Brent Tone!

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Brent Tone!

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:03 pm

Why is there no Forum For Brent's tone! :shock:
:lol:
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby hippieguy1954 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:38 am

Phil Lesh101 wrote:Why is there no Forum For Brent's tone! :shock:
:lol:


There is, ya just have to look really hard for it! :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Grant » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:41 am

Cause he played electric keyboards that didn't sound very good and a B3

Not much to discuss

Besides, the B3 was really Pigpen tone!
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:50 am

Did you just say there isnt much to Brent Mydland's electric piano tone! wow :shock:
and his playing isnt something you just get when you start playing a B3, Mydland played better than pigpen
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:05 am

Brent's good tones were mostly standard keyboard sounds. B3 + Leslie speaker is common enough.

The other good sound was a "Dyno Rhodes" - you take a real Fender Rhodes keyboard and do a Dyno job to it - it has to do with how you set the pickups and action, etc and was something of an artform in itself. There's plenty of reading out there if you're really interested but it's not all that practical anymore compared to just buying a good Nord or similar digital keyboard.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby playingdead » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:45 pm

The B3 was the constant ... with SIX Leslie 147s by the end. Every played with a real Leslie onstage? Just one is stupid loud. I can't even imagine how loud six of them must have been.

79-81: Fender Rhodes -- eventually abandoned because it kept breaking on tour

82: Yamaha CP-80 electric grand -- same that Keith used toward the end of his tenure (77-79) -- a pain, too, because it has to be tuned like a real piano because it basically was a real piano with fewer strings per note and a piezo pickup. If you listen to the Dead from Egypt in 78, the CP-80 is out of tune because their piano tuner bailed on the trip at the last minute.

83-86: Yamaha GS-1 (massive early FM synth that used little paper punch cards to load sounds ... it had that killer percussive marimba sound -- Scott Larned got hold of it from Brent's wife and took it out with DSO on the tour he died on ... creepy)

87-90: Kurzweil controller and various Kurzweil, Korg and other modules

Brent used various synths early on for certain sounds before the digital stuff really came online ... a Prophet 5 -- listen to a 79 era Dancing in the Streets, or think the synth sounds on Alabama Getaway and Feel Like a Stranger -- and I think even some sort of Moog, but most of the time played the Rhodes and B3.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby tcsned » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:03 pm

He could really work the B3 - I also really loved the Yamaha electric piano and the synth stuff on those early 80s Strangers. That synth is one of those things that stood out from my first show in Baltimore in '82.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Grant » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:00 pm

Phil Lesh101 wrote:Did you just say there isnt much to Brent Mydland's electric piano tone! wow :shock:
and his playing isnt something you just get when you start playing a B3, Mydland played better than pigpen


Uh! Blasphemy!! "Brent was in the dead, how dare you speak of him this way!?" haha

Since when were we talking about playing? Your OP is BRENT TONE

like I said - the B3/les wasn't any different to anyone elses B3 - great sound, but nothing unique

All his other sounds were stuck in the 80s bar a couple pre 83- his sounds dated very badly unlike the rest of the dead.

The pigpen reference was regarding it being pig's b3.

You seem to be one of those people that think anyone in the dead couldn't put a foot wrong.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby JamminJommy » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:17 pm

Regarding Brent's tone being just like any other B3...

I beg to differ. I happen to be a real believer in a persons instrumental "voice." On a keyboard instrument like a Hammond, this comes down to a few main things; drawbar settings, leslie speed, and chord vocab.

Brent had a lot of stabby chords voiced in a particular way on the B3 that really changed a lot about the over all sound of the band particularly in the late 80s and early 90s. Dozin' and the Nick is a great example of this kind of stuff. I would venture to say that Brent would gain a fair amount of respect from traditional B3 players whereas pig pen, I'm sorry to say, had a fairly week idea of how to use the instrument. Pig Pen was a singer. Woah boy could he SING. Brent had a damn good voice, too, but his organ playing sang pretty damn well. I think keyboardists could have quite a discussion on Brent's playing style and rig during his era.

Admittedly, the type of keyboard rig he toured with is way way way out of date. But then again, there's Jeff out there every night with Pig/Brent's SAME B3 with a different tone and a different style. I'm sure Jeff has looked into Brent's playing from time to time.

Just my 2.5 cents.

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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:38 am

Grant wrote:
Phil Lesh101 wrote:Did you just say there isnt much to Brent Mydland's electric piano tone! wow :shock:
and his playing isnt something you just get when you start playing a B3, Mydland played better than pigpen


Uh! Blasphemy!! "Brent was in the dead, how dare you speak of him this way!?" haha

Since when were we talking about playing? Your OP is BRENT TONE

like I said - the B3/les wasn't any different to anyone elses B3 - great sound, but nothing unique

All his other sounds were stuck in the 80s bar a couple pre 83- his sounds dated very badly unlike the rest of the dead.

The pigpen reference was regarding it being pig's b3.

You seem to be one of those people that think anyone in the dead couldn't put a foot wrong.

Well he he criticized Pig - so what do mean about " anyone in the Dead can do no wrong " ?
And I would rather have someone who could play their ass off ( Brent ) than someone who could barely play ( Pig ).
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby playingdead » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:58 am

Just my opinions here.

Pig was actually a fairly tasteful B3 player ... he certainly didn't overplay and laid way back when Keith was playing (and he became ill). But go listen to the Truckin' from Europe 72 (Lyceum 5-26-72) and he was playing some nice stuff on there. He didn't have much of a concept of what to do when they would space out, but it wasn't his bag.

Brent, on the other hand, was a monster B3 player, and most B3 guys will tell you that. I liked him best playing the Rhodes, frankly, and dug the CP-80 and also the GS-1 when he used that marimba like tone on it. I hated its synthy piano sound. By the time they trotted out the sampled grand piano I thought he had a growing tendency to overplay which peaked in 1990 ... I don't really like the material on Without a Net that he's playing piano on -- Mississippi Half Step he's just stepping all over everyone. And when he would layer in the strings and twinkles on the piano, he really lost me. I liked his playing when it was lean and mean. But he always hit it just right on the B3, that was his first love.

You can throw the whole Vince era out the window sonically. When they hired Bralove at the end of Brent's tenure and they started to bring in all those MIDI samples and stuff, forget about it. Vince's cheeseball organ sound really grated on me and I just never got my head around my idea that he was responding in his playing to whatever Bralove felt like layering into his sound -- horns, bells, strings on top of the piano. That's a total anathema to me, like having someone adding effects to your guitar sound while you're playing.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:14 am

playingdead wrote: By the time they trotted out the sampled grand piano I thought he had a growing tendency to overplay which peaked in 1990 ... I don't really like the material on Without a Net that he's playing piano on -- Mississippi Half Step he's just stepping all over everyone.

He is mixed loud on W.A.N. .... maybe not as loud on the stage ? The album is dedicated to him I think.
The Help/Slip is piano (I think)and sounds nice
Plus Jerry was slowing down a bit and Brent was picking up the slack.
For sure there are Brent patches that sound dated but I wouldn't characterize his tone as " bad " ....
Especially compared to the 4 other keys guys ....
Kieth's non piano tones weren't that great either
Maybe its me - I LOVE Brents '79 synth sounds !
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:37 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:Kieth's non piano tones weren't that great either


Them's fightin' words! :shock: Even though I agree that they aren't great, they're such an important part of the '77 sound that I like them, especially on tunes like Estimated where he used it nearly every time. Somebody here knew what synth it was but I'm not about to go scouring ebay for outdated synths... Interestingly, I've come the closest to replicating it by using the B3 section of Caroline's Nord, putting all the percussion on, and pushing most of the drawbars all the way in.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:51 am

I have a D.P. '77 ( I forget which one ) in the car ..... The Brokedown is tainted by his non piano ( I dont know what it is ) sound.
:x
Its only slightly annoying on the " new " tunes ... Estimated , Terrapin , etc.
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Re: Brent Tone!

Postby PaulJay » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:54 pm

I have to say I always favored Keith's Piano playing, I am also a big fan of '72 to '79 era. But I do think Brent's organ playing was masterful and he seemed to motivate J.G. more than the other keyboard players. ,Paul
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