Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: Recording Guitarist Carl Verheyen

Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: Recording Guitarist Carl Verheyen

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I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to work with a lot of guitar players. And by a lot of guitar players, I mean a ton of guitar players. It’s interesting that while musicianship can differ so much from player to player, the quest for tone has many similarities. Guitar players from different countries, different styles of music, and completely different influences may still have similar go-to guitars, pedals, and amps in a given situation. Then you have guitar players that latch onto a sound that becomes their own, and that’s all they ever use. Robben Ford, for example, is quite often associated with his Dumble amplifier, which he has used on countless sessions and live performances. But in the studio, whether you’re a musician for hire or a rock star, the options tend to get broader. I think most of us are very similar in our quest to do whatever it takes to serve the song.

When I think of guitar diversity in the studio, one of the first people that comes to mind is Carl Verheyen. Not only is he a member of the hugely successful band Supertramp, but he also has his own solo group called CVB (Carl Verheyen Band), which has released over 15 albums. Carl has been a featured sideman for numerous touring artists, and he’s worked on countless sessions in darn near every genre of music, including hundreds (if not thousands) of movies and TV soundtracks. If you dig music, it’s almost impossible to have not heard his work, whether you realize it or not.

One of his albums that I was fortunate to co-produce with Carl a couple of years ago is called The Grand Design—truly a guitar player’s record. Lots of guitars, plenty of pedals, tons of amps, some blues, some ballads, classic songs, new songs—something for everyone. In the course of making that album, Carl brought his arsenal of guitar gear with him, including 34 guitars and 18 amplifiers, 7 speaker cabinets, and over 20 pedals. The cool thing is, we used all of it, and everything had a purpose. Carl has a very simple philosophy when it comes to gear: if it sounds good, don’t sell it!

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