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Vertex Steel String Clean Drive MKII
Nathaniel and Isaiah Sharkey trade tips on how to get the most out of the new Vertex Steel String Clean Drive MKII. The latest version of Vertex's clean drive, the Steel String MKII uses the Dumble String Singer #001 as the basis for its design, but it reduces the original's size by a third and adds "Rock/Jazz" toggle switching for bass cut control.
NATHANIEL: Hi, folks. Nathaniel here at Chicago Music Exchange, and today we've got Isaiah Sharkey here, an incredible player, and he's going to tell us about the new Steel String from Vertex effects. So, how's it going, Isaiah? You good?
ISAIAH: Good, good. How are you?
NATHANIEL: I'm doing all right.
ISAIAH: Yes, so, this great pedal by Vertex is basically a clean drive. It has a lot of different functions, but I usually like to–if I want that little grit, that little dirt, you know, but still clean–I use this. I'll give you an example. So, without this, without it on, it sounds like this [plays]–just a basic chord. But you can use it [plays] where it gives you a little grit. And you can still play it soft, you know, and depending on your dynamics, you can still have it clean [plays]. You know, or you can slam it a little bit.
NATHANIEL: So have you got a favorite kind of setting for your kind of sweet spot or anything?
ISAIAH: Yeah, pretty much, and it really depends on the song. So if I'm in a song and I'm doing more chordal stuff and want to go jump from, you know, playing softer with a clean sound–
ISAIAH: I'll usually have the, uh, let's see here, have the level right at, like, one o'clock and the gain is halfway up. The filter is about one o'clock as well. And I have the Rock, I have the switch on the Rock tone.
NATHANIEL: All right.
ISAIAH: So if I'm doing, like, some open string stuff, like, you know, uh, I'll just give you an example [plays], and if I want to, you know, get a little louder–a little more grit–I just play harder [plays]. And also, you know, changing the pickups helps too, so [plays]...and that's without changing the settings. You can go right back to [plays], so it works really well dynamically and everything. It's just perfect.
NATHANIEL: That sounds brilliant, man. That sounds great. You obviously highly recommend this to anyone out there.
ISAIAH: Absolutely. It's on my pedalboard. So, you know, it's definitely–it stays a must on my–
NATHANIEL: Yeah. Well, I mean, if I–if I get it, will I be able to play it like that?
ISAIAH: Absolutely [laughs].
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