Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Guitar Gear for 2009 - Guitar Pedals

Creation Audio Lab's Holy Fire Overdrive and Distortion pedal gives you that warm, tube-driven tone for your guitar or bass.

We've chosen the most versatile pedals to give you the most bang for the buck. These are also the essential stompboxes no respectable pedal board should be without. After playing for a while, you'll find that you've collected a case full of pedals but only use a few on stage. You may also find that you'll only get one tone using the same sequence of boxes on your pedal board. While there is a logical order to using foot pedals, you needn't be bound by them. Looking for a warm vintage tube sound? The Holy Fire distortion / overdrive pedal offers a tube driven tone for both guitar and bass players. Want to switch it up? Keeley Electronics allows the most adjustments due to their under the hood and topside trim knobs.

Holy Fire by Creation Audio Labs
Often times you'll need to streamline your pedal board so that set up is quicker and you have better control over your tone. Look at the rigs of seasoned players like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, who has been quoted saying, "Sometimes when you start from an area of complexity, a composition can be crushed under its own weight". You'll see that they do not have overly cluttered pedal boards. Yes, they utilize rack mount units but their on the floor set up is often quite simple. How do they do it? They get the most versatile, key pedals and then tweak them for the tone they are looking for. The Holy Fire pedal pictured here comes with an AC adapter but I run all of my other pedals off a VooDoo Lab Pedal Power Plus II power source. This means less wires and clutter. The Holy Fire Pedal imparts a tube like warmth to your rig. With four control knobs topside, it is easy to adjust for your signature tone. Gain, overdrive and distortion levels are all very easy to dial in with their topside controls. Amazing sound out of this one box but its even better when coupled with the Keeley Fuzz Head. Very unique pedal looks like it's on fire behind the letters! It does get warm. Solid built, it is very gig-worthy. Made in America and now available by direct sale to musicians. Visit Creation Audio Labs online at: http://www.creationaudiolabs.com/

Keeley Electronics Compressor
This is perhaps the best compressor you can get! A compressor is actually an amplifier so it should go in the front of your signal chain. Put it before the Fuzz Head and/or the Holy Fire pedals. Compression is so important to your tone. Without it, your performance lacks the guts and attack necessary for soaring leads and blistering riffs.
My VL4, (Vocalist Live), signal processor has compression built in and I've come to appreciate it on vocals. Here Keeley offers the same killer effect but for your guitar. If you would like to record, I would recommend their 4 Knob Compressor as adjustments are easier to make topside. Built like a brick. Made with pride in the U.S.A. with Keeley's ice blue light.
Visit Keeley Electronics online at: http://www.keeleyelectronics.com

Keeley Fuzz Head
Keeley's Fuzz Head is what we recommend to be paired with the Holy Fire distortion/overdrive pedal. Why? Well, the Fuzz Head on its own terms, is an amazing fuzz pedal. There is no doubt about that. Still, when coupled with a serious distortion pedal like Holy Fire, it literally sings forever! The synergy is incredible. I found that the sustain you get when using the Fuzz Head next to a distortion pedal is unreal. So place it after the Holy Fire on the way to your amp and try a classic metal or rock riff like Smoke on the Water. In fact all of the Keeley pedals we've tested have worked extremely well with other pedals including wahs. The Keeley Fuzz Head is a very adjustable pedal which allows you to dial in just the right amount of "Fuzz" due to the inner trim knobs. Very cool too with its signature blue light and germanium toggle switch on top! Quality made in the U.S.A.
Visit Keeley Electronics online at: http://www.keeleyelectronics.com
For more information check out our article: Guitar Pedals: Get the Effect-Part III

We're back in the studio recording with our NEW Audio-Technica AT4047/SV large diaphragm condenser mic and all new Spectraflex mic and instrument cables! The AT4047/SV is in my opinion THE BEST vocalist recording mic, period. We now have the CD recording of our live performance for the Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Assoc. and hope to share some of these tracks and recording sessions online. Stay tuned and all the best in 2009!

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