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Rock/Neoclassical Guitarist Brennan Dylan And His Animal

Last Updated 4/20/2012 2:51:34 PM

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Rock/Neoclassical Guitarist Brennan Dylan And His AnimalRock/Neoclassical Guitarist Brennan Dylan And His Animal

By  Brennan Dylan

While sewing the seams between electronic music and intricate, precise guitar technicality, Brennan Dylan is set to take the guitar world by storm with his sophomore release, Broken Glass.  Some consider Dylan’s guitar playing to be a combination of Randy Rhoades meets Jeff Beck, but on this record its more Yngwie Malmsteen meets SBTRKT. Dylan combines infectious electronic beats with guitar solos that truly reflect the more than six hours each day that he spends perfecting his craft.

Animal, the guitar I use for both recording and performance is a custom made version of the Illusionist Deluxe by Gary Kramer Guitar. The solid mahogany bodied instrument with fine tuned maple neck was built by my sponsor to be played hard. The guitar was built to withstand my hard hitting, aggressive style. The paint is the same cream color found on many early Fender guitars but has been antiqued to give it a seasoned look. I had a kill-switch installed because I kept wearing out the pickup toggle on my other guitars as I flipped it back and forth for effect. Animal has two Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups and a Gotoh tremelo which is strung together with 10 gauge D'Addario strings, the only strings I use.

Since I practice and record in my apartment, I have to be respectful of my neighbors so I try to keep it down. Instead of running my guitar through an amp, which can be tricky to get the sound I want at low volume, I use an AXE FX2 by Fractal Audio Systems. It is an amp processor which consistently gives me an authentic sound and tone, whether the volume is turned to 1 or cranked to 10. It has an unbelievable selection of virtual amps and cabinets, both vintage and modern, so I can custom create the amp sound I'm looking for by combining various amps and cabinets. Generally, I practice, perform and record with an Orange Rockerverb virtual amp run through a virtual Orange cabinet or a Marshall vintage Plexi virtual amp run through a vintage Marshall virtual cabinet. 

The AXE FX2 is packed with effects. I took an effects class at Berklee College of Music and bought a bunch of pedals but ended up selling them all. I decided a few years ago to focus on getting the sounds I wanted from my guitar. I use some distortion and a bit of delay, that's it. But there are a million unique sounds you can create with this processor. I just like to keep it simple while using something that is incredibly reliable.

Rock/Neoclassical Guitarist Brennan Dylan And His AnimalTo power my amp processor and give Animal some throat, I use an ART SLA2, a 200 watt studio power amp by Applied Research and Technology. The amp has power to spare. It also has an unbelievable cooling system and bolts nicely into one space of my SKB shockmount rig rack, along with my AXE FX2 and Furman M-8Dx power conditioner.

For my live performances I bring a Traktor Kontrol S4 by Native Instruments and a pair of Pioneer HDJ-1000 headphones to keep  Animal, my SKD rig rack and Krank cabinet, company. I want my shows to sound exactly as my music does on my CD's. The Traktor Kontrol S4 is a DJ system for the professional which is as simple as it is complex, meaning the DJ decides which it will be. For me it is both, allowing me the freedom to focus on my technical guitar work and at the same time giving me the freedom to interact with it completely, using my Pioneer HDJ-1000 headphones. Its a killer system.

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