of picks (a self-proclaimed "plectrum fetishist") as another way to play with his tone.

Vernon's Signal Processing
Vernon uses mainly a Roland VG-99 (the brains of the setup) into two Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifiers in stereo. The signal goes from the Parker's hex pickup to the VG-99 to a DOD Passive Mixer, which splits the direct guitar out from the VG-99 to a Zoom G3 (used for auto wah), a laptop with Guitar Rig Mobile Interface with programmed sounds controlled by a Roland FC-300 and Ableton Live controlled by a Keith McMillan SoftStep, Line 6 M9 (for modulation), and Eventide H9 with expression pedal, all running through a Mesa/Boogie Lonestar combo. It also goes through an iRig interface to iPad with Amplitube and Live FX and a Roland GR-20 that runs direct to the house. All the signal processors are parallel to each other, blended in and out with expression pedals.

Doug Wimbish's Basses
Wimbish's main instrument is a 1987 Custom Spector Bass with the body and neck shaved down to be thinner and lighter with EMG pickups. He also uses a 1987 Spector 5-string bass (which he prefers in the studio for range) and 1987 Spector fretless 4-string.

Doug Wimbish's Amps
Wimbish runs two Trace Elliot AH1200-12 heads ran in stereo, with 1048H cabs (with tweeters in the middle) and 1518 cabs.

Doug Wimbish's Effects
Wimbish categorizes his expansive pedalboard into sections. The signal starts in the "noisy" section with a Tech 21 SansAmp, Pigtronix Disnortion, Source Audio Soundblox 2 OFD Bass microModeler and Hot Hand 3, and Pigtronix Mothership. Next up is his "bendy" section with a Dunlop Cry Baby wah and DigiTech Whammy, followed by his "filter" section with a Pigtronix Envelope Phaser, Boss Flanger, DOD Fx25 Envelope Filter, DigiTech Synth Wah, Source Audio Soundblox Pro Bass Envelope Filter, and Way Huge Ring Worm. He closes it out with a "delay" section with Boss DSD-2 Digital Sampler, Boss DD-6 and DD-7 Digital Delays, TC Electronic Nova Delay, and Boss SL-20 Slicer, into an Eventide PitchFactor, and Pigtronix Infinity Looper. A Keith McMillan 12-step controls a Pro Tools rig on a laptop set with a Sculpture onboard sampler.

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.


TC Electronic SCF Gold


When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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