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Reeee-verb, +

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:36 am
by b.fierce
hi everyone. I have noticed that this board is a great source for swapping equipment recommendations. so here goes my request.

I'm looking for a SIMPLE reverb unit. someday I might get all clever w/ it, but for the forseeable future I will use it for one thing and one thing only: recording vocals when doing basement demos w/ my trusty (& Olde Timey) Tascam four-track.

guitars always come out fine, but I have never quite found my way to a decent vocal sound (insert "it's the singer not the song" joke here). I'm not talking any sort of "trapped in a well" tomfoolery; I'm just looking for a good old-fashioned warm(er) tone.

so any four-trackers out there, I'd love to here from you. in addition to the above, if anyone has any general four-trackin' tips I'd be equally thankful. I mostly do guitar/guitar/vocal/vocal stuff on it, but have also messed around w/ various and sundry keyboard mashing.

thanks in advance.

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:21 pm
by Endo23
I've never owned a dedicated reverb pedal (my amp has reverb and I don't use it much anyway), so I'm no expert, but I have a recommendation. Why not get a DELAY pedal instead, and just use really short delays with long repeats for reverb? It's an old trick, and very effective. Plus, you get the added bonus of having dealy on tap, which I'm sure you will find useful for four-tracking. Delay can really WIDEN guitar/key/drums sounds in interesting ways.

I'd recommend the EH Memory Man because it sounds great and is reasonably inexpensive (for an analog delay) or, SIB makes a pedal called Mr. Echo for about $110, and it sounds pretty close to an analog delay. Oh yeah, the Memory Man is stereo, too, which means you could run one of the outs with the dry/uneffected signal into input channel 1 on your 4 track, and the other (with the delayed/chorused signal) into input channel 2. Hit record, strum or sing away, et voila! Instant double-tracking. Great for vox/keys/guitar...

Anyway, if you're stuck on the idea of a dedicated reverb pedal, maybe the EH Holy Grail would suit you.

See here:

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:48 pm
by b.fierce
thanks for the suggestions. more toys to look into ... and/or buy ... and/or (maybe/kinda) learn how to use ........

and specifically to the notion of "instant double tracking":
thanks for this tip. for me some of the more rewarding demo-ing is often the most stripped-down, i.e. vocals and guitar only. dressing up parts (guitars especially) while still keeping things simple, well, that's for me.

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:28 am
by John
I think that 'memory man' advice is the best advice you could hope to get.

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 6:53 pm
by junkyardtodd
i've got an old Fostex rack mount spring reverb that sounds really amazing- I got it for $50 about 15 yrs ago, (it may be collectable now), come to think of it, I've had it longer than almost any other pc of equipment...if you can find one, i'd definately grab it...

okay, this is my latest trick i've been using...I made a little iso booth by hanging blankets from the ceiling...i reach through it to control the recorder (you know yr transport controls by touch, yes?)... it really cleans up the sound of vox n accoustic gtr, I know room sound is supposed to be cool, but I have not been liking it,
have fun!

Posted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:23 pm
by John
Matthew Caws swears by his Fostex Spring 'verb, but try to find one for 50 bucks nowadays...

hey Endo 23

Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:30 am
by b.fierce
if I may, a follow-up question on part of your previous response

(to quote: "Oh yeah, the Memory Man is stereo, too, which means you could run one of the outs with the dry/uneffected signal into input channel 1 on your 4 track, and the other (with the delayed/chorused signal) into input channel 2. Hit record, strum or sing away, et voila! Instant double-tracking. ")

so then I could also, in theory, also run the delayed/chorus signal through, say, a Rat pedal. creating one clean guitar track, and one super-dirty-rockin' track.

yes? or am I getting corn-fused?

either way thanks for the recommendation. I have been watching eBay (+ local used shops) for a Memory Man.

Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:47 pm
by John
you could totally do that. I use a stereo delay/chorus and feed the two outputs to two seperate amplifiers, with the "wet" sound going to a clean amp and the "dry" sound going to a distorted amp. The combination of the two makes for an impossibly "phat" guitar sound. Which is my trademark. Ahem.

Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:48 pm
by b.fierce
that sounds neat neat neat.

I too was thinking along those lines. do you do the two-amp thing live? what are the logisitcs? (and do sound guys think you're trying to be all THAT guy?)

I'll try it out in the basement first. that is if I can finagle a second amplifier*. good stuff, all. this is exactly the type of discourse I was hoping for. sigh.

*hey wasn't "finagle a second amplifier" the name of the first Spoon ep?

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:25 am
by John
No, their first EP was called, "Sounds like the Pixies".

I do use two amplifiers live and I take a general "fuck sound-men if they don't like it", attitude in everything I do. I use a Fender Deluxe, which is 22 watts 1x12, and a Vox AC-15, which is 15 watts 1x12. That's a total of 37 watts and 2x12" speakers, which isn't even close to the output of a Fender Twin, let alone a Dual Rectifier with a 4x12 cabinet. Still, soundmen bitch at me constantly about my volume. Oh they complain. They act like I'm forcing them to eat snakes.

And fuck them, I say.

But, I will admit that I play loud. Oh yes I do.

The sound of two smaller amps played together sounds bigger than the sound of one big amp. That is my contention.

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:06 pm
by Marty
Another way to get a phat sound, if you have the luxury of two amps, is to split your signal (using any stereo pedal) then add 20 ms delay ( one repeat) to one of the signals. Set the delay so that the output or effect level is at its highest and the original or input signal is at its quietest. In other words all you would hear in one amp would be the effect. This creates a wide 3-D stereo effect.

Sound guys can also do this if they are mixing in stereo by using two mic's on one amp.

I get my fat sound by eating a super-sized quarter-pounder with cheese meal before every gig..

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 7:04 pm
by b.fierce
it's funny (or not so), I bought my current amp (Mesa Boogie Rocket 440) from thinking along these same lines. wanting four speakers for four times the rock, but not wanting a two-piece amp. the thing is a bear, w/ 4 10s. it sounds great but it can be a handful.

maybe I'd be better off w/ two smaller amps. I'll have to do some experimentin'. I do like the Boogie though, especially for the honest RAWK sound (no pedals needed beyond the attached channel switcher). I could use it for the dirty sound and use, oh, any number of things for the clean side.

I couldn't agree more, John, re. smaller amps vs. bigger. I always think it's such a shame when folks rush to buy, say, a Marshall stack. I may in fact be guilty of this myself though ... I'm used to playing w/ extremely loud drummers, and felt I needed watts to spare.

gosh, so much to think about. beyond some sort of stereo chorus/delay, my next gear purchase will have to wait until they make an attachment that will actually perform the songs for me. there's just so much else I could be doing w/ that time, y'know?

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:09 pm
by John
In the interest of full disclosure I should admit to having spent many years playing through 4x12 cabinets with the following heads (in chronological order): Carvin 100w w/graphic eq, Marshall JCM-800, Sound City 120, Traynor YBA-1A Bass-master, '64 Fender Bassman, Mesa mark III, and then in quick succession through a reissue Fender Super Reverb, a new Fender Hotrod Deville 4x10 and an Vox AC-30.

This in addition to the '64 Pro Reverb that I bought for $125 back in the day and still have which I pull out for such illustrious gigs as my stint as lead guitarist for This Busy Monster back in 2001.

The AC-15 + Fender Deluxe is a new concept as of last summer and it's working great. But the AC-15's are discontinued and impossible to find and the modern Fenders are really hit-and-miss. You have to play through a bunch of them to pick out the good ones.

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:15 am
by Unremarkable
John wrote: my stint as lead guitarist for This Busy Monster back in 2001.

Wow, I never knew that. Sweet!

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:30 pm
by anthropomorphizing_kitty
On the topic of vocal reverb inexpensively, try singing in a room that's about 10' by 10' with two other guys and a full drum kit. The vocals really seem to bounce off of the snare drum. :-)

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:30 pm
by Endo23
Dude, TRAYNORs rule! I used to jam in this kid Gavin's basement on one of those. It was a complete mystery amp, a tube rig from the 70s that someone stole from a church. It sounded awful and looked even worse.

I am jealous of your dual-amplifier technique, John. I too wish to wield the sound that reminds you of pure phatness, but lo, I spent too much $ on my boutique combo amp and must suffer in mono. Still, it's a pretty sweet sounding mono...

This dialogue reminds me that when I saw Dino Jr. back in the day, J Mascis was splitting his signal to like four amps, all with radically different EQ'ing/distortion levels, so that he sounded like an army of guitarists. Brilliant.

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:11 pm
by junkyardtodd
ok, i have the dual amp set-up to make everyone else die of jealousy!

'64 Ampeg Reverb'O Rocket
'64 Magnatone M7

with my '64 Gretsch, and my '64 Landcruiser,
i am noticing a pattern...

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:03 am
by Dez
When you're using reverb on vocals it's almost always immediately too much. That's what I've discovered. You have to be careful or you'll swim in a cathedral of sound, unless you're blending voices Beach Boys style.
No reverb I say, get a decent room to sing in!

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:43 am
by junkyardtodd
my main reverb now is a TC Electronics M300, the coolest feature is the "pre-delay", which kinda seperates the attack of the signal from the reverb, and allows you to use MORE REVERB! without muddying everything up. you could get the same effect by putting a delay in front of the reverb (20-30 ms, minimal feedback, 100% wet)(god, i love talking dirty like that)