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Mikko Kosonen - Pedal Dogma with Keeley Electronics

October 26, 2017

The idea was strange to begin with.

Finnish A-list guitarist Mikko Kosonen called me up one morning and told me he had bought a Keeley Electronics effect pedal that was highly inspiring.

Mikko had written a new song using the pedal in question and he now wanted to try every Keeley pedal available.

In Mikko’s view a pedal is an instrument, too, just like a guitar. An effect should give something back to the  musician and bring out music along with it.The technical details of pedals or their “vintage authenticity”, on the other hand, do not really interest him.

Mikko was eager to tape Dogma-style videos of every available Keeley effect. The idea was that he would play each effect for the first time with the camera rolling. He wanted the pedal to inspire the direction his improvisation would take, instead of carefully planning each video’s musical content beforehand.

VIDEO SHOOT DAY arrived. Mikko knew he had to pick up his children from day care in the afternoon, but we would try to record as many clips as possible before he would have to leave.

Mikko had spent his previous day in a TV-studio. The man was tired, but clearly used to perform under any conditions. We managed to get a whopping 18 videos in the can!

We were using a sort of “shotgun method” to tape our videos. We selected an effect pedal, hooked it up and then we set our c amera and recording equipment on “record”.The resulting videos are full of aural excitement, with a good taste of danger, some mistakes and a few surprises thrown in.

We used the three cameras we could find at Custom Boards HQ for our shoot.
All guitar parts were recorded going through a Kemper profiling amp connected to an audio interface and then straight onto hard-disk.

We used the Vox AC30 profile that comes with the Kemper.We didn’t use ambient mikes or additional reverb –  all the sounds you’ll hear come straight off the Kemper. Neither audio nor video have gone through additional editing or processing, instead they have been left raw, staying true to our Dogma ethos.

The first six videos from our shoot were published in October 2017 and they got very inspired reception in Finland. Next batch of editing took a while, but here they are.

Total of 18 videos with the man and his guitar struggling through effects he has never seen before, thinking what to play, twisting wrong knobs and doing lots of things that a ”normal” user would never try with these pedals.

I really do admire Mikko’s attitude.

A less experienced guitarist would have become jittery in the knowledge that the videos would be shared on YouTube, especially as he didn’t know what to expect when stepping on the pedal for the first time.

But it is exactly this fearlessness that makes these video so interesting and fun to watch.


26.10.2017 Kimmo Aroluoma
The writer is the owner of Custom Boards Finland. He is a veteran guitar tech who has toured for years with Finnish bands HIM, Amorphis, Michael Monroe, The Rasmus and Von Hertzen Brothers. Today he designs pedalboards and runs his own web shop in Helsinki, Finland.


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