You’ve been booked for a gig where a backline is a no-go. Or maybe you just don’t fancy lugging two great big cabs and a bulky head. So what do you do?
You get a “fly rig.” What’s one of those? Well, we spoke to Ross Davies at Two notes Audio Engineering to explain just that.
Over to you, Ross!
What is a fly rig?
In short, a fly rig is a go-anywhere, easy-to-transport solution empowering you with the freedom to pack the prowess of a monstrous rig, into a pint-sized package. Most importantly, it’s a solution that can be easily stowed in a plane’s overhead luggage compartment!
You’ve probably seen a lot of solutions hit the market offering premier amp simulation in a pedalboard-friendly footprint, just like our ReVolt Series. Engineered specifically for the space-conscious player seeking a super-versatile fly rig.
What features are must-haves?
Looking at fundamentals for a fly rig, two components stand out as essentials: a preamp solution and cabinet emulation. These form the central command of your tone and need to offer enough connectivity, not only between one another but to add additional tools to your mobile arsenal.
Two notes’ ReVolt Series offer a 3-channel all-analogue tube-powered preamp, complete with all the warmth and response you demand from a traditional amplifier. With an FX loop and multiple outputs, it’s primed to serve as the core of your fly rig, ready to be supplemented with a cabinet emulator and your pedal collection.
Hooking up ReVolt to Two notes’ C.A.B. M+ is a match made in heaven - fusing next-generation DynIR cab emulation, customisable power amps and a suite of post-FX. They’re engineered to fit on even a small PedalTrain and offer the perfect solution for a silent stage courtesy of XLR DI outs which can be fed to front-of-house - all that’s left is to get that signal back to your in-ear monitors (IEMs) and your set!
What makes a GOOD fly rig?
That’s entirely dependent on the tone you are seeking! If you’re set on playing at home and integrating your pedal collection, a good pedal-platform preamp is paramount - Two notes’ C.A.B. M+ features a BMAN-inspired preamp that has been expertly tuned to integrate with your pedals like a dream.
If you’re a session musician who plays live frequently, versatility is likely to be the most important deciding factor. Having multiple preamps will certainly help in this respect and ReVolt is a killer solution. When combined with the C.A.B. M+, practically any tone imaginable is available thanks to access to over 600 DynIRs in Two notes’ library!
In terms of monitoring your fly rig, we would recommend either a “full range flat response” (FRFR) monitor like the HeadRush FRFR Series or headphones/IEMs which can be fed via the terminus in your signal chain or front-of-house.
One of the key factors in a supreme fly rig is portability. When configuring your fly rig components, make sizing up your pedalboard and the associated components a priority investigation! Most pedal manufacturers create small variants of their stompboxes now for this very purpose.
Can I do everything I can with a full set-up?
Providing you configure your setup with the inclusion of a multi-channel preamp, monitoring solution and cabinet emulation, you certainly can! Whether it’s the amp, the mics used to mic your cabinet or the cabinet itself, everything in your standard backline can be replaced with solutions available on the market!
So go on, how do you make a perfect fly rig?
Step 1: Scope out what size board you need Whether it’s super-portable for fly dates or simply a board to expand on for home use, specifying the board for your needs is imperative.
Step 2: Select your Amp Sim For the most flexibility, we would suggest finding an amp sim or preamp with multiple outputs, an FX return and multiple channels.
Step 3: Find your Cab Sim! Next, find a device that can model a power amp and cabinet in a compact footprint, to sculpt your final tone.
Step 4: StompBoxes Assemble! Finally, start collecting the pedals that will be used to supplement your rig. A great starting point would be an overdrive pedal to front-load your amp sim and a reverb and/or delay pedal to sit in your FX loop.
Step 5: Power it Up Rather than dealing with multiple power adapters, research a power brick to sit under your fly rig that will power all of your units! Cleaner and simpler.
Before you go!
Remember, we’re giving you the chance to win a Two Notes ReVolt Guitar pedal. And all you have to do is play the guitar…