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Geared Up: Instrumental Prog Trio The Parallax Method Unpick their Complex Set-Up

In this new Geared-Up interview, progressive instrumental trio The Parallax Method helps us unpick their complex set-up.



The Parallax Method

Following the release of two critically acclaimed EPs, The Owl in 2015 and The Squid in 2017, V13 quickly became big fans of instrumental prog trio, The Parallax Method. On July 17th, the band returned with their debut album, Folie à Trois, accompanied by their massive new single, “We’ve Learned Nothing.”

Following the release of both the album and the single, we thought it would make sense to sit down and chat with the band about how they managed to create such a huge sound. So, check out the video to the single while you read the band talking about their set-up in the latest edition of Geared Up.

First things first: What’s your current setup?

Danny Beardsley (Guitar): “My guitar setup has been relatively consistent, although I have a selection of guitars I pick and choose from. This can be driven by a specific sound or depending on how I’m feeling.

Pedalboard: TC Electronic Flashback x4 delay in the FX loop. Suhr Koko Boost & Rufus Reloaded Fuzz and a TC Electronic SubNup in the front end.

Amp: Orange Rockerverb Mk iii 50 head and PPC212OB. (In the studio I use a Two Notes Torpedo Live)

Guitars: Chapman ML2 Pro, Suhr Classic Antique HSS, Seth Baccus Nautilus Standard, PRS Hollowbody 1 and Singlecuts.

Picks & Strings: Hawk Picks and Jim Dunlop strings.”

Ben Edis (Bass): “I play a 5-string Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky strings. The signal chain goes to a TC Electronic Polytune -> MXR Bass Chorus Deluxe -> TC Electronic Sub n Up -> Darkglass Alpha Omicron -> SansAmp Bass Driver Deluxe. Then, on the FX loop on the SansAmp, I have a Digitech Bass Synth Wah and an MXR Bass Envelope Filter.

On the SansAmp, I only use 3 of the 6 patches: one is my clean tone, one is a gritty overdrive tone, and the third I have as a dedicated patch for the FX loop as I try and account for the shifts in volume and tone that the envelope filters can add so as to try and keep things consistent. From the SansAmp I usually just go direct into the sound desk as my back aches too much for lugging an amp around. ”

The Parallax Method - Geared Up Photo 3

The Parallax Method – Geared Up Photo 3

Dave Wright (Drums): “I play a Mapex Saturn V in red/blue hybrid sparkle. 22×18 Kick, 10×8/12×9/16×16 Toms, Black Panther Phatbob 14×7 Snare.

Cymbals: I’ve played Meinl cymbals for over 10 years now and have a selection that I swap between, but these are my usual go-to:

Byzance Extra Dry 13in Medium Hi-Hats
Byzance Traditional 6in Splash
MB10 8in splash stacked with a Generation X 8in Filter China
Byzance Traditional 18in Medium Crash
Byzance Traditional 18in Medium Crash
Byzance Vintage 20in Sand Ride
Byzance Traditional 16in China stacked with a Byzance Extra Dry 10in Splash
Byzance Extra Dry 18in China

Mapex Falcon double-pedal

I’ve always used Evans heads, currently using:
EMAD2 on the Kick
Coated G2 for the Toms
ST Dry on the Snare in combination with a snareweight m1b

Vater Keg 5A for the perfect rebound!”

Geared Up - Dave's Kit Photo

Geared Up – Dave’s Kit Photo

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?

Danny: “My Orange Rockerverb Mk iii is the backbone of my sound. I sound more like me when I’m using that amp.”

Ben: “To me, the sound of a Stingray is really distinctive: it’s bright and punchy but with a low-end growl, and it sits well in the mix and with a wide range of styles. I’m not sure I have a signature sound, but I imagine I would sound very different without the Stingray.”

Ben: “I’d say my main cymbal stack is the key part of my sound.”

How did you come to possess this piece of equipment? Vintage shop, regular shop, borrowed money, gifted? Give us the details.

Danny: “This amp was a birthday gift from my wonderful wife. I think she was tired of me talking about it so bought it for me for some peace and quiet.”

Ben: “I bought it on eBay and collected it from a lovely chap in Basingstoke.”

Ben: “This was a happy accidental combination of two cymbals I was no longer using. No cool story behind them, just a regular shop!”

What made you choose this particular piece of gear and were there any close seconds or alternatives?

Danny: “I have tried plenty of amps through the years and always feel happiest when playing Orange. Rock solid and reliable, super simple and has plenty of chewy midrange.”

Ben: “I already had an Ernie Ball SUB 5 (one of the cheap ones) and wanted to upgrade to the real deal. Before I got the Stingray, I thought the SUB was the best-sounding and playing bass I’d ever played. And then the Stingray just blew it out the water, and it quickly became relegated to the ‘backup bass’ before eventually being sold to Danny due to managing to get my hands on another Stingray.”

The Parallax Method 'Folie a Trois' Album Artwork

The Parallax Method ‘Folie a Trois’ Album Artwork

What about this piece of equipment makes it so important to you?

Danny: “I am not interested in having a 1000 different tones; I want a singular voice that I can colour with a few pedals if I need to. The Rockerverb can do anything from super clean to that ‘in your face’ fuzz, and it’s easy to get those tones. This allows me to focus on trying to play my parts correctly.”

Ben: “Flea was a huge inspiration for me when I first started, and he was playing Stingrays at the time. It’s the bass I’d always aspired to own right from the get-go.”
Ben: “I like the fast attack and tight sound. I’m not such a fan of larger, washy-sounding stacks. This one is perfect for grooves, and quick accents.”

Did you use this gear during the recording of your latest song or album? If so, please elaborate on how and for what parts.

Danny: “My Rockerverb was the only amp I used for the entire album. I adjusted the tonal pallet using a few pedals or the controls on the guitar. The guitars on this album were 95% recorded using my Suhr Classic Antique HSS. A lot of the parts needed that singlecoil sound. There are a couple of solos that I used the Nautlius and some reinforced power chords using the Hollowbody for the intro to “Under the Stinging Tree of Death”.”

Ben: “I used all of the above during the recording of Folie á Trois, along with a few cheeky plug-in effects in Logic. I also used my fretless Fender Jazz 5 for most of “Ainsley’s Chariot” as I wanted that smooth, gliding sound that a fretless gives.”

Ben: “I actually did not! Due to the expensive nature of recording drums and the fact that we were recording the album during lockdown, I used my Roland TD25KV to track all the drums on the album, running into GGD for the sample sounds. I would always prefer to use real drums, however, the GGD samples sound fantastic and have made the recording process much easier, and less expensive while still getting great results.”

What was your first-ever instrument?

Danny: “My first ever guitar was a Hohner nylon classic 3/4 acoustic. I still have this guitar. The string action is absolutely horrendous.”

Ben: “My first ever instrument was a left-handed guitar when I was maybe 12 years old. I didn’t take to it, and that was the end of that. Skip forward to when I was 17, I decided to give bass a go. I’m left-handed and, remembering how limiting it was trying to find left-handed guitars way back when I forced myself to learn bass right-handed. I still air guitar left-handed, and because I naturally want to hold a plectrum in my left hand, it explains why I can’t play bass with a pick. My first bass was a 4-string Peavey Milestone 3 that I only parted ways with last year.”

Geared Up - Danny's Amp & Cab

Geared Up – Danny’s Amp & Cab

Ben: “My first ever instrument was actually a nylon string acoustic guitar out of the Argos catalogue! But my first drum kit was a lovely blue Ludwig Accent kit.”

What’s your favourite piece of equipment you’ve ever owned?

Danny: “Probably my PRS Hollowbody 1. This is my songwriting guitar. I instantly feel inspired playing this guitar. Not the easiest for those ‘shred moments,’ but it’s a real tone machine and incredibly resonant. PRS Hollowbody 1.”

Ben: “My Byzance Vintage 20in Sand Ride. This is a rare example of signature gear that I could not resist! It’s not a typical cymbal used for our style of music, but I think that’s what makes it so special and unique to my setup.”

What piece of gear gave the longest service? Are you still using it?

Danny: “My PRS Singlecut 2003. I’ve played this guitar so much that it had to be re-fretted. It’s a real backbreaker (9.9lbs). This guitar feels amazing to play, though, and is very special to me. PRS Singlecut 2003.”

Ben: “My old Tama Superstar Hyperdrive kit. This was the first “proper” kit I ever bought, and played it extensively in many bands. I ended up selling this kit, unfortunately, but it served me well and went to a good home.”

What was the first rig you ever bought that felt like you had “arrived” as a musician?

Danny: “I remember getting my PRS Singlecut in 2003 and feeling like a Pro for a very brief moment! I wasn’t as tonally, technically or tastefully aware as I am now. All that being said, I’m still faking it until I make it!”

Ben: “When I bought my Ampeg SVT Pro 5 amp head and an 8×10 Ampeg cabinet to run it through, I thought I was the pope of chili town. Little did I know that I’d also just bought myself a whole lotta back pain and years and years of chiropractor bills, too.”

Ben: “Buying my first “proper” drum kit, a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive. This was my first step out of starter gear, and sounded great when I first mic’d it up at a live show.”

Which company do you think has provided the most support to you as a musician? Any sponsors who deserve a shoutout?

Danny: “Orange Amps have been very supportive through the years; Hawk picks are amazingly kind and supportive. During my time with PRS, those guys were super cool. Seth Baccus is a very supportive and talented luthier. Definitely check out his guitars. Bare Knuckle Pickups have been amazingly supportive, and their pickups are superb.

Recently, Rob Chapman and his team have welcomed me to the Chapman Guitars family, and they’ve been ridiculously kind and generous with their support.”

What setup did you spend the most time idolizing as a kid growing up?

Danny: “I always loved the look of the Les Paul, Stratocasters always looked classy but seeing Carlos Santana holding his PRS on the back of Supernatural sparked the Gear-Quest for me.”

Ben: “Dirk Lance’s setup in Incubus was ridiculously complex but sounded so so good.”

Ben: “I always loved the crazy big set ups of people like Joey Jordison and The Rev when I was a kid. However, I never had the inclination (or cash!) to build a set up that crazy!”

Time for some fun. Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.

Danny: “Less “gear goes wrong” and more of a “player goes wrong”. With my dual volume guitars, I often switch to a different pickup not realising the volume is off!”

Ben: “During a rehearsal many years and a few bands ago, we were playing through the set when I start to smell something noxious in the air. Nothing unusual here it being a small room with 5 dudes in. Mid-song, my bass cuts out, so I turn to my amp (a Trace Elliot AH500, I think) and as I get closer I realise there’s smoke starting to come out the back. The whole band stops as it rapidly started to spew smoke and the acrid smell of burning components filled the room. That was the end of rehearsal but not the end for the amp as I put it on eBay for spares/repair. The guy I eventually sold it to was a promoter and wound up booking us to play at the festival he was organising later in the year.”

Ben: “I remember playing a pub gig a long time ago where a cheap cymbal stand decided to fall to pieces and the cymbal proceeded to hit the stage and roll away into the crowd! I had to finish the song and sheepishly collect it before the next track!”

The Parallax Method released Folie à Trois on July 17th, 2023 and you can pick up your copy here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.