The other day I was wasting time on Facebook, and came across an interesting post on the Gear Talk group. It was a small clip of Jon Carolino performing some ambient work with a Telecaster. It reminded me of one of my favorite ambient guitar players Andy Othling, and then I started exploring a little more. First off, his board is pretty great, is perfect for what he’s trying to pull off. Second, his YouTube channel has some absolutely great stuff from technique to amazing ambient songs. Here is an example:
I reached out to Jon to see if he would be interested in answering a few questions about his set up, and he was into it. First off, let’s see this board!
Here is a breakdown of pedals:
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
5 channel True Bypass Looper
Disaster Area DMC-6L Midi Controller
Strymon Timeline Delay
Strymon Timeline Delay
Strymon BigSky Reverb
Neunaber Wet Stereo Reverb
Neunaber Slate V2
Visual Sound Route 66 Overdrive/Compression
Korg Pitchblack Tuner
JHS Morning Glory Overdrive
JHS Moonshine Overdrive
Strymon El Capistan Tape Echo
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator
Like I mentioned, I wanted to talk some pedals with Jon.. so here we go!
– What is the Disaster Area switch? Midi controller? Couldn’t find that model on their site.
The Midi controller is a Disaster Area DMC-6L. Its the early version of the ones they first made. Looking forward to upgrading some day. Matthew over at Disaster area makes some incredible equipment. This controls both of my Timelines and the Bigsky. REALLY helps for the live stuff.
– What is the pedal right of the Route 66? In other vids.. I saw a Freeze there at one point.
Right now I’m auditioning the Neunaber Slate V2 using their Hold with Reverb algorithm in place of the Freeze. Works the same as the freeze just with the stereo wet included too.
– What true bypass loop strip are you using?
Honestly I don’t know. I bought it off ebay back in like 2007 before True bypass loopers got cool 😉 I saw the Hillsong guys use them and it really made sense to start using one with so many pedals, not just for a cleaner tone but for was of use. I’m really looking forward to getting a Disaster Area DPC 5 or 8 in the future so I can have all my pedals set to be turned on or off via midi.
– I see you’re using 2 Strymon Timelines.. what’s the reasoning there?
Ah! The golden question. Cuz I can 😉 No, really though, I LOVE layering delays. Its been a favorite thing of mine for a years. So I used to have a to of other delays on my board but the Strymon Timeline IS my favorite. It can do anything so many other pedals are trying to do an more so it made sense to just get rid of all the other pedals and get another one. So now I can layer different delay tones mixing the two timelines together. The first timeline gets more of the analog and auto swell action to where the second timeline gets more of the different spacious delay tones and stuff. It really just gives me an infinite way to mix and play. I love Strymon’s stuff. So awesome.
– Were you using a BlueSky before the BigSky or did you just jump right into the BigSky?
Yup. I was using the Bluesky before. I actually sold half of my pedalboard to be able to fund buying a Strymon Timeline and Bluesky several years ago. It was SOOOO worth it. From that point I always said to myself, “If Strymon ever comes out with a multi reverb pedal like the Timeline, I’m jumping on it” and they did. So I sold my Neunaber Stereo Wet and my Bluesky to get one. Its probably my most favorite and used pedal on my board.
– Based on other shots, looks like the JHS Morning Glory and Moonshine are recent additions. What made you go in this direction?
Well for a LONG time I was using a Visual Sound Open Road. Its a FANTASTIC overdrive. But I always heard really good things about the JHS Morning Glory. So when I got a chance and the funds, I decided I was going to invest in some new drives so the Morning Glory and a Timmy were purchased. I instantly fell in love with the Morning Glory. It just had some kind of magic in there that really speaks to me. So yes, it has become my favorite drive.
So I was trying to find a nice thicker drive with a bit more gain and my friend Brian Howerin had a moonshie he let me test out one day. It sounded amazing. So I went on a quest to find one in trade of the timmy and a boost. Once I got it it was like “man this is what Ive been missing”. Its a great OD. Since I like a brighter more chimey-er clean tone, it really helps thicken up my tone when I need it.
– Do you find yourself swapping out pedals often? If so, why?
Eh…it just depends. As far as new pedals, I really try to make sure that I acquire a pedal for a purpose. I don’t want to just have a bunch of pedals just because I can. But as for swapping out pedals on my shelf, it just depends on the application. If I’m going to be playing a worship set at a church, then ill make sure to have overdrives and stuff on there. If I’m just doing an ambient solo act or something, Ill have more modulation and reverbs and delays since, as of right now, I don’t use much overdrive in those applications.
– Do you do any looping with your ambient soundscape (similar to Andy Othling), if so.. is the primary looper a Strymon Timeline?
Oh yeah! Make sure you check out my Youtube (youtube.com/nightbulb42) Andy Othling is and was a HUGE inspiration in me getting into ambient music as well as Youtubing.
As for the looper, I use a Boomerang III
– Do you play in any bands or other projects? If so, does this board seem versatile to handle those projects, or do you need to swap pedals out?
Mainly solo right now. I have been thinking about taking this full band live more as a collective rather than a set group of people. And as I said in the earlier question, I just switch out gear all according to the application.
– If you had to keep one pedal on the board.. only one.. what would it be and why?
Strymon Bigsky. I think I could still get any kind of ambient thing done with just that one pedal 😉
You can learn more about Jon Carolino by checking out the links below:
Let me know what you think by commenting below!