You may remember from my previous post that I’ve been looking for a new tube amp to join my Kemper Profiling Amplifier in Ember Studios. At the time I thought I’d get one of the more interesting micro-amps out there. Well, I’ve brought a new amp into the studio, but it’s not a micro amp after all. It is the Laney Ironheart. I’m going to include a cut so that those of you who don’t care about gear can be spared a long review. But for those who do care, below the cut are both my thoughts and some quick sloppy clips to illustrate them.
Did you know that Rush will release their first new album since 2007 on June 12, 2012? Rush is a favorite of the Ember Members; in fact, we recorded a cover of Subdivisions while we were working on The Misery EP. To show our general appreciation for Rush, here is our cover. Enjoy!
Today, “the father of loud,” the “Guv’nor” has passed away, at 88 years old. Dr. Jim Marshall OBE, inventor of Marshall amplifiers, has left the building. I’ll leave the biographies and obituaries to other sites; here’s how my life intersected with his inventions.
When I was first falling in love with music, it was with Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page’s guitar sound became the sound I heard in my head, for what I wanted to sound like. And part of that sound was the Marshall amplifier.
You see, a guitar amplifier doesn’t simply make something soft louder. It’s circuits and tubes change the tone, add richness and depth and rumble and grit and energy—and if you turn up the gain or volume like the classic hard rock and metal artists did, that distortion that could go from creamy to gut-wrenching.
When I started playing clubs, as soon as I could save up enough money I bought a Marshall speaker cabinet, then a Marshall amplifier “head.” Even when I started playing clubs all the time and moved to a “rack of doom” rig, I used a digital preamp and a tube power amp from Marshall. Marshall was always the sound I heard in my head. Even later when I moved to more boutique amps with esoteric features and tonal options, the sounds I was chasing, more often than not, were variations on the Marshall sound.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Jim Marshall’s particular tonal sensibilities shaped much of the music that we grew up with and loved, indirectly weaving his way into the joy and dreams of millions of fans and musicians. Thank you for the dreams you inspired in me, Dr. Marshall, and may your dreams be as sweet.
That’s right, Ember After has infiltrated another music store! We now have an artist page on Google Play.
Right now, you can listen to and purchase The Misery EP. We’re working on getting all of our music available there. Go get it!
I find that between releases is the perfect time to swap out gear and bring new instruments and processors into Ember Studios. New sonic textures and instruments inspire creativity, bring new excitement, and helps keep everything fresh. I’ve sold a number of cherished instruments and processors and over the next month or so, I’ll be adding new tools and toys and writing about it here. I’ve had a weekend to play with the first new addition, a TC Electronic TonePrint delay pedal called the Alter Ego, a customized version of their Flashback delay that was designed in cooperation with ProGuitarShop.
More after the cut! (more…)