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Extreme - Pornograffitti Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 10th June 2004
  #1
Gear Addict
 
hourglass's Avatar
 

Extreme - Pornograffitti

I guess I'll continue my current tact of digging up old stuff and makin' people feel - well - old.

I recall reading a statement from Nuno in GftPM magazine way back when... It went something along the lines of the label wanted them to work with a name producer so they brought in MW. Upon his arrival, Nuno claimed MW's comment was "what's there for me to do?" seeing as how much was already done on the record...

In scouring the old posts for guitar info pertaining to my other thread, I came across the listing for the McIntosh poweramps which had been used for this record, as well as Skid Row and some other stuff...

So I'm wondering - how much of that statement was right?

I know some of the stuff is easily attributable to Nuno - and he readily admits to the ground buzz on the vocal mic for "When I First Kissed You" since it was recorded in a bedroom on a 4-track...

Michael - do you have any recollections on doing this record? As it's one I was heavily inspired by both guitar-wise and production-wise I'd be interested in anything you have to offer on its production.

I always liked the interplay between the rather laid-back drums and the over -the-top guitar work. Something which was certainly lacking on some of their later efforts.

This one seemed to hit just at the right moment, tho - which also strikes me as odd since that same interview mentioned that this record was pretty much done (maybe he just meant written...) before the first one even came out.

Another thought on this record - it's always inspired me to try the "fade out & back in" thing like at the end of "When I'm President." I've never gotten it that perfect, tho.

ryan
Old 11th June 2004
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Don't believe everything you see in the press... especially from band members that fancy themselves deities...
Old 11th June 2004
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

That album is such a stirring masterpiece of cock rock mastery with a light dash of deft power balladry!

I can just see when they go out on the 'reunion' cash cow circuit how 30-40+ something year olds, will whip out a lighter and hold it aloft for 'more than words'! I think that song along with the 'Scorpions' winds of change are the best power ballads around, not that im an expert, well.. only for the pure cringe factor.

Fletcher PMSL.. i think they were on the tail end of the 80's hair thing and the attitudes were rubbing people the wrong way. But that being said im sure most people in the 80's thought they were the closest lifeforms to re-incarnated deities, musicians and business men alike!

Wiggy
Old 12th June 2004
  #4
Gear interested
 

Thats a good rock record, regardless.
Good songs, and Nuno Betencourt's playing is outstanding.
Old 13th June 2004
  #5
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Re: Extreme - Pornograffitti

Quote:
Originally posted by hourglass
I guess I'll continue my current tact of digging up old stuff and makin' people feel - well - old.

I recall reading a statement from Nuno in GftPM magazine way back when... It went something along the lines of the label wanted them to work with a name producer so they brought in MW. Upon his arrival, Nuno claimed MW's comment was "what's there for me to do?" seeing as how much was already done on the record...

In scouring the old posts for guitar info pertaining to my other thread, I came across the listing for the McIntosh poweramps which had been used for this record, as well as Skid Row and some other stuff...

So I'm wondering - how much of that statement was right?

I know some of the stuff is easily attributable to Nuno - and he readily admits to the ground buzz on the vocal mic for "When I First Kissed You" since it was recorded in a bedroom on a 4-track...

Michael - do you have any recollections on doing this record? As it's one I was heavily inspired by both guitar-wise and production-wise I'd be interested in anything you have to offer on its production.

I always liked the interplay between the rather laid-back drums and the over -the-top guitar work. Something which was certainly lacking on some of their later efforts.

This one seemed to hit just at the right moment, tho - which also strikes me as odd since that same interview mentioned that this record was pretty much done (maybe he just meant written...) before the first one even came out.

Another thought on this record - it's always inspired me to try the "fade out & back in" thing like at the end of "When I'm President." I've never gotten it that perfect, tho.

ryan
Sorry for the late reply, been slammed in the studio the last few weeks.

Anyway, when producing a band, psychology is a big part of getting great results out of musicians. Some are very open minded and you can make suggestions about musical changes or ideas and they will pick it up and make it their own. Others don't want a lot of ouside influences, because they are scared it would take away from their creativity or credit. In those cases, if you want to achieve a certain result, you have to plant a "creative seed" which, in a few days will turn into the result you are looking for, but it still seems like it was all the idea of the musician him/herself. The downside, of course is, that the musician looks at it as if he did ALL the work and the producer "didn't really do anything". The logical next step for those kind of musicians is to produce their next album themselves, their ego telling them they don't need a producer and, like in the above mentioned case, they might fall flat on their face, and come up with an album that doesn't sell anywhere near what the previous one did.

In terms of the record "beeing done before it was recorded" Nuno is probably referring to the writing of it. It is true that on Pornograffitty we didn't need a lot of pre-production, because the material was very good and very well written, but so was the material on "3-sides to every story", which Nuno produced himself and didn't sell a tenth of what Porno did. A couple of the demos actually made the final album (like "When I First Kissed You") and on one song (can't remember which one) we even kept a drumtrack from a demo and built up on that. So the demos were really well done, maybe that's what Nuno was refferring to, but it still was a lot of work (some obvious, some not so obvious to him) to put the record together.

In any case, the combination producer/band turned out a great album, which seemingly couldn't quite be repeated on later records. In this business egos can be wonderful, but they also can be a curse.
Old 13th June 2004
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I had the good fortune to hang out at Scream when Michael was doing the first Saigon Kick record. Their manager was a good friend on mine so I got the invite. I was blown away with what Michael as a producer brings to the table (not just the 8 24 spc racks filled with gear). Technically about as good as it gets but what really impressed me was how easy the sessions went. Nothing was a big deal(at least he made it seem that way) The music flowed and the band had a great time. It's amazing how you can work that hard, get such great results and make it seem so easy. As I look back now I realize how much I really learned about making a record from those sessions. Just watching Michael was like going to school. Oh yeah, I think the record was recorded in 14 days mixed in 14 days.
I was friends with Pat Badger the bassist of Extreme and got to hear some of the mixes for Porno in my car before the record was released. Great band but Michael's influence and eng/ mixing on that record is one of the reasons it sounds superior and kiks so much more ass than their other work. Thanks Michael. Kelly.

p.s $758.00 for a sushi bill at Tera Sushi must be some kind of record. Thank god for A&R dept's Amex Cards
Old 14th June 2004
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Funny enough, I liked "Waiting for the Punchline" more then any of their other albums. Still do.
Old 14th June 2004
  #8
Gear Addict
 
hourglass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Funny enough, I liked "Waiting for the Punchline" more then any of their other albums. Still do.
I like a lot of the songs on that one - especially the last "hidden" one.

However, I detest the production - or lack thereof.

That raw Vintage-for-vintage-sake guitar tone just leaves me feeling empty.

ryan
Old 14th June 2004
  #9
Gear interested
 

hourglass, I remember thinking exactly the same thing, and it's probably the reason I gave up on the album after a week or so..
Old 8th December 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Yup, Nuno took over production for III Sides. That album definitely didnt have have the same 'snap' that Porno had. Yes egos, can get in the way and I think Nuno's ego drove Extreme right into the iceberg.
Old 8th December 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorkyTart
Yup, Nuno took over production for III Sides. That album definitely didnt have have the same 'snap' that Porno had. Yes egos, can get in the way and I think Nuno's ego drove Extreme right into the iceberg.
I like III Sides a lot, but it's just not as fresh and funky sounding as Pornografitti. I think the drums on III sides aren't sounding very good.
Old 8th December 2005
  #12
good or bad sounding Michael's absence can definitely be felt
Old 9th December 2005
  #13
Gear interested
 

I can go on record as saying from a musician that has recently worked with Michael the following. I have no idea about the Porno sessions or anything else that went on there but from standpoint it is this simple. As a member of the band you are there to play and create. The producer is another set of not only ears but ideas. Michael had many awesome ideas that he brought up in the studio and we used many of them. In the studio I believe the successful ones listen and they will be theones with the string of success. I am in no way saying that Nuno was not a success but it did not take me long to understand one thing and understand it clearly. The producer if you have faith in him and a good relationship is your best friend. He is outside the band in the sense that his ideas and thoughts are not tainted by being in the band and dealing with egos and personalities. He is there to make the record the very best it can be. I have engineered and produced on a much smaller scale of course but still found it to be the same.

You never have as much done or have a song quite as good as it can be. An outside ear and perception can always make the difference as Michael did with Bombshell.
Old 10th December 2005
  #14
DHD
Gear nut
 
DHD's Avatar
 

So Michael can you tell me anything about tracking Pat Badger and how you track bass in general.

I think Pornograffitti sound amazing. I dunno how you create such clarity in busy mixes like this record and the Ozzy stuff. You are da man.

Oh Yeah and any thoughts on your Testament stuff would be cool!

Y'know I think your mixes such as No More and Porno make me think you should be adding some Industrial metal to your CV.

Stay well,
Peace,
DHD
Old 10th December 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

i am a BIG FAN of michaels work ( well i guess i told him like 1000000 times )

for me the other records just didnt sell cause their time was simply OVER

TIMES R CHANGING heh
Old 10th December 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I was hanging out with Pat around the time of that record. Was pretty cool to hear some of the tracks in my car soon after Michael had mixed. Pat used to play Spectors but if I remember correctly told me he played a Steinberger solid body with a pick for the recording. He used Mesa gear live but not sure what he used on the record. Michael could tell you more. His memory is uncanny.
Old 10th December 2005
  #17
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHD
So Michael can you tell me anything about tracking Pat Badger and how you track bass in general.

I think Pornograffitti sound amazing. I dunno how you create such clarity in busy mixes like this record and the Ozzy stuff. You are da man.

Oh Yeah and any thoughts on your Testament stuff would be cool!

Y'know I think your mixes such as No More and Porno make me think you should be adding some Industrial metal to your CV.

Stay well,
Peace,
DHD
Thanx for the kind words.

The method of tracking bass changes with each project a little. Normally, if the setup allows (enough room for amp and speaker, keeper bass tracks etc.), I track bass with a DI (mostly the VIPRE DI or the TabFunkenwerk V71) without EQ or compression, so I have the pure signal of the instrument, just in case I want to re-amp it later. I also normally record the bass through an amp/cab, so I get a bit thicker bass tone with some much wanted speaker distortion.

Those two tracks are going to be slightly out of phase with each other, depending on how far the mic is placed from the speaker. There are a few different methods to get that back in phase. The out of phase situation happens because the mic signal arrives at the recorder later than the DI signal. It's about (and that is only a ruff estimae) 1ms per foot distance. Now, distance from what? The middle of the speaker which can be a few inches deep, or the outside of the speaker or the cabinet? You'll have to go with trial and error on this. Use a delay to move the DI later to align it "timewise" with the mic on the speaker. The delay unit has to be able to be increased in very small incremements, preferably samples. You can find out the delay time by recording a few notes and checking how far the waveforms are apart in you DAW.

The other way to get around this problem is the LittleLabs IBP, a wonderful studio tool, which should be built into every mic pre. Put it in line with the DI (after the preamp) and just slowly turn the knob until you have the exact sound you want. The most changes are going to happen in the low end. In some cases it's even cool NOT to have it aligned exactly, because the bottom end is tighter that way.

On some projects I just track the DI and leave the re-amping to mixing time, when I have a clearer picture of the overall sound, especially if there ae a lot of heavy guitar tracks, which ocupy the lower frequency range as well. In that case one has to live with an "unfinished" bass sound during the project. On other projects I have replaced the amp track later with a re-amped amp track when we had more information about the overall sound. On King's X we tracked the bass DI from the instrument and DI from Doug's rack, no real speaker involved.

Now what is this about Industrial metal? heh
Old 10th December 2005
  #18
Lowdbrent
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorkyTart
Yup, Nuno took over production for III Sides. That album definitely didnt have have the same 'snap' that Porno had. Yes egos, can get in the way and I think Nuno's ego drove Extreme right into the iceberg.

Evidently his brains were smashed upon impact, because his recent solo stuff is truely crap. Poor production, poor lyrical content, and no blazing Nuno riffs.

He is also on record saying that the reason that Extreme quit is that a record executive told him that he was "not tight enough, and that he needed to practice more."

Edited for typo error.
Old 30th January 2006
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Bravin Neff's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
The logical next step for those kind of musicians is to produce their next album themselves, their ego telling them they don't need a producer and, like in the above mentioned case, they might fall flat on their face, and come up with an album that doesn't sell anywhere near what the previous one did.

In any case, the combination producer/band turned out a great album, which seemingly couldn't quite be repeated on later records. In this business egos can be wonderful, but they also can be a curse.
Sorry to dig up an old thread... but this quote (and subsequent ones) stirred in me the feeling that the Extreme Porno and III Sides comparison is unfair. While I agree completely that bands can (and do) overlook what a good producer is able to bring (in fact I just did it this past summer)...

...doesn't the III Sides example -- taken as a less successful followup to Porno -- have just as much to do (if not more) with the radical change that took place in popular rock during the interim (aka grunge), than it did with the fact Nuno produced the latter? For some reason I find that as obvious today as I did back in '93, but maybe I'm missing something.
Old 30th January 2006
  #20
Gear maniac
 
Larrchild's Avatar
 

I remember telling a buddy that Extreme was coming to the studio I worked at, New River, to do the album after "Pornografitti". He said "Oh yeah, my wife likes that song"..referring to "More Than Words".

That told the whole story. Extreme was working the funky,snappy, Chili-Peppery kind of songs that they started with for years. But "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted" were soft songs. And it must have pained them that the big MTV hit was going to typecast them in the industry as soft-rock icons.

So, after a few weeks of tracking, I ask Nuno what the big followup song will be on III sides. He looks at me quizzically. I said "yeah like the song that sounds like "More than Words". He shrugged and said "naw, thats what they will be expecting."


So I guess he miscalculated.
Old 30th January 2006
  #21
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHD
So Michael can you tell me anything about tracking Pat Badger and how you track bass in general.

I think Pornograffitti sound amazing. I dunno how you create such clarity in busy mixes like this record and the Ozzy stuff. You are da man.

Oh Yeah and any thoughts on your Testament stuff would be cool!

Y'know I think your mixes such as No More and Porno make me think you should be adding some Industrial metal to your CV.

Stay well,
Peace,
DHD
Didn't Pat Badger use a "Chris Squire" something-or-other active bass into 2 400 watt Mesa heads... One overdriven and one clean = twangy+grungy+punchy?
Old 24th June 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Just checked this album out from Beverly Hills Public Library. Used to have it on cassette.

Sounds great. Are those fat snare hits triggered or mic'd only?

Always loved their harder/funkier edge. What a drag that they got known for "More Than Words," as great of a song as it is. Saw them open for Bon Jovi back in the day -- SUCH a tight band!

Is that the ADA MP-1 with the McIntosh power amp for the guitar sounds, MW?

P.S.: I checked out "Master of Puppets" from there, too...
Old 24th June 2006
  #23
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While i agree the mixing in III sides isn't quite top class, i think it's still a great album, doesn't seem any worse than pornograffiti and i don't think the reason that it sold less was to do with the producer or how the kick sounded. Come on now. More than words sold that album.

After a while, once i'd listened to all three albums (to death), i have to say i like Waiting for the Punchline the most. I love the guitar sound. Gorgeous. Hell, i still want an N4. Which of the three albums (i'm discounting their very first one) i prefer the most changes quite often, though.

No doubt that nuno's still my favourite guitarist though.
Old 24th June 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
 
The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravin Neff
Sorry to dig up an old thread... but this quote (and subsequent ones) stirred in me the feeling that the Extreme Porno and III Sides comparison is unfair. While I agree completely that bands can (and do) overlook what a good producer is able to bring (in fact I just did it this past summer)...

...doesn't the III Sides example -- taken as a less successful followup to Porno -- have just as much to do (if not more) with the radical change that took place in popular rock during the interim (aka grunge), than it did with the fact Nuno produced the latter? For some reason I find that as obvious today as I did back in '93, but maybe I'm missing something.
Exactly.
Old 24th June 2006
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Beatsmith
The biggest tradgedy [sic] in all this is nunos wasted talent
True enough. A R.I. band I managed in the 80's used to rehearse down the street from Extreme. Extreme were punk-ass wannabees for a while.

When Pornograffiti came out we were slayed, then humbled. Nuno is (Michael Wagener not withstanding) an amazing talent, and is it our loss that he is not living up to his potential. Extreme, indeed.

-g
Old 24th June 2006
  #26
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GilWave
True enough. A R.I. band I managed in the 80's used to rehearse down the street from Extreme. Extreme were punk-ass wannabees for a while.

When Pornograffiti came out we were slayed, then humbled. Nuno is (Michael Wagener not withstanding) an amazing talent, and is it our loss that he is not living up to his potential. Extreme, indeed.

-g
Yeah gary needs to be Bitch slapped. What a poser wannabe
He's the most untalented famous guy I know. Barley sings in key

Nuno on the other hand...... is GOD........................
Old 24th June 2006
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
Barley sings in key
I don't know who Barley is, nor whether he sings in key or not. I do know that John Barleycorn Must Die.

Quote:
Nuno on the other hand...... is GOD........................
"was" God, maybe. So was Van Halen, at one time. And Clapton.

"Gods" change, but standards must remain.
Old 24th June 2006
  #28
Gear maniac
 
John Peacock's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5down1up
for me the other records just didnt sell cause their time was simply OVER

TIMES R CHANGING heh
Yes. That and the fact that their following records didn't contain overtly catchy acoustic-pop singles. I don't think production was really much of a player.

-Jp
Old 24th June 2006
  #29
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Peacock
Yes. That and the fact that their following records didn't contain overtly catchy acoustic-pop singles. I don't think production was really much of a player.

-Jp
Well, picking the right songs for an album IS part of a producers job
Old 24th June 2006
  #30
Lives for gear
 

There is no doubt that "More Than Words" was a big part of making that record sell. I will say though that the production of Porno is in a different league than their records before and after Michael. I was living in LA in those days and remember when Pat Badger played me the board mixes in my car. I was floored. Everyone in my circle was completely blown away by the tones and attitude. Most of us forgot that More Than Words was even on the CD. We all knew that Extreme was a tight band but the sound of that record is what many of us were talking about. There wasn't the same buzz about 3 sides. Flat sounding and uninspired. I do know some of the inside scoop about the band leading up to that record. Success and constant touring can take it's toll.
BTW, Michaels's work on the first Saigon Kick record though different has that same edge and power.
Can you truly define all that a great producer does, or only the obvious.
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