Fender KWS Strat with Bell-tone Pickups
The guitar used was a Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Stratocaster. The stock pickups have been replaced with a set of Bell-tone pickupsfrom Mccon-o-wah.com.
The wah-wah pedal was a McWah pedal from Mccon-o-wah.com, customized to fit my personal preference. I prefer a wah pedal that 'opens' a bit sooner than most. In addition, I wanted more bass and a bit more volume so Mike gave me instructions and guidelines for changing a few resistors.
NOTE: There is NOTHING wrong with this pedal. It sounded absolutely great right out of the box. I have a long history of modding my pedals, beyond what is necessary sometimes ruining them in the process. I was not modding this pedal because I was unhappy with it. The changes were subtle and I only did them because I can.
Boss GE-7 Graphic EQ Pedal
The next pedal in the signal chain was a Boss GE-7. You can see in the settings that I'm boosting the 800Hz and 1.6kHz sliders. This gives me a midrange boost similar to what is present with a Tubescreamer, but I can also dial in a small boost at 200Hz to give the sound a bit more fullness.
Whenever you boost one specific range of frequencies, the other frequencies are de-emphasized. With a Tubescreamer, not only does it boost the 'nasal' midrange, but it also loses low end frequencies. With the GE-7, I can get a similar midrange boost but also boost the low end a little bit to compensate for the natural de-emphasis that happens when boosting the midrange.
Creation Audio Labs Holy Fire Overdrive/Distortion
The next pedal in the signal chain was the Holy Fire Overdrive/Distortion pedal. This pedal can function as a very clean boost or with just the overdrive circuit or overdrive and distortion combined. Since the pedal is extremely transparent, it does not provide the midrange boost for leads that a tubescreamer does so I use it as an intermediate boost to push the amp a little harder.
I used the Holy Fire to push the amp a bit harder and the overdrive circuit produces a nice compressed sound that responds very well to the midrange boost coming from the GE-7.
Samamp VAC 23 amplifier for this demo running in 5 watt mode. None of the boosts were engaged and the settings were exactly as shown in the picture.
I was running the amp much cleaner than usual. This gave me a really chimey clean tone and when I'd kick on the Holy Fire and GE-7 during the solo, the resultant tone was thick and screaming all at the same time.
I used a Shure SM-57 microphone place near the outer edge of the speaker, angled toward the center of the speaker. I've found this position to yield a nice fat tone with just enough brightness without being shrill.
I recorded the vocals through a Rode NT1000 condenser microphone. While my vocals are far from stellar, a condenser mic like the Rode is much sweeter and much more airy and crisp than a dynamic mic.
The backing track was assembled in GarageBand using drum loops from Betamonkeymusic.com and some built in organ loops. I recorded the bass track and then opened the project in Logic Express.
In Logic Express, I recorded the guitar and vocals on separate tracks through a Motu 896HD firewire audio interface.
I applied EQ, compression and reverb to each track and some master limiting to the final mix before exporting the final recording. The master recording was then imported into Final Cut Pro where it was synchronized with the video.