We are a week or so into the first tour on our new album The Fire and things have been going incredibly smooth. The shows have been great; awesome crowds, the bands are actually good this time and no major gear issues. It makes one think if something like Great White 2 is going to happen later on in the tour. We don’t have pyro.
Anyway, let’s talk gear. Up until this tour I had all of my effects in a separate rack that lived next to my head case. Before we left, I consolidated it all into one case. It made it hard to accomplish good cable management, but now setting up on stage takes a minute and nothing has to be unplugged except for the speaker cable.
For the last few years my FX setup has consisted of:
• Ground Control Pro w/GCX rack unit • TC Electronic G-Major • Boss Super Overdrive SD-1
Amps and Cabinets:
• Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 (I travel with two. One is for backup.) • Oversized Mesa-Boogie 4x12 • Marshall 1960A
The G-Major is the best digital FX unit I could find that was compatible with both my setup and budget. It works seamlessly with my MIDI controller (Ground Control Pro) and the FX are super clean. I’m able to recreate all the FX I’ve used on all our records without having to bring tons of pedals and worrying about one of them failing. I use the Boss SD-1 for boosts on leads and I use the clean/dirty channels on the JCM2000.
People who are more accustomed to the big pedal boards full of stomp boxes tend to find the MIDI controller a bit overwhelming. I personally have found it to simplify my rig and FX/channel switching. And with the FX unit being digital, I don’t have to worry about a knob moving and losing the sound I dialed in. I can recall an effect and switch channels on my head simultaneously by just stepping on one button.
There isn’t much more to my setup than that. I’ll get into the guitars I use and the Pro Tools setup I run in the next blog. Maybe I’ll even start talking about the beer we’ve been drinking on the Band Wagon.
We are on our way to Omaha, NE and I’m hungry.