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Guitarist: David Gilmour
Effects used: Arbiter Fuzzface, Uni-Vibe, Big Muff, Rat, Cornish Soft Sustain, Crybaby Wah, E-HX Electric Mistress, Binson Echorec and more
Like Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour’s otherworldly guitar tones come from using not only little stompboxes but every facet of the studio, so many of the memorable moments of Floyd sonic frippery are hard to pinpoint.
In Floyd’s early days, his set-up consisted of a Binson Echorec tape delay, a Dallas-Arbiter Fuzzface, a Uni-Vibe pedal, a Vox wah-wah, a DeArmond volume pedal, and Leslie and Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker cabinets. By 1972 the FX were mounted in a custom cabinet, and included a second Binson Echorec and a second Fuzzface, plus an MXR Phase 90, a Crybaby wah-wah, an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress ﬂanger and Big Muff fuzz, and Orange treble and bass boosters.
He also has a Cornish Soft Sustain pedal, and it was in1976 that he turned to Pete Cornish to build him a custom switching set-up. The stompboxes Gilmour uses in a live setting have often been slightly modiﬁed, but as a rough guide, here goes…
While playing the whole of The Dark Side Of The Moon in 1994 (captured on the album Pulse), Breathe uses a BOSS CS-2 compressor, a Chandler Tube Driver, Uni-Vibe (from 1:15) and a TC Delay: the solo in Time (from 2:29) uses a Big Muff, the Tube Driver, Uni-Vibe and TC delay together.
For the ﬁrst delay-tinged solo in Money (from 3:05) he combined the CS-2, Tube Driver, Sovtek Big Muff and TC Delay while the second dry solo mixed the tones of the Tube Driver and Rat distortion.
Despite Gilmour’s use of numerous distortions and fuzz, his fondness for Uni-Vibes - listen to TDSOTM’s Any Colour You Like (at 1:19) - is key to his sound. Indeed, he likes the pedal so much that when he moved to a predominantly rack-mounted system his guitar tech Phil Taylor dismantled it and rebuilt it in rack form - even having the old logo embossed on the new unit.