Tag Archives: guitarist

In The Spotlight: Antonio Paone of Verona, IT

Ciao a tutti! This round of In The Spotlight takes us all the way to Verona, Italy, where we find musician, session guitarist, and instructor, Antonio Paone! One aspect of being a session player is having the ability to draw up a huge variety of tones and playing approaches. Having a diverse set of effects to draw on is an essential tool of the session player. Today, you’ll get a peak into Antonio’s approach to how he utilizes his pedalboard in ways that render it useful to his session-based profession.

[Mimmo]: Introduce yourself! What’s your story?

[Paone]: Hi! I’m Antonio Paone, a musician from Verona, Italy. In the last few years I’ve been playing a lot of Pop/Rock music, so I began a sound research that could guarantee me a range of sounds that could satisfy (almost) every sound request. My main guitar is a Fender Stratocaster American Special with some mods (a DiMarzio Fast Track 2 on the bridge, a Wilkinson bridge and Sperzel tuning pegs).

[Mimmo]: Give us 2-3 songs that allow you to utilize your pedalboard in a unique way.

[Paone]: There is a composition called “La Prova del Fuoco” (a different way to see Mozart’s masterpiece “Die Zauberflote”) by the composer Igor Bianchini (we recorded it recently in a recording studio, but unfortunately the master isn’t ready yet) that demands me a huge variety of sounds: from a crystalline clean tone, passing by a susceptible crunch, to the most aggressive heavy metal distortion that I can provide; using also some modulation effects (chorus, delay, reverb, etc.) and mixing the use of the volume pedal and the volume pot of the guitar (I use my Music Man Luke II for this particular tune).

Also a song that makes me use my pedalboard in a very creative way is “Rewind” (a song by Vasco Rossi). I made an arrangement of this tune with the band “I Folli”: with a crunchy sound, delay, reverb and chorus I recreated the characteristic sound of the keyboards that you can hear in the intro of the song, but leaving a guitar identity to the sound (also the rest of the guitar part for this arrangement is a mixture of the guitar sound and this “keyboard-like sound”, accentuating the predominant sound in the moment when it’s necessary).

[Mimmo]: What are some songs, artists, or guitarists that have influenced the way you utilize your pedalboard?

[Paone]: Oh let’s see… There are so many incredible musicians who inspire me every time I see them using their pedalboards. Steve Lukather always impresses me with his distorted sound; Mateus Asato, Mark Lettieri and Lari Basilio have a very tasty clean/crunch sound.

A guitarist that blows my mind for his sound variety is Tim Pierce. Luca Colombo also is a great inspiration for me for guitar sounds in pop culture. Recently I’m pretty much into the Vocoder because of the amazing Jacob Collier: I find his way of using it outstanding.

[Mimmo]: Are there any sounds you would like to emulate that you haven’t quite found out how to do yet?

[Paone]: I don’t have a pedal that allows my guitar to sound like a synth, so I’m pretty curious about the synth sound of Pat Metheny (the one that he used in “Are You Going With Me?”, to be clear).

After researching it, I saw that you can get a sound very close to Metheny’s with the use of the Roland GR-55, but I haven’t tried that yet.

[Mimmo]: A little off topic here, out of curiosity what is the best venue you’ve played?

[Paone]: I have a strong emotional connection to the “Teatro Bibiena” in Mantua; that’s because many years ago I saw Mike Stern (with Tom Kennedy and Steve Smith) in there and I thought “Man, what a beautiful venue to play in.” Last May I played in there with a jazz Big Band: it was really gratifying.

Quick-Fire Favorites:

Favorite Overdrive, Distortion, or Fuzz?

Suhr Eclipse

Favorite Chorus, Phase Shifter, or Flanger?

Strymon Mobius

Favorite Wah or Expression Pedal?

Xotic XW-1

Favorite Compressor?

TC Electronic Hyper Gravity Compressor

Favorite Boost?

Suhr Koko Boost Reloaded

Antonio Paone's main pedalboard

Antonio Paone’s main pedalboard

Pedalboard: (total current consumption: 431mA)

TC Electronic Polytune 2 -> Custom Audio Electronics MC 404 -> Mooer Envelope -> Xotic BB Preamp -> Suhr Eclipse -> Suhr Riot Replaced -> TC Electronic Corona Chorus

FX Loop:

TC Electronic Flashback Delay -> TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb -> Mooer E-lady -> Suhr Koko Boost Reloaded


  1. TC Electronic Flashback X4 Delay – “I use this when I need many different delay type and settings. I put it as the last pedal in the FX Loop.”
  2. DigiTech The Drop – “I use this when I need to tune the guitar half /whole step down, I put it as the very first pedal in my chain.
  3. Also, for the wireless connection, I use the Line 6 Relay G30.

You can find Antonio Paone on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Paone has played in many musical groups and provides guitar instruction at Laboratorio Superiore Musicale in Cerea, Verona province, Veneto, Italy.

In The Spotlight: Matthew Fantini of Space Junk

Welcome to the first In The Spotlight session! This new category of posts will highlight individuals in the effects pedal community, mostly encompassing guitar players and effects pedal builders. Today we’ll be taking a look at Matthew Fantini’s board and how he utilizes it with the Buffalo-based band Space Junk

Matt Fantini of Space Junk

In The Spotlight Interview:

[Mimmo] Q: What’s your story? How did you end up playing with Space Junk?

[Fantini] A: Space Junk began as a 3 piece live EDM/Jam band that I formed in college with Kevin Rogers (drums/keys/DJ) and Will Thompson (Bass) in 2004 at SUNY Fredonia. In 2015 we added keyboardist Cary Meehan to complete our current lineup. We are all huge fans of experimental, electronic, and jam music but we also incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and funk.

[Mimmo] Q: Give us two Space Junk songs that allow you to utilize your pedalboard in a unique way.

[Fantini] A: Two Space Junk songs that allow me to use pedals in a unique way are: “Gas Pump” and “L Way.” In “Gas Pump” I use a combination of a Strymon Timeline set to an Ice Delay paired with a Strymon Blue Sky set to a shimmer reverb. This combo = ambient space for days. In “L Way,” I use an EHX POG2 and an EHX Micro Synth to recreate the sounds of an analog keyboard during the verses and outro.

[Mimmo] Q: What are some songs, artists, or guitarists that have influenced the way you utilize your pedalboard?

[Fantini] A: (a) Nels Cline – Wilco/Solo, (b) Robben Ford, (c) Bill Frissel, (d) Adrian Belew (King Crimson), (e) Vernon Reid (Living Colour) …can I name a million more??!!

[Mimmo] Q: What amp do you use live? In the studio?

[Fantini] A: Amp live = John Nau Engineering Crown Victoria (2×12 Combo). In studio, same as above and also an ENGL Fireball with my side project: Free Man

[Mimmo] Q: Are there any sounds you’d like to emulate that you haven’t quite found out how to do yet?

[Fantini] A: I am always working on getting analog keyboard sounds to cut through my mix better. I have an original EHX micro synth in addition to the reissue. When I push them a little hard with a boost, I sometimes have clipping issues. Pairing with a compressor does help, so maybe I need to put them on a loop together. Is there a pedal that will make me sound like Jimmy Herring?!

Q: Time for Quick-Fire Favorites! Favorite Overdrive/Distortion/Fuzz?

A: Hermida Audio Zendrive

Q: Favorite Chorus, Phase Shifter, or Flanger?

A: EHX Small Stone

Q: Favorite Tremolo or Vibrato?

A: JHS Honeycomb

Q: Favorite Wah or Expression Pedal?

A: RMC Picture Wah

Q: Favorite Compressor?

A: CMATMODS Deluxe Compressor

Q: Favorite Boost?

A: Xotic Effects EP Booster

Q: Favorite Octaver or Harmonizer?



Pedalboard Order:

TC Electronics Polytune –> RMC Picture Wah –> EHX POG2 –> EHX Small Stone –> EHX Micro Synth –> CMATMODS Deluxe Compressor –> J Rocket Archer Ikon –> Hermida Audio Zendrive –> Vox Volume Pedal –> Strymon Blue Sky –> Strymon Timeline –> BOSS RC-20XL Loop Station


A huge thank you to Matt Fantini for participating on In The Spotlight! Catch Space Junk at their next show by following them on Archive.org and Facebook. Their sound emulates a wall of pure psychedelic energy that toys on experimentalism, yet manages to firmly keep itself together by way of masterful musicianship.