my effects & amplification
the effects and amplification I currently use
effects for my acoustic instruments
My dulcimers have natural sounding pickups, which feed the excellent Boss DD-500 delay unit. This box processes the signal to the highest of audio standards, so the integrity of the acoustic sound is preserved. The delay effects that I use for dulcimer, with a few exceptions, are subtle and you might only notice them by their absence. They add a hint of body and place the music in a natural sound space.
My guitars also have natural sounding pickups and most of my traditional songs and airs, like my dulcimer music, are also given subtle treatments from the DD-500, to place the music in a natural sound space. My more modern and adventurous guitar pieces however, benefit from the depth of the DD-500’s programming which, as well as having sophisticated delay effects, can also add a little modulation. Each of these special pieces has its own, carefully programmed patch (or patches) using a variety of state-of-the-art delay types.
On some pieces I use the Boss RC-30 loop station which allows me, as a solo artist, to either play duets, layering sounds with different textures (with or without rhythm), or to add atmospheric ambient sounds to live performances.
effects for my electric dulcimer
My solid-body electric dulcimer is effectively a dulcimer version of an electric guitar with a smooth-sounding humbucking coil pickup. To process this signal, I use the Boss GT-1 guitar multi-effects unit. This highly quality unit is extremely powerful both in programming and facility. It holds almost every electric guitar effect and can be programmed to have many effects operating simultaneously and in any sequence. Each piece has its own patch (or patches) and the output, set to be compatible with PA or acoustic amp, yet still sounds like an electric guitar amp stack.
amplification & PA
Schertler Jam 200
The Schertler Jam 200 acoustic amp has several inputs with comprehensive mixing facilities. As well as being powerful and bi-amped, the Schertler’s class A circuitry delivers exceptional detail and clarity, yet still retains a warm character.
Bose S1 Pro & Bose-Yamaha mini PA
The Bose S1 Pro is a remarkable and versatile speaker that belies its small size and delivers a powerful, clean sound with a strong bass. A single S1 Pro can be used as an acoustic amp, an extension to the Schertler amp or a mini PA system in its own right. The Si Pro is powered by an internal battery, which makes it ideal for electrical isolation in a radio station, for quick set-up or for outdoor use.
Two S1 Pro’s used as powered speakers, in conjunction with the high quality Yamaha MG06X mixer, make for a simple but great-sounding PA for solo and duo performances in small venues. The S1 Pro speakers can also be used as foldback monitors for the PA (below).
Yamaha Stagepass 500
The Yamaha Stagepass 500 is a compact PA system with professional features which delivers a smooth, detailed sound. With more input channels, the PA can cater for larger ensembles. Pole mounted speakers disperse the sound for medium sized venues.
microphones, preamps & DI
For acoustic instruments my main preamp is a Fishman Platinum Pro (left) which has a tuner and an abundance of useful features. The Platinum Stage (right) shares the key features of the Pro and is more portable. Both have class A circuitry and sound exceptionally detailed and smooth.
I use the legendary Sure SM58 mic for my own vocals and, for greater clarity, a Sennheiser E-935 mic for female vocals. There are also two versatile AKG C1000s condenser mics for additional instruments. Vocals are conditioned using the Boss VE-1 Vocal Echo (blue box, left) or the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2 (red box, right), to present a polished, professional sound.
Finally, an EMO E525 passive stereo DI provides a high-quality balanced signal to a PA from acoustic and/or electric effects. All my mics, effects and preamps are battery powered – so there is normally no need for mains power on stage.
my pedalboard configured for a live concert …