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.
Favorite Overdrive, Distortion, or Fuzz?
Favorite Chorus, Phase Shifter, or Flanger?
Favorite Wah or Expression Pedal?
Pedalboard: (total current consumption: 431mA)
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.