Gear

Richie proudly endorses products by


Helix

Richie has been using the Line 6 Helix guitar processor since 2016. Check out this video to see exactly how Richie has his Helix setup for Blue Öyster Cult gigs.

Richie has made several of his custom presets available for download.  They can be found at the Line 6 Custom Tone Site.

If you’d like to commission Richie to create custom presets for you, contact him at richie@richiecastellano.com


Live Setup

For live gigs, Richie keeps his rig very simple. He brings 2 guitars on the road.  His custom Slime-Burst Music Man Axis and a black Line 6 Variax Standard.

The Variax Standard is equipped with chrome covered DiMarzio pickups including a Tone Zone S in the bridge, a Heavy Blues 2 in the middle and an Injector in the neck. It connects the rest of the rig with a Line 6 VDI cable.

The Music Man Axis is connected with an Audio Technica AEW-4110D wireless which Richie has been using since 2004.

Both guitars are connected to the Line 6 Helix Floor Unit.  In one of the Helix’s FX loops is a Digitech Freq-out pedal which is used to get feedback at lower volumes.

The Helix’s 1/4 inch output goes mono to a DI direct to Richie’s in ears and Front of House.  The XLR output goes to a powered speaker on stage near the backline for some stage volume.  The Global EQ inside the Helix only affects the stage monitor.

For in-ears, Richie uses the UE-7 from Ultimate Ears.

For microphones, Richie uses the Audio Technica AE-4100 Artist Elite Dynamic Mic.


Studio Setup

Hardware

At the heart of the Band Geek studio is a MOTU 1248 interface. This not only acts as an audio interface but also a digital mixer that handles up to 8 discrete monitor mixes.  Each Band Geek mixes their own feed via an iOS app.

For Mic Preamps, he uses an SSL Alpha Channel, a Universal Audio 4-710D in addition to several channels of MOTU mic preamps.

Monitorning

For speakers, the Band Geek studio is equipped with a pair of Dynaudio BM-5a powered monitors. The Band Geeks exclusively use Audio Technica M-50 and M-40 headphones. The discrete monitor mix outputs all feed into an 8 channel headphone amp where the mono sends are converted to summed stereo for headphones.

Microphones

The Band Geeks primarily use Audio Technica mics.  Richie’s favorite vocal mic is the Audio Techica AT-4033a. Ann Marie’s vocal mic is an Audio Technica AT-4047. Aside from the Audio Technica mics, the studio also has a small collection of Neumann, Shure, Electro-Voice and Sennheiser mics.

Software

Richie runs Avid Pro Tools on a Windows 7 PC custom-built by AutoExec Computer Systems in Staten Island, NY.  For processing he uses mostly plugins by Waves and Izotope. For sound libraries, he uses Native Instruments Kontact, IK Multimedia Sampletank, FXpansion BFD and others. For guitar processing he uses Line 6 Helix Native software.

Guitars & Basses

Richie has an extensive collection of guitars and bases.  Here is a list of frequently used studio instruments:

  • Line 6 Variax JTV-69
  • Music Man Steve Morse Y2D
  • Music Man Luke III
  • Music Man EVH
  • Music Man Sillhouette Special
  • Music Man Axis (Tuned to Eb)
  • Kramer Pacer (Tuned to D)
  • Fender Road Worn 50’s Telecaster
  • Fender Road Worn 50’s Stratocaster
  • “The Disgustocaster” (Fernandez Special Edition Strat tuned to Eb)
  • Burns Brian May Red Special
  • Rickenbacker 325V59
  • ESP Eric Bloom Model
  • Eastwood Classic 12 String
  • Martin D-15M Acoustic
  • Ibanez AEF-30 Acoustic
  • Cigano Gypsy-style Acoustic
  • Music Man Sterling HS
  • Ibanez SR-505 Yellow 5-string BOC Bass. (with Bartolini pickups)
  • 1975 Rickenbacker 4001 (round wounds)
  • 1974 Rickenbacker 4001s (flat wounds)
  • Hofner Icon B Beatle Bass

Amps

Richie has a small collection of amps, including:

  • Engl Steve Morse 100
  • VHT Pitbul Classic 30
  • VHT 2/50/2 Power Amp
  • Tube Works TD-752
  • Vox VBM-1

Preamps & Modelers

Since the Band Geek studio is a home studio, volume is definitely a concern.  Thankfully, digital modeling technology has finally caught up with analog tech as a viable substitute for low-volume situations.

Richie’s main guitar amp for 99% of his recording the the Line 6 Helix Rack. He records both stereo outs and a buffered pass-thru into Pro Tools.

For guest guitarists, the Band Geek studio has a great VHT GP3 Tube Preamp.  This is sent to a Two Notes Torpedo C.A.B. pedal using a custom Impulse Response that Richie created using his Eminence P-50 Equipped 2×12 VHT cabinet. The Torpedo output and a DI send from the GP3 are both recorded into Pro Tools.

Pedals

Even someone who mainly operates in the digital realm still loves pedals!

Richie keeps a JHS Andy Timmons distortion pedal in Loop 1 of the Helix and a TC Electronic John Petrucci Dreamscape in Loop 2.

When using an analog wah, Richie prefers the Ernie Ball wah. The studio also has a decent collection of Boss Pedals.

Another processor that he uses occasionally is the TC Electronic Nova System.

Other Instruments

  • Roland TD-11k Electronic Drumset (with CY-13R Ride addition)
  • Roland HPD-10 Handsonic Percussion Instrument
  • Roland SH-101 Vintage Analog Synthesizer
  • Roland XP-10 Keyboard
  • Roland SP-404SX Sampler

Video Production

 

To record the Band Geek Videos, they use 3 Zoom Q2n cameras and a GoPro 3.  For live streaming and interview footage, 2 Logitech c920 webcams are used.

For mobile video recording, they’ll occasionally use an iPhone for video recording and a Zoom H6 for audio.

To edit the videos Richie uses Magix Vegas Pro software.