The first and most obvious element about Joseph’s setup is the dual microphones. He uses two Shure SM58 mic’s to achieve clear vocal quality for his various inputs.
The left mic is used for his main vocals, which generally have to be louder than the loop that he sets up. The right mic is connected directly into the loop pedal. It is kept at a lower volume to minimize background noise looping. This is where normal feedback from the speakers to the microphone is looped aswell, slowly building into a large noise that drowns out the loops of guitar and vocals. He uses the recording (right) mic to do harmonies, background vocals and beatboxing.
The main vocal harmonies are created by the use of a Boss VE-2. This can create voices in real time an octave below, a fifth below, a third below, in unison, a third above, a fifth above and an octave above, or sometimes many at the same time.
The VE-2 Vocal Harmonizer receives a signal from the main microphone and the guitar. The pedal automatically works out the chord being played from the guitar input and harmonizes the main vocal mic to a pitch shifted version. Extra accuracy can be achieved by setting the key manually in a hybrid mode on the pedal, where it combines the incoming chord from the guitar to the stated key on the pedal.
A three track looper with onboard effects is all that Joseph needs to create a sound similar to that of a 5 piece band. This is what the whole live performance revolves around.
Filling out the main and backing vocals, drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitar, he’s a one man band!
The looper isn’t just a pedal though, it’s used like an instrument to create crescendos and silences throughout the performance. Joseph usually separates the various parts, such as bass and drums, onto various tracks to allow instantaneous drop ins and outs of all the parts.
Effects are easier controlled externally than all in the loop station. Currently, Joseph owns the OC-3 (an octave harmonizer for creating bass guitar sounds), TU-3 (a tuner pedal), a GE-7 (a graphic equaliser and booster), and the DS-1 (a distortion pedal).
The TU-3 has a bright LED interface and has a sound cut-off feature for tuning purposes, saving (the majority of) you from the tuning noise that nobody loves!
The OC-3 allows for a deeper distortion sound by adding the extra below octave, and also functions as a pedal that turns a normal guitar into a bass. It even has an inbuilt overdrive setting for heavy guitar solos or rhythm guitar, perfect for Nirvana covers!
The DS-1 ties in perfectly with this, distorting the sound even more, to get a great distortion tone.
The GE-7 allows solos and individual riffs to be boosted to make them more prominent in the loop soundscape.
It also doubles as a booster for soft picked songs, as the volume difference between chords being strummed and picking patterns is quite dramatic.
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