Los Angeles, CA-based hard rock group, 3 By Design, are currently promoting their most recent release, the 5-track EP, Enemy, released on July 7th, 2016 (purchase your copy right here), and today we have the pleasure of premiering the band’s new music video for the song “Man At The Wheel”. Moreover, guitarist Kevin Hicklin was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to tell us about some of the gear he uses and how it impacts 3 By Design’s music.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Hicklin: There are many key components that we use to capture 3 By Design’s sound. In the arena of recording, the piece of gear that we have called on numerous times is the Line 6 Hd Pod Pro.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Hicklin: We record our own music in-house and the Line 6 Pod Pro has been phenomenal in its versatility as we use it for virtual vocal preamps as well as guitar and bass amp modeling.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Hicklin: We used it to track summed inputs of guitar, bass, and also vocals.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Hicklin: All of the guys are very conscious of the tones they transmit through their instruments. I (Kevin) am the resident gearhead of the band and sometimes my obsessiveness can drive the guys crazy. When it comes down to it, what has worked best for us is constant communication. We discuss what tones we are shooting for in re-creating what we did on our recordings because we want to give our live audience the best sonic interpretation of our songs.
What are the major pros and cons?
Hicklin: The biggest pro for us is that we rehearse effectively. Everyone knows their gear very well so its easy for us to dial in tones when we are in the rehearsal room. Frank plays Schecter Basses, Line 6 floor pod Fx and Ampeg amps for some time now. I (Kevin) use Paul Reed Smith and Schecter guitars with the combination of the Line Hd Pod Pro and EVH 5150 III amplifiers. Kent our drummer uses Sabian cymbals, Tama drums and Vater sticks. The hardest con for us is dealing with the many changing variables of a live venues sound system and stage setup. Some are better equipped than others but we try not to let that get in the way of our playing and deliver the best show we can with whatever the circumstances are sound-wise.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Hicklin: We have backup guitars and drums. The great thing is that if a situation arises where something goes down, we are very quick to troubleshoot and they get replaced very quickly.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Hicklin: We have had our full recording rig for just over three years. When we started 3 By Design we wanted to have a recording setup where we could capture our music ideas in the moment as they happen. Once you get your own recording setup, a lesson that you quickly learn is that it evolves to keep up with the latest technology and your own imagination.
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Hicklin: We had a show when my guitar rig went down in the middle of a song due to a faulty cable which actually was one that’s not commonly used called a cat5. To our luck, the band that played right before us had a similar rig as mine and was able to help us out. Once we were fully functional we were able to get back to what we love and tear out of the gates like a hungry prize fighter.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Hicklin: Love your gear, maintain your gear, take time to learn more about it, love it but never let it limit the scope of your imagination.
Check out the song “Man At The Wheel”