who's rig is the most complex that you've seen??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by re-animator, Jan 8, 2008.


  1. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    I know its not the 80s anymore. Big racks and FX loops inside of other FX loops may be out of fashion, but I still think the really complicated rigs are quite interesting in the possibilities they allow for.


    The top 3 I can think of off the top of my head are Allan Holdsworth, Robert Fripp, and Eric Johnson.


    Eric Johnson's rig has a lot of weird routings and such, but its also pretty transparent. The post-mic stuff and the personal monitor and mixer system I think is the most complicated part.


    Holdsworth's rig is a lot more esoteric... there's always some mystery shrouded around it, as there aren't many shots of it around... and there are rarely any constants (other than he always has some yamaha gear in there). Any AH rig experts feel free to chime in on insider knowledge.


    Fripp has always been doing his own thing. In the early days, his rig was very small, but complicated. Big muff or tone machine running through a tape delay system. Nowadays he has racks as far as the eye can see... most of them do things that nobody understands.







    and of course there's john petruccis rig from the psycho excises videos...



    any other rigs of interest??
     
  2. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    #1: The Edge of U2, hands down. A HUGE, complicated rig, for sure. A lot of different sounds in that rig, too.

    #2: David Gilmour, when he was with the Floyd. Looked pretty complicated with the Cornish pedal, racks and Hiwatt amps.

    I got to hang out with Holdsworth a couple years ago, and took an up close look at his rig. He had lot's of pedals, and some
    of the Yamaha modelers, and a bunch of volume pedals, etc. It was hard to figure out his signal with all the cables. I took a
    few pics of the rig - I'll see if I can post them here soon.

    Just looked at the pics - not very good. What I see in Alan's rig at this show in Sioux Falls, SD:
    Two Fender Twin Reverbs on top of two Marshall 4x12's; two Yamaha UD Stomp pedals; a Yamaha DG Stomp rack unit; TC Spacial Expander;
    a Carver power amp; a Carvin power amp; two really old Korg Volume pedals; an old TC Booster pedal; a red MXR pedal with four knobs; an
    old MXR Noise Gate/Line Driver pedal, as well as a bunch of small "home made" pedals (for switching, I think, or buffers (?). Alan played a
    headless guitar that night, but it wasn't a Carvin. He told me he doesn't bring the Carvin guitars on the road.
     
  3. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    I'd also add on J Mascis & John Frusciante.
     
  4. southpawmax

    southpawmax Member

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    I was about to type about the J Mascis "Wall of Sound,"
    and who can forget John's pedalboard that takes up half of the stage?
     
  5. aaland_brian

    aaland_brian Member

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    J Mascis may have a complicated rig, but his signature sound is pretty easy to figure out.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

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    Easy The Edge. I mean Not only does he have a whole mess of a rack, He has a backup for everything. He plays two or 3 voxs two or 3 fenders and a soon to be /by13(fresh news I think). He has his floor controller and so does his tech Dallas Schoo so that when the edge is out and about his tech can change his sound. The edges takes 40 something guitars on the road. He uses an acustic guitar through his electric rig. I mean he is endless. And its cool because him and his tech build the rig together. The man can have a company make him something. Like the line 6 distortion pro. Only 2 made for the edge (it even has that on the front panel of the rack effect).

    I really don't understand eric johnsons rig. I saw that he used a mixer and some jbl monitors and I was like WHAT. It was called his echo rig are something. If you someone could explain I would be very interested.
     
  7. dc_jcm800

    dc_jcm800 Member

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    Steve Morse with the Dregs in the late 80's.
    Allan Holdsworth in the 80's.

    Angus Young!
     
  8. C-Dawg

    C-Dawg Member

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    Mark Tremonti's rig is pretty huge if you ask me. Look it up on youtube!
     
  9. Supertgtr

    Supertgtr Member

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    FYI, Edge's guitar tech name is Dallas Schoo, not David.
     
  10. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

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    CRAP! yeah I know.. I dont know why I put david.
     
  11. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    EJs rigs is one of my favorites... it took me a long time to really understand what his current rig is like but here it is:

    the guitar signal is immediately split to two lines: rhythm and lead. The main lead sound is his tube driver feeding into a marshall stack, or a silicon fuzzface feeding into the stack. No other effects in line. I'll talk about the echo in a bit.

    the rhythm signal is split in two again. Clean rhythm and dirty rhythm. The dirty rhythm is usually just straight into the stack, but i've often seen EJ plug the fuzzface into this chain and roll off the vol for his rhythm tone. Occasionally soloing with this sound as well. The clean rhythm is a pair of ep-3 echoplexes and a TC SCF, recently also an old MXR dynacomp. Presumably, the SCF splits the signal in two. Both feeding into fender twins (he's also used vibroverbs and deluxe reverbs), one with JBLs and one with the stock speakers.

    Now for the echo. All the amps are mic'd, but since EJ is really eccentric about having absolutely clean delays, all his dirty signals don't get any echo until after the mics. The dirty signals all feed into a mackie mixer from the mics. The dirt is almost always MXR1500 for lead and line 6 echo pro for dirty rhythm. Although the echoplexes add delay in line with the clean signal, the mic'd signal also feeds into the mixer where it can also be hit with a deluxe memory man for additional echo. This is an interesting sound because the echo comes after the reverb when the DMM is engaged since the reverb is obviously a product of the amp. The mixer's effects loop is also where EJ occasionally uses an MXR rack flanger. This signal feeds into a pair of JBL eon powered mixers so ej doesn't have to listen to the signals without echo when he's on stage.
     
  12. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    what i don't get is why Frusciante needs all those pedals... i don't think he uses all of them.... especially since his sound is actually pretty generic sounding to me... very 90s alternative. Not that i particularly dislike it, but its not something totally unique like Holdsworth, or Fripp or something.
     
  13. gitpicker

    gitpicker Member

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    Mine, when I get really, really drunk - its virtually impossible to deal with.... :BEER
     
  14. jelyfinger

    jelyfinger Member

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    For most complex rig, Steve Lukather's rig from the 80's was much more complex than Edge's!
     
  15. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    Last time I saw holdsworth he had 5-7 magicstomps plus a couple of MXR style pedals and a couple of H&K amps used as power amps.
    Here's a photo of the MS based setup. Maybe this is one of your photos!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    The principle behind the 'echo rig' is that the delays/echos/reverbs are added to a post speaker signal; i.e: the sound from the mics on his cabs, as opposed to the preamp sound.

    It's like having your dry signal behind you and your delays coming back at you through the monitors.

    This way you have a FULL RANGE delay sound, and not just a mid range based delay that gets compressed by your power amp.

    Most would argue that its easier to get the soundguy to add the delay from the desk etc, but that removes total control from the equation.
     
  17. tikalcity

    tikalcity Member

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    I don't know if it can reveal Gilmour or Edge's rig, but Frank Zappa's rig in 84-88 tours is pretty impressive. He used a combination of different amps to get the sounds he wanted (marshall jcm + 1 x12, 2 marshall 100w heads + 4 x12, 2 carvin heads + 4x12, 2 acustic amps + 1x12) each one with different effect (mxr delays, gp-8, big muff, oberheim, mutron, wah, etc. many of these were doubled) used in mono and stereo configuration:

    Actually he didn't NEED all this stuff but, since most of his recordings were taken from live portions, I figure out he need that stuff to reproduce all the sounds he had in mind.
    listening to 'Guitar' and 'Trance Fusion' records, you'll hear thousands of different guitar sounds...
     
  18. lukeII

    lukeII Member

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    When I read the interviews last year about the police tour I must say that I thought that Any Summers' rig was really complicated for what he had to play. He was using like three different Od's per song and 3 or four different modulation settings coming from several units. much more complicated than the rig he had back in the late 70s early 80s.

    That said the Edge still gets 1st prize for the most complicated biggest rig.
     
  19. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    This one always comes to my mind:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    Wierd.
    I always thought Lou Reed had a sound like a guitar plugged straight into a mixing desk personally....
    Does he really need all that stuff to get that old straight-jack-to-desk sound????
    :roll
     

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