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Staxman

AL-355 in action

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Did I miss something? The AL-355 in action thread has dissapeared, was that getting out of hand as the volute thread did?

 

Oh well, if anyone's interested I posted a clip on youtube of me jamming to La Villa Strangiato on AL-124, playing along to bass/drum tracks that some buds of mine recorded during a recent jam session. I'm playing the AL-355 through a H&K Switchblade into Palmer speaker simulator direct to board.

 

Here's the link

 

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Hey Staxman,

 

Absolutely wonderful job. I thought my ear was good . . .

 

You've not only done a good job but have mastered alot of those wonderful subtleties that makes Alex, well Alex.

 

Could you kindly list the effects used?

 

Do you actually use the Switchblade effects at all or just use it as an amp?

 

Thx,

Garth

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Hey Staxman' date='

 

Absolutely wonderful job. I thought my ear was good . . .

 

You've not only done a good job but have mastered alot of those wonderful subtleties that makes Alex, well Alex.

 

Could you kindly list the effects used?

 

Do you actually use the Switchblade effects at all or just use it as an amp?

 

Thx,

Garth[/quote']Thanks for the kind words, Garth. As you can tell Alex is a huge influence on my playing so I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to get as close to his sound as I can when I cover Rush tunes. My rig is set up to cover Rush, as I jam in a Rush cover band, but is also very versatile in almost any style. I only use the reverb for effects in the Switchblade. It is an awesome amp with tons of great programmable tones that I pull up with midi presets, but sadly the effects kind of suck except for the reverb and delay, so I use a lot of outboard effects. Here is the list in sequential signal chain order:

 

Audio Technica 5000 series dual wireless (one channel for electric one for piezo/acoustic signals)

Boss EQ pedal (electric signal only)

To pedal board:

Ernie Ball stereo pan/volume pedal (Used to mix or pan the two wireless signals)

Ernie Ball mono volume pedal (takes the electric feed off the stereo/pan pedal)

Morley wah pedal

Boss tuner (off the tuner output of mono volume pedal)

To rack:

Piezo signal goes into Axess Electrones GRX4 switcher then direct to board

Electric signal goes into DMC GFX switcher

Pre-amplifier effects:

Maxon overdrive

Behringer Multigate Pro (noise suppressor for overdrive)

Maxon chorus

Boss flanger

MXR phaser

Ibanez analog delay

To amp, Hughes & Kettner Switchblade

Effects loop out back to GCX switcher

Boss Chorus

TC Electronics G-Force (used mostly for noise suppresion)

Boss digital delay (2)

Behringer mixer (blends delays with dry signal)

Back to Switchblade effects-loop return

 

From Switchblade speaker output the signal goes into 3 Palmer speaker simulators that are blended into a Behringer stereo mixer. If I want I can run a line back to my Marshall 4x12 vintage 30 cabinet but I only do that when playing live for stage volume. In the home studio I don't use the cabinet, I just run the Palmers stereo mix right to the board (what you heard on the youtube clip was the board mix through a pair of small studio monitors).

 

The whole rig is controlled by an Axess Electronics FX1 midi controller, the best on the planet IMO. That pedalboard is so awesome and it easily programs on the fly to control all this stuff.

 

I know this all sounds huge, but it actually takes up very little space. Aside from my amp/cab and floorboard, all the gear is housed in 2 compact 10-space racks and one 4-space rack that holds the wireless. I found it much easier to transport that way rather than one big rack that would hold it all. With the Palmers, I dont really even need to lug my cabinet around to jam sessions, I can just go right to the board and we listen through our in-ear monitors.

 

I've been playing for 30 years and have been through lots of gear, and I finally feel like I've put together my dream rig. This setup not only works great for Rush covers, but allows me to quickly program new presets to cover any style I need for covers or my original stuff that I record at home.

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Staxman - Nice playing......

 

I'd be very interested to see a photo of that setup if possible, sounds very spectacular, may spur me on to get kit I've had lying around & unused for a long while up & running and into a rack/studio arrangement......

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It is an awesome amp with tons of great programmable tones that I pull up with midi presets' date=' but sadly the effects kind of suck except for the reverb and delay, so I use a lot of outboard effects.

[/quote']

 

Yeah, I've looked at a few modelers again and have found the effects still disappointing. I'm getting ready to buy a new amp and am down to a Traynor YCS50 and a Rivera Chubster. The Rivera's the way I'm leaning but it's almost 2X the price too - about the same as the H&K Switchblade.

 

So, just using it as an amp, how would you rate it to others you've owned / played?

 

Also, what makes that muff-wah effect? You know the one that kinda sounds like a humpback whale? I've always wondered that.

 

I just bought a Boss GT-10 and am going to actually 4-wire it in the loop for just the few effects that I use. Though the effects aren't quite as good as the individual stomps, it's cheaper and much less hastle and noisy than all the individual boxes. Just using it AMP IN on my 20 year old Peavey Classic until my new amp arrives. Sold all the stuff I was using to my nephew . . . a starting and starving musician.

 

Thx.

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Yeah' date=' I've looked at a few modelers again and have found the effects still disappointing. I'm getting ready to buy a new amp and am down to a Traynor YCS50 and a Rivera Chubster. The Rivera's the way I'm leaning but it's almost 2X the price too - about the same as the H&K Switchblade.

 

So, just using it as an amp, how would you rate it to others you've owned / played?

 

Also, what makes that muff-wah effect? You know the one that kinda sounds like a humpback whale? I've always wondered that.[/quote']Know what you mean about modelers, I've tried many and I do use one for a lot of recording with pretty good results, but nothing I've ever played has really sounded as good as a good tube amp with outboartd effects. More quiet maybe, but not better. There's just something fluid and organic about a good ol' stompbox with a cranked tube head that digital has yet to achieve.

 

I really like the Switchblade because you can program 128 different presets into it and the four channels give you a lot of tone variety. I have played Marshalls, Peaveys and a H&K Triamp MKII over the past 10 years and they are all great sounding amps, better in some areas than the Switchblade, but the Switchblade is by far the most versatile and does sound really good. If I could afford to have several heads I would, but no can do so I went with the Switchblade for versatility. As I said the reverb and delay sounds good, but the modulation effects are pretty cheesy. They aren't useless, you can get some decent sounds, but you will definitely want some outboard effects.

 

Not sure what you mean by "Muff Wah" effect? The only effects I used on Strangiato clip were chorus, delay and a flanger for the theme solos. If you are referring to the volume swells at the beginning of the slow solo, thats just chorus, delay and a volume pedal with a little vibrato in the fingering. You bend the string up to the note you want to start with the volume pedal all the way off, then swell in the volume pedal and un-bend the string back down to the original fretted note and finish with a touch of finger vibrato.

 

Thanks everyone for the compliments on the clip!!! I was inspired by Wondo's version, be sure to check that out if you haven't already (rareformguitar on youtube). Good to see the AL-355 making good music rather than just fueling controversy. One of these days I'll post a few more songs with AL-355 and perhaps demo of the Les Paul Axcess doing some Rush, just need to find the time.

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Not sure what you mean by "Muff Wah" effect? The only effects I used on Strangiato clip were chorus' date=' delay and a flanger for the theme solos. If you are referring to the volume swells at the beginning of the slow solo, thats just chorus, delay and a volume pedal with a little vibrato in the fingering. You bend the string up to the note you want to start with the volume pedal all the way off, then swell in the volume pedal and un-bend the string back down to the original fretted note and finish with a touch of finger vibrato.

 

[/quote']

 

Yup, that's what I was referring to. I saw you stomping on the pedal and assumed it was some kind of wah but was muffled no doubt due to the chorus and delay - hence "muff-wah". Kinda what it sounds like.

 

Hey, I learned something today . . . not all bad! :)

 

I'll have to try that on my GT-10. After just a week, I'm seeing some limitations to it but it's by far the best multi-effects I've used. Would love a TC G-system but can't justify the price tag being just a hobbyist. :)

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Stax,

Friggin' awesome dude! Good show. I like how you really put some feeling into it and blended in many of the different ways Alex has played that solo over the years and then made it your own. I too was in a Rush cover band for years called Anthem. I wanted to play the song with my bass player and drummer as you did, but I was in a rush to get the clip up to support the guitar back in the thick of the complaints, plus I wanted the youtube clip to surprise them, since they had not seen the guitar yet.

 

Let's keep this thread going. I have been wanting to get some other clips up, but my band just finished our second CD. It should be up soon on the RareForm myspace page.

 

Anyway, good job Staxman and good way to bring this thread back into existence.

 

By the way I just got my Axcess. I ended up buying it at GC. I swore I would never buy from there, but they had one in stock, it plays and looks good, and I was able to negotiate a good deal. It is at my luthier now getting a set up as I do with all my new guitars. I get it back tomorrow.

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Stax' date='

Friggin' awesome dude! Good show. I like how you really put some feeling into it and blended in many of the different ways Alex has played that solo over the years and then made it your own. I too was in a Rush cover band for years called Anthem. I wanted to play the song with my bass player and drummer as you did, but I was in a rush to get the clip up to support the guitar back in the thick of the complaints, plus I wanted the youtube clip to surprise them, since they had not seen the guitar yet.

 

Let's keep this thread going. I have been wanting to get some other clips up, but my band just finished our second CD. It should be up soon on the RareForm myspace page.

 

Anyway, good job Staxman and good way to bring this thread back into existence.

 

By the way I just got my Axcess. I ended up buying it at GC. I swore I would never buy from there, but they had one in stock, it plays and looks good, and I was able to negotiate a good deal. It is at my luthier now getting a set up as I do with all my new guitars. I get it back tomorrow.[/quote']Thanks Wondo, it was your clip that inspired me to do this you did such a great job and your tone was incredible even on Youtube with such poor fidelity. Yes, I do tend to pick up things Alex has done live more than sticking to the original recordings, it helps us present the music more as they do live rather than trying to copy the record note for note and it is fun to be able to improvise a little as well. I too hope these clips we make will show the world what an incredible axe the AL-355 is despite the issues that have given it a bad rap from some folks.

 

Awesome you got your Axcess!! Did you get the iced tea or gunmetal? I have really been digging mine, and actually for the moment I have warmed up to my gunmetal one as my main go-to. It has a killer growl in it's tone that works well for the solo number I'm doing at the moment, kind of a bluesy Satriani style of instrumental. I will definitely will be recording some originals with the AL-355 as well, I'm really looking forward to writing some stuff that incorporates the great tones this axe puts out.

 

Anyway, as time permits I will post more clips of the AL-355 in action.

 

Rock on bros.

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?

i don't know where it went...i didn't do anything to it...weird.

 

It did not disappear. Look back in threads for the past two months and go to page 2. There it sits.

 

Here is the original thread starting with my clip of La Villa Strangiato

 

Alex Lifeson 355 In Action

 

Admin, after agreeng to lock the other two threads that were getting nowhere, we all agreed to continue positive discussions about the AL on the original In Action thread. Is there anyway to merge these threads...since people are referring to the original in this thread.

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Awesome you got your Axcess!! Did you get the iced tea or gunmetal? I have really been digging mine' date=' and actually for the moment I have warmed up to my gunmetal one as my main go-to. It has a killer growl in it's tone that works well for the solo number I'm doing at the moment, kind of a bluesy Satriani style of instrumental.[/quote']

 

I got the Iced Tea. I just got it back from my luthier last night. He set it up beautifully , although I noticed the action was just a tad bit higher than he usually sets them up for me, so I just lowered it a bit and it is perfect now. Since he did all the other hard work on it, lowering the action did not affect it in any negative way. The guitar plays fantastic and sounds great. I will post more on it later and post some pics.

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It did not disappear. Look back in threads for the past two months and go to page 2. There it sits.

 

Here is the original thread starting with my clip of La Villa Strangiato

 

Alex Lifeson 355 In Action

 

Admin' date=' after agreeng to lock the other two threads that were getting nowhere, we all agreed to continue positive discussions about the AL on the original In Action thread. Is there anyway to merge these threads...since people are referring to the original in this thread.

 

[/quote']

 

i looked back to try to find it...guess i didn't go far enough.

 

i'm not sure how to merge the threads...i'll see if i can figure it out.

 

glad to hear you're enjoying the Axcess.

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wow, what happened to this thread?

http://forums.gibson.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=1631

 

...Alex's guitar tone...that's a big one..I have been chasing that carrot from 1985 until 2003..when my quest finally ended with amazing results, using almost the EXACT same gear and also by having Alex as a #1 influence right from the start. I hope I have moved on since then because I've realized that there's no point in trying to emulate another guitarist to the degree I was attempting...Alex once described his guitar sound from AFTK to Permanent Waves/Moving Pics as his "wirey" sound...check out the Gibson guitar tones this page:

 

http://www.sonicplaygroundstudios.com/Toronto.htm

camera eye, red barchetta, yyz, show don't tell, freewill, la villa, medley of classics,

 

there's also more of what alex described as his "wirey" guitar sound on these orginals:

a day in the night, lunar landing, the tracking station (etc.)..listen at this site on audio:

 

www.sonicplayground.org

www.myspace.com/sonicplayground08

 

we played Rush up and down the US touring for almost 10 years in a tribute band and recently have been on hiatus, but played at Rushcon 3x, the international Rush convention in Toronto. It's really neat for any Rush fan! check out Rushcon, www.rushcon.org

 

p.s. I will be selling my AL #186 if there's anyone interested...

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Very impressive Staxman, outstanding stuff!!!!!

 

 

Regards,

AL 028

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

AL 028

1972 Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty re-issue

1976 (maybe '74?) Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

(I've had both of them for over 30 years now)

2001 Fender Stratocaster

Washburn D10S-N

Marshall MG50DFX (used to have a 100 watt Marshall SLP stack, with the 1960AX cabinets back in the '70s. Funny how your priorities change however as you get older).

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Since I don't think the original Alex Lifeson In Action thread is coming back, I will re-post my version of La Villa Strangiato I posted back in July.

 

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