As in the similar article for the PX-1, this article is a discussion on how to emulate a famous artists 'tone'. Remember that these are only simulations and as such will never really be that accurate. It's important to remember that old adage that it's "all in the fingers!"
The most important factor to consider when emulating a particular sound is the equipment used. This includes :
For the purposes of this article, let us imagine trying to emulate Ritchie Blackmore's "core" tone. For Ritchie's tone I'm going for the tone he used during the period from In Rock to Burn. The equipment used by Ritchie onstage at the time was usually :
To similate Ritchie's tone from the guitar end, it's preferable to use a Strat type guitar. Ritchie only ever used Neck or Bridge pick-ups seperately. You can always use coil-tapped humbuckers, or you could use a medium power humbucker.
The Revox was most famously used on the intro of Mistreated from Burn. The Marshall Major amps he used (3) are a topic of debate as Ritchie brought it down to the Marshall factory to be modified to make it sound more like his Vox AC30 (as used on the first 3 Deep Purple albums). Here there is a difference of opinion. Ritchie claims that they fitted an extra output stage whereas Marshall insist that they cascaded the pre-amps between the channels to create a crude master volume amp. I don't think Ritchie really liked them that much as he toasted one of those 278 (true) watt babies at the California Jam and chucked the remains over the side (plus a couple of White Strats - perhaps it was a comment about the quality of 70's Strats!). Ritchie now endorses 50 watt Engl amps from Germany.
With the Pandora PX-1, the first part of the signal chain to consider is the Drive section. Ritchie of course used Marshall Majors and as he said in a interview once (I think it was for Guitar Player in the 70's) he usually turned them all the way up. I have decided to use the Valve mode as it has the "high gain distortion of a vintage amp". And of course the Drive amount is 30!
Name Drv+Val EQ Mod+Val Amb+Val CR+Val THR Lvl BLKMORE Valve 30
On the PX-2 the EQ section is much easier to understand than on the PX-1. Setting EQ levels is generally to the taste of the user. When I wrote this patch I used a bass boost of 6 and a treble boost of 15 to give it the sound bite. My main reference when setting the EQ was Burn which not only has a wicked tone but is probably Purple's best song (mmm....)
Name Drv+Val EQ Mod+Val Amb+Val CR+Val THR Lvl BLKMORE Valve 30 L6/H15
The next section to consider is Mod. However, because Ritchie generally doesn't use modulation effects (well he did use the Wah-Wah on a couple of tunes) we shall pass over Mod and go over to Amb. At this stage it is important to bare in mind that Ritchie often strove for a powerful 'live' sound in the studio, so I'm going to program in a Hall reverb. To avoid the sound becoming too distant I'm going to set the wet-dry ratio to 14.
Name Drv+Val EQ Mod+Val Amb+Val CR+Val THR Lvl BLKMORE Valve 30 L6/H15 na Hall 14
The next stage to consider is the cabinet resonator. This helps determine the character that the sound will take on. The PX-2's cabinet resonator is more advanced than the PX-1's so there's more scope for subtly. However, in the world of Rock (or even Rawk!) subtlety is for losers! As Ritchie generally used Marshall Majors, the Cabinet Resonator I'm going to use here is Stack 2 to provide a lot more mids for an OTT style.
Name Drv+Val EQ Mod+Val Amb+Val CR+Val THR Lvl BLKMORE Valve 30 L6/H15 na Hall 14 Stack2 8
I've left the noise reduction and overall level columns empty as these are very much dependant on the guitar and the player's discretion.
This basic patch can be modified whatever way you like. You could replace the Reverb with an echo to simulate the Revox unit. Conversley, you could replace the Reverb with an ambient delay (Delay 1). This would then enable you to add a Mod effect such as Awah to play songs like Stormbringer.
Please note that this is only a short guide. Eventually I hope to have articles on each effect block in the near future.
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