PETER STROUD TONE TIPS FROM THE ROAD
Recording Session Gear
Elliott Tone Master (Jazzmaster-style with
P-90s); 1964 Gibson SG Special; 1967
Trini Lopez (semi-hollow ES-335 style);
TQR (Tonequest Report) Strat-style;
Gibson Sheryl Crow Acoustic. Optional:
Rickenbacker 660/12; National Resophonic
Tricone; Jerry Jones Baritone; Duesenberg
Double Cat with Multibender.
Recording overdubs with artist Marius Westernhagen.
solidbody and semi-hollow, “twang” vs. “fat,”
and at least one guitar with a vibrato arm.
For acoustic guitar when recording, I always
prefer mahogany back and sides for the mid-range character and the way it sits in the mix.
Rosewood acoustics tend to be more bass
responsive and too boomy for recording support parts. Most always, the low end is rolled
off of my acoustic tone.
occasionally beefing up the tone, and a delay
for a little slap or echo during a solo.
Peter with guitarist extraordinaire Larry Campbell. Photos by Romney M-Westernhagen
65amps London head and 2x12” speaker cab;
1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb; 1969 Ampeg G12
Gemini; 1960 Gibson Ranger.
(mounted on Pedaltrain pedalboard):
Boss TU- 2 Tuner; Moollon Active DI; Moollon
Wah; Ernie Ball Volume Pedal; Carl Martin
Compressor/Limiter; Baja Tech Custom Da
Squeezer compressor; Pro Analog MK I overdrive; 65amps Colour Boost treble booster;
Xotic Effects RC Booster; Z.Vex Fuzz Factory
(Vector series); Electro-Harmonix Polyphase;
EH Electric Mistress chorus/flanger; EH Echo 1
Digital Delay; Boss DD- 3 Digital Delay (Robert
Keeley modded). Optional: Electro-Harmonix
POG; EH Memory Man with Hazarai.
Slide; a few packs of strings; wire snips and
peg-winder, capo, and picks; 15’ input cable,
25’ input cable (from pedalboard to amp),
and 50’ heavy gauge speaker cable (to allow
placing speaker cabinet away in closet or iso
booth); a handful of patch cables for pedals.
In the amp department, the 65amps London
is my main “go-to.” The Deluxe Reverb gets
used for the identifiable Fender blackface
cleaner tones, reverb and tremolo. The Ampeg
G12 and Gibson Ranger are sort of my tone
secret weapons—both have been tweaked,
repaired and modified over the years so they
have a sound of their own. On most sessions
I’ll run the London, Deluxe Reverb and Ampeg
through the 65amps 2x12” cab, loaded with
both a Celestion Alnico Blue and a G12H- 30
“Anniversary.” The speakers have distinct individual characteristics, allowing for both to be
mic’d and brought up separately or together
at the console. The Gibson Ranger’s internal
speaker, a higher-powered Jensen Alnico 12”
out of an old Hammond organ (the less efficient
original Jensen blew years ago), will always be
mic’d. Smaller amps like the tweed Gibson are
very “vocal,” narrower in tonal range and place
nicely in a track. All of these amps have distinct
tonal characteristics, which helps when multiple
overdubs are called for.
Most recently, I recorded with German superstar Marius Westernhagen for his forthcoming
release due out by end of year. This week-long
session took place in Brooklyn at the way-cool
studio facilities, Mission Sound Recording. Along
with working with Marius, it was an opportunity
to record alongside some of NYC’s absolute finest: Larry Campbell on guitars, mandolin, violin
and pedal steel; Jack Daily on bass; and Andy
Newmark and Shawn Pelton, who shared drum
duties. Flying to recording sessions requires
much thought to keeping the gear list lean.
Working within the confines of travel, I took the
smaller Pedaltrain 1 pedalboard in a roadcase
that fell within the 50-pound baggage weight
limit, two electrics (the Tonemaster and SG
Special) in a dual gig bag that I carried onboard,
and my acoustic checked with baggage. A
backline company in NYC provided a 65amps
London, and Mission Sound had an ample collection of cool amps to choose from. Marius’
producer, Kevin Bents, also made his Gibson
ES-335 and Fender Strat available to me. It’s
always unlikely you’ll use everything you take
to a session, but every time I leave something
at home, I’ll wish I’d brought it: “Hey did you
a bring that Doppleganger tape delay that’ll
chorus, flange and fuzz?”… “Errr, no. Left it
at home.” And no, I don’t use a cartage com-pany… just my Honda Odyssey van.
Above is my checklist for the gear I’ll take
to a typical album recording session, plus or
minus a handful, depending on the project. I
try to cover all bases with the guitars: I bring
along single coils, P-90s and humbuckers,
The pedalboard is loaded with way more
pedals than I’d ever use at once, and they’re
never all hooked up, but they’re there to cover
anything that might be asked for, or cool to
add. Pedals that are almost always in the chain
are the Moollon Active DI (a buffer to keep
the input signal strong to the amp when using
pedals or a long cable run), a compressor for
Peter is co-founder of 65amps.