So Orange has released a new guitar amplifier, you are shocked right, an amp company releasing an amplifier! But the TremLord is something a little different for Orange. 

The centrepiece of the amplifier is an all valve Tremolo, this is Orange’s take on the 1950’s amplifiers that used this effect to such acclaim.

This made me think one; what is tremolo and where will I have heard it before.

First, what is Tremolo?

Tremolo is simply put a modulation effect, it changes the volume of your signal at certain speed and depth. This is not to be confused with vibrato, which changes the pitch of the signal.

On the TremLord you can set two different speeds of tremolo and also the depth of the modulation. This means it’s perfect for use live with a footswitch.

Uses of Tremolo in Songs

Otis Redding – “A Change is Gonna Come”

This is the song that made me explore songs using tremolo, Otis Redding’s version of “A Change is Gonna Come” is a fantastic example. After the opening horn section the unmistakable tremolo guitar chords float in, which then stay throughout the whole song.

After this I dived headlong into finding more interesting and diverse song that used this effect, trying to find examples from across the musical spectrum and also the past 60 years.

Radiohead – “Bones”

Hearing “The Bends” for the first time I remember the raking sound of the tremolo on “Bones” being one of my favourite parts. It felt like the start of the band moving their sound away from the grunge sound of the first album. I chose a live version as it shows Jonny Greenwood using the effect throughout the song. 

Rage Against the Machine – Guerilla Radio

Tom Morello is known for his unique use of effects and I think this was one of the first Rage Against the Machine songs I ever heard,  I remember struggling to understand what that sound was! Heavily leaning on his trusty boss tremolo pedal the track has become a mainstay of the bands live performances and as the live footage shows it’s no wonder why. 

Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”

The lilting almost glassy sounding guitar intro to the track could be one of the most famous uses of the effect. This stone cold classic was released in 1969, sometimes I feel it gets forgotten about, as people remember “satisfactions” fuzzy tones more. But this for me is the Rolling Stones in a song and the guitar makes it.

The Smiths – “How soon is now?”

This couldn’t not be on the list, its so in your face the Tremolo effect. One of The Smiths most famous songs, this was actually originally a B-Side of the 1984 single “William, it was really nothing”. The original demo for the song was called “Swamp” which hardly surprising when you hear the song.

One thing I noticed while going through this is how many great songs that use this effect, I could have provided another 30-40 songs easily. So if you have any songs that you think I may have forgotten, please comment in the comments and I look forward to delving into even more tremolo songs!

Strap on a life jacket and prepare for the angling trip of a lifetime as Richard Turner (Blackberry Smoke) hooks himself the biggest fish of all, the fabled Orange Amplification Terror Bass!

This renowned bassist features in the latest ‘Lure & Savior’ adventure to embark on the dirty mission of catching the legendary re-issue of the Terror Bass. Set in one the world’s most desirable angling locations with all the best gear from Orange Amplification, this intrepid bass expert reels in the most amazing catch. Brent Hinds (Mastodon) also appears from the depths with his signature Terror amp.

This is the kind of fishing Richard and Brent enjoy: lots of bites with the best tackle! To get tips on catching the sought-after Terror Bass using the OBC112 as the perfect lure go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ouOKCgdMz4

The distinctive British tones of Orange Amplification are coveted across the globe. Musical groups including Grateful Dead, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown, and Marcus King Band, are delighted to join the prestigious ranks of Orange Ambassadors.

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown band are known for their electrifying classic rock revivalism and have performed alongside AC DC, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and  ZZ Top. They are currently supporting Guns N’ Roses on the Not In This Lifetime world tour. Orange recently caught up with the band and you can see front man and killer guitarist Tyler Bryant talking about his Rockerverb MKIII 100 here. Fellow bandmate and guitarist, the fleet fingered Graham Whitford uses a Dual Dark 50 which you can see here and the bands talented bassist Noah Denney talks about his AD200 MK3 here.

Also, joining Orange’s highly respected list of Ambassadors is guitar phenomenon Marcus King and fellow bandmate, bassist Stephen Campbell,of the Marcus King Band. Marcus is poised to be one of music’s great guitarists; with his remarkable virtuoso talent, he can play blues, rock, R&B, country, soul and more. So he and the Rockerverb MKIII and PPC412 cabinet are ideally suited. Meanwhile Stephen is using Orange AD200 MK3 with OBC810 cabinet to hold down the bands sweet groove. The Marcus King Band is currently touring across the USA.

Another new Ambassador, Bob Weir is appreciating the sounds of his Orange Rocker 15. He describes it as ‘a fun, really flexible little amp for low-volume situations like playin’ electric along with acoustic instruments….’. Bob has been described as the harmonic engine of the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company, with his original ability to make the guitar sound huge. He is currently touring with Dead & Company across the USA.

Whether it’s rock, blues psychedelia, Americana, folk or other music genre, Orange Amplifications clean sounds will appeal to guitarists and bassists alike.

Firestone Tyres’ annual search for the best new music is back and Orange Amps are proud to support them.

Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage celebrates originality, providing a life changing opportunity for emerging artists and musicians from all genres.

Firestone, the iconic tyre brand, is building on its long-standing commitment to grassroots music, giving talented up-and-coming artists and groups the chance to compete in their Road to the Main Stage competition and win a life changing prize. Hosted by DJ and new music expert Abbie McCarthy and featuring internet sensation and award-winning country music star, Jade Helliwell, as ambassador, Road to the Main Stage gives unsigned bands and musicians from every genre the chance to get noticed by influential industry figures and the music loving public alike.

Partnering with Orange Amplification, Professional Music Technology and BIMM, unsigned bands and artists have the opportunity to win a prize package in value of £25k. The prize includes the chance to play at a top UK music festival, as well as two more high profile live slots at Good Karma Club and the Orange Amplification Anniversary, a VW Transporter for a year, equipment and studio time, all to help artists on their road to the main stage.

Country star and ambassador, Jade Helliwell, understands the obstacles on the road to success and the difference one opportunity can make. Jade rose to fame when a video of her singing ‘Hallelujah’ alongside busker David Esial on a night out in Leeds went viral and received 21 million views. From this, her album Forget The Night, hit number 1 in UK iTunes Country charts and number 8 in the UK iTunes Album charts. Jade has also been tipped as the UK’s answer to Taylor Swift, won the British Country Music Award Female Vocalist Of The Year 2017 and has been nominated for four further awards this year.

Talking about Road to the Main Stage, Jade said: “As emerging artists we’re all facing the same battles. We’re all trying to get gigs, raise enough money for equipment and get transport. So, no matter what genre you are, this competition is an incredible opportunity and right for you”.

 

Officially launched on September 3rd, entries for Road to the Main Stage run through to October 4th. Partners will then select six acts to go forward as spotlighted artists, with the public vote to decide which three make it to the Road to the Main Stage final open between October 29th and November 11th. The final itself will be held on November 22nd at the John Henry’s in London, with the three finalists performing in front of four judges who will decide on the winner that evening.

 

As longstanding supporters of authentic grassroots music, Stuart Attfield, Regional Brand Manager, from Firestone said: “Part of Firestone Live’s all-round music programme, Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage, is all about championing new music and new artists, giving the opportunity to emerging artists across all genres to have their music heard by industry professionals and the public. Last year’s success with Fire Fences, who were able to go on and play at All Points East, is exactly the kind of thing Firestone wants to offer new artists on their road to the main stage, building on our strong music heritage.”

 

To enter Firestone Road to the Main Stage. Follow this link: firestone.roadtothemainstage.co.uk

For the second year, Orange Amps have been proud to sponsor and supply equipment and prizes to the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) who run a range summer schools at their venues around the UK aimed at musicians aged 11-17 looking to develop their technique, their confidence as live performers or simply to just have fun.

Each Summer School run a five-day week and consists of dedicated tuition for the student’s chosen instrument, a live performance workshop on stage every afternoon to hone their performance skills, along with a different special guest each day. On the last day, they get to form a band and rehearse their favourite track of the week in preparation for an afternoon performance for all their friends and family.

Orange Amps have a tradition of supporting the best new music and we are honoured to support these young people in their chosen World of Music.

As well as looking after Orange for 50 years I have also been lucky to have had, a long and special friendship, with John Miles, a most talented musician, singer and songwriter whose record “Music was my first love and it will be my last” topped the charts in many countries worldwide.

When John’s daughter Tanya was very young he wrote a beautiful song for her called “Angel” and she has always carried it in her heart.

Tanya’s son has learning difficulties and the name given to this rare syndrome is “Cri Du Chat” (cat’s cry) syndrome, The disorder is characterized by intellectual disability and delayed development.

Tanya asked her dad for permission to pass on this song to her son and to share it with everyone, giving all income, royalties and charitable donations to the “Cri Du Chat Syndrome Support Group” John explained the song was only made as a demo but he would be only too pleased to agree to Tanya’s request.

If this special song, written with so much love can touch you, please click below and make a donation.

Like so many genetic illness we have so much to learn.

Orange Ambassador Ken Rose of the band Hero Jr is currently touring with John 5. Check this page for daily content from Ken featuring the Crush Mini combo, Getaway Driver Overdrive pedal, and Fur Coat Octave Fuzz pedal

Content brought to you in partnership with zZounds


April 10th, 2018 – San Jose, California, USA

Let it be known that Ken Rose of Hero Jr is literally one of the best undiscovered guitarists out there. This solo from “Oceans Dead” proves it.


April 8th, 2018 – Fullerton, California, USA

Wanna take the Crush Mini into full-blown nastiness? Put a Getaway Driver overdrive pedal in front of it!


April 3rd, 2018 – Tucson, Arizona, USA

Here’s everyone’s response when they first see Ken solo: “Why haven’t I heard of this guy before?” The Fur Coat Octave Fuzz pedal is a great way to boost into a lead.


April 2nd, 2018 – El Paso, Texas, USA

The Crush Mini is an awesome practice amp for hotel jams. But plug into the speaker out on the back and you can easily power a 212, or even 412, speaker cab.


April 1st, 2018 – Albuquerque, NM, USA

In case you didn’t know, Ken Rose is a ridiculously good guitarist. That is all.


March 31st, 2018 – Dallas, Texas, USA

Today we have a full song from Hero Jr. playing “Jump Ship” in Dallas. You can hear a ton of “flare” coming out of Ken’s OR50, even from the opposite side of the stage.


March 30th, 2018 – Houston, Texas, USA

Thankfully Ken wasn’t in the shower for this video. Here he is warming up with his Getaway Driver through a Crush Mini.


March 29th, 2018 – Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

Today Ken decided to practice his amp on the toilet. Hopefully he doesn’t “stink it up” (sorry).

Intro

When we’re in the market for an amplifier, more often than not we’ll have an idea of what we want from the get-go. We might know, for example, that our band is progressing to larger venues and we need something that can pack the right punch. Or we might want something to fit in with the new ambient death jungle direction we’re heading in.

Given enough time, and a budget in keeping with our ambitions, we mostly get it right. Particularly in this day and age, where the internet offers us all manner of reviews (both from critics and real people), sound tests, videos and blogs, it’s easier than ever to make informed decisions way in advance of parting with your cash.

That said, there are certain traps even the most experienced of us will fall into. Here we’ll look at some of the common pitfalls guitarists face when buying amps.

 

 

Features (too many or not enough)

 

Early on in your playing career, if you’re anything like me, you wanted to cram as many features into your amp as possible. I wanted something that could do quality crunch, metal, clean and blues sounds, along with some effects built in, and ideally a tuner.

Of course, all these requirements filtered my search down quite significantly. And the biggest sacrifice I had to make? Quality. Sure, I found something that could do all of those things, but you know what? It sounded worse than awful. Honestly. I don’t know where that amp is now, but I hope it’s burning somewhere, slowly.

The flipside is getting an amp that does only one thing. If that’s all you’re going to use then fine, but you can find yourself quite restricted if you’re in a covers band, for example, and all you can get is mid-heavy blues sounds.

Work out what’s important to you, and what’s just ‘nice to have’ and make sure you tick the boxes in the first column.

 

Buying on brand (and brand alone)

 

There’s nothing wrong with following the path set out by your favourite player. They might be synonymous with certain guitars or amps, and you decide that’s the brand for you. Fine. But perhaps give yourself a bit of credit too. At some point you may want to find your own voice, and your own style, and if your gear is limited because of blind loyalty to certain brands then you might have a problem.

In short; have an open mind. Try stuff out. Case in point; in writing for a UK guitar mag last year, I tried one of those huge semi-acoustic Gretsch guitars for the first time. I’d never even considered one before and was amazed at how quickly I came to love it.

Try it. Ignore the name on the faceplate. You’ll love the right tone more than you’ll ever love a logo.

 

 

Volume does not equal power

 

Ah yes, the ‘volume’ issue. Closely linked to the ego. We know guitarists are unfairly maligned for having large egos, but turning up to a small open mic with a full stack won’t help that. The simple fact is that, more often than not, you don’t need 100w of power. You probably don’t even need 50w. Heck, 30w nowadays will pack out most things under the stadium bracket. The benefit of this is that you can perhaps put the same amount of money you had in mind for an entry-level 100w head into getting a much higher quality 30w model.

 

 

Practicality

 

Tying into the previous point about volume, consider the practicality of your amp. Be realistic. If you’re playing four shows a week, you’ll soon find yourself resenting that enormous double-speaker-cab setup that you have to shift up 3 flights of stairs each time.

 

 

 

The intangibles

 

Finally, the point that’s hardest to quantify. Matters of the heart.

You can almost ignore each previous entry. Yes, it’s all very sensible but I’m not your dad. When you’re buying an amplifier, whether it’s your first or your 101st, you have to allow yourself a bit of emotion.

Music is, after all, a creative pursuit. And we tend to be creative people. So make sure that ‘that’ side of your checklist is met. Otherwise you’ll end up with a sensible, practical amplifier that you love in the same way you love your lightbulbs or your tumble dryer.

When our Lead Designer Ade Emsley first came to Orange in the late 90’s he was tasked by Cliff Cooper to create a new line of guitar amps that would bring the brand into the 21st century.

Originally the AD series consisted of the AD30 Single Channel head, AD30R (Reverb) 2×12” Combo, and the AD15 10” Combo. The success of the AD series led Emsley to consider a two channel design that would offer more versatility. In 2001, two years after the first AD15 rolled off the production line, the AD30 Twin Channel was introduced to high praise, both from consumers and big-name artists alike.

One of those big-name artists was Jimmy Page.

Jimmy Page began using the AD30 Single Channel in 1999 while on tour with the Black Crowes. He was smitten and immediately incorporated the amp into his studio and touring rigs. In the past nearly 20 years, he has switched back and forth between the Singe Channel and Twin Channel AD30. But the 2007 Led Zeppelin Reunion is by far the best example of Jimmy utilizing an AD30 (Single Channel at that time).

“Pictured: A small nation-state’s GDP worth of advertising”

Jimmy removed the “A” and “N” from the logo so it read “OR-GE” (which we assume was a play on “Orgy”). It didn’t matter to us though. Jimmy Page essentially took care of our entire 2007 marketing campaign in a single night.

Over the years the AD series has remained our flagship model. It’s our most classically British guitar amp. The tone is crunchy yet springy, simple yet complex. It’s been called one of the best “palette amps” by players who seek to have a good baseline tone before they start adding their multitude of effects pedals. They marvel at how well the amp takes pedals even though it lacks an Effects Loop (something Emsley said would change the tone for the worse if added). All these years later, the AD series is still one of the best examples of “modern British tone.”

Beyond Jimmy Page, a wide variety of guitarists have used the AD series in bands both big and small over the years. Here are a few choice cuts:

Robert Smith – The Cure

“Smith played the AD30 between 2003 and 2010” (Photo by Trixie Textor/Getty Images)

James Bowman – Against Me

“Bowman was one of the original AD30 endorsers, going back to Against Me’s ‘Is Reinventing Axl Rose’”

Omar Rodríguez-López – The Mars Volta, Solo

“Omar’s AD140 stacks were iconic even without tolex or logos”

Earl Slick – New York Dolls, Solo

“Earl played the AD30 between 2012-2015 with the New York Dolls”

Matthew Murphy – The Wombats

“Murphy called the AD30 ‘one of the most integral parts of my band’s sound’”