Jordan Gale of Highwind Amplification has a problem. It’s is a problem common to the entrepreneur and the artist alike: getting what’s going on inside your head out into the world.
It started, as these things often do, as a hobby. A Christmas gift from his father and uncle, Jordan’s first guitar was a Dean Michael Schenker V with a small Marshall solid state amp. It wasn’t long before he as
fiddling with whatever could be adjusted, trying to duplicate the sounds he heard from his favorite artists.
“I didn’t have a lot of money back then, so my first pedal was a stock Tubescreamer clone that I built myself. Once I built it, I started playing with part values and soon came to find a sound that I loved, which only fueled my tone obsession.”
Over the next couple of years, he continued to build pedals here and there and occasionally custom work for a friend, but in recent years is
Working full time and going to school (where he’s earned an Associate in Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology and is currently on his way to a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering) will do that sometimes.
In the spring of 2017, a close friend called asking if he still made pedals. As it happened, he had the spare parts laying about and put it together. The old inspiration had found him. “Once I plugged it in for the first time and heard it roar to life, I became hooked again.” In the following weeks, there were more calls from others asking for drives and distortions. That was that. It was time to take the hobby seriously.
“I hear these fantastic tones from bands like Gojira, Meshuggah, Killswitch, Protest the Hero, etc. It pushes me further and further down a road to some idealized sound. That chase is what puts the wind in my sails, so to speak. Highwind Amplification is a way for me to share my love for dirt pedals and high gain music, and hopefully help some people create some gnarly tones of their own.”
But in a market as saturated as pedals, it takes more than desire to stand out and compete. How does Jordan do it? By putting his passion into his work.
“The work I’m most proud of, and that I’d say were my biggest challenges, have been some of the wild dual pedals I’ve put together. Trying to plan for and stuff two circuits worth of mods and goodies into a single box while keeping the controls uniform and managing power and space requirements isn’t very easy. One custom double I made had over ten controls. I’ll tell you, when I completed that build and I was elated. My pedals are truly unique and definitely become conversation starters for their owners.
“I really dig an aggressive, punchy metal tone. My ideal dirt tone is mid-forward, with plenty of saturation and thickness. The low end should be tamed, but not carved out, and highs should be sweet. I love boosting “non-ideal” amps with my dirt pedals to achieve a modern metal tone, perfect for chugs, riffs, and heavy palm-muted goodness. Nothing better than the interaction a drive has with a tube amp. The resulting tonality is perfect!”
There you have it. Technical skill combined with a desire to help you find a sound that makes you unique. What more could you want?