MK guitar style and licksRecording

News – Cover Intro and Solo

This week again I recorded some guitar sounds over a backing track produced for this purpose. After Once Upon a Time in the West in my last video, this time it is the next song on the same album: News.

The guitar sound on the whole Communiqué album is very special to me because it was this one – together with the first album – that turned me to Dire Straits when I was thirteen, and made me start playing guitar.

I could never get really close to this sound in previous attempts but meanwhile I am getting better I think, so I am quite happy with the result. I did not use gear as close as possible to the original stuff that Mark used on the album, in fact I did not use an amp at all, no Morley volume pedal, no fancy other devices but only a digital amp emulation and effects of my digital Soundcraft UI24R mixing desk.

I dialed in a rather trebly sound, and I did two things to make it softer: I turned down the volume pot to 8 to reduce some of the harshness of a normal Fender Strat pickup (the effect is similar to what Mark’s Morley volume pedal did to the sound), and I rolled back the tone pot. For the fingerpicking guitar  to ‘7’, and to ‘3’ for the solo. The tone cap in my guitar is a bit smaller than in vintage Strats, I think it is 0.033 uF instead of the 0.1 uF (I admit I need to check to be certain as I am pulling stuff in and out too often…).

I had the 5-way switch to the 1&2 position. The guitar is one of my two part-o-casters, with two MK61 pickups and a VFS-1 pickup in the neck position. The effects and settings were similar to the ones I described in the post for my previous video.

I recorded the backing track in Cubase. Both the drums and the bass were programmed to feed VST instruments, and I recorded three guitar tracks, the picking part, the lead, and the ‘chick’-sound rhythm guitar on the right stereo channel (this guitar is my self-built bubinga body dream machine Strat).

One thought on “News – Cover Intro and Solo

  1. Hi Ingo! I’ve been following your blog and videos for a little while, and am commenting for the first time. First of all, I think you are right on the money with that early MK tone! And “News” is an excellent choice, both for tone and as a song overall. I am curious about your red parts-o-caster. Is that maple cap neck a vintage Fender, or a newer one? And, what is the radius on the fretboard? I remember John Suhr left a comment (on the 1962 red strat page) saying that Mark’s ’62 maple neck was unusually flat – is your similar in description, or is it rounder like the vintage Fenders? What do you personally prefer, a rounder or a flatter fretboard? Thank you for your time.

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