It would be almost impossible to list here all the Gear which Francesco D’Andrea uses to craft his sounds.
Here is some of his favourites brands and tools that he uses to record his works, commented in his own words:
“In the overcrowded world of overdrive pedals, Nunomo LLC brings some fresh air with the “Limbo” pedal. With a variable clipping voltage circuit, this tone shaping machine can give you compressed or uncompressed signal, and can in this way match perfectly with any kind of guitar, pickups and humbuckers. I’m having lots of fun today with this pedal, and suggest every guitar & pedal geek to pay attention to this one! Well done Nunomo!”
Fluid Audio makes some of the best sounding, affordable and reliable monitoring speakers in the business. They clearly know what they’re doing. If you need your mixes to sound good in the friend’s car or iphone as in studio, they offer some great products in a wide range of budgets. I’m rockin’ through a pair of FX8, which sound as good as they look! Plus, I feel like I can have a much wider sweet spot, I can move around with my chair in studio and still have always a focused sound, so I don’t get lost or distracted while mixing! Great stuff, check them out also on Facebook.
“I’m playing with the Cosmic Combo by Fluxmachines and it’s frankly unbelievable! I didn’t expect it to work in this way and with this kind of sound. The volume output is terrific and it sounds like some kind of tone bender fuzz?! When I play with volume knob on my guitar, if rolled back it’s like cleaning and having more headroom at the same time. The pedal really reacts beautifully to several volume settings on both guitar and amp.I’ve found that on a deluxe reverb playing a strat, it sounds great with pedal volume at max, and deluxe reverb at just 2 of volume…I’d say this is an impressive machine, I’m sure I’m going to do a lot of recording with this one, the sound is thick, menacing but creamy at the same time….”
“I’m playing with the Charlie Special and the Thinman by Ddyna Music, and they’re incredible tools to tweak your sounds in details. They both can be used to achieve a nice array of drive sounds, or as tone sweetener, for which I have found the Charlie Special to be really gentle and great at doing so. I’m still having the impression to play the same guitar, with the same amp and the same feel, but where everything just got much better and warm. At the same time, you’ll have plenty of options to define your dirt signal, shape your transients with the limiting functions, and push your amp in a very effective way. Highly recommended”
“The OverZoid by SviSound is easily one of the best semi-transparent overdrives I had the chance to test lately. The bottom end, at any setting, is just awesome. Until now I didn’t find a way to set knobs that didn’t sound good, and if you use with low gain and high volume, it’s just an awesome tool to give new life to a dull sounding guitar. With its bite and high fidelity type of sound, it makes a drive with something like a Xotic EP boost in it! This might be easily my “always on” pedal, as it also stacks really well in front of other drive pedals. I’m probably recording 2 or 3 tracks for my next work with it, and many others in future.”
“I’m recording some new guitar tracks with the amazing Minotaur made by Velvet Pedals. It makes any other drive/distorsion unit sound better, more focused, sparkling and chunkier at the same time.
Compared to a Soul Food, which is conceived to do the same, the Minotaur is much more open sounding and has a more solid bottom end, and it really works great with gain and treble at one o’ clock to push a Deluxe Reverb or a tweed amp together with a Green Rhino or similar overdrives. I also get the feel of a much more pleasant attack and sustain on my guitar, as this pedal really makes anything plays like butter, and better! I’m wondering if I should get a second one one day to stack them together…”
The Sun Beam Magic Drive by +AleksKProduction is letting me have thick, creamy and articulate sounds at any amp volume. Even with the natural compression of higher gain settings, it’s a really musical drive, perfect on starts, with the density control that beefs up the sound, but preserves the guitar’s nature.
I tried it also on a solid state amp, and gave me nonetheless warm and tube-like results, which is great. Makes wonders with the Deluxe Reverb reissue, and gave me a nice, controlled and meaty grit with my resonator steel when playing bottleneck style! This guy is definitely a keeper! Check it out! Really great stuff!
“I’m playing relentlessly my Vibe Machine pedal by DryBell, and its deep throb and articulate, watery sound is just incredible! The low end is preserved, unlike other vibe pedals, and works great with both humbuckers and single coils. Besides normal chorus/vibrato and bright/original switches, it has very cool trip pots to adjust volumes and other parameters, and an internal jumper to adjust and make the pedal ramp down slowly, just like a real rotating speaker. And it’s all packed in a tiny, nice enclosure that won’t take much space on your pedalboard. If you need a great vibe pedal, very tweakable and capable of many things despite it’s small foot print, check this little great guy at http://drybell.com/”
Elteko Sound Design
“The Zoo Drive made by Mr.Ilko Silvia at Elteko Sound Design is an awesome multi-drive guitar effect and exceptional, versatile design. To understand it in full and explore all the tonal capabilities, this machine requires attention to details, and a good set of ears. I pride myself to be attentive to tone nuances, and this glorious drive is for this reason a very special addition to my arsenal! If you visit http://www.eltekodesign.com/ you’ll surely find in details any explanation on this pedal, better explained than I would ever do. What is sure, is that this little guy is worth all the money it costs, and much more. I’m planning to use it in my next album work and next soundtracks to come…I could even use it to record direct to console, as its internal switches allow to shape and filter frequencies in a amp-like way that’s very musical! I realize that with one purchase, you have gear for more occasions than you’d ever think….”
“I already knew Carl Martin because of their exceptional Plexitone and Hot Drive n’ boost….but lately I’ve been awestruck, even more, by their AC-Tone. As usual, the headroom is unbelievable, probably because of the internal power supply. I’ve been testing the pedal with a variety of amps, and I have the impression that even the pedal does a very great rendition of a VOX, there’s still present the character of the amp you’re plugging it in. And I like that. Often, when playing amp-like pedals, you really have the feeling of playing a pedal, not the actual amp. I had the pleasure to forget this when playing the Ac-Tone. And it allows for a variety of tones that remain in a chimey Vox-ish territory, but let you modify at your liking based on the amp you use. And because it’s basically two pedals in one (drive/boost) and each one does its job so well, I’m sure it’s taking a permanent place on my live pedalboard! I’m looking forward to record with this for my next soundtrack, for some very singing and bell-like tones I have in mind. The pedal works great with my Marshall and Orange, but really shined on a Deluxe Reverb reissue. Do yourself a favour and try this pedal when you have the chance!” Check it out: http://carlmartin.com/
“If you’re looking for a powerful, easy to use DI pedal for your bass, look at the great WTDI pedal by Eden Electronics. It’s a great tool in live situations, but even more useful in studio for recordings, with a really usable 3 stage EQ section, mid shift and bass boost. Quite a tiny nice small enclosure for such a professional sounding pedal, and I love that! Plus, I’m recording some bass tracks with it now, and it’s really helping a lot to make the bass sit well in the mix. With minor tweaks I’m making huge changes to my bass sound, and that’s a huge help. I’m testing it even on a Squier bass, and it adds a lot of character to it!” Check it out: http://www.edenamps.com/
“Changing strings to many of my guitars with La Bella Strings. They sound so clear and sharp, and reveal so much of the different guitar woods, that I now recognize the different characters of my different guitars! Sometimes simple, well made things do so much for your tone! http://www.labella.com/”
Creation Audio Labs
“I’m playing the Holy Fire 9 overdrive distorsion, remarkably made by Creation Audio Labs, near Nashville. It’s gonna become a staple on my board, because of its large range of drive/distorsion tones, its touch-response and dynamic capabilities, and nonetheless, it’s cool and aggressive looks! The hi-cut filter really delivers, and it surely sounds warm and tube-like! Check it out on their website: http://www.creationaudiolabs.com/ Looking forward to use it on my next soundtracks and rock album!”
6 Degrees FX
Having great time with my new R3 Distorsion pedal by 6 Degrees Music! A great RAT rendition, works great with level set quite high, to then allow guitar’s knob to control tones and volumes! A very versatile fx, with plenty of tonal options and a thick yet creamy grit! I think I’ll surely use it on my strats, as it seems to shine through my amps especially with single coils. A great pedals, sounds perfect, looks amazing….give it a try if you need a great distorsion pedal! http://6degreesfx.com/
“The Mojo 12 HR sounds great. So much versatility with the pentode/triode switch and the Hi/Mi/Low power attenuator. Its got great clean tones and excels with guitars that naturally have a larger bottom hand, like LPs, or woody textures, like a walnut bodied Fender Stratocaster. Hard to describe its sounds! I was able to get fat tones with pickups in neck positions that sometimes were nearly “tweedy”, but with some textures that remind me a much more modern Marshall JCM900. Great “sky” knob for some hi frequencies push. Really useful to open up the sound. Incredible value for the price, and its got plenty of tonal options, all very usable. A nice tool also for in studio recordings at low volume, or different gigs situations. And it worked really well with my Airline MAP Baritone guitar as well! Check them out, very nice stuff!” http://www.kldguitar.com/ http://www.mojomusicalproducts.co.uk/home
“I’ve used VFE Blueprint and Dark Horse in many records, they helped me so much to get the tonal shapes I needed for my projects, so many times. In particular, Dark Horse has a particular, complex grit which is a pleasure to record. I recently got ‘The Scream’ and ‘The Triplet’ to add even more nuances to my guitar tracks, and I am just astonished by the quality. The Scream is probably one of the best and most versatile overdrive pedals on the market, and translates perfectly into my mixes. The Triplet is a surprise at each time I tweak knobs, it has so many sounds: with gain at max, just a touch of compression and octave, and filter at one o’ clock, I get a rich and dynamic sound that is hard to describe…I will probably add more pedals from VFE to my collection.” Check VFE Pedals by clicking here
“When it comes to pedals it’s always a though choice. Mainly because there are so many out there. Ryan of McCaffrey Audio has probably one of the best ear set in the whole market of pedal manufacturers. I have a large collection of drive pedals, but his ‘Zero to Sixty’ drive is one of the most comprehensive dirty tones I’m able to get right now on my pedalboard. I’m looking forward to record this beast in my next soundtracks and live performances. The boost switch is awesome. When engaged, I like it with the shift in mid position and the tone at eleven o’ clock, and just a little bit of drive. I will use this especially with my Fender DRRI Reverb, it’s a perfect match.” Check out McCaffrey Audio pedals right here.
Impact Picks Micro-Grip Series is a great pick for dynamic and aggressive strumming which gives the artist the ability to pick up lead lines more easily between rhythm strokes.
Impact Picks jazz pick the “Precision 1.2M”. The 1.2M Jazz Pick is great pick for lead work. Having a specially designed edge for dynamic picking and long life, you will surely enjoy playing in ways you never have until now.