Les Paul's Ether Dream TonePrint by Reeves Gabrels
Proving that he's one of the most creative and experimental guitar players in the world, Reeves Gabrels' "Les Pauls Ether Dream" TonePrint takes flanging to a whole new level. This one is beyond description, but just got to be heard!
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TC: Who inspired you over the years when you were creating your own personal guitar tone?
Reeves: Being a child of the television age it was Bugs Bunny cartoons and Carl Starling, and the fact that my mom took in typing when I was little. Around that time there was a song called “The Typing Song”, and I remember sitting in front of the TV watching it while my mother was in the other room typing. My mother was a fast typist and I was always entertained by the speed and the fluidity of it, so somewhere between that and Bugs Bunny.
My father liked three kinds of music: country, Western and blues. He was always big on guitars. He had a banjo and stuff like that, so it was always around the house, and when I was six years old I saw how upset my mother and grandmother were when they saw The Rolling Stones on TV. I knew that there was something going on, even though I was too young to understand it.
TC: What are the main ingredients in your tone in terms of effects (e.g. chorus, flanger, delay, etc.)?
Reeves: There is always some kind of gain pedal, I’ve never owned a Tubescreamer because to me, that’s not really gain – it’s for girls, I tend to like something that’s a little tougher. As a player, I’m a child of preamp gain, and also the RAT that came along, and I still have it to this day. That and some kind of modulation. Usually something that leans towards Univibe or Pitch vibrato, something a little more seasick inducing, and delays. I tend to use delays and modulation in a way that you know they’re on, they’re not there for ambiance. A little reverb in the amp for subtlety, but if you want subtlety then shut the pedal board off, and I do like octave fuzz too, a really good one can double as a ring modulator.
TC: Have you ever been so inspired by a tone you created that you ended up writing a tune based on that specific tone?
Reeves: Of course. All the time. You can hear it in other peoples work too. Like in “Money for Nothing”, it’s just a delay and a Steinberger in whatever amp and you can hear that it provoked that riff, and I think that’s why it’s such a great business to be in, making pedals for people, because everyone wants them to give them their next idea. With this pedal, with the USB connect, you stand a really good chance of coming up with stuff that will inspire you, and the fact that with lots of guys doing TonePrints you can make a brand new pedal every few weeks, and that’s one of the coolest things about these pedals.
TC: Do you work on developing your tone continuously, or do you feel that you have found a fundamental tone that will last throughout your career?
Reeves: Throughout my career I’ve always been one of the poster boys for cutting edge stuff, and if that’s case it’s just because everybody has laid the line, but I’m not, I’m just struggling along.
TC: In your opinion, what is the single coolest thing about TonePrints?
Reeves: The fact that you can get down inside it. I, for most parts, am frustrated with pedals that are available for guitar players. There is a remarkable lack of imagination in the world of pedals for guitar players, and this to me is a nice change to that.Read more about Reeves Gabrels