Five Faces of the MESA/Boogie Fillmore Series featuring Jamie Humphries – Part Four – Classic Rock
In this fourth part of a multi session series, MESA artists Jamie Humphries runs through a 70’s inspired Classic Rock style track inspired by such artists as Cry of Love, The Black Crowes, The Rolling Stone, Led Zeppelin as well as other bands from this genre, showcasing a wide variety of tones available from the Fillmore 50 combo. This track focuses on driven tones using both the “Drive” and “Hi” modes on the two channels. Several different guitars have been used showcasing both humbucker and single coil driven tones, as well as open G tuning, 12 string and slide parts. This track perfectly showcases how versatile the Fillmore is with in a classic rock context, producing mildly driven, to higher gain tones.
The main riff is in open G tuning reminiscent of the Black Crowes and the Rolling Stones. This tone uses a single coil setting on the guitar, with a mild overdrive that produces both punch as well as allowing the characteristics of the open tuning to be heard, with the notes of the open tuned chords and riffs remaining audible and clean. Although this tone required clarity and top end presence, the bass control of the Fillmore 50 adds weight and depth to the tone, while the mid range control helps the tone find its space in the mix.
The second tone uses the same settings as our first tone, but utilizes a humbucker pickup selection as opposed to the single coil heard in the opening section of the track. Once again this section makes use of the open G tuning, and serves as a great comparison of how a tone will react to the thicker higher output of the humbucker. From a music standpoint, the idea was to also sonically lift this section of the song without dramatically changing the tone. You can hear the amp being pushed slightly harder producing more gain, yet there is clarity in the chord voicing’s, with separation between the notes.
The third tone makes use of a 12 string electric guitar in open G tuning, and has a firm nod towards Led Zeppelin guitar legend Jimmy Page. This tone required less gain, due to the nature of the 12 string, as well was pulling out some mid range to enable the tone to sit in the mix. The bass was pulled back slightly while the treble and presence were mildly pushed to produced a “jangly” scooped tone. The bridge humbucker was used to allow some mild break up, but with the lower gain setting it’s possible to see how well voiced the gain control sweep is, achieving mildly pushed tones with ease.
Tone four was back to the open G guitar for some slide licks that can be heard at various points in the track, loosely referencing the style of Joe Walsh. For this tone the guitar was using two single coil pickups running in series, performing with either pick or fingers depending on the section. Set to the “Drive” mode the gain was pushed up but not saturated, giving plenty of sustain, while the bass was pulled back and the mid range, treble and presence were pushed. The reverb was also increased helping the notes blend together with an organic ambience.
Tone five, the final tone, and it was time for some good old classic British inspired gain for the main solo. A standard tuned guitar with low output pickups was used for the solo, with the Fillmore set to the “Hi” mode for increased gain and punch. The gain was pushed quite high for the solo, for plenty of sustain, aiding bends and fluid lines. The treble and mid were pulled back while the bass was pushed to give a thick woody lead tone. The presence was pushed slightly for some “sheen” to the tone, while the reverb was pulled back to keep the lead tone direct and focused. While this is a thick gain soaked sound you can really hear the tone of the guitar, with the perfectly voiced gain and EQ controls producing clarity, punch and dynamics.
Stay tuned for part five of this five part series!
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