Monthly Archives: September 2012

  1. Duane Denison Talks with Tone Tribune!!

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    September 27, 2012 by tonetribune

    Duane Denison

  2. Rowland S Howard


    September 26, 2012 by tonetribune

    With most great artists, you can attribute their signature sound to the environment in which they grew. Picture one of …
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  3. Harmonic Percolator


    September 25, 2012 by tonetribune

    Harmonic Percolator

    This elusive little device was a rare circuit devised in Milwaukee by Ed Giese in the 1970’s.

    It was designed to suppress odd order harmonics and pass on even order harmonics that are supposedly more pleasing to the ear. This is ironic only in the sense that it has been popularized by Steve Albini, who is responsible for some of the most dissonent (although very pleasing to my ear) tonalities ever created by guitar.

    If you are interested in sounding like Albini (I am not) do not think that this pedal will be an “in a can” solution to your sonic mimicry. There are far more interesting attributes to this amazing little device and it can be used in many applications.

    My favorite is to set the balance slider just above unity gain and keep the harmonics slider below half way. These settings yield a very pleasing sizzle to your signal that seems to grab hold of the initial attack of your note and release it slowly in to a bloom of harmonic bliss that sustains much like a perfectly dialed-in vintage compressor.

    Pass the halfway mark of the harmonics slider and you are rewarded with a thick, muscular fuzz-tone that is not missing frequencies anywhere in the tonal spectrum making this a must for bass players, and synth abusers who want a unique overdrive or fuzz.

    If you want a unique and classic stompbox that runs away from the pack and sounds great through tube and solid-state amps, this is a great option. No annoying, anemic, mid-humped, nasal whine or low/ high-end loss here.

    The originals are as elusive as the proverbial rocking horse monkey tail, so if you want a spot-on repro like the one I have here you can see if Chuck Collins will build you one at this link.

  4. Moog Voyager

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    September 25, 2012 by tonetribune

    Moog Voyager

    In the days of midi controllers and DAW’s where you have emulations of classic sounds spoon-fed to you we often forget that these programs used to be actual instruments that you interacted with directly using knobs, sliders and your fingers.

    For those of you who have played a vintage analogue synth, you know that it is really hard to replace that certain magic of interacting with an actual unit that was designed to be physically controlled by the user. You feel as though you are the captain of a sonic spaceship that interacts directly with your body as you turn the knobs, tweak the sliders and hear the wonderful sound of electricity flowing through the different tributaries of the circuits.

    The downside to these wonderful instruments is the sheer complexity of manufacture and engineering insuring that you had to practically re-mortgage your home to by one and they could be quite fragile with all those components being constantly twisted and adjusted.

    That was then, this is now….

    Enter the Moog Voyager. Captains blog, star-date 25/09/2012…

    I have been captaining this sonic spaceship for many years now and I go where no man has gone before every time I take the helm. Every time you take a voyage it is a unique experience. From percussive touch-screen taps to fat LFO undulations you probe the outer limits of sonic boundaries and leave your body behind.

    This is the pinnacle of analogue synthesis and one of the last visions of the late Bob Moog himself. He lives on in spiritual sonority and continues to electrify eardrums with his tantalizing timbres.

  5. MXR M117 Flanger & John Mcgeoch


    September 25, 2012 by tonetribune

    MXR M117 Flanger and John Mcgeoch

    Everyone knows about the Van Halen connection to this classic, warm and dynamic Flanger, so let us talk about another guitar legend that influenced just as many players with the help of this wild pedal.

    Enter John Mcheoch. He was one of the most imaginative and fearless English guitar players of his generation, without a hint of retrograde blues-rock in his style. His haunting ethereal tones can be heard on records by post-punk legends like Visage, Magazine and most famously Siouxsie and the Banshees. He loved the M117 so much he attached it to a stand so he could tweak it on the fly during performance and it was the only effect he used.

    If you are skeptical about Flangers in general, (as most people are,) then you have not plugged in to this 18-volt gray box. Though the Flanger is known for it’s jet-plane swoosh, you can dial in beautiful, subtle, rotating-speaker effects and other warm, chewy textures as well.

    To get a real dose of this classic effect being wielded by a master, listen to the 1981 album Juju by Siousxie and the Banshees and then try to tell me the flanger is best used in moderation…

  6. Swart Atomic Space Tone

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    September 25, 2012 by tonetribune

    Swart Atomic Space Tone

    This little blue-sparkle bruiser is an 18watt, 6v6 driven tone machine that I had built for me by Michael Swart back in 2007.

    It has a round, articulate clean sound that slowly breaks up as you increase the volume into a velvety crunch that walks the tonal tightrope between an overpowered champ and a classic 18w Marshall.

    The tremolo is a round, throbbing pulse that is simply stunning to behold. It inspired many late nights of dirgey hypno-riffing that could comatose a cobra or cause an involuntary flashback or two.

    One neat trick with all of the reverb-endowed Swart circuits is to cut the master volume to zero and turn up the Space/reverb knob. You are now gonna see Rod Serling round the corner in mid-conversation explaining that your reality is “one not of time or of matter but of SPACE.” This is a darker reverb than that of a classic blackface, but equally inspiring and suits the amps voice beautifully. I used these extensively during my time in Knoxville’s favorite baroque-assed garage-bachers The Cheat. Buy the vinyl here and support one of the USA’s coolest/oldest indie labels.

    If you want a truly unique amp that displays all the best atributes of a vintage supro, champ, 18w Marshall and even a little AC15 sparkle in a portable, beautiful package, go to and check out these handmade beauties for yourself.

  7. Welcome to Tone Tribune!!!

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    September 19, 2012 by tonetribune

    Welcome to Tone Tribune!!!

    Hello gearheads, tonehounds, and music fanatics……

    Welcome to my digital dais and your new source of sonic sorcery.

    Here, we will share our knowledge and opinions on all things music related. Gear reviews, tech-talk, album impressions, pedals, amps, synthes and guitars. The total tonal gamut will be covered and celebrated.