A "Rush" Patch Thread
Over in a thread about dual amping a couple of people asked me to post my current Rush patches, so I am starting this thread for Rush patches in general. I look forward to seeing what others have come up with.
Here are my two patches. They cover the progressive era of Rush that ran from about 1977 to 1982. Other than a few interviews in magazines, there is not alot out there that gets into specifics of the studio recordings, and those interviews are far from complete enough to get anything other than a few hints. What is out there though is 30 years of tour books with photographs and not necessarily complete equipment lists, and the descriptions of the last 3 rigs. Since these represent the compromises that Alex Lifeson had to take to bring the studio recordings to a live audience, I thought it a great place to start for general Rush patches for that era. Because photos and incomplete equipment lists can't really tell whats on the inside of the equipment and how it's hooked together. I've researched and uncovered other things on my way to these patches from other sources, but in the end I've had to make some educated guesses based on what other rock musicians were doing at the time.
For the development, I used a PRS SC245 with 1957/2008 pick ups and a PRS Hollowbody I with 1957/2008 pick ups. The SC245 was checked against a Gibson Les Paul R9 Historic that a friend of mine owned, and it turned out to be very close. It was actually a better sounding Les Paul than the Les Paul Custom that I used to own. I generally play my guitars not dimed for rhythm and turn up for solos. I am also using two FBT Verve 12mA's for amplification.
Each one these patches is a three channel set up which was based on Alex Lifeson's current set up for the "Time Machine Tour," but with the equipment for those eras substituted in. Those three channels were a dry channel, a wet channel, and a special channel that makes it sound like there is an additional instrument.
The first patch, "Permanent Waves 1977-1980," is my representation of the all HiWatt rig that graced the stages of the Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, and Permanent Waves tour. My first Rush concert was Permanent Waves in which I was 14 rows from the stage, so I have heard that rig in person. It was loud, and it was shrill. There wasn't that much bottom to it, but Alex still ripped.
Since the HiWatts are a very loud clean amp, the distortion is mainly coming from a MXR distortion+. I have one HiWatt covering the high end and one covering the low end. The MXR distortion+ drives the kick on the low side while a triangle chorus representing the Roland Space Chorus is on high side adding some shimmer. The high side amp also has the effect of cleaning up the definition between notes for the more complicated runs. The cabinets are not stock which has been verified. It turns out that Alex's were actually loaded with G12M Greenbacks rather the Purple Fanes. I put the Electric Mistress Flanger and Roland Space Echo on the Wet Channel. It seems that Alex liked to kick both those in for every solo practically. The flanger can also be used to add some body to single note lines like the beginning of "Spirit of the Radio" and "Freewill." For clean passages like the interlude in "Trees," turn off the MXR.
The second patch, "Moving Pictures 1981-1984" is my representation of the HiWatt/Marshall 4140 Combo rig that graced every stage from "Moving Pictures" to "Grace Under Pressure." I heard this one live too. The first thing that I noticed when I first put on "Moving Pictures" was how much darker it was. That live rig is exactly what you hear in "Exit Stage Left" after the bass boost that Geddy Lee insist they do was applied.
The main hurdle with this patch was figuring out what the Marshall 4140 sounded like. The 4140 was Marshall's answer to the Fender Twin, so it was supposedly a loud, clean monster. From what I could glean from schematics, I thought it might sound a lot like a JTM45 with a blackface tone stack through some Brit speakers. Thankfully since SRV tried one, there are quite a few SRV wannabes on the YouTube demonstrating them. Of course, they were all playing Strats which was no help to me, but one of them did turn one up all the way in increments which allowed me to hear that it was much closer to a 1987XL going through a Brit flavored 2x12 cab than any hybrid JTM.
With exception of the 1987XL, everything else is pretty much the same as the last patch.
I'll close by saying I have enjoyed the journey to get here which started over on the Ultra, and I certainly hope that people will take these patches, learn from them, and make improvements.
Last edited by Dancing Frog; Dec-24-2011 at 03:32 PM.
Thanks. Huge Rush fan. I will check these out later today!!
Fantastic, Big Alex Fan here. Thanks for kicking this off. I am away right now, can't wait to get back and try them.
I know Mark Day has a Tom Sawyer patch somewhere here.....maybe we can ask his permission to join, keep it all together
Awww Man, Im a huge Rush Fan and unfortunetly i dont have a axefx2 but i do have the ultra If you have time you should soundcloud a recording of these patches of yours i bet they scream! If you dnt have the time thanks anyway for posting your patches as im sure a lot of people will be interested in checking them out!
I agree completely. I learned how to play guitar by following Rush. Thank you so much for providing these patches. I think one of the best things about these Axe-Fx units is the willingness of people like you to share their work with others. Again, thanks!
Originally Posted by willowdale
Excellent! Now Do a 2112 patch with a Wah, a Maestro phase shifter and an echoplex through a 50 Watt Marshall.
Last edited by Adinfinitum; Dec-25-2011 at 12:37 AM.
Thanks, Frog, your work is always appreciated ...
....and a Fender Twin with JBL D120's for the clean parts. That amp was often hidden behind the stacks in those days.
Originally Posted by Adinfinitum
Thanks for the presets; big Rush fan here as well and I'm going to check these out later.
Dec-23-2011, 10:18 PM
Posted my Limelight preset on the second page of this thread.
Will post my Spirit of Radio preset this weekend in this new thread (Thanks for starting it!).
Dec-25-2011, 12:20 AM
First ever concert was 1982 moving pictures tour! Thanks man!
Dec-13-2013, 02:23 PM
Trying to make it work with v12
Hi, thank you so much for taking all the time and going into so much detail for making these patches. I'm trying to make them work with v12. I'm new to all of this but I downloaded other patches and they work right out of the box. You patches sounded really clean with a little bit of distortion and the volume was low. I tried turning the volume up and changing a couple of things but I don't think that's what you intended. Do you have a sample of what your patches are supposed to sound like. I'm dying to hear 'em!!
I'm actually working on a studio cover of The Spirit of Radio for YouTube and wanted to get a similar tone. I will give you credit for the patches. Check out some of my work: ColoredFusion - YouTube
Dec-13-2013, 03:12 PM
Dec-13-2013, 03:41 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how to nail a tone for the GUP/Power Windows era
Dec-13-2013, 04:26 PM
I am totally with you on this Syrinx. I have spent a fair amount of time trying to get that spacious clean on so many songs from this era. I had some advice on delays from Analogkid85 over at HRI who has studied these tones as much as anyone I know, but I have not been able to get there. I recently got one of the Hentor replicas from Freddy Gabrsek, I was hoping this would be the spark to nailing them, and while it is an awesome guitar, those tones still elude me.
Originally Posted by Syrinx
Dec-13-2013, 04:30 PM
Be careful, some roads are not meant to be walked. First it's a Hentor Sportscaster, and then you get rid of your Marshalls and replace them with Gallien Krueger's that couldn't drown out a mouse fart.
Originally Posted by Syrinx
(fwiw, I'm a huge Alex and Rush fan, just not so much in love with his GUP-Presto era tone)
Gear: Basically, a metric crap ton, some of it justified.
Dec-13-2013, 04:43 PM
LMAO- I actually do have a G-K 2000cpl! Not a magic bullet either- could it be me?
Originally Posted by Strumzilla
I'll take AFTK or Hemispheres tones overall, but there is something cool about GUP/PW, in the same way that the HRI guys cherish the Landau stuff, I'd like to be able to cop those 80's Rush tones.
Dec-15-2013, 02:48 AM
I love that clean crystalline distortion in Distant Early Warning. There was something about that era of Alex tone that was stood out as a signature tone. I know FAS would blow a gasket if we asked for a modelling of that amp & cab though, LOL!
I also love all the guitar tones from Presto and Counterparts as much as the late 70's/early 80's stuff.
Thanks for the patches, I need to try these out.
Dec-15-2013, 03:47 AM
The GUP/Power Windows live sound come from two different rigs. The GUP tour was last time the Moving Pictures rig was used which was the Marshall 4140's Combos and Hiwatts in parallel. The 4140 wasn't your typical Marshall, it was designed to Marshall competition for the Fender Twin. It was a cleaner Marshall.
The Power Windows rig was the pair of GK 250ML's which was standard up until the Counterparts Tour.
Dec-15-2013, 08:09 AM
i read in some interview that basically he uses 4 sounds for gup....one distorted gritty sound....which is i guess the marshall 4140....two cleaner sounds with the effects added (no clue as to which amps) and one line for the rockman. he would then mix them together with a rane mixer. live he said he would do the same but depending on the hall he would make slight changes to the balancing of the four sounds.
I think gup was a killer sound! especially the live video....dense very heavy and yet clean.
here are my patches they're not finished and i'm not too happy with them yet but maybe someone can push them to a better level....they were made for headphone low volume and humbucker pickups were used
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