Page McConnell and Mike Gordon of Phish nerd out on the gear they use on stage in new, in-depth rig rundown videos. Originally broadcast at intermission during Phish’s New Year’s run livestreams, the videos are now available on the band’s YouTube channel.

In Page’s rig rundown, the longtime Phish keyboardist goes through some of the instruments in his elaborate setup, stopping to explain the history of each, how it produces its sound, and commenting on recent changes to his rig. He begins with his vintage Wurlitzer electric piano, holding up a metal tine or reed that produces the instrument’s sound. He continues on with demonstrations of his Moog One synthesizer and Nord Stage 3, which he uses to trigger some of the sounds sampled from the Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House album used for Phish’s 2014 Halloween show.

Then, after showing off his 1963 Hammond B3 organ with its custom “satellite pedal” built by former Phish sound engineer and luthier Paul Languedoc, the Chairman of the Boards spends time explaining the intricacies of his Fender Rhodes electric piano, Yamaha CS-60, Sequential Prophet Rev2 (the newest addition to his rig), and Hohner Clavinet D6. Finally, he concludes with his seven-and-a-half-foot Yamaha grand piano, the third he has used with the band, which he praises for its durability on the road.

“I probably play piano on more Phish songs than any other instrument because it’s the one that I’ve just been focused on since birth,” he says. He adds that keyboard tech Eddie Piotrowski tunes the piano before every show.

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Mike’s rig rundown uses a different format. Rather than going through his entire rig, the Phish bassist answers questions submitted by fans via Instagram. The first question is about the synth tones he creates using a vast array of effects. He showcases some of his favorite synth effects, including the Deep Impact and Future Impact synth pedals, adding that he has “piles of other synth pedals” at home. The next question asks which effects pedals are open portals “to the cosmos, to the muse, to infinity.” At first, Mike says, “I’ll go an hour in a deep jam and not use any effects pedals,” but then he goes on to explore some of his most inspiring sounds, including the Echo Space of God pedal, which he calls an “ambient portal,” and the “chim chim” effect that uses eight overlapping pitch delays.

Another fan asked what sounds he likes to use when Trey Anastasio makes his guitar sound lower like a bass, and Mike answers that it gives him license to take his bass up an octave to sound more like a guitar. He then responds to a fan who asked if he has experimented with any power tools other than the drill he uses to play his bass. “Hey! I should try Fish’s vacuum,” he says, “put the whole vacuum next to the pickup and see if we get a vibration. Will do!”

In response to a question about how he achieves his heavy and thick tone, Mike says, “It’s all in your mind.” He describes playing through other bassists’ equipment to try and emulate their sound, only to find that he still sounded like himself. “The more I think [fat and thick], the more it happens,” he explains, reiterating that the sound you get starts in your head.

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As fun as it is to have endless toys to play with, Mike says, “You don’t need a big bass rig with all this processing to sound amazing. Some of the best bass players I’ve ever seen have been someone in a club with a single 15-inch speaker, no processing, no nothing, an old Fender bass, and the most incredible sounding groove ever.”

One of the final fan questions asks whether Mike cuts out any frequencies to make room for other instruments, to which he says he does not. He goes on to explain that he does dial in his rig at each venue and sometimes will cut out frequencies that are too “boomy” and “wallowing.” He then goes through his elaborate speaker setup to show how different speakers generate his low-end, mid, and high-end frequencies, and each can be adjusted to suit different venues.

Asked what venues sound the best, Mike responds that it is not always consistent. “The Mann is always great—places like The Gorge, or we just played in Bangor. If there’s no roof over the people, it’s gonna make the bass frequencies really punchy and controlled and clear. Sometimes it can be too dry without the resonance, but Dick’s is great because there’s no roof over the people, so it means a lot of punch and low-end, but there are bleachers way over far away that create some resonance, so it’s the perfect compromise. But there are lots of great venues and anything can be dialed in.”

He finishes the video by going through some of the “weirdest” sounds he can make, per a fan request, and then highlights some of his favorite effects.

Watch Page McConnell and Mike Gordon give guided tours of their keyboard and bass rigs below.

Page McConnell – 2022 Keyboard Rig Rundown

Mike Gordon – 2022 Bass Rig Rundown