Ask @ITheRook:

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I've seen you using a pretty heffer pick in the past...out of interest, what picks do you use? Or is it more a variety?

I use Winspear Picks, made by my old friend Tom Winspear. Tom knows what I like (and sends me new ones tehehe), I believe they are the Battleaxe VII. I don't use them for everything, I specifically like them when I need constant, high speed, hard picking, like when I double pick notes at upwards of 130 odd BPM, and for Al D-esque soloing. Check him out!

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I was reading a forum you had said that you use the Original Ground Control with the Axe FX. My question to you is, how would you set up the scenes of the Axe FX in the GC? More or less in 4 Bank mode of the GC, I would like to be able to change/turn on or off scenes with the top row of button

Michael Haupert

Because the Ground Control sends CC, this means you have to pick a button, which will be midi numbers 80-87 (plus the Bank4 thingy) and set it in the axe fx to increment scenes by one, and another to decrement. Unless this has changed in the last few firmware updates. So I have patch up, patch down, scene up, scene down, 4 stomp buttons for pedals etc, tuner on/off, and tap for tempo.

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Thoughts on the RG2228? do the newer ones have a thinner neck?

I like the 2228 a hell of a lot, considering it's the original production 8, Ibanez did a pretty great job tbh. The necks haven't been noticeably different between older and newer guitars I've owned, no.

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How long is the scale on your strandberg? I saw the pics, nice baritone hybrid!

Hehe, it's 26.75-28", then the baritone hybrid takes the 8th to 31.4".

Capo'd at the first fret gives about 25.5-26.25", and it has 25 frets so when it is capo'd as such it basically makes a normal scale guitar, and the pickups are positioned for that, so it should be interesting!

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Would you have any interest in writing music for film? I think you'd be good at it.

I'd love that but I don't think I have anything like the skill or vision for it.

I'd love the see the opposite though, videos that go with my music.

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Do you listen to any music that isn't metal? I know you say you're inspired by jazz and classical and stuff but is it just the idea of it or do you listen to specific stuff?

Yes, I very rarely listen to metal in fact.

I like prog in all shapes and sizes, I like a little bit of soul, I love Jazz, I like very striking pieces of modern 'classical' work, romantic, and I love 80's pop.

I like music that makes you feel something, beyond that I don't really fuss over what label is put on it.

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Do you have any endorsement deals?

Lol no. Even if I were going to I don't know who I'd do it for, or whose stuff I'd put my name to, there's a lot of stuff I use out of convenience, I don't have any particular feelings toward the brands.

I recommend Lundgren a hell of a lot, maybe strandberg, I don't have the profile for this stuff though I wouldn't think.

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wat do u think of blackmachine guitars and also orsmby??

I have nothing to say about Ormsby, I've never even knowingly been in the same continent as one, Blackmachine on the other hand...

Doug's an amazing guy, his guitars a very cool but aren't quite my thing. He gets better at building each time and these days his builds are consistently fantastically well made too. Really cool guy, wish his guitars were affordable though.

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How come I can't find any lyric transcriptions for any of your songs?

Ah man sorry about that.

Here are all the words to EIMN pt1 and pt2

Verse 1
" ,

" ,

Verse 2
" ,

Chorus again twice, then that's it.

Really hope that helps, that took ages.

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First guitar you owned?

Yamaha Pacifica in natural satin.

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Can I make a cover band called Koor and play all of your songs backwards?

I really hope you do!

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I have something called an essential tremor. Because of it, I will probably never become UBERSHRED GOD, or be able to perform live with any degree of consistency. Do you think there it is possible, in this day and age, to be a successful album musician, rather than a gigging one?

I'm very familiar with essential tremor and am sorry to hear you have to deal with that!

As for the question - I certainly hope so, it looks like I'm heading that way haha. If you don't want it to cost money (like being in a full time touring band would) just keep your overheads down, don't pay for whatever you don't have to, and for merch runs and such use gofundme or something to get the money up front.

But no, I've not seen most of the bands I listen to on a daily basis live, so if they never played gigs I'd never know. Or care.

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What would be the most minimalistic (i.e. inexpensive) set up to record guitars to a production level you personally would find acceptable?

Minimalistic and inexpensive aren't the same, minimalistic would be one amp, one cab or speaker, one mic, one guitar, but for a single mix against a single cab to sound more than ok, all of those things are gunna have to be pretty good, and way more expensive than a pod or something.

Pods are a pretty good way to go I think, the reason I don't suggest something cheaper, despite the fact the sound might be similar, is because pods are the cheapest modeller that actually feel good, cheaper ones than that I find feel stiff or hollow which change the way you play.

So you'll get the least expensive good recordings - playing and tone - with a decent low end modeller like a POD, I'd say.

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why didnt you tell us you had a sig pedal?

I just found out about this last week or the week before haha.

I wouldn't have a signature overdrive, I use clean boosts!

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How does the 18 volt mod compare to the X series for EMG 8 string pickups? Is the x-series preamp that much better? In addition, out of all emg 8 string pickups (57/66, x series, and non- x series), which is best at amplifying the actual sound of the guitar tone wood? Which has best low end and mids

18V mod and X series only share a lack compression in common, apart from that the X series makes much better use of the frequency spectrum and have more of a sparkle to them, they're very clean.

The most transparent 8 string EMG I'd say is the 81-8X or 60-8X, which is use. More mids and low end, you definitely want a 57-8!

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I'm kind of a rookie when it comes to pickups. Are all neck and bridge humbuckers universal, or can only certain kinds go into certain guitars? Can a set of active pickups be replaced by a set of passive pickups?

Yes, pickups are universal, the only limitation is size - you ought to buy one that is the same 'mount' as what you have. 7 string humbuckers to replace 7 strings humbuckers, 6 string singles to replace 6 string singles and so on.

Whether a pickup is named 'neck' or 'bridge' is irrelevant, you can put any anywhere and a bridge pickup will also ways sound brighter and like a bridge pickup, and a neck pickup warmer and rounder, and more like a neck pickup.

You can switch between actives and passives, yes, but passives require higher resistance pots and a ground connection the the bridge (strings to be specific) and a mono jack, if you switch you'll have to change all three of those.

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I can't think of any clever spam questions at the moment. Thoughts?


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How do you play that main riff of Everything is Mostly Nothing (part 1) so fast for so long? Is it like bleed? Copy pasted?

No, it's neither like bleed not copy pasted haha.

Assuming you mean the bit I think you do, it's:


But across three strings. Once you commit it to muscle memory it's fairly easy to keep up, when I originally wrote that riff I played it twice as fast (get me).

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Do you like heavy strings and why? I just put on a set of Ernie Ball 8 string set in my RG8 and the strings feel too hard to play, like it has alot of tension and i dont really like it, maybe ill dig em as time passes who knows

I do, but I'm not you!

I like them because they feel more controlled and I like the sound of a heavier string SOMETIMES.

I also like the extra harmonic content of lighter strings, they don't suit my playing style as much.

I actually care more about consistent tension than anything else, and as long as it works with the setup I'm happy. Heavier's my preference though, despite being harder to get, more expensive if you can, and harder to intonate.

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I admire you.

Thanks, can't imagine why!

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How do your EMG's compare to Lundgrens? Assume there's some similarity since you like them both.

They aren't really anything alike except for their ability to pick up what I call 'detail' in my left hand.

I hammer a lot, both in the conventional way and with my pick to create *click click click* sounds between notes, both the X series from EMG and Lundgren's M series (and some lace pickups) work amazingly for that, nothing else I've tried really does.

That's about it, they really don't have much in common otherwise.

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How do you tone? You like Rectumfriers?

I go:
Guitar with heavy strings -> Axe FX

On the Axe I use a clean boost with the lows sucked up a nudge, usually a Rectifier amp and a K100 speaker based cab with. The tone controls on Rectifiers don't do a whole lot to your tone, much as they'd have you believe differently, the key controls are the gain and presence. The gain I keep just under half, the presence I have about 2 o'clock on the orange modes or 12 o'clock on red.

Reason for that; lower presence settings (very low) increase compression at high master settings, higher settings cause the infamous Recto fizz and make it a little choppier which is why people say Recto's suck for leads. The gain control does similar things in a different order, lower settings are brighter and much more dynamic *regardless of how hot your pickups are*, and higher settings are more compressed and darker.

I'd rather push a hot signal into a lower gain setting and balance the extra high end with the presence control.

Bass, middle and treble should just depend on the cab or room.

If I use real amps, those are the actual settings I used to use on my Recto's, a testament to the Axe 2 I should add.

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If you could have a 'signature' anything, what would it be?

Heh, nowhere near that I don't think!

I'd probably say either pickups or maybe a clean boost as I was just thinking about that haha. The reason is those are the two main things - more pickups - that really shape my tone and make, to me, it sound like mine rather than me playing someone else's setup.

The pickups would be a variation of the Lundgren M series with more high end and maybe a little less power. The pedal, my favourite CB I've tried so far was a ZVEX Super Hard-On, but I've not tried many and use simulated CB's at the moment, though I customise the circuit oriented settings on that so it would be a real one of those I guess. Ever so slight drop off on the low end a pickup design wouldn't quite be able to manage and a slight shimmer to the high end, any more would defeat the purpose of a 'clean' boost.

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What's your take on the "Standard" 8 string tone I've heard people talk about? (A fair bit of high-mids, and very little bass.) Do you think It's simply convention or are more bassy tones simply not practical for "Modern" extended range music in terms of clarity and mixing?

Well there are two sides to this, literally.

If you're talking about the EQ shape of the guitar post-gain, stuff from impulses and such, there's always a bit of a problem with letting too much low end through regardless of range of the guitar because 'low end' on the guitar, the 100-200Hz range, is exactly where the meat of the bass sits and it just adds up to overpowering guitars and inaudible bass. I'd say 'screw those guys, lets throw some more low end on the guitars and take the bass lower!' but most speakers won't pick up much below at 80Hz, you need a LOT of power to push that through easy and it just makes stuff sound messy - hence why it all comes out in mastering usually. So I guess that has to stay where it is, that's just how it works. Well.. To a degree, there are some extremes people go to where the guitar tone is really bright and they start referring to that as 'clear' and 'articulate' butI don't like that at all. I actually set my guitar amps (or Axe FX) for an 8 exactly like I do a 6, I like rich, thick, deep tones, but that leads to "the other side".

The EQ on the way in - pre gain - in my opinion is where people are pulling out all the low end unnecessarily to go for their OMGTITEDJENT tones. That, I personally really don't like. I like to use the lower range of an 8 string because hey! it's a lower note! Lower note means more low frequencies means thicker, rounder sound and I love love looooovve that. Big, fat tones. It still has to cut and feel powerful under hand but these shrill, overly bright ice-pick tones people are using seem to be trendy but I just can't enjoy them. I think it's partly convention, to use your phrase, but also because it sounds really tight or whatever, that seems to be the trend.

I'd say those Ice-pick tones probably are easier to mix because there's even more space for bass, great, but easier mixing doesn't mean it sounds better. That said, just because I don't like it doesn't mean I think others shouldn't either, it's just not for me.

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If you could choose just one lens to use withe Fujifilm XT-1, what would it be?

23mm 1.4, it's my go to and was what actually sold me on Fujifilm, beautiful lens.

Gotta give the 18mm an honourable mention because it's so small and yet bright, but the sharpness anywhere outside the centre is a bit disappointing.

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