Posted by: worshipguitarguy | January 16, 2007

The David Crowder Band’s Stage Setup!

This post is for everyone over at Bwacks forum who have been wondering about the band’s stage setup.400×494-standing-outside.jpg

Yesterday morning, Chema, Zac, and I went to Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, which is pastored by Rob Bell (from the Nooma videos.) Worship was led by special guests, The David Crowder Band… We were fortunate enough to get close to the DCB’s live setup to see what they were running for the morning. So the following is a rundown of pics and info on their stuff. Click each image to see a larger version…

First of all, I’m pretty sure this was a fly-in date, so what you see here is probably not the same as what you’d see them play if they were on a cross-country bus tour. (Many artists have a board for ground touring, and a stripped down version for fly dates.) Note: special thanks to Chema for taking these pics. Unfortunately we were a little rushed so I didn’t get a chance to look at everything as closely as I’d have liked to. So I’ll try to run down what I saw to the best of my memory.

Taylor Johnson
Taylor came in as the DC*B’s second guitarist after Jason Solley stepped away at the beginning of this year. Prior to joining the DC*B, he played with Shane and Shane, (and also Robbie Seay during the Texas Trifecta tour with the two Shanes and Crowder.)

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Guitars: Taylor was playing a sunburst Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Telecaster Deluxe. He also played the mandolin on I Saw the Light.
Amp: Taylor ran through a Vox AC-30, with Alnico Blue speakers. (I loved the little “Good Dog” sticker on the back of one of them… a humorous reference to the traditional “Blue Dog” name the speakers have been called.)

My guess is the AC-30 was a backline provided amp, and not his. Also, I think they ran a line out from the amp instead of putting a mic in front of it.
Pedal board: I didn’t get a ton of time to look closely, but Taylor was running through an Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, a Budda Wah, a Fulltone Fulldrive, a Line 6 DL4 Delay, a Line6 MM4 Modulation Modeler, a Boss (DD-5?) Delay pedal with a FS-5U Tap controller, a Boss Tuner, an Electro-Harmonix POG Octave Generator, and had everything powered by a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2. There was one pedal I didn’t recognize, (the powder blue right below the Fulltone)

—-————————————-

Jack Parker
Jack’s played electric for the DC*B since pretty much the beginning… He also plays the banjo on “I Saw the Light”, and regularly does keyboard work on a Fender Rhodes.

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Guitars: Jack just had his Tom Anderson Atom on stage with him. He also played the banjo on I Saw the Light
Amp: My guess again was Jack was playing though an amp that was provided for him… in this case a second AC-30
Pedal board: Jack’s setup seemed simpler than Taylor’s. He ran a Boss Compressor/Sustainer, Blues Driver, Tremolo, (DD5?) Delay, Dunlop Wah, Line 6 DL4 with expression pedal, and a second Line 6 expression pedal… (not sure what it did.) There was another Boss pedal on the board which I couldn’t identify, (one near the top rotated sideways)
Keys: A Fender Rhodes 73

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Mike D (Mike Dodson)
Mike D’s the Crowder Band’s bass player and also resident loop/effects man, (after Hogan and Bwack.) .

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Bass: Mike was playing what appears to be a Sunburst 70’s American Precision bass. If you look closely at the headstock of the bass, you will notice the typical 70’s Block style “Precision Bass”. Also, you can find a thumbrest screwed into the pickguard of the bass. This was typical of the basses from the 70’s.

Amp: When I looked for Mike’s amp I was actually quite suprised. (Im am guessing that it wasn’t his own amp) Mike was playing my exact bass head, an Ampeg B2re 450watt solid state head. Mike was not using a cab, and instead was running thru the Ampeg’s built in D.I. XLR output in the rear of the head.
Pedal board: As to the pedalboard setup, Mike was using a volume pedal (not sure what make, possibly an Ibanez), a BOSS ODB-3 Bass Overdrive pedal, a BOSS TU-2 Tuner, and a BOSS line selector pedal (just like Jack). All of the pedals were connected by a daisy chain power adapter and were powered by the TU-2 Pedal.

Other Info: Mike was also using a Mac powerbook laptop, and I was not sure if it was simply for the loops, or to display his setlist/music notation. Mike also (like Bwack) was using a “Buttkicker” system, which basically allows you to feel the bass of the mix that in-ears sometimes lack. The Buttkicker was connected to a special platform that Mike stood on throughout the performance.

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Hogan, Bwack (aka Jeremy Bush), and David
Seeing how I’m not a drummer or violin player, don’t have much to say here, but here are the pics anyway. Hogan ran his electric violins through a Mesa amp, with several Boss Pedals in his signal path. I didn’t get pics of David’s setup, but he was playing two Tom Anderson Crowdster solid body acoustics, (presumably one in standard tuning, and the other in “Crowder” EAEEBE tuning.) With Bwack, I have no clue, but he was playing in a pretty cool aquarium, had a Dr. Beats Metronome, and trigger pad (even if he hated it… ;) )

**As a note: All band members were using personal Aviom systems. Basically a networked monitor system, with individual “mixers” if you will by each band member. All units are connected by ethernet cable to one another, and each “mixer” transmits wirelessly to each band members bodypack. Quite a cool concept, but quite pricey. Each singing band member also used Shure SM58 mics, with the exception of Dave who most likely was using Shures new KSM portable condenser mic.

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I want to thank Bwack for taking the time to talk with us about gear, loops, computers, and BEEPCON after the first service. I know there was a ton going on that morning… and he had other things to do, but he took the time to chill with us between services… thanks man!

Also, I am by no means an expert at what was set up above, so if any of you have talked to members of the band about their setups, or if there’s any errors above, chime in with some comments.

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Responses

  1. You said “There was another Boss pedal on the board which I couldn’t identify, (one near the top rotated sideways)”

    Looks like the boss tuner pedal to me…

    • It’s a Boss Noise Suppressor

  2. Avioms rule…

  3. The Pedal is actually a Boss “Line Selecter” pedal. He was probally using it to connect to two guitars, or send a seperate feed signal to a direct box.

  4. Jon that’s what I thought too…but then there’s nothing hooked to his outputs…im like you and am preettttty sure its that line selector…unless he custom-painted his knobs…

  5. Mike D’s also running the same pedal at the front of his chain…

    I’m wondering if the pedal’s out of the signal chain since Jack was only running one guitar? (I believe the banjo was run separately)

  6. the blue pedal under the Fulldrive on Taylor’s board is a keeley/Legendary Tones time machine boost.

  7. I read that Jack uses the line selector to run his rhodes through his effects.

  8. As a heads up, I had some people asking about how close these setups are to the guy’s real personal setups…

    Without asking them, I can’t be sure but I’m sure the guitars are theirs and the effects were a stripped down variation of their normal full boards… (I’ve seen their stuff on other road tours and from memory, their fx were very similar.) The guitar amps were most likely backline provided… (Hogan’s violin amp too…) Also, I’m guessing that Bwack’s drum kit was a house kit… As far as Mike D’s stuff goes, I’m not really sure there…

  9. looks like the other expression looking pedal on jacks board could be a boss fv-50.
    and mikes volume is a boss fv-500.

  10. This is great, thanks!

  11. taylor’s “mystery” pedal is a time machine boost by keeley electronics. my guess is that the amps and the kit were provided and the boys brought pedals and guitars.

  12. cool

  13. Anybody have any idea about why they were running lines out of their amps instead of micing them? I have always been under the impression that it’s best to mic tube amps. Any ideas?

  14. I believe that they were simply running their amps wide open. The place they played was a fairly large room. Seats many thousand people. From the pictures I saw there were no line outs. The only other theory I could come up with would be that they were using the signal splitting pedals to run 2 outs. One to their amp, and the other to the house system. That is probally the most feasible explanation. The VOX’s probably served nothing more than bonified monitors. Keep in mind however, that this is all speculation on my part.

  15. Tell me where I can find this ‘buttkicker’ system?

  16. Actually, the guys weren’t running their amps wide open. If you check out the control panel pic from Taylor’s amp, he was only running it just shy of 12 o’clock, (about halfway up.) Even with as big as the room was, an AC-30 would have pounded it.

    The line out was coming from the amps. On the back side of Taylor’s amp again, you’ll see a cable running down from the left side of the cabinet, the line out on a Vox is located just above the speakers on the amp chassis.

    As far as why they did it, I’m not really sure… Though if I were in their position, this is why I’d do it. First, the amps were actually pretty close to the guys, and there wasn’t a ton of space to move around. (Mars Hill has their stage right in the middle of the room, so there’s no staging area adjacent to it.) If you put a mic in front of the amp, it would be easy to bump it or knock it off axis. (Walking back and forth and pulling the cord, getting your guitar input cord wrapped around the mic cord, Having someone bump it before getting onstage.) So running the line out would provide more reliability, considering the circumstances than putting a mic in front of the amp.

  17. Speaking of ‘bumping the mic off axis’ do you have any guidelines you could share about amp mic placement? Is there a formula or process I should apply?

  18. We will being doing a post about that in the future.

  19. Brian, we’ll post on this later, but I’ll just fire off stuff from my experiences… I’m by no means a mic’ing expert, but this is what I have learned.

    If you run the mic straight on, (Dead center and perpendicular to the middle of a speaker,) your tone tends to be brighter and more crisp. If you run your mic slightly off center and angled in towards the speaker cone, your tone will lean a little more toward the low midrange. Also, moving your mic towards and away from the speaker cone will take away or add presence to your sound. Depending on the place you have your amp, playing around with these settings can help correct minor tonal problems or difficulties…

  20. they may be using sending the signal to a cab in an iso room. sending straight into the system from the preamp sounds pretty bad, so i doubt that is the case. given the isolated kit and the buttkickers, it is obvious that stage volume is closely controlled.

  21. +1 what aaron said.

    They are definitely not running direct into the system unless the amps are modded with a line out. Vox AC30’s don’t come with line outs and running a line into the system out of the preamp is not a good idea. I’ve never heard of anybody modding an AC30 either to put a line out in one. An isolation cab makes sense – plus an AC30 running almost half way up is quite loud for a stage with in-ears.

  22. Ya, I would have to agree. In my opinion, the easiest way to make any good amp sound like a peavy rage is to use the line out. I’ve tried mixing the line out with a mic for a different sound but I hate using it full on.

  23. In something totally unrelated, how far do you have to turn up most tube amps before they sound good, not neccessarily thier best but good? When does the tasty crunch start to come out? When does power tube distortion start on average?

    I want an amp that I can still use for church but has capabilities for a bigger gig. I was looking at a 50 watt head through a 1X12 for church and a 2X12 or 4X12 for other stuff. Is that too much amp? It’s a church of around 300. I don’t want to sacrifice having a decent sound at church. but if I’m playing a big stage I don’t want to struggle to hear myself.

    • I’d say get an amp (like a Vox AC30) that you can cut to half power. I know the AC30 has a switch where you can go from 30w, 4 tubes, and both speakers to 15w, 2 tubes, and 1 speaker. that way you have the ability to turn it up enough to get break up at 15w at church but still have the power/volume of 30w in situations that can handle a louder system. I know there are other amp’s that have that feature but I can only think of the AC30’s right now

  24. It all depends on the specific tube amp – certain amps cut through better while others are darker – both ranges have their place but for worship go for something that cuts through the mix really well. For instance, I always used a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe – a decent amp that I would recommend in general. I borrowed a friend’s Vox AC15 when the Hot Rod went down to the shop and immediately noticed that even though the Hot Rod had 40 watts, the tone of the AC15 (15 watts!) cut through BETTER in the same room and in the same band than the Fender did. I became a Vox convert and purchased my AC30.

    You should really check out the Vox AC30 Custom Classic Head. 30 watts is plenty for any stage – you can always mic it. An AC15 is great for most worship teams, but I personally found it a little small sounding when I played it on a bigger stage for a concert one time…it totally depends on your needs. Lots of the biggest and best players in music take a 30 watt amp with them wherever they go (U2’s the Edge, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, david Crowder Band, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot). I also like the Fender Supersonic head and Orange AD30TC. If you are on a tighter budget, the Peavey Classic 30 head is a great buy and very Vox’ish as well as the Laney VC30.

  25. The amp I’m looking at is a Frenzel Twin-Plexi. It’s usually a 100 watt head put out by a small factory in Texas. I talked to Jim and I’m thinking about ordering a 50 watt version. I was pretty excited to find out that someone built a handwired amp to copy the very similar circuits of two of the most awesome sounding amps ever. There are two seperate tone stacks. One channel is voiced like the Fender, The other like the Marshall. It’s ugly, but hey, it’s cheap, compared to botique amplifiers, and it’s all about the tone.

    My tone is all about the Fender bell like clean Stevie ray style drive through to Marshall AC/DC style crunch. A vox isn’t punchy enough on the drive channel. It sounds great with some chorus and open chords up the neck but not so much for “Rock n’ Roll ain’t noise pollution”

    So anyway I was just wondering if this type of amp, a 50 watt version of a Twin/Plexi, would be sounding good at all at church levels through a single 12 or 2×12. Has anyone used a 50 watt Marshall head or an old tweed twin or bassman through a single 12 or 2×12 successfully at church. That would probably answer my question. Thanks.

  26. if you want a sweet amp that does the Plexi thing look into a Budda Superdrive. i’ve been a devout Orange AD30HTC player for a while, but i occasionally needed that higher gain plexi rip. Budda Superdrive is totally the way to go for that sound. The clean is gorgeous too- closer to a vox clean than a fender though. cause of the EL84 tubes.

    i had a couple JCM2000s- i hated all of them.

    i have a JCM900 50watt Dual Reverb head that i love- if you adjust it down to 25 watts you can get a killer lead tone- not the plexi type though- more like an 800 with more mids and tad less bass. you could pick one up on ebay in good condition for around 550.

    bottom line- Budda is the way to go for the plexi tone. check one out man. but a JCM900 50 watt is a good buy for the money.

  27. Crowder may have tuned the other guitar to Eb not standard. The whole “A Collision” album is played that way.

  28. Great job on getting us the DC*B gear pics. I really think this is something we should strive to get more often. I’d love to see what Jars of Clay, Third Day, etc. has on their pedalboard. For what it’s worth, I have the complete set-up, including pics, of the Plumb guitarist circa-2000. He had a great set-up.

  29. [...] Recap: 2007 started with a pleasant surprise in January with the David Crowder Band leading the worship service music at Mars Hill Bible in Grandville Mi. As it was a worship service and not a concert I have no photos. You can see some photos and what gear the band used at worshipguitarguy.wordpress.com [...]

  30. anybody know what the pedal on jacks board with the white green and red knobs?

  31. Yep that’s the notorious Boss TU-2 chromatic tuner. Widely used.

    thanks for the pics!

  32. The pedal with the Green and Red knobs on jack’s board is the Boss LS-2 Pedal Line Selector. Sort of like an A/B box.

  33. yeah, a few people said it, so i figured i’d chime in. the white pedal with the green and red knobs on the two boards is the boss line selector, not the TU-2. the tuner has no knobs, just lots o; pretty lights. the line selector i believe is out of production, but the new version works pretty well. i have one myself. only problem is that it runs on either AA’s or AAA’s, not a nine volt. (i can’t remember which, and its at church right now so i can’t check.)

  34. and jack also has the Tu-1 tuner above it. its not a pedal, but heck, its probably a bit cheaper. he may have the spliter runing the chanel into it, but that seems like a waste to me. the other expression pedal looks like the boss volume, but then again, thats just guessing by the color of them.

  35. Some more input on Taylor’s AC30
    After looking at the controls it is clear that it is not a newer AC30CC2X
    It looks like a AC30/6 Top Boost from around the year 2000 with Alnico Blues installed (the 6 refers to the number of inputs)
    The Top Boost came with Greenbacks from the factory but had the option of coming with Blues for extra $

    Here are the controls for a AC30/6:

    My observations:
    -he’s plugged into the brilliant channel
    -Vibrato Section: Speed and Vib. Trem are about 10 o-clock each
    -Volume Section: Vib. Trem is turned all the way down, Normal is at 12 o-clock, Brilliant is at about 11 o-clock
    -Tone Section: Treble is about 1-2 o-clock, Bass is 4-5 o-clock maybe?, and Cut is about 10 o-clock

  36. Also, I’m 100% sure the mystery pedal on Jack’s pedalboard is a Line Selector
    I’m not sure what it would be used for since there is nothing coming out of the input, but I’m guessing it could used for the TU-15 tuner (since the TU-15 has to be taken out of the effects chain for silent tuning) If this is true you’re probably wondering why he would spend all the money for both the line selctor and TU-15 and not just buy a TU-2. The TU-15 is accurate to +/- 1 cent while the TU-2 is accurate to +/- 3 cents. The TU-2 is one of the most inaccurate tuners one can buy.

    If the Line Selector is not for the tuner, then I assume it would be for switching between the rhodes and his guitar. I don’t know much about keys so I’m not sure if he would want to do this or not. If it’s for switching between instruments, then he would have to take the instrument cable running into his guitar and plug it into the tuner everytime he would want to tune (kind of a hassle) which is why I think the selector is for the tuner.

    Another note: it looks like there is a direct box on top of his AC30

  37. DC*B definitely were flown in for that gig. For anyone who has been to a concert the working environment of the DCB is crowded.
    I highly recommend the DCB movie that is currently playing in theaters. It is clips from the “Remedy” tour. The camera work is awesome and allows you to look over the shoulder of virtually every player. Much of the sound base is layered with ambient sound loops powered by at least half a dozen Apple MacBook Pros. Obscure is not limited to DC’s looks since the drummer had the colored coded xylophones you see in nurseries along with an assortment of toy pianos. Who knows what else I missed. Movie was sold out so get tix early.

  38. i really love david crowder their music is amazing. ive been messing around recording my own music but i cant quite get electric guitar to sound right. ive tried eq-ing it different ways and stuff, but it still sounds nothing like good recordings do. i think part of the problem is that there is way too much humming when im not playing, and when i am playing. but i dont know how to fix that other than by getting a noise suppressor. anyone have any tips?

  39. they play bad cat amps a lot too…And one of their guitarist is a PRS player too!!!!
    But does it matter? THEY ROCK!!!!

  40. i love the alnico blues in my tweed deville,and the tc vova systom stomp iam using,praise god 4 this sound,along with the alnico 2 pro pick-ups in the tele iam using,really beefy,iam considering an ac 30 soon,love the big bell tunder,jus love the haeminics it produces,to God b the glory forever,b incouraged all.jmze j

  41. i noticed not any one much here now-daze,did it jus go,–where? is the reminant of the chozen gittarzers,

  42. RANDOM CHORE,WHERE BUT GOD IS THE DOOR,THOUGH FEW ARE HERE BUT GOD IS NEAR ,GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN.STLL MY SOUL,


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