How To Sound Like Matthew Bellamy of MUSE

If you’d like to play the Reapers’ and Madness’ solos, or achieve Matthew’s voice recording quality, then you came to the right place.

By George CassadrianContributing Author

Article photo - How To Sound Like Matthew Bellamy of MUSE

Muse have been rocking the stages since 1994. No matter if you know them for their well-produced studio albums or for their mind blowing, scintillating life performances, you’ll agree that Muse is not just another rock band. They are constantly evolving, proving to be number one in any musical genre they choose. 

Over the years, Matthew Bellamy tried hundreds of different gear, picking the best of the best. If you’d like to play the Reapers’ and Madness’ solos, or achieve Matthew’s voice recording quality, then you came to the right place. I invite you to take a look at the gear he’s been using lately:

Guitars

Bellamy uses custom guitars, manufactured by Hugh Manson himself. There’s no need to mention that those guitars can’t be bought just anywhere and that their price tag goes far beyond 6000 Euros. Good news is that you don’t need to have a custom, hand-made Manson to sound like Bellamy.

Cort MBC-1 BK

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Cort MBC-1 Bellamy signature series proved to have the same quality, durability and sound as the hand-made Manson guitars (that’s the reason why they’re named after Bellamy). The only difference is that MBC-1s don’t have an in-built MIDI panel and they’re not signed by Hugh Manson himself. But does it really matter when they sound and look exactly the same? There’s also a left-hand version of the Cort MBC-1.

Cort MBC-1 Red Sparkle

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Recently, at winter NAMM 2016, Cort announced this new signature model in red glitter finish. It looks exactly like Bellamy’s “MB-1 Red Glitter” and has a lot of common with his beloved “Red Carbon” guitar.

Effects Pedals

Bellamy has always strived to achieve complex processed guitar sounds. Every song he ever wrote for Muse has a unique sounding thanks to the massive amount of pedals, filters and synths he uses. Nevertheless, looks like Bellamy has three favorite pedals he uses constantly.

Z.Vex Fuzz Factory Vexter

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Muse’s “Madness” perfectly illustrates the possibilities of the Z.Vex Fuzz Factory Vexter. This high-end pedal marks the difference between overdrive, distortion and fuzz. If used correctly, it will give the needed punch, aggressiveness and expression to any riff or solo.

Picking the right gear might trace that difference between an average performance and a groundbreaking show

Take the "IS IT GOOD FOR ME" test for "Digitech Whammy 5", read the reviews and join the community!Digitech Whammy 5

As seen in the Drones 2016 tour, looks like the Digitech’s Whammies keep being Bellamy’s personal favorites. They can modify the sound on different ways, going from mild to heavily expressed whammy effect. 

MXR Phase 90

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Bellamy loves using phaser in most of his songs. Besides guitars, he often adds phaser to keyboard and sometimes even to his vocals.

Amps

Vox AC30 VR

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The AC30 is a compact and versatile valve / transistor hybrid amp. Bellamy used the AC30 VR quite often before he switched to digitally-emulated amps. Nevertheless, most of his best riffs and solos can be easy recreated using the AC30.

Kemper Profiling Amp PowerHead Set

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The Kemper Profiling is an Amp emulating box that can replicate most of the known signature amp sounds. Thanks to its digital nature, it can easily go beyond what a common amp could do. For instance, it offers multiple stomp effect emulations and a wide gamma of different filters and effects. No wonder why the Kemper is Bellamy’s top choice.

Microphones

Bellamy is considered one of the most talented modern vocalists. He covers a wide (almost inhuman) range of 3.7 octaves and he easily switches to falsetto and back. What microphone is the best choice to record such a huge vocal range? 

Neumann KMS 105

Although in his earlier shows you could see Bellamy performing with a Shure SM 48 LC, he eventually fell in love with the KMS 105 BK. Take the "IS IT GOOD FOR ME" test for "Neumann KMS 105", read the reviews and join the community! After 2003, Bellamy definitively switched to the KMS 105 for live performances. His choice is understandable – the KMS 105 is widely praised for having the same recording quality as a high-end studio condenser mic. At the same time, it can also be used live since its pick up pattern is unidirectional.

Picking the right gear might trace that difference between an average performance and a groundbreaking show. We live in the digital era, and Bellamy understands it. By replicating his unique style you won’t only sound amazing, you'll also re-discover Muse in a different and breathtaking way.

 

About George Cassadrian

One of the two lead singers of Mobvibe, George is an avid songwriter with a refined taste in retro music and beautiful electric guitars.

Contact George Cassadrian at georgecassadrian@musicngear.com

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