Unit 5, Silveroaks Farm, Hawkhurst Lane, Waldron, Heathfield, E.Sussex, UK, TN21 0RS
Tel (0)1435- 813393, International +44 1435 813393
VAT Reg. No. GB 241 7291 72
LOU REED'S REMOTE CONTROLLED GUITAR/EFFECTS/AMPS ROUTING SYSTEM
Image of Rig
In 1992, we received a FAX from Lou Reed's tech asking if we could help Lou as
he was having huge problems of noise and unreliability with his stage system.
We spoke to Lou by telephone and explained "The Cornish Philosophy As Regards Noise": The aspect of our systems that elicits the greatest response from our clients is the lack of noise; when they use our routing units or pedal boards, the lack of hiss and hum takes then by surprise. It's a difficult thing to explain because it's almost a negative thing we're doing. We're not producing a distinctive sound - we are freeing them from all the limitations that have previously existed and allowing their tone, which was there in the first place, to be delivered without being degraded or picking up noise. We can "FREE THE TONE". We made it clear to Lou that we do NOT take the noise away; we do not let it get in, in the first place! It's a completely different way of thinking - we don't allow any noise to get in, so we don't need to take the noise away with noise gates. That's the basic philosophy we've worked with over the years, quite independent of any other company - most people just seem to use noise reduction.
Lou Reed flew over from Switzerland after hearing of our crusade against noise. He'd been told for twenty years that if he wanted "that sound" he would have to put up with "that noise". We demonstrated how we could use Lou's own Soldano Custom 5 Channel Pre-amp and we let him play without noise for the first time. Lou was silent for several seconds before exclaiming: "I knew that if I waited long enough I would find someone who could let me make the kind of sound I like, but without any noise!"
We started to design Lou's rack system and found that we would have to include his Midi controller as this was used to change the presets in his Harmonizer and Reverb unit. All other effects would be switched in real time by remote control footswitches, which were duplicated at the rack. We also introduce Lou to the concept of using more than one Soldano pre-amp at a time (as we had done for Eric Clapton) and, of course, Lou wanted to use all five simultaneously. We designed a special selector circuit that enabled Lou to use any one of the five preamps or, at the touch of a footswitch, to ADD preamps to the one currently in use. Hear him do this on the Warner album "Velvet Redux".
Since the rack and stage remote control was constructed Lou has still sought new sounds and we were privileged to let him test our Soft Sustain-2, P-2 Fuzz and NG Fuzz pedals. The NG Fuzz was the first to be tested and appeared on a recording the same day: "Like a Possum" on the "Ecstasy" album. Lou calls this unit his Death Pedal and has become one of his favorite sounds. The P-2 Fuzz has also become a favorite of Lou's and he likes to use it in conjunction with his "Rhythm 2" preamp. The Soft Sustain-2 he calls "the missing sound" and it has found a prime position in his arsenal of sounds. We built in one of our personal favorites, the "Linear Boost" and Lou uses this effect to lift his sound to "a new peak".
Whilst on one of his many visits to our studio, Lou tried out a 1X12 loudspeaker cabinet that Pete designed and built for his own use with his electric flute and Lou loved the sound so much that he refused to leave until we built him a pair. (Gtr Mag Jan 2001 p 17)
Lou requested a "controllable feedback device" and so the "LouTone"R was conceived. This new unit creates a frequency selective boost of up to 70dB and allows Lou to tune through the harmonics of either a chord or single note with ease. This major system, which Lou's Japanese fans will have experienced during his year2000 "Ecstasy" tour, is quite large and so he requested that we build a smaller floor based system, similar to the one built for Jimmy Page. We incorporated some of his favorite effects, Lou uses this smaller system with his Soldano Combo when playing small clubs, and TV shows.
To ensure Lou's consistency of sound from venue to venue and country to country we built an automatic voltage stabilizer and power distro system that can accept any voltage from 83 to 264v and still put out exactly 120V to his stage gear. This unit has proved to be an extremely valuable asset to making the shows happy and exciting events.
For a full list of Lou Reed's stage equipment visit Lou Reed Guitar Archive: Gear (please note that you will be directed to a site off of petecornish.co.uk)