the nerve center

The amplifier/effects/synthesizer rig that has served as the brain of the s2n GX sound has evolved into its present state over many years, starting strictly as Blair's live guitar rig. It has grown to encompass MIDI synthesizers for floor pedal use, mixers for use by the ASIA instruments, and bass guitar amps for the GX. For clarity, these four signal chains will be summarized below in their sequence, from instrument to audible sound.

A. GX guitar
GX - Shure ULX wireless - Rane 5-band parametric EQ - Rivera A/B/Y box(remote control) to alternate between:

'dirty' sound - custom mechanical relay effects switching system: remote full-bypass in/out selection of Boss Auto-Wah FT-2 and Dimension C Chorus DC-2, E-H Electric Mistress Flanger, ADA Flanger, Dunlop Uni-Vibe and Tremolo, (2)Boss RPS-10 Pitch Shifter/Delay - Marshall JMP-1 Tube Preamp - Mesa-Boogie 50/50 Tube Power Amp - Mesa-Boogie Road King cabinet with 2 12" Vintage 30 Celestion speakers(closed side) - (Sennheiser e609 mounted mic);

'clean' sound - Gallien-Krueger ML260E 2-channel stereo 60W amp - in effects loop: Digitech GSP5 fx - dbx 166 compressor - Mesa-Boogie Road King cabinet with 2 12" C90 Celestion speakers run in stereo(same cabinet, open-backed side) - (Sennehiser e609 mounted mic)

** The ultra-clean solid-state G-K sound is often layered over the dirty JMP-1 sound(sometimes with a momentary foot switch), and occasionally switched to its ultra-knarly distortion side and played on top of the Marshall!

B. GX bass guitar
GX - Shure ULX wireless - Boss volume pedal - Boss CS-3 compressor - Mesa-Boogie M-Pulse 600 amp - Mesa-Boogie Road Ready 6 x 10" cabinet(DI out)

C. MIDI synthesizers
Studiologic MP-13 one-octave MIDI floor pedals(2) - Kawai K-1r II MIDI synth. units(2) - Behringer mixer - (L)effects return of Bass amp(6x10 cab) and (R)JBL Eon 15 amplified speaker(both DI out)

D. ASIA acoustics
ASIA - floor control box - Behringer mixer - (nylon strings)effects return of Bass amp(6x10 cab) and (steel strings)JBL Eon 15 amplified speaker(both DI out)

Four channels are sent to the FOH board: 1. dirty guitar 2. clean guitar 3. bass guitar(synth. L/ASIA nylon) and 4. synth. R(ASIA steel). With a stereo PA, ASIA can be run in full stereo separation. During the s2n set, all channels are used/shared by their various instruments. Listen to any of the live Glue Factory cuts to hear this rig in all its glory.



After months of fitting, wiring, screwing, testing, tweaking, swearing, smashing and apologizing, the new GuitarCross rig consisting of many new Mesa-Boogie major components is up and rockin'! The Edens and G-Ks are on Ebay, and the volume level has doubled. Not to mention the prestige index...

The 6x10 bass cab and the M-Pulse bass head just CRUSH, and the tube power amp and 4x12 RoadKing cab make the clean and dirty guitar FAT and sizzlin'...and the shock-mount rack houses the guts in an impossibly unliftable array that'd make John Petrucci blush with delight.

With cord looms fore and aft, the idea is to be able to roll the pieces into place, take the covers off, make a minimum of connections, and be playing the GuitarCross in all its perverted glory within FIVE MINUTES. Likewise on teardown...five minutes and 'outta' there' for the next chumps to have their say!

Now it's time to roll this rig into the studio for some new tracks, then onto many a stage for some payin'-the-dues road wear! First, we'll take some pictures...