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Them Bouncy, blooming acoustic guitars
Old 30th May 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 
Bob the V's Avatar
 

Them Bouncy, blooming acoustic guitars

I frequently see posts on how certain Beatle-y compressors can give ride cymbals that BWOOOSH sound (without which psychedelia would have been stillborn, right?)

Ok, fair enough. However, there is a different compressor trick that I would like to see done nicely. Think Buffalo Springfield's "Bluebird." The guitar sound blooms nicely after it is picked or strummed. The transients seem preserved and you don't hear ducking after the pick sound. Somehow the transient is well-represented and then the sound just gets louder, like it is bouncing along in level. Maybe if I went back and listened again I would hear undesireable artifacts but not in my brain's playback machine.

Any ideas on how this sound was done?

And please, don't tell me it was all Mr. Still's fingers.tutt

Bob the V
Old 31st May 2006
  #2
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob the V
I frequently see posts on how certain Beatle-y compressors can give ride cymbals that BWOOOSH sound (without which psychedelia would have been stillborn, right?)
Bob the V
A lot of times, as in The Beatles case, those ride cymbals are hi-hats....good example is in "She Loves You." That half open hat gets squashed (any compressor will do) and becomes a steady wash.

TH
Old 31st May 2006
  #3
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elambo's Avatar
I think you just told yourself how to get that sound: set the attack so that the pick attack is preserved, but not much more or less, then adjust the release for a nice bloom. Maybe 4:1 ratio. I get good results with an 1176 for that type of sound.
Old 31st May 2006
  #4
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ripper's Avatar
 

will have to here the springfiled track again....

i've got a lot of compressers and my fave for acoustic gtr is the manley ELOP with it's sidechain detector 200hz HPF enabled. keeps the low strings from squashing the **** out of the highs and i can pour on a lot and get a nice bloom which may be similar to what you describe.

maybe you could demo one from a dealer... or try the sidechain HPF w/ another comp. the ELOP is so SMOOOOTH though!!!
Old 31st May 2006
  #5
Led
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Led's Avatar
There's a thing along these lines we did with a remix for someone. Send the track to a reverb, really wet, put the returns of the reverb through a compressor and key it off something (in dance music it's usually the kick) that's on the downbeats. You could even key it off the attack from the accoustic, with a gate with a high threshold over the sidechain feed so you only get the first attack feeding the compressor key.
YOu can go even further and bus things to subgroups and then put compressors like this over 2 different subgroups and key them off different beats so you get them kinda pulsing in counter rythms.Does that make sense or did I balls up trying to speak again?
Old 31st May 2006
  #6
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks
A lot of times, as in The Beatles case, those ride cymbals are hi-hats....good example is in "She Loves You." That half open hat gets squashed (any compressor will do) and becomes a steady wash.

TH
She loves you is a classic example of an engineer who doesn't know how to use a compressor.
Old 31st May 2006
  #7
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
She loves you is a classic example of an engineer who doesn't know how to use a compressor.

Well hey remember, in 1964 there was no Gearslutz Forum where George Martin and Norman Smith could come and learn how to use a compressor...

TH
Old 31st May 2006
  #8
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Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Sounds like a fun tip, Led. I'll look forward to giving it a try. Once or twice I've keyed verbs with an expander, so only the transients poke through into the verb. Gives things like drums an interesting sense of motion.

Always been curious about the Beatles bwoooosh -- if, that is, we're talking about the one best featured in "Good Morning, Good Morning." Never been able to get it to happen, and I've tried a lot of compressors.

Btw, Bob...great avatar.



Old 31st May 2006
  #9
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet
Sounds like a fun tip, Led. I'll look forward to giving it a try. Once or twice I've keyed verbs with an expander, so only the transients poke through into the verb. Gives things like drums an interesting sense of motion.

Always been curious about the Beatles bwoooosh -- if, that is, we're talking about the one best featured in "Good Morning, Good Morning." Never been able to get it to happen, and I've tried a lot of compressors.

Btw, Bob...great avatar.




What you are hearing in "Good Morning" is a crash cymbal, not the hi hat thing you hear in "She Loves You" and "Can't Buy Me Love" and many others.

They were using Fairchild and Altec compressors at EMI. Another great one for hearing what you hear in "Good Morning" is "She Said, She Said" off "Revolver." Check out the drums/cymbals in that one!

TH
Old 31st May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I know "Bluebird" in and out. That ac guitar is super compressed. I mean squashed compressed. I even talked to Messina (who engineered it) about that a couple of decades ago.

Anyway, that extreme compression is what pulls all those grace notes out into the front...you'd never be able to pick up that kind of glue on that played part without the compressor being set where it is. You can also really hear what the setting does to the sound at earlier points in the song where Stills hits harmonics. They divebomb at the hit and then with the quick release, you heart them come back up in the mix. Loudest harmonics you've ever heard.

Which is why it stands out ...and why you hear the release of the compressor on the last strum at the end of the middle solo. Of course Messina was also raising the fader as the chord dies out, then slamming the fader to zero just before the banjo.

Messina did the same squash effect on all the lead acoustic guitars on the first Pogo (Poco) album also. For example "Calico Lady" (or whatever it's called). Same thing. But...after years of listening to any of those early Messina effects, I actually start liking them less. No slam on the music itself as the Springfield is my favorite group ever (I used to go see them play in 67)...BUT...while the squashed ac guitar is okay for sections, the sound gets tedious if used throughout an entire song...imo.
Old 31st May 2006
  #11
Gear Head
 
Bob the V's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Led
There's a thing along these lines we did with a remix for someone. Send the track to a reverb, really wet, put the returns of the reverb through a compressor and key it off something (in dance music it's usually the kick) that's on the downbeats. You could even key it off the attack from the accoustic, with a gate with a high threshold over the sidechain feed so you only get the first attack feeding the compressor key.
YOu can go even further and bus things to subgroups and then put compressors like this over 2 different subgroups and key them off different beats so you get them kinda pulsing in counter rythms.Does that make sense or did I balls up trying to speak again?
I started to read this and immediately thought of a different but dynamically related effect that is a favorite of mine. That is, the opening strums to Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower, that sound like a squashed acoustic that is keying a ducker strapped across the returns of a huge reverb (fed by the GTR). Really nice effect. Thanks for the idea.

Bob the V
Old 31st May 2006
  #12
Gear Head
 
Bob the V's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet
Sounds like a fun tip, Led. I'll look forward to giving it a try. Once or twice I've keyed verbs with an expander, so only the transients poke through into the verb. Gives things like drums an interesting sense of motion.

Always been curious about the Beatles bwoooosh -- if, that is, we're talking about the one best featured in "Good Morning, Good Morning." Never been able to get it to happen, and I've tried a lot of compressors.

Btw, Bob...great avatar.



The hit you refer to is probably heavily compressed alright but I think the cymbal was hit with a mallet.

Yep, I rather like my avatar too, though I wish it were a tad larger!

Bob the V
Old 31st May 2006
  #13
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drmmrboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob the V
However, there is a different compressor trick that I would like to see done nicely. Think Buffalo Springfield's "Bluebird." The guitar sound blooms nicely after it is picked or strummed.
A friend gave me the CD recently, just to check out those acoustic guits on Bluebird... Yeah, squeezed pretty hard.

Good info noodle. thumbsup
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