Far Beyond Overdriven

Article originally published by Guitar World Magazine

Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage finds new and unusual uses for an overdrive pedal in his live rig.

By Nick Bowcott

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz had a strict philosophy in mind when designing his live rig: "To keep it simple, so I don't get confused onstage!" says the eccentric axman, with a laugh. "My motto is definitely 'Keep it simple, stupid,' because I am pretty stupid, actually. Basically, I go for the most time-efficient setup possible." Mr. D. isn't particularly keen on aesthetics, either. "There's wires and shit hanging out everywhere!" he says of his rig. "It has that thrown-together look that's typical of everything I do."

CONTROL ISSUES The only items in Dutkiewicz's rig that require occasional switching are the channels on his Hughes & Kettner Triamp (he uses only channels 1 and 3, for clean and overdrive, respectively) and the Maxon AD9 analog delay that dwells in the Triamp's effect loop. Both pedals lurk at the rear of the stage, by his cabinets. And who does his switching? "Whoever's closest and feeling it," he says. "If a part's coming up that needs something to be stepped on and one of the techs knows it, they'll grab it. And if I look over and no one is there to do the switching, I'll run over and step on it myself. But if I'm too busy running around, or if I'm out in the crowd, I have to hope somebody else will grab it for me."

FAVORITE PIECE OF GEAR "My Maxon OD808 Overdrive pedal, because it gives extra definition and clarity to palm muting. It acts as a filter/compressor/wicked good thing! It clarifies string definition and makes the overall tone more focused so that I can use less gain on my head. The pedal actually makes the sound a little narrower, which you'd think would be a bad thing, but it adds focus and clarity by keeping the extremities under control."

SECRET WEAPON "My Maxon Overdrive," Dutkiewicz says. "It's my secret weapon both live and in the studio because of the definition it adds to all of my guitar parts."

killswitch engage rig setup illustration


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