Saturday, December 5, 2015

Friday night Hutchings

That's right, folks, Alex Hutchings was here last night conducting a BOSS clinic at Swee Lee's Bt Timah showroom. I've talked to countless players throughout the years & they swear by their BOSS pedals but the enthusiasm wasn't manifested last night as there were less than 30 attendees listening to some captivating guitar works from Mr. Hutchings himself.

This isn't Mr. Hutching's debut clinic in this country, some of you might recall he was here a few years ago (Here: CLICK) with his other Waghorn guitar. I was expecting an 8-string but let's be objective- it's a purposeful event & some tools are more apt for the cause than others.

Some of us keep our effects line-up simple, others depend on a gamut of pedals to deliver some order (hey, some of us are preforming pros & we live by this). The former camp will find this clinic unimpressive because Alex Hutchings had a rather excessive display of effects at his behest. At the end of it all, it's about showcasing the effects & not much of anything else, save for the educational aspects of guitar playing from time to time. What you would've heard last night was a very processed guitar output which you need to embrace in order for some appreciation to happen. I'm from the former camp, I live by an angry amp & not much else but keeping an open mind means acknowledging Alex Hutching's tone was some of the best I've heard in a live context. All those processing led to an increase in pick sensitivity & that's something I could relate to. Also, there wasn't much extraneous noise to be heard & it was a lesson in noise management for those of us keen in this manifestation of tone.

What I like about product clinics is the very fact that it's educational while being entertaining. Alex Hutchings took time to explain why he used some of the pedals seen above & it could be summed up to being objective. There was very little discussion about drive/distortion & he kept it simple with a distortion & drive each. The rest of the implements there were time-based & modulation units & that brought us to another aspect of guitar playing that isn't addressed much- nuance. Delays & reverb type processes served to add depth to our tone & this is important in a performing & recording context. The other pedals that were of service were volume, expression & wah units. Also making an impact here was a switching unit which allowed Mr. Hutchings to re-order his line-up without re-arranging his pedals physically.

The second half of the clinic saw the synth aspects of guitar playing being put into context. This was the reason why the SY-300 & GT-100 made their appearances there. This focus wasn't the bulk of the clinic time but it should open up some perspectives for those of us interested in music as opposed to being guitar-inclined exclusively. All in all, it was a thoroughly informative engagement, thank you Swee Lee & BOSS for a great Friday night.

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