Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #118762  by playingdead
 Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:03 am
This is a bit of repost from the AxeFX thread ... I'm not sure how many people are reading that. But it gave me an idea that might be interesting.

I have an isolated clip of Jerry's "Touch of Grey" solo off In The Dark. It's a pretty rare opportunity to hear what his Tiger guitar sounds like outside the context of the Grateful Dead. Those who are knowledgeable about the Dead will recall that the basic tracks were recorded live at Marin's Veterans Hall with the band using their regular stage gear and setup, but without an audience present. Overdubs were done later with the same gear (presumably) so this should be a good representation of Jerry's tone circa 1986-87.

It's also a solo that Jerry played largely the same way every time, it's really just different patterns using different chord positions. It's also reassuring to hear that even in a studio setting his playing is just as sloppy as anyone else's, with open strings ringing and so forth.

I'm going to post the clip here, and I thought it would be interesting if some of you guys can mike up your Jerry rigs, record the solo (or isolate it live from a multitrack recording). Post a clip, detail the guitar and gear you used, and, if it's live, include the solo in the context of the band.

I'll start with Jerry's ... then do mine ... and let's see what everyone else can come up with. I think it will be interesting to hear some of the nuances people's different setups bring to this very signature solo ... Twin, SMS, AxeFX, E-120s, D-120s, different power amps, and so forth and so on. It's an easy solo to play -- I've never studied it or actively tried to figure it out but was not surprised that my rendition is fairly close to the studio version.

And, listening to the results may encourage you to tweak your own settings to get closer to the real thing.

Here's Jerry isolated:

Here's Jerry with the whole band off In The Dark.
Last edited by playingdead on Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #118763  by playingdead
 Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:06 am
This is what I found when I isolated my guitar on a multitrack recording Playing Dead did at Showcase Live, Foxboro MA on 4-21-12.

Guitar: Resurrection Tiger, DiMarzio Super II pickups, Mike Wald buffer, Lava cables

Rig: Fractal Audio AxeFX Ultra, direct to the board (using a virtual cabinet from an impulse response file created off my own Hard Trucker's 2X12 loaded with JBL E-120s).

Isolated solo:

Here's how that solo sounded with the whole band playing:

 #118838  by JonnyBoy
 Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:36 pm
Very Cool! I would love to see how close my tone comes or falls short. How did you isolate the tracks? We have a presonus and record multi track, maybe that would be the easiest way to get an isolated track. I like the "sloppy" sound, the extra string hits gives it a rhythmic quality that is unique to him and seems to mix well in the end. Its their ability to be tight and be loose and open at the same time that I find so interesting!
 #118841  by oldsmojo
 Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:07 pm
thats very cool Vic!..never heard Jerry isolated before but was just checking him out in this video...Yeahh Jerry in the studio! you gotta love him in the studio..freakin classic! every time! fwd to 0:48 when Jerry comes get a nice idea of his volume..and live reverb .. not cranked up much. ... re=related

Your Axe FX sounds better than ever I'm very overdo for a show and will most likely catch you at the Harvest Fest in NY. Thats an awesome clip ..that whole video must be really fun to watch! gotta get a camera guy out in the crowd taking funny crowd moments and then edit them in. I'll volunteer for that anytime! Too bad i didnt see this thread yesterday I would have recorded one of the Shakedown 135's Touch of Grey solos. Customer picked it up today! It sounded nearly perfect for this comparison! The good thing about it is you can adjust it on the fly so easy to get it fat and broken up or super clean like your 90's tone. Also of course the long decay spring reverb. I will be heading up to Rochester soon to record that amp with a Leiber tiger so that should be fun! For now all I can show you guys is a silly phone clip I made goofin around a couple days ago w/ it.
 #118854  by gr8fulbluz
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:36 am
I have tried to use audacity to isolate the lead track or remove vocals with limited success. {{i just do not have the patience anymore}} I love the idea. it could be a great practice technique. Audacity is a great program however i have very limited experience with it, so far.

here is a google search with a bunch of ideas and how tos. good luck and rock on. ... 24&bih=625
 #118856  by playingdead
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:57 am
Pete B. wrote:I hear alot of "clicking" throughout the AxeFX track.
Is that the unit, or are you hitting the pickup with the guitar-pick?
Hey Joe ... we're not playing Harvest Fest, must be some other cover band :shock:

It's pretty easy for me to isolate my guitar from our multitrack recordings since it always goes direct and there's no bleed from a mic on the speaker. But it doesn't have to be from a gig, just mike up your cabinet and let it rip in the living room, preferably at stage volume.

It's pretty interesting to hear how it sits in the mix, though. Goes to show that while it might sound too bright and edgy on its own it works great with the rest of the instruments. Ol' Jer had it going on.

I noticed that clicking, too, it's pick noise. I typically use the edge of the pick instead of the point, which seems to increase the noise, and the angle that I hold the guitar seems to put the pick right over the active coil on the Super II, which probably accentuates it. It could also be the EQ curves I use on the preset emphasizing that range. I should maybe lower the pickup a little.
 #118861  by caspersvapors
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:06 pm
wow that isolated track is really cool. You can really hear the nuances and "imperfections" of his playing. You can hear an implied, but missed (ghost??) note at 0:24. Also his arpeggios are not *totally* clean with a lot more of a haphazard kind of picking than I initially thought

how exactly do you isolate a solo like that?
 #118865  by playingdead
 Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:11 pm
caspersvapors wrote:how exactly do you isolate a solo like that?
I think that's the actual guitar track off In The Dark. You can't do that on a full band mix ...
 #118918  by Pete B.
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:34 am
...You can really hear the nuances and "imperfections" of his playing...
Not bad for a guy who was in a coma not more than a year earlier, and had to learn to play guitar all over again.
 #118927  by bcresci
 Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:29 pm
[quote="caspersvapors"]wow that isolated track is really cool. You can really hear the nuances and "imperfections" of his playing. You can hear an implied, but missed (ghost??) note at 0:24. Also his arpeggios are not *totally* clean with a lot more of a haphazard kind of picking than I initially thought

I've always thought his playing had this element. Plus, a fearless way of almost trying anything - and somehow making it work even when it didn't work. I think he may have been quoted somewhere as saying "there's no such thing as a wrong note as long as you play it with confidence"..... or something like that. Even if he didn't say it, I've adopted it to make me feel better. :)