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Ambient Guitar Sessions | Amps

Aggiornamento: 24 mar 2022

The best amplifiers to play Ambient Music Outdoor

As I've told you in the last post, setting up the right gear for outdoor sessions is like thinking you're about to start a journey.

We talked about pedals and pedalboards and now we have to think about the right amps to play outdoor.

The right amp must be the combination of four main features:

  1. Lightweight: you'll probably have to walk for long distance and your amp must be light to bring with you on foot. The lighter you walk the less you get tired and the better you'll perform your music in the session.

  2. Sound Power: remember you're outdoor, not closed in a room, you need more volume from your amp, because a lot of it will be dispersed in the normal landscape reverberation. You obviously can't play with a mini amps, you probably wouldn't even hear it.

  3. Cool clean sound: your amp must sound good dry, without pedals and effects. This is your starting sound and if it's bad your pedals won't make it cool.

  4. Battery powered: playing outdoor means that most of the time there's no electricity to power your gear. In my first outdoor sessions I used a suitcase inverter generator of 1 Kw to power my pedalboard and amps, it was cool to have my complete setup (Orange amps and big pedalboard) to play and record my music, but it was too hard to bring (generator, amps, pedalboard, cameras) and at the end of the session I was always exhausted, to say nothing about the big noise (I used to place it about 20 meters distant from my location and connect it with an extension cable) and the pollution. The solution to avoid using the generator was a battery powered amp.

[One of my first sessions with complete setup powered with a suitcase inverter generator]

After a long research I've found out that the best amp that combine all these conditions is Roland Cube Street.

Another solution I came up was to use a battery powered PA together with a Cab modeler pedal (Strymon Iridium or Walrus ACS1 for example), but I pretty fast rejected it for two main reasons: large expense (battery powered PA + another expensive pedal), and the possibility to have a free slot in my mini pedalboard to place one more useful pedal (I've got only 6 slots because powerbank Caline CP-06+ can power only six pedals, see the last post for more info).

Perry Frank Live Ambient Guitar Session in Funtanazza Arbus Sardinia
[One of my last sessions with mini setup powered with batteries and powerbank]

Roland Cube Street is a very light amplifier to bring with me on foot for long distances.

It is battery powered, then I don't have to use a suitcase generator and it has volume enough to be heard for several meters, I could even organize a live concert with some audience in the locations where I record the sessions.

Perry Frank playing Ambient Guitar Session in Laconi - Sardinia
[One of my last sessions with mini setup powered with batteries and powerbank]

Last but not least this amp has a section with six amp simulations: JC Clean (Roland JC120 amp), Black Panel (Fender Twin), Brit Combo (Vox AC30), Classic Stack (Marshall), R-Fier Stack (Mesa Boogie).

I don't need a distort and saturated sound, then I don't use the Marshall, Vox or Mesa Boogie modes. I only need a clean and dry sound (JC Clean or Black Panel) to add my pedalboard sounds as I explain in this tutorial here below.

Thank you for reading this article, see you in the next post.


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