Iconic Guitarists: David Gilmour's Use Of The Uni-Vibe
Next in my series on iconic guitarists and their use of effects is David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
David is an icon in many ways; as a guitarist, specifically an icon of the stratocaster, and as one of the members of the legendary English band Pink Floyd. He has also released several solo albums and DVDs.
To recreate the tone used on 'Breath' from 'Dark Side of The Moon' I have used the MXR Studio Compressor, a BOSS MD500 modulation unit with a Uni-Vibe effect dialled in (which is the most obvious effect you can hear in the track), a BOSS DD500 Delay unit and finally an MXR Reverb pedal. The delay is used to add depth to the tone but not be too obvious. The reverb is set in a similar fashion.
The Uni-Vibe effect was created in an attempt to simulate the sound of a rotating Leslie speaker cabinet in pedal form. In that sense it failed, but it produced something so much better! The effect is a combination of chorus, vibrato, flanger and phaser and then some. This is what gives the track ‘Breath’ from ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ it’s swirling quality. Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower are also renowned for their use of the effect.
The BOSS MD-500 Uni-vibe is a very accurate replica of the early tones from the late 60s and early 70s pedals and with plenty of parameters on offer the cache to sculpt a tone of your own choosing is certainly there. And you can save different variations of this if you so desire and recall patches with the use of the foot switches on the unit.
David generally doesn't use reverb when playing live, preferring to let the acoustic space he is playing in take care of that for him. I guess when one is playing in arenas through very loud Hiwatt amps one can do that! For those of us playing at home or in small clubs and pubs the use of a reverb pedal can be a very good thing to add some more life to a track. Setting the level and type is important so that the instrument retains definition...unless you are specifically going for an ambient track.