Fortin Amps

Steven Ward’s journey in guitar content creation

In the vast landscape of online content creation, few realms are as dynamic and captivating as the world of guitar content. From tutorials to performances, reviews, to behind-the-scenes glimpses, guitar enthusiasts flock to platforms like YouTube for their daily dose of musical inspiration. In this engaging podcast episode, Mel Torres sits down with Steven Ward, a prolific guitar content creator, to uncover the secrets of his success and glean invaluable insights into the art of digital storytelling in the realm of music.

Mel and Steven met in URM Summit in 2018, setting the stage for a friendship grounded in a shared passion for music and digital media. Steven reflects on this serendipitous meeting, acknowledging the pivotal role it played in shaping his journey. "It's funny how life can lead you to unexpected places," he muses, encapsulating the essence of their chance encounter.

At the heart of Steven's content philosophy lies authenticity – a guiding principle that infuses every aspect of his creative process. "Authenticity is key," he asserts, emphasizing the importance of genuine connections and real stories. In a digital landscape often saturated with polished facades, Steven's commitment to authenticity sets him apart, fostering a deep sense of connection with his audience.

Delving into the intricacies of content creation, Steven offers a glimpse into his creative process, rooted in a keen observation of everyday moments. "I find inspiration in everyday moments," he shares. "It's about capturing those sparks and turning them into something meaningful." This disciplined approach ensures a steady stream of engaging content that resonates with his audience.

Yet, Steven's journey has not been without its challenges. Embracing imperfection, he views setbacks as opportunities for growth and innovation. "Mistakes are just opportunities in disguise," he reflects. "They push us to evolve and innovate." This resilience in the face of adversity underscores Steven's unwavering commitment to his craft.

Central to Steven's success is his unwavering dedication to staying true to his vision. In a world of fleeting trends and external pressures, he advocates for artistic integrity and staying true to oneself. "Your authenticity is your greatest asset," he affirms, urging creators to remain steadfast in their artistic vision.

Beyond individual creativity, Steven acknowledges the power of community in fostering growth and collaboration. "Community is everything," he declares. "Together, we inspire, encourage, and uplift each other." Through collaborative projects and an inclusive online environment, Steven cultivates a vibrant community of like-minded individuals united by their passion for music.

Steven's journey reminds us of the enduring power of authenticity, resilience, and community in our creative endeavors.

Unleashing the Fortin NATAS: A Dive into the Seymour Duncan Power Stage

Today's journey takes us through the sonic realms of the Fortin NATAS paired with the Seymour Duncan Power Stage. Strap in as we explore the synergy between these powerhouses of sound.

For the signal chain, I routed the signal from my LTD EC1000 through the Zuul Plus, into the Fortin NATAS, and finally into the Seymour Duncan Power Stage. For the cabinet, I opted for my trusty Orange 212, mic'd up with an SM57, captured by my Apollo interface.

The initial setup was straightforward – everything at the 12 o'clock mark. 

When tweaking the NATAS, I always start with the tone shift position. This choice significantly shapes the gain structure and EQ output from the power amp. In this instance I prefer the own position. As it offers a slightly scooped sound, pairing well with amp saturation.

Onto the preamp adjustments. First, taming the potential harshness with the treble knob on the NATAS at 1 o'clock. Then, for that added bite, the mids joined in at the same 1 o'clock position. Feeling a hint of thinness in the bass, I cranked it up to 3 o'clock, rounding out the lower end.

Experimenting with the volume knobs, both on the power amp and the NATAS, yielded interesting results. Pushing the NATAS a bit more into the power amp added a certain richness, prompting me to settle at the 2 o'clock mark for volume.

Now, the grind and girth knobs—my gateway to presence and power respectively. Setting the grind knob to almost max (4 o'clock) and a touch of girth (1 o'clock) brought forth the desired forcefulness, compensating for the absence of a tube amp's inherent characteristics.

Adjusting the power stage parameters, I found a sweet spot at 2 o'clock for that additional edge. And revisiting the mids at 1 o'clock balanced the top-end frequencies. The bass got a gentle nudge to 1 o'clock as well, completing the tonal puzzle.

But it didn't stop there. In the midst of re-amping, a spur-of-the-moment decision led me to engage the KILL switch for added gain and heightened articulation—ideal for intricate hammer-ons and pull-offs.

The final result? An exhilarating tone that cuts through the mix effortlessly. The Fortin NATAS, driven by the Seymour Duncan Power Stage, delivers a sonic palette that's both aggressive and nuanced.

In the isolated rendition, its sheer versatility shines through, offering a glimpse into the depth and range this setup can achieve.

Concluding this sonic escapade, I invite your feedback. Moreover, share your recommendations for pedals or amps you'd like to witness in tandem with the Fortin NATAS gear.

This exploration, sparked by a viewer's request, showcased a lightweight rig's potential—a setup that fits snugly in a backpack, perfect for on-the-go performances. While it might lack a physical cab, the convenience it offers is unmatched. And hey, who doesn't love a portable rig with a punchy sound?

- Mel Torres


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