Gear Reviews

Fryette Amps | Valvulator GP/DI

We sit in on Fryette's demo booth at the NAMM Show and check out their Valvulator GP/DI which has been designed to allow you to transport your signature tone anywhere in a compact package that fits in a gig-bag or overhead.

We sit in on Fryette's demo booth at the NAMM Show and check out their Valvulator GP/DI which has been designed to allow you to transport your signature tone anywhere in a compact package that fits in a gig-bag or overhead.

Players can use this for radio tours or for movie sound tracks, jingles, cues. The Valvulator could also be a great solution for you if you are playing live and want to capture a dry feed out to be repurposed for a music library or loop to be manipulated later.

For more information or to contact Fryette Amps visit them online at www.Fryette.Com

[00:00:06] This is Noland at, and I’m here with Steve and Kingsley, and we’re at Fryette Amps. We’re at NAMM as you can probably hear all around as everybody is playing, having a really, really cool time. We want to talk to you guys about some of your gear here and its application for Post Production.

Steve: Well, it’s a good question because we’ve been branching more and more into accessories and solutions for guitar players, rather than just amps and speaker cabinets. Just as a direct result of working with artists that are doing more and more of their either home recordings or professional work or movie soundtracks, jingles, cues, so on and so forth, television appearances, Kingsley is one of our artists that plays in a variety of environments and records. We’ve seen him on television shows, and his band plays live. So players are always into all these different environments that are challenging. Touring is challenging because shipping is a headache and expensive.

So we’ve been thinking about how we can provide solutions that can be thrown in the overhead compartment where people can go, do radio tours as opposed to maybe an emerging band is going to tour, for example. But they can’t afford to tour and bring amps and do shows. They may do radio station tours, where they’ll go to the radio station and perform in the studio live, and they can’t. They don’t have time to bring gear and set it all up and do a mix and stuff.

So they need a solution to just whack into a place on a low budget, get their point across, get their message out there, let people know that they’re playing at the local club, and then they’re on their way to the next thing. So there’s all these mobile and problem-solving solutions that are our specialty. So we’ve been branching more into that.

[00:02:03] So is that what we’re looking at here? Is that one of the solutions?

Steve: This is an expression, the latest expression of what that is and probably the first real refinement of that, which is called the Valvulator GP/DI, and GP means Guitar Pre-amp and DI means Direct Injection. It’s a spinoff an earlier full-blown guitar pre-amp called the GP3, and we took out the essential elements of it and put them into a smaller package with some more modern refinements for today’s playing and recording challenges.

[00:02:35] What does this do? Let’s say I’m a guitar player or I’m going to be in an amp situation. Let’s say I’ve booked a gig; I’m going to go into a studio and just blow them away. What applications would I have? This maybe a good question for you, Kingsley, but let’s say you walk into the studio; maybe you’ve been hired to do a jingle or some kind of piece or something like that. I know they’ve a ton of gear in house, but what would this bring to the table in that situation?

Kingsley: I think for me, in my own studio, it’s a way of getting a direct sound that I don’t have to fuss with an amp and microphones and everything like that, and that gives me a lot of flexibility in terms of (a) tone shaping and (b) in terms of having the direct out, so I can, if I want, record a direct signal that I’m then going to be able to re-amp later and do with it whatever I want.

Also, it gives me a lot of flexibility with effects and routing it different ways through that. So sometimes I like to record real ambient atmospheric stuff, and that will play well with some of my rack gear, my lexicon stuff without, like I said, having to mic up an amp and deal with all of that. These days, time is money. Anything you can do more quickly and more efficiently is a really good thing.

Now, in another way, I might go out to a gig; I’ll be playing with a band, and I’ll be playing at some festival, and I can’t bring all my normal stuff for whatever number of reasons, I know there’s just going to be some kind of Fender amp out there. This way, I have a little more control over sound wise over what I’m going to get from night to night. As you can see, it’s little; I can almost bring it in my gig bag.

[00:04:20] It’s a little bit bigger than the new iPhone 6, but yeah, so what shows do you play on now?

Kingsley: I just do local; I’m in local bands around the Louisville, Kentucky area, and we’ve been on local TV doing this and that. But mostly, I do gigs, and I do recording in my home studio.

[00:04:43] Cool, that’s awesome. So basically, this is a piece here that, like you said, can really help somebody who needs to have that big classic sound to –

Steve: Not only that, but guitar players glom on to certain kinds of gear to get a certain kind of tone quality and behavior, and to be able to take a subset of that and have make it portable and flexible is really the key thing. So we understand what our artist demands are and what kind of style they play. And if they’re using our gear, of course, they want to use whatever they selected, whatever piece of equipment that they use of ours that is important to their central operating MO that they can, so that they don’t have to substitute. Like Kingsley said, he might go into an environment where it’s a perfectly good amp, but it’s not his style of amplifier, and you need to modify that.

Or another great example where this is really a great solution is in re-amping, that Kingsley also alluded to, where you can play a performance that’s inspired and geared to the equipment that you’re playing through; you play off of that. But the essential performance, the musician playing on the string instrument and the signal coming out of the guitar, you want to have the ability to park that on a separate track and maybe repurpose it later. So if you have a copy of the raw, clean, just the straight performance over here, and you’ve modified it with distortion and tone controls and made it sound cool on another track, you can go back and reuse elements of that.

It’s like a photographer takes 25 versions of a picture and might come back and use bits and pieces of it later, or it’s the same as splicing music, digitally splicing or whatever. It’s like a direct box, but you can switch between the modified full-blown processed sound that you wanted to get out of it or you can switch to the dry, raw performance and modify that, re-amp it, run it out of the digital audio workstation into another amplifier for another quality or for another application.

So in one little simple solution, you have all these options, and again, you can do several sessions in a day, go to here and go there and get it done and get out.

[00:07:30] So it’s going to help a lot out in the studios.

Steve: Yeah.

[00:07:33] Obviously, fly that into, whatever, Pro Tools or any kind of –

Steve: Right, right.

[00:07:39] Is this available now?

Steve: It’s going to be shipping in probably around the mid to end of March. It was actually launched by a Kickstarter campaign, and it was a very successful campaign wherein we designed and pitched a product idea, put it on a Kickstarter and then realized the potential of it and expanded on it during the course of the campaign, which made it take longer to develop and also made it 10 times the product it was originally envisioned to be. So it’s been quite an experience.

[00:08:16] That’s awesome. So when people want to find out more about this and more about what you guys have going on, where should they go?

Steve: is where all the basic information is, and we also have Fryette Amps Facebook page. It’s Facebook/FryetteAmps.

[00:08:33] Cool, awesome. Well, man, thanks so much for your time.

Steve: Thank you.

[00:08:37] Is it okay if we hear a little play outro there?

Steve: By all means.

[00:08:41] And I also know that sound is better hearing it live. So you go to the website. I don’t know if they have Kingsley’s information where you can hear them play live, play to one of these things. But it sounds awesome in this room; that’s for sure.

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