Bryan Austin – On Tour with GiO
Clint Black’s guitarist puts his Apogee GiO to the test for live performance
Recent Projects: Clint Black
Along the winding country road, somewhere between being cradled by the soothing lullabies inherent in a South Mississippi childhood and sowing roots as an adult in Nashville, Bryan Austin carved a career for himself doing what he loved. Paired with the debut of his solo album, “Wait for it”, Bryan is currently out on the road with country superstar Clint Black, playing night after night to enthusiastic fans across the country.
Needing to trigger loops and live sounds efficiently and reliably, Bryan has been incorporating his Apogee GiO with AmpliTube and Logic’s MainStage into his live setup with great success. He has previously toured with Trick Pony and was Grammy-nominated in 1994 for his work on Steve Wariner’s instrumental single, “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”
Can you describe how you use GiO?
“I use the GiO live with MainStage. I program my sounds and different amp combinations for particular songs and use the GiO for switching and for using the stomp box effects from AmpliTube and Guitar Rig. I also use the same setup when I’m in the studio. Most of the time, it’s a direct in, again, utilizing the sounds and amps from MainStage to dial in what I need.”
What are your needs on stage as a guitarist?
“I have to be pretty versatile on stage with Clint, I play electric and acoustic on different songs. And each one may call for a different type of sound. With the GiO, I can easily switch back and forth between my custom programmed sounds. It’s so easy to change things on the fly as well.”
How did you get started?
“I grew up in South Mississippi. At the age of about 13, I picked up the guitar and knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I listened to everything I could get my hands on. Being from that area, the blues, Louisiana swamp music, and country were my early influences. I was also a big fan of some of the 70’s rock bands… Kiss, Lynrd Skynyrd, Queen, Aerosmith, etc. I always seem to gravitate towards guitar players who had soul like Stevie Ray, Clapton, Billy Gibbons, and Duane Allman.
“Through high school, I played gigs regionally with my own band. And eventually got discovered by pop singer Debbie Gibson’s mom/manager. She took me to Nashville and secured a record deal with Capital Records. I recorded an album with producer Keith Stegall and the label released two singles with videos. I was dropped soon after due to a label executive shake up. Needless to say, I was a little shell shocked and decided to just focus on my songwriting and playing.
I was introduced to one of my country influences in early 1990, Steve Wariner, who took me under his wing and introduced me to people like Chet Atkins and eventually Clint Black. He asked me to play on an instrumental album with him in 1994 and our track was nominated for a grammy that year. A few years later he introduced me to Clint and as they say, the rest is history. I’ve been with Clint for 6 years now and really enjoy working with him. He’s a great singer and performer, and an incredible guitarist as well. I stay pretty busy with Clint’s tour, but in my spare time I still write and record in my home studio in Nashville.”
“From the guitar, to the amp, and everything in between. The GiO fits in like a champ with the rest of my setup.”
How important is the quality of the gear you use?
“Having quality gear is extremely important in my line of work. Reliability is a big factor in how I choose my gear. The road is not very forgiving. So I have to have things that can hold up to the traveling and sound just as good. Clint is very demanding when it comes to how good the show sounds, so we have to be putting our best foot forward every night, and I rely on each piece of equipment. From the guitar, to the amp, and everything in between. The GiO fits in like a champ with the rest of my setup. I’ve had it out with me now for sometime, and it delivers night after night.”
Any tips and tricks for recording guitars?
“As far as my setup for recording guitars, if I’m using a live rig, it all starts with a great amp. Depending on the song, it could be a Fender Deluxe, a 100 watt Marshall or a Vox. My go to amp right now is a custom built, 100 watt amp built by Ladner Engineering. I’ll audition and try out different mics, positioned about 3 inches from the grill. I like to play around with the positioning until I find the sweet spot. I also like to record with the amps cranked pretty high. Tube amps always sound better when the tubes are being pushed. Less is better for me when it comes to pedals and effects. I try to get the tone I’m looking for from the amp first and then use effects to color the sound.
“When I’m recording with computer programs, I usually go with AmpliTube. I really like the way their amp modeling and effects sound. I use the Apogee GiO as my foot controller to switch between different setups and I can also control Logic Pro with it as well.”
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