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Pedal Steel Guitar
Pedal Steel Guitar
Pedal Steel Guitar_edited.jpg


My name is Hamilton Belk, and I'm a session musician. I record pedal steel overdubs from my studio for bands and artists all over the world. I got into pedal steel for it's seemingly limitless versatility, and I quickly became enamored with its history and traditions. I suppose that's why I love exploring its frontiers just as much as I love playing 3 hour honky-tonk sets at the local dive. 

I do overdubs for $150 per song (incl. revisions), and I will play ANY genre. I've broken up my work samples into a few different tracks so you can get a sense of my playing. "Nashville" has the more radio country and pop oriented sounds, "Traditional" has more old country, americana, and honky-tonk. "Indie" is indie rock, folk etc. "folk _60s/70s" for the Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Byrds vibes. "Other" is everything else; hip-hop, jazz, electronic etc. + experimental performance and sound processing techniques.

Hopefully you'll hear something that resonates with your project. If not, drop me a line, and I should be able find a sample that does.

"Hamilton is amazing. 5 stars! I will be re-ordering with him soon!" (JD D)



DECIDING WHAT TO PLAY: In some productions, the pedal steel can be quite constant and busy, but tucked way behind the vocal. Other times it's strictly hooks and fills. In others still it's minimalistic, providing swelling pads to generate unique ambiences. Knowing the sound your aiming for based on your description and/or song references will help me listen to your recording with the right styles in mind. I've played on hundreds of songs, so I'm also happy to approach your production based on my intuition if you don't have any instructions. I'll listen to the song from start to finish to take in the lyrics, the energy, and the overall arc of the arrangement in order to determine where to focus on supportive parts and where the pedal steel can be more prominent. It's all about elevating the emotional tone as best as I can.


DELIVERY: I consider aforementioned parameters as I record the first draft. If I nail it, great! If not, we can work together on honing it in until it's perfect. Once I get the green light on the track, I'll send dry amp and DI signals, as well as any effects prints you'd like for your mix. I can tailor the delivery to meet your technical needs.

SIGNAL CHAIN: Here is my typical signal chain for recording pedal steel. 1982 EMMONS Push/Pull (this is my pedal steel. It's a classic and sounds insanely good) > Sarno Steel Guitar Black Box (a vacuumm tube pickup driver) Goodrich Passive Volume Pedal Radial DI Box (this is where I split the signal in order to provide a clean DI) > Peavey Session 400 or Roland JC 40 (two excellent steel guitar amps) > Royer 121 Ribbon Mic Neve 511 Portico Preamp Distressor Apollo x8p interface Pro Tools 12. My go to plugins I use for reverb and delay are SoundToys Little Plate and Echo Boy. I have an extensive collection of plugins for post signal processing. 

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