So you think you’re analog, eh? You always use physical faders for your volume swells, you only record to tape, and you have that nifty vibrato guitar pedal with a BBD IC chip. I call bullshit. That’s not analog enough! An IC chip? Well, domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, but no arigato. If you want that pedal to be even more analog, you need to send your guitar signal through an aluminum disc covered in oil to rubber pickups. WTF? Here’s one of the biggest stomp boxes you’re likely to ever see, the Tel-Ray Morley RWV Rotating Wah.
Raymond Lubow invented the oil can echo in the 1960s for his company, Tel-Ray Electronics, to be a more reliable device than the tape-based echoes of the time. Smaller than a tape echo, it was also able to be added by amplifier manufacturers to their products. It uses an aluminum disc rotating in an electrostatic oil which brushes against conductive rubber pickups to carry the sound. Raymond used the same technology to create the Morley rotating speaker simulator and shove it into a pedal. The name was a pun on the Leslie (less-lee) rotating cabinet speaker. Thus a company was born and we all got ever-so confused. Now imagine you have a broken one. Fuck.
I have an Amazon Wish List a mile long. They’re dreamy items because I dream of having disposable income to spend on them. Maybe some dreamy billionaire who reads my blog will think I deserve a present. On Christmas Day, my brother surprised me with what he dubbed a “baller gift” from said list. He’s had a good financial year, so he gifted accordingly with a Shure SM7B. Fuck to the yeah.
I don’t own much in the way of equipment that’s not been used. Like, almost nothing. It’s a big deal for me to get something like this without a hunt on craigslist. I’ve wanted a really good vocal mic for some time and the Shure SM7B fit the bill. If it’s good enough for Michael Jackson, then it’s good enough for me. That same logic is how I also got addicted to prescription drugs and why I’m always trying to hang out with Macaulay Culkin.
or, Strategic Harmony Interference Elimination and Lead Defense.
Guitar pickups are electro-magnetic transducers that use changing magnetic fields to induce pulses of alternating current electricity from a coil of copper wire at voltages reproducing audible sine wave frequencies in relation to an absolute ground. I think. Sometimes I prefer the definition as proposed by Messrs. Dope and J; magnets are a “miracle.” Unfortunately, the latter definition does nothing to help understand why my bass might be buzzing like a bee chainsawing an alarm clock when the FOH sound guy turns the lights on and off. There’s two ways to solve the problem. One, you can learn to play the chainsaw.
Or two, you can shield your guitar. Truth be told, it should probably be shielded from you: throwing it around, spilling beer on it, bleeding on it… and by “you” I mean “me.” But the shielding I refer to will protect that precious guitar signal of malodorous melodies from the buzzing bullshit of the outside world.
Sean was nice enough to give me a guitar to use for demoing songs as we write a new record. It was a Halo guitar. I don’t know much about the company, but I’ve had to do some re-working in a few questionable construction issues to get this one up to snuff. One thing that sucked is the cable jack. It was the barrel style. Frankly, they’re total bullshit.
See the tines you can bend back into shape when it loses grip on a plug? No, you don’t, because they don’t exist. These things are notorious for breaking down and needing replacement. I’d had to replace one of Dan’s on the last tour we did in America. Basically, they’re longer, so I guess they’re used to avoid doing a good routing job on a guitar body. The nice people at Halo glued theirs in with wood putty, so that made replacement a non-cinch. I had to rip the fucker out.
Wow, that is something I thought I’d never see… a NEW Ampeg V-4B. While I was doing a search for something else related to my OLD V-4B, I came across the press that this month, Ampeg has re-introduced my favorite all time bass amp back into their line-up. Ain’t she a beaut!
It’s funny that they’ve recreated the V-4B, as the original was a guitar amp. They added the B when bass players started using it, changed a few caps, and ditched the reverb. As a guitar amp, it ruled, but as a bass amp, it surprisingly ruled even harder.
There’s nothing impressive about a seven and a half foot tall robot that’s mute. That’s the issue we were having with Sean’s literal diabolus ex machina, the Killbot. Sean had made an impressive robot costume, lit up by yours truly which I covered in a previous post. He’s replete with spikes, claw, glowing brain, and a giant pepper-spray cannon. But his titular song called for the robot to do vocals. Being total nonces when it comes to playing along with a click-track and samples, we were stuck with a voiceless leviathan… and then came along the Electro-Harmonix V256 Vocoder Pedal.
Yes, it’s a tad thrashed. We play “thrash metal,” after all. And when Killbot springs forth from backstage, it is a sight to behold. He towers over us, punches me in the head, sprays the crowd, and it’s even better when he’s got something to say. The V256, released sometime in 2009, was just what we were looking for to complete this part of our act.
This is by far the biggest pedal you’ll ever find that does so little. The Morley VOL volume pedal is a gigantic chrome monstrosity, powered directly by AC and it does one thing: turn you down. Looking at an original from the ’70s, gleaming and polished, it’s definitely a beauty, but is it worth it?
The first thing ya gotta ask yerself, do you need a volume pedal? Guitars and basses usually have a knob that does the same thing right there next to your hand. You should try using it! There are those, however, who might use a volume pedal for swells and, uh… that’s pretty much it. Presuming you need a volume pedal, it’s best to take a closer look before you make room on your pedal board for this one-trick pony that’s the size of a pony.
When Tel-Ray Morley was started, guitar effects were in their infancy. It was novel for a guitar player to have even one effect on stage. The Morley design didn’t seem so ridiculous then. Wouldn’t you want your one pedal to be a nice, big, beautiful chrome monster? As the 1970s continued, guitar players only added a couple pedals to their line-up, the price being prohibitive and the pedals being enormous. Then BOSS introduced their still distinctive line of affordable, compact pedals in the 1980s; the world of ridiculously large pedal boards began. Enter the Morley SEL.
As far as I can tell, this must’ve been Morley’s attempt to keep up with the times. It’s got that distinctly enormous Morley look they kept for over a decade, but it doesn’t do something new. It’s an effect switcher. It’s not a true-bypass box, it just bypasses up to five effects. So do those effects’ on-off switches. Pointless? You can see where this is going.