Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Tom Humphrey, songwriter and guitarist of Milk White Throat. We are based in Brighton, UK and play a concoction of prog rock, metal and alternative styles, influenced by Tool, The Mars Volta, Mastodon and countless other great artists.
In 2014 we released our self-produced debut album ‘Death of Beauty’. This was a collection of songs we had been writing over 2 years and our first attempt at recording a full album.
We have been gigging regularly around the South of England and in 2016 we aim to travel further afield to tour a new set of songs, some of which will be recorded in the form of a new E.P in early 2016.
What do you use?
My live set up consists of my PRS Custom 24 in Whale Blue, an Orange Rockerverb mk I with 2x12 Orange CB Cabinet, a Pedal Train pedalboard with Carl Martin power supply, one Fulltone OCD, one Boss Blues Driver, a Boss Flanger, a Boss Giga Delay, a Boss Compressor, a Boss Tremolo, a Boss Chromatic Tuner, one Electro Harmonix Small Stone phaser, a Snarling Dogs Whine-O-Wah and occasionally an Electro Harmonix Germanium Big Muff.
My home set up is where I record all my new ideas and new songs for MWT. This is a fairly simple set up – my PC with Cubase Elements 6, Amplitube 3, Addictive Drums and a Roland Quad Capture sound card. I have a pair of KRK Rokit 5’s and a pair of KRK KNS-6400’s to monitor my recordings. I also have a Korg Micro Key for use with keys plug ins though this does not get used as often as I should!
I find that I cannot be productive at home all the time, as inspiration can be hard to tap into at will. I’m the kind of guy who has bursts of inspiration and will spend an entire weekend working on a new song, usually getting from start to finish in that time, but then do nothing for the next week or so. I know that even if ideas are not flowing, I will get another burst of inspiration soon and something good will come out of it. When I’m recording or working on song ideas/guitar parts I don’t really have any special techniques. I listen to a lot of music anyway so often I’ll be sitting at my day job, headphones on and just get inspired with an idea. Then I’ll get home and start on it as soon as I can. My only real tip is use the inspiration while it’s there because for me, it doesn’t happen every day.
I also spend an obsessive amount of time listening to my own ideas. I’m not sure if this is always healthy, but it does give me more ideas on how to improve things and get better with each recording as you hear where you are going wrong and why things don’t sound the way they should/could.
What would be your dream set up?
I think if I had the money I would buy a house and build a recording/rehearsal studio in it, that’s the dream! Mainly I just want more guitars. I don’t have one particular model that I’m lusting after, as the PRS is great already and suits a lot of my needs. I would however love to have a collection of great guitars as there is always a time for a Strat, a Les Paul, and SG, a Tele, a hollow body etc. I would love to have a high quality version of each to use for recording, with the PRS being my main gigging guitar. I’d also love to add to my pedal collection but that list could go on a while. My next purchase will be a Tubescreamer of some sort as I’ve never owned one but they are great. I also want a better unit for modulation effects and have had my eye on the Eventide Mod Factor.
I’m considering replacing my Rockerverb amp with the Engl Powerball as I’ve really enjoyed recording with the emulation of it on Amplitube. If I had the money I would possibly go for something like a Hughes & Kettner Triamp, but these days that’s just a bit out of my price range at £2500…