Sound Clip Below!
Here’s the rest of the interview with Gaspedals owner Jayson Lane, followed by a sound clip and some notable info.
WoodyTone: I read on your website that you’re a tone-chaser, obviously a guitar-player. What sound were you trying to find or achieve when you got on to the Carb and do you feel like you achieved it? Or was this just a happy accident?
Jayson: Although I’ve stumbled on some happy accidents, the Carb was not one of them. I wanted something in between a fuzz and overdrive that would keep the bass tight but cut in the mix. I feel like I achieved it, but you know, there’s always a balance between what I personally like and what I think other people will like. The Carb was really for me, but cool if other people dig it as well.
Can you tell us a little more about your playing history – how long, what type of music, still play in bands, all that.
When I was finishing up college I was also writing music with a buddy and doing sessions around New York City. One band we were working with for CBS asked us to join up after the record was done. I did the MTV/tour bus thing for a while, but I didn’t really fit in with the whole rock star, or wanna-be rock star, thing very well. I moved to LA and played with a couple of bands, but ended up doing mostly studio work at A&M. These days I’m more of a family man. I did some gigging around town last year with a band – kind of a Radiohead type thing – lots of fun.
I got turned onto this pedal by a video of Joe Bonamassa going through his rig. Do you know how Joe found out about your pedal?
Joe was in town and a buddy of mine works at Jazz Alley. He got me into the show, so I brought Joe a Carb. He plugged it in at sound check and tore it up for a while – even used it during the show. I guess he dug it because he’s been using it for a while. He’s a monster player and puts on a hell of a show.
[Not sure, but I believe Joe removed the pedal from his pedalboard this year. –WT]
Do any other well-known players use the Carb and can you name a few?
I’m not much of a name-dropper, but there’s a few high-profile guys using them. The one that tickles me the most is Brad Whitford because I grew up listening Aerosmith, but I’m not sure how much he uses it. He’s got quite a pedal collection.
How long have you been making the Carb for public consumption?
Hard to say.
Are any other lip-smacking, drool-causing pedals in the works from Gaspedals?
Yes. I’ve got all kinds of interesting stuff planned.
And there you have it. You can get one of your own from Jayson’s website: gaspedals.net.
Here’s a sound clip I made of some Van Halen riffs (clam-filled!). In each example, the first riff is my rig without the Carb, then you hear a click, then it’s the same riff but with the Carb.
Note that the Carb was made for live situations and for hearing it live – meaning that it’s hard to capture how good this sounds with one mic on one speaker and with compressed, Internet audio. That’s not an excuse – it’s the truth, especially when you consider that this is the first recording I’ve ever made with a digital rig, so I probably did 50% of the stuff wrong!
Here’s the rig:
- 1970s Ibanez Destroyer, stock (Super 70s pickups with Alnico 8 magnets)
- Fender nickel strings (9s)
- Planet Waves cable
- Carb (can’t remember the settings – sorry!)
- Planet Waves cable
- 50-watt Voodoo V-Plex plexi replica, volume on about 3 (I had to radically alter my usual setting to make the recorded audio sound decent so don’t remember these either)
- 4×12 Avatar cab with Celestion G12H30s
- Audix i5 mic
- Apogee duet
- MacBook Pro
- Apple GarageBand
Only thing I added in GarageBand was a little reverb.
Am I happy with the sound and the playing? Crap no! I actually intended to re-record the whole thing, but you know how that goes…. Even with the clams and without being able to hear the “bloom” that the Carb creates, hopefully you’ll get an idea of the difference.
A few other notable items featuring Jayson, the mad tonal scientist:
WoodyTone: The knobs and toggle on my [older model, bought it used] Carb aren’t labeled. I take it the left knob is volume and the right is “gain?” And the toggle is….?
Jayson: The first few Carbs didn’t have a toggle, but some friends I made some for were saying it was light on bass. Like I said, people love them some bass. In the good ol’ days it was dime the treble on your Marshall and plug in a Rangemaster – one of the reasons those recordings are so great: The bass has its place and the guitar has its place.
So I added the toggle to give it a bit of a bass bump. As you mentioned, the earlier ones were very subtle [I had to listen hard to hear a difference –WT]. People have different thresholds to their hearing and some people couldn’t tell any difference, so I added a third position that was unmistakable. Unfortunately I really didn’t like what it did to the tone so I changed it back. On the newest version there’s a three-position toggle: I made the bass boost a bit more noticeable without sacrificing the tone, then added a position to cut some high end.
Oh and yes: volume on the left, gain on the right. The new versions are labeled.
In the new ones I also added an internal gain control in addition to the knob. The two gain controls affect different parts of the circuit and give you more flexibility. Basically you can use the internal trimmer to set the max level for the knob. So if you are using the Carb more as a booster, you can turn the trimmer down, giving the knob a wider sweep for making subtle adjustments. The pedal will also operate quieter this way. Want more crunch, turn the trimmer up.
Are you at all afraid that a major shop or a one-man builder will clone your pedal? Asking because everyone has seen it happen.
Cloning is just something that happens. There will be people to make ‘em and people to buy ‘em. Personally I wouldn’t want a copy of something on my board. It would be like putting wings on a Honda and driving around feeling like you’re in a Ferrari.
It’s natural for people to learn from the past. None of my pedals came out of thin air – I was influenced by what I learned. I guess I have a lot more respect for people who learn from the past and do their own thing than for people who just want to make a quick buck copying another designer’s work verbatim – and even using their name to sell it for half the price.
There’s a lot of drama in this business and hype being thrown in all directions. I do my best to stay out of all that. My life works best when I surround myself with positive, laid-back people. It’s all just transistors creating gain.