Trying to recreate that Sultans of Swing sound – The gear I used on the Puresolo competition.

Like many others,  I recorded an entry for the Puresolo competition (you could play your solo over one of the following backing tracks:  Sulans of Swing, Calling Elvis, or Speedway at Nazareth). I always find it a bit frustrating to take part in such a competition because as it seems nobody knows before who decides basing on what criteria (authenticity, accuracy, originality, creativity, …??) Anyway, as the backing track was […]

Ernie Ball volume pedal modification to make the taper like it was with the old Allen Bradley poti

Regular readers of this blog might know my first article about the different behaviour of Mark Knopfler’s Ernie Ball volume pedal compared to recent Ernie Ball models. In short: In the 80ies  a different poti was used that caused a completely different sweep curve than later ones (see diagram below). Knopfler’s pedal changes volume drastically over the first part of the pedal sweep range. This allows him to perform the […]

Rhett Davies and the sound of the first Dire Straits album

In the blog post about the Sultans of Swing lead guitar track that was made available through the Guitar Hero 5 game we had some interesting discussions about some technical aspects of the guitar sound. One was whether the effects we hear (compression, chorus, reverb) were added later in the mix or were recorded right with the instrument track. Unfortunately there is no direct information available so we will probably […]

Sultans of Swing – The alternate single version and the demo version – sound and gear

Dire Straits’ first hit was Sultans of Swing, recorded in Basing Street studios, February 1978. But did you know that there was a different studio recording before (demo version, Pathway Studios, July 1977), and also a later recording (Pathway Studios, April 1978) that was recorded to be released as a single in some countries? The demo version This version was recorded on July 2, 1977, together with four other song […]

The Synclavier – The guitar sound of Dire Straits So far away

I recently saw a few threads in numerous forums about the guitar sound of So far away on Dire Straits’ fifth album, Brothers in Arms. People speculated that there was a flanger, a delay, a chorus, or other effects involved to create the rather unusual sound of the lead guitar. And unusual it is in fact. This is because it is not really a guitar what you hear – instead […]

Gear on one of the first Dire Straits gigs on the Clapham Common bandstand

As promised in the comments on one of the last articles, I tried to find all pictures of one of Dire Straits’ first gigs – the one at the summer party for Charlie Gilett’s Honky Tonk Radio Show, on the Clapham Common bandstand, September 10, 1977. Unfortunately there are only 4 pictures it seems, not 5 or 6 as I hoped (the one on the sleeve of the Honky Tonk […]

Gear on Dire Straits’ first TV appearance at Old Grey Whiste Test

I recently watched the video clips of Dire Straits performing Sultans of Swing and Lions live on the British Old Grey Whistle Test again.  It is one of the earliest videos that exist, recorded in Manchester on May 15, 1978, about three months after the first CD. Sultans of Swing Lions Let’s have a look at the gear we can see in this clip. Knopfler plays his red maple neck […]

Mark Knopfler’s Amp and Effect Settings on the On Every Street tour

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 […]

Amps and Gear on the Dire Straits Bootleg Leeds 1978

The bootleg Dire Straits – Leeds – January 30 (31?), 1978 is one of the earliest Dire Straits live recordings (actually the only earlier live recording is  only one song – Eastbound Train from the Hope & Anchor pub, London, December 1977). This bootleg concert was recorded about one week before the recoding sessions for the very first Dire Straits album. This gig was the last of a short England […]