And The Light Is Growing Brighter Now: The Most Detailed Photographic Documentation of Phish’s Live Setup Ever Published

I’ve just returned from a 4 day excursion through the wilds of Hartford, CT and Saratoga Springs, NY following the reunited jamband empire that is Phish. If you’ve ever seen a Phish show, or heard anything about them, you know that they are grand achievements in both sound and lighting design, regardless of your opinion of the musical quality. In the next 48 hours, I’ll be posting an exclusive up-close photographic breakdown of their backline and front-of-house rigs, including all the instruments and effects they use, as well as all the gear that populates their legendary soundboard.

I’ll be filling in as many details as I can about the specifics of the equipment they use, plus a brief breakdown of how their industry-innovating Live Phish recordings happen, and recent adjustments to the drum setup. As a bonus, there will be a few more choice shots from the soundboard during the show to show off the majesty of their Chris Kuroda-run lighting design.

Keep checking back over the next day or two as we fill this space with possibly the most detailed photographic document of Phish’s live setup ever published.  Please note that in the interest of allowing everybody to enjoy the photos as soon as possible, we will be updating the gear breakdowns over the course of the week.  Should be completed by the 4th of July, at which time we’ll start uploading our photo documents of The New Deal and Jojo Mayer/Nerve’s setups.


Trey’s longtime Koa-bodied, Paul Languedoc-built, hollowbody guitar.  Info on the guitar from phish.net:

This guitar is all koa with a maple neck, and the same tapered body shape as the second one. The finish on this one is a darker, redder stain, with a slightly different headstock shape, different (even smaller) inlays, and two chrome-covered humbuckers. The saddles are bronze on this guitar as opposed to the bone of the first two. He used this for the first time in October of 1996, and sporadically for the remainder of the year. In 1997, it completed the transition to his main axe, leaving the two blonde ones as backups. Languadoc states that “The koa guitar is the best of all of them because the wood has the most elegant and solid sound of the three.”  The electronics consist of a pair of Schallar Golden 50 humbucking pickups.

As has been noted in the comments, this is not the Koa guitar described at phish.net.

Located behind the Languedoc is Trey’s pre-1998 100w Mesa Boogie Mark III head, running in to his classic Langedoc-built 2×12 cabinet, mic’d by an SM57 and an Royer 121 Ribbon mic (thanks John from The Bunker).  Behind the main amp rig is a Goff Leslie, full-sized as opposed to the “top” cabinet he used pre-breakup.

Trey’s smaller-than-usual rack currently features the following units:

Furman M8-L Power Conditioner
Korg DTR-2 Rackmount Tuner
Vintage Ibanez DM2000 Digital Delay
Custom Audio Electronics (CAE) Black Cat Vibe
CAE Super Tremolo
Alesis NanoVerb (x2, 1 set for delay, one set for Room reverb)
Alesis Microverb set to a gated reverb
CAE 4×4 Switcher

Trey’s floorspace is currently less cluttered than probably any other point in Phish’s history, and the layout currently prevents Trey from actuating the ubiquitous post-97 delay loops (see: studio version of “Ghost”).  Floor setup currently includes (on Trey’s right side):
Footswitch for CAE Tremolo
Expression Pedal for CAE Bad Cat Vibe
Original Boomerang Phrase Sampler
TC Electronics Nova Repeater Delay
Teese RMC Wah (hidden within a Crybaby shell) ->
Ibanez/Analog Man TS9 “Silver” Modded Tube Screamer (x2, one cranked and feeding in to the other) ->
Vintage Ross Compressor (thanks Chris M in the comments)

Trey’s left side is more for controllers than individual pedals, save for the Whammy:
Digitech Whammy II pedal (externally MIDI controlled)
CAE 4×4 footswitch board (for on/off control of rackmounted units)
Boss FS5U footswitches + Leslie control (all for control of the Leslie)

Mike has also trimmed down his rig.  Noticeably absent are the small combo amps that formerly perched atop his setup.  Main loudspeakers are all powered Meyer Sound cabinets, a pair of 750-P 2×18’s and a pair of MSL-2 15″ 2-ways. (some reports suggest 650-Ps and UPQs, but I’m 99% sure these are the same 750-P and MSL-2’s that Mike’s been using for a little while)

This rack houses all of Mike’s pedal effects, processors, including 2x Eventide Eclipse, and his CAE switching systems.


Expression pedals, CAE switcher (note the button marked “DWD”), and a Boss SYB-5 Synth Bass pedal.


1 of 2 Eden WT800 Heads (using preamp section only)
Meyer Sound Parametric EQ
Korg DTR2000 Tuner

The classic Mike effects we’ve been hearing for years.  The pedal effects include:

Lovetone Meatball
Akai Deep Impact
Source Audio Soundblox Prototype Bass Envelope Filter
Source Audio Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion
EBS Octabass
Boss BF2 Flanger
MXR 10-Band EQ

I believe that the CAE switchers allow Mike to change the routing of the FX as he sees fit, so as such there isn’t a specific “signal path” to the pedal FX.

Classic Eventide DSP4000, Lexicon LXP-15, and 3 CAE 4×4 Switchers.


For direct processing, another Eden WT800 Head and an Avalon U5 tube-driven instrument direct box.

Here’s a little rundown on Fish’s current setup.  I got to chat with his drum tech Scotty for a while after taking the photos and he had a few specific insights as to what’s going on with the kit.  For example:

– the 2nd snare is a Yamaha Brass snare that actually belongs to Trey, and is 30-50 years old (I would assume that they had Yamaha change out the lugs with the Nouveau lugs back when Fish was playing a primarily-Yamaha kit).  This is the first time that anyone can remember Fish using 2 snares, and despite its presence, Scotty doesn’t remember him hitting it once at the 1st night of SPAC

– the main snare is in fact a DW 7×14, acquired just before this tour.  It “cuts” much better than the Black Beauty of old, believe it or not.

– the rest of the kit is a mixture of Noble & Cooley CD Maple toms (thanks Matt in the comments), a vintage Ludwig kick, and no longer includes any Yamaha or Ayotte toms

– the concept behind the tom arrangement is as such

  • the 6 and 8 are located off to the left as part of the left-side “percussion” setup, which is allowing Fish to move much more efficiently around the kit, with his elbows tucked in, as he generally prefers
  • the 10 and 12 are further left than before, ultimately giving Fish a classic jazz 3-piece arrangement with his bass    drum, 12″ tom, and 14″ floor tom.  This allows for closer ride placement, a more comfortable posture for Fish, and more use of the 12 for articulations (i.e. the “entrance” to David Bowie)
  • the 14 and 16 are where they’ve always been, although slightly covered up by the closer ride
  • Fish had been using coated Ambassadors on the toms, but for this tour they’ve been experimenting with clear Emperors, which has made mic’ing the kit much easier
  • Earthworks mics on the toms, Royer stereo mic for overhead

– the “little drum” in front of the kick is in fact a Yamaha Subkick, which uses an 8″ speaker as a microphone transducer

– cymbals are a mixture of brands and sizes, mostly older Zildjian, including a vintage Zildjian ride, New Beat hihats, K crash, A Cst splash, etc, some Paiste prototypes, and an odd UFIP and Wuhan here and there.

-hardware seems to be of the “whatever’s lying around” variety

– mostly Vic Firth Peter Erskine sticks

I really can’t beat Alex G from the comments on Page’s setup, so here’s his breakdown:
Rhodes Mk II, made somewhere from ‘75-’79 (the “73″ on it refers to the # of keys). He usually runs this through a phase shifter (now an mxr phase90, previously a maestro), but I don’t see it in the pictures, maybe on the floor?. On top of that is his beloved Yamaha CS-60 polyphonic synth (1977 i think?). Those are super rare and are a pain to keep in tune, hence the Sabine tuner placed on top of it.

1967 Hammond B3 organ going through a Leslie 122 rotary speaker (the classic Hammond setup). The organ was modded by the Goff brothers who added fine control/boost of chorus and percussion, and who removed the tubes, replacing the internal amp with solid state circuitry. On top of that is a Bob Moog Signature Little Phatty synth, which I believe he got fairly recently. The small module to the left of the Moog is a tuner, as the synth is all analog.

Wurlitzer 106p. These were made in the early 70s and sold in sets of EIGHT, all mounted on (the same) folding frame for classroom instruction. The internal mechanics are very similar to a Rhodes, except with reeds instead of aluminum tines, thus the sound is a bit “barkier” if I can call it that. I have never even seen one of these, let alone see someone play one.  Page acquired this somewhere along the line during the Summer 2010 tour.

2001 Yamaha C7 grand piano fitted with German Steinway hammers (an exact replacement of the one he used from 93-01) for better attack and brightness. The piano has Helpinstill pickups fed to an Avalon DI and an Earthworks microphone system to capture the piano’s acoustics. Atop that is his Hohner D6 Clavinet fed through a Fender Deluxe amp (shown below). He usually uses a myriad of effects on that, you can see the mxr phase90 on top, but I’m not sure what he has on the floor. Typically a wah (vox recently, crybaby in the 90s), sometimes a boss distortion and/or digitech whammy.

Front of House sound is run by Garry Brown on a Midas XL8 Digital board.

From top to bottom, we have:
Waves MAXX BCL
Crane Song HEDD 192 Signal Processor
Dolby Lake Processor
Apogee Big Ben
Rane C4 Quad Compressor
Empirical Labs Distressor
Midas DL451 Modular I/O
Tascam CD-01U

On this side we have:
API 8MX2 8ch Mic Pre
Crane Song HEDD 192
Crane Song ISIS EQ
Manley Stereo Variable MU Limiter/Compressor
Tascam HD-R1 x2
Midas DL451 Modular I/O
Klark Teknik DN9696 Hi-Res Audio Recorder
Glyph GT103 w/ 1 drive

The left side of the Live Phish racks includes:
Apple Mac Mini
Presonus Firestudio
<unidetified unit>
Presonus FP10 Firepod


The right side of the Live Phish rack contains:
Apple Mac Pro Tower
Glyph GT103 w/ 1 drive
Avid Audio (Digidesign) 192 Convertor
Studio Technologies AN-2 Stereo Simulator

Both Kuroda and his assistant are running full-size MA Lighting grandMA 2’s.

Kuroda’s grandMA2 is equipped with an M-Audio Axiom 61 for tactile control over the lights.  The first 2 octaves are marked as “wipes”, the middle octave as “sprinkles” and the last 2 octaves as “scrim ex w/ color”.  The black keys with green tape are each marked with different colors.  In the scrim section, the keys are marked with letters and numbers.  There is also one white key in the sprinkles section labeled “Bowie Pt 2″.


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92 thoughts on “And The Light Is Growing Brighter Now: The Most Detailed Photographic Documentation of Phish’s Live Setup Ever Published

  1. absolutely stunning photographs. love the up-close shots of the gear. CK’s light rig is incredible too. standing ovation, mate. well done.

  2. The description of Trey’s guitar is incorrect. The guitar pictured, and which is now his primary guitar, is the one that he started using in fall 2003. The one that is described is the guitar he used from /9697 through summer 2003.

  3. Nice work, brah! What the hell is that snare-like drum hanging in front of Fish’s bass drum?? What purpose does it serve?

  4. Very well done! A couple of corrections on Trey’s setup.

    First, that is not the guitar he started using in 1996. That guitar is a backup (you can see pictures of Mike playing it during Gotta Jiboo when Tony sat in with the band earlier this tour. The guitar in your pictures is a newer koa guitar (has Seymour Duncan 59 pickups). I don’t remember the exact date he started using it but it was probably during the hiatus before Phish reuinted.

    Second, the TS9’s should both be running into the compressor, that’s how it’s been forever. They’re wired backwards in terms of the placement on the floor so it’s a little confusing but if you follow the wire you’ll see one runs into the other (the TS9 on Trey’s right goes into the one on his left, then to the comp eventually).

    Finally, I’m not positive on this one but it makes more sense that the expression pedal would control the rate of the Trem and not the Vibe, not 100% sure on that one though.

    Hope this helps, thanks for taking the time to do such a great job with the pics. I’d love to see the full resolution images if they’re available!

    • Hey, this is Wayan, I’m the one who took all the photos. The long shots are from 2nd night Hartford, and the gear closeups were taken right after soundcheck at the 2nd SPAC show. Chris M, you are correct, this guitar is not the same Koa that is described over at phish.net, however it is nearly identical to the 97 Koa, with the exception of the modern G4 switching layout, and I’m honestly not sure which pickups are in it. Mike may have been using the old Koa for Jiboo with Tony @ SPAC 2, but honestly, there’s around a half-dozen Languedocs floating around for various purposes at any given Phish show. From my vantage point, it did not appear to be the 97 Koa, but rather one of many practice or backup guitars. The Ross Compressor has definitely gone in between the two TS9’s in the past (95 maybe?), but you are correct as far as the current signal path feeding the TS9’s in to the Ross. You can’t see it in the picture, but the front of the expression pedal definitely says Black Cat on it. Thanks for the info, will edit the post accordingly. This is a work in progress (I’m looking at you c dawg), Mike and Fish’s setups should be broken down by tomorrow morning at the latest. -YN

  5. This is great man — but I wish you didn’t stop breaking down the item-by-item with Trey’s Rig. I can recognize a lot of the things in Mike’s rack, like the Deep Impact, Meatball, looks like an MXR Envelope, Flange… etc…

    Regardless, this is unbelievably sick detail. Nicely done!

  6. there are some good pictures here. but you seem to have lost steam after you got past treys gear. his stuff is nice and there are some cool things to take note of such as the nano verb ect. But you basically brushed off mikes gear as an after thought and when you got to Pages setup its like just jumped right over his setup (oh and here are some keyboards) kinda thing. The Yamaha CS-80 page use’s is probably one of the most unique instruments that the band has on stage and also one of the rarest at that. People dont realize how amazing that instrument is . Page knows goot synths and keyboards. then we get to fishmens drum kit.. you dont even talk about it… what type of shells they are.. cymbals ……. and then we have the rack mount.. i see a distressor and a few other really nice staple things in there that must shape the sound out quite well for them. anyhow.. great photos.. but this is definitely not the most detailed.. im not trying to hate.. i am just trying to tell you how it really is buddy.. this screams “I am a huge trey fan” witch is cool.. but make a post about him if you want to do that.. not something like this..

  7. Agreed ^^^. Excellent Photographs Dillon! Thank you so much for posting! What a great photo-journal. Any details on Fish’s kit is welcomed from readers also. Ya gotta love Page’s Goff Hammond B-3 and his Lil Phatty. Great stuff. Where were these taken? SPAC? CMAC?

  8. right on buddy. remember the CS-80 is the synth the boards of canada use on most of everything they have made. they show the dynamics of it quite well in the album-(music has the right to children). page whips this out for 2001 and you can tell as soon as his hands grace the keys what page is playing, a magical instrument to say the least.. the rhodes he has.. i am interested in knowing if he has a vibrato mod on it that is stereo out? anyhow.. good to hear this is a work in progress.

  9. I’ll try to help detail what we see in Mike’s rack. Looking at the second picture of his pedals – On the “pedal rack”:

    MXR EQ pedal.
    Boss BF-2 flanger
    EBS Octbass vs. his old Boss Octave pedal.
    MEatball envelope filter (mainstay of his sound for years)
    Akai Deep Impact bass synth (majnstay of his sound for years)
    Soundblox multiwave bass distrotion pedal (blue) – new?
    Soundblox Tri-Mod phaser (pink).- new?

    One the rest of his rack he has:
    A pair of Eventide processors
    Furman power conditioner
    Three CAE switchers
    Eden WT800 amp head
    And a few other things I can’t make up that I’ll have to look up.

  10. Hey man –
    This stuff is great. Two things. I think Trey’s cab may be a hard truckers cab w/ two tone tubby’s.

    See: http://hardtruckers.com/

    I also am fairly certain that the Crybaby is modded to RMC specs.

    Just a heads up. Otherwise this is awesome! I caught them at MPP both nights. Heaters! Great stuff. On to TELLURIDE!

  11. To whomever was asking about the “snare” in front of Fishman’s bass drum. Its a product by Yamaha called a subkick, it basically acts as a microphone in the sense that it is capturing sound, what makes it special is that it picks up low frequencies that cannot be captured from a conventional microphone. Mike has used one in front of his bass cab from time to time also. Look them up for a more in depth explanation.

  12. I’m pretty sure those are the same black Noble & Cooley CD Maple toms Fishman has used for a while. You can tell by the unique way that the RIMS mounts attach to the lugs, which are also clearly N&C. You can also tell they aren’t vintage Ludwigs by the lugs and lack of re-rings.

    Here’s a link to Noble & Cooley CD Maples
    http://www.noblecooley.com/prod_cdkit.html

    Do you have any info on the cymbals?

    I’m note sure how a deep maple snare can cut more than a shallower brass snare.

    Disapointed to see the clear Emporers…..

  13. Wow ! thanks for the document of the current setup… I’m looking forward to see how the descriptions evolve.. DO allow fans to discuss and input as many of us are musicians and can offer much insight as well… I seem to have possibly noticed an additional Boss Bass Synth pedal on the floor (left side) I always wondered how he got two synth sounds without tweeking knobs !! I wonder what the exp pedal next to it controls ?? Brooks

  14. Hey Wayan, thanks for the reply.

    I’m fairly sure Mike was playing the 97 doc because of the inlay pattern on that particular guitar. I was very surprised to see that guitar on stage because I didn’t think Trey took it on the road at all anymore. He usually uses the Green one and the natural maple topped dock as backups. The “new” koa doc is easy to spot because of the grain striping in the koa that runs vertical on the guitar through the sound holes. As far as I know Trey has always ran one Ts9 into the other and then into his Ross (except for when he wasn’t using a Ross at all). As for the expression pedal, keep in mind that Trey’s vibe and Trem are both made by CAE and probably use the same expression pedal. It probably says Black Cat on it not Bad Cat. I’m almost positive I’ve heard Trey adjust the rate on the trem before so that’s why I mentioned it.

  15. Also, not trying to give you a hard time at all. I appreciate the effort and time you’ve taken to post these great pictures. Please don’t pay any of the negative comments any mind, they’re way off base, imo. I’m a geek about this stuff, just trying to help out :O)

  16. Treece the snare thing hanging in front of Fishs’ kit is called a subkick, made by Yamaha. It is basically a large diaphragm mic to pick up all the low end of the kick drum, it also looks like a Shure Beta 52 is used as well for the sound hole. Dillon talks about it at the very end of the drum section.

  17. those cabinets shown in trey’s pics are not hard truckers. although they are very similar in design, the are in fact the languedoc custom cabs. on the hard trucker website it shows trey using a “fatty” cabinet w hemp cone speakers that was given to him. he played it only on a select few solo trey dates. however, if you’re looking to get the closest thing to the languedoc cabs, the Hard Trucker would most definitely be the way to go…

    Also in the debate about the CAE footswitch…it is indeed a speed control for the trem. i have an exact schematic from CAE of treys base rig with the expression coming out of the trem, it also is clearly changed on the fly by trey a lot when used as the hard cutting tremolo that he uses in a good majority of their feedback/ambient/space ordeals. sometimes its fast and sometimes its slow, while the vibe is always around a constant speed all the time. Hope this helps, and thanks again for all the great pics…

    …to the other guitarists out there…does it seem odd that trey runs his signal distortion>compressor? Compression being a natural harmonic modification, wouldn’t you want it being the first thing to touch your signal? obviously there’s no right or wrong answer on the best signal chain, just looking for some insight onto why it is that way…i’ve always found after tons of options, that the most reliable signal structure (clarity, level jumps, effectiveness of each pedal) comes from Comp>Wah> DIstortion>Modulation>Time Effects (delay) thanks for your help and input!

  18. Trey’s not using a Hard Truckers cab. That’s his original 2×12 that Paul Languedoc built ca. 1988. Mesa Boogie Mark III head dates to that, or maybe a year earlier (he played a Mark II or II combo before that). So glad he’s back to that amp and cab … no disrespect to Fender, but so many of the best Phish songs demand that tone, all the way up to ‘The Note’ in Divided Sky.

    Thanks for the article and photos. Best gear head porn since the GD Gear Book. Looking forward to more.

  19. I run all my pedals before the compressor except the delay. I also run 2 comps, 1 Ross and one TC Carl martin. The Ross is cranked like Treys so that when I hit the distortion it crushes the signal and “sings”. The Carl Martin is much more “clean” and I use it to sweeten my clean sound.
    Dennis

  20. Hey guys,
    Thanks for all the additional input on the gear. I really appreciate the help you all are providing with filling in the blanks. One of my favorite things about Phish has always been the amazing sense of community.
    I figure it might help you to know where I’m coming from with this work. My first show was 11.22.95 (with the 34 min Free following the aborted Rift). I’ve since seen Phish another 21 times spread out over the last 15 years, including the Hiatus shows at Shoreline and Halloween in Vegas (and I had tickets for NYE 95 and Coventry but for assorted reasons was unable to attend). I probably would have seen more of them had I not lived in Portland, OR and Glasgow, Scotland for large portions of the last 15 years. I play guitar, bass, and drums professionally, primarily in various forms of livetronica groups, and I also tech for legendary drummer Jojo Mayer, and teach lessons on instruments and electronic production. I’ve been involved in instrument retail on various levels for much of the last decade, and I’m frequently the biggest gear nerd in a room full of gear nerds. All this has led me to this point where I am afforded very exclusive access to a number of high-profile bands and musicians.
    I’m telling you this so you know that this post is being assembled by a hardcore Phish phanatic, not just some guy on a photo assignment. And that as a serious Phish fan and music professional, I’m a little flaky and get things mixed up in my head sometimes (i.e. Bad Cat (amps) vs. Black Cat (fx)). Any errors you might find are primarily the result of temporary confusion, rather than a lack of knowledge or understanding. Also, since I’m juggling my work on this blog with my bands, teaching, teching, and everything else, it sometimes takes me a little while to get the work done.
    As a last note, if there’s a band that you would really love to see a gear breakdown for, feel free to email me directly at wayan-at-proaudiostar-dot-com and make the suggestion.
    And please keep the info coming.
    Thanks everyone.

  21. This is incredible! Thanks for posting. Great photos and nice rundown of what the band uses on a nightly basis.

    Saw the Raleigh show last night and the lights were amazing.

  22. Attn Pedleboy: hey i was just wondering since you run your Ross comp out of the distortion send, where do you run the TC comp…and also how do you like that one? ive looked at it a few times and always wanted to try it…thats the “compression/sustainer” one right? thanks!

  23. Okay, keyboard players and fans alike — here’s the skinny on Page’s setup (clockwise from top in first photo):

    Yamaha CS-60 synth
    Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73 Mark II
    Moog Little Phatty synth
    Hammond B-3 organ
    Hohner Clavinet D6 (with MXR phaser)
    Yamaha baby grand piano
    Wurlitzer electric piano

    Fender Twin Reverb amp
    Goff Leslie cabinet

    Not sure on the model baby grand, or on the student model Wurly… Questions, comments, corrections, fire away please!

  24. I have way too much crap on the floor at the moment but for simplicity I run an AnalogueMan modded TS9 into a Vox Valve Tone to the TC then Ross. I almost never run them both at the same time. Maybe sometimes when we all “space out”. I actually use the TC more than the Ross. Very nice sound and works for clean and over driven. I find the Ross too “squishy” on clean when set to sound good with overdrive.
    Dennis

  25. Oh and thank you so much for your work getting this together. Would love to hear how Karoda has the midi keyboard hooked up and what is the little gold keyboard next to the piano.
    D.

  26. Awesome post Wayan. Maybe I can help shed some light on Page’s setup. This is to the best of my knowledge, if anyone has more info I’d appreciate any corrections. I’ll call the first shot of his rig the “first pic” and reference the following shots “2nd”, “3rd”, etc for clarity.

    Facing the audience (3rd pic down) is a 1967 Hammond B3 organ going through a Leslie 122 rotary speaker (the classic Hammond setup). The organ was modded by the Goff brothers who added fine control/boost of chorus and percussion, and who removed the tubes, replacing the internal amp with solid state circuitry (booo….). On top of that is a Moog Little Phatty synth, which I believe he got fairly recently. The small module to the left of the Moog is a tuner, as the synth is all analog.

    90 degrees to the left (2nd pic down) is his Rhodes Mk II, made somewhere from ’75-’79 (the “73” on it refers to the # of keys). He usually runs this through a phase shifter (now an mxr phase90, previously a maestro), but I don’t see it in the pictures, maybe on the floor?. On top of that is his beloved Yamaha CS-60 polyphonic synth (1977 i think?). Those are super rare and are a bitch to keep in shape, hence the tuner placed on top of it.

    Opposite from the rhodes/cs-60 (5th pic down) is his 2001 Yamaha C7 grand piano fitted with German Steinway hammers (an exact replacement of the one he used from 93-01) for better attack and brightness. The piano has Helpinstill pickups fed to an Avalon DI and an Earthworks microphone system to capture the piano’s acoustics. Atop that is his Hohner D6 Clavinet fed through a Fender Deluxe amp (you can see it in the background next to the leslie). He usually uses a myriad of effects on that, you can see the mxr phase90 on top, but I’m not sure what he has on the floor. Typically a wah (vox recently, crybaby in the 90s), sometimes a boss distortion and/or digitech whammy. Straight funk, bitches.

    Lastly, facing the back of the stage (4th pic down) is his rarest board, a Wurlitzer 106p. These were made in the early 70s and sold in sets of EIGHT, all mounted on (the same) folding frame for classroom instruction. The internal mechanics are very similar to a Rhodes (reed driven), but the sound is a bit “barkier” if I can call it that. I have never even seen one of these, let alone see someone play one.

    Great post, I am seeing these guys tonight in Charlotte!

    -alex

  27. Why is it that this configuration doesn’t allow Trey to do delay loops? Weren’t the constant siren sounding loops of the later 90’s just a combination of pitch dropping with the Whammy pedal and looping that with the Boomerang?

  28. Amazing! I have wondered about this setup for years and years. Truly a sight to behold.

    And 4 big rigs to haul it all…? :o

    WOW!

    Thanks for this cool look into Phish’s arsenal.

  29. One correction to Mike’s pedals: That is a Boss SYB-3 synth pedal on the floor, not the newer SYB-5 version. You can tell because the “5” version has a black face around the knobs whereas the older “3” version — which toneheads think is superior — has a silver face.

    Great page dude — I am loving. Thanks for the effort.

  30. the keyboard on the lighting rig is most likely some type of MIDI or external controller so that he can just hit one key to sync up a whole program or so that he can use certain lights with the beat with ease. basically a controller

  31. mikes bass rig looks to me to be 650p subs (could be 700p’s…same look, more power) with 2xUPA1P’s on their sides on top, not MSL2’s, as stated. MSL2’s a much “fatter” looking speakers. cool pics, though!

  32. Just to clarify the subkick further as people have flirted with describing what it truly is without actually getting there. It’s the woofer section of the equivalent of an Yamaha NS-10 studio monitor mounted into a drum shell. The way a dynamic mic and a speaker driver work are the same. You have a coil of wire wrapped on a tube that is glued to a diaphragm and the tube surrounds a magnet. With a speaker, you introduce an AC voltage into the wire and it acts like an electromagnet and moves back and forth, thence moving the cone, giving us sound. A dynamic microphone is just the opposite: the air moves the diaphragm and that moves the coil, which ends up with a current induced into it by the magnet. Since they are the same, some crafty engineer decided to find out what would happen if they put a woofer up against a kick drum and wire it up to a direct box (I had done this with headphones, when I ran out of mics in 1983). Given the big size of the diaphragm, the subkick rolls off the highs and creates a nice big fat impact. Another example of cools things you can do when you hook stuff up backwards!

  33. hey all – many thanks for the creator/photographer & many thanks for the continued updates to the gear. as someone said, best gear page I’ve seen so far, and fantastic pics! thanks again, keep ‘em coming!

  34. I thought it was fun to see what Tray uses in his musical abilities. I saw phish one time and it seems they have two much stuff to remember to bring. I had dinner with Jon Fishman ((i asked why he wont use a P in his name but he said nothin and smiled right to me)) in March in the state Florida at a Bonefish grill. He is nice. I was taller than him.He was visiting his chiropractor friend whom new my friend and another guy. He has two much stuff also and I wonder if they all get too tired of setting up all those things for only two hours. Then they have to play and then take it all down. My friend says they play chess on the bus but i would be tired from putting all that stuff away. I would be extra tired wouldnt you. They should get some help especially Jon cause his stuff looks like he needs a plummer. I don’t understand all the ts9 and mesa boggie language but i sure do like phish. Jon even ordered a real fish for dinner that night at Bonefish grill. Their is a lot of fish in there lives. You’re pictures on this web station are pretty nice but i get a head ache if i look two long. thank you for doing all this. GO PHISH! and (JON FISHMAN) and (REAL FISH THAT YOU EAT)
    bye—–chrisphish
    ps I read some of these notes people wrote and sounds like everybody trys to know more than everybody else. i get to see Jon at the indiana stage show in august and im going to say he needs a plummer.

  35. so regardless of which ts9 is on the left or the right, am i hearing you correctly when you say he is “running the cranked one into the other”? so you mean of the two, the NON cranked one is the second one in the stack? meaning when he kicks on the cranked one it runs INTO the non cranked one that is mainly left on ?

    im pretty sure that what you mena im just dbl checking as it actually would make a difference..

  36. Can we get some info on the soundboard and livephish.com recordings? I was able to get the mics they use on stage, but would love a breakdown on the entire process. Some nights I can DL the 24bit within 1hr of the show being over, other days 12hrs. Just wondering all the work involved in this tours recordings. 2010 so far has the best overall sound imo.

    Thanks for all the hard work you did and do for us phans.

  37. Trey once had more floorspace, but that was when he was using 2 CAE 4×4’s. Most of his effects were kicked using the RS10 Midi controller along with changing channels on his pre amp. He had a on/off and fast slow switch for the Leslie. A Wah, volume pedal, whammy, tremolo switch and expression pedal on the floor. His Tube screamers and comp were in the rack along with his Tremolo, univibe, reverb,Groove tubes power amp, DM2000, CAE 3 channel Pre-amp, tuner ,and i think he had a Roland Phrase Sampler and a Peavey Valverb which was later removed when he put his comp, Boomerang, and Tubescreamers on the floor

  38. “My first show was 11.22.95 (with the 34 min Free following the aborted Rift)”

    That was my 4th show! Great one at that.
    Thanks for posting this. Very interesting.

  39. to answer my own Q (i figured this out) the answer is yes.. when you run a cranked ts9 into an uncranked ts9, it only adds volume.. which imo explains one of the factors in how he keeps it clean when he kicks it up a notch.. the first ts, the non cranked is already “clipping” so when the cranked one hits the uncranked on it cant crank anymore, as far as distortion.. if you flip it the other way around then yes it will add more dist. i found this interesting…

  40. hah, 11.22.95 was my first show too…

    anywho, great post and great photos. thanks for a peek behind the curtain!

  41. This is awesome – thanks so much for doing this. The detail on Page’s gear is great – so detailed. This is definitely the first time I’ve seen a Wurly in his rig and I can’t wait to hear it… I wonder what songs he uses it on!. You wouldn’t happen to know what he runs his wurly, rhodes, and clav through would you? (I.e., does he go direct or run them through tube amps?) Thanks again!

  42. Just wanted to say THANK you SO MUCH for this! I love Mike’s gear! Also wanted to add that Fishman is using a vintage GRETSCH kick drum, not a Ludwig as described.

  43. How did you get access to this? You must know someone on the crew to let you take photo’s of all the equipment. Your so lucky.. What about Bruno? What about his gear?

  44. Great article/feature. One of the only things I disagree with, however, is the comment re: Trey’s purported inability to create delay loops (Ghost, etc). Not only have I heard the loops since this most recent configuration, but I cannot even fathom the signal path route that would preclude him from creating the loops. Actually, the only way possible would for the Whammy pedal to be placed AFTER the DM2000 in the signal chain – a very unlikely scenario. Anyways, I’m not trying to be an ass or anything; just thought I’d point that out. Thanks again!!

    Ryan

  45. Hey Ryan, it’s more that the physical space and arrangement between the Boomerang and Whammy pedals makes it a lot harder to perform the SOTG/Farmhouse-era delay loops, as they require using both feet at once. Yes, there have been post-reunion delay loops, but not nearly as commonly as pre-hiatus. Trey seems much more in to the whale call these days, although the newest Languedoc seems to have reduced that inclination as well. -Wayan

  46. Ryan, you’re absolutely right, but FWIW Trey’s setup is different now, and I think it was changing even within the early 2010 summer tour. It was definitely different by Broomfield in the fall.

    I’m not sure if the physical pedal arrangements have changed, but the rack is expanded and the Deluxe Reverb (maybe two?) are back, behind the cabinets. Also, he’s running two Languedoc cabs again, which is fantastic. I love the way they look.

    Either way, we’re getting more delay loops again, which is awesome!

    One other point: shouldn’t leave out Mike’s boxing bell!

  47. @Brewster Apollo re page’s amps. As far as the new Wurlitzer I’m not sure what he’s got that going in to. But it does say and show in pictures that his D6 goes into a Black Face Deluxe Reverb with several different effects. The Rhodes is a suitcase model, which has its own preamp and the bottom part has 2 x 12 speakers hence the suitcase name. This is just mic’d up.

  48. are there any close up images of the TS9s? I can make out the settings on the Ross but, the dials on his green boxes are hard to make out.

    or can anyone provide the drive, tone and volume settings for each TS9?

    I don’t have all the components of Trey’s pedal setup. actually, I don’t have ANY of them, at least not single pedals. I’m working with a Digitech RP355, Boss RC-20 and two Vox DA10 amps, directly into my PA head. so far, I’ve got some really sweet tones that a very reminiscent of Trey but, I’m still lacking the sustain. I’m very cautious to use compression b/c i don’t really like what it does to my tone/feel… but if i can find a way to use it in the same capacity Trey does, we’ll see….

    I’m going to use one of my Vox DA10 amps for it’s compression patch. I’m not sure if the edits are the same parameters as on a ROSS but, i’ll make do.

    any input from ANYBODY would be welcomed!

  49. ok, so far i’m understanding the signal path like this….

    TS9(hot)—>TS9(clean+always on)—>Ross(sustain@7:30+level@12:10)

    at least, that’s what i’m gathering from the pics and posts

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  53. Does anyone know what that mat is that Mike stands on? It looks like one of the wires is going into it – perhaps a power supply or a ground?

  54. JC, that mat that Mike has there is called a “ducker” . It is simply a pressure mat, similar to what you step on to enter a supermarket. It is so when he steps away from the microphon it is automatically muted. When He steps on the mat to sing, the mic will turn back on. This way there is no instrument bleed through the vocal mics during jams. its a simple, ingenious idea first invented by the Grateful Dead in the late 70’s early 80’s.

  55. JC: regarding Mike’s “mat”. I have seen some designs on DIY websites for a microphone mute. Essentially, if he’s not on the mat, the vocal mic is off, which cleans up the Front of House sound mix immensely. I wonder if Trey has one, under his octagon rug. I’ve always wanted to do that. Vocal mics inherently have the gain turned way up and thus grab a TON of onstage sound. Mike’s huge bass rig, added into his vocal mic would create a huge amount of excess mud. When he’s singing, he’s basically blocking the mic from picking up a lot of onstage sounds, so it’s cool that it’s unmuted… and I imagine there is a noise gate on all their vocals to a degree to help with this.

  56. Wayan, just belatedly clarify (and not to belabor the point), but most of the delay loops we’re talking about are actually produced by the Whammy II and Ibanez DM-2000 rack delay unit, which is Trey’s principal looper (set to its maximum delay time, 1023 ms). The DM is in its own CAE loop. Trey turns the loop on, plays whatever notes he wants (for example, the Jibboo jam section loop, or the First Tube ‘E drop’ loop), lets it decay to the proper volume level, and then hits HOLD on the DM-2000, which allows him to play over the loop. So, I agree that the proximity of the Whammy to the Boomerang makes it more difficult to hold the STACK button on the ‘rang with your right foot while manipulating the Whammy with the left foot. But the main cyclical loops that we’re discussing actually have nothing to do with the Boomerang. Sorry if any of this was obvious/too simplistic for many people here, including you, Wayan – because you seem quite knowledgeable, and I am definitely no expert – but I figured I’d clarify things. For what its worth, most of my initial knowledge on this subject came directly from Trey’s Guitar World article in 2000. Any other info came from practical experience with the devices, as I own the WH-II, Boomerang, and DM-2000.

    Cheers,

    Ryan

  57. Thanks Jeff and Ryan. Funny, when I was at Saratoga a few wks ago it hit me. “Ah ha, that mat I asked about must mute his mic when he’s not standing on it. When he is, he isolates it from his bass rig.” Sure enough I come back to the site and that’s the answer. While at the show I also concluded that Trey probably doesn’t use one because the center line of his speakers is well below that of his mic while Mike’s (who must have been using a different speaker config on this run) were much closer.

  58. Awesome article. Fun to compare (at least the foh) to what was published in Mix magazine back in 94(?). BUT, it stops at the FOH. What about all the mics (other then the instrument mics mentioned) and the amps and speaker arrays. ????

  59. Pingback: And The Light Is Growing Brighter Now: The Most Detailed Photographic Documentation of Phish’s Live Setup Ever Published | ProAudioStar Blog | Blake's Blog

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