Tom Morello Guitar Effects – One of the legacies of the founder of Rage Against The Machine is when on stage Tom looks like someone who already has the title “bulletproof.” It’s a bit silly to say that parable, but I’m sure when Tom meets for a jam session with a virtuoso guitarist like Steve Vai, Tom doesn’t need to feel the slightest bit insecure about his very simple playing.
There is no denying that Tom has a very special guitar playing and that makes him very special when he is on stage. “Chucka-chucka style” and “noose-thick” riffs will always remind us of Tom Morello when we hear it played by anyone. Simple playing in terms of fingering technique, not a lot of scale playing when playing melodies, but very rich in playing sound with ideas – his wild idea.
Yes! The sound is the first impression of Morello. I was surprised for the second time, first I saw Kurt Cobain with his very “rough and quirky” playing, then I was surprised by Tom with a very bold sound. At that time I couldn’t stop thinking about how such sounds could be produced by a guitar, please understand that my source is still stuck on VCD to get some information, hehe.
Now I want to tell you a little from some of the info I got, from what tools and how little information is used on the tools he uses in some of his legendary songs.
From the set up of tools used in 2006 with Audioslave some of them are:
- Marshall JCM800 2205 50 WATT
- Peavey Cabinet 4×12
- Cry Baby
- Digitech Whammy Pedal
- Digital Delay
- DOD Equalizer
- MXR Phase 90
- Fender Soul Power Aerodyne Stratocaster
- Gibson Les Paul, etc
Finding New Sounds
For Tom, the search for sound seems like a happy accident, because for him sometimes playing guitar in a “messy” way is the initial source of ideas about where the strange sounds are coming from. And when he came up with the original idea for the formation of the sound, Tom carefully developed the sound so that some of sounds became his legacy.
The toggle switch with the on/off function modified on the guitar is the main weapon that is held directly by his hand. Do we often hear some works from Tom Morello that sound like a tremolo effect, right? That is the result of using the toggle switch on the guitar manually. Combined with a wah or whammy effect that will make the sound more character and interesting.
The Whammy Pedal
From this pedal he found that this effect is an effect that is very simple to use, no need to pay a lot to get this effect, no need to bother reading the manual book, can be used directly to manipulate sound easily. The usage that is often used by Tom is the mode of the 4th interval, 5th Interval, and 2 octaves. The idea of using this effect he got a lot from the sound of hip hop music like Dr. Dr.
The song that is very clear using the whammy pedal is “Bullet in the Head” by strumming the lower strings with the whammy bar active in a 2-octave mode whose sound source is activated by a toggle switch. Then the song “Know Your Enemy” uses the 4th/5th interval mode by playing the hammer on the left finger with the sound activation still from the toggle switch.
You May Like This:
- Review of Behringer X 32 Mixer Rack
- Super Junior Korean Boy Band will Concert in Indonesia on September 17
Bulls On Parade
From the rhythm sound of this song, Tom assumes this sound is like a ghetto atmosphere in America which is a bit run down, old, and rough. In the solo section, Tom activates the EQ effect to the wah pedal, with two simple effects that we see very often, but if played in a strange way, we at first glance will not know that the sound produced is the result of these effects. For example, in the solo part, Tom is like rubbing all the strings in the guitar body area which will produce a friction sound with a change in pitch depending on how far the hand stroke is from the guitar bridge, with the addition of the element of a toggle switch that seems to be played randomly. If you want to hear the results, please check the song directly!
From the title, of course, this is a big challenge how a guitar produces a helicopter sound which is a bit impossible to sound especially in an analog way. He produces this sound by activating the delay with a short delay or slapback delay mode. In the song “Cochise” the intro of the song is not a sample sound, but he plays manually by clapping his hands quickly supported by slapback delay and whammy in 2-octave mode.