Journeyman Logo

Nerdy Stuff

How to

Journeyman Logo

The aim on this page is to show all the technology and processes that enable the Journeyman show to be delivered.

Update for 2024 - a new sound system and rationalisation the instruments used with the aim of improving sound quality with less gear.

Click a "+" below

Guitars

For 2024 gigs. the aim has been to do more with less.

So I have been embarking on some serious rationalisation, mods and upgrades aimed at travelling with a slimmed down guitar inventory.

79 Strat
1979 USA Fender Antigua White Stratocaster

Owned since bought new from Soho Soundhouse in London in 1979 during a guitar shopping trip with my good pal Dave Wood. 

Shortly after it was fitted with EMG Active Pickups (circa 1980) as the stock Fender pickups were too noisy on stage with all the electromagnetic interference from lights etc. 

Recent mods for 2024 are the bottom Tone knob has been replaced by an EMG SPC Mid-Boost control and the Middle Tone knob now affects all three pickups.

The result is something close to the David Gilmour EMG DG20 signature Stratocaster from the "Pulse" era. 

The only difference being mine has a middle tone knob instead of the EXG control, something that seems to me to be far more tonally useful.

The active electronics in this instrument now allows a huge variety of tones to come from one guitar. 

Everything from glassy crystal clear cleans to dark and heavy overdrive.

It currently has a black anodised aluminium pickguard fitted while I figure out how to get the badly worn original Antigua pickguard restored or a replacement found.

2016 Les Paul 50s Triute
2016 Gibson Les Paul 50s Tribute

My first decent guitar was a walnut Gibson SG. Then in the late 70s started playing Fender Stratocasters due the the influence of players like Clapton, Gilmour, Hendrix, Knopfler and Beck. 

In the late 90's I sold my two SG's (I cannot say there was no hint of regret). However, I was not in a band at the time and could not justify the size of my collection of guitars as I was in the process of moving to Ireland.

I got this guitar in a trade of gear in 2018 and it reunited me with that rich tone that can only come from a Gibson guitar with humbucker pickups. 

It has now been modded so it can produce the "Peter Green - out of phase" mid position sound by reversing the magnet and orientation of one of the pickups. 

More recently it has been fitted with vintage wiring for a more authentic 50s Les Paul vibe.

It is now everything my Gibson SG's were but better.

I do have one further mod on the plan. The pickups in this guitar are 490T and 490R which have the 4 wire split coil configuration. As standard they are wired in parallel for the classic Gibson tone. 

It would seem mean not to fit it a pair of coil split volume pots to enable switching between series and parallel wiring of the coils, doubling the tonal possibilities.

Washburn

Washburn EA27 Greg Allman 

Signature Model


Limited Edition No 72 out of 150. 
This guitar is, and will remain, totally original with Fishman Pickups, Grover Tuners.
An awesome instrument.
On Stage Gear
On Stage
On Stage Setup

The heart of the Journeyman sound is a SoundCraft Ui24R digital mixer which is equipped with Lexicon, DBX and Digitech effects and up to 24 tracks of simultaneous recording as well as 32 tracks of digital computer interface (if required).

The mixer controls can be picked up on any WiFi enabled device (password protected). This means there are no mechanical faders and switches to wear out.

The backing tracks are picked up on a Klark Technic Bluetooth receiver and fed into the mixer. 

The guitar is wirelessly connected to a Headrush Pedalboard and this is linked stereo into the mixer. 

The Electrovoice ND Microphone also goes into the mixer.

There are plenty of spare input channels on the mixer for additional musicians depending on the need at the time

Mixer
Front of House

Audience facing - stereo active column array system

dB Technologies ES503

  • 2 x 1000W Power Amp Peak output
  • 4 slave 4x 3” full-range tops
  • 2 master 12” subwoofers

The Italian designed full-range system delivers an asymmetrical vertical coverage, thanks to the Logarithmic Curved Column Array technology - and a unique ''double ringed'' phase plug widens the horizontal coverage, while guaranteeing perfect voice intelligibility.

Additionally, this design allows the dB Technologies es 503 to be adapted for any situation, including for either a seated or standing audience.

dB ES503 Pair


Fold back - stereo active column array system

dB Technologies B-Hype 8

Foldback

Two small but powerful fold back monitors ensure the onstage sound can be heard by the performer(s)
The "Backing Band"
Backing Tracks
The Journeyman backing band

Over the years the process has evolved. 

Initially all backing tracks were created using midi editor, played through a midi player and recorded digitally to CD.

These have been largely replaced using sources like "Karaoke Version" or "Band in a Box" where individual tracks can be created for each instrument. 

The individual tracks are called "stems" which are then mixed using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). 

I use "Reaper" to mix with the objective of creating a track that will showcase the live guitar and vocal performance without being too intrusive.

To avoid differences in level and sound balance during a live performance, all tracks are "normalised" to the same level using MP3 Gain.

The sequence of the live performance is controlled through the BackTrax app, either on an iPhone or iPad


Live