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Cirque Du Soleil
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Cirque Du Soleil
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Jim Pearce
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Time Line
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Julius Curcio
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Spotlights [Issue # 21 ]
Andy Timmons: Andy Timmons’ Monster Tone

By Dean Truitt

We chatted with Andy Timmons at ONE WAY’s office in Los Angeles.

DT: The new record (Resolution, Favored Nations] has some incredible guitar tones. Can you tell us a little bit about the gear you used?

AT: A large percentage of the record was my signature model Ibanez AT-300 guitar, which is a mahogany body guitar with a rosewood neck, so it’s a pretty fat, warm guitar to start with. We had every single amplifier in the world in the studio to sort of experiment with. A buddy of mine owns a ‘68 Marshall Plexi and we used that for about half the sounds and then I have a ‘79 JMP which was the first master volume Marshall that came out. So generally the way a lot of these tracks were recorded was some kind of distortion box, tape echo, running into clean Marshall power. And there’s just some certain type of articulation these amps have, especially the ‘68, the high plate voltage, and every single nuance you try to pull out of your guitar is just right there! There’s no sag time, just immediate response.

So, largely it was a Tube Driver by Tube Works - a distortion pedal, similar to the Tonebone which is the only thing being made today that sounds even close to this one since they don’t make them anymore - into a tape echo or two, into the Marshalls. But we would change that for different songs and every now and then we would use the amps for the gain, like in “Ghost Of You” we took the power tubes out of each Marshall to make it a 50 watt, actually one of them was a JCM 800 and the ‘79 down to 50 watts, and using the gain of the amp with a little bit of Tube Screamer in front of it. So we had a few things here and there but there was really not very much variation as far as the actual gear. The only kind of “effecty” effects we used was on Halo Pad [check song spelling] right in the middle of the song where there’s this Hendrixy thing, and that an old Octavia and so I had the idea that we’d start the solo with that and then half way through a lower octave kicks in and that’s just a Boss Octaver. So largely that was the deal. There’s also the hidden track, “Heading for the Ditch” [check song spelling] and that’s the Mesa Lonestar on one side and a ‘64 VOX AC 30 on the other and a Hughes & Ketner [check spelling] Tube Man right up the middle. That’s three different signals combined to get that tone - oh, and that’s a ‘68 Telecaster on that one. I have a AT-100 Signature that has single coils in it with a maple neck and an alder body and it has a great tone and I can play it really well but that old Telecaster had that ten percent more tone and I had to use it (even though it was a bitch playing the song on that guitar which was worn, etc). So that’s about it as far as the amps being used, but we spent a lot of time moving microphones around - mainly SM 57s - and getting the tone we were going for. For cabs, we used Mesa Boogie 2x12 Recto and 4x12 Recto which are my favorites. So, we did spend a lot of time on this record, both sonically and composition-wise, but I figured it’s OK to spend two weeks working on this 8-bar section so when I hear it twenty years from now I’d be happy. n

For a 45-minute Podcast of Andy talking about his career, the new record, and his tone and gear, visit onewaymagazine.com

Andy Timmons’ Monster Tone Andy Timmons

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