Find out what gear Matt Bellamy uses and which fx pedals you need to get that signature MUSE sound!
When Muse hit the top of the charts in 14 different countries, with their 2009 album 'The Resistance' they confirmed their position as one of the biggest acts in the world. And, naturally, Matt Bellamy is one of the most admired guitarists of his generation. Let's have a look at his gear!
If an older generation admires guitar heroes of the past such as Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton, Matt Bellamy is perhaps one of the most revered guitar heroes today. Total Guitar readers voted Bellamy 29th on a list of the top 100 guitarists, and Bellamy's riff from "Plug In Baby" was 13th in Total Guitar's poll of the Top 100 Riffs above riffs such as Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love".
It's not surprising then, that many guitarists look up to Matt Bellamy and want to know what's the secret of his tone. Well...we don't want to dismiss his talent, but his biggest secret can be summed up in just two letters: FX, FX, FX!!!
Matt Bellamy FX Pedals
Yes, Matt Bellamy is a total gear head, and he uses effects (be it effect pedals, rack units or built in his guitar) in a creative and... "effective" way, shall we say!
The ultimate Matt Bellamy fx must be the Z-Vex Fuzz Factory, which he had installed in his custom-made Manson guitar.
The Z-Vex Fuzz Factory is one of the best fuzz pedals in the world and even if you don't have it installed in your guitar like Matt Bellamy does, it's still great fun to play with and you'll easily get mad, mad sounds like Matt Bellamy's. For Muse fans, this is the pedal to get. But the Fuzz Factory should also be considered a must for any fuzz-loving guitarist, really! If you can't get hold of one of them, the Earthquaker Devices Hoof V2 Fuzz Pedal is a great option.
Other effects/units that are known to have been built into some of Bellamy's Manson guitars besides the Z-Vex Fuzz Factory include: Z-Vex Wah Probe, MXR Phase 90, Kaoss Pad and Tronical PowerTune Automatic Guitar Tuning System.
Effects-wise, Bellamy's rig has evolved from a more traditional pedal board into amp set up, into a technological beast that requires the help of external hands (feet) ie. his guitar tech! It doesn't matter - it still sounds awesome!
In the early days, during the Showbiz/Origin of Symmetry era, his pedal board included a Digitech Whammy, Line 6 DL4, Roland V-Synth, DOD Equalizer, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Electro Harmonix Micro Synth.
This video featuring Muse's guitar tech shows some of his gear, which also includes: MXR EQ, TC Electronic chorus, and Keeley Fuzz Head (which is a Fuzz Face clone):
Of course, we can't forget to mention the Korg Kaoss Pad which Matt has had famously installed on his main guitar. If you're on a budget, the smaller, cheaper Korg Kaossilator is a good option and many Muse fans who play guitar are known to have gone this route! See below for more Kaoss!
For a guitarist whose sound is so mad and modern, his choice of head amp couldn't be more traditional or elegant - the classic Vox AC30 Head. He also uses a Marshall head, so we can only assume the Vox AC30 is used for clean tones.
Korg's Kaoss Pad 3 puts multiple FX parameters at the tip your fingers.
The KP3 boasts128 exciting effects programs so you can edit and manipulate samples in real time using Korg’s revolutionary touch pad. Great for DJs, musicians and producers at all levels!
Since the start of the Black Holes and Revelations tour, back in 2006 Bellamy has had an X-Y MIDI pad controlling a Kaoss pad with all of his guitars, that is except for the Manson Ali Top, the Manson Doubleneck and bothnof his Manson Keytars.
The Kaoss Manson was the first to receive the pad treatment, followed by his M1D1 Manson and a couple of others. Bellamy uses the Kaoss Pad as it should be used, creatively and effectively! He performs with techniques such as imitating DJ scratching, like in the solo of Supermassive Black Hole.
However, Matt Bellamy has also played more conventional guitars: Such as a Gibson SG Standard, Ibanez Destroyer and Fender Standard Stratocaster.
Check out a full range of guitars and effects over at PMT online.