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Old 01-09-2017, 01:09 PM   #1
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Edge's gear in the 80s (especially late 80s)

I know, i know, it's probably discussed before. But what's Edge's gear in the 80s, especially after JT? you know, the time when U2 became superstars and such.

I see bunch of pics depicting Edges gear setup in the early 80s, up to War era. basically 2 guitars, couple of MMs, and vox amps. but as soon as it enters UF tour and onward i see less and less concrete information. even less than his IE tour setup.

I just wonder this as they're hitting the road with JT 30th anniversary tour and I kinda want to revisit the 80s, just like they do. Also, I wanted to answer my long standing questions about how he got those tones in the 80s. sure I like Edge's 90s tone more but 80s was also nice. I wanna know about all of it. Amps, pedals/effects, and guitars. sure, you can also tell me about strings and picks.

Im also wondering how he's gonna replicate sounds off of these records on this anniversary tour. are they gonna shrink the gear?
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:39 PM   #2
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If memory serves me right his rig at that time was a lot like mine. In the sense that he and his tech probably cobbled it more or less together by themselves as best as they could from what was available on the market at the time. For the next step they had to go to the Bob Bradshaws and Pete Cornishes of the world.

From what I've read his rig used to be the Boss SCC-700 switching system, which could control 7 pedals.
https://www.boss.info/us/community/b...ers_group/837/

There was also the TC-2290 which had its own TC0144 controller with MIDI capability via the 2290 and the option to put and control some effects in its effects loop as well.
2290 - Controllers

Korg SDD-3000 did not have any MIDI capabilities and he used what I think was some DIY switching contraption to give it some more preset capabilities and live controls.

So he had three controllers, DIY SDD3K controller, Boss SCC700 and TC0144 at his feet. Not the most elegant of solutions as it still leaves too much pedal tap dancing as you cannot change effects that are in separate switching systems at the same time. Which is probably why when his sounds got even more complex with Achtung Baby he sought out Bob Bradshaw. I have no idea what pedals he was using at that time but its probably not that much radically different from what was in his later Zoo TV rig. The TC controller probably had the MIDI rack units. Probably at least 2 2290's, 2 SDD3K's (you gotta have spares on the road, especially with vulnerable rack gear). Probably something for reverb as well. And the AMS DMX Delay Harmonizer which became his main shimmer unit until it got replaced by the Axe.

As for what he will use on this tour, it will probably be a wall of Axe-FX units. Metal bands have to have those walls of Marshall stacks, Edge won't rest until he has a wall of Axe-FX units.

Seriously though, I doubt he will downsize his rack as the Joshua Tree only is like 50 minutes of music at best, so most of the show will still be the same hits they play now. Unless they're actually going to play the same setlist they did back then in which case he really could use less gear. But I highly doubt that. I still think hits like One, Beautiful Day and Vertigo will be in the setlist. And now that he's comfortable with the Axe I doubt that he will go back and bring out some of those old gear relics of the 80's. That shit got retired for a reason. If Dweezil Zappa can play Frank Zappa's whole catalog with the Axe then Edge can do the same for just the Joshua Tree.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:14 AM   #3
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So I know he started with the Memory Man. By JT he has the Korgs and the 2290s. My confusion has always been, during the JT era, which of those delays were used for what?
I often see it written that the Korgs are the key to his delay sound but I thought it was the 2290 with its modulation that was more central to JT...
Anyone know?

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Old 01-10-2017, 05:19 AM   #4
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I think he used sdd for old songs from boy to war replacing memory man and tc2290 for tuf and jt songs...


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Old 01-10-2017, 08:53 AM   #5
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Makes sense the SDD replacing the memory man. It has only limited presets, no MIDI capabilities. Set and forget it to a short slapback is all you basically need or the pre-UF songs. Use it for its preamp and the 2290 for the rest.

Although from what I gathered it was the main delay as well with the custom switcher during the UF tour.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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but didn't he use SDD3000s for more "anthems" like Streets and Still Haven't Found? or at least that's what i've heard.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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I remember he had MXR Pitch Transposers during the 80s. is that the only rack mount units he had in JT era aside from SDD's and TC2290s?

Also, I remember reading about Edge discussing this tour and he is saying that they are considering playing some B sides from JT/Rattle and Hum period. so.....who knows, they might really keep the theme of reliving late 80s U2 when it comes to setlist.

About Dweezil, he has myriads of pedals aside from Axe-Fx. somehow, too much effect is not enough for so many people. I'm not blaming, guitar effects are great.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:56 PM   #8
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Hmmm. The interwebs seem to confirm the TC was the delay in Streets. Which is really his signature delay sound. I'd love to know about the rest of the album.
But oddly it's always the sdd that seems to get the 'if you want to sound like Edge, you need one of these' reviews. Is that because of the preamp?



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Old 01-10-2017, 04:03 PM   #9
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From Musician Magazine - 1987


U2 CAN PLAY

Bono sings and plays his Hohner and ProHarp harmonicas into a Shure SM 58 microphone. He plays his custom-made Fender Telecaster into a MESA/Boogie amp and also plays a Washburn acoustic.

Edge also has a Washburn acoustic in addition to a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson Les Paul Custom and a Fender Telecaster. His onstage keyboard is a Yamaha CP 70B. His offstage set-up includes a Yamaha QX1, a Yamaha QX7 sequencer, a Yamaha DX7 and an E-Max Sampling Keyboard. Amps include a Vox AC30 and a MESA/Boogie. Effects include a t. c. 2290 digital delay, Yamaha REV7, SPX 90 and Korg digital delay. All of this is controlled with a Boss Sound Center Control and a Photon MIDI converter.

Adam Clayton's basses include three Fenders: a Precision, a Jazz, and one that's custom-made with a graphite neck. Adam also has a Zon bass with Bartolini pickups. It's all driven with a BGW amp into four Harbinger speakers and a Yamaha crossover, and sweetened with Boss SCC 700, Ibanez V 4000 and Yamaha SPX 90 multi-effects units, and an Ibanez DM1000 digital delay. For mobility Adam and Edge use Nady wireless systems.

Larry Mullen's Yamaha drum kit includes a 24-inch bass drum, 14-inch rack tom, 2 floor toms and a 14-inch piccolo snare. Add two Latin Percussion timbales, Rude and Paiste cymbals, and Pro-mark 5A sticks, and you have it.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack_Again View Post
I remember he had MXR Pitch Transposers during the 80s. is that the only rack mount units he had in JT era aside from SDD's and TC2290s?
You're forgetting the AMS harmonizer delay that he used for shimmer.

Quote:
Also, I remember reading about Edge discussing this tour and he is saying that they are considering playing some B sides from JT/Rattle and Hum period. so.....who knows, they might really keep the theme of reliving late 80s U2 when it comes to setlist.
Hmm, to me that reads like Sweetest Thing at least will be in it. Potentially Silver & Gold. Possibly Spanish Eyes when they hit Spain. Other then that I don't expect much else. It would be nice to have some Rattle & Hum stuff as well. They still play Desire and AIWIY, so hopefully All Along the Watchtower again? The Lovetown version kicked ass. God Part II? Hawkmoon? Love Rescue Me?

They really could do a full 80's only main set, and then do some modern stuff for the encores.

Quote:
About Dweezil, he has myriads of pedals aside from Axe-Fx. somehow,
Well, so does Edge usually. Even with the Axe.

Quote:
too much effect is not enough for so many people. I'm not blaming, guitar effects are great.
With the exception of a few good fuzzes and the odd crazy Line6 noise you can really do almost everything with the Axe. Will it sound exactly like some the more exotic effects? Probably not, but then again, only those who are way too anal about the tone will notice. Dweezil and Edge probably fall into that category.

So now thanks to Edge_Orchestra we have some more names for Edge's rig.
- TC 2290
- Korg SDD3000
- AMS DMX 15-80S Digital Delay
- Yamaha SPX90 Reverberator, more of a multi-FX though, we had one in the FOH for a while at my previous job at a youth center.
- Yamaha REV7 Digital Reverbetor
- Photon MIDI Converter, does not appear to be a MIDI controller, but more a guitar synth, including with a MIDI pickup that you had to install on your guitar.

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All rack units probably controlled by the TC0144. All pedals probably controlled by the Boss SCC 700

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No vids seem to exist for the TC0144

Keyboards and samplers

- Yamaha CP 70B (still seems to be his main piano)
- Yamaha QX1
- Yamaha QX7
- Yamaha DX7
- E-Max Sampling Keyboard

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It's interesting to see that in basically four years time Edge went from a guy with a simple setup in 1983, a guitar into a Dynacomp into a Memory Man into his amp, into a massive gear slut in 1987.

I wonder if that was just the influence of Eno and Lanois, or something that was bound to happen as guitarists everywhere were building 19" racks higher then the Empire State Building.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:28 AM   #11
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well Brian Eno used yamaha DX7 pretty extensively in the 80s (just like any other pop producers/musicians did), so Edge using them doesn't surprise me; probably Eno made these sounds off of DX7 in the studio and Edge (or someone else) triggered sequences off of these sequencers during shows. very reasonable.

SO....most of Edge's rack gear in the 80s were for reverb/spacial effects and delay aside from pitch transposer? interesting. and 2 (or 3, if you include AMS delay/reverb for shimmer) for reverb? Or Edge used SPX90 for other things so i shouldn't assume that it was for reverb. (did Edge use reverse reverb within that SPX90? i remember that Kevin Shields loved that effect).

about the topic about the power of Axe-Fx, can that unit do all kinds of weird synth-sounding effects off of these weird pedals like Digitech Space Station? just wondering.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:52 PM   #12
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We don't really know what and how Edge used for which songs in those days. I assume that if there's currently some woosh from some modulation thingy in a JT song he probably got that sound from something back then as well. But how.....? I'm not even sure Edge even remembers. There are a lot of factors in this:
- It really is a long time ago. So was the War era, but his setup was so much simpler that its easier to figure out. In the end its Edge. This guy is anal about tone and if he thinks he has to include a rare rack unit in his setup just for a slight bit of analog sustain in one song he will do it.
- The 80's and 80's gear are not getting a lot of love from most musicians, it's the decade musicians seem to love to hate. It's like we know more of 60's fuzz faces then some 80's rack gear.
- It's hard to research these old tones. The internet and internet discussion groups are a great source to pool new information. Someone talks to Dallas, some guys film a tour of the Underworld, a lucky pic. And then there are the really good tribute Edges willing to talk shop. The more that gets talked about, the more our knowledge pool increases. This goes about everything in general. The more knowledge gets shared, the faster science advances. Only in movies are mad scientists more successful on their own. In the 80's and early 90's this didn't happen as there was no internet. Everybody was more on their own. As a result less knowledge was gathered and preserved off those days.
- Most tribute Edges seem on average more interested in the here and now and less in the past. In the sense that come a new album/tour all attention goes on playing the new songs and new renditions of the old songs. Are they still playing the Elevation, Vertigo and 360 renditions of the greatest hits or have they switched to the I+E versions? I'm assuming on average the latter.

As for the Axe FX, it does have weird synths and filter effect blocks. it can do an ungodly amount of things as you can combine, route, re-route and split your signal in so many ways it's not funny. Maybe you cannot create a certain sound with a single effect block as easily as with a pedal, you can combine enough effect blocks and tweak them to get the sound you want. If you have the patience for it. Which can be a pretty big if even for a lot of Axe users. If not it pays to check the Fractal forums.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:54 AM   #13
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sure 80s gear is unpopular, probably because 1) we all love analog (even synth enthusiasts are insane for analog synths) and 2) some of these digital gear are crap compared to digital gear we now have. Sure, Yamaha DX7 was pretty amazing in 80s standard (i think it was one of the first commercially available digital synths) but they only had 32 un-tweakable presets (unless you buy additional things like memory cards) which often sounded very corny. nowadays, even soft synths can do more than what DX7 can do. Of course people are not very into the gear in the 80s. similarly, i don't think people aren't that fond of digital pedals from the 90s. like Whammy 2 and XP series of pedals from Digitech. However, I see people showing some love for old digital rack preamps like Mesa Triaxis. i know that's not the huge following but that's something.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwilad View Post
So I know he started with the Memory Man. By JT he has the Korgs and the 2290s. My confusion has always been, during the JT era, which of those delays were used for what?
I often see it written that the Korgs are the key to his delay sound but I thought it was the 2290 with its modulation that was more central to JT...
Anyone know?

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Old 02-08-2017, 09:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwilad View Post
So I know he started with the Memory Man. By JT he has the Korgs and the 2290s. My confusion has always been, during the JT era, which of those delays were used for what?
I often see it written that the Korgs are the key to his delay sound but I thought it was the 2290 with its modulation that was more central to JT...
Anyone know?

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He had the Korg SDD3000 by Red Rocks (1983)
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