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Early Rolling Stones recordings
Old 14th June 2013
  #1
Early Rolling Stones recordings

i am currently in love with that early rolling stones recordings. think "get off my cloud", "19th nervous breakdown", the "london years". they almost sound like a garageband, not yet so bluesy, lots of interesting instruments due to brian jones. the guitars sound edgy, crusty, the drums garagey, acoustic guitars distorted. they certainly sound like the opposite of the polished beatles/abbey road tracks.
any infos on the recordings/mixings?
Old 14th June 2013
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Regarding the distorted acoustics; Keith has said that he came across that by accident when he set the input-level on a small handheld cassette recorder to high for a demo. He liked the clipping and decided to keep it that way. Can't for the life of me remember the song, but it was pretty early on. I think the question leading to that answer was something along the lines of "how did you get that electric guitar sound on *track name*?"

Other than that the only info I remember having read/seen/heard about their recordings is that they did it live in the studio, with guitar solos, vocals and other small bits overdubbed later.
Old 14th June 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 

i believe you're thinking of Street Fighting Man. what an awesome intro. I agree all those Stone's sounds are amazing. but i dont have much info to help.
Old 14th June 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
Hi!

Well, alot of that 65-66 stuff was done at
RCA Hollywood,
Ampex tapemachines,
Custom tube consoles...
Nice echochambers there...
Mics would have been RCA ribbons on the
instruments along with some dynamic mics...
Neumann U67 and M49 are featured on vocals, Acoustic guitar and drums
as well...

I used to always try and find as many Stones books as possible!
Good pics in them..

Best,
Tom
Best,
Tom
Old 14th June 2013
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Tom View Post
Hi!

Well, alot of that 65-66 stuff was done at
RCA Hollywood,
Ampex tapemachines,
Custom tube consoles...
Nice echochambers there...
Mics would have been RCA ribbons on the
instruments along with some dynamic mics...
Neumann U67 and M49 are featured on vocals, Acoustic guitar and drums
as well...

I used to always try and find as many Stones books as possible!
Good pics in them..

Best,
Tom
Best,
Tom
The early Stones records weren't done in England?
Old 14th June 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
channelcat's Avatar
 

It was the riff for Satisfaction. Keith claims he awoke in the middle of the night, recorded the riff quickly and then 45 mins. of him snoring. I guess they couldn't recreate it in the studio, so they just used the demo.

I know they tracked a few things at Chess on their 1st or 2nd US visit. I think they used Eel Pie (sp?) and Olympic later in the '60s. I don't recall where they recorded a majority of their early stuff, but I think they only used a few studios in and around London.

Stu
Old 14th June 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by channelcat View Post
It was the riff for Satisfaction. Keith claims he awoke in the middle of the night, recorded the riff quickly and then 45 mins. of him snoring. I guess they couldn't recreate it in the studio, so they just used the demo.

I know they tracked a few things at Chess on their 1st or 2nd US visit. I think they used Eel Pie (sp?) and Olympic later in the '60s. I don't recall where they recorded a majority of their early stuff, but I think they only used a few studios in and around London.

Stu
Off topic a little but; one of several reasons I like to buy the CD is that some have the Studios listed, not all info...but some..
Old 14th June 2013
  #8
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channelcat's Avatar
 

Found it. It was Regent Sound in London for many of the early ones.
Old 14th June 2013
  #9
Old 14th June 2013
  #10
Thanks to everyone, especially mr. Tom. In the meantime i found this: http://www.timeisonourside.com/chron1965.html
A very detailed list of where and when with some interesting anecdotes thrown in for good.
Those songs do really inspire me right now!
The cassette tape compressed guitar was the acoustic for "street fighting man", a very special sound, dig it. How i wish beatmusic would return, you can dance so well to it.
Old 14th June 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Aftermath & Between the Buttons were done in LA. Dave Hassinger, right?

The Last Time, Play With Fire, Satisfaction, Get Off of my Cloud, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Paint it Black... all done in LA.
Old 14th June 2013
  #12
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superburtm's Avatar
 

The stones records are Among my favorite records of all time. Beggars Banquet being on top. But I love them all pretty much. More of a fan of pre Ron Wood era. Anyhoo.. The recordings were done with fairly limited equipment and the sounds are as vibey as the performances.
Old 14th June 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I love the Stones, but if the songs weren't good, I think that most people would think the production on the early stuff was pretty bad. There is almost zero low end on much of the early stuff and it sounds like a bunch of kids recording in a garage. The vibe works, but I think it's more in spite of the production rather than because of it. Their production clearly got much better in the late 60s and early 70s.
Old 14th June 2013
  #14
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradD View Post
I love the Stones, but if the songs weren't good, I think that most people would think the production on the early stuff was pretty bad. There is almost zero low end on much of the early stuff and it sounds like a bunch of kids recording in a garage. The vibe works, but I think it's more in spite of the production rather than because of it. Their production clearly got much better in the late 60s and early 70s.
That was sort of the point of the early Stones- they were the anti-Beatles. The Beatles were clean and polished, the Stones were rough and raw. The line at the time was "Would you want your daughter to marry a Rolling Stone?"
Old 15th June 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradD View Post
There is almost zero low end on much of the early stuff and it sounds like a bunch of kids recording in a garage.
Yes, both of these things are great.
Old 15th June 2013
  #16
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Dpro's Avatar
Ah the Stones and Between the Buttons. It was actually a pretty monumental Album for them a lot of great hits came off it. It was raw, it was that early raw Rhythm and Blues sound they were fond of and yes very much anti Beatle. Indeed when the late 60's early 70's kicked in they go a bluesier and Production values did go up . Beggars Banquet, Exlle on Main Street, Goats Head Soap.
Old 15th June 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Tom View Post
Hi!

Well, alot of that 65-66 stuff was done at
RCA Hollywood,
Ampex tapemachines,
Custom tube consoles...
Nice echochambers there...
Mics would have been RCA ribbons on the
instruments along with some dynamic mics...
Neumann U67 and M49 are featured on vocals, Acoustic guitar and drums
"Aftermath", "Satisfaction"
Dave Hassinger.

Console was custom solid state (germanium),
designed by RCA Record Division.
Old 15th June 2013
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

If you like early Stones sounds get some Ampeg guitar amps. Like a VT22 or a Gemini.
Old 15th June 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinzin View Post
i am currently in love with that early rolling stones recordings. think "get off my cloud", "19th nervous breakdown", the "london years". they almost sound like a garageband,
it's almost the origins of punk rock
the stones are cool, because they have a little something for everyone
Old 15th June 2013
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by channelcat View Post
It was the riff for Satisfaction. Keith claims he awoke in the middle of the night, recorded the riff quickly and then 45 mins. of him snoring. I guess they couldn't recreate it in the studio, so they just used the demo.

I know they tracked a few things at Chess on their 1st or 2nd US visit. I think they used Eel Pie (sp?) and Olympic later in the '60s. I don't recall where they recorded a majority of their early stuff, but I think they only used a few studios in and around London.

Stu
I think you might be confusing two different anecdotes - the overdriven cassette recorder issue is the saturated "electrified" acoustic guitar sound at the start of street fighting man it was a Phillips (also sold as Norelco) and most likely an EL3300. It was an early version that didn't have a built in limiter so it could be overdriven. The cassette part was then put through a speaker, amped up and re-recorded for the final track.

The Satisfaction fuzz was a Gibson pedal that he was using in lieu of the horn section he envisioned recording later.
Old 16th June 2013
  #21
Love the distortion on some of those early tracks, seems like everything recorded well into the red!
Old 7th January 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
 
softwareguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cathode View Post
"Aftermath", "Satisfaction"
Dave Hassinger.

Console was custom solid state (germanium),
designed by RCA Record Division.
This makes sense, since others have said that there was still a custom RCA solid state console in Studio A until the Neve came in somewhere around 71-72. That would mean that in addition to the Stones examples, this board also gave us Feliciano!, Creedence Bayou Country and the Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow, not to mention the first Monkees album, all of which were recorded in Studio A during this time period, and all of which bear a certain family resemblance. Obviously the room and the reverbs are a big part of it, but that dark, vibey board is clearly part of it too.
Old 7th January 2014
  #23
At the time they probably always had Andrew Oldham with them in the studio as their producer.

He was a pioneering visionary and I think he would have made a big effort to "sound different" and break the rules.

I think these early recordings were deliberately distorted and raw sounding - to stand out from the other records being made at the time.

I think the engineers of the day would have made much cleaner recordings if left to their own and wouldn't have taken "risky" decisions to distort drums or vocals on their own without Andrew Oldham sitting on their left shoulder like the devil whispering into their ear. "Go on, do it! Make it sound raw"
Old 7th January 2014
  #24
Some extra info here:

(1964) The Rolling Stones (album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Recorded at Regent Sound Studios in London over the course of five days in January and February 1964, The Rolling Stones was produced by then-managers Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton. The album was originally released by Decca Records in the UK, while the US version appeared on the London Records label.
Source: Wikipedia
(1964) Out of Our Heads - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Studio tracks recorded & mixed:
November 2, 1964: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
January 11-12, 1965: De Lane Lea Studios, London, England
January 17-18 1965: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
February 17, 1965: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
May 10, 1965: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA
May 11-12, 1965: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Producer: Andrew Oldham
Engineers: Dave Hassinger, Ron Malo, Glyn Johns
Source: Out of Our Heads
(1966) Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
10 May 1963 – 2 September 1966 at Olympic Sound Studios, Decca Studios, Regent Sound Studios, RCA Studios, De Lane Lea Studios, and IBC Studios, London, UK, and Chess, Chicago, Illinois
Source: Wikipedia
Listening now to the originals of these 3 great albums I'm thinking 'did Phil Spector influence the sound?' (he is credited with maracas + Zoom bass on the '64 albums); also Gene Pitney plays piano (on The Rolling Stones). Like the Spector sound it's kinda clean sounding especially reverb...I'm sure there is some tape distortion somewhere?
Many of the tracks are either mono or reproduced from mono-to-stereo

These are 3 outstanding records and my favourites along with Exile On Main Street which shares a similar sound/vibe.

Re: 'the cassette guitar'
Quote:
...Street Fighting Man was all acoustics. There's no electric guitar parts in it. (Even the high-end lead part was through) a cassette player with no limiter...Keith Richards
Source: http://www.timeisonourside.com/SOStreetFighting.html

Last edited by Arthur Stone; 7th January 2014 at 01:15 PM.. Reason: Phil Spector question
Old 7th January 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 

I've to say that those early Rolling stones records sounded much better on cranked up reel-to-reel player than my current hi-fi system, like the punch is not there.
Old 7th January 2014
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teofunk View Post
I've to say that those early Rolling stones records sounded much better on cranked up reel-to-reel player than my current hi-fi system, like the punch is not there.
I'm listening now on crackly original vinyl (Technics 1210) and the dynamics sound good...there's a really good soundstage and separation between instruments too - although The Rolling Stones (mono) is a bit flatter and less 3D.
Old 7th January 2014
  #27
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

I was fortunate to talk to Jess Oliver before he passed, getting information
about my '64 Reverberocket.

What he told me was that in '64 distortion was considered a problem, not a desirable feature for a guitar amplifier.

They were trying for the cleanest richest sound they could get.

If you pushed the amp into overdrive, that was considered clipping distortion.

This is why they were using 6L7 octal preamp tubes rather than the more aggressive sounding 12AX7's.

Still, a few like mine with 12AX7's were built on request.

It surprised me to learn that Ken Fischer of TrainWreck was also a lead engineer there in those days, but left when they moved to Magnavox.

I can't help but wonder if he had something to do with building mine.

From Wiki

Innovations and characteristics[edit]
Ampeg holds six U.S. patents under the Ampeg brand name. In 1960 Jess Oliver created a combo amplifier with a chassis that could be inverted and tucked inside the speaker enclosure to protect the vacuum tubes. This combo bass amp became known as the Portaflex and remained a popular choice through the 1960s. In the early 1950s, Ampeg became the first company to incorporate reverberation (reverb) in an amplifier with its Reverberocket, which preceded Fender's Vibroverb amp by nearly two years.
A particular characteristic of Ampeg amplifiers of the 1960s is that they were designed to be used for jazz and other types of music where distortion was not sought after--designer Everett Hull reportedly hated rock and roll. The Reverberocket was one exception to that rule, as an amplifier with 6V6 tubes which sounded "Fendery" and did break up in a way that rock and roll players could use


Reverberockets were built with 6V6, 7591's and 7868's in the power section.
Old 7th January 2014
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
At the time they probably always had Andrew Oldham with them in the studio as their producer.

He was a pioneering visionary and I think he would have made a big effort to "sound different" and break the rules.

I think these early recordings were deliberately distorted and raw sounding - to stand out from the other records being made at the time.

I think the engineers of the day would have made much cleaner recordings if left to their own and wouldn't have taken "risky" decisions to distort drums or vocals on their own without Andrew Oldham sitting on their left shoulder like the devil whispering into their ear. "Go on, do it! Make it sound raw"
I wish the man had spawned like a jellyfish. We need more of those people!
Old 7th January 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
At the time they probably always had Andrew Oldham with them in the studio as their producer.

He was a pioneering visionary and I think he would have made a big effort to "sound different" and break the rules.

I think these early recordings were deliberately distorted and raw sounding - to stand out from the other records being made at the time.

I think the engineers of the day would have made much cleaner recordings if left to their own and wouldn't have taken "risky" decisions to distort drums or vocals on their own without Andrew Oldham sitting on their left shoulder like the devil whispering into their ear. "Go on, do it! Make it sound raw"
I suspect a lot of it was not knowing what they were doing. There's a story that after their first day with Andrew Loog Oldham producing, he announced the record was done, only for an engineer to explain that it still had to be mixed.
Old 7th January 2014
  #30
Gear Addict
 
dgkenney's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Yes, both of these things are great.
The bare-bones recordings of Down Home Girl and some of the Chuck Berry covers (e.g. Carol) are priceless. Wouldn't trade hearing that energy in the raw for the best production values.

Dan
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