Please feel free to chat God, spirituality, tone, etc.

Karl Verkade

30 thoughts on “Email

  1. Hey my son is GASsing for a new amp. He plays thru my Roland Cube 30 and the volume works for everything we do right now. Church, small rooms, restaurants. So that’s fine for a 30w, but he’s thinking tube amp. Specifically a Fender Blues JR or a Super Champ XD. About the same price if you get a used Blues JR or new SCXD. Will the 15w BJ be about same volume as 30w SS Roland? I’ve heard that to be true of tube vs SS.

    Any reason to exclude the SC? It has some onboard effects which are nice on occasion. And the modeling might be nice – we do like that on the Roland.

    Great site.

  2. Hey, Randy. I’m a huge fan of the Blues Junior as a low cost tube amp, especially if you change the tubes to JJ’s or Tung-Sol’s, and the speaker to a Celestion Vintage 30. Fender got it right with that one!

    And you’re absolutely right on the tube wattage. In fact, in a band context, you might find the Blues Junior to seem to be even louder than the Cube 30.

    I’ve not played the SC, but I hear they are good amps. If you’re looking to save money and not buy external stompboxes, then the onboard effects might be a good idea. I just love the Blues Junior, though! 🙂


  3. Karl, I saw your vids on Damage Control’s site. Are you, like, buddies with the guys over there or something? So since you are famous and probably have all the hookups over there at Damage Control, do you happen to know anymore info about the new delay they are building?

    I was also wondering what you thought of the new Strymon products. Brigader is awesome. But that El Capistan and the skyblue reverb are freaking amazing. That is such an awesome sounding tape simulator. And that reverb is so intricate. I might just have to buy both.

  4. Hey Karl,

    Just stumbled across your post – Worship leading… choosing your ending and was spitting coffee onto my keyboard trying to hold back gut busting laughter.

    I thought to myself –

    This guy has some serious issues but oh my gosh this is so hilarious. Hmmm – Does the fact that I find this so funny mean that I have problems? Probably.

    I personally would stage a coo right then and there and God would mysteriously and suddenly give me the ability to sing and I would be the new leader and show everyone where God’s heart truly is and then it would just flow right into a sermon that would have songs that all speak to a common theme interspersed throughout. Then I would close with a song (that makes everyone cry)/altar call/spontaneous baptism for the multitude who were longing for something like to happen. Yeah I definitely have problems. (that was not meant to be taken seriously at all BTW)

    In reality I would probably chuckle openly because I know that my leader’s heart is where it should be. Chasing after God. Even if his mouth failed him for a moment.

    A lot of educational stuff on here too. Thanks for putting it out there. I’m hooked.


  5. David–whoa sorry, saw this comment way late! We’re not close or anything, but they did notice the bit of a traffic increase that my videos sent them, and they have been very appreciative. Terry, who has been my main point of contact with Strymon / Damage Control, is one of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and Dave has fixed a couple pedals for me in record time. So, just great guys who have been very kind to me regarding my videos of their gear.

    And the Strymon products look amazing. Unfortunately, as I’ve been out of a job for a while, new gear is on hold for me. But I’m hoping to purchase some soon!

    CT–nice!! I like that ending! haha 🙂 And stoked you’re enjoying it over here. I look forward to God, tone, music, and random conversations. hehe 🙂 Have a wonderful day.

  6. Hey Karl…enjoy your site. Being a big Edge fan as I am, I’m just curious if you know anything about the effect at 2:45 on this video. Doesn’t seem to be related to the guitar but more something he triggers with an expression pedal.

    Being Mr. Soundsscape I thought you might know 🙂

  7. Thanks for the kind words on the site. 🙂 And that’s his shimmer sound at that part of the video. I believe he’s splitting his signal through a Skrydstrup box, then sending one of the signals into an Eventide Harmonizer for the shimmer sound (basically an octave up sound soaked in verb and delay with a slow gear on it), and there may or may not be other delays and verbs in that signal path. He’s got that one path on a volume pedal (or perhaps an expression pedal from the Eventide), and then sends it to a separate amp. 🙂

    That’s the layman’s view of it without having actually asked Edge. (Unfortunately. hehe)

    The Empress SuperDelay, Line 6 Verbzilla, Strymon Blue Sky, Behringer RV600, Digitech Timebender, and Eventide Pitchfactor will do similar things, amongst some others. I run mine with a POG and verb, and I have my setup explained here:

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  8. BRILLIANT, Karl. Really helpful. I’m a hobbyist with a wife and kid to support so I’ll probably go the Verbzilla (or maybe, fingers crossed, the Strymon) route…but either way I really appreciate you sharing. Blogs like yours make getting back into playing – and more importantly making the sounds I hear in my head – a much easier pursuit. Now riddle me this: is there a pedal out there somewhere that can make us as talented as Imogen Heap?

  9. JJ–no problem! Always stoked to hang out with a fellow gear head! haha And if you find the Imogen pedal, please let me know! hehe

    Nater2–lol Ah, I forgot about that.

  10. have you ever thought of doing workshops for conferences?
    i went to a CMS (christian musician summit) in buffalo NY and learned a whole lot about using effects effectively for worship from a workshop with ben gowell, the lead guitarist for paul baloche. Also a workshop with scotty murray- who plays for lotsa random acts. anyways, the worship guitarist of America need people like you – and ben gowell – to teach them how to use effects in worship music.

    just a thought-

  11. Karl, thought of you the other day when revisiting John Mark McMillan’s “The Medicine”…and album you’ve probably heard. It’s kind of a polarizing record in worship circles, but no one interested in tone and tasteful use of guitar effects can deny, James Duke is a BEAST. Check the way he fills the space during the break at 3:18 here:

    The plinky-ness of JMM’s rhythm guitar drives me nuts but you get the picture. Another example of Duke’s pad work at at the end of “Dress Us UP” here:

    If somehow this record wasn’t on your radar I would champion it for the guitar work alone…that said it does speak to my heart, especially Dress Us Up, Ten Thousand, Skeleton Bones and Carbon Ribs. Jabez ftw!

    Enjoy 🙂

  12. Andy K–I would love to! No one’s offered yet, but if they do, it would be totally rad! And Paul Baloche’s guitarist is great. 🙂

    JJ–totally agree. I really like the non-church sounding music that they’re doing right now. 🙂

  13. Karl,
    I just got this PM from an administrator on TGP:

    “I pulled this: “Remember who we do this for. “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” Psalm 115:1.”

    from your post on the delay thread. Religious content and messages are not allowed on TGP as per the rules.”

    I got that 2 mins after posting that. It was in a Worship thread talking about recommendations for a delay or two to use in his local worship band. the issue i take is that these administrators must be sitting there looking for this. Apparently it is ok to drop the F-bomb and curse up a storm, but quoting a psalm is strictly prohibited. Did it ever ocour to him that David was a musician. For all intensive purposes would i get censored if i posted the lyrics to Mighty to Save? Would they ban all Christian music? Is this what the world is coming too? What’s your, or anyone else who wants to chime in, take?

    If am about to cancel my account…

  14. It’s okay to talk about worship music from a music perspective, but not a worship or theological perspective. It sucks but they are the rules. They’re not anti-Christian over there, in fact, a couple of the moderators are Christians, it’s just something they have decided. It’s not only Religion but, politics that is banned over there.

  15. If I remember correctly, I think the founders of Gear Page are Christians and worship musicians. And unfortunately, after years of reading worship/Christian conversations over there, I have to say that although I may not fully agree with them, I definitely see their point of view. I can’t remember the last time I read a Christian or worship-based conversation over there that didn’t end poorly; and usually it’s been the Christians who have showed the least amount of love and respect.

    So, I see their perspective that in order to maintain order amongst thousands of members over there, due to experience they now feel like they have to get rid of all Christian/worship conversations and comments. I’m not saying I agree; but I am saying that if we Christians could just show a little bit more love than we tend to do sometimes, just maybe we wouldn’t get censored so much.

    Just my perspective on things after reading numerous worship threads over there. 🙂

  16. Hey Karl- man, i could read your stuff for days! I love your take on the quirky things we deal with in a worship environment. Anyways, the question..

    I downloaded your pads right after you whipped up the first batch, but I never put them to good use other than having the sound guy run them off my mp3 player. I finally picked up an rc-2, thought i would throw them on there, and either run them through my signal chain or into a di box. But in transferring them over I notice a lot of backgound “white noise” on the tracks. Checked em on my pc, my phone, on the download site, and i was getting the same thing. I’m sure it could be something on my end, but I was wondering if you noticed a hint of dirty signal on the recordings or not.

    Thank- Jared

    PS. Holy tone suck RC-2. I was bummed, I wanted to keep it in my signal chain.

  17. “it saddens me in my own life when I am more worried about pedal chain order, the artistic representation of a solo, what key makes my voice sound best, or how the levels are going to the recording, than I am about giving God glory serving people so that they can do the same.”

    I think this is a good that you think about the big picture, but I say do not ignore the drive to sound/play as well as you can. Music in church is what brought me back around to God, without inclusion of drums and guitar it may have taken me a lot longer to get into a community of believers.

    I actually think Christians are aim too low with our arts. God has given us great abilities. We should use them more. It never ceases to amaze me that 90% of the most creative music comes from non-Christans, and 90% of Christian music is a replica of current creative non-Christian music.

    I think someone like Sufjan Stevens is very creative and can impress a non-Christian. Imagine if Explosions in the Sky were Christian. But I hear more Explosion influenced music coming out now. Which also isn’t bad to use those influences. We all have our influences, but to form them into something new that may reach more is I think a worthy goal.

  18. Pete, great thoughts! I think there is a balance in there somewhere, between striving for greatness for the glory of God, and maintaining focus on that same God. And I think that balance tips depending on the venue. For instance, the focus on God might be much more important during a congregational worship setting, but the focus on art to the glory of God might be more important in solo projects and recordings.

    Although all that being said, if you read my site for any period of time, you’ll see so many gear, tone, and musicianship posts, that it’ll be easy to see why I need to be constantly making sure God’s the center of it all. 😉

    Great points, bro!

  19. Hey Karl,

    I found your site and really love your misinitry and the work you’re doing for God’s glory. It is really encouraging to see other fellow worshipers/musicians contributing to the Body of Christ. It’s great to find a guitarist who is keeping Christ the center and not his volume on the stage 🙂

    I had a question concerning a guitar rig. I’m in high school and I play for my church’s worship band and also at random youth events when needed. I keep it pretty simple and use a Boss DD-7 Digital Delay and a Boss DS-1distortion and then I’ll throw in some different effects now and then depending on the song ( extra reverb, chorus, etc). But those two pedals constitute the core. Obviously its pretty bare bones and I’m looking to upgrade. I’m planning on getting a overdrive so I don’t get as much crunch as the DS-1.

    Now here’s where I would like your help. I really enjoy the ambient sounds and swells that is being used much more frequently in today’s modern worship (your music is a prime example). I didn’t really know how to do swells but I figured out one day where I double time the DD-7 and set it half way on about 200ms (so if the D. TIME is 2x that would put it at 400ms…?) and use a volume pedal to come in with the swells. It works pretty well and I’ve been using it for a while, but I was wondering if there would be a better way to do it and what pedals would help give good quality and tone to the swells.

    Obviously since I’m in high school and don’t have a lot of money I would prefer to stay away from something that would ensue spending a lot, nevertheless any help is appreciated.

    Thanks again!

  20. Hey James, thanks so much for the kind words! As for swells and pedals, I might suggest an MXR Carbon Copy delay to go after your DD7. If you set the Carbon Copy to about 400ms, then you can put the DD7 at about 1000ms, and that will give you a very keyboard-like swell. For overdrives, there’s really nothing wrong with the Boss BD2 or the Digitech Bad Monkey. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  21. Hey great site! Just found it today and its awesome.
    So i am looking to change up my gear some to get some different sounds. Right now i have PRS SE semi-hollow and epiphone blues custom(with tungsol tubes). and a m13 stombox modeler( had to sell my big pedalboard and downgrade because of finance junk a year ago but things are getting better now and looking to re-upgrade) I love this set up for ambience sounds the amp is incredible for the price but I’m looking for a different amp. I really want an amp that provides a great clean channel that can be pushed into a lil bit gritty but to also have a channel that gets into metal tones.
    My band has a real mix of sounds and I really like both but but don’t really want 2 different amps to carry around to be able to obtain that. but i also haven’t ever found a pedal that will really give me the metal tones through a blues amp. or a metal amp that can give me good clean blues tone. So my question is what do you think i should do? is there an amp out there for me or a pedal or something?

    i have been looking at vox, mesa, bugera, a few others i don’t have a huge budget but if it is something that can get me what I’m looking for i might be able to get it. thanks for your time!

  22. Hi Carl. I’m new to this site, but I’ve attended your clinics at the School of Worship for the past two years. Cool site! I have a question about tube tone vs. availability of clean overhead. Many of the worship songs I play require a volume on my amp where my guitar is very touch sensitive, (no clipping when playing light, and a hint of good grit when I dig into the strings). The problem is, some other songs require the same volume, but with more gain, which is fine, until the song calls for a solo, or a noticeable increase in guitar volume. When that happens, I go to an additional boost/overdrive, but the volume doesn’t increase. instead, I just get a more muddy saturation. Should I instead just rely on a super clean amp that never breaks up, and let my pedals do all the clipping and volume boosting? I hate to give up my amps tube clipping goodness, but when a worship session has songs with so much variety in style, it’s a problem I frequently struggle with.

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