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Brit Awards 2013 - The Winners

Published: Thu February 21, 2013  News Feed

Brit Awards 2013 - The Winners

Well yesterday we looked over the top nominees for the Brits 2013 and they've all done rather well, apart from Alt-J who we reckon were robbed in our live Brits 2013 Twitter feed.

Emeli Sande arguably came out as the ultimate winner, with two Damien Hirst designed polka dot awards under her belt. We donned our gear goggles and spotted her playing on the night with a lovely Yamaha piano and using what looks like a Sennheiser wireless mic with possible Neumann capsule. On stage Gavin Powell was playing with Emeli using a Nord Stage 2 and Electro 4D. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to catch the next time we get our goggles on and scope out the gear of your favourite artists.

Ben Howard's Guitar And Studio

Equaling Emeli's award tally was West Country boy Ben Howard who scooped a couple himself, already a fast rising star in Britain and America this can only propel him even faster. Quite where you go after selling out the Bowery Ballroom in New York and London's Sheperds Bush Empire for two nights running we're not sure, Madison Square Garden and O2 Arena by 2014?

Ben is another fan of Martin guitars and who wouldn't be with a round woody tone and glistening high end. Here he is using it live (and the ubiquitous SM58) in Paris...

Ben Howard On Tour

Ben Howard has an excellent Youtube and channel containing a short video showing us around the converted barn studio he used to record 'Every Kingdom'. We love nothing more than a bit of a snoop around a studio to see what's being used.

We can spy some nice guitar amps including:

A black face Fender, possibly a Deluxe.
Tweed Amp, has a larger logo than most standard Fenders so can't be sure which one.
A swift flash of what looks like a Blackstar cabinet to us.

For the studio gear:

Quite a lot of Sennheiser MD421 microphones being used on the drums and in the control booth. They're the ultimate tom mic but also massively popular on guitar, male vocals, on kick drums and brass.
In the control room we can see the yellow and blue face plate of a Focusrite unit and an 1178 compressor (the stereo version of the legendary 1176, get it in hardware or software).

Black Keys Amp RigDan Auerbach's Guitar Rig

That's the solo artists covered but who was flying the flag for rock in the group category? It was the Black Keys, although group is perhaps overstating a little being that there's only two of them in the studio. But if they introduced a category for Duos then it would just be the Pet Shop Boys up against the Chemical Brothers every year and Sparks or Outkast in the international category.

Now Dan's guitar gear is a big part of the raucous garage rock sound that the Keys specialise in. He's not a fussy man though and has used a wide range of gear, mainly involving vintage guitars, tube amps with a neat range of pedals old and new.

With a definite taste for esoteric discontinued models it might be hard to emulate Auerbach's axe but Fender have come up with a range of guitars and amps inspired by the kind of unusual instruments you might find in a Pawn Shop. Try these for a different look and sound.

Dan's tastes are a little less catholic when it comes to amps, sticking with the holy trinity of Fender silver face cleans, Fender Tweed crunch (get both with the hybrid Super Sonic) and Marshall stack for when things need to get hairy (Tweed Fender captured with a quality SM7B dynamic mic and an SM57 in the background). Relying on the amps for most of his tone Dan only really uses boost pedals to enhance his clean and crunch tones, utilising fuzz and other effects for wilder sounds.
I use fuzz pedals, but I’ve never used a distortion or overdrive pedal -- just boost pedals. The Shin-ei Companion Fuzz and the Marshall Supa Fuzz are my favorites. Before the sessions, Dunlop sent me a box full of effects, including a talk box. - Guitarworld.com Interview
So he's a fan of the great Dunlop fuzz and Talk Box along with quality boost pedals. Let's take a peak at Dan's pedal board for some more goodies.

Courtesy Of Premier Guitar

Dan uses a MIDI switching rig to make changes easily while on stage, on the board itself we can see there's nothing too esoteric but still some superb pedals:

Boss Pedals: TR-2 Tremolo, OC-2 Octave Pedal (try the OC-3) and PH-3 Phase Shifter.
It wouldn't be garage rock without a Muff in there, Dan's is a vintage Russian model but the modern NYC model is every bit as good (just ask Jack White).
Up in the back right is an MXR 10-Band EQ pedal, another Dunlop family favourite.

Already Voted MPG 'Producer Of The Year' Paul Epworth Has Won A Brit Too

- Working With Florence And The Machine, Cee-Lo Green, Futureheads, Adele and many more!

The Brits aren't just about musicians, there's credit given to the gurus behind the scenes too. We've spoken to Paul before about his favourite tools and tricks, back when he was merely working with Jack Penate and Bloc Party. A recent interview with Universal Audio confirms that the Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip, Rode Classic II (Adele's vocal microphone on Rolling In The Deep) and RE-201 Space Echo (available as a UAD plugin) are still key components to his sound.

Paul has often worked with upcoming artists and didn't always have access to a large mixing desk and rakes of vintage mics, so for all budding young producers here's some affordable alternatives with a professional sound.

For the Mic Preamp try a Universal Audio Solo/610, huge valve tone from one of the original studio gear manufacturers.
More great valve tone from the Rode NTK, get the sound of classic Motown and Stax records.
Boss have made a near perfect recreation of the RE-201 Space Echo in guitar pedal format. So more compact and lower maintenance than original with the same great sound.

Here's All The Other Winners And Guides On How You Can Get Their Sound

British breakthrough act

Ben Howard

British female solo artist

Emeli Sande

British group

Mumford & Sons

Live act


British male solo artist

Ben Howard

British producer

Paul Epworth

British single

Adele, Skyfall

Special recognition award

War Child

Brits global success (for international sales in 2012)

One Direction

Critics' choice

Tom Odell

International female solo artist

Lana Del Rey

International group

Black Keys

International male solo artist

Frank Ocean

Best album

Emeli Sandé, Our Version Of Events
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