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Question for the Pro's (Led Zep subject matter):


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I can't understand why it isn't possible for 2007 technology not to be able to duplicate some of the sounds of, say, Led Zep's Houses of the Holy sounds or even some of Zep III.

 

You know that song "That's the Way"? Just getting that acoustic guitar to sound that warm is impossible for me on ProTools. I know digital = cold for alot of people but there has got to have been some smart software guy that figured out how to get that "Lo-Fi" sound (if that is what it is) in some sort of plug-in.

 

Is digital that flexible?:snax:

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I doubt it's a digital problem. That stuff was recorded in the best rooms, on the best gear, I'm specifically thinking of pres, eq's compressors, and maybe outboard time-based effects. Additionally, that gear was being run by top engineers, and I think Jimmy Page was playing the guitar. You start deviating from that recipe, and your track will sound very different.

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Yeah, that's true, but I do think that some of it is the equipment. If you had all that you describe but were recording it to Pro Tools, it'd probably sound a bit different, no?

 

As far as rbm's original post...."lo-fi"???? If you think that's lo-fi, dang...well, it took a lot of talent and expensive equipment and great sounding rooms to sound that "lo-fi"!!!!!! :D

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I can't understand why it isn't possible for 2007 technology not to be able to duplicate some of the sounds of, say, Led Zep's Houses of the Holy sounds or even some of Zep III.


You know that song "That's the Way"? Just getting that acoustic guitar to sound that warm is impossible for me on ProTools. I know digital = cold for alot of people but there has got to have been some smart software guy that figured out how to get that "Lo-Fi" sound (if that is what it is) in some sort of plug-in.


Is digital that flexible?
:snax:

 

 

Digital is just a medium. It is neither cold nor warm. At high enough bit and sample rates, it is simply "accurate".

 

Tape will lower fidelity over very high quality digital in the form of added noise and distortion. But it does so in a pleasing way. But honestly, its only a medium too.

 

The technique trumps everything. If you have a great sounding player playing through great sounding gear, it will sound great.

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Anytime you change the room/signal path you will obviously change the sound. Try different mics/placement, different rooms etc. Sometimes if you are creative and persistent you can at least get the general vibe if not a duplication.

 

That said without a Jimmy Page you are pretty much dead in the water from the start, source is 99% and where it starts. AFAIK nobody is capable of making a talent plug-in.

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Anytime you change the room/signal path you will obviously change the sound. Try different mics/placement, different rooms etc. Sometimes if you are creative and persistent you can at least get the general vibe if not a duplication.


That said without a Jimmy Page you are pretty much dead in the water from the start, source is 99% and where it starts. AFAIK nobody is capable of making a talent plug-in.

 

 

your quite right on talent. JP is/was the man

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John Bonham used a huge circus drum for a kick in the studio, to get that extra boom. Jimmy Page's guitars were custom made, one major difference was the strings were extremely close to the fretboard, to the point they were almost touching. I know this because a friend of mine(Andy Groeber, played with Thin Lizzy before they hit it big) messed with 5 of his guitars when I met Page and Plant in '1994, and all were the same way. Andy commented that they were extremely hard for another guitarist to play because of that. He joked it was no wonder Jimmy grimaced when he played. Jimmy also did a lot of detuning in the studio to get the strings looser. This no doubt also had a lot to do with the sound of the guitar.

 

Finally, Led Zep sped up the recording before it went to disc. Whether it was the 2 inch tape or done during mastering, I can't tell you, but if you listen to Led Zepplin 1, you'll notice that it was the only album that wasn't pitched higher.

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John Bonham used a huge circus drum for a kick in the studio, to get that extra boom. Jimmy Page's guitars were custom made....


...Finally, Led Zep sped up the recording before it went to disc. Whether it was the 2 inch tape or done during mastering, I can't tell you, but if you listen to Led Zepplin 1, you'll notice that it was the only album that
wasn't
pitched higher.

 

 

 

where do you get this bull{censored}?

 

a circus drum? custom guitars? never seen a les paul before eh?:rolleyes:

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I don't know whether Bonham's kick was a circus drum or not, but it was a very large kick. At least in the early years, it's very well-documented that he lined the inside of the kick with aluminum foil. I don't know if he did that in later years.

 

What Marshall is probably referring to with custom guitars is that Page modified a lot of his guitars, and was constantly experimenting with different pedals, techniques, tunings, wirings of the guitar, etc. Obviously, he played a Les Paul, a Telecaster, etc. etc.

 

Led Zeppelin regularly sped up their recordings, or at least, recorded vocals with the tape machine on different speeds. I don't know how often this was, but they did this regularly, and this too is well-documented. Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that "Immigrant Song" has sped-up vocals.

 

I hope this helps clear some of this up.

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sorry if i was too blunt about it but....

 

a) a large bass drum does not mean it comes form the circus.

 

b) a custom made guitar is just that. custom made not a modified les paul or another guitar being used with a variety of pedals or using odd tunings.

 

c) there is a BIG difference between vari speeding tape to get the right vocal pitch for a song (or even a certain note) and speeding up the whole damn song. for every song on every album except the first one.

 

just sounds like bs to me.

 

ah..the internet.

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Yeah bull{censored}. Believe it or not, Gibson made Jimmy's guitars to his specifications, they did that for various guitarists. Jimmy was kinda famous back then.

 

I was in the Olympic studio in London producing Tom Jone's vocal on a song i wrote called "Love Is On Our Side", when somebody mentioned that Page and Plant were recording in the next studio. I freaked because I'm a huge Zep fan. Tom then mentioned that he knew Jimmy really good because Jimmy played session guitar for him in the 60's. Andy also knew Jimmy because Andy was well known in the London scene back in the day because he played with all of his fingers like a classical guitarist instead of a pick.

 

They offered to take me next door and introduce me, but I froze, so they brought them to our studio. They were really nice and even lied and said they heard my music.

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Ok, sorry, all of Jimmy's guitars were
modified
by Gibson, thanks for the correction. And listen to Robert Plants voice in particular on the 1st Zep album and compare it to any other Zep album.

 

 

ok so your guitar myth is debunked.

 

listening to the first zep album and comparing to houses of the holy, why wouldn't it be different?

 

years later, different engineers. how does that mean they sped up every song on every album after the first?

 

billy joe from greenday sounds alot different on american idiot compared to dookie. does this mean they sped every song up since then? no way.

 

now how about that circus drum?

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haha. oh man thats rich.

 

so while you said you were too afraid to even walk into the room they were in you werent afraid to ask them about several recording techniques they used. and despite them not knowing you at all they immediately divulged these secrets? sorry but that sounds like a crock to me.

 

and you didnt simply say custom and mean modified. you said " Believe it or not, Gibson made Jimmy's guitars to his specifications, they did that for various guitarists. Jimmy was kinda famous back then." but then you corrected yourself.

 

maybe i can ask these specific questions to engineers who've worked on these albums. they arent that hard to find so i'll try.

 

if it seems like i have a chip on my shoulder its just because of the 2 threads i've read where you have posted, your posts come across as made up on the spot when asked about the specifics of them.

 

like your friend's 50k pt rig that isnt HD, was bought 2 or 3 years ago, and wont run on tiger.

 

just seems like you either go on hearsay or only know half the facts. and if there's one thing im sick of its mis-information on the net.

 

so how about that circus drum?

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ok so i already heard back from mr terry manning on the issue. he mixed LZ III among doing other things for them if i recall correctly.

 

first guitars, yes jimmy did work with gibson on them BUT the first one was totally stock. found for him by none other than joe walsh.

 

second the "circus drum", he heard rumors of it but never saw it. guess we'll need another to clarify. if possible even.

 

third, speeding up every song on every album after the first. copied directly since its phrased so well.."There was some varispeeding for reaching vocal notes, but as far as I know, the tracks were mostly kept at normal speed. You could tell by trying to play a perfectly tuned guitar along with the CD or a strobe-tuned vinyl. If it's in E or A etc., it isn't varisped."

 

soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo..........................

 

i think that smell is finally leaving the room.

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so while you said you were too afraid to even walk into the room they were in you werent afraid to ask them about several recording techniques they used. and despite them not knowing you at all they immediately divulged these secrets? sorry but that sounds like a crock to me.

 

 

Well, I did meet them, and I spent the whole week in that studio recording next to them. Also was backstage at one of their concerts. We talked, and yes, I asked questions. I guess they didn't feel threatened because I was a black dance music producer/DJ and didn't figure I'd be producing a rock band any time soon. Andy borrowed one of Jimmy's guitars, I just sent you a private message with Andy's email, he encourages you to contact him and I'm pretty sure he'll even give you his phone number.

 

The circus sized bass drum I saw in Blackpool England and I asked Jimmy about it and he said Bonham used several huge ones and it was probably the real deal. I was producing in Blackpool with a producer named Blakkat and he took me to a guys house that had it in his basement. He treated the thing like it was the Great Pyramid. I'll try to get in touch with Blakkat to get the guys number, maybe get a photo of it, but that will also probably mean nothing to you.

 

 

 

 

and you didnt simply say custom and mean modified. you said " Believe it or not, Gibson made Jimmy's guitars to his specifications, they did that for various guitarists.

 

 

Jimmy's guitars were different from the norm. Custom or modified is secondary to the fact that the original poster wanted to know why Jimmy's guitar sounded different than his.

 

 

You could tell by trying to play a perfectly tuned guitar along with the CD or a strobe-tuned vinyl. If it's in E or A etc., it isn't varisped."

 

 

It's varispeed if you detune the guitar when you play it , then varispeed the tape to bring it up to the correct tuning. Ask Terry Manning to give you the email of the recording engineer. He's a brilliant mix engineer, but if he didn't record the LP then maybe he's missing some info.

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I can't understand why it isn't possible for 2007 technology not to be able to duplicate some of the sounds of, say, Led Zep's Houses of the Holy sounds or even some of Zep III.


You know that song "That's the Way"? Just getting that acoustic guitar to sound that warm is impossible for me on ProTools. I know digital = cold for alot of people but there has got to have been some smart software guy that figured out how to get that "Lo-Fi" sound (if that is what it is) in some sort of plug-in.


Is digital that flexible?
:snax:

 

The thing is, there are many techniques guys used in the old days that are haven't been duplicated digitally. Things like Jimmy's guitar strings or Hendrix and Tom Scholz toying with their pickups, or Eddie Van Halen tearing apart his Kramer.

 

You find your niche and your sound through experimentation. It's not limited to speakers or instruments, your sound can come with something digitally. When I 1st started in the music business, i found that I could play things at 60-70 bpms and speed it up to 120 and with a little note stretching, I could sound like a much better keyboard player than I was. I was able to play just about anything I wanted. I used an old bass line machine-the Roland TB303, in a way that it was never intended to be used, and the sound

caught fire in the dance music world. All my keyboards I changed the sounds in until they sounded like I wanted them to sound, it wasn't screw people that bought the same keyboard trying to sound like me, it was because I wanted certain sounds for certain songs, and I wouldn't stop changing the sound until i got it.

 

Some of your experimentation won't work well, but just keep trying until you come up with something that's you.

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I can't understand why it isn't possible for 2007 technology not to be able to duplicate some of the sounds of, say, Led Zep's Houses of the Holy sounds or even some of Zep III.


You know that song "That's the Way"? Just getting that acoustic guitar to sound that warm is impossible for me on ProTools. I know digital = cold for alot of people but there has got to have been some smart software guy that figured out how to get that "Lo-Fi" sound (if that is what it is) in some sort of plug-in.


Is digital that flexible?
:snax:

 

If someone were to replicate that sound somewhat (without Page, that might be difficult!! :D ), it'd have to be done before it hit Pro Tools, that's for sure. I don't hear the sound as being "lo-fi", especially if it's so warm that you can't get achieve it otherwise. Couldn't be *that* "lo-fi".

 

But in either case, it's just a combination of a great player playing a great guitar in a great sounding room with a great microphone going into a great mic preamp going into a great compressor with some great EQ on to a great tape machine and then coming out a great mixing board onto a great tape machine for mixing. Not a problem, right? :D

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Yeah, that's true, but I do think that some of it is the equipment. If you had all that you describe but were recording it to Pro Tools, it'd probably sound a bit different, no?

 

 

Not to un-derail the thread, but I'd guess not much difference, assuming the old engineers were up-to-speed on digital recording. Tape does have its own sound, but most of the artifacts could be mimiced somewhat with judicious use of a compressor and maybe a breath of distortion, say a little hotter gain on the pres. Still, player>instrument>room>arrangement>engineer>mic>pre>other outboard gear>medium. IMO YMMV.

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Not to un-derail the thread, but I'd guess not much difference, assuming the old engineers were up-to-speed on digital recording. Tape does have its own sound, but most of the artifacts could be mimiced somewhat with judicious use of a compressor and maybe a breath of distortion, say a little hotter gain on the pres. Still, player>instrument>room>arrangement>engineer>mic>pre>other outboard gear>medium. IMO YMMV.

 

Y'know, that's what I would think.

 

But in yet....is anyone doing it? I know I started a thread a while back on how much I enjoyed the sound of Nick Drake's guitar sound. And other people regularly post about how much they enjoy older recordings of acoustic guitars.

 

And I have good equipment. I can get a guitar sounding awesome.

 

But I can't get it sounding like those old recordings.

 

So....I dunno!!!!! :D While I do know what I'm doing, I also don't know it all, and don't wanna come off that way. What I'm getting at, though, is that I don't seem to hear those "vintage" acoustic guitar sounds popping up at all in more modern recording.

 

And really...I WANT you to be right!!! I want you and me and everyone else to be able to get those sounds with DAWs if we so choose!!

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Hard to get the warmth of one of those old Neve desks digitally though. I suppose it's possible, but it would be as hard as trying to swim up a waterfall.

 

Yeah, definitely. I have a Neve Portico mic preamp, and that really helps, but there's nothing like having a Neve desk buttering your sound coming and going (the whole signal path, not just the preamps).

 

With the Neve Portico and the FMR RNLA, I can get a fair amount of "butter" and "color" (oh, don't you just *love* these subjective terms!! :D ), and I can get an awesome acoustic guitar sound, but I can't get it to sound like Nick Drake's guitar or Jimmy Page's.

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