Hi team.

Sorry it's been a while, but in between promoting the new Ivy Blue album "19", university, and dealing with some health-related things I haven't had heaps of time to get onto the NZ Bands site. But now that I am back from all of that, let's have a bit of fun shall we?

Right, so the people I want to talk to today are guitarists and the subject I want to discuss is Effects Pedals. Why effects pedals? Well, effects pedals can be very cool (take my word for it). But they can also be a nuisance at times too. Especially when you are trying to get the best out of each sound that each pedal makes without any gain or unnecessary noise. So today I want to give you guitarists some tips that may help you get the ultimate sound without sacrificing anything else in the process.

1. Use only gain to the absolute minimum. Believe it or not, gain is NOT a volume pedal, and the more gain you have- the more distorted your sound gets (which for metal guitarists is something they strive after). But TOO MUCH gain, and even the metalest metal will sound like your dog's overused bones screaming from mercy as a cat jumps off the Skytower. NOT GOOD. Hence why you should only use your gain to what you need and nothing more.

2. It's always a great idea to put in a little bit of something to help clean things up (so to speak). Especially if you're one who uses  alot of distortion. A little bit of a clean sound will not murder you. If anything, it will make your sound stand out even more from the crowd of many guitarists out there.  The Latest Fallout are a great example of this as their guitar sound can be clean and then into hard rock very easily without losing any quality. I don't know exactly how they do this- but I tend to use a Behringer Tube Amp Modeller on the Tweed setting. The volumes of things are up to the person and each person is to their own but the point is that if you put a little in to balance and clean things out then you sound and your guitars will thank you muchly.

3. Less is more. If you have effects up to your eyeballs- may I suggest downsizing? No offense is meant to your back pocket or your ability to play. But as the old saying goes- less is more. Which in this case, the less pedals and settings you have to use to get the sound you want, the more powerful your sound will be, and hence the more your sound will stand out (and who doesn't like to stand out as a guitarist?). You can get really good multi-effects pedals from Music Planet, Music Works, and Rockshop (or your local independent music store such as Lewis Eady's in Auckland) that can give you everything you need, has an ability to edit and save your own presets and gives you more of what you need for less. I personally use my VOX Stomplab 2G Multi-fx and it sounds amazing (of course with some other things going through that are low maintenance to use). But the more you can get your sound out of little- it'll save you tap dancing and going all over the show to get something in a harder way.

Right, that's me for this week. I will be back in two weeks (I promise). In the meantime, happy playing :)
JAMES