FEBBDAYBAND wrote:Hello all. I found this link by accident tonight and by shear gravitational force I was compelled to join up and comment based on my endless search to nail down the Garcia tone dragon! I made lots of phone calls and emails over the years and even went down to visit some of the folks who made it all possible back in the day. One thing that's clear... The Grateful Dead were the most experimental band in music history (and not just with the drugs!). LOL ...that included just about every piece of electronic equipment known to man (and some that will never be). It was a forty year moving laboratory for the entire manufacturing community!
Anyway, I mean absolutely NO disrespect to anyone who commented previously, but I feel the need to correct some widely held beliefs about the Grateful Dead equipment usage that I learned from the proverbial "horses mouths" over the years.
1) As far as I know Jerry never played live in the 90's without a speaker being miced - even when you couldn't see it. Most people don't know that for all those years - back behind his racks - sat a small 1x12 cabinet with a mic attached. They wanted a backup in case anything happened to his main rig in the middle of a song. This way if a tube or a speaker blew the stage mix engineer could just pull down a fader and the offending sound was removed from the audience's ears.
This was blended with many different signals (some miced in front of his larger JBL cabinets and some direct to the board or as sends from an effects loop). When they played around with in-ear monitors they fed that miced-up signal into the monitor mix. But, I don't belive he ever went direct alone because back in the 90's most direct sends just sounded kind of "processed". Remember, this is pre-digital amp modeling which brings me to...
2) The "acoustic tone" that SOOOO many people keep refering to as "weak" or somehow different from Jerry's previous sound was from a Mike Christian Tune-O-Matic Piezo saddle. It was an innovative (and invisible) bridge saddle system that ran six little wires from each saddle to a preamp which was blended with Jerry's electric buffered preamp system. This blend is also why from night to night the tone would sometimes change radically from VERY acoustic - almost jug band acoustic tones and back to the very usual electric tone we were used to hearing. I say it was invisible because the wiring was hidden under the saddles (which were direct replacements) and routed internally so there was nothing visible to notice. I tried some right around the time of Jerry's death and low and behold it sounded just like the big guy.
FEBBDAYBAND wrote:Hello all.
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