Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #135180  by mkaufman
 Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:23 am
A 12/28/83 video has been released. It's pro shot and very good quality:

At this time, Bob was in transition, playing a Modulus through his 80's Ibanez era rig and it sounds exactly the same as when he was playing his Ibanez through the same rig. Yes, a lot is in his hands, however, effects are contributing lots to his tone.

He's really loud in Mexicali, which starts at 13:50. Listen to the very end of the song and you'll even hear him introduce some intentional feedback.

Any thoughts about his tone? I'm hearing overdrive/distortion (?) with compression?

btw... 12/27/83 is also available. Bob's playing a different Modulus: ... pdtomXtPmQ

Last edited by mkaufman on Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #135182  by JDB30
 Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:09 am
To me, the most similar aspect of the sound is the attack. I don't think you can underestimate the importance of the Ashley Sc-50 compressor in his sound. It's also possible that he's using a floor compressor in his Ibanez multi-effects unit.

I have worked to duplicate this attack and achieved it fairly well by using a Wampler Ego-compressor on the floor and then a stereo Ashley compressor in my amps effects loop. I also use a very light touch of phase shift (almost imperceptible). I can send you the settings if you're interested.
 #135185  by mkaufman
 Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:14 am
Many years ago, I owned an Ashly, but I recall it being a different (stereo) model.

Anyway, I've owned many compressors, but I've never liked any. Quite honestly, it's probably because I don't know how to use them properly.

Yes, I'd love to learn more!

 #135191  by drdead
 Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:01 pm
Great video, crystal clear bob in that, love the spot at 30:13 with the thrown rose.
 #135199  by JDB30
 Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:31 pm
mkaufman wrote:Many years ago, I owned an Ashly, but I recall it being a different (stereo) model.

Anyway, I've owned many compressors, but I've never liked any. Quite honestly, it's probably because I don't know how to use them properly.

Yes, I'd love to learn more!

I always use at least one compressor when I'm playing my Les Paul's or Tele and, as mentioned, 2 when doing the "Weir thing." I find that most guitarists I listen to these days seem to use them, especially Tele players. I highly recommend the Wampler for basic compressor sounds but there are many good ones out there.

One of my all-time favorites is an RCA BA6A which was actually a tube broadcast compressor for radio. Jimmy Page used it on just about all his acoustic guitar work with Led Zeppelin. Totally amazing sound. If you haven't listened to these recordings lately, go back and listen---just the greatest acoustic sound ever IMHO.
 #135214  by shadowboxer
 Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:03 am
That is some serious Bobby tone on this recording. I listened to it with earphones last night. Dan Healey must have called in sick that night, Bob was loud. Really cranked the decibels on the New Minglewood slide solo, which always makes me smile just for the roughness of it.
 #135347  by racecar
 Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:43 am
I always was of the strong opinion that Bobby used compression.

When I attended DSO School, I had the opportunity to sit with Rob Eaton at length to discuss gear and tone. To my stunned amazement, he told me that Bobby did NOT use compression, but used the limiter portion of the Ashly unit. Rob actually told me compression is BAD for what I am trying to accomplish (approximation of Bobby tone). He helped me with my amp and effects set up and was able to take my little Roland and bring out the best in it. I have removed the compressor (Empress, which I find to be the most natural) from my board. Since the summer, I have not used compression and I do not miss it. There are places it could help, but overall my tone improved without using compression. I now run a stereo set up using a Roland JC120 head and two separate 12 in cabs and I do use a boost to get a bit more oomph when needed. But compressor is a thing of the past for me....... what I thought was the gospel, turned out to be a false reality for me.....and yes, I was stunned....but I realized Rob was right once I worked on the settings . I truly don't miss the compressor. May use it down the road again but since Sept, I have readjusted my thought process and set up to be compressor-less. And I am a happy camper so far.

 #135348  by Dozin
 Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:54 am
That's awesome. So, I'd be interested to hear more about your setup. How do you setup your Roland? What are you using for pedals and all?

 #135350  by mkaufman
 Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:58 am
I'm not surprised that compression wasn't used. I've never liked it.

Using a limiter makes sense, especially for the high-ends.

However, we're still missing the secret behind the tone in this video.

 #135370  by racecar
 Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:24 am
If I had to pinpoint two effects on his tone in that video

1. Flanger or phaser
2. low gain overdrive or distortion or possibly an overdriven channel on his amp. he had/has multiple channels to call upon (but I dont think so, but wtf do I know).

I use a Rockett Pedals Blue Note overdrive and have been very pleased with it. Used a # of overdrive pedals in the past wasn't happy with most of them. I have been eyeing the Wampler Ego that has a nice tone to it as well in low gain mode (used to be called extacy) I think you need to look for a low gain pedal to approximate that over driven tone he is getting. On Mexicali in that same video, I just think its an straight up overdriven tone in that video, no flanger, no phaser. I almost have to believe its not tube overdrive, it just doesn't sound natural.
 #135422  by barefootdave
 Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:47 pm
I had the pleasure of catching Racecar's band in Boca and must say that his Bobby tone is spot on. The band is great also.
 #135579  by racecar
 Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:06 pm
Good seeing you the other night. I thank you kindly for the kudos, but I have an approximation of tone. I don't think I have enough money or the hands to be spot on, but I like to think I get close...wish I had more talent though. I just try to hang on and do my best.