Duff Chorus TonePrint by Duff McKagan
Duff McKagan's Duff Chorus TonePrint provides is a tri-chorus that is subtle and fairly slow with moderate modulation. It was set this way so that the bass can ring through with the chorus creating a "hi-fi sparkly", shimmering sound used in famous classics like Sweet Child of Mine, Rocket Queen or Fall to Pieces.
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One of rock’s true success stories, Duff McKagan’s resume includes larger-than-life bands Guns’n’Roses and Velvet Revolver. He’s an accomplished musician playing virtually anything from drums to bass to guitar, a columnist, a writer and a businessman. Plus he is the frontman of the band, Loaded.
We had a talk with Duff about his career and TC gear:
TC: When you started out you mentioned you didn’t know if you wanted to be a bass player, guitar player or a drummer. So how did you decide? DM: Well, I played drums in a few bands, played guitar in bands, played bass in a couple bands and when I moved to LA, my drum kit in Seattle was a piece of shit. So I thought I’d move down here, get a job and get another drum kit. So I came down here with a guitar and a bass. I got a job, then I got a place to live but the rent on the place and my paycheck from the job were staggered so a few times I had to pawn this guitar – it was worth the most money out of what I had, so I had to pawn that. One day, I got a knock on my door, there were two vice cops that took my guitar, it had been stolen 5 or 7 years prior. So there I was, out of a bass, and right about the same time Izzy had moved across the street and I had been playing with Slash and Stevie. I was 20 and I was like ”Ok, I’m gonna try to be good at one instrument, and that was the bass.”
TC: How was the whole G’n’R experience, the rise of one of the biggest rock bands in the world? Did it feel like a crazy ride? DM: I think that life was just crazy then, period. I don’t have anything to compare it to cause it was my life, you know. My experience is uniquely my own and if the band wouldn’t have blown up, I think we were already well on our way to being insane human beings as it was. That just kinda accentuated how people treated us. It was a great band!
TC: Now you’re playing Loaded. How is that, are you guys going on tour? DM: Well we got back, we toured in November and December and I’m actually just writing music right now. So I just write music, I go out and play and what happens next in my life, musically, is the thing that happens. I don’t know what’s gonna happen even two months from now. I have no idea. And I’ve learned not to try to guess. Especially publicly. I don’t know what’s gonna happen and I kinda like it that way; it keeps everything fresh and exciting and I keep doing everything I’ve always done – keep writing riffs, put a vocal melody to it, and that’s it.
TC: Do you use chorus a lot or is it for certain parts? DM: I originally started using chorus in the early 80s. There was a band called Magazine and I still wasn’t sure if I was going to be a drummer, guitar player or bass player. But the chorus back in the early 80s, to kids like me who didn’t have money to even experiment around with pedals, its sound was like a mysterious thing to me. And in ’84, I think right after I moved to L.A., I got a chorus pedal. And G’n’R pretty much started right then and there, spontaneously, when I moved down here. So a chorus was just a new pedal, it was the only pedal I had and I used it. With two guitars, especially if you have a thick guitar like Slash’s and sort of, that thin, sparse side of Izzy the bass had to find some space, not only line wise but sound wise to cut through especially in the beginning of ”My Michelle”. You know, that creepy bass line against Slash’s guitar line. The chorus was perfect for that and of course for ”Sweet Child” and ”Rocket Queen” - it just gave that funky thing a bit more colour I suppose.
TC: What we did was try the two different choruses and you picked the one with the multiple choruses going on so it’s a little more subtle, we dialed some stuff in and it’s a fairly slow chorus with moderate modulation. The core sound of the bass can ring through, the sound of the chorus is backed down a little bit, hi-fi sparkly, not a wooly, organic kind of sound but has more of a shimmer to it.
TC: How would you describe it? DM: It’s a sweet child of mine chorus. If you like the sound of my bass, the chorus sound in songs like Sweet Child of Mine, Rocket Queen, Fall to Pieces, you will now be able to get that in the TonePrint.Read more about Duff McKagan