Neo-soul: Which pedals are cool for that?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Iversen, May 15, 2008.

  1. Iversen

    Iversen Member

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    I listen to a lot of neo-soul these days and my band plays this stuff exclusively. Cats like Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Legend, Lauryn Hill, Roy Hargrove, Jaguar Wright, Maxwell, Eric Benet etc. Those of you who play this or dig the music, which pedals - and any other trick for that matter - would you consider essentials for such a setup? :munch

    I think I got it covered pretty good, but I'd love to hear other players' take on this - there's a lot to learn. :YinYang
     
  2. peacebone

    peacebone Member

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    In order of 'most ubiquitous' to 'occasionally heard' in neo-soul:
    -envelope filter
    -wah
    -chorus
    -low gain OD
    -delay
     
  3. woude

    woude Member

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    I'll add:
    volume pedal
    (opto) compressor like the Diamond Comp
     
  4. funkycam

    funkycam Member

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    Like many other musics, you can blaze your own trail a little.

    More than tones, I think the main thing about guitar in modern soul/r&b/ neosoul is finding your spot because the keys & the bass are really the driving force, but that said, because it is so informed by other musics you can bring different flavors: tones from Jazz (benson/bilal), 70's soul (wahwah watson), rock (hendrix/ isley), fusion (fuze & cato on the meshell records) & 80's pop (paul jackson jr) will all work if you play 'em right.

    I play in a house band in an Oakland soul club & we get plenty of neo-soul artists thru, though my rig is also for modern soul/ R&B, funk, pop & rock gigs.

    Clean headroom is gonna be neccessary for those Jubu/ Dwayne wiggins type tones.

    I don't like chorus or compression so I don't use 'em, but many do.

    I play a strat, twin & use a wah (modded crybaby myself: vintage italian wah tones don't work for me on these gis as I need the high end for percussive wah stuff), a jauernig luxury drive (clean boost so muted picking sticks out enough) 2 dirts (OCD & Crunchbox), a DD6 delay (tap tempo is v importaint)& a ph350 phaser (which can also do pretty good vibe sounds). I also have a discumbobulator & a whammy that I bring sporadically if I am trying to cover some synth tones for the gig.

    If you like wahwah watson then you will want to look @ wah, fuzz, delay & envelope filters.

    Some guys are more into the whole benson school, so duh, that's a hollowbody & whatever else you need.

    Done live, there are normally a lot of church players in the band & the arrangements are often very gospel; there are a lot more hits, chords & intensity than on the records & the keyboardist(s) may deviate significatly from the original harmony (which means sometimes you gotta keep out of the way harmonically, but still add to the mix..)

    (Surprisingly) you will probably want a really tight, really high gain distortion for lines & crescendos. For this application, in my experience the MI audio crunchbox is perfect.
    A good acoustic will get you a lot of work too...
    hth
    Cam
     
  5. blue_lu

    blue_lu Member

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    In all honesty... NOTHING! Maybe a compressor, but thats IT pedalwise.

    If you listen to D'Angelos Voodoo, its charly hunter playing bass and guitar, thats what makes it sounding as funky as it sounds.

    another thing: check out Spanky on guitar here...
    imho: 335->compressor->amp
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ygCeBoYD9ps

    its all in how you play (extreme shuffle...) for that kind of music...
     
  6. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    For effects, you won't want much besides a compressor, low gain OD, envelope filter, and spring reverb. It's more about the playing, which is what I love so much about playing that stuff.
     
  7. funkycam

    funkycam Member

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    The extreme shuffle point is very true, & that spanky vid is killin...but if you hear the voodoo tour stuff , he rocked out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvc6SzTugL8&feature=related

    Also, re the Voodoo record, hunter played on 2 tracks only, most of the bass was pino palladino
     
  8. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    Charlie Hunter played on a few songs on "Voodoo," but it was mostly
    other players. Their names escape me, but Hunter is only listed on a song or two in the album credits. They were using a lot of delay...I read something saying it was done with a Line 6 DL-4 fod the record. Also some fuzz on "Untitled" and compression on most eveything. Wah is also common, chorus. Charlie Hunter uses a Rotosphere a lot on sessions for Neo-Soul stuff. Hope that helps.
     
  9. funkycam

    funkycam Member

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    I played with Steve Wyreman last autumn & the only gear he brought for that gig was a reissue twin, a strat & a tonebone hot british, though I know he has a lot of boutique stuff.
    Great player
     
  10. blue_lu

    blue_lu Member

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    wow! i just flipped through the booklet... you're right! sorry for that! I know I read somewhere that hunter did play the bass on there. NEVER BELIEVE THE NET!!! :)

    oh well, the album is K I L L E R :bow:bow:bow anyway!
     
  11. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I'd start with a fat warm clean tone & a good mild OD like a TIM, that'll cover most of it, then add phaser, wah, fuzz and delay sparingly to taste. Octave fuzzes can make a strong statement when used tastefully and occasionally, and envelope filters can be super funky.......
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    looking on my board now,

    picture wah, subdecay phaser, octron, keeley comp, bb+, trex delay, volume jr.

    but like it was mentioned before, more about the playing. and for me, that means staying out of the way of the keys, and thinking more like a percussionist.
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    +1

    :D
     
  14. blue_lu

    blue_lu Member

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    This stuff is HARD to play right. even with good instrumentalists... most of them overplay. you gotta have taste, work as a whole and LISTEN to each other. all about space and groove.
     
  15. Iversen

    Iversen Member

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    Wow, surprised to see this many replies. I thought I was the only player diggin' on neo soul. I absolutely love the space this music leaves for playing percussive funk, blues and jazz phrases and just kinda floating along with the groove.

    Funkycam nailed my setup pretty good. :eek:
    I'm using an ES-335 and a Fender CS strat with CS '54s pups. I'm using 2 Fender Princeton Reverb II and they get their feed from a T-Rex RoomMate, which also has chorus on one setting. A T-Rex Replica feeds the RoomMate. On my board I have a DiscomBOBulator that I find myself using more and more, just as my Budda wah sees more use with every time we practice. I rarely use compressor and rarely dirt although I have an OCD and a TS-808 sitting on the board. I'm GAS'ing for a Boss T-Wah right now; if 1 envelope filter is good why not have more options.

    Lately I've considered getting a Roland GR-20 synth. I'd love to be able to do something close to a muted trumpet every now and then and whatever cool funky keyboard sounds that all these guys use on their albums. Has anyone tried that for this?

    Did Spanky do anything on his own or was he always playing as a sideman?

    Finally: :bow :bow :bow Voodoo :agree
     
  16. funkycam

    funkycam Member

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    re guitar synth, Lucidology would be the guy to talk to on this.

    A great faux synth is a fuzz before the wah or envelope filter... really kooky!

    Even tho I really dislike the POD, I have been thinking about the line6 fm4 to get more synthy tones

    Great thread guys!
     
  17. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Here's some examples for ya ...

    Compressor/Chorus and EMG single coils ..

    Nasty~Our Funk Trio Live - The Gear Page

    Guitar synth...Roland GR-20 Trombone simulation and pad filters ...

    Bone Chillin' Swamp Brew - The Gear Page

    Roland GR-33 Flute and Vibes overdubs..

    Ju-Ju Grooving (My 2nd Clip...) - The Gear Page

    Guitar solo in middle and at end with Roland Synth Scat tone:

    Funky Brazilian Thing - The Gear Page

    One of the things I like to do when comping funky over
    a one chord hump ... is to take a string or key pad...
    Play the chord and sustain it with the hold function on the synth..
    Then just vamp over the top ...
     
  18. Iversen

    Iversen Member

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    Lucidology, those are some great soundbites, thanks a lot for posting! Just asked my wife - she's a jazz fan - what instrument that was right there on the 2nd clip. "Trombone" she answered without even bothering to look up from the newspaper. Then of course when I told her, no, that's a guitar synth, we'd both listen for the subtle differences :) I guess your average audience would start turning their heads in order to spot the horn section. :cool:

    Hmm, it's not like I'm GAS'ing any less for a GR-20 :drool
     
  19. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Thanks man..

    Yeah, that trombone tone always blows folk's minds ...

    You'll luv using the GR-20 in your band .... It's truly worth it ...
    It works really well in a funk/nu-soul type of situation ...
    Mega useful tones ...

    ------------
     

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