Halsey guitarist, session pro and guitar teacher Arianna Powell has offered a guided tour and demo of her pedalboard and shared some of the tone secrets behind her phenomenal sound.
Appearing on EarthQuaker Devices' Board To Death YouTube show, Powell walked through her 'board setup, which was a custom build put together by Dave Phillips at LA Sound Design.
As with many a session pro, Powell's signal chain is designed to offer the widest range of electric guitar tones possible, from earthy, analogue overdrive to ethereal soundscapes – made possible by some of EarthQuaker Devices' most outré delay and reverb pedals such as the Afterneath Enhanced Otherworldly Reverberator and Powell's favourite, the Avalanche Run, which combines reverb and stereo delay in one DSP-powered unit.
There are a number of EQD pedals on Powell's 'board, with the first in line an EarthQuaker Devices Hoof fuzz pedal, which offers a more versatile take on the Russian Muff, with its Shift knob offering comprehensive control of your mids and allowing it to sit in a mix better. “I like using that to kinda mimic or copy what a synth bassist is playing, and maybe add an octave to it,“ says Powell
Those octave effects will come from an Electro-Harmonix POG2, which Powell also uses for creating church organ-style tones. Elsewhere, Powell uses a Keeley Electronics Compressor Pro, J Rockett Tim Pierce and JHS Angry Charlie overdrive pedals.
There is a Strymon Timeline and a BigSky reverb in the mix, too, and another couple of EarthQuaker Devices stompboxes in the shape of the Sea Machine chorus pedal and a Spatial Delivery envelope filter.
You can also check out Powell's playing on the new Halsey album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, which was produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and is out now via Capitol.