Chris Mahoney – Whole Lotta Guitar
New York guitarist Chris Mahoney sent me his pened to play drums on the song. He coinci-
self-released CD, Rebirth, about a year and dentally had also worked with Eddie Kramer,
a half ago. Though just a pup in the guitar who, as I understand, did some work on
scene, his debut displayed a wonderful under- those early Zeppelin recordings, so Chris had
standing of melody and dynamics, which led some cool insight. Naturally, doing a Zeppelin
me to ask this talented player to be involved song the drum sound had to be amazing and
in the Led Zeppelin Salute CD, Get The Led Chris’ insight, as well as his great playing, sort
Out!. His spirited cover of “Whole Lotta Love” of accidentally wound up being perfect. He
captured the essence of Zeppelin and became didn’t even know I was doing this track until
the first track on the CD. I walked in that night, and we were the only
two there! So by default he was the drummer.
that lets me hear the amp the way it sounds
in the room. There have been so many times
where the amp sounded great in the room
and flat in the control room. From there, we
went to an API Preamp, then a Motu HD192
to the computer.
What format did you record the song on?
Chris has been honing his chops just
What’s your setup, guitar and amps
70 miles north of New York City, in
a sleepy town called Poughkeepsie,
and has opened up for such acts as Al
DiMeola, Steve Vai, Gov’t Mule and
Blue Oyster Cult.
that you used on the recording
of “Whole Lot of Love”?
We recorded digitally and mixed to an Otari
2 track tape machine. I use Logic for all my
programming. From there we transfer my programmed parts to Digital
Performer, where we record the guitars
and live drums. We did two different
mixes and Chris told me to pick which
one I preferred. One was mixed to the
analog tape machine, the other to the
I used my Terry McInturff DRP Taurus,
which is basically a customized Taurus.
Terry’s guitars are amazing. I’ve got
four of them and there simply is no
reason to play anything else. They
are the most resonant guitars I’ve
heard. As far as amps, I used the
Soldano SLO 100. This is the setup I’ve
been using for a few years now. The
Soldano is the most honest of all the
amps I’ve tried. The SLO really lets a
guitar breathe and is so responsive.
For effects, I used an Eventide Eclipse
for the lead lines. It was a ducked
delay as to texture the vocal line of the
track, yet not be too much. For the
breakdown part, we went a bit beyond
using some reverse guitar effects and tempo-based tremolo effects. I used a Vox Wah on
the solo in the up position to separate the
solo breaks. I was looking to have a big mood
shift in the segments musically as well as soni-cally so we did the lines in an alternating pattern—the straight sound followed by the wah
sound, panning each one hard left and right.
It kind of has that call-and-answer vibe.
Give us a little background of the song
and how you envisioned the
Being a guitar instrumental performance, I wanted to have the guitar
cover everything. The breakdown in
the middle where John Bonham had
this very long drum solo, I wanted the
guitar to represent all those elements,
rhythmic and textural. I did this pulsating
low end bed using a tremolo effect and
did all this atmospheric stuff on top and
built into the solo. It’s one of my favorite
parts of the track. Duplicating vocals has
its challenges, though Robert Plant is so
expressive and rhythmic that it translates
quite well to guitar.
I transferred all the electronic drums and bass
that I had done in my studio and we mic’d up
the kit. We did a subwoofer-style setup on the
kick drum. We then put a second kick in front
of the main one and a mic in front of that as
well. What we got was this sort of sub-sonic
low end that just added this extra thump to
the kick drum sound. It was perfect.
You can check out Chris’ version of “Star
Cycle” on the Jeff Beck salute CD, El Becko
and his cover of “Voodoo Child” on the
upcoming Hendrix salute CD, Third Stone
from the Sun.
Tell me about the studio you used and
the players who were involved in making
How did you record the guitar,
mics and amps?
I have a small studio where I do all my programming, but for drums and guitars I recorded the track at Galuminum Foil studios in NYC
with Producer Chris Cubeta, who also hap-
We recorded the SLO 100 through my
Soldano 2x12 closed back cab with two different mics: the Royer R- 121 Ribbon and the
Rode NT- 2. We discovered this combo about
three years ago while recording my first
record, Rebirth. The Royer is the only mic
Emmy Award winning guitarist Brian Tarquin scored a
Top 20 hit in the nineties with “ The Best of Acid Jazz,
vol. 2 ” on Instinct Records and enjoyed several top 10
hits on the R&R charts. Founder of the rock/electronica
band, Asphalt Jungle Tarquin has scored TV music for
such shows as CSI, Smallville, MTV, Alias, 24, All My
Children and many others.