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That Al Green drum sound
Old 18th March 2019
  #61
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I disagree with both of you. The horns are are ridiculously out of tune AND they don't work with the track. In fact, the horns are so out that when Al first comes in he sounds pitchy, even though he's not. But the record did okay anyway, and we've grown accustomed to it.
Assuming you talk about 'I'm still in love with you', thanks for ruining my listening experience with a track I hear and enjoyed hundreds of times....

I think it's disrespectful to all the people involved in the recording of this great track to assume that it is 'out of tune'. It's a typical Willie Mitchell arrangement, they put some serious jazz stuff in there. The Al Green songs use much more sophisticated chords than any other 'soul' tunes of that era.

Nothing ever bothered me about those horn not do I expect musicians of that caliber to release bad stuff. I'm listening to the whole album on Spotify right now. The horn arrangements sound pretty consistent. So if you think 'I'm still in love with you' is out of tune then everythign on that record.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: I bought some Al Green CD remasters on (I believe it was) Fat Possum. They sounded terrible, I threw them away! So my listening of those tracks is from other, better, compilations or vinyl in some cases. I guess you are aware that You Tube especially often has songs uploaded with incorrect speed, from dubious sources, etc. It's amazing how quickly some folks judge stuff that never was intended to sound that way. This is just a guess though but if you make a statement like you did above then I hope it's based on a good/legitimate version of the song and not some illegal YouTube upload.

Speaking of 'out of tune', listen to the amazing Al Green version of 'Light My Fire'. Now it's safe to say that Teenie Hodges guitar i.e the inversions he palys are not totally in tune. And it doesn't worry me one bit. It's perfect from an expressive, emotional and musical level. The 'out of tune' guitar might actually increase the bluesy feel of the song. In other words, it's not randomly out of tune.

Here it is (on You Tube, yes it sounds completely different than on Spotify, bass-heavy and dull and the out of tuneness bothers me much more which I guess is the point I tried to make above.)

Old 18th March 2019
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Commenting on Post 50.
Yap, I missed that song reference somehow
Old 18th March 2019
  #63
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Assuming you talk about 'I'm still in love with you', thanks for ruining my listening experience with a track I hear and enjoyed hundreds of times....
Assuming you understood when you registered that some people here deal with music on a professional level, well, unsugarcoated evaluation comes with that territory.

And I don't know, maybe the horns for that song were done on a session where they had 15 minutes left and tried to cram one more song in, and then had to decide between keeping and doing over. That's a real, everyday scenario.

It took me a while to realize my mom's cooking was hit and miss, too, but I'm only a little less nostalgic about it.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 18th March 2019 at 02:51 PM..
Old 18th March 2019
  #64
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Assuming you understood when you registered that some people here deal with music on a professional level, well, unsugarcoated evaluation comes with that territory.
I was kidding but maybe should have posted an 'irony warning' alert.

Like others here I don't hear anything wrong with the song/horns in question. I hear tons of tuning issues on all kinds of records from various eras. I rather suspect that you don't LIKE the kind of arrangement the song has, no biggie but for ****'s sake don't act like a know-it-all.
Old 18th March 2019
  #65
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If these songs are "wrong" than I don't want to be right. I'll take feeling and vibe over technical correctness any day. But then again one my all time favorite older recordings is There's A Riot Goin' On that's just loaded with sloppy "mistakes." I think it's perfect. The way you can hear the drums bleeding into Sly's vocal takes on Just Like A Baby... that's perfection as far as I'm concerned.
Old 18th March 2019
  #66
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
I was kidding but maybe should have posted an 'irony warning' alert.

Like others here I don't hear anything wrong with the song/horns in question. I hear tons of tuning issues on all kinds of records from various eras. I rather suspect that you don't LIKE the kind of arrangement the song has, no biggie but for ****'s sake don't act like a know-it-all.
I love Al Green. I mostly love the horn charts on his records, which at least sound like they're actual arrangements and not just "hey guys, play some ****."

I don't know it all, but I can hear. And what can I hear on that song is a perfectly good horn chart that got pretty much murdered.

And here at GS I'm very accustomed to people playing the "like others here" card; I recently got run out of another thread by a lynch mob. You can be in the majority and still be wrong.
Old 18th March 2019
  #67
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I love Al Green. I mostly love the horn charts on his records, which at least sound like they're actual arrangements and not just "hey guys, play some ****."

I don't know it all, but I can hear. And what can I hear on that song is a perfectly good horn chart that got pretty much murdered.

And here at GS I'm very accustomed to people playing the "like others here" card; I recently got run out of another thread by a lynch mob. You can be in the majority and still be wrong.
No problem sir.

I pride myself on having good ears but there is more to it. Especially what you are listening for and what your personal relationship to a particular sound/instrument is. I play dobro and lap steel and it has really made me very aware of subtle pitch issues. But I might listen differently to say horn parts. To be honest, I'm not such a fan of horn sections in general but I happen to love the Wille Mitchell/Al Green stuff. On 'I'm still in love with you' I hear the beginning as mainly a rhythmic event. Willie Mitchell's trademark were those horn stabs with jazzy voicings. Maybe they are not 100% in tune but they surely are IM TiME. And again I don't hear anything that bothers me. (I just listened to the beginning again right now)

Good point another slut made about 'There's a riot going on'. To me it's a perfect record. I don't hear anything 'wrong' on there, it's totally creating a mood and groove. On a similar note, every article written about that record mentions paranoia, coke overload and politics. I hear that in the lyrics a bit but it's music that makes me feel good, period. So much stuff gets over-analyzed and it's just unnecessary IMO.
Old 18th March 2019
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
You can be in the majority and still be wrong.
Fact
Old 18th March 2019
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
I was kidding but maybe should have posted an 'irony warning' alert.

Like others here I don't hear anything wrong with the song/horns in question. I hear tons of tuning issues on all kinds of records from various eras. I rather suspect that you don't LIKE the kind of arrangement the song has, no biggie but for ****'s sake don't act like a know-it-all.
The..horns..are..out..of..tune...with...each...other. just as we all (engineers) discussed in 1973. Doesn't invalidate the great record, but the brass...and some strings....are out of tune on that track. It is what it is. I'm fine with it. A whole lotta James brown brass is constantly out of tune as well.

Don't get so bent out of shape.

The recorder/flute solo on "California dreaming" is so out of tune sharp, that it's almost a semitone up. Listen to the multis of that sometime. Doesn't negate the greatness of that record.

These are elements of engineering discussions through the ages. If you can't handle these kinds of discussions, get out of the biz of engineering.
Old 18th March 2019
  #70
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
The recorder/flute solo on "California dreaming" is so out of tune sharp, that it's almost a semitone up. Listen to the multis of that sometime. Doesn't negate the greatness of that record.

These are elements of engineering discussions through the ages. If you can't handle these kinds of discussions, get out of the biz of engineering.
What has 'California Dreaming' to do with? There are hundreds of examples of 'out of tune' parts on classic records. Keith Richards acoustic guitar for example is way out of tune on 'Sweet Virgina', it is almost painful but it still is a great record.

All I said (and stand by) is that nothing about 'I'm still in love with you' bothers me.

When you listen to the Stax records like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett often you can hear the horn section 'improve' over the duration of the whole song. The first time a part comes up it can still be a bit shaky, the next time it's better. Never to the point of being terrible because they wouldn't have released that but it's what happened in a totally different era where 'perfection' was not the main goal.
Old 19th March 2019
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
If these songs are "wrong" than I don't want to be right. I'll take feeling and vibe over technical correctness any day. But then again one my all time favorite older recordings is There's A Riot Goin' On that's just loaded with sloppy "mistakes." I think it's perfect. The way you can hear the drums bleeding into Sly's vocal takes on Just Like A Baby... that's perfection as far as I'm concerned.
Haha, I quite like how you paraphrased a Stax song in defence of the horns
Who ****ing cares if the horns is a wee bit out of tune? They sure sound good to me.

Back to the snare drum sound. I found it surprisingly easy to get really really close to this sound although I have to give credit to a great drummer who knows how to tune his drums and to some of the excellent anecdotes and observations in this thread. We did it with an MKH406 taped to a M201, sitting relatively far away from the snare. I guess any decent SDC without too much presence peak would potentially work. Wooden DW snare with a wallet, light compression and EQ to tape. Perhaps gating on the 406, can't remember. MK-319 as overhead. From a puritan point of view this is not the setup but it sounded close enough for me.
Old 19th March 2019
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
Haha, I quite like how you paraphrased a Stax song in defence of the horns
Who ****ing cares if the horns is a wee bit out of tune? They sure sound good to me.

Back to the snare drum sound. I found it surprisingly easy to get really really close to this sound although I have to give credit to a great drummer who knows how to tune his drums and to some of the excellent anecdotes and observations in this thread. We did it with an MKH406 taped to a M201, sitting relatively far away from the snare. I guess any decent SDC without too much presence peak would potentially work. Wooden DW snare with a wallet, light compression and EQ to tape. Perhaps gating on the 406, can't remember. MK-319 as overhead. From a puritan point of view this is not the setup but it sounded close enough for me.
Are those two sdc mics? And what kind of tape are you going into?

Post a sample or two when you get a minute. Thanks
Old 19th March 2019
  #73
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ox Han View Post
Are those two sdc mics? And what kind of tape are you going into?
Duct tape I assume.....for joining the mics.

The Beyer M 201 is a dynamic mic, like a slightly smoother version of the SM57. Also available in Revox clothing labeled 'M3500' . I owned both but prefered and kept the Revox which is slightly different sounding for some reason.
Old 19th March 2019
  #74
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Haha ... looks like an sdc. Never seen/used one

He said ...”to tape” I meant what kind of tape did they record to. Reel to reel or cassette? And what speed.
Old 19th March 2019
  #75
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andychamp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
(...)Also available in Revox clothing labeled 'M3500' . I owned both but prefered and kept the Revox which is slightly different sounding for some reason.
looky-looky here
Old 19th March 2019
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
Haha, I quite like how you paraphrased a Stax song in defence of the horns
Thanks for picking up on that
Old 19th March 2019
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ox Han View Post
Haha ... looks like an sdc. Never seen/used one

He said ...”to tape” I meant what kind of tape did they record to. Reel to reel or cassette? And what speed.
Nothing fancy, was either SM911 or Quantegy 456. Was at 15 IPS on a cheapo Fostex G16 that I sold yesterday as I got a MTR90 MKII. I loved the G16 on drums but the hiss and lack of treble clarity was a pain.

Can't post a sample since we havnt released it yet and as I don't mix ITB I ain't got easy access to the multitrack. However I copied this song to 2" for finishing it there so next time we are working on it I'll try to remember to mix down some isolated drums

Was a M201 TG actually. The 'plain' old 201 is a little brighter and more detailed to my ears but nothing dramatic.
Old 19th March 2019
  #78
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by FW Harper View Post
That Spectrasonics console is now in Seattle with Conrad Uno.
egg studios
Conrad recently retired. I know because I went up there last summer to get my band's master tapes. I asked him what he was doing with the console, and I don't think he had quite settled where it was going. I'm sure he has by now.
Old 19th March 2019
  #79
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voodoo4u's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoolboy Jim View Post
Conrad recently retired. I know because I went up there last summer to get my band's master tapes. I asked him what he was doing with the console, and I don't think he had quite settled where it was going. I'm sure he has by now.
Somebody has some facts mixed up. I was just in Stax last week and got this shot. If it's hard to read. it says this was the console from Ardent studios and was used on a lot of Stax records and it's (more or less) twin/original console from Stax is in Norway.
Attached Thumbnails
That Al Green drum sound-stax-console.jpg  
Old 19th March 2019
  #80
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo4u View Post
Somebody has some facts mixed up. I was just in Stax last week and got this shot. If it's hard to read. it says this was the console from Ardent studios and was used on a lot of Stax records and it's (more or less) twin/original console from Stax is in Norway.
Oh, I wasn't saying it was the same console. I know Conrad had an old console (not even sure which one. I seem to remember he said it had been at Stax but could be wrong). When my band recorded there eons ago it was only partially working, I think, and he was using a Mackie (maybe just for monitoring I don't know).
Old 19th March 2019
  #81
Gear Nut
Howard Grimes and 1 Toke

Howard Grimes was the drummer on the famous 70's Al Green stuff. Willie Mitchell was the engineer/producer. I saw Howard speak in New Orleans and he said at the 1st session Willie had one of the guys in the band give Howard exactly one hit on a joint and that was the perfect vibe for the session. Not more, just one hit!

Howard is still going strong and often records at Scott Bomar's Electrophonic Recording in Memphis. He is currently in the band the Bo-Keys with the amazing Don Bryant singing. This band is the best soul band on the planet in 2019. If you ever get a chance to see them live don't miss it! Howard sounds as great as ever and the whole band, horns, rhythm (Archie Turner on Keys/Organ) section is about as good as it gets!
Old 19th March 2019
  #82
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voodoo4u's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoolboy Jim View Post
Oh, I wasn't saying it was the same console. I know Conrad had an old console (not even sure which one. I seem to remember he said it had been at Stax but could be wrong). When my band recorded there eons ago it was only partially working, I think, and he was using a Mackie (maybe just for monitoring I don't know).
Got it.
Old 20th June 2019
  #83
Here for the gear
 

I think he retired 2017, but did Conrad at Egg donate/auction/sell off the 16 track Spectro (old Stax) console?
Curious who might have bought it. Maybe Grohl bought it to add to his legendary console collection lol
Old 20th June 2019
  #84
Gear Guru
Off topic but I went to see him a couple of years ago. What a showman and worked the audience amazingly, patent leather shoes and roses for the ladies. So classy and can still bring it. He should be a case study in what a performer should be and do. Truly amazing!......
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