This superb cover version of Eric Johnson's 'Zenland' was produced by guitarist David Hardy. All guitars were recorded with S-GEAR. Find out more about the production and download the S-GEAR presets...



Fender Stratocaster with DiMarzio HS-2 pickup in the bridge position (wired for single coil) and Fender Texas Specials in the neck and middle positions; one of the tone knobs is wired to the bridge pickup.

Stratocaster settings for Overdrive presets:
Volume 9.5, Tone 3 throughout, except the intro: Volume 9.5, Tone 0

Stratocaster settings for Clean presets:
Volume 9.5, Tone 10


Guitar > Steinberg MR816csx interface > Cubase 8 > S-GEAR
(No outboard gear or pedals were used)


Download and unzip the file. Open the S-GEAR presets browser, then drag and drop the preset .sfx files to empty preset slots.



After importing "Zenland" from the "Alien Love Child" album to use as a reference into Cubase, then programming the drum and bass parts, I worked with the various tones throughout the track by loading an instance of the S-Gear plugin and then would A/B my settings to what I was hearing from both the monitors and headphones.

One interesting thing I discovered was by splitting the output of my strat and sending one output direct to my DAW and the other to my Fender Pro Junior turned full up, that by having the Strat's pickup interact with the amp it added those same characteristics to the direct signal being recorded to my DAW.

When I then processed that recorded direct signal with S-Gear, it added that magic mojo that you can hear between 1min 12 sec to 1min 20sec. There's a distinct GROWL and FEEDBACK that I'm not sure I could have achieved otherwise. I only used this technique for that short 8 second segment, so everything else is pure S-gear.....Strat plugged into the interface with with a little bit of the Eventide H910 plugin. To be clear, the Fender Pro Junior was not mic'd or recorded.

- David Hardy


0 to 30sec Zenland Clean Intro_Verse_Bridge (also used Eventide H910 plugin "Lead Spreader" patch)
30 sec to 1min 20sec Zenland Overdrive Intro (also used Eventide H910 plugin "Lead Spreader" patch)
1 min 20sec to 1min 32sec Zenland Strat Overdrive (also used Eventide H910 plugin "Dual Slapback" patch)
1min 32sec to 1min 57sec Zenland Strat Overdrive blended with Zenland Verse 1 Double
1min 57sec to 2min 3sec Zenland Clean Choruses
2min 3sec to 2min 29sec Zenland Strat Overdrive
2min 29sec to 2min 35sec Zenland Clean Intro_Verse_Bridge
2min 35sec to 2min 42sec Zenland Strat Overdrive
2min 42sec to 2min 47sec Zenland Clean Choruses
2min 47sec to 3min 1 sec Zenland Strat Overdrive
3min 1 sec to 3min 12sec Zenland Clean Intro_Verse_Bridge
3min 12sec to 3min 39sec Zenland Solo_Fills blended with Zenland Solo_Fills Double
3min 39sec to 3min 44sec Zenland Clean Choruses
3min 44sec to 3min 55sec Zenland Strat Overdrive
3min 55sec to 3min 58sec Zenland Clean Intro_Verse_Bridge
3min 58sec to 4min 13sec Zenland Strat Overdrive
4min 13sec to 4min 17sec Zenland Solo_Fills (also used Eventide H910 plugin "Flanger" patch)
4min 17sec to 4min 35sec Zenland Strat Overdrive

Eric Johnson:

'Zenland' is posted here with kind permission of EJ and management team.