Russian Circles - "Mota" - Tone Tour

Titans of tone, Russian Circles, share tricks of the trade.  

We were lucky enough to our good friends Mike and Brian from the EPIC Instru-Metal band, Russian Circles (on super bad ass Sargent House Records ) guide us through a song and give us the low-down on some of the rad effects they use to make their magic. Mike's Rig starts with a SICK Dunable Guitar and Brian sports an aluminum neck Bass by Electrical Guitar Company. Take a trip with us on this great Tour de Tone. We've broken their tour down below, step by step , with helpful links throughout!

"Hey guys this is Mike and Brian from Russian Circles. We're at Chicago Music Exchange today and we're going to run through a song of ours called "Mota" and show how we use effects to make the song happen and kind of break it down for everybody. So the song starts off with a recorded drone and the Jam Man. I'll Turn that up a little bit. I have a Digitech Drop pedal on, set to the octave setting, going through a Nemesis delay by Source Audio and it's a really clean loud signal, so I have a MXR Micro AMP turned up about halfway and then an AC Booster by Exotic Effects with the gain turned down the volume up again to kind of push the clean level because a lot of this in the song gets looped later on and has gain over it and so I use the loud clean signal." - Mike.

"At the beginning of the song I do sort of the root note thing on the Moog Taurus and then there's a bit of a high lead sort of thing going on that I do on bass and there's a harmony that goes over it that's based on a loop. So before the song even starts I have to set the loop so that I have the harmony ready to go. So I use the Bass Whammy by Digitech through a Way Huge Swollen Pickle Fuzz into the Source Audio Nemesis Delay and loop it on the Akai Head Rush and that kind of starts things off and serves as a bit of an interlude when we play the song live. So I have the loop loaded and that's running before the song I turn it down as Mike comes in with the guitar part. Once Mike comes in with the guitar part I have the droning loop turned back backup and then I'll start incorporating the Moog Taurus. And then I'll start incorporating the loop that I built in for during the interlude." - Brian.  

"The next part of the song is a looped part that I record on the Akai Head Rush. I record that sample that plays for a while. Then I add some distorted guitar, where I remove the Micro AMP and the AC Booster and use some Bogner Effects for distortion. The Wessex and the Burnley are what I use for distortion at that part and those are big chords that play over the recorded clean part. So it's just a matter of finding the right tonal balance to make everything audible" - Mike.

"For the next part of the song it's a more traditional bass line. I'm using the Rusty Box for a little bit of grit on it. Eventually all wind up throwing a little bit of Dwarf Craft EuClaire Thunder which is a fuzz pedal on top of that." - Brian.

"The next part of the cords is the tapping segment, and for that I throw on the AC Booster again for a little more gain and I use the Strymon Dig and I use the momentary pedal or a favorite switch actually to make a quicker delay so it's not as long of a delay as the last chord part." - Mike. "So the remainder of the song is pretty straightforward. I have the Dwarf Craft EuClaire Thunder on for most of it. At times I'll use the TSVG Hard Stuff Bass to give it a little bass boost. There's a little bit of this KMA Astrospurt Phase at times but really the rest the songs just kind of traditional rock song." - Brian 

Mike Sullivan's Board:
Xotic AC Booster
Xotic EP Booster
Digitech JamMan Stereo Looper/Phrase Sampler
Akai Head Rush
Strymon Flint Reverb & Tremolo
Strymon DIG Dual Digital Delay Pedal
Source Audio One Series Nemesis Delay
MXR M133 Micro Amp
Bogner Wessex Overdrive Pedal
Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal
Digitech Drop Polyphonic Drop Tune Pitch-Shifter
Dunlop Volume (X) Pedal

Brian Cook's Board: Akai Head Rush
Dunlop DVP4 Volume X Mini Pedal
Way Huge WHE401S Swollen Pickle Jumbo Fuzz
TSVG Hard Stuff Bass
Dwarfcraft Devices Eau Claire Thunder
Digitech Bass Whammy
Tronographic Rusty Box Bass Preamp Pedal
Dwarfcraft Devices Pitchgrinder Sequenced Pitch Shifter Pedal K
MA Astrospurt Phaser
Source Audio One Series Nemesis Delay
Moog Taurus  


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