Recent Wisdoms

Chasing the Brown Sound

This is my first video post since I started transitioning in 2016. I've been really insecure regarding my voice, but it is what it is. I'm a girly-girl, but I don't sound like one. Whaddaygunnado??


I've been chasing Eddie's magical tone for longer than I can remember. I knew his amp was a 100 watt Marshall "Plexi", but knowing a thing, and experiencing a thing, are two completely different enchiladas.


Six years ago I had the privilege of hearing and playing one of these mythical unicorns in person. In short, it was life changing. I knew it was extremely unlikely that I'd ever be able to afford a beast like that, but I had to have one. And so began the quest to see if I could build one of them. This is that story.


No actual Van Halen recordings are used in this video. The 4 songs are covers performed by my bandmate Bryan Evans Gill IV through a Stormhenge Superthump 50 amplifier I designed and built for him.


ATBL is played on two different guitars. We actually talked more in depth during this session about selecting the right guitar, but that will have to wait for the next video. And yes, Bryan knows he got the chug rhythm wrong on "Hot For Teacher.." And yes, we know that the white strat was the wrong sounding guitar to use for ATBL, but we had a deadline to get this video up so it could be embedded in an article Make Magazine was doing on the band and my tinkering endeavors. We'll do a more comprehensive Brown Sound and Performance video in the future, and walk you through finding the right guitar for the right tone.

-----notes-----

The tunings Bryan discusses are

Eb for Unchained.

Eb +18cents for ATBL

Eb +28cents for Runnin' with the Devil

The sound on the Montrose record I'm referring to, is on the song 'Rock Candy' which was Ronnie playing Eric Messenger's 100w Plexi (no variac) through a Marshall cabinet loaded with Celestion pre- ROLA greenbacks and JBL D120F's taken out of a Fender Twin. Giving the cab 190W capacity - a formula which Landee would use again on VH 1.

I made it sound like I definitively know that the chorusing effect coming from the speakers is caused by a very short delay.... but I could very well be wrong about that. It's definitely coming from the speakers, cuz it's there, live, in the room without being mic'd, but I'm still not 100% certain of what's actually happening there.


And, finally, I've been spoiled by my iPhone's portrait mode, and have since stopped wearing foundation, like, at all.... annnnnnd, so I forgot, that HD video is not quite as forgiving as my phone... I'm sorry I look so hideous. I'll put in the extra 2 minutes to cover my face in mud next time.