Steve Vai – The Animal
In the year 1990, Steve Vai introduced the world to his extraordinary solo album titled “Passion and Warfare.” This album not only showcased his exceptional skills on the guitar but also presented what we personally consider to be truly exceptional and remarkable guitar sounds.
“Passion and Warfare,” released by Steve Vai in 1990, continues to hold a special place in every guitarist raised in the 90s. The guitar tones within the album are distinguished by a pleasing combination of warmth and clarity, devoid of any hint of muted resonance. These tones can be compared to savoring something rich and unique, distinguishing it from all other albums we’ve encountered, including Vai’s later works. In the crafting of his album “Passion and Warfare,” Steve Vai harnessed an array of equipment and guitars. Here’s a glimpse into several of the essential tools he incorporated throughout the recording of the album.
Guitars: JEM 7, 77, 777 and Universe guitars.
- Ibanez JEM: Steve Vai’s signature guitar, known for its very personal “monkey grip” handle, floral-patterned inlays, and versatile electronics. This model features DiMarzio Paf Pro and later Evolution pickups.
- Ibanez Universe: A seven-string guitar that Vai helped design, featuring a basswood body, DiMarzio Blaze pickups, and a Lo-Pro Edge tremolo system.
Amplifiers and Effects:
- 100W Marshalls – especially Jose modded Marshalls
- Early Carvin amplifiers
- Eventide H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer: A high-quality effects processor that contributed to Vai’s signature ambient and experimental sounds on the album.
- Lexicon PCM70: A digital reverb and effects processor that contributed to the album’s spatial and atmospheric sounds.
- TC Electronic 2290 Dynamic Digital Delay: A rack-mounted digital delay
- Whammy Pedal: The Digitech WH-1 Whammy Pedal to create pitch-shifting
- DigiTech IPS 33B: An intelligent harmonizer and pitch shifter that added harmonies
Vai designates D’Addario and Ernie Ball strings for his guitars, with gauges ranging from 9 – 42 to 9 – 52 for the 7-string model.
Pedals used for boosting the amplifiers:
The list is probably a few pages long but we will stop here.
The pitch shifter is dialed to create a sound that is seven half steps lower than the currently produced note, and this modified sound is combined in a mix at 50%.
It is likely that Vai utilized the Eventide Harmonizer during the recording process. However, it became evident during his live performances that he incorporated the Whammy Pedal into his setup.
After the distortion in the signal chain, the Caliburn C amplifier is connected to a 4×12 cabinet, and a condenser microphone is positioned to capture the sound.
The Amp and Cab’s tones are further refined using an EQ to precisely shape the overall sound and enhance its integration within the mix. Subsequently, our room reverb was applied to imbue the recording with the ambient quality that enriches the listening experience.
In a world with so many musical geniuses to push the envelope is not an easy task. Steve Vai himself kinda has found that magic to take over the listeners and to send them in that direction where they will escape from reality and dive into a world of fairy tales and fantasy and when they stop listening they will feel hopeful and happy and not rarely grab their instruments and start creating their own music. That album definitely reflected to every fan and musician in a way that no word can describe. Enjoy it!
Here you can hear the tone.
Here you can download the preset and copy it to your presets folder:
The preset file for A360 looks like this: The Animal – A360 Whammo.ka360p copy the file after extracting it from the zip file at: