TECHNICAL STUFF


Let me share my stuff with you as of January 2009. As a dedicated "gearhead" and experimenter, I have often wondered how someone achieved a particular sound, or what instruments were used to create the music I heard. Since you've opened this page, I assume you are interested in those same things about my music.

GUITARS:

My pride, joy, and wooden friend is a mid-60's, Guild D-40 guitar. I bought it new in 1966 or '67. It has yellowed with age and mellowed with age. It has all the punch and sweetness that we have come to hope for and expect from vintage instruments. To keep feedback at a minimum when playing through a PA system, I had a Fishman pickup mounted under the bridge by Indiana luthier, Jamon Zeiler. Most recently, my main stage instrument is now a Taylor 714ce; rosewood with a western cedar top.

For shear power, Martin Marquis medium strings, 80/20 bronze rule! (0.013-0.056)
Currently though I'm using Martin Marquis lights, 80/20 bronze (0.012-0.045) on the Guild to get a little more sparkle. I use Elixir Nano on the Taylor.

The new CD also features my blond, jumbo-bodied Guild 12-string. The back of it is one piece of flamed maple. It's gorgeous! (And sounds like an orchestra all by itself.) I'll also be playing a little mandolin on some tracks.

I added an Alvarez RD8 to my lineup as a "high-strung" guitar. High stringing is accomplished by using the octave strings from a 12-string set. (0.010-0.027). Again, I choose Martin Marquis, 80/20 bronze, but this time in extra light gauge. This places the fundamental frequencies of the strings above normal guitars but below cymbals. There is a natural frequency hole in this region. High-strung guitars "float" above the music and add a wonderful chime to the rhythm section.

For bass guitar, I always turn to my faithful '72 Fender Precision that I purchased new. It's all stock. It even has the original pickup cover still in place. (Most bass players lost theirs years ago.) I record it direct using a little EQ and compression.

KEYBOARDS/PERCUSSION:
On STORYTELLER, I used an old Roland D-20 synthesizer. It has a built-in 8-track sequencer and a user programmable percussion section. This allowed the creation of synthesized drum tracks with more character than simple drum loops. I also used it to provide most of the background fills/pads.

On my CD "Between Summer & Winter", released in March of '08, I went with live drummer. It was so great to work again with a talented percussionist.

RECORDING:
Between 2003-06, my recording and mastering was done on a Roland VS-1824-CD 24-bit digital studio workstation. In 2006, I upgraded to Pro-Tools. Now here in 2009, I have upgraded to Pro Tools 7.4; 48-tracks of absolutely quiet digital bliss! Pro Tools is the industry standard and it's easy to see why. Now anyone can have technology that is an order of magnitude better than the Beatles had at EMI Studios in London, England and have it in their living room! Amazing!

My original recordings, (1983) used a 1/4" Dokorder 4-track. (Remember them?) I later upgraded to a Tascam 34 4-track with DBX reduction. When this workhorse finally died, I leaped into the digital domain with my 1824. Pro Tools should be the final leap.

Acoustic sounds are recorded using a large diaphragm Carvin CM98ST tube condenser microphone.

Back to Main