A lot of people wonder how to adjust all the controls on the guitar amp or on effect devices to recreate the sound of song xy. Such questions are common in guitar forums all over the internet. Of course it is almost impossible to say which setting someone needs to recreate an authentic sound with his individual gear. Besides, even if you use exactly the same kind of setup with the same setting as on the original song, this does not guarantee to get the same sound because the probably most important sound factor is the playing technique, the old saying “the sound is in his fingers”.
Nevertheless, to know the original setting of a sound can help you to come as close as possible within your playing ability. In the studio, most engineers take photos of amp settings in case a part of the recording has to be fixed with later overdubs, but these pictures almost never get into the public. On Dire Straits’ On Every Street tour (1991/92) however, Mark Knopfler’s then-guitar technician Ron Eve allowed a few interviewers to copy his chart with most settings for the amps and effects. Such a chart appeared in a Mark Knopfler interview in Germany’s Gitarre & Bass magazine, and another one was from the England tour (unfortunately I must admit I downloaded it some years ago but cannot find it anymore).
Ron Eve changed the settings for the two amps and switched between the effect programs for each song. They used two Soldano amps, one is the active amp for a song so that the other amp can be in advance adjusted for the next song. In fact, only the pre-amps are alternated, the power sections of both amps feed a stereo signal into the two Marshall cabinets.
This chart is not really self-explaining, but with some research most parameters can be identified. Here is the chart:
What exactly do all the columns and figures mean?
The title of the song, nothing to add here except that Tunnel of love was not always played. If not, it was replaced by Telegraph Road.
Just the number of the song.
This column does not only list the guitar for the song but also the pick-up combinations or control settings. The denotion of the pick-up combinations is a bit inconsistent: while ‘b2’ seems to be ‘second position from bridge’ = bridge & middle, and ‘n2’ for ‘second position from neck’ = neck & middle, on Planet of New Orleans it says ‘b4’ which might be be ‘fourth position from bridge’ = neck & middle (why not ‘n2’ here ?). On Walk of Life it says ‘cent.’ which is center position (bridge & neck), and on On Every Street ‘n c’ should be ‘neck & center’ (the Schecter Strat has three individual switches, so something like ‘n2’ makes less sense here).
In addition to the pick-up combination we find notes like ‘on’, ‘out’, ‘off’, or ‘in’. On the Pensa these should have to do with the active mid boost (avtivated with a push/pull poti, I guess ‘out’ is on, ‘in’ is off). I am not sure what ‘on’ and ‘in’ might stand for, it seems only the tone control is left as a candidate (?). Please make your suggestions using the comment function.
This might be the gain setting of the pre-amp in the Cornish rack system that was the container for Knopfler’s 19″ rack effects.
The TC was the 2290 delay, these numbers should be of the program in which they saved the settings for each song
This should be another delay, presumably the Alesis Quadraverb (or it is the Zoom 9010, see Rev/FX). Here we only find ‘checked’ (on) or not. I suspect this effect had a fixed setting and was just switched on for an additional delay effect.
Maybe the Zoom 9010, or the Alesis Quadraverb, see Del above.
The Yamaha REV 5
The fixed-psoition wah wah (a Dunlop Cry Baby) was only used for Money for Nothing, it was built into the rack.
Lead (=overdrive) channel of the Soldano amp, if not checked, the normal channel was used, see below.
The two Soldano SLO 100 amps were denoted with A and B.
Amp Settings (note that the Soldano controls go up to 11)
These arrows correspond to the Bright (upper arrow) and Crunch switches (down should be off, up should be on)
N1 / OI
Gain control of the Normal or Overdrive channel
M / M / T
Bass / middle / treble
MO / OO
Master volume of the Normal or Overdrive channel
It seems on Calling Elvis the overdrive channel was switched to the normal channel during an arpeggio (which?) , N5 and N9 can be the setting of maybe normal gain and normal master
XL 115W is the string set for the red Pensa on Two Young Lovers.
Maybe a black-out, but I have no idea which Washburn can be meant.
Some general notes
As said there were one or two more of these charts around from other concerts. What is striking is the high setting of the bass control, mind he uses two closed 4 x 12″ cabinets which have normally plenty of bass."Buy me a beer" - donate for the site via PayPal. Or buy a backing track in my online shop 🙂