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MY MORNING JACKET EXTRAS: CARL BROEMEL’S SIGNAL PATHS, TRACK-BY-TRACK

November 10, 2008
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My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel explicitly details his gear choices for every song of the band's recent release Evil Urges.

“I try to keep notes on all guitar and amp choices for each song just in case I want to go back and fix anything later, or to refer to when we rehearse for a tour,” says My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel. “As a rule, I start with the gear that I am most used to, the amps and guitars I use while we’re on the road. When that doesn’t do the trick, I go hunting for sounds. Since most of the guitars were done live, pedal choices were just as key for this record as guitars and amps. I needed to be able to switch sounds quickly during songs like I would at a show.”

“Evil Urges”
“For ‘Evil Urges’ I borrowed Jim [James’] Ovation 12-string electric.  It’s like the Preacher model, but with 12 strings.  It’s a particularly loud, trebly and evil-sounding guitar. I liked the way the12-string sounded on the intro chords, so I used it through the whole song. This went through a Square Fish Electronics compressor, an Ibanez Tube Screamer, a SIB Mr. Echo (for the end section), a Z.Vex Super Hard-On pedal, into an Orange Rockerverb 50 2x12-inch combo amp and a ‘70s Peavey Vegas solid-state amp with a 15-inch speaker. Both of these amps were able to be loud and really clean, while not sounding too nice.  Somehow this combination sounded both really good and really bad at the same time, which I liked.”

“Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Part 1”
“For ‘Touch Me Part 1’ I used a new Gibson 335, into the Square Fish Electronics compressor, into the Z.Vex Super Hard-On, out to a Carr Vincent 2x12-inch combo (now called the Viceroy), and also out, with a short delay, to a Vox AC-30.  The 335 was the clearest sounding guitar through this set up, and the Viceroy has a really nice reverb tank. Its tone controls are really responsive, so it’s versatile in the studio. Using a short delay on the AC-30 created a little stereo effect. We did this a lot on this album.”

“Highly Suspicious”
“On ‘Highly Suspicious’ I used ‘Blacky’ – my trusted black ’88 Gibson Les Paul Standard – through three different amps: a Fender Pro Junior, a Top Hat Ambassador combo, and a Matchless DC-30.  In front of the Fender and Top Hat amps I had a Fulltone 70 Fuzz pedal (specifically for the solo) and a Radial Tonebone Hot British Tube Distortion pedal was put in front of the Matchless. I remember Jim using a Z.Vex Wooly Mammoth on the solo as well – both fuzz pedals are great, but sound totally different. For the muted section I used a ‘70s Fender Telecaster into the SIB Mr. Echo direct to the desk. Later on, we did a little guitar overdub ‘thickening’ on the big chords using Jim’s Harmony Rocket guitar through an old Sovtek Head.”

“I’m Amazed”
“For ‘I’m Amazed I used ‘Blacky’ again, this time into a Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer and a Z.Vex Super Hard-On, out to my Top Hat Ambassador and Matchless DC-30. It took me two takes and two tracks because the intro part and the main section of the song use a different tunings. Later I put on a few ‘swoopy’ sounds using the Slam function on the SIB Mr. Echo and a Savage Rohr amp.”

“Thank You Too”
“This was ‘Blacky’ into a Fulltone Tube Tape Echo into an Electro-Harmonix Memory Man (with a small delay) between two amps: the Carr Viceroy and the Top Hat Ambassador.  On the intro I played with the repeats on the Fulltone to get it to feedback and get all ‘warbly.’ I don’t take the tape echo out on tour; in its place I’ve been using the Eventide Timefactor. It has a nice tape echo that I can control with my foot in real time.

“Sec Walkin’” and “Librarian”
“I played my Carter 12-string pedal steel through the Fulltone Tube Tape Echo into the Carr Viceroy and my Peavey Vegas.  The Peavey is the classic steel guitar amp: solid state, loud, clean and honky. The Carr gives the steel some smoothness, and roundness.”

“Two Halves”
“I used ‘Blacky’ into a Boss RV-5 digital reverb, a modded Boss TR-2 tremolo, out to the Fender Pro Junior. Later, we did an overdub with the Ovation 12-string into an old tweed Fender Bassman. “ 

“Look at You”  
“I played the Carter pedal steel again here, but this time through a Source Audio Hot Hand Wah. On the original demo for this song, Jim played the electric guitar parts with a wah pedal. Since all my feet are busy with the steel, I couldn’t use a standard wah, and didn’t want to use an auto wah.  That’s why I got the Source Audio. Basically the Hot Hand uses a tiny device you wear on any finger, and the motions of your finger then controls the sweep of the wah or whatever sound you want.”

“Aluminum Park”
“This is ‘Blacky’ again, into the Ibanez Tube Screamer, a Durham Electronics Sex Drive, SIB Mr. Echo (for the solos) and out to the Fender Pro Junior, turned up all the way. Its crazy how smaller amps can sound huge in the studio. The Pro Junior has saved me so many times, and it is so simple too – just a few knobs. It either works perfectly for what you are doing, or not at all.”

“Remnants”
“I used my Gibson Les Paul Goldtop into a Z.Vex Box of Rock, out to the Matchless DC-30. I tend to use ‘Goldy’ when I want a little more clarity than I can get with ‘Blacky.’ The P-90 pickups are what do it. I went with the Matchless because it was the closest thing I had to a Marshall stack, and that was the idea as far as tone goes on this song.”

“Smokin’ From Shootin’”
“I played the Carter pedal steel again through a Fulltone Tape Echo and into the Viceroy and Vegas.  Joe [Chicarelli-producer] sent the signal into an Ursa Major Space Station and the plate reverb at Avatar before hitting the tape.”

“Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Part 2”
“I used ‘Blacky’ here again into the SIB Mr. Echo and a Boss PN-2 tremolo/pan out to the Carr Viceroy and an AC-30.  As an overdub I played the pedal steel into the Eventide Timefactor, out to the Viceroy.” – Shane Mehling




 

 


 

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