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Mike Dean + Ken Lewis : 2 guitars on "Power" by Kanye West Dynamics Plugins
Old 17th September 2010
  #1
Gear maniac
 

Mike Dean + Ken Lewis : 2 guitars on "Power" by Kanye West

First off : haters step aside please!!!

Mike Dean, Ken Lewis and others in the know, please come in heh

So here's the story : (skip to the question if you like! no probs)

I had heard Kanye West's "Power" for the first time a few weeks ago and thought it was great : big props to the whole team for pulling it off in such a big way!

Then I forget about the song and enter a phase where I would be heavy into Kraut-rock, psychedelic rock and all that... And I'd pay particular attentions to guitars...

Fast forward to now : I just gave "Power" another listen and MAN! I have to say it's not just great it's (rick ross) MAGNIFICENT!!!

But seriously though : the guitars (I can hear two : one low-tone giving the rhythm + one high-tone playing a melody) on the song are right on par with some of my favorites :

- Jeff Garcia's UNFORGETTABLE and powerful (as simple as powerful : very!) performance on Jefferson Airplane's "Today" from the 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow. "Today... i feel like pleasing you... more than before"... great stuff.

- The first two minutes of Can's "Paperhouse" from the 1971 album "Tago Mago"... great singer... love the mood he brings into the song.

I hope you'll take these references as compliments!

And here's the question/favor I have to ask :

1) Who played guitars on "Power" ?

2) As I have said previously : I can hear at least two guitars, one low-tone giving the rhythm, which kicks in first, and one high-tone playing a melody.

What equipment was used to produce these great tones ?

Guitar? Amp? Pedals/Stomp boxes? (eventually eq...)


Thanks a million time if you guys can answer these.

And in any case : keep on bringing back that 1970s vibe into the 2010s! It's very much needed. Great work!
Old 17th September 2010
  #2
Gear interested
 

sampled from king crimson
Old 17th September 2010
  #3
Gear maniac
 

You sure ? I think you are wrong.

I suppose I know what song you're referring to, but the only thing I can hear that was sampled are the words : "21st Century Schizoid Man". And from what I can tell : the guitars are definitely not sampled from king crimson's eponymous song.
Old 17th September 2010
  #4
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godphaser's Avatar
 

Especially when you have Ken Lewis on a Kanye West track, you can be 100% sure it's replayed.
Old 17th September 2010
  #5
Gear nut
 
rpun13's Avatar
 

Power (2010) was sampled from 2 songs:

It's Your Thing by Cold Grits (1969)
Afromerica by Continent Number 6 (1978)
Old 17th September 2010
  #6
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpun13 View Post
Power (2010) was sampled from 2 songs:

It's Your Thing by Cold Grits (1969)
Afromerica by Continent Number 6 (1978)


Quote:
Originally Posted by godphaser View Post
Especially when you have Ken Lewis on a Kanye West track, you can be 100% sure it's replayed.

exactly my thoughts! And I shall add : especially when you have Ken Lewis AND Mike Dean!!!
Old 17th September 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 

So for Clarity:

Who replayed the guitars? And what sample is being replayed?

I would like to cross reference the 2.

The apparent loudness on power, especially when the drums drop, is very powerful.
Old 17th September 2010
  #8
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgthefuture View Post
So for Clarity:

Who replayed the guitars? And what sample is being replayed?

I would like to cross reference the 2.

The apparent loudness on power, especially when the drums drop, is very powerful.
For clarity :

1. We don't know AT ALL if there were any samples - as far as the guitar parts are concerned, in the first place...

2. "Who (re-)played the guitars" and what equipment was used : that's what I'm trying to find out... until dudes came in this thread naming samples that they didn't even listen to...
Old 17th September 2010
  #9
Gear addict
 
boosh's Avatar
 

'96 custom shop strat.

Played by Mike Dean.

At least that's what he told me.
Old 17th September 2010
  #10
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidwave View Post
sampled from king crimson
not what he's talking about. There are real guitars being played all throughout Power. Incidentally, i flipped the King Crimson sample for the Power Remix, instead of the "21st Century skitzoid man" it says "No one man should have all that power" in its place. now i did play THOSE guitars in that brief little spot. and thats Tash Neal from the London Souls singing the line.

I believe Mike Dean recorded the main guitars (and probably everything else, and mixed it) that the OP wants to know about. my main contribution to Power was that me and Alvin Fields sing the Chant vocals.
Old 17th September 2010
  #11
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by godphaser View Post
Especially when you have Ken Lewis on a Kanye West track, you can be 100% sure it's replayed.
fyi, i do much more for Kanye than just replay samples, though i do not do a whole lot of work for Kanye, just stuff here and there. Mike Dean is his guy. I have mixed for Kanye a half dozen times, but usually he calls me for some type of musical work, which is often, but far from always, recreating samples.
Old 17th September 2010
  #12
Gear maniac
 

Thanks boosh and Ken Lewis for coming with straight informations! You've answered my main questions.

An added bonus would be the amp and especially the effects used by Mike Dean, if any!

Thanks a bunch in any case!

BTW "Jeff Bhasker" is also credited for that song (according to wikipedia), which led me to think he might have played some guitar on there.

Guess I was wrong then.

Quote:
Track listing

Digital single
No. Title Writer(s) Sample(s) Length
1. "Power" (featuring Dwele, produced by S1, co-produced by Kanye West, additional production by Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean) Kanye West, Larry Griffin, Andwele Gardner, Ken Lewis, Francois Bernheim, Jean Pierre Lang, Boris Bergman, Mike Dean, Jeff Bhasker,Peter Sinfield
Contains samples of "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson and "Afromerica" by Continent Number 6
4:53
CD single
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Power" (clean version) (featuring Dwele) K. West, L. Griffin, A. Gardner, K. Lewis, F. Bernheim, J. Lang, B. Bergman, M. Dean, J. Bhasker, R. Fripp, M. Giles, G. Lake, I. McDonald, P. Sinfield S1, co-produced by Kanye West, additional production by Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean 4:53
2. "Power" (explicit version) (featuring Dwele) K. West, L. Griffin, A. Gardner, K. Lewis, F. Bernheim, J. Lang, B. Bergman, M. Dean, J. Bhasker, R. Fripp, M. Giles, G. Lake, I. McDonald, P. Sinfield S1, co-produced by Kanye West, additional production by Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean 4:53
Old 17th September 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
not what he's talking about. There are real guitars being played all throughout Power. Incidentally, i flipped the King Crimson sample for the Power Remix, instead of the "21st Century skitzoid man" it says "No one man should have all that power" in its place. now i did play THOSE guitars in that brief little spot. and thats Tash Neal from the London Souls singing the line.

I believe Mike Dean recorded the main guitars (and probably everything else, and mixed it) that the OP wants to know about. my main contribution to Power was that me and Alvin Fields sing the Chant vocals.
Awesome.

So the "Oh...ayyye...OH" is YOU and another guy or the Tash Neal Character.

IMO that's what sets the whole track off.

The guitars in the "remix" you say, you played those? let me find that song.
Old 17th September 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
my main contribution to Power was that me and Alvin Fields sing the Chant vocals.
wow! I would have bet everything that was a sample. sounds like a big male/female gospel choir. if u can, please share the process in recording/layering that big choir sound on this record.
Old 18th September 2010
  #15
Gear maniac
 
ktodac3298's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by populardemand View Post
wow! I would have bet everything that was a sample. sounds like a big male/female gospel choir. if u can, please share the process in recording/layering that big choir sound on this record.
same question/thought please share!
Old 18th September 2010
  #16
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godphaser's Avatar
 

Quote:
fyi, i do much more for Kanye than just replay samples, though i do not do a whole lot of work for Kanye, just stuff here and there. Mike Dean is his guy. I have mixed for Kanye a half dozen times, but usually he calls me for some type of musical work, which is often, but far from always, recreating samples.
Yeah I know that. Remember that itw? heh
Old 18th September 2010
  #17
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
not what he's talking about. There are real guitars being played all throughout Power. Incidentally, i flipped the King Crimson sample for the Power Remix, instead of the "21st Century skitzoid man" it says "No one man should have all that power" in its place. now i did play THOSE guitars in that brief little spot. and thats Tash Neal from the London Souls singing the line.

I believe Mike Dean recorded the main guitars (and probably everything else, and mixed it) that the OP wants to know about. my main contribution to Power was that me and Alvin Fields sing the Chant vocals.
Please say a big hello to Alvin for me as its been a while.
Old 18th September 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by populardemand View Post
wow! I would have bet everything that was a sample. sounds like a big male/female gospel choir. if u can, please share the process in recording/layering that big choir sound on this record.
this is not at all in any way a simple process. EXACT Sample recreation is by far the most challenging thing i do, and requires me to draw upon every aspect of my background from engineering, to production, to musicianship, to technical knowledge of instruments, recording equipment, etc...

Just think for a moment about all of the variables to consider when attempting to EXACTLY recreate say an old 70's soul record. just figuring out what instruments are playing is often a challenge, then figuring out all of the notes everyone is playing, hearing thru the layered sounds and deciphering just the musical aspect of it can be a nightmare on its own. THEN you have to match the sonic character of each instrument as well as the sonic character of each performance of each instrument.

Did the bass player play with a pick or fingers? round wound or flat wound strings? amp or direct? fat tone? midrangy? bright? 4 string bass? 5 string bass? played sloppy or played right in the pocket? and these are just the main considerations to go thru for the bassline!!!!! Now i am not saying i go out and get a 5 string bass with round wound strings and a vintage amp to recreate a bassline like this, but until you can identify exactly what the sound is, you cannot find a way to exactly recreate it. Just playing the notes correctly is only step one of many steps.

now multiply that by 3 guitars, rhodes, piano, organ, strings, full drum kit, percussion, etc.....

Obviously i am not talking specifics with the Chant sample for Power. that was voices and hand claps, and even just with those two things, this one was a bitch to pull off, as they all are, but not as difficult as most.
Old 18th September 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Well I'd imagine something like Melodyne DNA + Spectrum mapper would save half of the process.

I think just getting the Instruments and space right would be the big challenge.

I wonder, do you guys ever make "classic" sounds just for the sport of sampling and getting that feel, although it's not based on any particular sample?

I ask because that would be alot more easier and, creative, at the least.
Old 18th September 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Mike Dean + Ken Lewis : 2 guitars on "Power" by Kanye West

I played the 2 guitars that play thru the song. The piano and Juno parts on break and the bass guitar on turnaround. Jeff played mood bass thru whole song and lead synth and moog bass in break. The only guitar sampled was the hits after 21st century. Ken redid the Afro America sample. And I added the extra synths on the power remix with jay z Thanks. Mike dean
Attached Thumbnails
Mike Dean + Ken Lewis : 2 guitars on "Power" by Kanye West-imageuploadedbygearslutz.jpg  
Old 18th September 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
godphaser's Avatar
 

Amazing job Mike! thumbsup
Old 18th September 2010
  #22
Gear maniac
 

Thanks Mike Dean!

Btw I keep a list of "my musical heroes" - yep, that's its title - so I won't forget about people : guess who I've just added between Sa-ra (creative partners) and Neff-u

I'd never quite realized the priviledge we had to have Mike Dean on GS!
Old 19th September 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
PhonoquO's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
this is not at all in any way a simple process. EXACT Sample recreation is by far the most challenging thing i do, and requires me to draw upon every aspect of my background from engineering, to production, to musicianship, to technical knowledge of instruments, recording equipment, etc...

Just think for a moment about all of the variables to consider when attempting to EXACTLY recreate say an old 70's soul record. just figuring out what instruments are playing is often a challenge, then figuring out all of the notes everyone is playing, hearing thru the layered sounds and deciphering just the musical aspect of it can be a nightmare on its own. THEN you have to match the sonic character of each instrument as well as the sonic character of each performance of each instrument.

Did the bass player play with a pick or fingers? round wound or flat wound strings? amp or direct? fat tone? midrangy? bright? 4 string bass? 5 string bass? played sloppy or played right in the pocket? and these are just the main considerations to go thru for the bassline!!!!! Now i am not saying i go out and get a 5 string bass with round wound strings and a vintage amp to recreate a bassline like this, but until you can identify exactly what the sound is, you cannot find a way to exactly recreate it. Just playing the notes correctly is only step one of many steps.

now multiply that by 3 guitars, rhodes, piano, organ, strings, full drum kit, percussion, etc.....

Obviously i am not talking specifics with the Chant sample for Power. that was voices and hand claps, and even just with those two things, this one was a bitch to pull off, as they all are, but not as difficult as most.
As.far.as.replaying.samples.go,are.you.not.given.too.much.creative.freedom.to.modify.the.sounds,playing,and.even.improve.upon.an.already.good.idea?(sorry,spacebar.broke!)

nice.work.on.the.kanye.track.KL&MD
Old 19th September 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhonoquO View Post
As.far.as.replaying.samples.go,are.you.not.given.too.much.creative.freedom.to.modify.the.sounds,playing,and.even.improve.upon.an.already.good.idea?(sorry,spacebar.broke!)
talk about creative!! that was an excellent solution to your space bar breaking.

When i am hired to EXACTLY recreate a sample, then that is my task.

If i am hired to flip a sample, then there is leeway for creativity, in fact the job description would call for it.
Old 19th September 2010
  #25
Hey Ken, is it JUST you and Alvin singing the chant? Or are you saying you both were a part of it?
Old 19th September 2010
  #26
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equiv_Exchange View Post
Hey Ken, is it JUST you and Alvin singing the chant? Or are you saying you both were a part of it?
JUST me and Alvin. More of alvin than me in the blend, prolly 65% to 35%
Old 19th September 2010
  #27
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CRACKPIPE's Avatar
 

Inspirational thread. I've always wanted to have live musicians play my sample compositions as well as write something that sounds like a sample.
thumbsup
Old 19th September 2010
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
JUST me and Alvin. More of alvin than me in the blend, prolly 65% to 35%
Thats crazy. I always thought it was a woman's voice!
Old 19th September 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 
WideawakE's Avatar
 

thanks for this thread

great read

good info

love the song

peace!
Old 20th September 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equiv_Exchange View Post
Thats crazy. I always thought it was a woman's voice!
nope, we just put on TIGHT pants that day. it was painful, but all in the name of making hit records!!! heh
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