Armed with a boatload of pedals of every size and shape, the funk-rock tandem demonstrates the sonic mayhem they create on a nightly basis. Bonus: Bass legend Billy Cox crashes the party!
Before their Nashville gig in April of 2016, Living Colour’s Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish met with PG’s John Bohlinger to talk about their combined sorcery that makes guitar, bass and drums sounds like an army of instruments. Reid and Wimbish utilize killer chops and miles of pedals and cables—making their tech Jeff Cummings the hardest-working man in show business. During the interview, bass legend Billy Cox crashes the party for some avuncular bass commentary.
Reid’s muse has recently brought him to work with PRS to create his No.1, a 2015 S2 Vela VR prototype with EMG 57/66 pickups and a Roland GK synth pickup. The somewhat complicated controls allow Reid to mix, match, and blend all the pickups together.
This 2015 PRS Custom 24 serves as Reid’s backup. Paul Smith himself reshaped the neck into a deep-V contour. It houses a set of PRS 85/85 pickups and a Roland GK pickup. Both guitars are strung with D’Addario NYXL .011–.049 strings and travel in a Mono M80 Dual Electric Guitar Case.
Reid runs two Mesa/Boogie heads: a Dual Rectifier from the early nineties and a slightly younger Trem-O-Verb. Each amp runs into a dedicated Mesa Rectifier cabinet.
In addition to the mighty Boogies, Reid uses a super-cool 50-watt Supro Titan 1x12.
Reid’s amp arsenal is rounded out with a Kemper Profiling Amplifier.
Reid’s post-guitar signal chain is notoriously complex, but he’s essentially using parallel signal paths to feed four different sub rigs. His main board features a Line 6 M9 modded by JVH3 Audio, Eventide H9 and PitchFactor stomps, a Roland FC-300 MIDI foot controller that governs a Roland VG-99 (not shown), an AMT EX-50 mini expression pedal, and a Mission Engineering Expressionator that allows the AMT to control up to three separate devices.
From there, it goes to two DOD AC 240 Resistance Mixers that feed the Kemper.
This board is in line with Reid’s Supro Titan combo and features Pigtronix Echolution 2 Ultra Pro and Philosopher’s Tone pedals, another Eventide H9, a TC Electronic Flashback X4, a Red Panda Particle, Moore Black Secret and Ultra Drive stomps, a Zoom G3X, a Source Audio Soundblox Pro Classic Distortion, three Roland EV-5 expression pedals, and another Mission Engineering Expressionator.
On Reid’s right sits this table full of technology. The centerpiece is the Roland VG-99 synth that sits next to a Focusrite iTrack Dock. The Edirol M-10MX 10-channel mixer receives signals from various sources including the iPad, Red Witch Synthotron, and Electro-Harmonix Mel9.
Since 1987, Wimbish has played his ’87 NS2 Spector signature model prototype bass that features an EMG PJ Pickup set wired into a Spector preamp section and strung with Rotosound .040-.100 strings.
When Wimbish needs that low B, he uses his 1987 NS2 Spector 5-string. It’s also loaded with a set of EMG Jazz pickups and Spector preamp. He also uses Rotosound strings (.040–.120) and Mono cases with Moody straps.
Wimbish runs two Trace Elliot AH 1200-12 heads. The amps run into a pair of Trace Elliot cabs (4x10 and 1x15) that are loaded with Celestion speakers.
The signal path on bassist Doug Wimbish’s main board begins at a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, and then proceeds to an older Pigtronix Disnortion and a Danelectro Daddy O. Also featured are three Bosses—a BF-2 flanger, a Slicer and a DD-3 delay (the SD-1 Super OverDrive housing actually holds an 800-ms digital delay/sampler)—DigiTech Whammy and Synth Wah stomps, a Dunlop Cry Baby wah, a vintage DOD FX25 envelope filter, and a Way Huge Ring Worm. Wimbish stays in tune with a Peterson StroboPlus HD.
A secondary board houses yet another pair of Eventide H9 units, a Pigtronix Infinity looper, and a Beat Buddy (which Wimbish demonstrates to Billy Cox in the video).
Special thanks to the bandâ€™s extremely hard-working tech, Jeff Cummings.
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.