We're interviewing the creators of over 190 Tone Partner Collections now on ToneNET to learn more about their backgrounds and what inspired each collection.
We caught up with Tone Partner Igor Paspalj of IP Sound to discuss his career as a professional guitarist and composer and how he came about producing his first TONEX Collection, available on ToneNET to demo and purchase HERE.
Learn more about Igor Paspalj of IP Sound:
IK Multimedia: Let’s start from the beginning. When did you start playing guitar and why guitar?
Igor Paspalj: I started when I was around 13 years old. My main trigger was hearing EVH's Eruption. I was so fascinated, and from that day I decided I was going to be a guitarist.
IK: Who were some of your early guitar influences?
IP: Besides EVH, some of my main first influences were Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Al Di Meola, Vinnie Moore, and many others - mostly guitar heroes from the '80s.
IK: Was there a moment in your life when you made a conscious decision to pursue music professionally?
IP: I've been listening to pop-rock music from my early days, but only after hearing EVH, I completely fell in love with the guitar and I knew that playing guitar and making music, in general, is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
IK: What's your approach to guitar sound in general?
IP: I have never been obsessed with vintage gear, vintage guitars, or chasing and copying some specific guitar sounds from the past. I only use my ears, and if it sounds good to me and if it fits the project that I'm working on then I'm happy, and I'm not particularly concerned about what gear I use to achieve that.
IK: What is often overlooked when trying to get a good tone? How did you find your sound?
IP: I think a lot of people waste enormous amounts of time and money trying to achieve the sound of their guitar heroes, and they often overlook that "tone is in the fingers" equation, as well as the individual perception of "good guitar tone," how well a particular tone fits in the mix, etc... and finally - "great guitar tone" is a very individual thing. Sounds that I like, some other players could find unpleasant, and vice versa...
IK: You also work as a session musician and travel a lot. Can you tell us more about that?
IP: I work a lot lately, but I would highlight my engagement with JTC Guitar, my current work with the Croatian band "Brkovi" from Zagreb – we are touring a lot around Europe lately, then my live masterclasses I'm running regularly, plus collaborations with various artists.
IK: What would your desert island rig look like (money is no object)? You are limited to 1 amp, 1 cab, 1 guitar, 3 pedals. Plus 1 non-Guitar-related related gear.
IP: Hmmm, that's a really hard question... but let’s say I would be pretty happy with these:
- Fender Stratocaster
- Marshall JCM800
- 4x12 greenbacks/V30 Friedman cab
- Ibanez Tube Screamer, UAD golden reverb, UAD starlight Delay
IK: Even though you owned a lot of great tube amps and gear you have also embraced digital technology. Tell us a little bit about when and why you started capturing amps and what led you to TONEX.
IP: I don't own that many amps anymore. I used to own many in the past, but sold most of them since I'm very limited with space, and digital technology now recreates the sound and feel of those amps in astounding details. I previously owned a Kemper profiler for many years before I heard about TONEX.
I tried the software version first and I was super impressed. It's super simple, the process of capturing sounds is easy and the results are amazing! And now with the TONEX pedal, it’s so simple to take your favorite rigs anywhere you want.
IK: What advice do you have for players starting out and wanting to jump into capturing their amps?
IP: It's super simple and doesn't require too much gear. I guess a good microphone and a treated room would be a good starting point. Then experiment with mic placement and most importantly – use your ears for the whole process.
IK: You have created an amazing TONEX Collection. Tell us about why you chose these amps and who can benefit most from using the tones from your collection.
IP: So far, I've made captures of the sound types that I use a lot in my recordings. Since they span from clean to hi-gain, I guess everybody can find something for themselves, but the accent is definitely on hard rock, rock-type sounds.
IK: What was your approach to dialing in the tones?
IP: I haven't captured them in my home studio due to limited space for amps. Instead, I did it in an external studio, and it was pretty straightforward – I just wanted the captures to sound and feel as close as possible to the original amp sound, and after a few takes and moving the microphone here and there – I was happy!
IK: What surprised you the most about the quality of the captures?
IP: The best thing is that they retain the feel of the amp in great detail, not just the sound. They have this nice compression when distorted and feel nice and "spongy" under my hands.
IK: Do you have any new collections in the works?
IP: Yes, probably sometime during December this year.
IK: You demo a lot of gear. What’s your approach to creating videos on your channel?
IP: I try to give my honest impression and useful insights about the gear I'm reviewing. And there are mostly positive gear reviews on my channel simply because I refuse to review gear that I don't like.
IK: Outside of capturing your amps, are there any music projects you are currently working on or have planned for the future? (gigs, sessions, albums, etc.)
IP: Yes, as mentioned previously and I can say right now, I'm currently working on a new Playthrough for my new song for JTC Guitar, and I’m also preparing for a series of masterclasses in Thailand, and some visits to China, but can't reveal more details yet, it's still in the works.
IK: Where do you see guitar gear going? Any predictions?
IP: Definitely in the digital direction. Of course, great tube amps are going to survive and they are still the benchmark of a great guitar sound. But the power of digital technology, and algorithms has come a long way in the last 10 years, that difference between a great tube amp and a small device like TONEX is very, very negligible.
And then, let's not forget the ease of use, portability, and versatility of small digital devices… I think it's the future, simple as that.