What Will Make You Sound Like Frank Zappa

 FZ was renown for his use of Mu-tron effects. Inca roads solo is definitely a mutron III filter. He also made use of the Mutron octave divider (You are what you is, Shut Up and play your guitar). The Mutron Biphase is all over the three shut up and play yer guitar albums. Zappa is known for having a dan armstrong green ringer installed in some of his guitars. The "Zappa SG" that appears on Baby Snakes DVD has a ringer installed in it as did the Hendrix guitar. The Hendrix guitar as well as some of the other various strat guitars Zappa plucked have had a barcus berry secondary p/up system installed in them, within the fretboard, to accentuate all the clicks, pops and scrapes idiosyncratic to FZ's playing style.

For his later albums and tours through the 80's he is noted to be using a rat for distortion. Zappa is also known for using a maestro filter/s&h pedal for the random filter noises probably best exemplified in Ship Ahoy.

A large portion of his early seventies sound is due to the custom electronics in his SG (green ringer, preamp, parametric eq) and a small pignose amp. I believe in the early days he used a jen crybaby but in the seventies? Who knows. A major factor of his wah sound is sharp resonance and wide Q. I've read that he had a eh big muff in is system at some stage.

In the late sixties and early seventies FZ used an echoplex for his delay duties. Later on he had a MXR Delay system in his switching system.

Other effects used by Zappa in the late seventies were the Eventide Harmonizer H94 series, Infinite flanger and Infinite phaser. A large component of his Flanger sound is the compressed/companded nature of the signal, giving what zappa calls that "vomitting sound" - You can hear this most predominately on ship arriving to late to save a drowning witch album.

When on tour in the 80's Zappa used his Carvin X-100 series stacks with a crybaby, a rat and a roland GP-16 multi effects unit.

Other pedals Zappa used:

Dan Armstrong Green Ringer 
Roland GP-8 Processor 
12 Button Stereo Relay Switcher 
MicMix Dynaflangers 
Electro- Harmonix Big Muff 
Rat Distortion Pedal 
Hush II B Noise Reduction Unit 
and the Electro Wagnerian Emancipator 
What Will Make You Sound Like Frank Zappa What Will Make You Sound Like Frank Zappa Reviewed by frank zappa newspaper on 06:10 Rating: 5

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