Artist Spotlight on Michael Chaves

Between worldwide tours, laying down tracks in the studio, and writing for his own band, Low Millions, Michael Chaves might be the hardest-working guitarist in the business. He has been a staple in major studios around the globe since the mid-90s and is regarded as the go-to session guitarist for pop and rock styles. You can hear his tasty guitar work on albums from John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan, Rufus Wainwright, Iggy Pop, and many others. But it doesn't stop there.

Michael has been on the road almost continuously since 1996. His stage presence, versatility, and reliability have put him in a class all his own. It doesn't hurt his tour cred that he is a great backup singer as well. He was on the road with John Mayer for nearly two years, where in addition to his guitar duties he played keyboards as well. Michael has also hit the road with Duncan Shiek, Lauren Christ, MVC, Adam Cohen, Hillary Duff, and his very own project, Low Millions.

Low Millions released their first album in 2004 to rave reviews from such publications as Variety and The band consists of Michael Chaves on lead guitar and backing vocals, Adam Cohen (son of famed songwriter Leonard Cohen) on lead vocals, Jorgen Carlsson on bass, and Erik Eldenius on drums. Low Millions is truly a standout band in the over-saturated world of pop/rock.

Vetta II
Variax 600
Variax Bass 705
Variax Acoustic 700
Flextone III Plus
Otto Filter
Roto Machine
Tap Tremolo
Echo Pro
Filter Pro
Mod Pro

For all of his studio/touring/songwriting needs, Michael relies daily on Line 6. Though he uses his Vetta II and Variax 600 most often, Michael is also a proud user of Variax Bass 705, Variax Acoustic 700, Flextone III Plus, DL4, Echo Pro, Filter Pro, FM4, MM4, Mod Pro, Otto Filter, Roto Machine, Tap Tremolo, and Verbzilla. He tends to favor nice clean sounds with delay, warm overdrives, and the occasional pitch bending. He uses many different guitar models in Variax to suit whatever style he is playing, but he definitely leans on the Lester model. Michael takes advantage of the Two-Amps-at-Once feature on his Vetta II quite often. "On the left side I use an AC-30 and on the right side I have an AC-15, which makes a nice little combo," he explained. "I'm also using the analog delay with the triplet setting along with some light reverb. This is my go-to sound."

With the release of the Vetta 2.5 update, Michael was excited to learn that he now has built-in pitch-bending capabilities. "I will drive a tech crazy because I mostly use the Vetta and Floorboard, but I'll have this cable run coming out dedicated to a Whammy pedal," Michael explains, "but with the 2.5 update, there's a built-in whammy pedal, so there's no longer an extra cable to run." Michael uses the new pitch-bending feature with the Bomber Uber amp model and the Facial Fuzz overdrive for some serious vibe.

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