Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby mkaufman » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:42 am

Justin,

Your guitar and your playing sound really nice! You take your leads to a place where few go - very nice!

mk
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:03 am

That '84 tone is pretty illusive and definitive. One thought I've had about that time period and tone is that this was Jerry often at his loudest ever (and wasted). That crystalline, sparkly grit sounds to me like the ultimate example of a maxed Mc2300 and stressed out JBL's.

I also still have a theory, and it's completely just a guess/theory. There's something about those couple of years, '84 and '85, I could swear I hear quite a bit of hard limiting on things, namely Jerry's guitar so that everything he played, soft and clean or hard and dirty, it all was just pushed to the front. I've had board tapes of those years since the mid 80's and I always noticed that Jerry's guitar sounded squashed, compressed. I know Healy wasn't into compression, but he was very into using peak limiters. I just wonder if we're hearing some of that limiter smack added to the sound of Jerry just burning thru JBL's and abusing the Mac in a big way. I seems that by '86, '87, it sounded more dynamic again. Anyone ever notice this about the '84-'85 stuff?


B
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby JonnyBoy » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:26 am

I think with what you have you can get so very close by adding a CTO or maybe the Earthdrive in lieu of burning your system to distortion. These Jerry rigs we have are clean machines that can make a lot of volume before they start to sweeten naturally. Its not gonna be exact, but I like to keep my CTO on most of the time creating a little buzz when I dig in specifically. But, its not the exact buzz the fender/mac/JBLs make when Jerry does it like I said. In a band setting its really close though. I don't think my tone is exact to the sample above, but that extra clipping sound may be what you're after? I have quit trying to get that exact, mostly to save what's left of my sanity and bank account. Brads SMS is IMO the best thing I've tried if that's worth anything.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ksp13vw4rgucy41/Otis%20Lotus%20Cherokee%20130223%20set%20one.mp3

This is a rough mix of our last gig, we started with cold rain and snow while our rhythm guitar player was screwing with the board before the vocals start so its just my guitar for 3 minutes which makes it easier to hear I guess. I think the gain got bumped a little on the CTO cuz its a little fuzzier than usual, but you get the point. The next song West LA has my guitar in the middle/bridge position without the CTO on as an idea of how subtle it is. Hope that helps. Peace, JB
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby lunasparks » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:33 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:That '84 tone is pretty illusive and definitive. One thought I've had about that time period and tone is that this was Jerry often at his loudest ever (and wasted). That crystalline, sparkly grit sounds to me like the ultimate example of a maxed Mc2300 and stressed out JBL's.

I also still have a theory, and it's completely just a guess/theory. There's something about those couple of years, '84 and '85, I could swear I hear quite a bit of hard limiting on things, namely Jerry's guitar so that everything he played, soft and clean or hard and dirty, it all was just pushed to the front. I've had board tapes of those years since the mid 80's and I always noticed that Jerry's guitar sounded squashed, compressed. I know Healy wasn't into compression, but he was very into using peak limiters. I just wonder if we're hearing some of that limiter smack added to the sound of Jerry just burning thru JBL's and abusing the Mac in a big way. I seems that by '86, '87, it sounded more dynamic again. Anyone ever notice this about the '84-'85 stuff?


Two thoughts: (1) do we have any pictures/evidence of how high Jerry would crank the volume knob on his Mac? I feel like I read or heard that he didn't push it past noon typically...but I guess if the theory is he was crazy loud then maybe he could even have (gasp) dimed the 2300? Seems that would pretty much stress the rig! (2) Joe and I were discussing the issue of compression/hard limiting last night. We were wrestling with theories of how he could get such an articulate and harmonically complex tone yet have the notes splatting and smacking on attack. Wild volume seems a must, but there is a kind of squashing thing going on that, to me, seems hard to achieve WITHOUT compression or limiting. But since I don't own a limiter, I've never tested the notion directly. If only we had good recordings of the rig itself or close to it (something like 3/7/80, maybe?) rather than everything through the board it would be easier to figure out.... :?
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby JonnyBoy » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:08 am

That's silly to think of that amp dimed, but I really think its gotta be pumpin around 3:00 at least in conjunction with the amps mods to allow clipping. If he's blowing JBLs in a 3 or 4 stack that has to be a good assumption. Those Amp settings are hard for any of us to do gigging or jamming, indoors atleast. If its from the board, that's gonna be hard to mimic just like he did.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby mijknahs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:41 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:I also still have a theory, and it's completely just a guess/theory. There's something about those couple of years, '84 and '85, I could swear I hear quite a bit of hard limiting on things, namely Jerry's guitar so that everything he played, soft and clean or hard and dirty, it all was just pushed to the front. I've had board tapes of those years since the mid 80's and I always noticed that Jerry's guitar sounded squashed, compressed. I know Healy wasn't into compression, but he was very into using peak limiters. I just wonder if we're hearing some of that limiter smack added to the sound of Jerry just burning thru JBL's and abusing the Mac in a big way. I seems that by '86, '87, it sounded more dynamic again. Anyone ever notice this about the '84-'85 stuff?


B


Brad,

Is your theory that Healy is using some kind of peak limiter after the 421 mic?
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:01 am

Yes,

that's my theory. I have that idea for a couple of reasons. One is that my tapes from '84, '85 just seem to have Jerry sounding very squashed, whether it's GDTRFB fingerpicked intro, Scarlet chords, dirty solos, clean solos, or even a delicate Peggy-O fingerstyle... They all sound in your face, kind of squashed, more so than just the smack Jerry gets by driving the rig hard. But maybe that's all it is. The other cue, and I'll have to dig it up someday, but I could swear that I heard a point where Jerry starts fingerpicking a song and suddenly it goes from medium loud and dynamic to, at seemingly the flip of a switch or quick move a knob or fader, the fingerpicking is just smacking loud and dynamically squashed, splatty and just right up front, all nuances and noises. It has the signature of being pushed hard into limiting.

Tapes that stand out in my distant memory are the '84 Ventura, '84 and '85 Greeks, '85 Frost, '85 Merriweather Post, Kaiser...

This is just a theory, and yes, it would be at the board after the 421 mic. I know Healy hates compression, but loves peak limiting on everything but drums, so I'm told. So if he had a limiter on Jerry's guitar, it would merely be a change of threshold setting if he wanted to squish it a bit. Maybe it was an experiment that year or 2. Maybe I'm nuts...


B
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby Jon S. » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:07 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:'85 Merriweather Post

I was at those shows! :D
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:09 am

The other cue that I recall hearing, especially in the '84 stuff that sounds compressed/limited is that you hear the reverb bloom after the notes are picked. Heavy compression will squeeze the attacks and let the decays and reverbs bloom big. I think part of that heavy reverby thing that stands out in '84 may be this factor. Still just guessing. Maybe Jerry was just insanely loud and all of this limiting/compression was his amp being abused to the extreme...


B
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby rugger » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:18 am

JustinJohn wrote:I think Jerry was the only one who will ever really 100% nail that sound 8) ... but I can get pretty close to it some times.

here's a full show of my band from last friday 2/22/13 in Portland Oregon:

http://archive.org/details/GarciaBirthdayBand2013-02-22

stand-out sections for "that" tone: Get Outta my Life, Peggy-O(second-half of the guitar solo after second vocal section), Playin In the Band (the transition jam: some overdrive tone too), Harder They Come... Also, check out the shakedown>Train transition for something a bit different.. ;)


I just listened to the Shakedown. Yikes!!!! :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: Your playing clearly goes beyond trying to emulate Jerry--I like that.

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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby mijknahs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:38 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:The other cue that I recall hearing, especially in the '84 stuff that sounds compressed/limited is that you hear the reverb bloom after the notes are picked. Heavy compression will squeeze the attacks and let the decays and reverbs bloom big. I think part of that heavy reverby thing that stands out in '84 may be this factor. Still just guessing. Maybe Jerry was just insanely loud and all of this limiting/compression was his amp being abused to the extreme...


B


If that '84 sound was from some kind of limiter on the board, I guess it would be hard to try to replicate this sound with just the amp and speakers alone.

The sound of Jerry pre mic'd and pre-board is not necessarily what we hear on the tapes.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:39 am

I would tend to attribute anything "different" about this period (which I will 'fess I'm not sure that I even hear...)to minor adjustments in the preamp controls (like gain turned up a notch), etc., rather than additions to the signal path like compression or limiting.
Last edited by tigerstrat on Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby caspersvapors » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:49 am

theres a really great aud of that show here:

http://archive.org/details/gd1984-04-26 ... lma.flac24
Image
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby mijknahs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:52 am

tigerstrat wrote:I would tend to attribute anything "different" about this period (which I will 'fess I'm not sure that I even hear...)to minor adjustments in the preamp controls (like gain turned up a notch), etc., rather additions to the signal like compression or limiting.


I've always thought about the gain being moved around a lot. I've seen several vids that show JG moving to his preamp and tweaking something. Not sure what though.

Seems like the only pic that shows his settings (vol at 4.5) is from 90 or 91 with Rosebud. Not really a prime example of that "dirty" tone of the mid 80's. He was a lot cleaner in 90-91 with Rosebud. Almost too clean.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:57 pm

Q: "Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?"
A: " Reaching for the gold ring down inside
Never could reach It just slips away but I tryyyyyyyyyyy "

Great tone ... I have no problem saying Jer's is my fav and my idea of the perfect tone
I'm not even close to having " the tone " but .... I try
:-)
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