I really like the way Carlos has his guitar and amp set for this performance.
In the beginning when playing his Yamaha SG on the neck pickup, he has his the volume and gain set on his amp at the point where the amp tone will just start to distort and sustain the note when you turn up the volume on the guitar.
To get that nice sweet clean tone, he keeps the volume way down on his guitar and picks lightly.
When he wants a note to ring out, you see him turn up the guitar volume for just the duration of note. The guitar volume goes back down right away to begin his next phrase.
As the song picks up intensity, he gradually raises the gain on the amp by turning up the volume on the guitar and increasing the attack on the strings with pick. This effects the tone and not so much the overall volume. Toward the end of the song, his tone has made the smooth transition into that nice creamy distortion where the more of notes sing out.
Through out the song, he never needed to change his amp setting or pickup selection. The change in tones was do to his excellent use of the volume knob on this guitar and his guitar pick technique.
When I first saw Carlos after he started using this Yamaha guitar, I wasn't hearing the kind of dynamics I'm hearing on this song. What I heard was a lot of distortion used, even on Europa. I did not like the Yamaha sound. This was around the Amigos / Moonflower time period. I couldn't understand why Carlos got away from the Gibson Les Paul and L6-S, which had the dynamics and sweet tones, from the shimmering cleans to that rich distortion that you hear on this video, and even more so. At least this video shows that his Yamaha was capable of the tones I was hoping for.
Regarding the PRS guitars Carlos uses now...my apologies to PRS owners in advance, but I think the nasiliy tone those guitars produce has hurt his playing style, or to be fair, changed his style of phrasing and changed the types of passages he plays in his solos. I don't hear the dynamics from one phrase to the next, no matter if low on the neck or high. It all stays on the same tonal plane, reminding much of when Carlos began presenting himself as a gunslinger with his guitar instead of reaching to heaven as he'd done before. Shreaders are a dime a dozen, but there was only one Carlos, so why try to be like them?
Anyway, songs like Revelations are a reminder that there is a path that he once cleared out, now it's a choice on whether or not to take it.
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