Want to Sound Like Andy Sounds?!

October 19, 2013

A Look Under the Hood of the PGS Video Production Facility!


Said in all modesty, if I had a dollar for every time one of our amazing customers had a comment or question involving our own PGS Andy – well, I could probably afford that new guitar I’ve been lusting after. Most common are questions about how to sound like Andy—and while you’ll never quite sound like him (the dude is one of a kind, after all), we’re going to let you in on his recording setup for his videos so that you know the gear that he trusts to capture his tone. Let’s start in the booth! 

I mean: booths plural. We actually use two booths here at PGS – one small booth for mic’ing the amp and doing voiceovers and one larger booth for capturing Andy’s playing on video.

 The large booth contains Andy’s set—with fixed lighting and cameras so that he’s ready to roll with a proverbial flick of a switch. This room is outfitted with an AKG C1000S mounted overhead to capture small bits of dialogue during filming.

 The small booth contains a Shure KSM27 condenser mic, which is our go-to microphone for capturing voice-overs. The KSM27 also functions as a room mic in the small booth, capturing ambient sounds from the amp for better bottom end and a greater sense of realism.

 In this small booth, you’ll also find Andy’s trusty Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue, his main demo amp (unless he’s demo-ing a specific different amp!). He typically keeps the amp set for a level just before breakup to better illustrate how various pedals will sound live or in the studio.  When demo-ing high gain pedals, the first channel is favored with the bass backed off a bit- but in general, Andy sticks to the vibrato channel, which has a bit more sparkle.

 The main mic for the DRRi is a Royer R121 Ribbon mic—Royer’s flagship ribbon microphone—placed about 6” away from the speaker and typically set slightly off the center of the cone, though position can vary depending on the exact gear demo being produced.

 We use a Universal Audio Solo 6/10 tube mic pre-amp on the Royer. This pre-amp adds a small amount of warmth as well as a bit of tube compression—a well known perfect companion for the Royer. All the mics go into an RME Fireface 400—known for their excellent analog-to-digital converters—to send Andy’s analog tones into the digital realm as realistically as possible.

The entire team here at PGS has put in countless hours making sure that our facility produces the best sound in the biz and we're incredibly proud of the work Andy does in the video booth. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

As always, hit up the comments section with any tips on how you guys get great recorded tone at home or in the studio-- it's an awesome if endless pursuit! 


  1. Gavin says:

    Thanks a bunch for this info . Was wondering why andy favoured such a Nice simple and basic run of the mill amp like the DRRi . It really makes the pedals sound great . Andy’s skills are beyond words and always fun to watch terrible lazy guitarists like myself haha

    posted on October 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm
  2. Greg Guepy says:

    Thanks for this, I’ve often wanted a run through because the tone captured is about as pro as it gets to my ears. Aside from the classic rockabilly tone the DR gets, I bought a Deluxe Reverb almost exclusively because of Andy’s ability to really get the most out of the pedals with it.

    Great work guys

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 2:44 am
  3. Mike says:

    No more 65 Amps Soho?  My world has been turned upside down!

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 2:50 am
  4. Shango says:

    You guys should definitely make a video version of this! Please? :)

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 2:56 am
  5. Mark says:

    and thanks for indicating the amp and pedals being used on the videos!  It’s SO IMPORTANT to getting an idea how to reach any particular tone.  Clips without that info ( as so many from OTHER people do .. ) . .  leaves out a big part of the puzzle and really reduces the value..

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:00 am
  6. Monkeyboner says:

    And here I was thinking I was gonna learn how to sound like Andy and his ridiculously made-for-voice-over voice.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:02 am
  7. Bob says:

    All of this is great but, it seems sad that you have such a sweet set-up while (I’m guessing) most of us probably listen back through the crappy speakers in our computers

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:08 am
  8. Webi says:

    You should do a contest for PGS fans to come out there and see the process.  This would be a cool adventure.  Thanks for the sweet vids.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:26 am
  9. Loren Griffin says:

    Ok it all then goes into…DAW ? (i.e. Protools, Cubase, Logic)

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:29 am
  10. Hubert says:

    But there are also people who listen the videos through expensive hq studio headphones and who hear all the details mentioned in the article ;) It really helped me a lot, thanks to all PGS team!

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:30 am
  11. Caïm says:

    It sounds really good, I’d like to know a bit more how you mix the room mic with the Royer… and how you create the stereo image with teh two mics.


    posted on October 22, 2013 at 4:38 am
  12. Albert Madariaga says:

    I second Loren’s question—take us through the rest of the recording chain, please.  When it comes to recording, the massive amount of gear and ??? are overwhelming.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 4:58 am
  13. Terry says:

    Yeah!  Super thanks for the recording info.  I too, appreciate the up front amp and pedal info of every Andy demo.  I would like to know the process after the Fireface 400.  For instance, is there any post recording changes in software like compression and/or mix?
    You guys do super work.  Somehow, I’m going to get back to Portland to check the store out too.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 5:00 am
  14. Abbacus says:

    Royer Ribbon mikes really are great for realistic “what-you-hear” amp capture. Knowing you guys use one, and a known amp: the Fender drri, makes your demos some of the most realistic and useable online right now.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 5:10 am
  15. David Fellows says:

    No I don’t want to sound like Andy.First of all I would have to learn that hole finger thing. So that sets ne back a while right there and according to this article I would need to spend a boat load of money to get there.Also I know Andy has some gear that would be imposibale to get like the guitar his dad made and that echo plex and in the end I bet Andy would still sound like Andy plugged into any old vox with his favoit axe,Me I could buy all the stuff on this page and still sound just like me with a lot of crap God bless.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 5:14 am
  16. Tom RIng says:

    Actually, the picture of the room mic looks like a Shure SM-81?

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 5:50 am
  17. Tom says:

    Excellent article.
    I’ve asked a million times (okay, maybe twice) about how you make the drum beats on youTube, but I’m sure that answer would’ve gotten lost in the comments. Sooooo, what software are you using?

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 7:52 am
  18. Curt Conroy says:

        When is Andy going to do a CD??

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 8:01 am
  19. Dan S. says:

    ” We use a Universal Audio Solo 6/10 tube mic pre-amp on the Royer. ”  Couldn’t they use a more highly rated tube mic pre-amp?

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 8:18 am
  20. Warren says:

    The room mic pictured (twice) is a Shure SM -81.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 8:36 am
  21. elguitarrista5 says:

    I just want to say that I think that Andy is a great guitar player and does very good professional videos. It does not appear that his set-up is real complex. A lot of great sounding guitar players use relatively simple set-ups, but they almost always get their point across.

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 8:44 am
  22. Joe S. says:

    Would love to see a contest asking (in 50 words or less) why they should be the one to come get a guitar lesson from Andy with the first prize of a guitar/amp/mic/recording equipment and the transportation to Portland, OR to pick them up and get their first lesson from Andy!!!

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 9:10 am
  23. greg d says:

    Andy took 2-3 guitar lessons when he first started playing.Came home and said, ok now I want to play real rock n roll, canceled his next guitar lesson and started listening and recording get the lead out.
    I too would love to hear his cd !!

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 9:45 am
  24. John S says:

    Ok so just to be sure I understand:  If I Spend $5,041.98, to buy all of the equipment you said Andy uses (not counting his guitar or the computer) and then pay to have two professional sound booths built and then buy the foot pedal I’m interested in, I can “sort” of sound like Andy when he demos the foot pedal?  mmmmm Cool!

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 11:26 am
  25. Vivek says:

    Behind the scenes video next -  pretty please

    posted on October 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  26. Cliff Lang says:

    Nice. Thanks.

    posted on October 23, 2013 at 2:26 am
  27. greg d says:

    ok youve tickled us a little. Need more meat !  maybe a look at the computer side of recording.How would Andy setup for live playing differ over recording. Would he want a power trio or a big band setup live . What pedals are on his board now 2013??

    posted on October 23, 2013 at 4:17 am
  28. Mark says:

    Greg D asks a great question: Given ALL the guitars.. amps.. and pedals that Andy has access to.. What does he own? .  Which guitars.. amps and pedals has he chosen to reflect his sound? Granted we all get to choose our own path.. but it would be interesting to see what he uses - personally.

    posted on October 23, 2013 at 5:19 am
  29. Nik says:

    @John S…....yeah, fuck these guys for trying to answer some questions and help you out. what a bunch of assholes, am i right? how dare they.

    posted on October 24, 2013 at 10:19 am
  30. Adam says:

    Forget sounding like Andy’s guitar playing, I want to sound like the actual Andy. That sexy baritone.

    posted on October 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  31. Lixamps says:

    Andy and you guys do a superb job with your demos. You didn’t mention which workstation you go into; Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, Steinberg etc. The thing I notice that it is uncommonly difficult to record it as it actually sounds live. Usually it sounds great live provided it is a good sounding room and guitarist/equipment are up to snuff but it is hard to recapture that sound recorded. Getting it on “tape” and it sounding great is one of the true joys in sound. Lixamps

    posted on October 26, 2013 at 12:59 pm
  32. Frederik says:

    And what about the backing tracks!
    Where are they coming from?

    posted on November 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm
  33. Darren says:

    Here’s a video (from 2010 - but it seems to reference the same equipment) that show the recording setup.

    posted on November 9, 2013 at 11:46 am
  34. Clay says:

    I know this is an old post but I think there’s some important stuff left out regarding the DRRI.  I know these amps dont sound like this when you get one straight from a catalog or guitar center.  What has been done to the amp in the way of mods/tube upgrades/speaker change?

    I dont believe this has the stock tubes in it or the stock bias!  So let us in on the secrets!  You can email me if you cant share publicly!

    posted on August 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm
  35. Barbadi says:

    We are now at a point in time when the ability to receive, utilize, store, transform and trasmit data—the lowest cognitive form—has expanded literally beyond comprehension. Understanding and wisdom are largely forgotten as we struggle under an avalanche of data and information.  goachristmaspackages

    posted on September 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm

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