This Demo Video Is Just an Excuse to Watch Converge’s Kurt Ballou Perform Every Instrument on an Original Song

There’s a music shop in the greater Boston area, Stompbox Sonic. You may have heard of it. Myself, I went from ignorant of its existence to wanting to shop there immediately because the folks there gave us this video.  It’s part of their “Sonic Explorations” series, which seems to just be footage of local musicians testing out some of the gear in stock.


But this time, instead of “Joe Schmoe fucks around on a boutique tube screamer clone” we have a new song from Converge guitarist/God City recording studio sorcerer Kurt Ballou. He performs every instrument himself. He sings! Did you know he could sing? I always thought Nate was the occasional melodic vocal guy in the band. And is that a glimpse of saxophone I caught a glimpse of? Now you’re just showing off, pal.

Stompox Sonic and Kurt were kind enough to provide a full rundown of every piece of gear in play. The mic list is damn fine, with plenty of Heils and Beyerdynamics and other microphones that you swear you’ll one day save up for. Also noteworthy is not just Kurt’s new GCI (God City Instruments) guitar, but a GCI titanium snare to boot. All of that GCI gear is his own personal line that he designed and will be selling, not just some signature instruments mass produced by an external company (although he does have a manufacturing partner). I’ll paste the entire rundown below the video.

Clean guitar
GCI guitar
Mr. Black DoubleChorus
EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master
Mooer SkyVerb
Badcat Black Cat
mics: RCA 44bx, Heil PR-30

Lead guitar
GCI guitar
FoxRox Octron
EarthQuaker Devices Dirt Transmitter
EarthQuaker Devices Pitch Bay
EarthQuaker Devices Rainbow Machine
Fender Pro Reverb
mic: Shure Unidyne SM-57

Rhythm guitar
GCI guitar
Blackout Effectors Blunderbuss
Gibson Titan
Emperor 6×12
mic: AEA N-22

Slingerland kick, mics: Shure Beta 91A + AKG D12
GCI Titanium snare, mics: Heil PR31 + Beyer M201
Tempus toms, mics: Josephson E22s
Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials hats
Paiste Giant Beat ride
Paiste 2002 crashes
Overhead mics: sE RN17’s
Room mics: Soundelux E49’s

Warwick Star Bass II
Mountain King Megalith fuzz
Orange AD200
Ampeg 8×10
mic: Beyer M88

Yamaha YBS-62
Mic: RCA 44bx

Percussion mic: RCA 44bx
Vocal mic: Placid Audio Copperphone

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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  • Didn’t have time to change out of his gym shoes before laying down the heavy riffs.

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