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Gear Run: Steve Morse and Don Airey

Guitar effects company TC Electronic has posted a couple of videos providing inside look into the effect setup for both Steve Morse and Don Airey.

Steve’s guitar tech Tommy Alderson walks us through his onstage setup:

Choice of the soundrack, although, did raise my eyebrow.

Don Airey uses a Nova Reverb for creating that classic Hammond Spring effect; while for the Moog he has hooked up a Nova Modulator for flanger effects:

Thanks to TC Electronic for the info.

12 Comments to “Gear Run: Steve Morse and Don Airey”:

  1. 1
    T says:

    What a clean stompbox rig. You should see mine. Frankenstein comes to mind!

    The sound systems today are a far cry from the primitive set-ups in the late 60’s and 70’s. The contemporary sound is so refined that I wonder if Purple’s early music would have been possible had it been that polished. Certainly, Blackmore’s live signature back in the day is more aptly described as raw and unrefined than clean and clear. That was a part of the magic: A skyline of amps.

    I discovered the “Hammond growl” by running a cable from the Hammond (8000) headphone jack into a rack component stereo reverb. Single notes and power “chords” (fifths) sounded great, but triads were a jumbled mess. I was only a teenager at the time in the early 80’s but I suppose I was on the right track with the primitive equipment I had ( and still have).

    Quote of the videos: “The most important thing about Deep Purple is the Hammond,” 😉 . Kind of like…”I think the sound of Deep Purple has a hell of a lot to do with my organ!” You go Don.

    I never cared for synthesizers except for string ensembles in ballads. The mellotron in “Soldier of Fortune” is an example, or the backing in the live version of “Catch the Rainbow”. I’m just not into Moogs and such.

    If I had my musical wish, it would be for Deep Purple to do away with all the gingerbread and go back to the Made in Japan-era sound and let Don and Steve go crazy–a kick in the cajones kind of record. Take advantage of the talent in this band. This line-up has yet to go full throttle on record. They’ve come close with the title tracks “Rapture of the Deep” and “Bananas” with the latter ending prematurely and just as things were getting hot. It’s almost as if they’re afraid of breaking something.

    Go on…void the warranty if you have to! That’s what replacement parts are for.

  2. 2
    Crimson Ghost says:

    The piece with Don is cool, the other one I hadn’t seen before, nothing too exciting there.

  3. 3
    Rick Freeman says:

    Great info! Where were the videos filmed? The one on Steve looked like a great place for a show. Was this in Denmark? Italy? Love small Venues, Mega-arenas have no soul.

  4. 4
    Ralph says:

    @Rick Freeman, The don parts are from Arhus 2009

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:

    What has Steve s equipment to do with Child In Time?

  6. 6
    Crimson Ghost says:


    Silly to think by now that these things are done with integrity, it would be too easy to be proper… and heaven forbid you might like it anyway, so it was a move that’s taylor made for you. lol!

  7. 7
    MortO says:

    @3: I’m guessing Jelling Festival 2007 in Jutland, Denmark. But I’m not sure.

  8. 8
    blackmorse says:

    Rick Freeman: The part with Steve´s gear is from June 2010 in Sønderborg, Denmark. It was intimate and I was about 3 metres from Steve. Great!!!
    Yes,it would have been more suiting with some Steve-stuff showcasing what Tommy is explaining.

  9. 9
    Eddie6string says:

    Sooooooooo Dissapointed not to find a Vox AC30 sat inside a hollow Speaker cab – as Ritchie was rumoured to use – it would have added to a certain charm & continuity within the band.

    I’m expecting to see Steve Juggle a couple of guitars during Well Dressed Guitar someday soon (Whilst standing on his head, of course).

    More of these Videos please – about time the Crew became Celebs amongst the Public at large!

    Am I the only one to get a Buzz from standing amongst Flight cases aside an empty stage? – the Expectation is overwhelming – Gleaming Drum kits & shining Cymbals always get the Pulse revving.

  10. 10
    HardRockPete says:

    Don King!

  11. 11
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    @9, Great post! ‘Nuff said! Say no more, squire!! nudge, nudge, a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat!



  12. 12
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 11

    I ve been told your words have something to do with a certain knowledge of Biology.

    Would have loved a metaphor in which you implied that SOMEONE is a BLIND BAT…..

    But I m confused instead.

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