Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Cure :: Guitar :: Boys Don't Cry

On the Three Imaginary Boys album, there are about 4 songs I played the Top 20 on. I had that and a WEM Clubman amp. That was my setup." -Robert Smith

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Crossfade :: Guitar :: Cold

Using his home computer containing a "$200.00" sound card and Cakewalk Pro Audio Nine, Crossfade's Ed Sloan created the holy grail of all unsigned musicians: the "out of nowhere hit single!" Cold, a song written by Sloan as a means of expression versus perpetual apologies, became one of the most listened to songs in America, thanks to strong radio airplay. Sloan employed his ESP H307 7-string for the heavy rhythm parts. He plugged the 7-string into a Line 6 Vetta and from the Vetta's direct out, went directly into his computer

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Crosby Stills Nash & Young :: Pedal Steel Guitar :: Teach Your Children

Dead-head Jerry Garcia played a ZB Custom double-10 pedal steel guitar thru his Fender Twin Reverb amplifier on Teach Your Children.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival :: Guitar :: Suzie Q

"I got a Rickenbacker 3/4-size guitar; it’s a model 325, and it’s famous as the John Lennon model..
...Interestingly, I’m currently rehearsing for a tour, and I dug out my old Rickenbacker and my old Kustom amp, because I wanted to play “Suzie Q” and “I Put A Spell On You” on the exact equipment that got that kind of sound."-John Fogerty (Vintage Guitar Magazine August 1997)

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Cream :: Bass :: White Room

For the recording of White Room, Cream bassist Jack Bruce used a Gibson EB-3 bass, a Marshall Super Bass 100 amplifier, and a Marshall 4 x 12 cabinet.


At the time they were recording Disraeli Gears, Dan Armstrong was working with Eric and Jack; he literally had a small shop set up in the studio, and if they wanted a certain sound, Dan would come up with some inventions for them. So in lieu of Jack blowing up bass cabinets – which he did a lot, and continued to do when I was on the road with him – Dan installed a diode in the #2 position of the pickup switch, which caused some overdrive; made it sound distorted. -Bruce Gary (current owner of Bruce's EB-3)

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Cream :: Guitar :: Sunshine of Your Love

Clapton pioneered a new tone for the record, a tone he christened, "woman tone", due to it's softness and warmth. The song Sunshine of Your Love, in particular, showcases this tone. "According to Clapton, the "woman-tone" is achieved by rolling the tone control all the way off on either the neck or the bridge pickup of a guitar with humbucking pickups and the volume all the way up. Heavy strings and a bassy-sounding amp at high volume also helps to achieve that wooing, whooshing tone. In fact, a lot of Clapton's "woman tone" was achieved this way [with a wah-wah pedal], with the pedal about three-quarters back from the forward position." -Guitar Player Magazine (March 1993)

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Coldplay :: Guitar :: Yellow

"Johnny's quite good, he has a little [ProCo] Rat distortion pedal,... a Fender Twin Reverb, and he has all these delays going into it, and it was quite a delayed sort of sound, and I was thinking 'How am I going to get around that?' I just wanted to have the option of a bit more dryness. They had another Twin Reverb, a slightly different version All his effected sounds would come out of one amp, so we'd mic that up, and mic the dry one as well, so every time, we'd record both amps. I think that worked really well It'd go through quite a few delays... He's got a WEM Copicat, which kept sort of slowing down — the tape loop would sometimes stick, because it's quite old, and it would produce strange choruses and delays, it wasn't perfectly in time. And he has a Lexicon effects processing unit which he uses for the delays again." -Ken Nelson (engineer, Parachutes)

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Coheed and Cambria :: Guitar :: Welcome Home

Among the "load" of overdubbed "unison electric and acoustic guitars," 2005's "Kashmir-ish" smash hit, "Welcome Home" finds Coheed and Cambria guitarist Claudio Sanchez using his favorite guitar; a 1970's Gibson E2 Explorer fitted with EMG active pickups. Sanchez plugged the guitar into a Bogner Uberschall amplifier which he says, "...will give you a broad spectrum of good tones." The amp was plugged into Sanchez's Mesa Boogie 4 x 12 Recto cab. The guitar was tuned down a half step.

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The Clash :: Guitar :: London Calling

Clash guitarist Mick Jones used his 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard, a Roland Space Echo, Mesa Boogie Mk I (with the speaker disconnected), fed into a Marshall 4 x 12 cabinet.

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Ray Charles :: Keys :: What'd I Say

What'd I Say was one of the earliest R&B records that featured an electric piano. “Musicians used to laugh at me saying, ‘What are you going to do with that toy? That little-bitty thing can't do nothin’,” Charles told NPR's Robert Siegel in 2000. “But I liked the sound of it and that little-bitty piano is really what captured the public's attention.” -Ray Charles

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Johnny Cash :: Guitar :: I Walk the Line

"Boom Chicka Godfather" Luther Perkins was responsible for the memorable and groundbreaking rhythm guitar sound which was accomplished by using a 1955 Fender Esquire thru a 1954 Fender Champ amplifier.

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The Cars :: Lead Guitar :: My Best Friend's Girl

"I used whatever would produce the sound I would be hearing in my head for a particular guitar part, and it could have been anything, and to be honest, I used 4 X 12s more than small amps. Shake It Up had a Deluxe Reverb; I think I used a V-4 for My Best Friend's Girl... for the whole first album, a friend got us a deal on some Ampeg amps; a VT-22, VT-44, and a V-4, and I think we had a Marshall half-stack and a Twin. My arsenal consisted of a Les Paul Standard and a Telecaster, a Morley echo pedal and an early Roland chorus ensemble." -Elliot Easton (Vintage Guitar Magazine)

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The Cars Synth Just What I Needed

In addition to The Cars uncanny knack for writing killer guitar riffs, the secret to so many of The Cars hit songs lies in those bloody monophonic synth lines that you just can't seem to stop humming for weeks after you've heard it. Indeed, Greg Hawkes was The Cars best -kept-secret! He wielded the synth not as a typical background pad, but rather, as a lead guitar! It was a 1970's Univox MiniKorg 700s synthesizer that Hawkes employed on the 1978 Cars classic, Just What I Needed.

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The Byrds :: Guitar :: Mr. Tambourine Man

The story is well known. Fledgling folkie Jim "Roger" McGuinn took a 2/4 Dylan composition, put it in 4/4, seasoned it with some Bach via The Beatles, introduced a new sound to the world, and put The Byrds on the rock & roll map.

What is not well known is HOW he got that sound. For many years it has been assumed that the classic intro to The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man was the result of Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn's Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar plugged straight into the mixing console and smothered with compression. McGuinn himself has given seemingly conlicting reports on how he acheived "The Chime." His official website states that the tone was indeed the result of a direct injection into the old Hollywood Columbia Studios console, after which the signal was put through two studio quality compressors in series. However, McGuinn gave earlier hints, in an interview to Epiphone, that the sound heard on "Tambourine Man" was actually an "old Epiphone amplifier." Adding to the confusion were those who claimed it was, in fact, a Vox AC-30 amp heard on the song. So, what to believe?

A new website called Get That Sound thinks that they have finally solved this sonic mystery. The site, which caters to musicians looking to find and/or purchase equipment used on current and classic hit songs, contacted McGuinn recently in an effort to obtain a model number on the "old epiphone amp". While McGuinn did not recall a model number he did offer something which proved to be just as useful.

"Sorry, I never knew the model number ... it was gray with two 10" speakers if that helps," McGuinn offered.

After researching every pre-1965 Epiphone amplifier containing two 10" speakers, Get That Sound discovered that only one Epiphone amplifier was manufactured fitting this description. Model number EA-14RV, more commonly reffered to as The Epiphone Ensign.

The complete signal chain, according to Get That Sound, consisted of a Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar, an Epiphone Ensign amplifier, a Telefunken U-47 microphone on the amp, the Columbia Console, and two Teletronix LA-2A compressors in series.

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Buffalo Springfield :: Guitar :: Mr. Soul

To get his first real grunge tone on record, Neil plugged his Gretsch White Falcon right into the board and then directly into (2) UA 1176's in series. This raucous direct tone was immediately heard on dozens of subsequent records including The Beatles' "Revolution" and Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog."

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David Bowie :: Guitar :: Ziggy Stardust

The blistering guitar work on Bowie's 1972 gem Ziggy Stardust was the doing of none other than glam-god Mick Ronson. It's grinding, toxic-boogie tone is classic Ronson. Mick's guitar setup for the song was as follows: Ronson used to plug his 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom (stripped finish) straight into the "Pig" ( 200-watt Marshall Major w/ a 4 x 12 Marshall Slant Cab) with a Vox Tone Bender Pedal and a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah Pedal between the guitar and the Amp. Ronson pulled all the controls on the amp to maximum and then he pushed the Cry Baby to a level where he liked the sound. Then he just played. Mick Ronson used the pedal as a mid-range booster. Actually it was the Cry Baby that made that special Ronno sound. -Robert Sjöö

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Black Sabbath :: Bass :: Wizard

When we recorded Black Sabbath, I had a 70-watt Laney guitar amp and a Park 4x12 cabinet with only three speakers in it—and two of them were wrecked! That’s how I got that really distorted sound. Actually, I hated the tone of that record at the time, but I’ve gotten used to it now. It’s nostalgic. I didn’t have any alternative; I couldn’t afford to buy new speakers. We had only two days to record, so we just plugged in and performed our live set in the studio. We were allowed one take for each song and stopped only if someone made a horrible mistake. It was out of our hands. No time to dial in the perfect bass tone. " -Geezer Butler (Bassplayer.com, June 2004)

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Black Sabbath :: Guitar :: Paranoid

On the recorded version of Paranoid, Iommi stuck to his guns; a 1961 Gibson SG, a modified British Rangemaster Treble Booster, his now famous Laney Supergroup 100Watt amplifier, and a Laney 4x12 cab. May not sound like much, but through this gear, Iommi gave birth to the Antichrist of Rock, Heavy Metal.

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The Bee Gees :: Drums :: Stayin' Alive

When faced with a deadline for a hit song for an up-coming film, and without a drummer, Bee Gees co-producers Karl Richardson and Albhy Galuten said: "Why not take the drum sounds from the previously recorded "Night Fever" and use them to create the drum track for "Stayin' Alive"? This was 1977, and drum loops were still more conceptual than real. Richardson's first instinct was to take two bars of the drums already on tape and then re-record them 100 or so times and splice them together until there was enough to make a new track...

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Beck :: Sample :: Loser

While the slide guitar lick is all Beck's, he utilized his extensive record collection for the drumbeat of Loser. More specifically he sampled the drumbeat from Johnny Jenkins' cover of Dr. John's I Walk on Gilded Splinters.

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The Beatles :: Guitar :: Yesterday

Paul used his Epiphone "Texan FT-79" acoustic guitar on the recording of Yesterday.

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The Beatles :: Drums :: Tomorrow Never Knows

Tomorrow Never Knows features Ringo Starr on one of his Ludwig "Super Classic" Oyster Black Pearl drum kits with 22" bass drum. Ringo used to place a pack of cigarettes on the snare to dampen the sound when needed. The bass drum had the resonant head removed (or hole cut thru, as shown below) and something like a blanket or towel inside, to dampen it.

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The Beatles :: Flutes :: Strawberry Fields Forever

Perhaps most distinctive of all was the instrument (played by McCartney) that produced the flute-like sound in the song's introduction -- a Mellotron, the innovative British-made electronic keyboard which used eight second tape-loops of real instruments such as flutes and strings for each key. The Beatles were one of the first rock bands to acquire a Mellotron and "Strawberry Fields Forever" is believed to be the first use of the instrument on a pop recording.

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The Beatles :: Bass :: She Loves You

The song was one of the last recordings featuring Paul's original 1961 Hofner 500/1 "violin" bass. He played it thru his new Vox T60 bass and cabinet. Shortly after this Paul would aquire the famous 1963 Hofner 500/1 that he would use for the rest of his Beatle career.

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The Beatles :: Guitar :: Revolution

John Lennon goes deep into the Abbey Road bag of tricks on the ferocious intro of Revolution : For the recording of Revolution, the Beatles tried something different--a trick that few studio owners would ever allow, then or now. "John wanted that sound," recalls Phil McDonald, the tape operator for the session. "A really distorted sound. The guitars were put through the recording console, which was technically not the thing to do. It completely overloaded the channel and produced the fuzz sound. Fortunately the technical people didn't find out. They didn't approve of 'abuse of equipment.' "

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The Beatles :: Guitar :: Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

John Lennon used his Gibson J-160E guitar for the recording of Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).

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The Beatles :: Drums :: Come Together

The kit used on Come Together was not the Oyster Black Pearl Ludwig kit that Starr had made famous during Beatlemania, but rather his Ludwig "Hollywood" maple-finish kit, with a 22" kick, first introduced on Let it Be. Another interesting fact about the song is that Ringo wrapped his snare and tom batter heads in towels and set a standard in drum muffling, a standard that would last well into the 1970's.

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Beastie Boys :: Samples :: Rhymin' and Stealin'

Rhymin' and Stealin' kicked off the record and the first sound the world ever heard from the Beastie Boys was, oddly, the drums of the mighty Led Zeppelin's John Bonham! True to the title of the song the Beastie Boys borrowed more than a few things from their' heroes. The beat to Rhymin' and Stealin' was actually sampled from Led Zeppelin's When the Levee breaks. The riff, which was not sampled, but rather replayed, was taken from Black Sabbath's Sweet Leaf.

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The Beach Boys :: Theremin :: Good Vibrations

The instrument was not a real, traditional, two antenna-type theremin. It was the Electro-Theremin, a mechanical instrument developed for Paul Tanner by Bob Whitsell in 1958. In addition to Good Vibrations, two other Beach Boys tunes used Tanner and his Electro-Theremin, I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, and Wild Honey. Also, there appears to be another (possibly unreleased) tune, Inspiration, that Tanner recorded in 1966 for the Beach Boys.

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The Band :: Keys :: Up on Cripple Creek

Up on Cripple Creek features Garth Hudson on a Hohner Clavinet D6 thru a Vox Wah Wah pedal.

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The Animals :: Organ :: The House of the Rising Sun

Alan Price used a Vox Continental for his magnificent organ part on The House of the Rising Sun.

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AC/DC :: Guitar :: You Shook Me All Night Long

For the tune, You Shook Me All Night Long Angus used his typical studio setup, "a Marshall JTM45, and...a single 4x12.two 4x12 cabinets. if it’s a guitar lick that I’m recording, then I might use the JTM45 and just one cabinet." -Angus Young

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