The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Guitars for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
John Martyn - Echoplex - Space Echo - GT3 etc. Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
John Martyn - Echoplex - Space Echo - GT3 etc.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to work with John Martyn, the late, great, Blues-Folk artist, and was knocked out at his ability to get so many unique sounds and rythms out of his guitar rig.

At that time he was playing a Guild acoustic through an echoplex and big muff etc. and blowing a lot of preconcieved ideas of what you can do with a guitar out the window.

In recent times I've found myself writing the occasional song where I'm using an FX processor (FX 550 ) to create delay rythms that I sing over the top off and wanted to know what other devices are worth checking out that would give one the ability to program at a digital level the kind of things that JM used to do.

I read an article where he refered to his later use of the Boss GT3.
I believe the Boss 201 pedal unit is not a bad substitute for the old Space Echo, but for this kind of thing I wondered what other things are out there from Boss and Zoom etc. Thanks.
Old 19th November 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
Anybody ???
Old 19th November 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post

I read an article where he refered to his later use of the Boss GT3.

I wouldn't bother with the GT-3. Had one a while ago. Really thin and boring digital sounds. Get a WEM copycat or Roland Space Echo. Can pick up for £100 on ebay. Nothing beats the real thing.
Old 19th November 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
FireMoon's Avatar
I think JM used an echoplex, which are still pretty pricey second hand. There is one digital unit worth looking for. It's the Line 6 hardware echo unit.. echo farm/park DL4? , sorry the name slips my mind right now. However, it's one of those units that people seem to really warm to, gawd knows why they don't make it any more..



Old 19th November 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
John Martyn was great! I just bought 'Solid Air' a few weeks ago and it's an incredible album though I really want to check out some of his wilder stuff as well (any tip?). I remember seeing some TV footage of him (about 20 years back) doing some solo stuff with effects that was killer!

As for the Line 6 DL4, it's a good pedal and I did the Keeley mod a while ago which makes it much better sounding. But I just bought the Empress Superdelay which is stunning, best delay ever and it's totally inspiring. I got it hooked up now with an expression pedal mostly controlling the delay amount and this makes it very flexible. Very dimensional and musical sound and having 8 presets is great, the 3 preset limit on the DL4 is a major drawback IMO.
Old 20th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
FireMoon's Avatar
If you're looking for a quick way into John's music...

Bless the weather... Mostly acoustic songs, very folky, but contains the stunning Glistening Glyndebourne echo guitar workout..

Inside Out... Probably his least accessible and most strange album... but has some stunning textures

One World... Just stunning, absolutely superb mix of folk and echoplex guitar... He virtually invented chill out with the track Small Hours..

Grace and Danger and The Glorious Fool.. these saw him make a bit of move for a greater commercial acceptance but still didn't lose his essential core...
Old 20th November 2009
  #7
Gear Addict
Thanks for those leads everyone..... I don't want to go the old anolog tape thing, I'm sort of past all that.

Firemoon....I'll have a look for that Line 6 DL4 gizmo on ebay if they're out there.

Doorknocker......Solid Air was released when I was in my 20s and it was particularly that album that inspired me to contact John when he was on tour in Australia in the mid 70s.

We recorded several songs and instrumentals for the soundtrack of a film called In Search of Anna, and I wrote lyrics for one of the instrumentals that I later found out was called Small Hours....although in the film it's called In Search of Anna.

Anna | Big Muff

In Search Of Anna/ Certain Surprise (live) | Big Muff

I've still got a bunch of recordings that have never been released.

Here's a link to an old Skip James track called Rather be the Devil:
YouTube - John Martyn - I'd Rather be the Devil

Check out Big Muff on the same link.

Hell of a guy.... never drank so much in my life ,,,,,,,,,,,,before or since.
Old 20th November 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Doorknocker......Solid Air was released when I was in my 20s and it was particularly that album that inspired me to contact John when he was on tour in Australia in the mid 70s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Firemoon....I'll have a look for that Line 6 DL4 gizmo on ebay if they're out there.
Please forgive the sales pitch but I have a Keeley-modded DL4 for sale, cosmetically it's seen a bit of use but the tap-tempo switch was also replaced by Keeley and so it's in great working shape. PM if interested, thanks.
Old 20th November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Here's a link to an old Skip James track called Rather be the Devil:
YouTube - John Martyn - I'd Rather be the Devil
WOW!!!
Old 21st November 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post


Please forgive the sales pitch but I have a Keeley-modded DL4 for sale, cosmetically it's seen a bit of use but the tap-tempo switch was also replaced by Keeley and so it's in great working shape. PM if interested, thanks.
Sorry about the delay in responding but this time zone thing .....

Thanks for the opportunity with the DL4.... I'm still figuring out which way to go.

I'm wondering if there are multi FX units out there that would do what the DL4 does but also combine the verbs and distortions and expression pedal in the one box. What do you reckon???

Do the high end Boss and Digitech stuff deliver the goods or are they all a bit half-arsed and tinny???
Old 24th November 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Spent a long time following Mr Martyn, and emulated him in many ways (the smoking and drinking yes but not as much as him and I'll keep my leg please)

Anyhow, as others mention Echoplex is the key and the Line 6 is the cheapest option. A Big muff for some gain and a wah if you fancy.

The best resource is the BBC DVD (cheap on amazon!)

Now he has gone he will get the appreciation he fully deserves, lots.
Old 24th November 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
John & a young dobroist, Jerry Douglas out of Alison Krauss & Union Station. My favourite male vocalist and instrumentalist together.

YouTube - John Martyn with Kathy Mattea - May You Never

Jerry, many pies down the line.

YouTube - The Jerry Douglas Band - Greyfox Bluegrass Festival - 2008

ns
Old 24th November 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightscope View Post
John & a young dobroist, Jerry Douglas out of Alison Krauss & Union Station. My favourite male vocalist and instrumentalist together.

YouTube - John Martyn with Kathy Mattea - May You Never

Jerry, many pies down the line.

YouTube - The Jerry Douglas Band - Greyfox Bluegrass Festival - 2008

ns
Thanks so much for posting this!! BTW, there should be a new DVD from the latest 'Transatlantic Sessions' out now, the one I have ('III') is incredible but I guess they all are fantastic!
Old 24th November 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Thanks so much for posting this!! BTW, there should be a new DVD from the latest 'Transatlantic Sessions' out now, the one I have ('III') is incredible but I guess they all are fantastic!
Cheers. I will check the new DVD.

ns
Old 25th November 2009
  #15
Gear Addict
I've always loved that clip with Kathy Mattea.

That boy was a force of nature.
Old 25th November 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Sorry about the delay in responding but this time zone thing .....

Thanks for the opportunity with the DL4.... I'm still figuring out which way to go.

I'm wondering if there are multi FX units out there that would do what the DL4 does but also combine the verbs and distortions and expression pedal in the one box. What do you reckon???

Do the high end Boss and Digitech stuff deliver the goods or are they all a bit half-arsed and tinny???
I think that most effects units do ONE thing particularily well and I guess it's one reason that old analog stompboxes are still so popular.

Say the DL4 has a looper in it but it's compromised and since you can't use it along with the delays it really doesn't make too much sense to me. I have a Boomerang looper which is a great machine and I guess that's because it is a dedicated looper and not a 'jack of all trades'.

If you need a great sounding delay that is also programmable and can be enhanced with an expression pedal then I highly recommend the Empress Superdelay.

As far as the DL4 is concerned, yesterday I have actually decided to keep it. Though I will stick with the Empress for live use the DL4 definitely has its place in the studio even if only for the 'Sweep Echo' function and the 'LoFi' model. I also realized that the DL4 has a very nice organic sound now after the Keeley mod.
Old 27th November 2009
  #17
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
As far as the DL4 is concerned, yesterday I have actually decided to keep it.
Sounds like you've had a John Martyn moment.

I live up in the mountains west of Sydney so I'll have to hit the city and try the latest pedals and a few old ones. I'll still probably try the Boss GT series and similar types of things from the other players in that territory.

Thanks for all your feedback.
Old 22nd December 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Firemoon, I think I can give the answer as to why the Line6 DL4 was discontinued...they're unreliable as hell. I was using one until recently, mainly for vocal looping in solo gig situations and had the unfortunate experience of the unit packing up completely 3 songs in. Quite a few people I know who've used the model have had similar experiences. Shame...

Mikey77, the DL4 is the nearest you'll get to a digital version of the Echoplex, just don't expect it to last too long.

You wouldn't believe how long I've been looking for that "In Search Of Anna" single to no avail (I understand the live rendition of "Certain Surprise" on the B side is also stunning)! I presume you know that it was released on the "Ain't No Saint" box set last year? I'm sure you have plenty of incredible stories...

And as mentioned previously, "Small Hours" is a magical piece of music indeed...
Old 20th January 2010
  #19
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJAM View Post
You wouldn't believe how long I've been looking for that "In Search Of Anna" single to no avail (I understand the live rendition of "Certain Surprise" on the B side is also stunning)! I presume you know that it was released on the "Ain't No Saint" box set last year? I'm sure you have plenty of incredible stories...

And as mentioned previously, "Small Hours" is a magical piece of music indeed...
Sorry I haven't responded for so long.... Christmas took me somewhere else.

Hi JJ, I'll respond in the message you sent me, but for the record..... yes the Anna single is pretty rare, I've just got a couple of them kicking around in my box of memories.

As it turned out I got a Boss ME-70, I was talking with my brother in law about my dilemna and he rang me back a couple of hours later and said he'd talked with someone in the main music store in Adelaide where he lives, bought it and had put it in the post and would I please stop bitching and get on with playing.

Fate dealt me a good hand and I've been having a lot of fun and inspiration with this box. It's working well for me.

You can buy a DVD of the film In Search of Anna online through Smart Street Films. The piece of music that we used of John's on the opening of the film is the one I wrote the lyrics to.... but when we hit the studio he pulled out Small Hours.... which is used later in the film ....and I kept my mouth shut. I was 26 and just blown away that John Martyn was singing my lyrics.

She came to me so young and free and put her arms around of me
She said that she would always stay with me until my dying day
We grew up in a dirty town where they like to kick you when you're down
And if you show an easy side they twist the knife and open you wide
Oh Anna... Oh Anna

My own childhood was on Merseyside until 1966 when I was 15.

Now that he's gone I've recently started to perform the song myself, but I do it in the style of the other piece I mentioned, which as far as I know was never attached to a song that I've ever heard.... I may be wrong about that.

I sometimes perform May You Never and a version of Spencer the Rover.

His music still haunts me.... and inspires me.
Old 6th April 2010
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Sorry I haven't responded for so long.... Christmas took me somewhere else.

.......

As it turned out I got a Boss ME-70, I was talking with my brother in law about my dilemna and he rang me back a couple of hours later and said he'd talked with someone in the main music store in Adelaide where he lives, bought it and had put it in the post and would I please stop bitching and get on with playing.

Fate dealt me a good hand and I've been having a lot of fun and inspiration with this box. It's working well for me.

You can buy a DVD of the film In Search of Anna online through Smart Street Films. The piece of music that we used of John's on the opening of the film is the one I wrote the lyrics to.... but when we hit the studio he pulled out Small Hours.... which is used later in the film ....and I kept my mouth shut. I was 26 and just blown away that John Martyn was singing my lyrics.
......

My own childhood was on Merseyside until 1966 when I was 15.

Now that he's gone I've recently started to perform the song myself, but I do it in the style of the other piece I mentioned, which as far as I know was never attached to a song that I've ever heard.... I may be wrong about that.

I sometimes perform May You Never and a version of Spencer the Rover.

His music still haunts me.... and inspires me.
Thanks Mike for this info. I'm also a bit of a John Maryn guitar nutta..for a long time (since 74)...and- now live in Oz, NSW (ex Yorkshire UK). I've been trying to duplicate Johns sounds and guitar for awhile now, so good to know I'm not the only one in Oz. There's 2 of us it seems, both haunted by that unique music.

Love to pick your brains and hear those tapes you recorded by the way!!

[My gear is Line6 dl4 for the delay that is the main subject of the above thread. It seemed the best choice at the time for me and so far (fingers crossed) still works, seems pretty rugged actually.]

Love to hear more from you about playing JMs stuff. -Ian
Old 6th April 2010
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Thanks for those leads everyone..... I don't want to go the old anolog tape thing, I'm sort of past all that.
Old 7th April 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
I'd look into the Line 6 M13 or M9: they do the DL4 thing very well, including looping but you can use the delays and looper together. They also have a decent Big Muff. They DON'T have amp sims or speaker sims, which i think is great. They do seem built well and firmwear upgrades have been coming out frequently to address problems. I've got an Echoplex, a Space Echo and a Big Muff, but I'd never take that trio out to gig, WAY too much that could go wrong...
Old 12th April 2010
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbob1 View Post
I'd look into the Line 6 M13 or M9: they do the DL4 thing very well, including looping but you can use the delays and looper together. They also have a decent Big Muff. They DON'T have amp sims or speaker sims, which i think is great. They do seem built well and firmwear upgrades have been coming out frequently to address problems. I've got an Echoplex, a Space Echo and a Big Muff, but I'd never take that trio out to gig, WAY too much that could go wrong...
Interesting- thats the BIG limitation on the dl4- not being able to use its looper (up to 28 s) with all its delay models, so the m9 or m13 would do that you say. I considered one of those recently, but here theyre about $700 Oz (the smaller m9). Instead- I got a ZOOM GX1N- I was looking for a cheap wah pedal- but ended up with this -an effects unit + patch setting+ pedal I can use after the dl4. It also has a basic delay function but not as refined anywhere near as the dl4. But unlike the m9 it has no looper. But it was just over $100...so not a bad way to extend effects into John Martyn territory.
But you've just tempted me into the m9 now.....sh*t.....
Old 12th April 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
Sorry, man, you know GAS is contagious!
Old 19th April 2010
  #25
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian_m_g View Post
Thanks Mike for this info. I'm also a bit of a John Maryn guitar nutta..for a long time (since 74)...and- now live in Oz, NSW (ex Yorkshire UK). I've been trying to duplicate Johns sounds and guitar for awhile now, so good to know I'm not the only one in Oz. There's 2 of us it seems, both haunted by that unique music.

Love to pick your brains and hear those tapes you recorded by the way!! -Ian
I was surprised to visit this thread after some time and see it had done a Lazarus and sprung into action again.

I guess I'm not really trying to replicate too much of what JM was about.... just use the occasional delay for a song rythm and also phlange and phase for adding a bit of sugar to my tea.

As you can see, Ian, I'm in the Blue Mountains so let me know if you're heading this way.... I sometimes perform at Jack Thompson's pub and Jack sometimes sits in with me..... He's a pretty respectable blues harp player.
Old 21st December 2010
  #26
Gear Addict
postscript

Just as a postscript I thought I'd add this link to a performance I did recently using the Boss Me-70.

I'm using the delay to set the tempo and the character of the rhythm.

YouTube - Redemption by Mike Norton

thanks for all the advice.....
Old 25th June 2013
  #27
Here for the gear
 

JM live setup

Hi Mikey 77

I'm in Sydney...formerly from Manchester! I've just tripped across an excellent live version of Anna and have recently finished restoring audio of a live gig JM did in Sydney in 1977, around the time of the movie.

I'm looking to replicate John's live sound...I've got as far as the SG, Qtron+, Boss RE20 and Big Muff, but was wondering whether or not to get hold of the Rat2, as the sound ain't quite there yet!

You mentioned you'd witnessed his setup first hand...any ideas as to what's missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey77 View Post
Sorry I haven't responded for so long.... Christmas took me somewhere else.

Hi JJ, I'll respond in the message you sent me, but for the record..... yes the Anna single is pretty rare, I've just got a couple of them kicking around in my box of memories.

As it turned out I got a Boss ME-70, I was talking with my brother in law about my dilemna and he rang me back a couple of hours later and said he'd talked with someone in the main music store in Adelaide where he lives, bought it and had put it in the post and would I please stop bitching and get on with playing.

Fate dealt me a good hand and I've been having a lot of fun and inspiration with this box. It's working well for me.

You can buy a DVD of the film In Search of Anna online through Smart Street Films. The piece of music that we used of John's on the opening of the film is the one I wrote the lyrics to.... but when we hit the studio he pulled out Small Hours.... which is used later in the film ....and I kept my mouth shut. I was 26 and just blown away that John Martyn was singing my lyrics.

She came to me so young and free and put her arms around of me
She said that she would always stay with me until my dying day
We grew up in a dirty town where they like to kick you when you're down
And if you show an easy side they twist the knife and open you wide
Oh Anna... Oh Anna

My own childhood was on Merseyside until 1966 when I was 15.

Now that he's gone I've recently started to perform the song myself, but I do it in the style of the other piece I mentioned, which as far as I know was never attached to a song that I've ever heard.... I may be wrong about that.

I sometimes perform May You Never and a version of Spencer the Rover.

His music still haunts me.... and inspires me.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
telesandtwins / So much gear, so little time
59
FireMoon / For those we have lost. Memorials, RIPs and Obituaries
25
claudemorrow / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0
Pilepoile / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump