Welcome to another exciting edition of Geared! We had the opportunity to sit down with metal masters, Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch, to discuss some of the gear used on Alluvial’s debut album, The Deep Longing For Annihilation. We’ll go over some of the guitars used, recording setup, amp sounds, and more!

Let’s get started!


The massive sounding rhythm guitars used on the album were none other than the KM-7 and KM-7 FRS models, Keith’s signature Schecter guitars. The KM-7 MK-II is one of our absolute favorite production model guitars of the last few years and as such, made it to our Top 5 Guitars of 2016 list, so I’d strongly recommend checking that guitar out if you haven’t already!



These guitars are fitted with Seymour Duncan’s super-aggressive Nazgul/Sentient Humbuckers. We did an in-depth review on the Nazgul a while back if you want to learn more!


Keith Merrow Guitars

Most of the leads and clean tones were courtesy of the Ibanez guitars in Wes Hauch’s collection. Some of these include the gorgeous RG652AHM, the Tosin Abasi Signature AHM, and a few of the RG8 models.

Wes Hauch Ibanez

A few various guitars were also used here and there, including an Ormsby 8-String Multiscale, Schecter Banshee 8, Washburn USA Dimebag, and a Yamaha AC3R acoustic guitar.


Yamaha AC3R

Wes Hauch Ormsby

Wes Hauch Washburn

For bass guitars, Keith and Wes used a beautiful Schecter Stiletto Studio 5-string, a Blackjack ATX 5-string, a Schecter Exotic 4-string (prototype) and a Fender Squier J-Bass.


Keith Merrow Bass

Guitar Set-up:

A number of guitar tunings were used on the album including:

  • 7-String Standard – B E A D G B E
  • 7-String Dropped A –  A E A D G B E
  • Open Tuning on Deep Longing (title track) – B F# B D F# B D
  • 8-String Standard Tuning – F# B E A D G B E

Strings used were Ernie Ball Cobalt .9-46 with .62 low on the 7 string guitars. Add a .72 or .74 for the 8 string.

Amp Tones:

We asked about Keith and Wes’ process for dialing in the tones used on the album as well!

All of the amp sounds on the album were recorded through a Kemper Profiling Amp. If you weren’t sold on Digital Guitar Units before, the amazing sounds achieved on this album will surely convince you…

Before pre-pro, Keith and Wes spent a full weekend engineering amp rigs and profiles for the album.

“We felt it was important to find inspiring guitar tones to write with that captured the vibe we were going for.”- Keith

The main rhythm tone used on the album was a profile of a Revv Generator 120 on channel 3, into a custom-modded Randall ISO Cab (more on that later), fitted with Creamback Celestions. The mic was a Shure SM57 slightly off axis. Surprisingly enough, no overdrive pedal was used in front of the amp.

Keith Merrow Revv

Fun fact: There are zero synth instruments on the album. Everything, even down to the obscure arpeggiated cello sounds on “Occlusion” are made from a guitar.

Some of the high-pitched, sustained squeals and controlled feedback on the album were created using the Sustainiac pickup in the KM7 FRS guitars.

The only physical pedals used on the album were a Digitech Whammy and Dunlop Jerry Cantrell Wah for various effects.

Amp Profiles Used:

  • Revv Generator 120 (MKI) Channel 3 for Rhythm Guitars
  • Friedman JJ for Clean Guitar
  • Mesa JP2C for Leads
  • Modded 5150 for Layers and Some Leads
  • PRS Archon for Clean/Mid-Gain Fuzz Tones
  • Laney Ironheart for Drone/Synth Sounds


Keith Merrow Kemper


Keith has a Modified Randall ISO which they used for most of the tones on the album. The cabinet was gutted and all the insulation was replaced with a denser, higher quality insulation. He also added Aurelex baffling to prevent any “boxy” sound reflection that is sometimes associated with these cabinets.The mic mount was upgraded to a gooseneck-type for better stability and adjustability and the stock speaker was replaced with a Celestion Creamback.

Keith and Wes also used some Two Notes Torpedo Studio Impulse Responses for clean guitars and some leads.

Signal Chain and Recording Gear:

Guitar > Countryman DI > Kemper > Universal Audio Apollo Quad Interface > Studio One Pro V3

Keith Merrow Signal Chain

Universal Audio Plugins for Mixing and Mastering:

  • Neve 88rs Channel Strips
  • Pultec Passive EQ Collection
  • Manley Massive Passive (Mastering EQ)
  • Lexicon 224 Reverb
  • EMT 250 Reverb
  • Precision Multiband Compressor
  • Studer A800 Tape Saturation
  • Fairchild Compressor
  • Precision Limiter

Other Plugins Used:

  • JST Sub-Destroyer (for bass)
  • Ampeg SVX (on bass DI)
  • Native Studio One EQ (for subtractive EQ)
  • Toontrack Superior Drummer

Studio Monitors Used:

  • Event Opal (main monitors)
  • Dynaudio BM5a MKII (secondary monitors)
  • Tannoy Reveal (Wes’ monitors)

Various Gear:

    • Planet Waves American Stage Cables
    • Dunlop Custom and Jumbo Jazz Picks, .88 Gauge
    • Peterson Strobe Tuner
    • TC Electronics Polytune
    • Keith’s Custom-Built PC for Studio One Pro V3
    • Wes’ iMac for Logic Pro X

Keith Merrow Studio

Keith Merrow DAW

Alluvial Album

If you haven’t already, make sure you give Alluvial’s breathtaking debut album, The Deep Longing For Annihilation, a good listen!

You can also keep up with Keith and Wes by following Alluvial on Facebook!

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some more! We upload new articles, guides, reviews, and interviews daily, such as our Fredrik Thordendal piece!

Also, we are a dealer for many beloved brands such as PRS, Ibanez, Mayones, Schecter, ESP, and more! Feel free to stop by our shop and we can help you find the right guitar for you at the best price possible.

This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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