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The hottest tones....


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I know I keep saying this over and over (I've been saying this since I was posting on rec.audio.pro 11 or 12 years ago), but the best sounding music to come out of my studio is the stuff I worked the least on; the *worst* sounding stuff I've ever done is the stuff I worked the hardest on.

 

With great sounding musicians, I set up, try not to eff up the sound, and get out of the way.

 

With crappy sounding musicians/instruments/arrangements etc., I'm trying to polish a turd, trying to get it to be more this, less that, trying to get it to gel, trying to compensate for {censored}ty performances and tone, trying to EQ resonances out, trying to edit song-ending mistakes out, trying to make an arrangement work, trying to comp multiple takes, trying to make people happy, trying to make myself happy.

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If you heard those Zep reheasal tapes you know. It's already happening before the greats set foot in the studio. Great engineering and producing further things to the hilt however.

 

So Miles' muted trumpet on Kind of Blue, Coletrane's tenor... someone had to make sure they were getting it right. Page's out solo on Stairway. That is captured an mixed with such brilliance.

 

 

 

Oh! I got one... the horns on JB's Papa's Got a Brand New Bag. The way the tenors growl on the V chord after the signature riff. Perfectly captured. Balanced but not too smooth. Tight... but not slick. Tight ambience. Almost abrasive, just enough to keep you awake.

 

Papa's got a brand new bag

Bah-bah, bah-bah, da-dat.... BAAGHHHH!!!!

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Okay, on horns, one of my favorites is The Beatles Good Morning, Good Morning. Produced by George Martin, engineered (most likely) by Geoff Emerick. I have no idea how they did it, but it sounds like very close mic placement, and it is compressed and distorted and way in your face. I love that sound!

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Okay, on horns, one of my favorites is The Beatles
Good Morning, Good Morning
. Produced by George Martin, engineered (most likely) by Geoff Emerick. I have no idea how they did it, but it sounds like very close mic placement, and it is compressed and distorted and way in your face. I love that sound!

 

 

 

I assume you read the Emerick book? The don't go into that tune but I was struck by how close he liked to mic horns and strings. It's what made it so different then I guess. Everybody was used to hearing horns and strings but... whoa, what's this? Yeah, the close stuff they did is so cool.

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"Poast Toastie" by Tommy Bolin, from the album, "Private Eyes". Produced by Tommy Bolin and Dennis MacKay. Huge fuzz bass in the beginning. How'd they do THAT? Great smoldering to burning guitar solo. Big Booming drums. Background vocals just right and the wonderful "HOOOOO!" in the break. T'was "The Sniffettes" I *believe*.

 

Best appreciated trucking down the highway in a tricked out van. :thu:

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"Poast Toastie" by Tommy Bolin, from the album, "Private Eyes". Produced by Tommy Bolin and Dennis MacKay. Huge fuzz bass in the beginning. How'd they do THAT? Great smoldering to burning guitar solo. Big Booming drums. Background vocals just right and the wonderful "HOOOOO!" in the break. T'was "The Sniffettes" I *believe*.


Best appreciated trucking down the highway in a tricked out van.
:thu:

 

 

I loved that tune. TONS of compression. Between Bolin's 2 solo albums there's maybe 6 really good songs... but those 6 are deadly. Post Tostie rocked SO heavily.

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I
loved
that tune. TONS of compression. Between Bolin's 2 solo albums there's maybe 6 really good songs... but those 6 are deadly. Post Tostie rocked SO heavily.

 

 

;):):D

 

Compression done right, fat and proud I might add. Do you think they sliced the speaker to get that FUZZ? It's just too cool! And the double barrel climax of the first guitar solo just gives me goosebumps. He could sure take the lid off when he was on!

 

5 more from his albums for me would be;

 

"Bustin Out For Rosie" - Private Eyes

"Homeward Strut" - Teaser

"Teaser" - Teaser

"Marching Powder" - Teaser

"Lotus" -Teaser

 

Teaser was produced by Tommy Bolin in association with Lee Kiefer, and Dennis Mackay for "Marching Powder" in 1975. Private Eyes was released in '76.

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Ha! Yeah, those would be the ones. Marching Powder. Gee... do ya think there was some substance abuse happening? Amazing stuff. And yeah, drum compression done right. Or at least really wrong in a really right way. It just sucks you into the black hole all in time with the groove. And I have no idea how you would go about getting that bass tone. Some deal with the devil I suspect.

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Ha! Yeah, those would be the ones. Marching Powder. Gee... do ya think there was some substance abuse happening? Amazing stuff. And yeah, drum compression done right. Or at least really wrong in a really right way. It just sucks you into the black hole all in time with the groove. And I have no idea how you would go about getting that bass tone. Some deal with the devil I suspect.

 

 

 

It's only abuse if the song sucks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Kidding. I've not met a bigger Bolin fan than I, though I'm sure they exist. I wish with all my heart he was still around and had left us more. Would he have done it better, or at all without the enhancements? A topic for another thread I suppose. Way a big shame. I've never heard anyone with his thing, which I'm at a bit of a loss to even find words for. Timing. Sense of direction. Story.

 

I can't finish talking about Tommy and tone without mentioning Deep Purple, "Come Taste The Band". The whole album. Just great. Smokin. And I doubt you'll find a pre Deep Purple "Last Concert In Japan" recording where his tone suffers. That includes a big slice of Zephyr, James Gang, some Alphonzo Mouzon, some MOXY, and his brilliante playing on the Billy Cobham album "Spectrum".

 

But yeah, "Poast Toastie" !!!

 

RIP Tommy

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It's only abuse if the song sucks

 

 

Or you're dead way before your prime.

 

Tommy Bolin had this incredible edge to his playing. A desperate sound that took you places others didn't know existed. No doubt fueled by a lot of pain and eventually extreme substance abuse. My buddies and I saw him him play a couple weeks before his death and it was sad. There was no doubt, even to this unexperienced teenager, that he wouldn't be around much longer. He seemed to be melting into the floor. Very sad face. His playing was brilliant.

 

Some are willing to sacrifice everything for their art. Even their life I guess. I could on about my mixed feelings about him. But hey... this thread is about tone. Bolin had TONE.

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Bobby Keyes sax and Keiths rythym guitar on "Hear Me knocking"

Great sp[ace around the sounds great interacting tones.

 

Virtually all the geetar tones on "Axis Bold as Love". I always refer back to them: Spanish Castle amagic, Castles made of sand, Little wing.

Gotta Love em.

 

Mark Knoppler has a unique strat tone. Maybe not my #1 favorite. However, its distinct, instantly recognizable and hard to duplicate.

 

Gilmores solos are very toneful- e.g. "On the turning away"

 

However, IMHO Jeff Beck wins the title of "Mr tone".

 

Oh yeah: Larry Carlton's solo on SD's Kid Charlmange aint too shabby tone -wise.

 

On the quieter/jazzier side : Stan Getz's seductive sax tones are unmatched IMHO.

 

Hey did i manage not to repeat anything Lee already posted??

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Mark Knoppler has a unique strat tone. Maybe not my #1 favorite. However, its distinct, instantly recognizable and hard to duplicate.

 

Mark Knopfler's lead guitar on Dire Straits' Sultans Of Swing. This recording knocked me out in 1978 when it was first released, and still wows me today. Amazingly, considering how "poppy" the note attacks are, Mark reportedly didn't use a pick, but used the bare fingers on his right hand, often using a pinching or snapping motion with the thumb and first finger to get the percussive, snappy note attacks. This was further emphasized by his use of a Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer compressor. I don't recall if it was a vintage Fender Strat, a Schecter or a Pensa-Suhr, but it definitely sounds like switch position 2 or 4 (the so called "out of phase" settings).

 

Here's a link that I found with some information about Mark's various guitars:

 

http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3399/main.htm

 

I recently had Mark at www.olcircuits.com build me a Orange Squeezer clone with both an external bias and volume controls so I could snag those tones. I'm really pleased with this compressor, and recommend Mark's work.

 

:wave:

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Oh man am I late to this party!

 

Ahem, a few of the tones that get my boat afloat:

 

Angus and Malcolm Young's tones on "What's Next to the Moon" on Powerage. Ker-rang...

 

Overall guitars on "Lone Star Fool" from Point Blank's Double Barrel album (I think it was the debut record?). Total control on the big-as-Texas vibratos and solos. The drums are kinda dead but they were played just cool as heck, too.

 

Alan Holdworth's tones on Enigmatic Ocean.

 

Guitar intro on "You Don't Have to be Old to be Wise" from British Steel.

 

Ty Tabor's solo on "Summerland" from the King's X's Gretchen Goes to Nebraska.

 

And what really gets the 8-Track Powerplay squeakin- Ronnie Montrose' guitars on "Party Tonight" from the Montrose record. That cool Les Paul/Fender amp/Leslie speaker is still pretty cool.

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The clacky, middy, flatwound bass (P-Bass?) by Roger Waters on Money. Perfect right hand muting to tame what should be a pretty awful bass sound, considering it's frequency centent, into a thing of cool beauty. Perfect for that tune.

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The clacky, middy, flatwound bass (P-Bass?) by Roger Waters on Money. Perfect right hand muting to tame what should be a pretty awful bass sound, considering it's frequency centent, into a thing of cool beauty. Perfect for that tune.

 

 

yes, Roger has an awesome technique:thu:

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