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Folk strumming acoustic tone Condenser Microphones
Old 26th April 2018
  #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
The BS floating around about how "Lo-Fi" tape was/is is spread by people whose experience with a tape machine is limited to broken consumer grade machines that haven't been serviced in 40 years and have worn out heads.
... and/or professionals with 40 years experience in studios of all kinds in all kinds of genres - film, television, record dates, etc.

The simple fact is fidelity in the 60s wasn't what it is today. The term "lo fi" is relative, in the 50s, fidelity took a leap over the 40s, a big leap, surpassed by the introduction of stereo in the late 50s, improved again in the 60s, and bettered by a wide margin in the 70s. All those leaps were considered "hi fi" at the time, only to be bettered by even more hi fi.

it's never about the mic's, or any one thing, it's the entire chain: mic's, rooms, consoles, tape (columbia recorded through phone lines and transmitted the audio up their 52nd street headquarters up till the early 50's), the sensibility of the performers (who may not have been used to playing for the recording, but were good live players), the pressings, the vinyl, which was limited in frequency response and subject to the RIAA curve for recording and playback.

All those things mattered in a way that's completely different today - we are in a period of unquestioned higher fidelity, that's objectively true, not subjectively so - one may like or prefer the sound of old recordings, and that's fine, but a guitar recorded today, on average gear, will have higher fidelity than anything recorded back then - that doesn't mean it will sound "better".

The OP is referencing his favorite guitar sounds against youtube transmissions of "relatively" lo fideliy recordings. Period, end of story. He claims he can "hear through it", but he cannot. That's not possible.

Does it matter? No, of course not.

Last edited by Sharp11; 26th April 2018 at 02:51 AM..
Old 26th April 2018
  #152
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No. Not flatwounds on an acoustic flat-top. Flatwounds were mostly used by jazz archtop players.

A lot of people back then used Black Diamonds which were kinda horrible sounding deadish strings for the simple reason that they were the only ones available in a lot of places, but people like Dylan, Baez, Buffy St. Marie, and others who were part on the Greenwich Village folkie scene were more likely than not playing D'Angelicos, which were mostly preferred in those circles. I started out playing guitar as a folkie in the early '60s and subscribed to the old Sing Out! magazine, which was more or less the bible to the Village folk scene - when Dylan wrote "Positively 4th Street" those are the people he was aiming at. I even got my dad to take me to the legendary Fretted Instruments, the guitar shop run by Marc Silber next door to The Folklore Center which was pretty much ground zero for that scene, where we bought a guitar.
Thanks, that's helpful information. Maybe I'll try some D'Angelicos. Although the deadish Black Diamonds sound like something I'd like to try
Thanks!
Old 26th April 2018
  #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Does anyone think the guitar used in the reference songs the OP listed is a 40's J45? Dylan's main dreadnought at the period of those recordings looks like a J45 with mahogany top to me. The tones you hear on those recordings seem dark/woody and that's how the J45 has always sounded to me. Slap on a mahogany top and you're there IMO.

50 Years Since the Release Of Bob Dylan's First Album Photos and Images | Getty Images
Yeah, wouldn't mind trying out an old J-45 -- again, not very easy to access from where I'm at. Wish I lived in a bigger city where there are antique guitar stores with sought after guitars like that. I'd be in there for days
Old 26th April 2018
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
... and/or professionals with 40 years experience in studios of all kinds in all kinds of genres - film, television, record dates, etc.

The simple fact is fidelity in the 60s wasn't what it is today. The term "lo fi" is relative, in the 50s, fidelity took a leap over the 40s, a big leap, surpassed by the introduction of stereo in the late 50s, improved again in the 60s, and bettered by a wide margin in the 70s. All those leaps were considered "hi fi" at the time, only to be bettered by even more hi fi.

it's never about the mic's, or any one thing, it's the entire chain: mic's, rooms, consoles, tape (columbia recorded through phone lines and transmitted the audio up their 52nd street headquarters up till the early 50's), the sensibility of the performers (who may not have been used to playing for the recording, but were good live players), the pressings, the vinyl, which was limited in frequency response and subject to the RIAA curve for recording and playback.

All those things mattered in a way that's completely different today - we are in a period of unquestioned higher fidelity, that's objectively true, not subjectively so - one may like or prefer the sound of old recordings, and that's fine, but a guitar recorded today, on average gear, will have higher fidelity than anything recorded back then - that doesn't mean it will sound "better".

The OP is referencing his favorite guitar sounds against youtube transmissions of "relatively" lo fideliy recordings. Period, end of story. He claims he can "hear through it", but he cannot. That's not possible.

Does it matter? No, of course not.
I've already mentioned that I have original vinyl pressings of these recordings - the Youtube quality doesn't change the tone of the guitar. You mention here that the entire chain matters - but you don't list the guitar, the most important component, as part of the signal chain. If you think lo-fi is the reason that those guitars from back then had the tone they had, yet you say you've been playing acoustics for years, then it might be time to sit down with a vintage acoustic next to a modern one and hear the tonal difference again. Surely you know that studios keep multiple acoustics on hand because different songs call for different sounds, and again - it is the guitar that makes the tone that you capture in the recording. You're not necessarily wrong in what you're saying, but you're having the wrong conversation, and I hope you will be big enough to admit at least that. Otherwise, please leave this thread because it's not about recording acoustics, it's about getting a particular sound. The Youtube videos are just for a quick reference to hear/see the type of acoustic/sound I'm after. You're focusing on the wrong thing - let it go!
Old 26th April 2018
  #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
HAH!!!

That is NOT a nylon strung guitar - that's an old fashioned Martin parlor guitar (00 body, 12 fret neck, slotted peghead) that is built for light gauge steel strings. How you can tell (if you don't already know the model) is to look very carefully at the diameter of the shafts on the tuners. They are thin, the same size as the pegs on a regular steel string; if the guitar was built for nylon they would be thick - about a half inch - and made from a bone colored material, not metal.

Not all slotted head guitars are nylon strung.

If you check out THIS PAGE in the online Martin catalog you will find guitars with a similar headstock.

It appears to be very similar to the current Limited Edition Model SS-041GB-17.

Next question?
Thanks again - yeah, if you look above in the thread we determined that this was a Martin 0-45 loaned out to Dylan by Baez for this performance.

Gotta get me one of those SS limited editions
Old 26th April 2018
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
I don't know if this will help any, but it's gotta be more useful than talking about converters! When I was after a smaller guitar for tracking at home (I had a Simon & Patrick dreadnought that was just uncomfortably big for me, and really didn't need the full-bodies sound) I spent a while looking for reviews, and found a youtube channel where they record consistently high-quality audio examples of many different guitars - often in the form of head to heads.

I found their videos incredibly useful in narrowing down my choices and that they gave a really good idea of what the guitars sounded like in real life - particularly in highlighting the differences between various makes/models. In my case, I narrowed it down to a Taylor GS Mini vs a Martin Dreadnought Jr, and opted for the Taylor when it came down to it.

The Youtube channel is Acoustic Life TV: YouTube
Cool, thanks man, I'll check it out, sounds like a good resource.
Old 26th April 2018
  #157
FWIW, I'm pretty sure that Dylan's first three albums were done with a small bodied Gibson like an LG-1. A B-25 is similar. He was pretty much a Gibson guy, like his idol Woody Guthrie.

Baez favored Martins.

Guilds were also really popular with the east coast folkies - they sit somewhere between Gibsons and Martins tonally, leaning toward the Gibson to my ear. I own a 1964 Guild D-40, the same model Ritchie Havens played.

After the motorcycle accident Dylan started using a '50s Gibson J-200, you can see it on the cover of Nashville Skyline. I've had two, first a '58 that was stolen, currently a '59. The new ones don't stack up, to my ear (and eye).

The J-200 was also favored by the folk blues singer Dave Van Ronk, who was the first person I saw with one; he was a big fan of The Reverend Gary Davis, who played one.
Old 26th April 2018
  #158
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Thanks again - yeah, if you look above in the thread we determined that this was a Martin 0-45 loaned out to Dylan by Baez for this performance.

Gotta get me one of those SS limited editions
Better hurry, they only made a few. They're only about 10 grand!

A friend of mine has a '30s 0-41 or 0-45, but he moved to Hawaii last year.
Old 26th April 2018
  #159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
... and/or professionals with 40 years experience in studios of all kinds in all kinds of genres - film, television, record dates, etc.

The simple fact is fidelity in the 60s wasn't what it is today. The term "lo fi" is relative, in the 50s, fidelity took a leap over the 40s, a big leap, surpassed by the introduction of stereo in the late 50s, improved again in the 60s, and bettered by a wide margin in the 70s. All those leaps were considered "hi fi" at the time, only to be bettered by even more hi fi.

it's never about the mic's, or any one thing, it's the entire chain: mic's, rooms, consoles, tape (columbia recorded through phone lines and transmitted the audio up their 52nd street headquarters up till the early 50's), the sensibility of the performers (who may not have been used to playing for the recording, but were good live players), the pressings, the vinyl, which was limited in frequency response and subject to the RIAA curve for recording and playback.

All those things mattered in a way that's completely different today - we are in a period of unquestioned higher fidelity, that's objectively true, not subjectively so - one may like or prefer the sound of old recordings, and that's fine, but a guitar recorded today, on average gear, will have higher fidelity than anything recorded back then - that doesn't mean it will sound "better".

The OP is referencing his favorite guitar sounds against youtube transmissions of "relatively" lo fideliy recordings. Period, end of story. He claims he can "hear through it", but he cannot. That's not possible.

Does it matter? No, of course not.
I don't find myself in disagreement with Sharp11 often, and I think what he wrote above has merit -- but I just want to say that while the average 60s recording was not particularly stellar in the fi department, the best of the era could be stunning.

To this day, my (you should pardon the expression) go-to recording for testing overall sound repro and particularly lossy codecs is the 1963 Lalo Schifrin-produced Several Shades of Jade -- a lushly orchestrated, jazz-infused album of intelligent exotica. The album is loaded with live studio ambience and exquisitely detailed exotic percussion. I'm not going to link to the various YouTube versions I'm sure I'd find -- in the hopes that those with access to better-quality streaming will listen there. The basic quality of the recording, though, is so high that it can be used for sussing differences between different 320 kbps codecs and settings... [and in fact I used it in ABX testing that revealed I could reliably tell my streamer's Fraunhofer-encoded streams from 320s created by the LAME encoder set to highest quality, a bit depressing as the LAME sounded better; I'd switch to Tidal except I absolutely hate the player and user interface and the sonic difference is very small... but it nonetheless nags at the back of my head... because it is noticeable and I 'proved' to myself that noticeability was not imagined.]

________________



With regard to the overall sound of the acoustic guitar on the early Dylan guitar recordings -- I spent some time yesterday listening to Freewheelin' as well as Bob Dylan -- I think it's a combination of the guitar(s), the player, the studio technique, and the technological resources they used on the project. (Does that sound like a total c.s. 'reasonable' answer? Sue me. )

Last edited by theblue1; 26th April 2018 at 07:26 PM..
Old 26th April 2018
  #160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
... and/or professionals with 40 years experience in studios of all kinds in all kinds of genres - film, television, record dates, etc.

The simple fact is fidelity in the 60s wasn't what it is today. The term "lo fi" is relative, in the 50s, fidelity took a leap over the 40s, a big leap, surpassed by the introduction of stereo in the late 50s, improved again in the 60s, and bettered by a wide margin in the 70s. All those leaps were considered "hi fi" at the time, only to be bettered by even more hi fi.

it's never about the mic's, or any one thing, it's the entire chain: mic's, rooms, consoles, tape (columbia recorded through phone lines and transmitted the audio up their 52nd street headquarters up till the early 50's), the sensibility of the performers (who may not have been used to playing for the recording, but were good live players), the pressings, the vinyl, which was limited in frequency response and subject to the RIAA curve for recording and playback.

All those things mattered in a way that's completely different today - we are in a period of unquestioned higher fidelity, that's objectively true, not subjectively so - one may like or prefer the sound of old recordings, and that's fine, but a guitar recorded today, on average gear, will have higher fidelity than anything recorded back then - that doesn't mean it will sound "better".

The OP is referencing his favorite guitar sounds against youtube transmissions of "relatively" lo fideliy recordings. Period, end of story. He claims he can "hear through it", but he cannot. That's not possible.

Does it matter? No, of course not.
Just curious, but you're how old?

You're wrong, but I'm not going to waste a lot of time arguing with you - I'll just say a couple of things - a professional tape machine has wider usable high frequency response than the standard digital response at 44.1/48, although it doesn't fall within the printed spec of +/-3dB. The low frequency limit of vinyl recording is not set by tape, it's set by the physical limitations of the cutting lathe, which requires an HPF to avoid cutting unplayable records and/or blowing the cutting head. Tape does impose a low frequency limit, but it's well below the useful range of a music recording. I've heard vinyl recordings of the 1812 Overture with cannons that would make you think you're under attack when played on a big JBL Paragon system.

Some of the most respected recordings of classical and jazz music were done in the '50s to mono. Incidentally, mono is a higher fidelity medium than stereo on vinyl for reasons related to the physics of cutting vinyl. On tape, of course, the number of channels makes no difference, only track width.

I happen to own a Studer A-800 MKIII 2" machine, an MCI JH-110 2 track, and a Studer/Revox A-77 professional portable. Over the last 50 years I've owned a LOT of tape machines of various types and quality. The first time I was in a professional studio was back around '65, which was equipped with two Ampex 3-track machines.

I also own an Antelope Orion 32 track converter, so I'm pretty familiar with both sides. The audible quality of recording on my Studer 2" is about the same as on the Orion running at 96/32 float, except that the noise floor on the tape is a bit higher, but not so you'd notice while the music's playing.

We've tracked to the Studer, dumped to digital, and then punched in a couple fixes to the digital copy. You can't hear a quality difference between what originated on tape and the digital punches. Couldn't do that with my previous converters, the inferior digital sound gave it away every time.

Most professional engineers I know who are old enough to have significant tape experience generally prefer tape for sonics, although the difference is not as great as it was even a few years ago.That's not the reason they use digital. The REAL reason is convenience - running a tape based studio is a royal PITA, the machines require constant maintenance, editing with a razor blade is NOT fun, especially when you're trying to edit one track in the middle of a 2" wide tape (I can't do it but I've known those who can), and tape is really expensive these days. I scare away prospective clients who want the mystique of using tape but don't know anything about the process and who play music I'm not interested in by telling them that before we even start talking rates the cost of a roll of tape that lasts 1/2 hour at 15 ips (slow speed on the Studer) is $350 - and that's not money paid to me, they have to buy it themselves from the dealer because I'm not in the business of selling tape.

ProTools didn't originally gain traction in the studios because it sounded better - it definitely didn't - but because if a tape needed more than a couple of edits it was infinitely easier to do digitally than with a blade.

EDIT: I'm running on much longer than I intended, but I have one more thing to add, which is that the fidelity limitations attributed to tape recording by the ignorant who don't know anything about the process are actually caused by deficiencies in the physical replication of vinyl records. Stampers wear out. There is a noticeable difference in quality between one of the first batch of disks off a stamper and copies made by the time the stamper is declared unusable many hundreds or thousands of disks later - and of course the record companies always tried to get as many disks per stamper as possible and there was no way to tell if what you were buying was off a stamper that was fresh or worn out. When you couple that with the fact that most people played their records on less than stellar equipment, and that even on a top quality turntable there was an audible difference between the first play or two and the same record after being played once a day for a couple weeks, well, you get the idea. That's why a lot of really picky audiophiles back then would buy a disk and play it once - to record it to tape - and then put it away until the tape needed replacement.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 26th April 2018 at 06:41 PM..
Old 26th April 2018
  #161
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
With regard to the overall sound of the acoustic guitar on the early Dylan guitar recordings -- I spent some time yesterday listening to Freewheelin' as well as Bob Dylan -- I think it's a combination of the guitar(s), the player, the studio technique, and the technological resources they used on the project. (Does that sound like a total c.s. 'reasonable' answer? Sue me. )
It's the player, the guitar, the mic, and the mic technique. These days the mic technique is a biggie because 95% of recordists do it wrong, and to use the correct mic technique requires a mic of a certain level of quality, specifically you need off axis response that's the same as on-axis. One of the reasons that close-micing is so popular these days is mediocre microphones.

I recently did an inventory and was somewhat bemused to discover that I own at least 82 mics and DI boxes (since I have 5 DIs I guess that makes 75 mics.) Of all those mics there are exactly 5 that I use for recording acoustic guitar (one at a time), and of those I usually reach for one of two most of the time (AKG C12A and Neumann KM84) The C12A is not as good as the original C12, but I can't afford one of those.
Old 26th April 2018
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I recently did an inventory and was somewhat bemused to discover that I own at least 82 mics and DI boxes (since I have 5 DIs I guess that makes 75 mics.)
I'm blown away by that every time you say it. You've got maybe 70 more mics than I do. You've got more mics than National Edison had when I worked there, and that place could handle 80-piece movie sessions.

I've got you beat on DI's, but that's only because I make them and sell them and I haven't sold any in a while. :-)
Old 26th April 2018
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Just curious, but you're how old?

You're wrong, but I'm not going to waste a lot of time arguing with you -
I'm 61, but I'm glad you didn't "waste a lot of time arguing with me", after several paragraphs, I could be 62. LOL

The best, most well kept Studer two track machine, running at 30 IPS, would approach the fidelity of a digital machine putting out about 13 bits.

There's no comparison anywhere across the board, digital absolutely trumps any analog machine in terms of fidelity.

You may prefer the "sonics" of analog, and that's valid and that's "subjective", but it's lower in fidelity - and that's "objective". See the difference?

And the analog studio chain in the 60's was lower in Fidelity than what would come later, in the 70's and 80's, that's just fact.

I've read enough of your posts to recognize the pattern; when you don't know what you're talking about, you become insulting. This is one of those times.

Last edited by Sharp11; 26th April 2018 at 08:37 PM..
Old 26th April 2018
  #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
I've already mentioned that I have original vinyl pressings of these recordings -
I didn't bring it back up, Epstein did, and I was responding to him.

However, the fact you say you have "the original vinyl recordings", as if that's a plus, tells me you're misleading yourself.

Which is fine, go ahead, it wouldn't be the first time on GS.

It doesn't matter to me, believe what you want, but when people bombastically enter a thread with misinformation, I'm there to challenge.

I have a simple question for you - why not simply research the answer via the web? There’s a terrific 1965 doc on Dylan while he tours London, also, lots of pictures, interviews etc.; this is primarily a gear site for recording - so it seems a valid point to bring it up.

I, for one, love the sound of the acoustic on the Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer"

Last edited by Sharp11; 26th April 2018 at 11:55 PM..
Old 27th April 2018
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peller View Post
Unless you are still using a Turtle Beach soundcard from the 1990s...
That's a name I haven't heard for a LONG time
Old 27th April 2018
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
FWIW, I'm pretty sure that Dylan's first three albums were done with a small bodied Gibson like an LG-1. A B-25 is similar. He was pretty much a Gibson guy, like his idol Woody Guthrie.

Baez favored Martins.

Guilds were also really popular with the east coast folkies - they sit somewhere between Gibsons and Martins tonally, leaning toward the Gibson to my ear. I own a 1964 Guild D-40, the same model Ritchie Havens played.

After the motorcycle accident Dylan started using a '50s Gibson J-200, you can see it on the cover of Nashville Skyline. I've had two, first a '58 that was stolen, currently a '59. The new ones don't stack up, to my ear (and eye).

The J-200 was also favored by the folk blues singer Dave Van Ronk, who was the first person I saw with one; he was a big fan of The Reverend Gary Davis, who played one.
Thanks again,
I had an LG-0 that I loved, considering an LG-1, but as I mentioned before I don't have access to a good luthier nearby, so it's tricky getting an old guitar setup right. I do love the feel of a Gibson neck. Like I mentioned before, the Yamaha FG-300 I have is closer to the tone/sound I'm hearing from that era - I love playing it, feels like playing an electric (but again, can't get the setup quite how I want it without a luthier who knows their stuff). Anyway, I read that Dylan played Yammys in the 70s - not sure if it's the way it's built or the age of the guitar that makes the decay much faster, it rings out less and has a smooth yet biting attack - pretty close to the "sound I'm searching for - what some call dead/dull but I call a smooth growl
Old 27th April 2018
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I didn't bring it back up, Epstein did, and I was responding to him.

However, the fact you say you have "the original vinyl recordings", as if that's a plus, tells me you're misleading yourself.

Which is fine, go ahead, it wouldn't be the first time on GS.

It doesn't matter to me, believe what you want, but when people bombastically enter a thread with misinformation, I'm there to challenge.

I have a simple question for you - why not simply research the answer via the web? There’s a terrific 1965 doc on Dylan while he tours London, also, lots of pictures, interviews etc.; this is primarily a gear site for recording - so it seems a valid point to bring it up.

I, for one, love the sound of the acoustic on the Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer"
If you don't think that recordings back then, whether viewed on YouTube or listened to on High Fidelity vinyl recordings are enough to discern that there is a particular tone that a guitar is outputting, then again, you're having the wrong conversation.

This forum is called "so many guitars, so little time," and my question was about guitar sound/tone. Most of us on here can look past the quality of the examples given and understand that I'm trying to achieve a tone at the guitar - you're the only one who can't, so you should really be asking yourself why you can't let it go and either join in the conversation in a positive way or move on to another thread.

I could and have researched what guitars Dylan played, and we've talked about that on this thread - but if you look at the original post, I was trying to see if anyone knew of any tricks, from strings to picks to DIY dampening methods, to dampen the sustain of a guitar that isn't built like those old guitars Dylan and the folkies were playing. Many people on here offered some great advice along those lines, along with other models of guitars that might be worth trying, it's very helpful for me and I hope others searching for this king of sound.

You're the only one still having the conversation about the recordings - the rest of us have let it go and looked past it as a rough example - something plenty ample to be a means to an end. But you can't let it go, you can't let others have a different opinion or perspective than you. And that is something I hope you can overcome in the future.
Old 27th April 2018
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
You're the only one still having the conversation about the recordings - the rest of us have let it go...
Don't let it bother you. Around here, some people feel like acknowledging they may have been mistaken is the same as admitting defeat, which they will never, ever do. Pounding the point home with them just makes them more adamant. It makes for long posts and boring reading.
Old 27th April 2018
  #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Don't let it bother you. Around here, some people feel like acknowledging they may have been mistaken is the same as admitting defeat, which they will never, ever do. Pounding the point home with them just makes them more adamant. It makes for long posts and boring reading.
Yes, that's right, group think can be a powerful elixir

... and then there's that diminished chord in "reelin in the years", which you adamantly swear isn't there. Thanks for your input mr passive aggressive.
Old 27th April 2018
  #170
Gear Head
 

Play hard, with your thumb and fingertips (not your nails). Work on that technique. It needn't be a "what gear do I need for this" scenario. If it hurts, suck it up and keep at it. That's how all the old dudes with their thunky guitar sounds did it. Maybe take a couple of the strings off.
Old 27th April 2018
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Yes, that's right, group think can be a powerful elixir

... and then there's that diminished chord in "reelin in the years", which you adamantly swear isn't there. Thanks for your input mr passive aggressive.
For what it's worth, and to perhaps lighten the mood, I just walked past the post office at work and I s*** you not, The Monkees "I'm a Believer" was playing on the house system! Incidentally, unless I mistook your meaning - disproves your point that all acoustic guitar recordings sounded the same in that era :/
Old 27th April 2018
  #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Rossell View Post
Play hard, with your thumb and fingertips (not your nails). Work on that technique. It needn't be a "what gear do I need for this" scenario. If it hurts, suck it up and keep at it. That's how all the old dudes with their thunky guitar sounds did it. Maybe take a couple of the strings off.
I have seen guys do this - one recent that comes to mind is Justin Townes Earle, guy has an insane thumb.

However, Dylan is definitely playing with a pick on most of those early recordings, save for when he is fingerpicking on tracks like Don't Think Twice. The point wasn't "what gear do I need," but rather "how are those guys picking and not getting the nasty metallic twang I get" - recording technique be damned, because I have heard these older guitars in person and they generally have a much mellower tone and less sustain (maybe that's due to age, I dunno).

But I get your point, a lot of those old blues guys were thumb picking - I'm working on it, but I still think strings and pick material can go a long way in this department - I'm going to try some things and report back.

Thanks!
Old 27th April 2018
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
... and then there's that diminished chord in "reelin in the years", which you adamantly swear isn't there. Thanks for your input mr passive aggressive.
Oh right. That. The thing where nobody knew what was going on with the changes because nobody bothered to transcribe the piano part in the verses on the record, in which there are no triads so there can't possibly be any diminished chords. (This was complicated by the fact that Steely Dan additionally had the guitars playing in the verses on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, and they may or may not have been playing triads, hard to tell.)

But the main issue I had with you was that you insisted that the song was in A Major. While I thought, and still think, it's in D.

Do I hold onto things? In the sense that I remember them, or course I do. Do I let them eat at me? I hope not.

On the points relating to "Reelin," I'll walk my talk and acknowledge that I may have been mistaken. Better?
Old 27th April 2018
  #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
I have seen guys do this - one recent that comes to mind is Justin Townes Earle, guy has an insane thumb.

However, Dylan is definitely playing with a pick on most of those early recordings, save for when he is fingerpicking on tracks like Don't Think Twice. The point wasn't "what gear do I need," but rather "how are those guys picking and not getting the nasty metallic twang I get" - recording technique be damned, because I have heard these older guitars in person and they generally have a much mellower tone and less sustain (maybe that's due to age, I dunno).

But I get your point, a lot of those old blues guys were thumb picking - I'm working on it, but I still think strings and pick material can go a long way in this department - I'm going to try some things and report back.

Thanks!
Pleasure. I'm a massive guitar nerd and I'm a big acoustic player. I think age does affect acoustics way way more than electrics, they "open up" and become less brittle-sounding over time.

I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, but have you tried leaving the strings on for a year? I'm not kidding, "dead" strings sound a lot duller in a way I tend to prefer (I'm a fan of dirty old stuff). Back in the day guys changed their strings a lot less often and I believe some guys just left them on until they broke because they liked played-in strings better.
Old 27th April 2018
  #175
Gear Guru
Wow I don't think any rational person is making the point that all guitars sounded the same in that era. Honestly people are talking in general about what you were asking, which is about acoustic tone. When you are listening and pulling samples, you are talking about recordings. I don't really think guitars or playing style, have really changed that much. The way their being recorded certainly has. People are trying to be helpful in terms of strings, picks, etc, but unless I'm missing something, you're talking about how the instrument was recorded for the most part. Ragging on people that are trying to be helpful is kinda pointless.....
Old 27th April 2018
  #176
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Rossell View Post
... have you tried leaving the strings on for a year?
No, because the intonation gets weird a lot sooner than that. I can see it if the guitar sits at home on the couch and you don't play up the neck much. But not in a recording situation.
Old 27th April 2018
  #177
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
No, because the intonation gets weird a lot sooner than that. I can see it if the guitar sits at home on the couch and you don't play up the neck much. But not in a recording situation.
I record badly-intonated instruments all the time. It's more difficult, but also more interesting. Dead strings don't make so much difference that it's unusable. See again Dylan et al for people who didn't spend much time worrying about intonation.
Old 27th April 2018
  #178
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Rossell View Post
I record badly-intonated instruments all the time. It's more difficult, but also more interesting.
When I was a clerk at Richie's Meatland on Moody St. in Waltham, Mass. in around 1975, a lady used to come in right at the end of every month and buy a couple cans of cat food. When I figured out that she didn't have a cat, I tried to slip her a package of beef chunks that were a little old and headed for the grinder anyway. She declined, and said that with noodles and enough salt (cat food has none) and pepper and spices, she could turn it into something more interesting.
Old 27th April 2018
  #179
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Rossell View Post
Pleasure. I'm a massive guitar nerd and I'm a big acoustic player. I think age does affect acoustics way way more than electrics, they "open up" and become less brittle-sounding over time.

I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, but have you tried leaving the strings on for a year? I'm not kidding, "dead" strings sound a lot duller in a way I tend to prefer (I'm a fan of dirty old stuff). Back in the day guys changed their strings a lot less often and I believe some guys just left them on until they broke because they liked played-in strings better.
Yeah, good point - I have a feeling that part of Dylan's sound in the early days is strings left on for a long time, I mentioned it earlier in the thread. I don't like the sound of my strings until they've been on for at least a month. It does help get closer to the sound I want, but then right when I start to like the sound one breaks lol

Thanks again!
Old 27th April 2018
  #180
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardis View Post
Wow I don't think any rational person is making the point that all guitars sounded the same in that era. Honestly people are talking in general about what you were asking, which is about acoustic tone. When you are listening and pulling samples, you are talking about recordings. I don't really think guitars or playing style, have really changed that much. The way their being recorded certainly has. People are trying to be helpful in terms of strings, picks, etc, but unless I'm missing something, you're talking about how the instrument was recorded for the most part. Ragging on people that are trying to be helpful is kinda pointless.....
Sharp did say that, Ardis - trying to hit home the point that it's the recording and the guitar/player/strings/pick etc etc are irrelevant. I'm not ragging on anyone, but I don't know how much clearer I can make it that we're talking about the guitar tone apart from the recordings, and this is something that can be generally discerned when you listen to multiple recordings from multiple sources and hear the same general tone. Those acoustic recordings from early Dylan etc. are pretty honest, it's not like they were throwing a bunch of effects on it, probably just subtle EQ, compression, etc. So, one who is not bent on giving out recording advice could easily look past the recording and focus on the tone of the guitar. The recording is the only way we have to hear what things sounded like back then - and while the mics used, fidelity of equipment, etc. etc. will all have an effect on the sound - it doesn't change the fact that those instruments sound a certain way - that's coming from the instrument!

And your point "I don't really think guitars or playing style, have really changed that much." You couldn't be more wrong. Both guitars (especially acoustics) and playing styles have changed drastically since back then. Not many folks are searching for this kind of sound anymore, and in general acoustics have gotten a lot more bright and jangly sounding to market to the pop audience. That's how Taylor's (which sound like screeching crap to me) came to be (sorry Taylor fans). Anyway, there is a guitar for every kind of sound, and as I mentioned before a good studio technician will reach for the right acoustic before they reach for a particular mic or mic technique. Not to say that they won't do the latter, but we're trying to affect the sound at the source here - the most important part of the signal chain!
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