Core Guitar Pedals
The Input Pedals for Core Guitar Tone
The Core Guitar Tone
The first step in the recording process is to select one of the Cave Studio guitars off the wall.
An “Always-On” guitar tone is created with the Core Guitar Pedals.
This tone is available for a DAW direct input on the MOTU 8Pre ADAT #2 input 1 from the JHS Colour Box and is the core tone for all distributions to the studio’s amps and pedalboards.
The pure studio console quality harmonic tone can be used as a source for “Reamping” through the Two Notes Torpedo “Replay” feature and sent to any of the Cave Studio amps.
This is used to get a DI Bass track from the ELI EL9 Mike-e or the Heritage Audio HA-73 EQ Neve 1073 and a “Reamped” mic’d Hartke HD 150 15” bass speaker track.
The Core Pedal Gain-staging
The key to capturing a great performance is gain-stage management.
Gain staging is the process of optimizing the guitar tone signal level from one device to another ensuring that the inherited “Noise Floor” from a previous device is maintained at the lowest level possible.
This starts with an LPD S.E.P. Field Generator, custom made, dynamic compressor after a simple Valeton Volume/Wah pedal.
The classic TC Electronic Polytune 3 pedalboard tuner feeds three transparent overdrive pedals to create the “Always On” harmonic tone for the selected Cave Studio guitar.
The first of the three is another boutique LPD pedal, the Seguaro. The Seguaro is a one-knob soft overdrive harmonic tone-shaper pedal.
The next pedal, the RYRA “The Klone”, is an accurate replication, component by component, of the iconic Klon Centaur.
This pedal is used as a Klon Centaur distortion pedal when the DRIVE setting is past 3:00 and as a soft overdrive enhancer when the DRIVE is set to 9:30. It is generally off for most Cave Studio guitars.
The third and last of the Studio Core Tone shaping trio is the Xotic EP Booster pedal created to emulate a vintage ‘70s Echoplex analog tape delay box. This pedal has a selectable 3dB boost switch inside the case and is always on to drive the front-end of the JHS Colour Box a little harder
DAW Direct and Guitar Gain Staging and EQ
The final pedals on the Core Guitar pedalboard creates a tone shape wrapper using a JHS Colour Box.
The Colour Box is a gain stage channel strip. The channel strip contains a preamp, a tone saturator, and an EQ.
A XLR balanced out is sent to the MOTU 8Pre ADAT #2 input 1 as a Dry Guitar Direct In for effects or Reamping on DAW Output Send 3.
An unbalanced TS output passes the DI signal to the BOSS EQ-200 for front-end gain-staging and EQ channel using Channel 1 of the two channel EQ.
The BOSS EQ-200 Channel 2 will be used for gain-staging and EQ for the output of the Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 Floor’s Effects Loop in the Wet/Dry/Wet Dry Amp diagram.
Before the guitar tone that will be used for all five distribution destinations the dry guitar tone passes through the “Front-end Ditto Looper” box.
The Cave Dual Ditto Looping Process:
The Muse Guitarist Cave Studio integrates a dual Ditto pedal loop recording system. This design has a Dry “Front-end Ditto Looper” box and a Wet “Back-end Ditto Looper” box.
The first step is to use the Cave Metronome to identify the Beats Per Minute, the BPM, and write down the beats per minute. The BPM will be required when transferring the finished composition to the DAW in the last step.
Record the song structure reference using the metronome BPM. This will ensure that the transferred Ditto reference track can be synchronized with the Reaper DAW template reference track.
The Core guitar tone is captured for composition experimentation after the JHS Colour Box and gain-staged using the BOSS EQ-200 channel 1. This is the dry tone shaping performance used when transferring to the Back-end Ditto with wet effects.
The Front-end Ditto is used to record the performance that feeds the Back-end Ditto. Any additional layered performances with have inspirational wet effects from the Black Spirit 200 Floor effects loop.
When a good loop has been created it is transferred to the Back-end Ditto Looper box using channel 2 of the BOSS EQ-200 for gain-staging.
The Black Spirit 200 Floor is used, with its effects loop that feeds the BOSS EQ-200 channel 2, to send the 1st Dry DITTO track to the 2nd Wet DITTO, the Back-end Ditto Looper with effects.
Using the effect pedals from the effects loop configured in the Black Spirit 200 Floor amp an inspirational loop is recorded when transferred the Back-end Ditto Looper.
The composite recording from the dry front-end Ditto, combined with the wet effects from the Black Spirit 200 Floor, frees the performance for a reference melody track performance.
The composition reference can be sent to one or more Cave DAW tracks using the the direct out from any of the Direct Ins available in the architecture.
Use the BPM created with the studio metronome before the creation of the original Front-end Ditto performance.
The output of the Back-end Ditto Looper is the guitar source that feeds all five distribution destinations.