R/E/P > Chris Walla

Guitar sounds


Welcome Chris,

Cool you are doing this.

I have really dug your guitar sounds the last few Death Cab albums.Could you go into your thinking about recording guitars and what equipment you tend to favor.
Gts,amps,mics ,pres,whatever.


We've traditionally just used whatever's around.  Ben has a Fender Bullet that he's in love with; that's been his go-to for the last few records.  It's got a now familiar honk about it; a guitar that loves little low-wattage amps:  the Champ, the Pro Junior, the Silvertone Twin Twelve.  Thick, forgiving rock & roll tones, I guess.

I tend to favor the squeakier guitars:  My favorite guitar for years was a Mexican Telecaster that I bought new in 1993.  It also has a very particular 'thing' about it; lots of mids, not a lot of sustain.  It's not really a very nice piece of wood, but it's mine and I love it.

I have a few key amps these days:  A 1964 Tremolux, a 1965 Ampeg M-12 and a new Dr Z Maz 38.  These cover most of the bases, at least in this band's guitar tone lexicon.  There are more guitars on this record, too; I have a G&L Bluesboy that has proven itself completely, a great old Harmony semi-hollow, a 1948 National that sounds like a bee sting.

And microphones:  the go-to transducers are, in this order, the AEA R84, the Coles 4038, the Shure SM7 and the AKG 414 B-ULS.  I like either wide, wide open preamps (the Millennia HD-3V is a favorite) or my Quad Eights, which I sadly can't use right now, because my console is still down.


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