Adventures in Guitar with Ronny North: Your Rig: It Never Ends Print
Monday, 09 July 2007 18:12
Image As guitar players, we've all gone through tons of gear to discover what works best for us. A self admitted gear junkie, I'm always experimenting with new stuff in my live rig. And every time I read about some new piece of gear that is supposed to be great I have to go check it out at the local music store. I used to drive my old guitar tech crazy because we'd be using a set up for a couple years and it was working fine and all of a sudden I'd come in to rehearsals and tear it apart to try something new. I've heard from a few of my friends that work for a few famous "guitar hero" types that this happens a bit with them too.

I am fortunate enough these days that I play lots of music trade shows such as NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) to where I can just go to the booth of lots of these new products and talk with the company in person and try the gear myself.

A few weeks ago when we were getting my gear ready to do a headlining show I had a bit of trouble with my TC Electronics G-System. My rig was the G-System with a Phase 90, Morley Wah and a Parametric EQ in the loops (the pedals were mounted back in the rack). The G-System handled all delay, pitch shifting, reverb and all switching of loops and amps. Everything was mounted in a shock mounted road case that was kept off stage. The pedal board was my TC remote switcher and my Wah. Even though it was sounding ok, for some reason it wasn't switching my amps correctly.

Well, after going through the manual and talking with the guys at TC (they're great), it seemed that my unit was doing something weird. Since this is the unit that my whole live rig is based on I had to scramble to create a new rig for my show. Then after setting up a ton of gear in my back yard with combinations of everything, I decided to go the simple route and just use a very simple set up. In the end I ended up using two Laney Heads - an AOR 100 and a GH100 - two Mills 4x12 cabs, and my Black Kross pedal board with the channel switch for the Laney, a chorus pedal, delay pedal and my Morley Tremonti wah.

The heads and pedal board were wired together with a Pedalsnake audio snake and all cables were Zaolla including my custom 50 ft stage cable. The new rig was very streamlined and sounded very beefy.

I got several compliments on my tone at the show. Sometimes you just have to adapt to the situation.

Side note - we eventually figured out the issue when I went down to TC the following week in just 10 minutes. It seemed that I just hit something that changed the programming. The unit was fine after it was reset.

Since then, I have my G-System going again and I've decided to combine my old rig and the new rig in a new system. I'm going to use the TC and all my pedals all mounted on one pedal board with no rack, with the Laney Heads and the Mills cabinets. It's much more compact and I won't need to lug around my rack. I'm very excited about the new set up and I'll be taking it for a test spin at my show in San Diego this weekend.

Steve Vai has a very similar set up. If it works for the King then maybe it'll work for me. The thing is, definitely experiment with your set up and see what happens. You never know what you'll stumble on and it's always fun to try out new gear. I'm sure I'll be doing it again soon.

And hey, a new sound could inspire you to come up with something you normally wouldn't play. Isn't that what it's all about????

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it plays his own signature brand of instrumental guitar rock and is fast becoming a So Cal guitar hero. He has appeared in several national and international music publications, including this one each week.