Tag Archives: distortion

Pickups, Amps and Effects: Crafting the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Tone

Being a company which produces vintage boutique amplifiers and effects, we at Baroni Lab are always searching for different tones, as well as experimenting with different combinations of equipment in order to constantly increase the quality of our products.

This, however, is no easy task to accomplish. The world of tone and guitar performance is a veritable labyrinth, with myriad twists and turns involved in achieving the ultimate goal of a sought-after sound. There is an intimidating amount of variables to consider.

Choosing the right pickup for a sound is very important
Choosing the right pickup for a sound is very important

For example, say I want to create the classic sound of Cream-era Eric Clapton. For the famous ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ guitar riff, Clapton used his famous ‘Fool’ guitar – a 1960s Gibson SG which later came to be a symbol of the era – going through a wah pedal and into a Marshall amp. Variables with the guitar include the wood condition and paint-job, the pickups and selector switch, the tone control and the volume. The angle of the wah as it filters the sound is another important variable. Then you have the amplifier and speakers: model? Year? Bass level? Middle level? Treble level? Gain? Volume? Presence? Reverb? Size? Speaker cones?

Obviously, it is challenging to reproduce certain tones, the ‘Woman Tone’ being a great example. This is why a lot of players wishing to cover ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ get lazy, and will buy a digital effects system and model the sounds electronically, using samples of famous distortions and speaker cabs or, even worse, just stick any old overdrive pedal in the line and crank up the volume on the guitar. These methods will never even get you close to the desired tone. It is a process which takes time, thought and, above all, careful listening. Real Italian-designed vintage tube amps also help a great deal 🙂

One thing which I have become increasingly more aware of is the importance of the pickups used. They come in many different shapes and sizes; single coil or humbucker, covered or bare, active or passive, and they all have their own unique ways of processing the string vibrations into electrical signals.

The Moon Sound is a great effect for lead guitar and stronger rhythm
The Moon Sound is a great effect for lead guitar and stronger rhythm

The latest product video I made (YouTube link below) was for the Baroni Lab ‘Moon Sound’ distortion stompbox. Its a great little effect, designed to recreate Dave Gilmour’s lead tone on the famous Dark Side of the Moon album, and it does a great job. While producing this video, however, I was confronted with the issue of pickup selection. Gilmour used the bridge pickup on a strat for the much of his solo work, and so it seemed the perfect place to start. The Moon Sound was set up to give the perfect tone for the solo from ‘Money’ with this pickup, and the result was amazing. It sounds just like the original in every way, and I posted the exact settings to achieve the tone on the video.

The pickups on my strat are passive, but our guest player for the video played with active pickups. The higher response from the active pickups meant that, in order to achieve the same Gilmour tone, The ‘Moon Sound’ had to be set up differently to accommodate the different pickup types.

This shows exactly how much care and attention is required to produce a great tone – or to recreate a classic one – and can be a lesson for many aspiring rock stars. Equipment selection and setup is vital to a good sound, and is as important to study as learning to play the guitar itself. We take pride in delivering top of the range boutique amplifiers and effects, and every one of them is created with amazing quality of sound as the main goal. Sometimes it can be hard, sometimes nearly impossible, but it is always rewarding, and there is nothing quite like that moment when you strike a chord and hear exactly the tone that you have been trying for days to transfer from inside of your head to the amplifier.

The ‘Moon Sound’ did a great job at crafting the Gilmour sound with two completely different kinds of pickup, and so it truly passes the test for being a wonderful and versatile effect. Check it out at http://www.baroni-lab.com.

Rock on!

Pink Floyd: The Wall. Dave Gilmour’s Tone

Deep, warm distortion in a box.
Deep, warm distortion in a box

RELEASED November 30, 1979, The Wall is one of Pink Floyd’s most successful studio albums, selling over ten million copies in the US alone.  It is one of a number of concept albums produced by the British progressive rock band, largely influenced by frontman Roger Waters.

The album deals with a range of themes, including – most notably – childhood abuse and ridicule, dealing with the passing of loved ones, the pressures of live performance, marital breakdown and self-imposed social isolation.

Gilmour's solos on Comfortably Numb are considered by many to be the among the greatest solos ever written
Gilmour’s solos on Comfortably Numb are considered by many to be the among the greatest solos ever written

With so many complex themes explored in one album, The Wall was an ambitious project from the start.  The song-writing and musical performance of the band was equally as ambitious.  Waters’ lyrics are so deep and strikingly beautiful at times that the listener cannot help but be moved at some point during a listen to the album; David Gilmour’s wailing guitar work and unmistakable tone complement them perfectly.

From the slow, mellow sounds on Mother, through the soulful bending of Another Brick in the Wall to the driving rhythm of Run Like Hell, Gilmour’s playing on this album was breath-taking.

The Wall Era has controls for Drive, Tone and Volume, as well as a 'Mid Boost' switch
The Wall Era has controls for Drive, Tone and Volume, as well as a ‘Mid Boost’ switch

Baroni Lab has crafted a distortion effect unlike nothing before, in homage to the wonderfully rich guitar tone on this influential rock album.  The Wall Era distortion emulates the deep, harmonic feel of Gilmour’s overdriven guitar sound perfectly.

With drive set low, you can give your solos a powerful edge, without over-colouring the original sound.  Cranked up, it approaches a deep, incredibly warm distortion which is perfect not only for the heavier moments of The Wall, but for a whole host of other rock songs as well.

The tone control is equally as versatile.  Not only does it allow for dark to bright distortion, but it also modifies the kind of distortion applied to the signal.  Set the tone all the way to the right and the guitar takes on a bright, scratchy sound.  All the way to the left you have a powerful, dark distortion.

For a little extra punch during guitar solos, there is a pedal-mounted switch on the Wall Era, making it possible to switch between ‘flat’ and ‘mid boost’ modes easily.  Mid boost does exactly what it says on the tin, bringing out the mid levels of the guitar signal, allowing it to instantly cut through the mix in any live situation, without the need to turn up the volume.

Check out the demo below!

http://www.baroni-lab.com

Introducing…

Hello world!

baroni

This is the first official post from Baroni Lab. We are an Italian company which produces vintage-modelled tube amplification for musical instruments, as well as an astonishing range of effects pedals.

Keep your eyes open for regular updates of news of our events, as well as links to some of our product reviews and the occasional review, guitar tech tip and general musings of all things tone!

If you like what you see, please feel free to get in touch through our website or email.

http://www.baroni-lab.com

info@baroni-lab.com