Anonymous: Hi! Not trying to be a know-it-all or anything. But the amp you shows doesn't appear to be a pro, if you look closely you will see it lacks the two 'Vibrato' inputs and the text below them, a feature common to all vintage fender amps. It has two inputs in the main channel but none for the second bt there does appear to be a switch for the second channel, a modern feature and not vintage, It could be 90's reissue similar to the vibro-king, given it's look and controls. No idea what it is tho!

Thank you for your submission, nice catch! It’s not the 90’s Brownface Vibro-King, but that suggestion lead me to the correct amp - the Fender Custom 20th Anniversary Vibro-King in “Blonde” finish. Technically it’s a little bit of a mix of Brownface and Blonde, and the dark knobs distinguish it from the 90’s Blonde Vibro-King. This identification also explains the metal legs on the sides of the amp. The switch is a “fat” switch - it’s a single channel amp, and the vibrato is externally switchable.

Note that this model Vibro-King is slightly different from the ones that Ed used for touring in 2011 and 2012, featuring different Jensen speakers and a solid pine cabinet.

An image of the amp (fender).

1 day ago
Jonny’s Setup from Manchester with the LCO



Full List


A photo showing Jonny’s Fender from the show in Manchester, mic’d with a Sennheiser e906 (joshsemans).

Edit (Oct19): The amp is actually a Fender Custom 20th Anniversary Vibro-King, as discussed here.

Jonny seems to have used a fairly rare circa-1960 “Brownface” Fender amp. Based on the mic position near the center of the amp, the most likely candidate is a 1960 or 1961 Fender Pro Amp, which has only one speaker.


An example of a 1960 “Brownface” Fender Pro (ronsvintage).

Jonny’s other gear was fairly standard for these shows. The Ondes Musicales Dierstein was used for Prospectors Arrive, from There Will Be Blood, and Messiaen’s Vocalise-Étude. As at other shows with the LCO, he used the D1 and D2 which came with the Musicales, but also used his Palme Diffuseur, which is only rarely used live. I suspect that he brought the Palme specifically for Prospectors Arrive, since he used it on the original recording and also for the shows in August, 2014. He used his Gibson Les Paul Standard for Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint and for his piece Loop as usual, but also for his new piece Microtonal Shaker (TBC). His Fender Starcaster was used for Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers. He played Tanpura, an Indian drone instrument, on Microtonal Sketches.


Jonny’s stage-right setup (boilerroomtv). Note that contrary to the BoilerRoom’s tweet, the Ondes in the picture was not used on any Radiohead albums so far as it was obtained in July 2011. However, the Palme diffuseur was used on every album since Kid A.

Jonny brought an Apple Macbook Pro, and ran audio through his computer via his Focusrite 2i4. The computer was used for Electric Counterpoint as previously, playing back the pre-recorded backing track, and also to run a new Max patch which was used for Microtonal Shaker (TBC). For Electric Counterpoint, a different audio interface may have been used to send audio from his computer to the PA, or it may have been repatched for TBC to output his processed live guitar to his amp.

Jonny brought his Boss TU3 and Akai Headrush E2 as usual, but also seems to have brought a Boss overdrive and a what looks like a Boss tuner, probably a Boss TU12. No middle knob is visible on the overdrive, so it may be a Boss OD1, but knowing Jonny it is more likely his old Boss SD1, and the knob simply isn’t visible from the angle of the photo.


Jonny’s feet, in Adidas Y-3 high-tops’s, along with his pedals, amp, interface, and Les Paul (mx-magpie).

 [Jonny Greenwood] [LCO]
3 days ago
29 notes
Anonymous: Best way to learn how to use a moog?

All subtractive synths (like Moogs) are basically the same, differing only in the sounds of their filters and the numbers of oscillators, etc, so this will apply to learning any synth.

There’s two real options. One is to educate yourself about all of the parts of the synth, such that you understand what you’re doing from the start. The alternative is to go at it without knowing anything, and figure it out as you go. The latter will be more difficult, but could spawn some unexpected noises. You could also mix the two, i.e. just messing with it blindly for the first evening, then trying to learn.

Since no further explanation is needed for the empirical method, I’ll give you a basic system of how you might want to learn any synth. The first step is to learn what all of the basic sections of a synthesizer do - the Oscillators, Filters, Envelope Generators, and VCA’s. Various online sources exist to help you out with this, but I would recommend only reading the less specific parts at first. Keep to the basics. (This seems like a good example.)

Such websites will probably also tell you how the sections would together, but if not you should look that up next. It’s always good to be sure of exactly what it is that you’re filtering.

Once you understand the basic principles of each section and how they work together, you can start experimenting with the synth. Adjust the knobs of the synth slowly to see exactly what they do over their entire range. Every ADSR is identical in function, but its snappiness and maximum lengths will vary from synth to synth. Knowing the exact abilities and limits of your own instrument are important, and to learn those you have have to listen closely to what happens when you set the knobs to different positions. Similarly, in order to be able to create specific sounds that you want, you must learn which knob positions yield the sounds that you want. Otherwise, you’ll be be starting at zero every time that you want to make a patch.

Next, use the principles that you’ve learned to try to create specific types of sounds. You can try to replicate sounds from songs, or just go for simple basics like “bass,” “lead,” or “pad.” I’d recommend not looking up other people’s settings for now, since you want to learn for yourself how to generate these sounds, not just memorize settings. Avoid presets, if your synth has them! This will make it harder to generate interesting sounds, since they aren’t just handed to you, but once you do create them you will understand them 100%, which is the important thing. After you’ve learned the basics, you can start working in things like Ring-Mod and Noise, if your synth has them.

Lastly, once you get better at synthesis, you should start going through SOS’s Synth Secrets. Those articles hold a huge wealth of knowledge on how to synthesize almost anything with a subtractive synth. You can also just start googling things like “cool bass sound” and seeing what comes up. Many of these sounds will be programmed on synths other than your own, but if you’ve learned the basics of synthesis and the capabilities of your own synth, then you should be able to translate them to yours with relative ease.

The basic architecture of every subtractive synth is the same, so learning that is particularly important. Once you have, you can start to learn your own synth, and you should do say paying attention to exactly how it responds to your adjustments. Once you understand your instrument well enough to make good-sounding patches on your own, you can begin reading about what other people have done with their synths, and learning from them.

 [Advice] [Unrelated] [Synths]
2 weeks ago
8 notes
Anonymous: Do you think it's more likely that Thom used mainly hardware to create Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, or software? For example, do you expect the synths to have been mainly hardware? I'm sure at least a combination was involved, especially using software to edit.

I think that it was almost entirely hardware, in terms of sound-sources. Relatively few instruments were used, with vocals, a DSI Prophet, Piano, and synth bass making up nearly all of the non-percussion sounds.

Software of course plays a huge role, and its importance is especially noticeable on Pink Section. But that said, I’m sure that a mix of hardware and software effects were used.

 [Thom Yorke] [Tomorrow's Modern Boxes]
2 weeks ago
3 notes
Anonymous: Hi. I'm just wondering if there's a confirmed list of the gear the band lost in the 2012 Toronto stage collapse?

Hello. Surprisingly little seems to have been lost, and it was mainly equipment that was high up (the drum kits which are on risers, the stuff highest on Jonny’s keyboard stand/table). Radiohead seem to, in general, have spares for a lot of things or are able to replace them easily, though in Jonny’s case there seems to be a lot of gear that he simply doesn’t keep backups for (pedals in particular). It must be noted that guitars are all kept to the sides of the stage, so none of those were damaged.

As I’ve mentioned before, the presence of the “No Star Wars” on the Rhodes piano after the collapse shows it to have survived. Similarly, Jonny’s post-disaster Fatar CMS-161 lacks a No Star Wars sticker, so it was likely destroyed in the disaster.

The disappearance of the half-removed sticker on Jonny’s French Connection post-disaster shows that it needed to be replaced. Plank also bought a new EHX Small Stone V4 on eBay after the disaster, to replace the one kept on top of The Apprentice Cabinet. Since he did not purchase any other pedals or gear on eBay, it is very likely that pedalboards were unaffected by the disaster.

In fact, the French Connection and The Apprentice Cabinet are some of the only things visible in pictures of the collapse, and look like they may have been hit directly. The Boss TU12 kept on top of the cabinet is not visible, so perhaps it was damaged as well. However, the band seem to have quite a few lying around in the studio (their techs also use them for tuning), so Plank probably did not have to purchase a replacement.

Jonny also keeps his Apple Macbook Pro 13” and assorted accessories on the keyboard stand. After the stage collapse, Jonny began using a Macbook Pro which lacked a sticker, so the original (which had a sticker) was surely damage. However, it is unknown if any of the related gear (audio and MIDI interfaces, MIDI controller, DSI Tetra) were damaged.

However, since Jonny used a Kaoss Pad KP1 after the collapse, I doubt that his was damaged. Based on how he switched from a Whammy WH1 to a Whammy WH4 in 2011, I suspect that he would have just switched to the most recent model (and if he had bought a second KP1, it would have been purchased on eBay). As such, the bottom shelf of his keyboard table/stand is probably lower than the stage fell at any point.

Ed’s pedalcart sustained damage from the collapse, but was not destroyed. At least some of the pedals kept on it were likely damaged, but all were purchased recently and are commonly available.

Jonny’s Fender Eighty-Five was not damaged (he has a Studio 85 as a spare, so if it had been then that would be in use now). Unlike Jonny, Thom uses different amps between the North America and Europe, so it’s harder to pin down which AC30’s he used in the US. He generally reserves his 60’s Fawn AC30 for Europe, and it wasn’t at the show. However, whichever two AC30’s (perhaps his Dave Peterson Special’s) were used for the North America tour were kept on the drum riser, so they were probably destroyed.

Ed’s amps difficult to know about. The only distinctive feature was the Tibetan Flat stretched over the grill-cloth of one of the extension cabs. A flag is present on one of his cabs after the disaster, so perhaps his amps (or maybe only his cabs) were not destroyed.

Colin’s Ampeg amp and cab are fairly close to the drums, so they were likely destroyed. Colin’s Roland PCR-500 has a piece of paper, with notes for different songs, taped to it. The notes are present on his Roland pre and post collapse in the exact same place, but since that is easy to reproduce on a new keyboard, it’s impossible to know if it was damaged.

In summary, here’s a list of all gear that was definitely or likely destroyed.

 [Ed O'Brien] [Colin Greenwood] [Jonny Greenwood] [Phil Selway] [Thom Yorke] [Clive Deamer] [Radiohead]
2 weeks ago
15 notes

Submitted by For My Iron Lung, Ed can be seen using the Sustainer Strat (sans Sustainer) from a concert in late 1995. He appeared to have already modified its pickguard, so perhaps he’s had it a lot longer than 1996 like the page says?

You’re correct about the Strat being used. All of their gear was stolen on October 4th, ‘95, and Ed probably bought a new Eric Clapton Signature Strat very soon after. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d bought one immediately after the theft, since the band continued playing shows as early as four days later, especially since Ed already knew that he liked the Clapton Strats from his previous one.

 [Ed O'Brien] [Radiohead] [submission]
2 weeks ago
1 note
singledoodlecaboodle: I think this question was already asked but... How Ed did the background noise on "Lucky" ?

The earlier posts in the Lucky tag should clear things up for you (the more recent ones are mainly about Jonny), but if you have further questions then let me know.

2 weeks ago
Anonymous: Do you have any recommendations for microphones for recording acoustic guitar and a VOX AC15? I'm making Radioheaddy music.

A Shure SM57 is always an excellent option for mic’ing most anything. Radiohead used them for amps in the early 90’s, and Thom also used one for vox when he DJ’d at LPR.

Another great all-round mic is a Heil PR40, which no member of the band (save perhaps Phil) has used, but which is an extremely nice and versatile mic. A Heil PR30 is also worth a look.

Another possibility is a Sennheiser e906, which is Thom’s main amp mic. It’s known for being particularly good for guitars, but won’t necessarily deliver as well as the others for general use.

The SM57 and PR40 will be excellent mic’s for guitar (acoustic or electric) applications, without restricting you should you have a need to mic anything else. The others might sound a little “better” for guitar, but will lose a little versatility. Since you’re only planning to mic guitars, though, you might want to go for one of those.

All of that said, if you have no budget, go for a Neumann U87.

 [Unrelated] [Advice]
2 weeks ago
5 notes
Anonymous: About the end of All I Need. That means that Jonny activates the loop again during the end of the song. You can hear it even when everyone stops playing but I only see Ed fading out the remaining delayed or looped sound. That's why I thought it was him looping.

Oops, I apologize for not properly answering you in my previous question. Somehow I misread “All I Need” as “Where I End And You Begin”…. Not quite sure how that happened.

You are certainly correct that Ed loops during the live performance of All I Need.

As you can hear at 3:22, the sound is more or less fully formed when Ed begins to play it. There are two different components which seem to be looped - a lower droning sound, and higher pitched “fragments.” Further notes are overdubbed a little later in the song, but those notes have the same “sound” as the higher pitched ones.

An important part of how he creates the drone at least is the Fernandes Native Pro's sustainer system, though an almost identical effect could be made with an EBow.

The sustainer system plus a couple of delay pedals would yield that sort of sound, and that’s probably how he did it. There’s some movement to the sound, and that could due to use of the EHX Deluxe Memory Manwith vibrato added to the repeats. There’s definitely also some distortion (not too much, though, so perhaps just Hotcake or just Sparkle Drive), and maybe some compression to even things out.

Ed loops the drone fairly quickly before switching to the higher pitched sounds. He doesn’t have a chance to turn on any new effects when he makes the change, so they must be the same. I therefore suspect that those fragmented notes are created by only briefly pressing down on the strings (due to the nature of the sustainer system, Ed does not need to pick the strings). The delay causes the notes to repeat in that consistent (but fragmented) way However, I think that he may have added his Digitech Whammy for those extra high pitched notes.

Ed has created similar weird high pitched noises with his Line 6 DL4's looper, as heard on Little By Little. However, from where Ed is adjusting on his pedal board, he must be using his Akai Headrush E2 for looping.

 [All I Need] [Ed O'Brien] [Radiohead]
2 weeks ago
3 notes
Anonymous: I know theres a lot of production behibd the drum sound on "Brain in a bottle" and "the mother lode", but whats the closest you could get using an ipad? Any specific drum machine app perhaps?

I’m sure you get get very close to basically any standard (kit or machine) drum sound with the Fingerlab DM1. If for some reason doesn’t make you happy, get the iMPC (or other sampling drum machine) and start sampling.

2 weeks ago
3 notes