I am not a super experienced guitarist and therefore need a more experienced view on the following questions regarding the intro of a Massive Attack song (link below)

1. What effect is used on the electric guitar that kicks in at around 12 seconds? My guess would be some kind of gater, but I am unsure.

2. There seems to be only one tab for this song on the internet (for the bass) which lists the bass notes as E, A, A, G, A , but in my ears they sound more like they are a half step up in the song? Hopefully someone with a keen ear can verify this.

3. And the first guitar chord that is struck, I would assume that it is either an A5 or A#5 (depending on whether the bass notes indeed are moved up half a step in the song or not) .. Am I correct?

Thank you
- John

Ps. This is my first post, I hope the forum I chose was correct.
Production will sometimes speed up (or slow down) an entire song over the originally recorded tempo for one reason or another, which can change pitch.
The band didn't necessarily record it in that key.

I think you can accomplish that effect several ways -- one (easiest) is simply using the keyboardist in the band. That's a simple thing on a keyboard. The second option would be to have a kill switch on the guitar. Third is to use a multifx that will allow you to rock the "cut frequency" on an expression pedal (or, if you have a Variax guitar with a Helix, you can transfer that function to one of the knobs on the guitar.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 29, 2016,
A tremolo pedal, with stereo panning, depth on full, and the rate being changed (with an expression pedal perhaps) would be my bet for that sound.

I think you'd end up spending in the region of $300 though, so there may be a multi fx that will do it. A mono tremolo pedal that you can adjust the rate knob on with your foot might work for live playing.
All right. Thanks, both of you. I will look into these things you mention.
Can anyone of you hear which chord it is? In that specific video?