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The 10 Most Technically Amazing Beatles Songs

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  • #16
    Originally posted by AJ6stringsting View Post
    What made the Beatles so special, it was their philosophy, that the sky was not the limit !!!!
    I was helping mix an outdoor variety show this afternoon where one of the headliners had to hire a fill in guitar player. The fill in guy turned out to be really good and the thing I noticed was that all of his energy was directed to the songs. It wasn't about him or the guitar, it was about the songs.

    I think what made the Beatles so special, if you could ever bring it down to one thing, was the songs and the way everybody dedicated themselves and their efforts to the songs.

    George Harrison put his lead guitarist ego (if he ever had one) aside and brought in Eric Clapton because that's what "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" called for.

    The idea of no limits fits nicely with the idea of providing the song with whatever it needs however unusual that may be.
    Last edited by onelife; 08-03-2014, 08:37 PM.


    you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

    contentment is true wealth

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    • #17
      I was reading about Fuzz boxes the other day and read the Beatles were given a Maestro Fuzztone, Vox Toner bender and WEM Pep Rush fuzz pedals. I bought a Fuzzrite kit last week I built and have been using lately. These is something truly unique about the tones you can get from those old circuit designs and I'm surprised more people don't use them because they are really simple circuits.

      I'd be curious to know what other drive pedals they may have used. Many of their recordings were obviously don with driven amps of various types, but some of the tones and drives may have used fuzz and other pedals to get those unique tones. The jamming leads at the end of the Abbey road album had several unique drives going. The white album was loaded with many different types of drive. Even the Rubber Soul album had some cool tones. The background guitar in the song The Word has that vintage 60's psychedelic Fenderish tone going that thousands of bands copied.

      I may have to build myself one of those Tone benders next and see how many other tones I can nail in their songs. The Fuzzrite has given me several which are very usable. I was using it with my Rickenbacker the other day and I can definitely dial up some tones they got. I need to record some tracks however and see how it sounds in a mix. Its hard to judge the sounds when you're performing. When you have a recording you can A/B the sound against others more easily as a listener and see how close those tones actually are.
      Last edited by WRGKMC; 08-04-2014, 02:49 PM.

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      • #18
        McCartney's electric guitar seems to have a comb filter of sorts. It makes it easy to pick out the bits where it is him playing the lead.

        Back in the '70s I was playing a Les Paul through a Master Volume Twin and the guitar was able to drive the amp nicely. When I picked up an old strat I found that the guitar did not have enough balls to drive the amp like the Les Paul did so I started to experiment.

        I bypassed the reverb springs and connected the reverb send directly to the reverb return to get a foot switchable overdrive but the gain was so high (I never thought to build a pad) that it was unusable.

        I ended up taking the circuit out of a cry baby pedal and putting it in the reverb loop in place of the springs. This allowed me to fine tune the gain with the wah circuit. It was great for playing Santana's "Europa".

        When we played "Fixing a Hole" I was able to nail McCartney's guitar tone with the strat.

        I find a lot of the solid state overdrive from that era sounds dated but the tube stuff's more "organic" sound seems to better stand the test of time. "Happiness is a Warm Gun" certainly sounds like germanium fuzz.


        you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

        contentment is true wealth

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
          I was reading about Fuzz boxes the other day and read the Beatles were given a Maestro Fuzztone, Vox Toner bender and WEM Pep Rush fuzz pedals. I bought a Fuzzrite kit last week I built and have been using lately. These is something truly unique about the tones you can get from those old circuit designs and I'm surprised more people don't use them because they are really simple circuits.

          I'd be curious to know what other drive pedals they may have used. Many of their recordings were obviously don with driven amps of various types, but some of the tones and drives may have used fuzz and other pedals to get those unique tones. The jamming leads at the end of the Abbey road album had several unique drives going. The white album was loaded with many different types of drive. Even the Rubber Soul album had some cool tones. The background guitar in the song The Word has that vintage 60's psychedelic Fenderish tone going that thousands of bands copied.

          I may have to build myself one of those Tone benders next and see how many other tones I can nail in their songs. The Fuzzrite has given me several which are very usable. I was using it with my Rickenbacker the other day and I can definitely dial up some tones they got. I need to record some tracks however and see how it sounds in a mix. Its hard to judge the sounds when you're performing. When you have a recording you can A/B the sound against others more easily as a listener and see how close those tones actually are.

          the Beatles used at least 10 different fuzz sounds during their time (this is based on ersearch of Henry the Horse, member of TGP)
          1. Starting with a Maestro FZ-1 in 1963,
          2. a Tone Bender Mk.1 for Rubber Soul.
          3. Lennon used a WEM Rush PEP fuzz pedal for "Paperback Writer" rehearsals, in April 1966.
          4. McCartney is spotted using a Sola Sound Tone Bender Mk.1.5 (some say it's a Mk. 2) with his Casino into a Bassman amp in a picture shown in the first page of Mark Lewisohn's "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions". That picture was taken at Abbey Road studio 3, where most of Revolver sessions took place. It is from early 1966, so it could be the early edition of Sola Sound Tone Bender Mk.2, I believe it's the Mk15
          5. George probably used the built-in fuzz of his Vox 7120 amp.
          6. they used Vox 730 amps with built-in fuzz and
          7. a Selmer Zodiak amp with built-in fuzz.
          8. In February 1968, for "Hey Bulldog"/"Lady Madonna" sessions a Vox Conqueror amp with built-in fuzz was used.
          9. By mid 1968 the overloading REDD desk fuzz technique was used for Revolution.
          10. In 1969 George used a silicon Arbiter Fuzz Face.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
            I was reading about Fuzz boxes the other day and read the Beatles were given a Maestro Fuzztone, Vox Toner bender and WEM Pep Rush fuzz pedals. I bought a Fuzzrite kit last week I built and have been using lately. These is something truly unique about the tones you can get from those old circuit designs and I'm surprised more people don't use them because they are really simple circuits.

            I'd be curious to know what other drive pedals they may have used. Many of their recordings were obviously don with driven amps of various types, but some of the tones and drives may have used fuzz and other pedals to get those unique tones. The jamming leads at the end of the Abbey road album had several unique drives going. The white album was loaded with many different types of drive. Even the Rubber Soul album had some cool tones. The background guitar in the song The Word has that vintage 60's psychedelic Fenderish tone going that thousands of bands copied.

            I may have to build myself one of those Tone benders next and see how many other tones I can nail in their songs. The Fuzzrite has given me several which are very usable. I was using it with my Rickenbacker the other day and I can definitely dial up some tones they got. I need to record some tracks however and see how it sounds in a mix. Its hard to judge the sounds when you're performing. When you have a recording you can A/B the sound against others more easily as a listener and see how close those tones actually are.
            The Maestro FZ-1, WEM Pep Rush, a couple of Tonebenders (probably a Mk1 and a Mk1.5) and a Fuzz Face on some of the later stuff are the main fuzz pedals that they apparently used. A lot of their "dirt" came from overdriven studio preamps (Revolution) and rack processors, and certainly a lot came from various amplifiers. Rubber Soul would have been the last of the "all tube" album insofar as guitar amps. Revolver used tube (Fender Dual Showman / Bassman, and possibly Vox AC-series amps too) and hybrid tube / solid state (Vox 4120 and 7120) amps which had built-in fuzz / distortion circuits.

            Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour saw the first significant use of Vox solid state (Conqueror and Defiant) amps, which had built-in distortion and MRB (midrange boost) circuits. Paul also used a Selmer Zodiak on some cuts. Abbey Road and Let It Be used even more Fender (silverface Twins and a Deluxe) amps. And just because they got new amps didn't mean they always completely stopped using the older ones, although sometimes they did. You really have to dig a bit to get an idea of what they used, and even then, it takes further research to see what they used on specific songs, and the recording session setups are far more accurately documented for some songs than they are for others.


            PS As far as The Word, I don't think there's any backwards guitar on it... there is a absolutely wicked bass part though. Maybe you're thinking of another song?
            Last edited by Phil O'Keefe; 08-06-2014, 04:11 PM.
            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by bieke View Post

              the Beatles used at least 10 different fuzz sounds during their time (this is based on ersearch of Henry the Horse, member of TGP)

              5. George probably used the built-in fuzz of his Vox 7120 amp.
              6. they used Vox 730 amps with built-in fuzz and

              From what I've read, I'd say he's pretty accurate, although I would drop his total by one - my understanding is that the fuzz in the 730 and 7120 are the same circuit - both used the same preamp boards, and the primary difference between the two amplifiers is in the power amp sections, with the 730 featuring EL84 power tubes and 30W of power, and the 7120 utilizing KT88 power tubes that delivered 120W.
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                PS As far as The Word, I don't think there's any backwards guitar on it... there is a absolutely wicked bass part though. Maybe you're thinking of another song?
                You misread, It wasn't Backwards, its was Background.

                Its a 7th chord, possibly played with an upstroke and played on the back beat that along with the snare beat. along with McCartney's mole bass tones and sustained organ notes its gives that song that 60's Mod tone dance beat.

                It sounds like a Rickenbacker treble pickup with the high pass cap giving the guitar its treble edge. It may just be amp drive, room reverb and recording gear that captures it. Its a cool mix however with highly compressed dry bass tones following the drum breaks. I think there's a second semi hollow part following the bass during the chorus.

                I haven't listened to it in a long time. Its isn't a super special song but it does have that cool hook with a definite signature Beatles mix with the vocals way up front.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Indeed - I DID misread it! My apologies!
                  **********

                  "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                  - George Carlin

                  "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                  - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                  "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                  - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I still think "I want you, she's so heavy" is melodic
                    I'm a sucker for a melody
                    fer crine o' loude...
                    did ya'll mean technical ala
                    what the Beatles used for gear?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      "I Want You" was the first grunge tune. Sue me.

                      Cannot imagine creating a pecking order ... so many fantastic and complex ideas on so many tracks. With sincere respect I disagree with the poster above who finds the raw tracks amazing - one of my surprises in my later-in-life Beatles obsession is how much I appear to revere the studio treatments and arrangements vs. the dry performances. Of course I worship the songs - but if they had all been recorded dry, I would have felt they were, well, a more prolific Badfinger. (noting: I LOVE Badfinger)

                      Perhaps I'm saying the same thing a different way, but IMHO I find the performances great, but not transcendant. The recording treatments and ideas are transcendant.

                      Because of that, I don't start to LOVE their music until "Rubber Soul."

                      And as a longtime fan of psychedelia, I'm still waiting for the band to create something as musical-yet-otherworldly as "Tomorrow Never Knows's" loops. What a band.

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                      • #26
                        http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...?cmpid=premmod
                        an expert on what it feels like to be me
                        & you are who you google
                        http://soundcloud.com/mrnatural-1

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