Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Ollie and I run guitar tuition company Your Guitar Academy in Brighton offering lessons from the most experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic tutors teaching from beautifully equipped home studios. In my spare time I play guitar in various cover bands, function bands and originals band Kintillo.
What do you use?
I try to use the same set up for all gigs now, starting with my Music Man JP6 guitar with Elixir 10 - 46 strings. It’s an incredibly versatile guitar especially with the coil tap and piezo. I feel like I can get a good approximation of most tones without having to switch guitars - something you just can’t do on gigs where you need to keep the music going! I like the Elixir strings as they keep the feel of new strings for much longer, so I can do 2 or 3 gigs in a weekend and still have them feel nice at the end!
The majority of my time is spent playing just through the amp without any effects. I use an ENGL E670SE which I’ve had for years, but switched the standard 6L6 valves for JJ KT77s more a bit more mid range. Again it’s a very versatile amp with midi switching, able to do clean to bluesy crunch all the way up to modern metal and super high gain nu-metal sounds (not that I have many opportunities to use that!). Something I’ve learnt from gigging (and being told that my lead sound wasn’t loud enough) is that it’s very important to have enough mid range in your sound, otherwise your guitar will get lost behind the other instruments in the band (drummers I’m looking at you…) and too much gain has the same detrimental effect.
On the few occasions where I need some effects I have a Fractal Axe Fx Ultra plugged in to the effects loop of the amp. This allows me even more versatility with things like synth, vocoder/talkbox effects along with more standard things like chorus and delays.
When I’m teaching I use an Ibanez AEW acoustic, or a Parker Fly plugged into a Mooer Little Monster BM. It’s a tiny little amp but has a great tone to it. The Parker is great for teaching as it’s so light and comfortable to play, I would use it live but the Music Man sounds so much better! I use Logic Pro X to record backing tracks for students and an iOS app called AudioStretch to slow down music so they’re able to play along.
What would be your dream set up?
I’m really pleased with the set up I’ve got - so I guess some roadies would be nice!
One thing I’ve got my eye on is a Kemper Profiling Amplifier, and the foot switch. I’ll have to try one before I decide, but I absolutely love the idea of being able to profile any amp (not to mention the library of amps online) and then carry it around in a much smaller package. I’d also like to make the switch to In Ear Monitoring instead of normal monitors and ear plugs. The Kemper would be really helpful in this as it can DI to the desk but also power a cab for a back line sound.