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Tabs & Tunings

Download Complete 40 Pages Summary!!
by Terry Sullivan

During 4 days in november 2001 Kelly Joe gave a workshop at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio. Terry Sullivan attended this workshop and was kind enough to share his experience with us. It took Terry months to edit this 40 pages summary and I want to thank him for all he has shared with me so far.
Bellow is a short extract but you can download the complete summary (970 ko, 40 pages) on Microsoft Word format here.
It's a great companion to the 2 Homespun instructional videos.

Kelly Joe Phelps & Terry SullivanKelly Joe Phelps’ Amplified Sound – Live In Concert

Kelly uses passive acoustic Sunrise pickups so the engineers don't have to turn up the volume as much in the PA mix. They run hotter than most acoustic passive pickups and don't pick up as much noise from lights, etc as active pickups.
He uses two separate BSS AR133 direct boxes. He labels them “#1” and “#2” with a permanent market. #1 is always used to identify the appropriate channel for his straight guitar and #2 is always used for his lap guitar. This helps the sound engineers (and Kelly) keep the right tones and settings for each guitar. His straight Guild guitar (see below for details on this guitar) has a little more high-end and volume, so he relies on the engineers to roll off some of the highs and balance the volume with his vocals. Concerning his stage setup Kelly said: “You can't make a guitar sound right live unless you use a direct box. This combination of Sunrise pickup and BSS direct box expands the overall tonal range and volume of your setup. They won’t make your guitar sound exactly like your unplugged guitar, but the tones and volume characteristics are great.” (Note: He orders the BSS DI boxes through Full Compass out of Minnesota. They cost around $150 each.) He used to use Countryman DI boxes, but the sound was almost too pure.
He uses a multi-directional mic for his vocal live so he isn't constricted from movement. This allows him to be free with his music.

Kelly Joe’s Studio Setup

In the studio, he doesn’t use a DI box. Instead, he mikes his vocals and guitar. This helps produce a truer sound quality. He may use up to two mikes for his guitar and one for his vocals depending on his specific recording needs. He said you have to experiment to find the ideal placement of the mikes for the best tones. He doesn’t separate his vocals from his guitar when recording. He plays and sings the song through. He may, however, use a mono-directional mike(s) in the studio so he has more control over the mixing process. Separation gives him more flexibility to separate the guitar from his vocal tones, even though there is some bleed through both.
He may use a little reverb when recording; however, for the most part, he records (and plays live) with little EQ or reverb. Instead, he relies on the sound engineers to master the final mixing process to add whatever EQ or reverb is needed. On his last recording, the engineers added an almost unmeasurable amount of reverb to the final mix. It made a huge difference in the final sound.
Kelly’s said the less EQ the better, whether recording in the studio or playing live. Mic placement is usually the problem if the tones are off. This obviously applies to studio work as he goes directly into a DI box when playing live.
He may use also use some compression in the studio to get rid of any distortion that is usually caused by the extreme highs. Compression allows you to control how hot the single gets in the mix. It keeps the top end down. The goal of using compression is to eliminate distortion that is caused by the high end, “to put a compression lid on the distortion.” Kelly uses a DBX160A compressor.

Kelly Joe’s Straight Guitar

Model Name: DV52: Guild DV52AGHG stands for "Antique Burst High Gloss."
The High Gloss provides some brighter tones than other finish types.
Model Number: 350-0800-(Color#)
Category: Vintage Dreadnought Guitars
Body Style: Dreadnought
Scale Length: 25 5/8"
Top: Solid Spruce Top
Bracing: Hand Scalloped
Back: Bookmatched Rosewood
Sides: Solid Rosewood Sides
Neck: Mahogany
Width at Nut: 1-11/16"
Fretboard: Ebony (12" Radius)
No. Of Frets: 20
Bridge: Ebony
Hardware: Gold
Machine Heads: Grover Gold Plated Die-cast Tuners
Electronics: Optional
Finish: High Gloss (Nitro-cellulose Lacquer)
Colors: (721) Natural,
(737) Antique Burst
Unique Features: Abalone Rosette,
Dot Inlay,
Cream Binding,
Bone Nut and Saddle,
Black Pickguard
Case: Includes Standard C4500 Hard-shell Case p/n 3501075204
U.S. MSRP: $1,699.99
Source: U.S.
Introduced: 1993
Discontinued: 12/2001

Terry Playing Kelly Joe's GuitarKelly Joe’s Lap Guitar

Model Name: Gibson J-60
TOP Hand Selected "AAA" Solid Sitka Spruce
BACK AND SIDES Solid Indian Rosewood
FINGERBOARD/INLAY Ebony/Mother of Pearl Dot Markers
PICKGUARD Traditional Tortoise
BINDING Multiple Bound Body
SCALE 25 1/2"
FINISH Antique Natural Lacquer

The appearance of a rosewood flattop guitar in the Gibson line is a rare occasion. In Gibson's one hundred-year history, only about a half-dozen production models were of rosewood. The J-60 Rosewood is the first new release of its kind in over 20 years, and its debut in 1992 was especially important because it came as a result of an overwhelming demand for a rosewood Gibson flat-top.

The J-60 brings pre-war Gibson quality to a modern square shouldered dreadnought. It features a hand tuned top with Gibson's '30s-style "Advanced Bracing Pattern" which gives this guitar a volume, tone, and projection suitable for concert hall and ensemble performance.

©Terry Sullivan, December 2001


  Website by Jean-François G.
Background Image by Michael Bystrom
Design mostly stolen to SLSY
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