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Post new topic Judee Sill and Buddy tone
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Author Topic:  Judee Sill and Buddy tone
Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 10 Jan 2018 8:00 am     Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1DounBP97Q

I love Judee Sill and the tracks that Buddy contributed to are particularly wonderful. The outro to this one is something else. Anyone know how they used to get that wiry, thin, almost 'transistor radio' steel tone in the early 70's? Tiny amp? Hi pass filter on the board? Heavy EQ at mix down?

Reminds me of the even more pushed steel sound on Joni Mitchell's California https://youtu.be/Lm39YkGrHp8

I really like the way the steel guitar sits in the mix on these recordings. It's not fat but it works. How would you go about getting that sound in the studio?
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post Posted 10 Jan 2018 4:50 pm     Reply with quote

Wow, cool thanks for sharing. I love Judee's music and her story.

Re: the tone. I've recorded a few times direct into old tube Altec mixers - the green one's with the big black knobs that sum 4 or 5 channels to 1. I remember the first time it sounding thin and kind of unpleasant in my headphones, but then it just stuck to the track in a nice way and didn't fight with anything else. I have no way of knowing if Buddy is going direct here but it reminded me of that.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 10 Jan 2018 5:10 pm     Reply with quote

Thank you Jonathan for turning me on to Judee Sill, original and refreshing, and I like the the steel is tucked into the mix.
And Sneaky's ride is classic on California.
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Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 4:58 am     Reply with quote

Brett, funny you should mention that, I'm recording in a vintage gear studio next week with those exact Altec mixers! Maybe I should talk to them about going direct. Only thing is there's no monitoring so I'd have to split my signal with the amp. All the instruments and vocals are live in the room, not exactly sure how it would work. I love that sound though. I like the way the pedal steel gets spotlighted in the mix on recordings from that era, and I don't feel cheated out of the low end or anything! Very Happy

Charlie, I'm happy to introduce anyone to Judee Sill, her music is incredible. Thanks for reminding me it was Sneaky on California, of course! I guess it's likely he was using effects on that song.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 7:10 am     Reply with quote

I did a double-take when I say Judee's name here because she was a dear friend of mine who sadly took her own life many years ago.

She was a beautiful woman with a great soul and heart, but led a very troubled and tragic existence, much of it of her own making.
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Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 7:53 am     Reply with quote

I'm sorry you lost your friend Herb. I believe more and more people are recognising her greatness as a musician with every passing year - I honestly think she's up in the Brian Wilson musical genius level somewhere, but a completely unique talent.

Sending you a PM Herb, I've got to ask you a tangentially related question!
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 7:57 am     Re: Judee Sill and Buddy tone Reply with quote

Jonathan Shacklock wrote:
Anyone know how they used to get that wiry, thin, almost 'transistor radio' steel tone in the early 70's?


Just turn up the mid and treble! Honestly, the thin-trebly sounds are the easiest to replicate. Back in the '60s, practically every pedal steeler sounded like that, with two notable exceptions being Curly Chalker and Jim Murphy.
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Stephen Barlow


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 11:14 am     Reply with quote

Great track Jon! I wasn't familar with it. I once did a session to reel-to-reel tape (mic'd twin reverb via a Studer mixing desk) and it was completely unlike any other sound I've got in a session. I think that tape compression (especially when eager steel players give the volume pedal some gas) is a huge part of some pedal steel sounds of the 60's and certainly early 70'. There's an upper mid 'treble booster pedal' type quality to Buddy's sound on this too. He did experiment with pedals from time to time.
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Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 4:04 pm     Reply with quote

Interesting thoughts Stephen. Tape compression and treble boosters. Love it! A nice shiny push pull might help eh? Wink

I must say, as simple as it sounds I've been chasing this sort of tone for years without much joy. As soon as I turn up the treble and mids I seem to bypass west coast wiry goodness and head straight to nasty icepick land. I suspect a sho bud and peavey amp isn't the best starting block but I can't help feeling I should be able to get a lot nearer than I am somehow. I'm messing around with different cables and an eq pedal now but the exact thing I'm after is just more elusive than it ought to be.
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Jerry Erickson


From:
Atlanta,IL 61723
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 3:42 pm     Reply with quote

Probably a lighter wind on the pickups as well.
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