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Building an Allan Holdsworth Solo Tone


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Hey all,
I'm trying to craft a soloing tone close to Allan Holdsworth's on my Helix and am wondering if anyone can give some advice on the effects chain/type of effects and/or settings for a good starting point.  Specifically I'm thinking of his solo tone on UK's debut album at around the 3:05 mark of "In the Dead of Night" or around the 2:00 mark of "Devil Take the Hindmost" from his Metal Fatigue album.
I should add that I'm really lousy at duplicating someone's tone and of course I realize I don't have the legato chops to sound like the man, but I love his tone and have to start somewhere, right?
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There are so many different tones from Allan (you recognize him immediately thanks to his style, but really, overall tone changed a lot along years).

I'd suggest you to read that site (The Bible!), and specifically the gear section, where you can find plenty of great information about the gear he used, and schemes showing how the wired everything up. From there, I'd start trying to reproduce within Helix and see where it goes.






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8 hours ago, WytchCrypt13 said:

I love his tone and have to start somewhere, right?



Well Allan’s tone from his early days (when used to drink with him, and his band mates - https://www.zanywoodruff.com/related-bands/the-museum-1967/) with the cherry red SG, then using those Yamaha UD Stomp units and finally the headless Carvin HH Guitars, was a constantly shifting soundscape.


Hard to nail especially that period you mention 1978 (U.K.) and ‘85 (Metal Fatigue) - check on Customtone - there are several Holdsworth tones you could try to analyse.



In fact I posted one on Customtome a while back - "AH-Home_Fatigue"



Hope this helps/makes sense.



Edited by datacommando
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Thanks to you both for excellent suggestions!


PierM:  I stumbled across https://threadoflunacy.blogspot.com/p/material-real-gear.html  after I posted my question.  I loved the site so much I ordered the "Devil Take the Hindmost" book from Amazon last night.


datacommando:  I'll definitely d'load and try out your AH-Home_Fatigue patch (and likely the other Holdsworth related patches there).  Very excited to learn from what you've created.  So you actually knew Allan?  I was lucky enough to meet him once and share a short conversation.  This was back in '85 when he was doing a seminar at Manhattan Beach Music (near LA).  Maybe 50 people were queued up at the door and when they opened everyone went straight for the stage.  I knew I had to leave early (I was in town for a wedding) so walked over to the guitar display instead to look around.  I'm standing there and then feel there's someone standing next to me also looking at the guitars.  I turn and guess who it was?  Yup, Allan!  I introduced myself and being a bit starstruck (I'd only been playing electric guitar about 2 years at that point) called him Mr Holdsworth which he smiled at.  Anyway, I told him how much I enjoyed his playing especially on the UK album and we chatted for a couple minutes.  Just one of the most down to earth, humble musicians I've ever met and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

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17 hours ago, WytchCrypt13 said:

So you actually knew Allan? 

Ha, ha, yeah, but in more of a beer drinking buddy capacity. I was just starting Art School at that time and hanging out with a bunch of like minded people. The Zannies keyboard player was in the year above me at art college and Gnome, and Pete Sewell were regular associates. When Allan joined Museum, he was the replacement guitarist for my friend Pete, referred to as “The Sewell” (also now sadly deceased) and a spiffing guitar player in his own right!  Boogie on, Pete! Ye gods, this stuff is almost a lifetime away!

Legend has it that when Holdsworth went to the audition for Tempest, Pete also showed up, but on arrival at the stage door he heard Allan in full flow and thought there was no point in being there, as it was a forgone conclusion that Holdsworth would get the gig. Pete decided to retire to the bar over the road and get drunk. 

A short time later, Allan entered the same bar for a light refreshment after the audition. He spotted a guitar case in the corner, then looked across and on seeing Pete said “Bloody hell, Pete! If I’d known you were up for this I wouldn’t have shown up”. Pete said something to the same effect, and the two old mates drank themselves silly until late in the night. The result was Allan got the Tempest gig, and Pete wound up on the Cruise Liner, Club and Casino circuit. 

These are the ways of the world, and I was a callow youth, who has very fond memories of some amazing people who could be regarded as friends - if only for a short while.

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