So I've been listening and playing a lot of Rush's music in the Grace Under Pressure and Signals days. I can't seem to get Alex's sound. What effects does he use in Red Sector A, Afterimage, Distant Early Warning, and The Weapon? Any help will do, thanks!
Awww, yes. I would love to find the answer also. I love the sound he has on that whole album.
He was playing Fender's during that time. I'm not exactly sure of the amps but his effects were mostly phase shifters and chorus, becasue at that time in the band's career he was just playing textures. I do think that the tone he had on Signals and P/G was due mostly to the fact that he was playing strats only now, and it was a big chang in his sound because before he only Played Gibsons+Marshalls.
He was playing Starts with Bill Lawrence pickups (XL-500). The big key to his sound was the solid state Gallien-Kruger amps. For effects, good luck. He had a huge amount of gear. A good reverb and delay are crucial, but there's so much going on in his sound (and a lack of interviews) that make it almost impossible to pinpoint what he was using. Sorry I can't help much. Check out his Wiki for more.
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I've got a cover of Red Sector A

Amps: Two Marshall Combos (stereo L,R) mic'd with SM57s
Gain about six, lots of highs and mids

FX: Stereo chorus set very deep and the speed very low, delay full
Digital ping-pong stereo delay set at about 330ms - two or three repeats

Solo: Harmonizer set on perfect 5th above (I don't own one)

If you want setting to those other songs let me know.