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Smiley Smile Stuff => Ask The Honored Guests => Topic started by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on December 23, 2005, 09:06:48 PM



Title: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on December 23, 2005, 09:06:48 PM
Let's restart the discussion with and about Stephen Desper.

Please read the previous discussions before asking him a question:

http://surfermoon.com/essays/desperarchive.html

http://comiclist.com/smileysmile/viewtopic.php?t=8960


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on December 24, 2005, 09:38:42 AM
Mr. Desper -- first, welcome to the new board. I've really enjoyed and appreciated your thread, and thought I'd start off the new one by finally asking you a question.

This isn't an attempt to get you to criticize anyone else's work, but is there a Beach Boys or Brian Wilson song that you didn't work on, but really wish you had? This might be for technical reasons, such as that you thought you could've gotten a different sound that particularly appeals to you, or for a more sentimental one, such as that you just love a particular song or record. Maybe you think some song deserved better or different treatment than it got.

And, if so, how might you have approached it?

Thanks in advance.
LH


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on December 24, 2005, 10:28:29 AM
Opening the topic up a bit, I wish Mr. Desper worked behind the board for Pacific Ocean Blue.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 25, 2005, 10:34:47 AM
Hello Charles LePage:

Thank you again for all you have done with this posting board.  I know it takes a lot of hard and long hours to make it happen. I'm certain I speak for all posters in expressing our gratitude for and apprecition of your efforts that continue the interest in Beach Boy history and bring to us the ability to express ideas about Beach Boy events of this day.

Good Listening to you,


~Stephen W. Desper
Merry   Christmas   and HAPPY NEW YEAR's GREETINGS !!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 25, 2005, 11:37:05 AM
OLD BUSINESS FROM THE PREVIOUS BOARD

Comment to aeijtzsche --

Hey Steve, check this out:


(http://www.someoneliving.com/BeachboysDrums1.jpg)

This photo reminds me of the time I had been recording and working with the group and Brian for over a year.  We had been in various studios around town and then built the house studio.  I guess we'd been recording in the house studio about six months.  During all that time I had seen and heard Brian play all manner of keyboard instruments and guitars.  He was very proficient at anything musical -- that goes without saying. Once in a while he'd pick up a tambourine or play the vibs. 

One day we were doing some demos or test tracks of songs (pre-tracking).  That is, recording stuff to see how it sounded in playback.  If they liked the way a particular song came off (in playback - hearing) they would consider tracking that song. Otherwise these tracks were discarded as were the songs.

Brian had recorded the piano part of a song he'd been working on.  But he wanted to hear it with a drum track. It was the weekend and Dennis was out sailing or surfing and not around.  Carl, Brian and myself were the only ones in the studio.  I don't play the drums. Carl said, I'll try to do it for you Brian and went out to do some basic licks but got all tangled up in himself trying to hit all the correct drums and cymbals.  So he came back up into the control room and sat down beside me at the console.  Brian was pacing in the studio when Carl pushed the talkback button and said, "Why don't you add the parts Brian . . ." 

Brian said, "I'll give it a try." 

He sat down on the drum throne and adjusted it lower.  Then he took the sticks in hand and proceed to blow us all away.  It was Hal Blaine (http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Hal_Blaine.html) at his best.  I looked at Carl and said, "Where the hell did that come from? I never knew he could play like that."

Carl said, "He doesn't like to play the drums because he can't hear them well enough, but he can do it."  I said, "That was Amazing!!"   

And I can't recall ever seeing Brian play the drums again. 

But it was Good Listening,


~Stephen W. Desper

((PS  don't remember the song and the track was wiped.))   




 

 
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on December 25, 2005, 11:50:32 AM
Great story! Thank you, Mr. Desper.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 25, 2005, 06:06:37 PM
Mr. Desper -- This isn't an attempt to get you to criticize anyone else's work, but is there a Beach Boys or Brian Wilson song that you didn't work on, but really wish you had? This might be for technical reasons, such as that you thought you could've gotten a different sound that particularly appeals to you, or for a more sentimental one, such as that you just love a particular song or record. Maybe you think some song deserved better or different treatment than it got. And, if so, how might you have approached it?

I'd have to say that I enjoy the work of other engineers just as you do.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on December 25, 2005, 06:53:33 PM
Fair enough. Thanks for answering my question.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: al on December 26, 2005, 07:15:32 AM
Stephen - a quick question for you about Sweet Mountain from the Spring LP - I love this song and the very weird and wonderful production. It's credited to Brian and David Sandler - do you know who wrote what? Also, who - other than Brian and the girls - is doing the vocals at the end? Is it all Brian? There are times when I think I can hear Mike Love doing bass vocals and other times I think it's Brian. Many thanks for your time (and a big thank you for your great work on all those great records!)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Toby on December 26, 2005, 07:33:33 AM
Mr Desper wrote:

"((PS  don't remember the song and the track was wiped.))"

Can you elaborate on the reasons for wiping not-to-be-used songs? I assume one was economical in that the Beach Boys wanted to record over older tapes instead of buying new tapes.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 26, 2005, 10:44:31 AM
Mr Desper wrote:

"((PS  don't remember the song and the track was wiped.))"

Can you elaborate on the reasons for wiping not-to-be-used songs? I assume one was economical in that the Beach Boys wanted to record over older tapes instead of buying new tapes.

The author(s) of the songs did not want to move forward with their creation and wanted to remove any evidence of same.  Sort of like writing it down on paper, handing it to a musician to play, then upon hearing it played if you did not like what you heard you would rip up the paper along with the song. It's one thing to write a song and hear it in your head or hear it as you play it, but the song takes on a different perspective if you hear it without playing it.  Sometimes this seperation of the player to the listener in playback (even if the same person) gives a point of view that is different and allows for a more critical judgement to be made.

Ever compose a photo with your digital camera, but after you take it and view it on the screen, decide to erase the attempt and move on?

The recording studio can be used for production but also for experimentation (if you can afford it).  Indeed, if you do use it for experimentation, those things you try out and wish to discard must be destroyed or else the whole idea of author's security and control over their creation, is lost.  Good Grief!  If I could not erase or go over (edit) everything I write on this computer -- and somehow there was a record of everything I wrote that may someday come back to haunt me, I'd go back to a pencil and paper.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on December 26, 2005, 10:54:02 AM
Mr Desper wrote:

"((PS  don't remember the song and the track was wiped.))"

Can you elaborate on the reasons for wiping not-to-be-used songs? I assume one was economical in that the Beach Boys wanted to record over older tapes instead of buying new tapes.

The author(s) of the songs did not want to move forward with their creation and wanted to remove any evidence of same.  Sort of like writing it down on paper, handing it to a musician to play, then upon hearing it played if you did not like what you heard you would rip up the paper along with the song. It's one thing to write a song and hear it in your head or hear it as you play it, but the song takes on a different perspective if you hear it without playing it.  Sometimes this seperation of the player to the listener in playback (even if the same person) gives a point of view that is different and allows for a more critical judgement to be made.

Ever compose a photo with your digital camera, but after you take it and view it on the screen, decide to erase the attempt and move on?

The recording studio can be used for production but also for experimentation (if you can afford it).  Indeed, if you do use it for experimentation, those things you try out and wish to discard must be destroyed or else the whole idea of author's security and control over their creation, is lost.  Good Grief!  If I could not erase or go over (edit) everything I write on this computer -- and somehow there was a record of everything I wrote that may someday come back to haunt me, I'd go back to a pencil and paper.
  ~swd

FYI, this is why I have some serious issues with bootlegs. I am certainly no angel, and have my share of unauthorized recordings, outtakes, etc., but it isn't really fair of us as an audience to use unreleased items to judge an artist, be they for good or bad. Nobody dug through Picasso's trash bins to find scribbles on napkins (that I know of, anyway!), but we do the same thing all the time to say what a musician should or shouldn't have done, etc. A good example--we see the Battle Hymn or the recently posted "Can't Stop Talking About American Girls" to mock Mike Love (more than usual, anyway). The fact is, even if they were intentionally recorded with serious intentions, they weren't released. They are no different than a musician hitting a bad note in rehearsal. Thus we have no business with them, really.

I know that is hypocritical of me to say. I guess I'm as greedy as anyone, and want everything I can get my hands on-- even if I have no right to it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Toby on December 26, 2005, 02:18:10 PM
Quote
The author(s) of the songs did not want to move forward with their creation and wanted to remove any evidence of same.  Sort of like writing it down on paper, handing it to a musician to play, then upon hearing it played if you did not like what you heard you would rip up the paper along with the song. It's one thing to write a song and hear it in your head or hear it as you play it, but the song takes on a different perspective if you hear it without playing it.  Sometimes this seperation of the player to the listener in playback (even if the same person) gives a point of view that is different and allows for a more critical judgement to be made.

That's an interesting answer, thanks. I've recorded music for ten years now and I've never deleted a recording that I didn't like. I have everything stored away. Sometimes, I remember a song I did years ago but can't remember how it went, so I can go back and listen to it, "Yeah, this song did have its merits." What's obvious in Brian's career is that sometimes a song doesn't feel right when it was first recorded, so it's discarded for years and years until the moment's right.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 26, 2005, 02:48:47 PM
FYI, this is why I have some serious issues with bootlegs.

I agree with you.  My problem with bootlegs is that the artist is misrepresented, either musically or financially.
As to test recordings, in this case the recordings would not have had the chance to be bootlegs.  We used one tape and just back it up over and over.  Record -- listen -- record again --  listen again -- then move on. Sometimes only a verse or a bridge, or even a fade was recorded and reviewed.  These were little work snippits or maybe the entire song, but no big production values here.  Maybe some vocal parts demo-ed or work out on tape -- just to see if it worked.

In a word, a rehearsal on tape.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 26, 2005, 03:11:28 PM

That's an interesting answer. I've recorded music for ten years now and I've never deleted a recording that I didn't like.

Well some of us are "pack rats" and never discard anything, then others are "minimalists " and never keep anything they don't use for more than a week. 
All the guys had a sense of their place in history.  In fact, they guarded their individual and collective output, wanting only the finsihed product to represent the work of the group.  Having a private studio was like having a lockable treasure room.  In fact with respect to the house studio, I had the only keys.  No one got into the studio unless I was there.  And I kept all tapes under my own lock in a closet.  That way, the trust was not with any one Beach Boy, but with someone in whom they all had a common connection.
Otherwise, tapes from outside studio gigs were controlled by Diane Rovell or Steve Korthof or the engineer in charge. A Beach Boy never took a tape home with them.
See previous post too.
 ~swd  


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on December 26, 2005, 04:11:37 PM
Mr. Desper, I apologize if this question was asked before (can't find it in the previous forum). Do you have any interesting Zappa stories?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on December 27, 2005, 04:42:02 PM
Mr. Desper, we were talking on the other board about the unreleased Denny song "I'm Going Your Way." You said you would know what song it was if you heard an mp3, so I went ahead and sent you a link to download an mp3 on a private message on that board. Did you by any chance get that link? If you didn't and you would still like to hear the song, I can send you a link again, but I don't think this message board is capable of doing private messages, so I would have to do it through email, in which case I'll have to have your email address. I would just post a link right here, but I don't think that's allowed.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Beckner on December 27, 2005, 08:37:12 PM
See the little IM bubble to the left? That's PM.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on December 28, 2005, 02:21:53 AM
Mr. Desper, have you seen that EPK-video on Brian´s site about the recording of the christmas-album or the video about the recording of SMiLE? What are your thoughts about it? How do you compare Brian´s working-style nowadays to how he worked back then with you?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 12:03:29 PM
Quote
The author(s) of the songs did not want to move forward with their creation and wanted to remove any evidence of same. 
What's obvious in Brian's career is that sometimes a song doesn't feel right when it was first recorded, so it's discarded for years and years until the moment's right.
The song was not trashed, only the test recording of how it sounded in a playback was trashed.  In fact, the artist could work with the song on their own and make another test at a later date. These little tests or pre-demos were to determine if a song was good enough to even begin to work on.  It might be a guitar rendition or a piano representation.  In the case of Brian adding the drum parts, the song did not make any sense until he added beats.  You know, there were gaps. ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 12:05:56 PM
Mr. Desper, I apologize if this question was asked before (can't find it in the previous forum). Do you have any interesting Zappa stories?
Yes a few, but a litttle busy right now.  Ask me again after the holidays.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 12:09:13 PM
I'll have to have your email address. I would just post a link right here, but I don't think that's allowed.
  Try askswd@webtv.net   If it's just an address you're sending I'll find it.  If you are sending a file to an email, we may need to try something else. But try that email address. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 12:10:37 PM
See the little IM bubble to the left? That's PM.
Yes, clicking on that envelope will work too.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 12:58:58 PM
Mr. Desper, have you seen that EPK-video on Brian´s site about the recording of the christmas-album or the video about the recording of SMiLE? What are your thoughts about it? How do you compare Brian´s working-style nowadays to how he worked back then with you?
Yes, I watched The Recording of SMiLE.  Of course, that's an edited accounting, but it's obvious that the technology has influenced his technique.  In a word I'd say that now he comes to the studio with a laundry list of "to-do" items for the day.  Do this and check it off.  When he and I worked together it was more experimental.  He seemed to enjoy the freedom that came with NOT knowing exactly what you were doing from day to day.  There was more experimentation and it was just himself.  I tried to say out of his way and give him lots of creative space in which to work.  By keeping a low-key posture he was not (shall we say) embarrassed to let go -- to the point of being silly.  I think in today's world he is always under the lens of observation and expectation. (How else did they make The Recording of SMiLE?) Seems to me that that kind of recording enviorment tends to bias your actions.  In Brians case, the discipline may get the job done, but the final product suffers the from perils of conformity. I think he does best when there is little expected and even less regulated. I never took a camera into the studio and asked people to do the same. Ever try writing a letter or a story with someone peering over your sholder? What influence does that have on the final product? The best thing that could be done for Brian is to teach him protools and sampling.  I know this goes against my idea of ideal recording, being an analog guy, but think on it.  Brian grew up in the time of the studio when engineers were necessary to run the equipment on one side of the glass, while the performers played on the other side -- the studio / control room divide. So that's how he's continued to record to this day.  Now many of you reading this have never used an engineer, but yet make great recordings and do the performing too.  Just think what kinds of music Beetoven or Mozart or Brian Wilson would make given the knowledge of modern recording software.  What would Bach come up with programming a Moog Synthesizer rather than a Flintrop pipe organ. Brian should be his own engineer, performer and writer. What would this guy come up with if he knew how to run a virtual recording studio and have all the programs that are now available?  It makes the mind boggle.  Unfortunately, he's doing it the analog way in a digital world.  And what do you get?  SMiLE with every song in the same key. Yes, he's in the studio recording, but I think he's just coasting on the creative level. Brian needs to be challenged. The only person who can do that is Brian. ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on December 28, 2005, 03:18:10 PM
Okay, check your private messages.

By the way, you should definitely watch the recording thing for the Christmas album, which is up on Brian's website. It's a much more relaxed environment with more experimentation and everything like you were describing. I think it's much more interesting than the SMiLE one. I think Brian actually said in a recent interview that he wants to learn to use Pro Tools in the near future. Of course, who knows if he ever will. Someone (Darian or Mark Linett or someone) should just sit down with him and make him learn it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 03:32:51 PM
Okay, check your private messages.

By the way, you should definitely watch the recording thing for the Christmas album, which is up on Brian's website. It's a much more relaxed environment with more experimentation and everything like you were describing. I think it's much more interesting than the SMiLE one. I think Brian actually said in a recent interview that he wants to learn to use Pro Tools in the near future. Of course, who knows if he ever will. Someone (Darian or Mark Linett or someone) should just sit down with him and make him learn it.
  I downloaded it.  I listened to it.  I did not record it.  They sounded fairly smoked out to me.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Paul R. on December 28, 2005, 05:09:15 PM
Stephen,
Way back when, you had mentioned the possibility of record companies making multitracks available so that fans could perform their own mixes of their favorite material. It looks like we have entered that era. Billy Joel's new retrospective "My Lives" includes a couple tunes that can be mixed (and augmented w/ loops, etc) from an included 8-track set-up via "Umixit."
From the Billy Joel site:
"As an added bonus for Billy Joel fans, the My Lives box-set presents two songs--"Zanzibar" and "I Got To Extremes" (Live, Never Released)--in the revolutionary eight channel, multi-track UmixIt format. A groundbreaking new interactive music experience, UmixIt technology allows the listener to create personalized mixes on a PC. Using UmixIt, fans may mute, solo or add effects to the original recording; record new instrumental or vocal parts; or remix tracks with pre-loaded loops. With UmixIt, the creative possibilities are limitless."
Interesting?
Paul R.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on December 28, 2005, 07:37:31 PM
Okay, check your private messages.

By the way, you should definitely watch the recording thing for the Christmas album, which is up on Brian's website. It's a much more relaxed environment with more experimentation and everything like you were describing. I think it's much more interesting than the SMiLE one. I think Brian actually said in a recent interview that he wants to learn to use Pro Tools in the near future. Of course, who knows if he ever will. Someone (Darian or Mark Linett or someone) should just sit down with him and make him learn it.
  I downloaded it.  I listened to it.  I did not record it.  They sounded fairly smoked out to me.  ~swd

Well, thanks for taking the time to listen. You have to admit, it's a great song nonetheless, isn't it!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 08:04:18 PM
Stephen,
Way back when, you had mentioned the possibility of record companies making multitracks available so that fans could perform their own mixes of their favorite material. It looks like we have entered that era. Billy Joel's new retrospective "My Lives" includes a couple tunes that can be mixed (and augmented w/ loops, etc) from an included 8-track set-up via "Umixit."
From the Billy Joel site:
"As an added bonus for Billy Joel fans, the My Lives box-set presents two songs--"Zanzibar" and "I Got To Extremes" (Live, Never Released)--in the revolutionary eight channel, multi-track UmixIt format. A groundbreaking new interactive music experience, UmixIt technology allows the listener to create personalized mixes on a PC. Using UmixIt, fans may mute, solo or add effects to the original recording; record new instrumental or vocal parts; or remix tracks with pre-loaded loops. With UmixIt, the creative possibilities are limitless."
Interesting?
Paul R.
What a great find!  Thanks Paul for letting me see my predictions come true.  Here's more:  UMIXIT.COM (http://umixit.com/)

You all should download the video on this one (at the upper left corner) and take it in.  I guess the 8-track "cakewalk" based software comes packaged with the music CD and for $20 you can upgrade to 16-tracks.  Next year it will be 64-tracks for $27.50 -- Ha!   Click on "artists" and see who's jumping on this one.

Every BB release through 20/20 is no more than 8-tracks.  Then SF and SU were 16-track.  Holland  24-track.  KTSA was 48-tracks. 

I'm out of a job now.  Think I'll take up singing -- until some robot learns that art too.

Here is what I posted back on July 28, 2005 at 1:38 in the morning . . .

Technically it is possible to put 16 tracks onto a DVD in compressed form. In the near future this will expand to 24 tracks. Or just download from the Internet onto your home computer loaded with ProTools. At that point in time, the record companies will have a new way to make money from those old tapes in their vaults. The release of the original multi-tracks of old hits to be mixed by the buyer on his home computer will create a new market motivated by profit. With the power of the Internet, all those new mixes by fans will start to appear on the Internet. Then you can download the mix of Long Promised Road by Jared Lekites, or the mix of Long Promised Road by Mickey Mouse, or Barbara Bush, or John Q. Public. There will be hundreds of versions to choose from, not just the Carl Wilson or Mark Linett version.

Wild stuff huh?

How would you like your original tracks, and all the out-takes too, to become available to half of the world to re-configure, modify, pull, twist, and shape for their own amusement. Then make available for the other half of the world to hear. Would you want your name on them all, or just the best ones?


  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 08:08:23 PM

Well, thanks for taking the time to listen. You have to admit, it's a great song nonetheless, isn't it!
Well thank you for taking the time to post the song.  Too bad he didn't develop it into a release.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 08:13:09 PM
Mr. Desper, I apologize if this question was asked before (can't find it in the previous forum). Do you have any interesting Zappa stories?
Yes a few, but a litttle busy right now.  Ask me again after the holidays.  ~swd
  Here's something that was posted before. Perhaps you missed it.

FROM JULY 19, 2005 AT 9:06 PM ~~~ "What does that mean? You wouldn't eat any yellow snow? Tapes are from an outrageous tour to Australia. One show a guy in the balcony fires a roman candle into the auditorium. Frank stops the show and cuts this guy a new a-- hole from on stage. Then the police came and took him away. That was the tour with George Duke (keyboards, vocals) Jean-Luc Ponty (violin) Tom Fowler (bass) Ruth & Ian Underwood (percussion) Jeff Simmons (rhythm guitar, vocals) Don Preston (synthesizer) Bruce Fowler (trombone, dancing!) Walt Fowler (trumpet) Napoleon Murphy Brock (tenor sax, flute, vocals) Ralph Humphrey (drums) Chester Thompson (drums). What a fantastic lineup of a band! I used 5 premixing consoles to conjoin over 300 seperate sources of sound from the stage to 36 channels on the final mix board. Once the five consoles were adjusted, their outputs came to the main board for balance and cues during the show. It was a very complex show, but besides those shows, did engineering on Overnight Sensation and Apostrophe albums. Zappa was one of the most competent guitarist/musicians I've worked with, including Hendrix. Except Frank didn't do drugs, he was a coffee addict."
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 28, 2005, 08:32:32 PM
ATTENTION ARTHUR:

If you are still reading this thread . . .  remember some time ago (June 30, 2005 at 12:32 PM) you ask about 5.1 and disturbing the neighbors.  I posted about that.  Just wanted to follow up with this.  I was looking around Wal-Mart the other day and came across this special they are selling (at least here in this store).  It's a sound chair.  Actually one of those without legs that sits on the floor.  Kinda shaped like an "L".  Anyway this thing sells for $99.99 and has a bass shaker in it that hooks up to your DVD.  It also has two cheap side speakers, but more important, it also has headphone jacks.  When I saw it I thought of your situation.  You could buy this thing for under a hundred bucks and sit in it for that added bass without disturbing the people next door.  Check it out at your local Wal-Mart.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Arthur Slake on December 30, 2005, 04:16:40 AM
Thank you, Mr. Desper! I'm still following this excellent thread! I will have to check this out - it sounds quite interesting...
Arthur


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on December 30, 2005, 04:51:14 PM
"Zappa was one of the most competent guitarist/musicians I've worked with, including Hendrix."

Stephen, could you elaborate on working with Hendrix?  What recordings, and with what band? 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 30, 2005, 08:33:11 PM
"Zappa was one of the most competent guitarist/musicians I've worked with, including Hendrix."

Stephen, could you elaborate on working with Hendrix?  What recordings, and with what band? 

Comment to Bicyclerider --

Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, The Who, The Mamas and Papas, The Association, Simon and Garfunkel, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, The Animals, Ravi Shankar, all appeared at the Montery Pop Festival in 1967.

This was the ticket to have.

(http://hendrix.free.fr/concerts/67-18-06.jpg)

At the concert Hendrix played a 50 minite set that included “Purple Haze”, “Foxy Lady”, “Hey Joe” and “The Wind Cries Mary.”

(http://www.artnet.com/artwork_images/113308/124757.jpg)

It ended with "Wild Thing"  -- a really wild version.

(http://hendrix.free.fr/images/jimi424.jpg)

Backstage before the show things were more calm.

(http://www.henrysgallery.com/hendrixmp.jpeg)

(http://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/HendrixJimi-couch-lrg.jpg)

During the night show that evening we were treated to a wild man in complete control of his instrument.

(http://hendrix.free.fr/images/jimi190.jpg)

The mixing console was only 17 feet in front of the stage and elevated to stage height.  What a view!

(http://www.nostalgiacentral.com/images_music/hendrix_21.JPG)

The Beach Boys were to play the festival, but because COKE was a sponsor, Mike Love wanted to pass on the occasion, so they pulled out.  Remember at the time Mike and Brian were into health foods and good living(?).  Anyway, their sound system was already in place for all the artists to use.  I went with the system.  It was my good fortune to mix all these great artists for the live feed.  Other crews were for recording and for filming.  Here is Hendrix at sound check in the afternoon. Check out those Altec stage monitors.

               (http://www.cookephoto.com/images/67-05-42.jpg) (http://www.cookephoto.com/images/67-05-c41.jpg)

I spoke to Hendrix about how he liked The Beach Boys -- He said he wasn't into surf music, but thought Brian was a musical genius. Sound check was more or less normal stuff.  Little did we know what was coming that evening.

(http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)  (http://hendrix.free.fr/disco/monterey.gif)

Talk about Good Listening,[/b]
  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on December 30, 2005, 08:36:22 PM
Incredible, beautiful (literally!) post, Stephen!
Sounds like the festival was as great as it's reputation.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on December 30, 2005, 09:17:59 PM
That was fascinating Steven, thank you! 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on December 30, 2005, 09:20:26 PM
Wow.

When are you going to get all your memorabilia together and write a book, or let someone else work with you, Stephen?  You have so many great stories to tell...!!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on December 30, 2005, 09:20:43 PM
That was a great post. Great information. Thanks, Mr. Desper.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on December 31, 2005, 02:34:20 AM
 :o So now we finally now what Hendrix really thought about Brian! Thanks Mr. Desper!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andy B on December 31, 2005, 06:46:23 AM
Quote
The Beach Boys were to play the festival, but because COKE was a sponsor, Mike Love wanted to pass on the occasion, so they pulled out.  Remember at the time Mike and Brian were into health foods and good living(?).  Anyway, their sound system was already in place for all the artists to use.  I went with the system.  It was my good fortune to mix all these great artists for the live feed.  Other crews were for recording and for filming.  Here is Hendrix at sound check in the afternoon. Check out those Altec stage monitors.

Wow!! I thought that the Beach Boys pulled out because of the debacle over Smile and that they thougt that they would be booed!! So they didn't like Coke. Fair enough i suppose, but considering the status of Monterey now, it was a bit of a bad decision.



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on December 31, 2005, 06:52:41 AM
Cool!  I like the picture of Pete Townshend with Jimi - perhaps just before they tossed a coin to determine whether the Who or Jimi would go on first?

And don't forget the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Moby Grape were there too! (Byrds and Springfield sets disappointing, but Moby rocked!) 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: al on December 31, 2005, 07:14:40 AM
That's John Entwistle with Jimi by the way, not Townshend. Great photos, never realised Mr Desper had the privilege of being at the mixing desk - I've got the four CD box set with lots of the complete shows (Hendrix, The Who, The Byrds, Otis Redding) - wonderful stuff - though sadly no Springfield.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on December 31, 2005, 07:30:08 AM
Quote
The Beach Boys were to play the festival, but because COKE was a sponsor, Mike Love wanted to pass on the occasion, so they pulled out.  Remember at the time Mike and Brian were into health foods and good living(?).  Anyway, their sound system was already in place for all the artists to use.  I went with the system.  It was my good fortune to mix all these great artists for the live feed.  Other crews were for recording and for filming.  Here is Hendrix at sound check in the afternoon. Check out those Altec stage monitors.

Wow!! I thought that the Beach Boys pulled out because of the debacle over Smile and that they thougt that they would be booed!! So they didn't like Coke. Fair enough i suppose, but considering the status of Monterey now, it was a bit of a bad decision.



Yeah, hold on a second. People have been speculating for years on the reasons for the Beach Boys pulling out. Are you being serious? Because if that's the case, you've just released some pretty groundbreaking information!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 31, 2005, 08:13:38 AM
Comment to Author --

Mike felt that Coka~Cola was poisoning the youth of America with their sugar-water formula and did not wish to be any part of their diobolical plan. Otherwise they were billed as one of the main attractions, and yes, it would have been another career milestone.  It was that time when Mike was self-absorbed with his discovery of TM -- the white rob period -- and everything else was less than sacred.

Comment to NimrodsSon --

I don't know what's so groundbreaking about it. Let me put it this way, behind the scenes Mike was emphatic with his feelings. He was entering his holyer than thou cessation with reality. He went overboard with the TM thing, confusing the trappings with the teachings. To an outsider it may have looked a little loony.  Perhaps the SMiLE angle was the public cover story, but if you think about it, not much of an excuse considering all the well-liked material they could have performed. Maybe it was for the best, considering all the dope that was around the staging area at that time -- you never know what condemning and judgemental comments  Mike may have said from his pietistical strata. But as far as the crowd not liking thier music . . . have you ever known that to be?

(I don't know why the backstage photos won't come up now.)
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2005, 08:16:39 AM
Mr. Desper, most books and articles I've read on the subject of Monterey hint that Brian and/or the band were afraid to perform, believing that with no Smile on the market and a possibly anachronistic sound, they'd not be accepted. I have also read that they used Carl's legal problems with avoiding the draft as a cover story. So to hear this is truly new to me, anyway, if not most of us here. It is an amazing take on things, and it is why your presence here is so amazing to some of us. I love your posts, both technical and historical. Thanks so much.

(P.S., I'd LOVE more Zappa stories!)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on December 31, 2005, 11:13:36 AM
I don't know what's so groundbreaking about it...

I just mean groundbreaking in the sense that this information is groundbreaking because people have been speculating all these years and coming up with these complicated theories, while it turns out it might be something as simple as Coca-Cola.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on December 31, 2005, 12:37:15 PM
You know, Coke is actually pretty "bad" for you.  I cut out pop/soda/coke from my diet a few months ago, and almost instantaneously the dentist started saying I was doing a good job brushing, and I dropped about 10 pounds without doing anything else.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on December 31, 2005, 01:32:12 PM
If you stop drinking it for a long enough time, you'll eventually become disgusted by the taste of it (at least that's what happened with me).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 01, 2006, 06:12:33 AM
To carry Coca Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly Corrosive materials. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on January 01, 2006, 08:11:59 AM
As well it should.  You ever spill some on the hood of the car?  HIGHLY corrosive!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 01, 2006, 08:53:15 AM
Mr Desper,

I asked this question on a different thread (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=164.0) regarding the use of Brian's solo Surf's Up performance as heard on the Good Vibrations Box Set in the released version of the song. Could you shed any light on this for us?

Actually, something does occur to me Andrew: Given that the Surf's Up on the album of the same name was 'vocally enhanced' by Carl in Brian's section due, we're told, to damage done to the original tapes, what are the chances of this GV version being all Brian or mostly Brian with a bit of Carl? And if all Brian, why did Carl consider it not good enough to use as it was, as it sounds pretty good to me?

Its on record that Carl 'thickened' bits of Brian's demo in the second movement (SWD's Recording the BBs, p44), so I'm wondering where this corruption is on the GV box of Brian's solo Surf's Up, which sounds pretty good to my ears. Maybe SWD himself can answer the question if he pops by...



Many thanks...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 01, 2006, 12:12:20 PM
As well it should.  You ever spill some on the hood of the car?  HIGHLY corrosive!

Comment to Susan --

The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.

Great at removing road film from your windshild or cleaning chrome bumpers.
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 01, 2006, 12:45:01 PM
Mr Desper,

I asked this question on a different thread (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=164.0) regarding the use of Brian's solo Surf's Up performance as heard on the Good Vibrations Box Set in the released version of the song. Could you shed any light on this for us?

Actually, something does occur to me Andrew: Given that the Surf's Up on the album of the same name was 'vocally enhanced' by Carl in Brian's section due, we're told, to damage done to the original tapes, what are the chances of this GV version being all Brian or mostly Brian with a bit of Carl? And if all Brian, why did Carl consider it not good enough to use as it was, as it sounds pretty good to me?
 

Its on record that Carl 'thickened' bits of Brian's demo in the second movement , so I'm wondering where this corruption is on the GV box of Brian's solo Surf's Up, which sounds pretty good to my ears. Maybe SWD himself can answer the question if he pops by...

#1)  Don't confuse the sound track of the show with the sound track of the rehearsal of the show.

#2)  I don't believe you are hearing the double tracks where most of the damage was.

#3)  If you want me to continue posting on this board, please honor the copyright notice on the top of the page of my book which says: "Use is forbidden without written authorization. Receipt of this manuscript does not constitute permission granted for use, quotation or paraphrasing,"  and go back to your original plus your subsequent posts and delete the quotation from my book in your posts .  Thank you.   
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 01, 2006, 04:18:51 PM
Mr Desper,

I asked this question on a different thread (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=164.0) regarding the use of Brian's solo Surf's Up performance as heard on the Good Vibrations Box Set in the released version of the song. Could you shed any light on this for us?

Actually, something does occur to me Andrew: Given that the Surf's Up on the album of the same name was 'vocally enhanced' by Carl in Brian's section due, we're told, to damage done to the original tapes, what are the chances of this GV version being all Brian or mostly Brian with a bit of Carl? And if all Brian, why did Carl consider it not good enough to use as it was, as it sounds pretty good to me?
 



Its on record that Carl 'thickened' bits of Brian's demo in the second movement , so I'm wondering where this corruption is on the GV box of Brian's solo Surf's Up, which sounds pretty good to my ears. Maybe SWD himself can answer the question if he pops by...

#1)  Don't confuse the sound track of the show with the sound track of the rehearsal of the show.

#2)  I don't believe you are hearing the double tracks where most of the damage was.

#3)  If you want me to continue posting on this board, please honor the copyright notice on the top of the page of my book which says: "Use is forbidden without written authorization. Receipt of this manuscript does not constitute permission granted for use, quotation or paraphrasing,"  and go back to your original plus your subsequent posts and delete the quotation from my book in your posts .  Thank you.   
~swd



Mr Desper,

My apologies. How careless and silly of me. I can only conclude that the content of your main text distracted me from the serious business of (c) etc. outlined in your headers. Rest assured that all quotations have been removed from both this and the other thread, and that no further quotations will appear in here in the future.

I'd hate to think that my foolishness would spoil the enjoyment of your posts for other board members, and hope that you'll continue to share your knowledge and views with the SmileySmile community in the future.

A contrite and apologetic

brother john


P.S. So, you think that some of the GV track in question is single track only, in parts? I shall have to do some more listening, I think...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 01, 2006, 06:35:11 PM
Quote
Mr Desper,
My apologies.
brother john

P.S. So, you think that some of the GV track in question is single track only, in parts? I shall have to do some more listening, I think...
 

Comment to Brother John --

Thank you for your cooperation.  Sorry to come down so strong, but first it's one sentence and before you know it half the book is on the Interntet. 

Whatever tape Carl bought to the studio for use in finishing Surf's Up for the album, listening under the microscope of a studio monitor found the tracks to be inconsistent in level and full of dropouts. Some parts of the tape had folds or creases along the vertical causing tracking problems. Further, excessing compression of the dynamics for use in broadcasting caused the room background noise to modulate.  Carl could not talk Brian into just resinging his part, so had to go with what he had on hand. I think Brian thought in the back of his mind that if he did not sing, Carl would drop the whole idea of reconstituting the Surf's Up project, but Carl was determined to get this song to the public -- even over Brian's sleeping body.

Can you be certain that what you hear on the GV box set issue is what Carl heard.  There are many years -- even a few decades between the time Carl brought the tape to me and the time of the box set issue.  Lots of things could have been fixed in digial magic land before the issue of the box set.  And, Carl's standards of production are, I'm sure, somewhat more refined than yours at this time.  What sonic and performance issues he had with the tracks are probably things you have yet to discover. If you had known Carl back then, you would not be questioning his motives now. 
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Cam Mott on January 02, 2006, 03:17:34 AM
Stephen,

Monterey was in June 1967 but Mike and the other Boys didn't meet the Maharishi until December 1967 I believe; how long before meeting the Maharishi had Mike been so into TM ?

Have you considered writing a tome for posterity on just your experiences at that Monterey festival?



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 02, 2006, 05:09:21 AM
Mr Desper,

I've listened again to the two versions of Surf's Up, and absorbed your comments, and in a compare and contrast kind of way have found a few intriguing things:

I quite accept your comments that the digital magic of subsequent years has played a part in knocking off the rough edges of Brian's solo performace/recording of the song, and that what we hear on the GV box was not what Carl heard in the studio. I believe I may be able to detect bits of Carl's performance on the completed version of the song, though may just be kidding myself...

What I notice is that on the solo performance the two vocal tracks seem to be dead centre of the stereo field, whereas on the released Surf's Up they are panned a little to the left and right, with a more consistent (or slightly louder track) to the right. Is Carl left and Brian right, or bits of both? Or is it not as simplistic as that? I think I also can hear extra reverb added to the left vocal at around 3:02 ( 'a children's song') for, I presume, emotional impact.

But also, I was amazed to hear, from around 2:36, (Surf's Up, mmmm, mmmm...), a sound that is not, I think, the beautifully fat Moog bass added by Carl, but what sounds a bit like a reverb tail, played back in reverse, of the lower keys of a piano, building to something of a crescendo, and then some low, fuzzy sounds like muted speach that appear at around 3:02. What am I hearing here?

And one final question: Is the piano in Brian's section the same as that heard on the box set? The sound is a little different, but the playing seems to be the same.

Many thanks for your time and wisdom,

John (brother)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 02, 2006, 06:10:13 AM
Comment to Brother John --

I quite accept your comments that the digital magic of subsequent years has played a part in knocking off the rough edges of Brian's solo performace/recording of the song, and that what we hear on the GV box was not what Carl heard in the studio. I believe I may be able to detect bits of Carl's performance on the completed version of the song, though may just be kidding myself...  Well, at least you are open minded to the tricks one's own mind can play upon itself.

What I notice is that on the solo performance the two vocal tracks seem to be dead centre of the stereo field, whereas on the released Surf's Up they are panned a little to the left and right, with a more consistent (or slightly louder track) to the right. Is Carl left and Brian right, or bits of both? Or is it not as simplistic as that? It's more complicated that that.  The dual mono tracks were pulled apart using studio tricks while at the same time some parts were replaced (words or phrases) or augmented. So it's Brian most of the time, but Carl jumping over or replacing his voice for emphasis or correction. The lateral dimension is the result of comb filtering and temporall displacement mixed in with plain 'ol ampliftude panning.   I think I also can hear extra reverb added to the left vocal at around 3:02 ( 'a children's song') for, I presume, emotional impact. A Children's Song is an added track. Extra reverb added to tie into the next segment and to cover the sudden change in sound character and background noise levels at the splice.   [/b]

But also, I was amazed to hear, from around 2:36, (Surf's Up, mmmm, mmmm...), a sound that is not, I think, the beautifully fat Moog bass added by Carl, (actually added by me) but what sounds a bit like a reverb tail, played back in reverse, of the lower keys of a piano, building to something of a crescendo, and then some low, fuzzy sounds like muted speach that appear at around 3:02. What am I hearing here? Below noise level adjacent track leakage from unused tracks.

And one final question: Is the piano in Brian's section the same as that heard on the box set? The sound is a little different, but the playing seems to be the same. Same piano recording but on Surf's Up release, it also went through modifications.

~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Ken.W on January 02, 2006, 07:13:50 AM
Mr Desper, thank you so much for your comments to Brother John's posts. Your first-hand insight is very much appreciated by all of us.

Best wishes,
Ken.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 02, 2006, 07:16:21 AM
Mr Desper,

I've listened again to the two versions of Surf's Up, and absorbed your comments, and in a compare and contrast kind of way have found a few intriguing thing.....


You could always collapse the 2 tracks (Box-Set and Surf's Up album versions) to mono, synch them up and invert one. It may reveal the differences between the 2.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 02, 2006, 07:54:56 AM
Thankyou Stephen, very much...

OK, I have just one more comment/question on this...

The swelling noise I mentioned and which you described as 'below noise level adjacent track leakage from unused tracks' (but from an unused track...? I don't know enough to understand this I don't think) is very apparent on the box set version of Surf's Up (track) but all but absent from the twofer with Sunflower (2000, 24-bit remaster). Can you explain this? I guess the only way to hear it the way it should be is to listen to the original 12" LP version, though in the UK these tend to be scarce and pricey.

Thanks again for your time and wisdom,

B.J.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: andy on January 02, 2006, 08:23:49 AM
I'm not Stephen, but I know the noise you're talking about.


I always assumed it was a slow swell from a crash cymbal emulating a tidal wave. Do you remember that happening by chance, Stephen?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 02, 2006, 09:22:53 AM
Mr Desper,

I've listened again to the two versions of Surf's Up, and absorbed your comments, and in a compare and contrast kind of way have found a few intriguing thing.....


You could always collapse the 2 tracks (Box-Set and Surf's Up album versions) to mono, synch them up and invert one. It may reveal the differences between the 2.

It will only result in amplitude differences, not temporal differences. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 02, 2006, 09:31:43 AM
Thankyou Stephen, very much...

OK, I have just one more comment/question on this...

The swelling noise I mentioned and which you described as 'below noise level adjacent track leakage from unused tracks' (but from an unused track...? I don't know enough to understand this I don't think) is very apparent on the box set version of Surf's Up (track) but all but absent from the twofer with Sunflower (2000, 24-bit remaster). Can you explain this? I guess the only way to hear it the way it should be is to listen to the original 12" LP version, though in the UK these tend to be scarce and pricey.

I hope I understand what you are talking about.

The leakage is on the multitrack.  It's below noise, so when the twofer was made they used one of the digital noise cancellation algorythms (NONOISE) to remove some analog hiss, and along with that took out the leakage with the noise along with analog beauty.

The UK LP is one generation removed from its USA counterpart.  The most pure form is an early issue USA LP. The only release approved by Carl and myself.
~swd



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 02, 2006, 09:39:02 AM
I'm not Stephen, but I know the noise you're talking about.


I always assumed it was a slow swell from a crash cymbal emulating a tidal wave. Do you remember that happening by chance, Stephen?

What cymbal crash?  The tidal wave was generated via Moog.  It's filtered and shaped broadband noise injected into a moving DC controled notch filter the output being splite into two continuously variable delay filters each folded back on itself in the opposite channel. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: andy on January 02, 2006, 09:47:25 AM
Wow. Well, that's pretty awesome! And it's what I get for assuming. It gives me chills every time I listen to it.




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: yrplace on January 02, 2006, 10:07:57 AM
Thankyou Stephen, very much...

OK, I have just one more comment/question on this...

The swelling noise I mentioned and which you described as 'below noise level adjacent track leakage from unused tracks' (but from an unused track...? I don't know enough to understand this I don't think) is very apparent on the box set version of Surf's Up (track) but all but absent from the twofer with Sunflower (2000, 24-bit remaster). Can you explain this? I guess the only way to hear it the way it should be is to listen to the original 12" LP version, though in the UK these tend to be scarce and pricey.

I hope I understand what you are talking about.



The leakage is on the multitrack.  It's below noise, so when the twofer was made they used one of the digital noise cancellation algorythms (NONOISE) to remove some analog hiss, and along with that took out the leakage with the noise along with analog beauty.

The UK LP is one generation removed from its USA counterpart.  The most pure form is an early issue USA LP. The only release approved by Carl and myself.
~swd



To be accurate, No-noise was not used on the twofer release of Surfs Up released around 2000. The only release to use No-noise was the one done in the early 90's which was supervised by Steve. I don't recall hearing any problems with Brian's vocal or double on either the original 3 track of the song or on the 16 track xfr that was made for the finished version in 1971. The version on the GV box is mixed directly from the original 3 track tape. This tape was copied to 16 track by the beach Boys around 1971 to create the 2nd half of the song as released on the album.


Mark Linett


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 02, 2006, 10:48:30 AM
WOW! Everyone's here today. What next, the big guy himself?

You'd think that the sophistication of today's equipment would be able to produce a successful copy of an original recording. Its a shame that human intervention (in terms of noise-reduction etc.) has a tendency to spoil it for those that really care about the recordings.

So, it seems that the released Surf's Up on the box set (the completed track, not the demo) is a more authentic version than the one on 2000's twofer?

Thanks Stephen for pointing out that the UK version is a generation away from the original. Why? I suppose sending master tapes across the Atlantic without a bodyguard is just too risky. Ho hum.

brother john




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 02, 2006, 11:58:42 AM
Quote
via Mark Linett:  To be accurate, No-noise was not used on the twofer release of Surfs Up released around 2000. The only release to use No-noise was the one done in the early 90's which was supervised by Steve. I don't recall hearing any problems with Brian's vocal or double on either the original 3 track of the song or on the 16 track xfr that was made for the finished version in 1971. The version on the GV box is mixed directly from the original 3 track tape. This tape was copied to 16 track by the beach Boys around 1971 to create the 2nd half of the song as released on the album.


Mark Linett

Comment to Mark Linett --

Thanks Mark for clearing that up for me as well as others here. You've been with those masters more recently than myself. I get confused with all these versions and re-issues.  It's the first transfer that had all the problems, that is, the first third part of the song.  The last third part was OK as you said.  Brother John wondered about the mono mix on the GV box.  If he's talking about the first part, as I recall (help me out here) it was mono or double-tracked to mono, and if I remember the piano was with the vocal. We synthesized it to stereo. Then on the last part -- if that's what he's talking about -- the three-track with vocals was seperated and just dubbed over.

I do hear and have always heard the noises and voices he's noted.  I believe they are either adjuscent track leakage or remains of something on that particular reel of tape used for Surf's Up.  One thing I didn't like about the 3M machines was that they could not remove everything from a well-modulated tape.  Most always I'd bulk erase 16-tracks and 2-tracks before use.  Surf's Up slipped by or was not properly done and there were areas of remnet sound.  It's very low and well under the noise.  Mostly you hear it over headphones.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 02, 2006, 12:25:31 PM
Comment to Brother John --

You'd think that the sophistication of today's equipment would be able to produce a successful copy of an original recording. Only if the original is digital. If analog tape, the best method is the reverse copy. Its a shame that human intervention (in terms of noise-reduction etc.) has a tendency to spoil it for those that really care about the recordings.  That is why it was not used in the 2000 release. Better to hear the analog with all the hiss then to try to remove the hiss and along with it some of the beauty.  I like the sound of the Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch 2000 release best -- over and above the first one I sat in on.   

So, it seems that the released Surf's Up on the box set (the completed track, not the demo) is a more authentic version than the one on 2000's twofer?  I'd say the authentic version is on Reprise Records LP # RS 6453 and if you can find a matrix number 31237 it will be one of the Artisan originals.  (The matrix number is hand written on the land between the leadout groove.)

Thanks Stephen for pointing out that the UK version is a generation away from the original. Why? I suppose sending master tapes across the Atlantic without a bodyguard is just too risky. Ho hum.  It's not a matter of security, it's a matter of time.  The LP matrix is cut in soft acetate. The shape of the groove will be good for about twenty-four hours, but after that the acetate tends to drift back to its original shape loosing details in the sound. The pressing stampers must be plated from the original matrix within a day of it being cut. During the LP age, or even today, you could not get the matrix from the Hollywood cutting lathes to London's pressing plants that fast, so a tape copy was made for foreign releases.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 02, 2006, 12:39:01 PM
Mark, if you're still reading in, I have a question about the 3-track of Surf's Up.

Was the basic tracking session tracked in mono to one track, then overdubbed later with the horn section on another track and then an additional piano on the third track?

I have a compulsion to know exactly what the contents of every discrete track a Beach Boys ever recorded...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: yrplace on January 02, 2006, 06:20:50 PM
Comment to Brother John --

You'd think that the sophistication of today's equipment would be able to produce a successful copy of an original recording. Only if the original is digital. If analog tape, the best method is the reverse copy. Its a shame that human intervention (in terms of noise-reduction etc.) has a tendency to spoil it for those that really care about the recordings.  That is why it was not used in the 2000 release. Better to hear the analog with all the hiss then to try to remove the hiss and along with it some of the beauty.  I like the sound of the Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch 2000 release best -- over and above the first one I sat in on.   

So, it seems that the released Surf's Up on the box set (the completed track, not the demo) is a more authentic version than the one on 2000's twofer?  I'd say the authentic version is on Reprise Records LP # RS 6453 and if you can find a matrix number 31237 it will be one of the Artisan originals.  (The matrix number is hand written on the land between the leadout groove.)

Thanks Stephen for pointing out that the UK version is a generation away from the original. Why? I suppose sending master tapes across the Atlantic without a bodyguard is just too risky. Ho hum.  It's not a matter of security, it's a matter of time.  The LP matrix is cut in soft acetate. The shape of the groove will be good for about twenty-four hours, but after that the acetate tends to drift back to its original shape loosing details in the sound. The pressing stampers must be plated from the original matrix within a day of it being cut. During the LP age, or even today, you could not get the matrix from the Hollywood cutting lathes to London's pressing plants that fast, so a tape copy was made for foreign releases.   ~swd

If memory serves the 3 track demo is a track of piano and then two seperate tracks of overdubbed lead vocals by Brian. I believe we mixed that tape in mono on the GV box.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: yrplace on January 02, 2006, 06:23:04 PM
Mark, if you're still reading in, I have a question about the 3-track of Surf's Up.

Was the basic tracking session tracked in mono to one track, then overdubbed later with the horn section on another track and then an additional piano on the third track?

I have a compulsion to know exactly what the contents of every discrete track a Beach Boys ever recorded...

I would have to check the tape to be certain, but the track was most certainly cut to two or three tracks live and the horns may have been an overdub. If I get out the safety to check if Carl sang any lead on pt two I will take a look at the horns as well.... Mark


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on January 03, 2006, 12:43:34 AM
If, and as with anything to do with Smile reportage from the 60s, that's a big 'if', Jules Siegal's description of the session is accurate, Brian tracked the piano first, added a vocal, then doubled it. The session was initially intended for group vocals for "Wonderful" & "Cabin Essence", so unlikely that horns would have been present. David Oppenheim filmed the session - that's one set of reels I'd gladly sit through.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 03, 2006, 03:47:12 AM
Comment to Brother John --

I like the sound of the Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch 2000 release best -- over and above the first one I sat in on.  ~swd

Stephen, which is the CD release of Sunflower that you like the best? I have two - the one that accompanies the Surf's Up release mentioned above, and a 'onefer' remastered by Joe Gastwirt and released in I think 1991. There is a difference in the sound of the two, notably in Brian's backgrounds in the breakdown of This Whole World, which seem to have a more pierceing treble to them on the Sandoval Hersch release. I also have an EMI Stateside Brother LP (SSLA 8251) though sadly I have no equpiment to listen to it on.

Thanks,

bj


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 03, 2006, 06:18:36 AM
Comment to Brother John --

I like the sound of the Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch 2000 release best -- over and above the first one I sat in on.  ~swd

Stephen, which is the CD release of Sunflower that you like the best? I have two - the one that accompanies the Surf's Up release mentioned above, and a 'onefer' remastered by Joe Gastwirt and released in I think 1991. There is a difference in the sound of the two, notably in Brian's backgrounds in the breakdown of This Whole World, which seem to have a more pierceing treble to them on the Sandoval Hersch release. I also have an EMI Stateside Brother LP (SSLA 8251) though sadly I have no equpiment to listen to it on.

Thanks,

bj

I like the 2000 release over the 1991 release.  I worked on the 1991 release.  Sometimes someone else can improve on your own work.  Like, don't proof read your own writing.  I think also that that the A to D converters had greatly iimproved in the nine years between the two releases.

I'd say the authentic version is on Reprise Records LP # RS 6453 and if you can find a matrix number 31237 it will be one of the Artisan originals.  (The matrix number is hand written on the land between the leadout groove.)

None of them sound complete unless heard through the matrix of 360Surround.  Hope you have one.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 03, 2006, 06:23:14 AM
Question for Brother John --

In your signature line you say, "Religion is a privilege, not a right."  Wouldn't the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution make it the other way around?
~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 03, 2006, 07:27:33 AM
Question for Brother John --

In your signature line you say, "Religion is a privilege, not a right."  Wouldn't the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution make it the other way around?
~swd 

I haven't read the 1st Amendment, so I can't comment. I'm English, so naturally don't subscribe to it. I didn't put the comment in to annoy or offend anyone, but it saddens me to see so much hate and mistrust in this world, much of which is based on interpretations of worthy religious texts of the past. There is a huge gap in understanding between the East and the West right now, and the voices riased the loudest in condeming other people's beliefs seem to come from those who use religion to defend their views. Martin Amis, our great English writer and novelist, once said (I paraphrase, but it was a short quote) 'Religion is fine in the home, but don't bring it out onto the street.' That I do subscribe to.

bj

PS If anyone has an issue with this, please take it to the Sandbox. This is a thread for discussing the beautiful music of the Beach Boys.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 03, 2006, 07:33:29 AM
Thanks for the Sunflower info Stephen.

I don't have a Matrix 360Surround. I've toyed with the idea, but have yet to make a commitment to buying one. Feel free to persuade me here, though! ;) Sunflower is one of my very favourite records, and I guess anything that will imprive the listening experieice would be worth having!

bj

P.S. I have your book though (but I guess you know that! ::))


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 03, 2006, 08:17:19 AM
I'd say the authentic version is on Reprise Records LP # RS 6453 and if you can find a matrix number 31237 it will be one of the Artisan originals.  (The matrix number is hand written on the land between the leadout groove.)

The matrix number on my copy is RS-1-6453-LW1 and then RS-2-6453-LW1 on side 2. Do you have any idea what this means in terms of which pressing it is and what generation of tapes were used, etc.?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on January 03, 2006, 08:38:02 AM
Brother John - buy one!  Even to my non-dog ears, it makes a difference in the sound - even of non-matrix recordings.  What it does to Stephen's BB recordings is amazing - it opens everything up, lets you hear SO much more - - if you have the extra cash, it's well worth the investment!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 03, 2006, 09:10:14 AM
Thanks for the advice Susan. Maybe I should pop over to Stephen's site and take another look at his blurb.

Stephen - are they still available, and do you have a link?

john


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 03, 2006, 09:20:54 AM
Question for Brother John --

In your signature line you say, "Religion is a privilege, not a right."  Wouldn't the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution make it the other way around?
~swd 

I haven't read the 1st Amendment, so I can't comment. I'm English, so naturally don't subscribe to it. I didn't put the comment in to annoy or offend anyone, but it saddens me to see so much hate and mistrust in this world, much of which is based on interpretations of worthy religious texts of the past. There is a huge gap in understanding between the East and the West right now, and the voices riased the loudest in condeming other people's beliefs seem to come from those who use religion to defend their views. Martin Amis, our great English writer and novelist, once said (I paraphrase, but it was a short quote) 'Religion is fine in the home, but don't bring it out onto the street.' That I do subscribe to.

Well, that puts a different light on things.  England has a state religion and that was one of the primary reasons for the colonies coming to and forming America -- to get away from government sactioned belief systems.  Here is the 1st amendment of the US Constitution:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
.


~swd



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 03, 2006, 09:24:25 AM
Thanks for the advice Susan. Maybe I should pop over to Stephen's site and take another look at his blurb.

Stephen - are they still available, and do you have a link?

john

No longer available.  If you don't mind waiting on my time table, I could make a copy of SU and SF from a CD or LP through the matrix to a CD, so you would, at least, have that. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Roger Ryan on January 03, 2006, 10:10:23 AM
Stephen - Did you find out any further info on that interesting vocals-only mix of "Sail On Sailor" you discovered a couple of months back? The lead vocal sounded the same as Blondie Chaplin's lead on the 1973 release version, but you believed your tape dated from 1971. As always, thanks for your enlightening info and opinions.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on January 03, 2006, 11:18:06 AM
Thanks for the advice Susan. Maybe I should pop over to Stephen's site and take another look at his blurb.

Stephen - are they still available, and do you have a link?

john

No longer available.  If you don't mind waiting on my time table, I could make a copy of SU and SF from a CD or LP through the matrix to a CD, so you would, at least, have that. ~swd

Stephen, you are a star of the highest order!!

I would be absolutely thrilled with the above. Wow! Why don't you PM me (or email me at john.tozer@virgin.net) with what you'd need from me (address, obviously...). Thankyou so much for that very kind gesture.

If the 360 availability situation ever changes I'm sure you'd let us know here...

Thanks again,

john


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 03, 2006, 11:54:42 AM
If it's possible to do that (make a CD of the albums as played through the matrix), why hasn't been released like that already? It seems that that would make a really interesting release, not to mention the most "official" way of hearing it aside from using the matrix itself. I guess it wasn't possible to do that in the 70s?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 03, 2006, 02:20:16 PM
If it's possible to do that (make a CD of the albums as played through the matrix), why hasn't been released like that already? It seems that that would make a really interesting release, not to mention the most "official" way of hearing it aside from using the matrix itself. I guess it wasn't possible to do that in the 70s?

It was possible to cut an LP with the surround decoded in virtual dimension. I proved it to W7 engineering back then, but the engineer in the cutting room was up for retirement in a few months and did not wish to extend his neck out for something unique. Then I approach Capitol for re-issues on CD. Gave a demo which they loved, but the decision was to pass because the public was already use to the way the stereo relesase sounded.  Someone told me that it was suggested that it be part of the 5.1 re-mix as a seperate surround matrix 2-track on the same DVD, but that was also passed on. Through the years I've tried to get the major record companies to release in the original form but the same problem is cited, change of sound will confuse the public. So that is when I decided to offer the matrix itself to the fans for a limited time.  Those who bought are enjoying the sound.  What can I say.  I did not make anything on each device, in fact toward the end it was costing me money to make them. I checked with my lawyer to see if I could release each album as passed through the matrix, but there is some legal problem with that unless you send me the CD and I copy it.  But that's a lot of trouble to go through so I forgot that idea.  It's really a shame because the album does sound completed when passed through the matrix plus the mix is as Carl heard it in virtual surround and not a re-mix in 5.1. With all due respect to the many talents of Mark who did the 5.1 version, it sounds OK, but it's not what we did back when it was mixed through the matrix.  I like that version best, as I'm certain you would also upon hearing.The inside of the sound field is filled with sonic imaging and not just the perimeter of the sound field. Also the bass management is true to the original mix.  In 5.1 this can be a blessing or a curse due to the nature of the system. As I suggested to Brother John, I can make a copy through the matrix for you, but remember that I've got to go through a DtoA convertor on the way to the analog matrix and back again from the matrix to an AtoD convertor. My digital matrix is rented to a studio in Canada so I've got to use the analog version. If you don't mind that, believe me, the matrixed version will be the one you play most often.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on January 03, 2006, 02:25:25 PM
So Stephen, rather than set up the matrix each time I play the CD, I'd be better off copying the CD through the matrix, and then just playing the copy?  The results would be the same (the sound results, that is)?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 03, 2006, 04:26:09 PM
So Stephen, rather than set up the matrix each time I play the CD, I'd be better off copying the CD through the matrix, and then just playing the copy?  The results would be the same (the sound results, that is)?
Actually you would do best to plug the matrix in and use it all the time.  There is no setup.  No adjustment. Ask Susan of her experience or anyone else reading this.

The commercial version will be available soon.

Recording through it will yield the same results in playback.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on January 03, 2006, 04:40:43 PM
Indeed - i hooked it up when i got it, and haven't touched it since.  Muy easy!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on January 03, 2006, 07:31:34 PM
Stephen,
I'd go for that,too! My email addy is fear2stop@yahoo.com  I'd also like a copy. Just let me know how much it costs and Ill send payment pronto!

I also plan to buy the book,too. I handle the mixing duties for my own group, and I'd like to learn from the master. Sorry about the flattery, but I've always considered your work with the BB to be awesome.

BTW...what other artists have you worked with, and are you still active?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 03, 2006, 07:39:56 PM
The commercial version will be available soon.

Any idea how much that will cost?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 04, 2006, 08:16:45 AM
The commercial version will be available soon.

Any idea how much that will cost?

The legal system is hard to work with sometiimes.  I'm thinking out loud here, so let's figure this out.

Did you know that when you buy a CD you only buy the plastic disc, the programming material is owned by the artist/company and licensed to you under implied agreement. I can't make a copy of a CD and sell it. I don't have a license from the artist or record company to do that. Doing such would deny the artist their royalties. I can, however, make a copy of a CD and charge for my services to make the copy, but you must supply the CD. That way there is proof that the artist got paid the royalties due them from the sale of the CD. When you buy a CD you also have the right to make one copy for your own non-commercial use. 

Now in practice, I will make one file in my computer representing a copy (through the matrix) of each CD.  Only two tracks -- side one and side two.  Then upon receipt of your CD and money for services rendered, I would make a CD from my file and enclose it with your CD in a return envelope that you supplied. You are responsible for all shipping and packaging costs. If you prefer to use boxes, use them.   

So let's see, You send me a CD (from the 2000 twofer set) and a self-addressed and stamped envelope and your check.  Then I'll send you back your original CD plus the matrix copy of the CD in the envelope you supply.  You decide the postage costs -- priority is usually $3.00. 

Thinking out loud here.  You could send me the CD in a flat-rate USPS Priority envelope and also enclose a simular flat-rate envelope folded in half with the return address and postage already on the envelope. I add my copy and drop it in the mailbox. 

You see I've got other things going on in my life and I don't have all the time it takes to address envelopes, package CD's, keep records of shipments, etc.  You'd be surprised how long all that takes.  And this is a service which yields very little money for all the trouble it takes. No matter what the cost is, it's more of a courtesy to a die-hard fan than anything.

I'll come up with some figures in a day. 

By the way, the commercial version will be in the neighborhood of $1000.00.  It's aimed at a nitch market and operates on higher voltage rails, uses audiophile quality internal components and is adjustable.  The little 360Surround unit I make for the fans was good enough for most general applications, gave proper sonic results for SU and SF, and served as a test fixture for me to see if any problems came from users.  None surfaced. Never heard any negative comments back. So now I'm proceeeding with the commercial version. 
  ~swd     


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 04, 2006, 09:07:14 AM
Yeah, I was referring to the 360 surround thing, not the CD, although if it's going to cost that much, I might just have to get a CD. So there won't be any commercial versions of those matrixes you were selling for $75? Just the improved $1000 one?

By the way, Mr. Desper, how do you handle rattling caused by the bass amplifier when you're recording? Generally, for me, it's not much of a problem, but I'm recording a song at the moment where the bass is very prominent, and it's causing problems. I could, of course, just turn the volume down, but then I'd lose the tone I want. I think it's mainly the walls that are rattling. Is that just something I'll have to deal with when recording in a house?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 04, 2006, 09:35:33 AM
Yeah, I was referring to the 360 surround thing, not the CD, although if it's going to cost that much, I might just have to get a CD. So there won't be any commercial versions of those matrixes you were selling for $75? Just the improved $1000 one?

By the way, Mr. Desper, how do you handle rattling caused by the bass amplifier when you're recording? Generally, for me, it's not much of a problem, but I'm recording a song at the moment where the bass is very prominent, and it's causing problems. I could, of course, just turn the volume down, but then I'd lose the tone I want. I think it's mainly the walls that are rattling. Is that just something I'll have to deal with when recording in a house?

Studios are usually screwed together.  Houses are generally nailed.  Over time the nails loose their strength.  If it's the dry-wall sheets rattling against the studs, drive some dry-wall screws into the wall sheets to tighten them down. Same with floor or ceiling rattles. Doors can also rattle against the frames.  Application of adhesive backed foam insulation will tighten the closed door against the frame.  If its wall hangings that are rattling, place adhesive backed felt discs on the back of the picture frames to stop the vibration. If it's lighting fixtures that are rattling, remove the lamps and put a blanket over the hanging fixtures while you record the bass.  If all that seems too much trouble, get yourself two, three or more padded packing blankets (the type used by movers -- buy at U-haul) and cover the bass amp/speaker and the microphone.  This will not stop the rattles from your recording room but may prevent them from being picked up by the microphone and thus from being heard in the recording. This method may also reduce some of the room sound in the recording, so if you want room sound too let me know as the recording method for doing that is more complex.  Hope that helps.

I have explored all the market levels and prefer the high-end market for this product.
~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 04, 2006, 10:33:39 AM
It turned out it was the air vent. I unscrewed it, slipped a felt disc underneath it, and voilà, problem solved! thanks for the tip!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 04, 2006, 10:46:24 AM
It turned out it was the air vent. I unscrewed it, slipped a felt disc underneath it, and voilà, problem solved! thanks for the tip!
Ah yes, the 'ol A/C vent rattle problem. 

Also consider:

The A/C vent has louvers to direct the air.  These louvers cause air vortexes to develop and make noise as the air passes over the louvers or any grill in the vent cover.  Best to remove the entire vent and just have a hole in the ceiling.  If you have problems hearing the fan noise from back up the duct, try this.

Take a 1/2 in thick board at least 4 feet by 4 feet.  Using rope or chains, hang it from the ceiling using four hooks, one at each corner.  Hang the board 12 inches to 18 inches from the ceiling and centered under the A/C outlet.  Next place a fiberglass sheet 6 inches thick and 4 x 4 feet on top of the board and under the vent. Place an old towel on top of the fiberglass sheet to contain the fiberglass fibers. This technique will absorb much of the fan noise while allowing the air to flow into the room.
  ~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 04, 2006, 03:22:09 PM
Stephen,
Regarding recording basses.
How do you get the bass to sit so well in a mix? Do you use much post-processing on it (compression, EQ)? Do you equalize other instruments frequencies so they don't clash into the bass? How do you get a consistent volume for a bass line that's varied in pitch a lot?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 05, 2006, 06:43:30 AM
Stephen,
Regarding recording basses.
How do you get the bass to sit so well in a mix? Do you use much post-processing on it (compression, EQ)? Do you equalize other instruments frequencies so they don't clash into the bass? How do you get a consistent volume for a bass line that's varied in pitch a lot?
First it helps to have good bass players.  The musician can win or lose that battle. If the music requires it, I work with the bassist and set the limiter so its recovery compliments the bass decay. That way, if the note changes are far apart and the bass dies down before the next note is sounded, the limiter is pulling up the bass gain to keep the note hear-able in the mix. 

Depending on how you want the bass and kick drum to work together, you need to EQ them both for seperation. Harmonics of one should not ride on the harmonics of the other. Sometimes Mike's low vocal bass notes would get lost with too much top end on the bass guitar, so harmonic shaping was required to preserve the vocal bass line.

You can also use the limiter side-chain input to "poke energy holes" in the bass from the kick drum. I  think this only works with actual limiters, not virtual ones.

Then I got into just recording the bass guitar directily to tape.  No EQ, no limiting, just direct.  As the song progressed, and tracks were added and added, and getting toward the final mix time, I would take the output of the bass track and send it into the studio where a bass amp/speaker was set up with mics and such.  Then, listening to the bass and all the other tracks, re-record the actual bass (sometimes in stereo) and apply more processing at that time to shape the harmonic structure to what had been added long after the bass was recorded in the basic tracking session. In fact, I did that with several guitars and it worked out good. Sometimes tracks were not available to re-record to, so the sound used on the mix was done at the time of the mix.  Anyone using the multi-track, in later years, to re-mix would have no record of the oringial sound. But at the time, there were only so many tracks and it was the sound of the mix that was important, not keeping a record of the sound.  So some things are lost forever. Back then it had no name, but recently I've seen this technique called "re-amping."
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 05, 2006, 09:43:51 AM
Yeah I tend to use direct injection. In fact I just put it through my 4-track to add power and straight through to the computer. Not ideal, but nothing is when I record. I quite like the effect of double tracking my bass. When the tone on one bass "circulates" and eventually drops the other is "circling" the other way and fills out the sound. Kinda.

I've tried overdub-recording bass using amps and different mics but the best sound I ever got was in a band rehearsal onto 4-track. The leakage and room sound made it lovely.

I've tried thinking of ways to do your side input chain effect using software plug-ins, but the best I can come up with is putting a filtered kick drum through a compressor with the bass and then manually dropping the volume of each kick. Bah!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Cam Mott on January 05, 2006, 02:57:08 PM
Yeah I tend to use direct injection.

That's what she said.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 06, 2006, 04:14:26 PM
Hey Steve, I almost forgot, but if you care to listen, I recorded this

http://www.someoneliving.com/aeijtzsche_silent_night_CTDT.mp3

partially in your honor, before christmas, but then the board went down...

Anyway, I attempted a common time domain environment, not sure if I was terribly succesful, but it was fun to try.

I set up my two LD-condensers in an XY formation, kind of used a wall to get some reflections, and at the same time I had my ribbon mic set up off to the side on which I sang the bass part.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 06, 2006, 06:13:42 PM
Hey Steve, I almost forgot, but if you care to listen, I recorded this

http://www.someoneliving.com/aeijtzsche_silent_night_CTDT.mp3

partially in your honor, before christmas, but then the board went down...

Anyway, I attempted a common time domain environment, not sure if I was terribly succesful, but it was fun to try.

I set up my two LD-condensers in an XY formation, kind of used a wall to get some reflections, and at the same time I had my ribbon mic set up off to the side on which I sang the bass part.



I loved it!!
 


 I am honored and humbled that you would attempt such a thing.  I played your production over my JPL monitors.  I think you achieved the group sound -- that is, it did not sound like one person singing many tracks, but rather a group of aeijtzsche's around the mic all performing at the same time.  Very nice bass resonance too.

It was so refreshing to hear your singing.  I know the entrances to the lines are not all together, but that does not matter.  The sound field was full and, as I said, sounded like a group of people singing.  I know you had fun doing it and may have learned alittle long the way. 

Again, I appreciate all your work and hope that you will consider this approach to your work in the future.  it works!! 

Excellent work. High grades.  And Good Listening,
  ~Stephen W. Desper

PS - Comments from others welcome also.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 06, 2006, 11:01:56 PM
Hey Steve, I almost forgot, but if you care to listen, I recorded this

http://www.someoneliving.com/aeijtzsche_silent_night_CTDT.mp3

partially in your honor, before christmas, but then the board went down...

Anyway, I attempted a common time domain environment, not sure if I was terribly succesful, but it was fun to try.

I set up my two LD-condensers in an XY formation, kind of used a wall to get some reflections, and at the same time I had my ribbon mic set up off to the side on which I sang the bass part.


Thats really neat! I never tried to do the XY formation and recording parts from different parts of the room. I always just setup one condenser and goto town. I have tried to do multiple vocals with just one or three voices. Here are two examples:

http://www.dubnetwork.com/music/vocalmixdowntest.mp3

This is just me, only three parts, sounds neat at the end. No panning.

http://www.dubnetwork.com/music/vocal1.mp3

This is me and two buddies, recorded with one mic. About 3-4 layers, wrote the main melody on guitar and went from there. Once again, no panning since we only used one mic and never really bothered panning it on the mix down. But I definitely wanna give the stereo micing technique a try.

:)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 07, 2006, 07:03:44 AM

Thats really neat! I never tried to do the XY formation and recording parts from different parts of the room. I always just setup one condenser and goto town. I have tried to do multiple vocals with just one or three voices.

Comment to amosaria --

Thanks for the vocal samples.  The examples aeijtzsche posted were recorded using CTDT techniques as discussed on page 36 of my book, Recording The Beach Boys (http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/bookorderinginfo/).  There is no spatial time domain in mono, so I'm not sure you understood what aeijtzsche quite admiringly accomplished in his exercise.  It's not about vocals or the layering of vocals, rather it's about making one performer sound as if multiple performers being recorded in one acoustic space -- whether singing vocals or playing instruments.
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 07, 2006, 07:08:16 AM
It's not about vocals or the layering of vocals, rather it's about making one performer sound as if multiple performers being recorded in one acoustic space -- whether singing vocals or playing instruments. [/b] ~swd

ooh, I guess I misunderstood. Sorry. :p

Is the book youre talking about the same as the Sunflower/Surf Up recording notes? I saw your website eons ago about it and Ive wanted to get a copy but I wasnt sure if it was still going on...as Sunflower is one of my favorite BB albums. :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 07, 2006, 07:13:33 AM
It's not about vocals or the layering of vocals, rather it's about making one performer sound as if multiple performers being recorded in one acoustic space -- whether singing vocals or playing instruments. [/b] ~swd

ooh, I guess I misunderstood. Sorry. :p

Is the book youre talking about the same as the Sunflower/Surf Up recording notes? I saw your website eons ago about it and Ive wanted to get a copy but I wasnt sure if it was still going on...as Sunflower is one of my favorite BB albums. :)
Click on underlined link in last post.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 07, 2006, 11:14:25 AM
Comment to King of Anglia & aeijtzsche –

I would also suggest you ask Mark Linett about his ideas on recording bass guitars so they “lay in the mix.”  He will have different ideas than myself and you may find something he says useful to you also.

===================================================================

Since you guys seem to have more than the average amount of recording gear or facility at your disposal, I am going to outline an exercise for you to attempt that will be educational for you and fun to do.

This will be like turning your studio inside out.  The objective is to create a virtual band and then record vocals over that.

To create the virtual band you first lay down a series of separate tracks.  Assuming you do not play the drums, lay down your drum track from the machine using at least three or four tracks and keep the kick and snare on separate tracks. If you do your own live drumming, then first record the drums; again keep the kick on a separate track along with the snare on a separate track.

Next add guitars and keyboards.  All to be added using direct injection. Plug all guitars directly into the recording device using no EQ, or processing. Do the same for keyboard parts. If the keyboard is stereo, use two tracks, but no EQ or processing. 

Let’s assume you have arranged your song with drums, bass guitar, rhythm guitar one, rhythm guitar two, lead guitar, keyboard one, and keyboard two.  This is your re-amp band.  OR any size “band” (number of instruments) can be used.

The next objective is to gather as much reproduction equipment as you can; guitar amps, practice amps, boom boxes, the kids stereo system, your studio monitor system, any loose amplifiers and speakers you can find in the storage closet or borrowed from friends. 

What you are now going to do is feed each of the instrument tracks you recorded into one of the reproduction devices.  The kick drum should go into one of the larger speakers and centered in your studio.  Then reproduce the snare drum over a separate speaker by inputting it from the snare track.  The rest of the drums can go into one or two other reproduction devices.  OR you can just input the drums to one stereo reproduction device.

The bass guitar can be inputted to the bass guitar amp/speaker and placed somewhere in the room. 

Do this with each of the tracks.  Each of the two guitars can be positioned on either side of the sound field.  Same with each keyboard. 

You can also take any of the guitars or keyboards and split the output from your recorder to feed several reproduction devices – maybe with delays between them for added dimensional effect.

The point is that each instrument or drum is reproduced over a separate device in the studio.

Now as you run the playback tape or disc, you go into the studio (or playback room) and adjust the volume on each reproduction device to get a balance you like IN THE STUDIO.  Change EQ on the reproduction device, not at the console.  If you use outboard devices to get guitar sounds or effects they should be incorporated at the reproduction amplifier – just as you would if this were a live gig.

Physically separate each of the amp/speaker reproduction devices out into the room. You should be able to walk amongst the “sound” of the band as they “play” in your studio. 

Pick a “best seat” spot in the studio.  This is a spot where all the elements in the room sound best with respect to level, tone, and clarity WITH YOUR EARS IN THE STUDIO.  Adjust all the amp/speakers in the studio to this spot.  It can be at the front of the studio, in the center, or even to one corner. 

You may need to move some of the instruments around the room to get the best separation in the room mix YOU HEAR.  This is much of the fun, moving elements around the room in 3D space – space you can actually walk around inside of. 

When you are content with the acoustic balance of the “band” in the studio, take your best two microphones and place them a few feet apart near the sweet spot.  If you can, set the mics in the omni position or figure-eight pickup position.  You may want to place the microphones up high in the room. To avoid boomyness don’t go over 80% of the total floor to ceiling distance as you raise the microphones. 

Now listen in your control room or over headphones to just the two room mics, muting, in the monitor, all the band tracks that are feeding out to the virtual band.  You will want to move the two room mics around and try different postions. The mics are, of course, panned left and right.  You may want to add a slight amount of 2.5K to 4K Hz of only a few dB for more presence.  Maybe not.  You can add a third centered microphone that is panned to the center for a more stable bass image. You may find that the center mic will reduce separation.  If that is the case, roll off the highs from 300 Hz and up. It will still give a stable center position.

Once you get the balance you like using only the two (or three) mics out in the studio, you can blend a slight amount of the direct sound back into the mix for added clarity.  But, not too much.  You could even spot mic some of the amps and blend that into the mix.  The possibilities are many.  

To get more room sound, turn the entire band level down.  To get less room sound, make the entire band louder.

If you are the singer, take a mic out into the studio, and NOT USING HEADPHONES, sing with the band into the mic.  Record the band and the singer.  Hold the mic for close mic-ing of your vocal. 

I think you will find that your performance will be more “electric” singing with the virtual band as if on stage. 

This is a good weekend project that you can do all by yourself or with your friends.  It’s a very enjoyable thing to do, especially as you get to the big buildup at the end.  As you work with the amp settings & speaker placement and see how all this effects the mix you get in the stereo mics, take mental notes.  It may one day help you in your engineering efforts.

Once you get the virtual band setup and working, I guarantee you that you will not want to take it all down for some time.  It's too much fun.  So . . . just record another set of direct-injected tracks and use the same setup for more experimenting.


~swd

PS:  If you were on the Disneyland payroll, the next step with the virtual band would be to put the speakers on movable MIDI controlled platforms so as to mimic the body movement of the players.  Such is the stuff of dreams.             


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on January 07, 2006, 11:37:15 AM
This sounds like a blast. Thanks for the exercise.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 07, 2006, 11:38:07 AM
Wow...I never thought of reamping a whole ensemble like that. Sounds like fun!

Thanks :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 07, 2006, 02:36:04 PM
I don't have enough simultaneous outputs (or inputs, for that matter) to pull that off.  I am increasingly interested in re-amping though.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 07, 2006, 03:51:31 PM
PS:  If you were on the Disneyland payroll, the next step with the virtual band would be to put the speakers on movable MIDI controlled platforms so as to mimic the body movement of the players.  Such is the stuff of dreams.             

If I were on the Disney payroll, I'd also have a girl with a Sonovox talking through the bass guitar, saying "You're not applying enough compression to me, aeijtzsche...more compression, please...." and really freak him out as he's mixing the tracks.

Like that "Sparky and the talking piano" Disney record - freaky stuff. ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 07, 2006, 04:07:44 PM
Haha. 

I wouldn't do it, you know.  Apply more compression.  It was fine as it was.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 07, 2006, 05:08:46 PM
I don't have enough simultaneous outputs (or inputs, for that matter) to pull that off.  I am increasingly interested in re-amping though.
I got into re-amping because I just ran out of tracks to record everything I wanted to in stereo perspective. I soon found I could maintain better control and wider stereo spreads by doing the reamp thing toward the end of the mix.  Dennis and I did a 16-Track virtual band once.  He played all the parts.  We even used an acoustic piano to lay down dry parts and then put a speaker in the piano with a weight on the pedels to give a real piano sound to the virtual band.  It was a hoot !

One day while shopping I found the cutest little thing.  It was all miniture.  All the music and MIDI commands were stored on an internal chip in the main unit.  What this was, was a little virtual band.  Picture this:  The center box was about 4 inches square and had a "woofer" in it.  On top of the box was a figure of a mouse standing up and holding onto a microphone. As the music played, this animated mouse opened its mouth and swayed from side to side with the music.  The voice of the mouse came from this center box.  There were four smaller boxes to the left and four to the right, all connected with din plugs in the back. On top of each box was a mouse; a mouse drummer, a mouse keyboardist, a mouse flute player, a mouse guitarist, a mouse at a piano, a mouse with a sax, and a mouse playing the vibs.  All the mice were animated with MIDI. Each box was it's own source of sound.  So this was a nine-track playback with animated mice musicians.  It was real cute, and it sounded great as the sound of each instrument was coming from that instrument's box.  It was over $400.00 and a little to pricy for me, but I stayed around for three songs and was completely entranced with the whole concept.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 08, 2006, 05:53:08 AM
Comment to aeijtzsche --

Concerning Echo Chambers:  The EMT plate chamber is a two-dimensional sounding device.  During the days of mono it was quite popular.  It could be adjusted for density of reverberation.  The sound in mono was very close to any room.  Then when stereo came along, room chambers came into their own.  They produced a three-dimensional sound that could be appreciated in the stereo perspective. Brian's discernment of a three-dimensional versus a two-dimensional quality of image was not very keen.  Carl, on the other hand, was quite aware of chamber differences, both in spatial impression and how the reverb effected what it was used on -- tonality.  Carl's favorite chamber was #2 at Capitol.  On a few occations we would actually record seperate stereo tracks just of the output of this chamber to have at mixdown.  It was a very popular chamber and could be booked for use weeks in advance of sessions.  It was of the same dimensions as chamber numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, which were all pie shaped and built right next to each other under the Capitol tower parking lot.  Why this chamber had such pleasent sound over its neighbors was a mystery to eveyone.  It just did!

When Carl decided that he wanted to do mixdowns at the house rather than taking multi-tracks to Capitol or some other studio, the first thing I said was we need a chamber then.  Keep in mind that I was not a hired engineer working for The Beach Boys, as is the case with the engineers in use today.  I was part of the staff.  I had an office in the Beach Boy office complex and shared a secretary. I ran a department.  We had a budget. Unless I was spending thousands of dollars of a single piece of equipment, like a console or something, I answered to no one, exept Nick Grillo. So the decision to build a chamber over buying a plate never even crossed my mind at the time.  A plate was two-dimensional and we were going "stereo." I just picked up the phone and called the carpenters together, showed them what to do, and built the chamber.  In hindsight I guess the cost was about the same as an EMT would have been, but it was never considered. The rest is outlined in the book.
~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 08, 2006, 06:04:28 AM

If I were on the Disney payroll, I'd also have a girl with a Sonovox talking through the bass guitar, saying "You're not applying enough compression to me, aeijtzsche...more compression, please...." and really freak him out as he's mixing the tracks.

Like that "Sparky and the talking piano" Disney record - freaky stuff. ;D
Guitarfool2002 -- I think I'd have your Girl with Sonovox talking through the bass guitar amp saying to aeijtzsche, "a little more direct injection honey ... Oh baby!"

 :)  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: andy on January 08, 2006, 09:11:53 AM
"We even used an acoustic piano to lay down dry parts and then put a speaker in the piano with a weight on the pedels to give a real piano sound to the virtual band.  It was a hoot !"


That's a really cool idea that I'd like to try sometime!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Arthur Slake on January 08, 2006, 05:29:33 PM
Mr. Desper,
Does the EMT plate have stereo outputs or is it only mono and that's why it sounds only two dimensional?
Arthur


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 09, 2006, 03:44:26 AM
Here's a convolution reverb impulse of an EMT 244. Credit to a Mr. Andreas Bernhard, whoever he may be:

http://s58.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3MTOFD51X9X6V2VI3TA2BWIN84


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 09, 2006, 05:21:15 AM
Mr. Desper,
Does the EMT plate have stereo outputs or is it only mono and that's why it sounds only two dimensional?
Arthur

All the following can have mono or stereo outputs and produce reverberation.  The spatial impression, depth of dimension, and directional qualities are the attributes I'm speaking of.

SPRING REVERB -- One Dimension -- The length of the spring

PLATE REVERB -- Two Dimensions  -- The length and width of the plate

FOIL REVERB -- Two Dimensions -- The length and width of the foil

CHAMBER REVERB -- Three Dimensions -- The length, width, and height of the room

In an effort to give a more "stereo" reverberation quality to the EMT plate, some engineers used two plates (one per side) which was an improvement (?), but played havoc with mono compatibility and was soon abandon.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 09, 2006, 05:46:37 AM
Here's a convolution reverb impulse of an EMT 244. Credit to a Mr. Andreas Bernhard, whoever he may be:

http://s58.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3MTOFD51X9X6V2VI3TA2BWIN84

Sorry, I couldn't get it to download.

Here is EMT plate data and photo  >>>  http://www.sageelectronics.com/bovasound/emt.html  Note the hooks on the side for hanging the unit using isolation springs.  Units were usually hung up in the attic, out of the way.  In the photo you will see the two (left & right) pickups and how they can be moved closer together or far apart to regulate the size and length of reverb tiime.  As you can see there was one (mono) driver and two pickups (stereo).

In Chamber Reverb Rooms you could use one speaker with two mics or two speakers with two mics.  Thus, a chamber could have stereo going into it as well as coming out. 

The following is an interesting discussion from "The Professor Hoffman" website (http://www.netassoc.net/dougspage/HoffLesson4.htm)

~swd
 
  Audio Class With Professor Hoffman:

Lesson 4: Reverb/Echo

We have had the mini-course on "EQ" from you and the recent mini-course on "compression/limiting". How about the history, technology and use of echo and reverb in recordings that we cherish from the 1950's and 60's--why was it used, why so much in so many recordings and some technical comments about how it was achieved and what equipment was used? You have stated in a number of threads that you prefer "dry" or "more dry" recordings to those that are either "wet" or "drenched", as I like to say (recent Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole threads).

Very quickly. In the late 1920's when electric recording came in (1925), some record companies like Columbia and Victor, recorded in an ambient environment (churches, meeting halls, etc.)

BUT, when Jukeboxes came in, the Jukebox operators DEMANDED that the record companies deaden their sound. The metallic sound of the Jukeboxes made the records sound too thin. SO, the record companies (hurting from the depression) did just that, just in time for the swing era.

That's why, from about 1935 on (until the 1950's), records were recorded as DEAD as possible.

Then, the HI-FI revolution began and the very start of the 1950's. Engineers tried everything to make their records sound "Hi-Fi" even if they didn't have a clue as to what that meant to a consumer. Mercury Records and engineer Bill Fine, put a single microphone in a big concert hall and recorded the first Mercury "Living Presence" LP. This was the start of the "Hi-Fi" craze, and most engineers from other companies quickly came to the understanding that ECHO = Hi-Fi.

A guy named Bill Putnam founded Universal Recording in Chicago and he invented the first "echo chamber". Easier than recording on location in a big hall. One by one, the "echo craze" spread across the country and around the world. Capitol built their chamber in 1953, and when they moved to the Capitol Tower in early 1956, their chambers were well thought out and amazing sounding (still are). Decca used an American Legion Hall in NYC to get that natural echo on "Rock Around The Clock" in 1954, and Columbia built big wonderful wet sounding studios to record stuff in ("Take Five", "Kind Of Blue", etc.)

Echo was here to stay.

Of course, by 1958, when stereo LP's came in, the engineers DOUBLED the amount of echo, but that's another story....

How's that for a quick rundown? 

Thanks--that helps to set the course for what transpired and how use evolved. I was listening to those Mitch Miller produced recordings last night and I could not help but notice how "drenched" they were--Marty Robbins, Frankie Laine, Guy Mitchell, et al. Further, I thought about how their "drenching" actually reduced their fidelity.

Indeed. There is ambience, then there is drenched.

Believe me, after you have heard some of these drenched ones without the downpouring of echo (the bonus track of "Stardust" on Nat "King" Cole's "Love Is The Thing" DCC Gold CD for example), you can begin to hear the magic on the actual tapes.
 
I have the DCC NKC CD (thank you). It is the fidelity of the Love Is The Thing CD (and others of that period) that gets me wondering about how wonderful many of those vintage recordings could sound if they were not so drenched.

A question--In a recording studio or mastering room, is Echo a physically produced process and Reverb an electronically produced process? They sound distinctly different with Echo, to my ears, being a series increasingly softer individual reflections of the original sound whereas Reverb sounds like a timed fade of the original sound so affected.  My father was Chief Engineer for a group of Top 40 Radio stations in the Midwest during the 60's and they added electronically produced Reverb (to everything) at the transmitter site to the signal to be transmitted...more reverb was added to a largely "wet" original product.

There are all types of "wetness".

I guess echo isn't really echo per se. It should be called reverb. True echo is kind of like yodeling on a mountain top and then it comes back to you after a delay.

Nowadays we just use the term "echo" to mean everything.

But, as to types of echo.

1. Reverb, made in a chamber or "plate"
2. Natural reverb with natural decay, from a real big space.
3. Echo or delay. Made by various means. Also called "slap", etc. The cheap Sun Records slap echo.

One example before I have to go actually do some work.

THE BEATLES "I Saw Her Standing There" (or anything on that first Beatles LP that you might have in stereo).

Go listen to that song, cutting off the vocals on the right channel. OK? Now you have heard the Abbey Road "SUPER DUPER" echo treatment:

A reverb chamber being fed back through the console and being printed to a second tape machine. That tape is being fed back through the console to the rhythm track of the live recording. With me so far? Now, since this tape recorder is playing back the live echo, the three-inch gap between the record and playback head of this "echo only" tape machine is allowing the ACTUAL PRINTED ECHO on the session master to have a slight delay in it.

So, it has that nice Abbey Road reverb PLUS the proper slap echo delay sound thrown in for good measure.

Cool, eh?

In a related matter-- what are we hearing when we got to the 70s? Echo Chamber or EMT Plate?

Three things happened that changed the sound of audio in the early 1970's.

First, the Beatles happened, and a style of recording that was strictly non-union and unorthodox. As a result, all studios were forced to upgrade to 8 and 16 track recording all of a sudden, so their clients could overdub to their heart's content. Thirdly, since the old vacuum tube consoles had only three or four track mixing, they were torn out and replaced by solid state gear.

So, in just a few years, all studios had dumped their tube gear. Thus, the sound of the recordings changed. Now that the studios had all these endless channels of sound, there was so much tape hiss that they needed noise reduction during recording and mixing to keep the hiss down. Thus Dolby A was born, changing the sound.

Now that the studios had all these endless channels of sound, there was a need to use more than a few microphones to capture the band. This is where the hi-hat got its own channel, and the bass drum, and the direct box, etc. Room ambiance died and the dry "detailed" 70's sound was born...

A simplified version but you get the ideal.

Thanks - this confirms the change in sound I am hearing. EMT plate echo - how is it different from chamber echo?

Chamber echo is a permanent structure. It works like a cave and is part of the studio. A plate is just like the reverb in your Fender guitar amp; a plate that resonates, sort of a poor man's echo chamber. It's portable and usually sits outside the actual studio in a little side room in a long rectangular box. It sounds pretty good if set up correctly and is meant to mimic a good chamber echo without having to dig a big cave, heh.

I have noticed that EMT plate echo has a different 'timbre' for lack of a better description. I assume it was variable in decay time. I have read stories about these EMT plates being big, bulky, immersed in oil!

It's just a plate, in a box the shape of a coffin. It ain't Gold Star buddy, and the sad thing is that no one seems to care. Echo is echo to them...  "

 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 09, 2006, 06:38:12 AM
http://www.xs4all.nl/~fokkie/IR.htm#EMT244


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 09, 2006, 07:53:04 AM
Quote
The plate reverb we have at bova sound was originally installed at the Ottawa National Arts Centre in 1967.

Sweet. Represent, yo!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 09, 2006, 09:55:52 AM
Right. This works:

http://s43.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1JG4MB9O88JA913UQJJX964QG9

H, did you get that tape echo?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 09, 2006, 11:27:55 AM
No, it won't extract for me.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 09, 2006, 11:38:14 AM
Turd. One last time:

'66 Tape echo:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3HQ9FE77QOQ0N1TK1MAJMPPLZM

'66 Tape echo 2:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3BWEB1LFA4XCR2F6WBCOVSZ9NM

EMT 1:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3TKMP10IPOP8S28IW8MRQN01BC

EMT 2:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1KB00UJTRBYCK10UHZIPQSIMA9

EMT 3:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3UK2A55KF0GF31G50HSL79DU8R

EMT 4:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=10M0ONKSUGTT40QH573H6CGRZT




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jaco on January 09, 2006, 01:00:38 PM
I have a question for Mr Desper about:
Our Prayer (Brian Wilson 'SMiLE' 2004) and
Our Prayer (Beach Boys, Recording date: 4 October, 1966. Additional vocals recorded fall 1968 (for 20/20))

By accident (I was testing all kinds of 'inbuilt' effects from a small mixing pannel, while I played a just a cd) I put Plate Reverb on Brian's "Our Prayer" version, and the sound  became almost the same as the released 20/20 version from the Beach Boys!
Conclusion: The 20/20 version is done with plate reverb effects?

(Not that it doesn't matter but if I should describe the difference in sound with words: 1968: warm, orange-brown; 2004: fresh, white blue)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 09, 2006, 02:37:32 PM
I have a question for Mr Desper about:
Our Prayer (Brian Wilson 'SMiLE' 2004) and
Our Prayer (Beach Boys, Recording date: 4 October, 1966. Additional vocals recorded fall 1968 (for 20/20))

By accident (I was testing all kinds of 'inbuilt' effects from a small mixing pannel, while I played a just a cd) I put Plate Reverb on Brian's "Our Prayer" version, and the sound  became almost the same as the released 20/20 version from the Beach Boys!
Conclusion: The 20/20 version is done with plate reverb effects?

(Not that it doesn't matter but if I should describe the difference in sound with words: 1968: warm, orange-brown; 2004: fresh, white blue)

  You know that's one detail I just can't recall.  But it is certainly a possibility.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on January 10, 2006, 07:28:47 AM
Mr Desper, I just looked into your great reports about the recordings of "Sunflower" and "Surf's up" from your book. I hope this question hasn't been already asked, but what would you say how much of the instruments (except strings and horns) were played by the Beach Boys themselves? Were there alot of studio musicians? And what about the way the individual BBs worked. I kinda doubt that Dennis had written arrangements for the musicians like Brian had(at least from what Carol Kaye said). How did they tell or show the musicians what to play? Maybe all that is answered in that book, since I'm not through yet, but these question burned so much, that I had to ask. Hope you don't mind....


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 10, 2006, 08:10:14 AM
Stephen, I re-read your book the other night and found myself with another question about something.

You mention that Bruce's lead vocal on "Deirdre" is processed through a "vocal blender."

What is that, and what exactly does it do to the signal?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 10, 2006, 08:53:16 AM
The "Deirdre" at the start of the track is possibly the greatest sound i've ever heard.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 10, 2006, 10:21:49 AM
Stephen, I re-read your book the other night and found myself with another question about something.

You mention that Bruce's lead vocal on "Deirdre" is processed through a "vocal blender."

What is that, and what exactly does it do to the signal?
I believe that reads vocal bender ; a device that introduces a slow harmonically related warble. ~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 10, 2006, 11:46:26 AM
Comment to author --
Mr Desper, I just looked into your great reports about the recordings of "Sunflower" and "Surf's up" from your book. I hope this question hasn't been already asked, but what would you say how much of the instruments (except strings and horns) were played by the Beach Boys themselves? Most all. Daryl Dragon played others, percussion mostly by BB. Moog by me or Paul Beaver. Were there alot of studio musicians? Not compared to previous sessions. And what about the way the individual BBs worked. See book section on "Producer Styles." I kinda doubt that Dennis had written arrangements for the musicians like Brian had(at least from what Carol Kaye said).Dennys arrangements were done, very ably, by Daryl Dragon. Other members hired union arrangers. Brian worked with studio side man who wrote their parts on-the-fly.   How did they tell or show the musicians what to play? Most used the piano. Brian used piano or usually just sang what he wanted to each player who then wrote his own chart.  You can see this style on his "Making of What I Really Want For Christmas" if you can still view it on offical website. Maybe all that is answered in that book, since I'm not through yet, but these question burned so much, that I had to ask. Hope you don't mind.... Ask again after you finish the book.

Here's a story . . .

A rather large horn session was booked at (if I remember correctly) Western 3 Studios for a 10 AM downbeat.  I arrived two hours early to set up the studio chairs, mics and headphones and to get a rough mix to work with.  Diane Revelle was there to meet the musicians.  Half-hour to downbeat the horn players started to arrive and set up. No Brian. By 9:55 they were tuning up and I was pulling a mix, adjusting reverbs, and checking headphone feeds.  No Brian.  At 10:00 AM the clock started and the room was "on-the-clock."  A three hour session had started.  No Brian.  Diane (Brian's then sister-in-law) called Marilyn to see where Brian was.  The answer came back, he was still asleep!  The studio is ready. Song is up on the multi-track. Headphone mixes all adjusted. The session will cost around $3,500 whether they just jam on the other side of the glass or actually put some tracks down.  Although Western and Beverly Hills are both on Sunset Blvd, they are at opposit ends of the strip.  By the time Brian gets up, gets dressed, and manages to drive through morning LA traffic down Sunset strip, the session will be over.  I get Brian on the phone. Brian says, "Steve, I blew it!"  I said, "Let's not worry about that now.  Let's figure out how to get something out of this session.  Any ideas?"  Brian comes back, "I'll do it over the phone."  I responded, "That just might work.  All the parts you're adding are fairly straight forward, harmonically. Right?"  He says, "Yes.  Get the phone out in the studio and I'll hum them the parts."  Me, "then I'll play it back over the phone and you should be able to tell if the take is good.  Brian, "OK, call me back."  Me, "Ten minutes -- tops!  We're on the clock!"  I got a phone brought in from the lobby and found a long cord to run from the control room jack, through the sound lock and out to the studio.  OK.  Called Brian back.  I play the song once.  The phone gets passed around the studio as I see each musician take pen in hand and fill out the manuscript paper on their music stand.  All these sidemen have worked with Brian before and knew to bring paper and pencil with them. As the phone is passed around each musician starts rehearsing his part and the room begins to fill with harmonies as Brian tells each horn player his part over the phone.  Finally he's done "arranging" the first song.  The telephone comes back into the control room.  We make a take. I have one ear to the phone and the other listening to the monitors. We don't get through it because Brian stops to correct parts.  I hold the phone up to the talk-back mic and Brian gives corrections into the studio.  The musicans talk back to Brian over their microphones and Brian hears them over the phone via the monoitor speakers. We make another take.  This one to the end.  Brian wants another take right away making still a few more suggestions over the talk-back.  One more take.  We make a playback which Brian hears over the phone in his bedroom.  He OK's it!!  On to the next song.  We get three or four songs done this way with only 1/2 hour overtime.  Later that day Brian hears the tracks over proper playback equipment and thinks eveythng just great.  But, gets a lot of feedback from the guys -- not to do it that way again, but I think it did happen again. I don't recall what the songs were or if the tracks were ever used in the final version.  I just remember this as one of those unforgettable bizarre Brian events. 
~swd



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 10, 2006, 11:52:58 AM
Amazing! Too bad you don't recall the songs, but that's another great story. I admire your ability to work with what you're given and find a way to get the job done.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on January 10, 2006, 11:59:08 AM
Great Brian story and thank you for the answers Mr Desper!
I imagine "Sail on sailor" was done in a similar way....


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 10, 2006, 12:27:25 PM
Hey Rocker,

There are a few AFM sheets that indicate a few of the songs from Sunflower had session men at the house, beyond the Dragons.  I don't think there are any for Surf's Up that have survived, or maybe they stopped bothering to fill those out at that point.

Now, of course the paperwork for sessions is notoriously vague, and often innaccurate, but still it was important in making sure people got paid, so I tend to give them a lot of credence.  In the case of Sunflower, it's not like there were so many Beach Boys sessions that somebody's payment might have gotten mixed up and subsequently got tacked on to a session that they actually had no part in.  However, don't take these as absolute fact.  And certainly Steve's recollections have to factor in as well.

AFM SHEET #96164
At My Window (Titled Raspberries Strawberries on the sheet)

Diane Rovell
James Burton
David Cohen
Carl Fortina
Mort Klanfer
Stanley Levey
Jay Migliori
David Sherr

AFM SHEET #96165
This Whole World

Diane Rovell
David Cohen
Jerry Cole
John Conrad
Dennis Dragon
Gene Estes
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #109700
Tears in the Morning

Carl Wilson
Ronald Benson
Hal Blaine
Daryl Dragon
Carl Fortina
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #UNKNOWN and INCOMPLETE
It's About Time

Earl Palmer
Dennis Dragon
Carl Wilson
Daryl Dragon

That's it as far as sheets for sessions at the house go, at least as far as sheets I'm in possesion of.  There were a few big string and horn overdubs in staggered sessions at the house as well that there are AFM sheets for, actually.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 10, 2006, 12:31:12 PM
Amazing story there.

Being that the musicians had all worked with Brian before, were they understanding of the circumstances?

Also, was this a case of Brian simply oversleeping (like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry lets the Marathon Runner sleep at his house...and he oversleeps by hours) or a sign of something else going on?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 10, 2006, 12:35:15 PM
Comment to HerosandVillains --

Being that the musicians had all worked with Brian before, were they understanding of the circumstances?  As long as they are being paid, they're up for anything.    

Also, was this a case of Brian simply oversleeping (like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry lets the Marathon Runner sleep at his house...and he oversleeps by hours) or a sign of something else going on? Brian's sleep schedule was all screwed up at that time in his life.  It was a simple mix up.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on January 10, 2006, 12:43:44 PM
@ aeijtzsche :
Thank you. Very interesting read. James Burton....hmm. As an Elvis-fanatic, it would be cool if he really played on this one while also being Elvis' lead-guitarist.
Thanks again...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 10, 2006, 12:44:32 PM
James Burton also played Dobro on Cabinessence.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on January 10, 2006, 12:48:20 PM
James Burton also played Dobro on Cabinessence.

Are you kidding? Why don't I know about those stuff? Are you talking 'bout the Smile-version or was it overdubbed in the 20/20 sessions?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 10, 2006, 12:52:17 PM
He played on the original '66 backing track.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on January 10, 2006, 12:56:25 PM
Wow, that's really a cool thing. Thank you so much for the information!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 10, 2006, 04:35:54 PM


AFM SHEET #96164
At My Window (Titled Raspberries Strawberries on the sheet)

Diane Rovell
James Burton
David Cohen
Carl Fortina
Mort Klanfer
Stanley Levey
Jay Migliori
David Sherr

AFM SHEET #96165
This Whole World

Diane Rovell
David Cohen
Jerry Cole
John Conrad
Dennis Dragon
Gene Estes
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #109700
Tears in the Morning

Carl Wilson
Ronald Benson
Hal Blaine
Daryl Dragon
Carl Fortina
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #UNKNOWN and INCOMPLETE
It's About Time

Earl Palmer
Dennis Dragon
Carl Wilson
Daryl Dragon

That's it as far as sheets for sessions at the house go, at least as far as sheets I'm in possesion of.  There were a few big string and horn overdubs in staggered sessions at the house as well that there are AFM sheets for, actually.

You spark old memories.  Thanks    ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Arthur Slake on January 10, 2006, 04:49:43 PM
Mr. Desper, that's a wonderful anecdote!
I had posed a question below about Surf's Up. Someone on this board (or earlier incarnation) had mentioned that you had tried to synchronize the 1st part of the Brian piano demo for Surf's Up with the instrumental track (i.e., instead of Carl supplying the vocals to pt. 1 of Surf's Up, the Brian vocals from the demo would have been dubbed down and synched to the instrumental recording of pt. 1). Is this true? Did it sound okay? If so, did the BB's prefer that Carl sing the part?
Thanks,
Arthur


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on January 10, 2006, 05:43:08 PM
GREAT story, Mr. Desper. Honestly, your presence on this board is invaluable. I enjoy your stories more than you'd believe--not to mention the technical info!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on January 10, 2006, 05:51:35 PM
Great story, again.
And people said Brian was phoning it in after a certain point. Now we know that to be literally true!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 11, 2006, 06:49:36 AM
Mr. Desper, that's a wonderful anecdote!
I had posed a question below about Surf's Up. Someone on this board (or earlier incarnation) had mentioned that you had tried to synchronize the 1st part of the Brian piano demo for Surf's Up with the instrumental track (i.e., instead of Carl supplying the vocals to pt. 1 of Surf's Up, the Brian vocals from the demo would have been dubbed down and synched to the instrumental recording of pt. 1). Is this true? Did it sound okay? If so, did the BB's prefer that Carl sing the part?
Thanks,
Arthur
All this was discussed earlier on this thread. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 11, 2006, 11:03:06 AM
James Burton....hmm. As an Elvis-fanatic, it would be cool if he really played on this one while also being Elvis' lead-guitarist.

James Burton was still an in-demand studio session player during the time he was with Elvis, and dating back to his initial sessions on all those amazing Ricky Nelson sides. Besides the Beach Boys, he can be heard on Monkees records, I think he led one of the television studio bands for either Shindig or Hulabaloo, and was called often for sessions. Elvis apparently wanted him on the '68 Comeback as well, before calling him directly when he was ready to put his touring band together, but that gig didn't work out and Tedesco and the LA guys did the special.

And all during the time he was with Elvis, he was just as active in the studio, playing with Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, John Denver, among others...the list goes on. I have a cool overhead studio photo from the early 70's of James Burton playing on a Johnny Mathis session, with horns and the full band setup. His resume is one of the most impressive of all guitarists...and I still hear his style so much in modern country guitar!

Refresh my memory, someone please...was James Burton's guitar the one that was plucked behind the nut to get the sound of the railroad spikes being driven in, or am I thinking of someone else with a lap steel on those '66 sessions doing the "plinking"? I haven't checked out that kind of thing for months...but I do remember it was Carol Kaye playing the banjo line. ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 11, 2006, 07:53:04 PM
Hey Steve, you had 5 AKG D-1000 microphones in your touring package with the Beach Boys. 

What did you use them for, both on the road and in the studio?  I just picked one up for pretty cheap.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 11, 2006, 09:13:40 PM
Hey Steve, you had 5 AKG D-1000 microphones in your touring package with the Beach Boys. 

What did you use them for, both on the road and in the studio?  I just picked one up for pretty cheap.
Didn't we talk about this before?  Guitars mostly.  A good "work" mic in that it sounds good on many things.  ~swd
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 11, 2006, 09:21:42 PM
I think we talked about EV 666s and RE-15s.  But I am losing my mind, so we may very well have had a 2-hour long conversation about D1000s four hours ago for all I know.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 11, 2006, 09:22:48 PM
Well you ask for it. Don't put this offer off until later. ~swd

http://community.webtv.net/askswd/CopyServiceInfo


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 12, 2006, 12:43:26 PM
Steve,

I do not have the Sunflower/Surf's up book so if this is mentioned in it, please excuse me. What was the drum mic'ing setup that you used? Did you mic up every individual piece? Maybe an XY arrangement? Curious on your thoughts on this matter, as we're tracking drums this weekend. :)

-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 12, 2006, 02:30:17 PM
Steve,

I do not have the Sunflower/Surf's up book so if this is mentioned in it, please excuse me. What was the drum mic'ing setup that you used? Did you mic up every individual piece? Maybe an XY arrangement? Curious on your thoughts on this matter, as we're tracking drums this weekend. :)

-Joe

There are no set rules.  It depends on the song, the sound the producer wants, the drum kit, the style of the drummer, the acoustics of the room, the position of other players in the band, the number of tracks available, the type of microphones on hand, and the phase of the moon.  What can I say.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 12, 2006, 04:49:49 PM
I hear ya, I was just curious what were some of your preferences.

When we recorded our first EP, we mic'd every single piece. So that I can control the sonic space of every single piece of the kit. Unfortunately, we recorded that at the local community college, where we recorded on a Sony 24 track tape and had a plethora of external gear. This time we're doing it at my place, where we're a bit...limited. Thinkin about mic'in kick (not sure what mic we're using), mid and floor tom with a SM57, snare with an SM57, and we have a B1 Behringer Condensor on the crash. Im worried about the hihats and ride..still dont have mics for that...have to figure it out by tomorrow evening. I was thinkin about trading in the B1 for the RODE NT5 (dual pencil condensor mics) and work on an XY configuration.

oh well, was hopin to have a fun discussion with this..off to tapeop I go :)

take care
-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 12, 2006, 07:23:48 PM
I hear ya, I was just curious what were some of your preferences.

When we recorded our first EP, we mic'd every single piece. So that I can control the sonic space of every single piece of the kit. Unfortunately, we recorded that at the local community college, where we recorded on a Sony 24 track tape and had a plethora of external gear. This time we're doing it at my place, where we're a bit...limited. Thinkin about mic'in kick (not sure what mic we're using), mid and floor tom with a SM57, snare with an SM57, and we have a B1 Behringer Condensor on the crash. Im worried about the hihats and ride..still dont have mics for that...have to figure it out by tomorrow evening. I was thinkin about trading in the B1 for the RODE NT5 (dual pencil condensor mics) and work on an XY configuration.

oh well, was hopin to have a fun discussion with this..off to tapeop I go :)

take care
-Joe
  Take from these suggestions as you can.  The major contribution to the drum sound is THE DRUMMER.  If you can convince him to play softly, you will get a more dynamic recording. The best argument is that you are in a studio, not a concert hall. These are microphones for recording, not amplifying. If you play softly, the headroom goes way up and the body rather than the impact of the drum sound can be heard in a mix. You might consider placing a mic with a figure-8 pattern between the snare and the ride.  Then move the mic (and the drum or ride) for balance and use hi/low EQ to trim the balance. That will free-up the SM57 for one crash and maybe give you another dynamic -- don't know.  If you can isolate the drums, consider plain ol' simple miking.  Kick, snare, two-overheads.  If you don't beat the hell out of the drums, their beauty will emerge.  Use mid-frequency EQ to bring out the toms from the overheads. You don't need to worry about X-Y, just put the overheads where you get the best sound.  If the drums ring too long use a wallet to damp the head. Take one skin off the kick if you want the punch to be dominate over the sympathetic vibration from the toms. ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on January 13, 2006, 08:27:59 AM
Steve,
  Any chance you could put the link up again for ordering your book?
Big Bri


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 13, 2006, 11:38:34 AM
Check the little globe under the avatar!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 14, 2006, 04:30:53 PM
Steve,

I do not have the Sunflower/Surf's up book so if this is mentioned in it, please excuse me. What was the drum mic'ing setup that you used? Did you mic up every individual piece? Maybe an XY arrangement? Curious on your thoughts on this matter, as we're tracking drums this weekend. :)

-Joe

Comment for amosario --

How did your session go?  Did you get a good drum sound?
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 14, 2006, 06:23:02 PM
Stephen,

We pushed it back til tomorrow because our drummer had class today. We're setting up in the early am and tracking all through the afternoon and early evening. If we don't get the 3 songs down we'll be using Monday as well (luckily we all have the day off).

I'll report back to you as soon as the session is done.

Thank you! :)
-Joe

p.s. The other sound engineer and I were talkin, and we're thinkin about having the condensor in the Middle, two SM57's on LEFT and RIGHT (overview) and then mic'in the kick and snare. Only problem with that is that Im afraid the sm57s wont pick the cymbals and hihat too clear. Anyway, we have a few ideas we're gonna try out so Im excited!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 14, 2006, 07:29:18 PM

p.s. The other sound engineer and I were talkin, and we're thinkin about having the condensor in the Middle, two SM57's on LEFT and RIGHT (overview) and then mic'in the kick and snare. Only problem with that is that Im afraid the sm57s wont pick the cymbals and hihat too clear. Anyway, we have a few ideas we're gonna try out so Im excited!

If you are short on mics, back them up and get an overall sound.  If, as the song progresses and you find that after adding many layers, one drum is not loud enough you can always sweeten it back in. You will hear the entire kit if you back the mics back. Everything will come into balance too.  Are the drums somewhat isolated or will backing up drum mics make for leakage problems?   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 14, 2006, 07:51:48 PM
That is what we're worried about, with the leakage. When we recorded our first ep all the mics were right up to the drum and it sounded so sweet. The mix down on the drums was very detailed in the sense of panning. Since we're limited this time around it seems like we will have more of an overall sound. So we will have to work on the mic positioning. I really don't mind, we have a new drummer and he's a lot jazzier than our previous drummer, it might just work out. What I'm concerned about (and you brought this up on a previous post) is how he can intensify as the song plays through and eventually plays really hard. We're going to have to sit down and talk to him about keeping the intensity of the hits mid-level and keep the sound sweet and round with not too much of a 'punch'. If we were able to mic every single piece, then this wouldnt be a problem.

Another unfortunate circumstance, since we're recording this in my bedroom, the computer/sound unit (I use an Aardvark Q10) will be in the same room. I was hoping to move the computer to another room, but in the end, it wont work out. So we have to do a lot of the leveling visually using the input mixer levels.  :o


-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 15, 2006, 06:14:27 AM
That is what we're worried about, with the leakage. When we recorded our first ep all the mics were right up to the drum and it sounded so sweet. The mix down on the drums was very detailed in the sense of panning. Since we're limited this time around it seems like we will have more of an overall sound. So we will have to work on the mic positioning. I really don't mind, we have a new drummer and he's a lot jazzier than our previous drummer, it might just work out. What I'm concerned about (and you brought this up on a previous post) is how he can intensify as the song plays through and eventually plays really hard. We're going to have to sit down and talk to him about keeping the intensity of the hits mid-level and keep the sound sweet and round with not too much of a 'punch'. If we were able to mic every single piece, then this wouldnt be a problem.

Another unfortunate circumstance, since we're recording this in my bedroom, the computer/sound unit (I use an Aardvark Q10) will be in the same room. I was hoping to move the computer to another room, but in the end, it wont work out. So we have to do a lot of the leveling visually using the input mixer levels.  :o


-Joe

There is one other way...  Use a click track.  Record the drums with mics only, bass direct, even guatars & keyboards direct. No leakage.  Then re-amp the bass, guitars and keys.  Or replace them with new tracks.  The point is, use all your mics on the drums, use seperate tracks for each mic and everything else direct. Then balance the drums and pig-pong to dedicated drum tracks.  Re-play or re-amp the other instruments. Use the click track as a guide.  When you make the click track (first) call out (put on tape) the downbeat (say downbeat of 8 beats), then say first chorus in four beats, then second verse in four beats, then guitar vamp in four beats.  You get the picture.  When you hear it in your headphones you will only hear the clicks, but will also know where you are in the song.  Everyone will be on the same cue.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 15, 2006, 07:56:23 AM
Oh! I made a mistake, I thought you meant leakage through the individual drum mics. We are recording the drums and the bass together at the same time. The bass is direct in. (We might even work on re-amping the Bass afterwards) The guitars will also be direct for scratch tracks, we're recording the guitars on another date (we have all the time in the world to do the guitar tracks, its the drums that we're limited too since our drummer has a job and goes to classes) and I have to get my amped fixed. For some reason, my amp decided to stop working...It looks it might be one of the tubes in the preamp. Thats what I get for going on a bumpy ride after a gig. :/

Anywho, today we're dedicating to recording the drum and bass tracks for 3 songs. Once we got the perfect takes, we'll be workin on recording the guitars through our amps and little tricks that we like to do around the house. We literally setup 3 or 4 mics to an amp and try to go for the best mix of sounds. We have a lot of fun. :)

I have a feeling we'll have six inputs dedicated to the drums (kick, snare, tom 1, tom 2, overhead left, overhead right) and then the remaining two inputs will goto the bass and one guitar. (The band setup is 2 guitars, bass, drums, drum machine/moog synth)

:)
-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 15, 2006, 11:20:52 AM
I think we talked about EV 666s and RE-15s.  But I am losing my mind, so we may very well have had a 2-hour long conversation about D1000s four hours ago for all I know.
  As I recall the D-1000 was a little hard or edgy.  So when I needed that "edge" to cut through some harmonically rich mix I'd use one or two.  I don't remember using them on anything that had or needed low-end.  It was mostly a midrange mic.  I never used them on vocals.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 15, 2006, 11:29:04 AM
We are recording the drums and the bass together at the same time. The bass is direct in. I have a feeling we'll have six inputs dedicated to the drums (kick, snare, tom 1, tom 2, overhead left, overhead right) and then the remaining two inputs will goto the bass and one guitar. (The band setup is 2 guitars, bass, drums, drum machine/moog synth)
-Joe
If you are mixing in digital land, you could always gate the drums, after-the-fact, to reduce inner-instrumental leakage. Notice your setup includes a moog synth.  Use that to make your click track.  Once you have a click track, you can always overlay drums.  Like, record snare kick and toms up close. Then overdub the ride and hihat -- or some such order.  You don't need to record all the drums at the same time if you use a click track.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 15, 2006, 11:35:00 AM
Like, record snare kick and toms up close. Then overdub the ride and hihat -- or some such order.  You don't need to record all the drums at the same time if you use a click track.[/b]  ~swd

We've tinker'd around with that idea, but sometimes you lose a certain 'groove' when you start seperating parts. Maybe its just us! I dont know. We're finally setting everything up, unfortunately, our drummer is nowhere to be found. So in the end, we might just track some stuff for fun and mess around with it. We'll see how it pans out.

I use Cubase SX 2 to record, it has its own internal click track, but let me tell you Stephen, Im not a fan of click tracks. I've tried to use them multiple times (for myself and with other drummers) and it just gets frustrating. I especially hate click tracks when Im trying to record an instrument, its just too solid and straight forward with absolutely no groove! We'll see how it goes, as soon as we finish tonite I'll give you the full report! Until then, Im going to send you a link through the private message function on the board, I hope you recieve it. :)

-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 15, 2006, 03:02:33 PM

I especially hate click tracks when Im trying to record an instrument, its just too solid and straight forward with absolutely no groove!
-Joe

I'm not a big fan of clicks either, but sometimes you gatta use um.  Two things.  (1) You can play around the click, and (2) there are click programs that key off of the kick or the snare.  That way they are not locked down.

You know, if you are just a garage band for fun -- screw all that fancy techno stuff.  But if you expect to move your band into the club circuit or open for a concert group or entertaining on a plane larger than your bedroom, best to get use to using a click track.  Here's one big advantage.  If you use a click track with proper start and flags so you know where you are in the song, you can sync up MIDI to control your lights to change with the blocking you work out -- all automatic even though you are playing live. You can even sync BG parts to come in on cue to suppliment your sound or fatten certain instruments. If you are inclined, the click track lets you have dancers too.  I've worked with or been entertained by several bands that use click tracks. The advantage is that your set is always the same.  Set your standards high and you can get gigs because your performance is consistently good and looks good. The lights work at the right time and the sound is thick. The dis-advantage is that you are not free to screwup (if that is a dis-advantage?) or excell on those few night when you give an exceptional performance that comes along once in a while.  The click track takes the highs and lows out of the show and puts it on a consistant, better-than-average level that always gives a good set. That is what promotors are looking for. Less risk -- more consistant shows.

By the way, only the drummer listens to the click track.  The rest of the band gets its beat via the drummer.  So, if the drummer wants to play off of your guitar vamp, rather than the clock of the click track -- he can.  He's not going way off the clock -- just a little rabato (free form). But it's a fact of life that your audience will enjoy your performance better if, for the most part, the beat is consistent.  Hal Blain was a successful drummer because he was on time -- not to the sessions, but to the beat. We use to say about Hal -- the US Navy set their clocks to his beat. I think the so-called "groove" is not rabato, it's finding the correct meter for the song. Most bands play in the same old meter they started out playing a song with from the beginning.  NO.  Take the song, play it slightly slower, slightly faster.  Ask if it felt best one way or the other.  Experiment.  Be true to your feelings.  The correct groove will be appearent to the entire band.  As you know, all of a sudden you all "feel" as one performer.  The groove is when all members feel connected as only musicians can.  This is the ElDorado of being a band.  When everyone, all of a sudden, becomes everyone's soul brother for that instant of playing -- it's fantastic, transcendental.  That I understand.  But you can get to this point, even with a click track. From my experience, the click track does not take the groove away, if done right, it will actually make it happen.  Try it out.

Good Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper     


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on January 15, 2006, 03:14:51 PM
If nothing else, it gives you the discipline of paying attention to the beat/tempo throughout the ENTIRE song, not just the part that's easy, or less passionate, or whatever. 

Consistent tempo and beat throughout a song a critical, but they're also the first thing to go if you're not paying attention.  A click track will teach you to pay attention to your beat.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 15, 2006, 04:33:54 PM
Success!

We have two songs recorded so far. Another problem with us using a click track is that we change tempo throughout our songs...we're very...'experimental'. We're about to take a 'break' and then start on the third song. I'll be back with a full report with the mic setup and some pics...Its funny what you said about Hal, after shows people have come up to us and say that our drummer is a human metronome (no lie).

Everything is comin out great, and we're REALLY happy with the overall sound. It's so crisp!

Ill be back soon!

take care
-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 15, 2006, 07:32:44 PM
Here we go!

It was a success. The best we've ever have drums sound in my room, the setup:

XY -  Audio-Technica XM3 x2
Kick - Audio-Technica XM9
^ all we had available
Toms - SM57 x2
Ride - Behringer (sp?) B-1

some pics:

(http://www.dubnetwork.com/images/bb/micsetup_1.jpg)

(http://www.dubnetwork.com/images/bb/micsetup_2.jpg)

(http://www.dubnetwork.com/images/bb/micsetup_4.jpg)

We'll start recording the instruments over the week, we're just happy we got 3 songs down on the drums...and I honestly cant stop raving about how great they sound. Its true, to record good sounding drums is not just the gear but the drummer himself. I can't wait to start getting more tracks down!

If you were curious, this is what my DAW looked like

(http://www.dubnetwork.com/images/bb/wires.jpg)

Stephen, I'll be more than happy to send you a dry mp3 of the drum tracks if you wish to give it a listen.

Take care
-Joe

p.s. sorry for straying away from the original topic at hand...the mighty amazing Beach Boys! :x


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 16, 2006, 04:57:54 PM
Comment to Mr. LePage --

Is there some way you can make it permanent that I am on line "forever?"  I put that into the log-on, but it has happened five times now that I type a long replay with much technical information only to have it all erased, or dropped, with no way to go back and retrieve it.  It just happend again with this drum discussion and I just don't have the time to re-enter all I said. I lost four paragraphs of comments.  A real bummer. The loser is the fan.  Please see if you can just make me on line "forever" everytime I log in.  I never had this problem before.  Thanks. ~swd
[/b]


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 16, 2006, 05:00:51 PM
I'll see what I can do.

When did the problem begin?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 16, 2006, 05:08:16 PM
Very strange, i'm logged in as soon as I open this website.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 16, 2006, 05:13:05 PM
I'll see what I can do.

When did the problem begin?

At least two weeks ago. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 16, 2006, 05:26:47 PM
Success!
take care
-Joe

Check your email. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 16, 2006, 06:51:17 PM
Stephen, my suggestion is to delete any cookies you have on your computer that reference smileysmile.net.  Then log back in and choose "forever." 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on January 17, 2006, 05:14:09 AM
Stephen, my suggestion is to delete any cookies you have on your computer that reference smileysmile.net.  Then log back in and choose "forever." 


That should work. It was absolute the same problem I had. Delete the cookies and it'll work


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 23, 2006, 12:45:24 PM
Hi Stephen,

My dad picked up a Sunflower LP, Brother Records/Reprise Records 6382, RS 6382, printed in Canada. I was just wondering if this was "as good as" the US LP release which you have said is the best way to hear the album. Do you know if LPs printed in Canada use the same masters as the US ones, in general?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Day Tripper on January 26, 2006, 09:42:03 AM
Hello Mr Desper. I'm going to buy your book before I ask you any questions on your recording techniques but I wanted your opinion on something. I've heard some producers say that if they like a record it is usually in this order - 1). Great Song 2). Great Performance 3). Sonic Quality.  Now I've heard songs from the 1960's and before where the drums are pretty dead, the bass guitar has no definition,  or there is a lot of noise (i.e. Tommy James 'Hanky Panky").  Before I bought a Roland digital recorder and recorded my own songs I never payed too much attention to sonic quality but rather the emotional response I got from the song itself. Now I can't listen to my own recordings without being overly critical of the sound. I used to get free recordings done at Full Sail recording school here in Orlando Florida and watched as they would spend hours trying to get a good drum sound.  Do you think people who record quickly and don't experiment with mic placement, mic selection, etc can't get a decent recording? I've read Behind the Glass about producers and for every situation it semed like everyone had a different approach to recording. I've really enjoyed reading this thread because its like being in recording school.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on January 27, 2006, 12:38:39 PM
Mr. Desper,

Just thought you might like to know that the blueboard (www.brianwilson.com) has seen a lot of activity by a lot of (really, really uninformed) people who appear to a) question your involvement in Beach Boys work (!) and b) question the legality and/or morality of your copying of the twofers through your device. I tried to argue for you, but alas...some people won't be convinced.

Here's an example, if you care:

"I Googled this guy and he's really an engineer with a finger in lots of different stuff. Claims to have engineered BB albums for 4 years (1968-1972; you could validate this by examining the CD/vinyl credits)."

"Whether or not he has permission to "remaster" BB CDs is anyone's guess. Google him and decide for yourself what's up... "

Ugh. That's one reason why that board is agony...but ignorance is bliss.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on January 27, 2006, 12:40:05 PM
Quote
"I Googled this guy and he's really an engineer with a finger in lots of different stuff. Claims to have engineered BB albums for 4 years (1968-1972; you could validate this by examining the CD/vinyl credits)."

Holy foda. I say, bring back martial law.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on January 27, 2006, 12:49:05 PM
I've really just got to give up over there. I've been smashing my head against a wall...named Robert Wheeler.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 27, 2006, 09:35:41 PM
Mr. Desper,

Just thought you might like to know that the blueboard (www.brianwilson.com) has seen a lot of activity by a lot of (really, really uninformed) people who appear to a) question your involvement in Beach Boys work (!) and b) question the legality and/or morality of your copying of the twofers through your device. I tried to argue for you, but alas...some people won't be convinced.

Thanks Luther for that info and link.  Interesting posts by people who are not very informed.  I prefer to stay over here on this website as I find the people here more the fans I like to associate with. 

As to the points raised in the Brianwilson.com website:

(1) As I understand the requirements of the copyright law, as long as the royalties are paid to the performers, a copy can be made of the original CD that was purchused by the buyer.  I require that the actual CD be sent to me. This proves to me that the Beach Boys' received their due royalties.  The copy is authorized under the home recording act.  If you want to get technical about it, playing the CD on your computer makes a copy of the CD before you hear it, anyway. I don't need any "permission" to make copies of a CD owned by a fan. I may call it a "re-master" but legally it is a "transformative copy." Under this definition, modifications from the original may occur.  By the way, I have seven lawers with whom I deal. A passed this idea by two of them and both thought it was within the legal framework of The Home Recording Act of 1972.
(2) As to the silver contacts mentioned, the poster is uninformed.  I am using the actual device I used way back in the 1970's to make these copies.  Not only does this equipment use gold connectors, they are XLR balanced connectors with gold pins as used in studios.  This is not the 360Surround device, this is the real thing. In addition, I use some very technical edge-cutting devices to restore clearity to what is already on the CD but cannot be heard.  Not to blow my own horn, but I am a very smart guy.  Do you think I stopped improving my technology after I left the Beach Boy organization?  I went on to build a multi-million dollar business based on my inventions and have continued to improve various aspects of the audio field for more than thirty years.  Chuck Britz and Mark Linett are very fine engineers. I have a great deal of respect for their work and their recordings. But I am not a typical recording engineer. I am more of a pioneer type of engineer.  One that moves in un-charted waters. I have several patents on recording devices. I am an inventor and an engineer. What I do is not just record records in the standard way. I branch out into the unknown. What I did with the Beach Boys was very experimental, yet kept compatable with the conventional release methods of the day. 
(3) Yet I remain a Beach Boy fan. In this idea of copying CD's for people I am using equipment that I have spent years developing and thousands of dollars in building and improving.  The cost of making a copy for each fan that supplies me their CD is not just making a copy through a simple device.  The twenty dollar fee is the amoryized cost of all those years of research and results that goes into each copy made. The poster is again uninformed as to what my offer includes.  For example, you cannot reduce all analog functions to digital as the poster assumes. To think that you can, is to show your ignorance about audio. So this is not something that you can reduce to an algorythm and copy. Besides, creating algorythms is not a simple matter anyway. Does this poster think that people write formulas do it for for free?  And, analog equipment made to improve audio is even more expensive.
(4) So, the twenty dollar fee covers my research, all the extra time I have to go through to turn around the copy (my time is worth $200/hour) and it gives a value to the copy.  Each CD is also signed and numbered by me.  That gives it some value if you are a collector. After all, since it's a digital CD, you can copy it anyway. After you hear this copy, you will not think that the twenty dollars you paid for it was ill spent.  Besides, if you don't think it's worth the money, send it back and I'll refund your money. So what's the beef? 

I will be posting more on the offer of coping the CD's I worked on in the not-too-distant future.

Again thinks for the heads-up on the BW.com thread.  You can copy and post this over there if you wish to.

And, Brian -- if you should be reading this -- You know this is what our beloved Carl would want to happen. 


~swd 
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on January 27, 2006, 09:47:55 PM
Amen. Thanks, Mr. Desper.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 27, 2006, 10:02:08 PM
Hello Mr Desper. Do you think people who record quickly and don't experiment with mic placement, mic selection, etc can't get a decent recording? I've read Behind the Glass about producers and for every situation it semed like everyone had a different approach to recording. I've really enjoyed reading this thread because its like being in recording school.

Recording is an art form.  There is no right nor wrong method.  

As to drum sounds,  I prefer to get a drum sound within ten minutes.  If you are working with a good studio drummer, that is about the time you have anyway (in a union date).  I have also spent as long as two days getting a drum sound.  As an engineer, if that is the amount of time the producer wishes to spend on this task, then I'm in to it.  If they want a good drum sound after ten minutes, I'll give them one.

Brian Wilson did not spend a lot of time getting a drum sound.  He spent time working with the drummer working out the part he wanted played and left it to the engineer to get the sound.  At least that was my experience with Brian back in the 60-70's.  Maybe today he is different. Ask Mark Linett how long Brian worked on the drum sound for SMiLE.  But, I bet it was not too long.

And, I agree.  The performace is what sells the song, not the engineering.  However, the engineer can influence the performance.  If the performer likes the sound the engineer has recorded, he will perform better.  If the engineer gets in the way of the performer or the performance, it will suffer.  So it's a symbiotic relationship, but weighted over to the performer, not the engineer.  In the end, the public remembers the artist, not the engineer.
 ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 27, 2006, 10:38:41 PM
Amen. Thanks, Mr. Desper.

Thanks Luther for your sticking up for me.

If you, or the poster who could not find me on the web, wish to GOOGLE me, here's some links:

 
Google link to Steve Desper >>>  http://www.google.com/search?q=Steve+Desper&hl=en&lr=&start=0&sa=N
 
Google link to Stephen W. Desper >>>  http://www.google.com/search?q=Stephen+W.+Desper&hl=en&lr=&start=20&sa=N
 
Google link to Desper, Spatializer (and Desper Products, Inc.) http://www.google.com/search?q=Desper,+Spatializer&hl=en&lr=&start=0&sa=N

Here is the link to my profile on line:

h t t p : / / u s . g e o c i t i e s . c o m / f a n g a t h e r i n g / D e s p e r b i o . h t m l

For some strange reason if I type in my profile URL address in this thread, it comes up looking like this:
Link to my profile (not updated)  >>>  http://us.geocities.com/fangathering/Desperbio.html
That is incorrect.  I have tried entering it in its correct form many times, but the program changes it to the above.  Don't know why. The only way I can give you the correct link is to place spaces between the letters and then you will have to re-type the whole thing without the spaces.
(Mr. LePage take notice). ~swd

PS  Mr. Wheeler is invited to post to this board, provided he reads all previous posts in the archive and gets himself up-to-date.  Unfortunately I don't have the time nor desire to post to other boards (execpt Susan's).





Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 28, 2006, 07:09:10 AM
Ok, it seems that you guys are referring to my response to a thread on www.BrianWilson.com. Originally I couldn't be bothered to argue the toss on this, but seeing as I'm being referred to by name, I might as well put it direct to the man.

First of all Mr Desper, I think the stuff you did with the Beach Boys was awesome. In the current era when engineering aspires for plainness and invention within the confines of accepted boundaries, those who ignore and innovate beyond those boundaries are in short supply.

However, I can not see any way in which you can justify charging $20 for the act of simply copying a disc. I understand that you feel that you have a right to do this under the terms of the Home Recording Act. At best you may have the right to recover basic media and copying costs, but there is no way you have the right to recover costs against previous commercial development. That is clearly outside the bounds of the Home Recording Act. I also fail to understand how, if you have built multi-million businesses around it and have all these valuable patents on the technology, why you would need to recover costs for development from this scheme. You have no right to recover costs on a technology you have developed on the back of master recordings owned by someone else.

You may charge $200 an hour for work, but this is not professional work you are doing, and again if it was then it would be clearly outside the boundaries of the Home Recording Act. You give the impression that you are just dedicated to the music and the fans hearing it in the way you feel as the engineer, is the best way to hear it. Yet if it was purely a labour of love, you not be charging $20 for it.

Non of that adds up to me.

In regards to my comments I made on the device, I was referring to the 360Surround device. I've got no idea what your analog box looks like. But that domestic 360Surround thing looked really ropey. It was advertised on your site as being of a high quality build with high quality connectors, but it looked like a piece of junk to me. That's my opinion. As I said in my original post, I've never heard the thing, so it may be amazing for all I know. But it didn't look high quality to me.

Regards the possibility of modeling the device in software: As I understand it from elsewhere in this thread, you have already produced a digital hardware version of the professional device. I would be really surprised if it was not possible to emulate the functions of such a device in software. It can only be a matter of processing power if it is difficult. Seeing as many filters such as Dolby Pro Logic and SQ are possible to recreate in software, I find it hard to believe that a technology encoded into a record in the early 1970's could not be decoded in software in 2006. There needn't be any costs involved in developing such a decoder, its the sort of project the open source community would pounce upon. Again it's not about developing algorythms. The chances are you could probably emulate the device component by component if need be. However, I think it would probably be easy to write the algorythms within the community.

I understand that you have valuable patents on the work and opening up such technology would potentially devalue that technology. But, it just seems silly that you have this technology that you say is so fantastic, but it is not available to anyone, unless they have your handmade device. Exploited commercially the software route could make your patents really deliver profits for you. If you sold that software for $20, I would probably buy it, if I was convinced that there was any real benefit to using it. In fact if there was a product available for $12.95 that plugged in to winamp, I'd be right up for it.

Do you think the product at http://store.yahoo.net/spatializer-estore/spatstreamfo.html could do that? That is the company that owns your patents isn't it? It must be a totally different technology, because, as you said before, it would be very difficult to translate your technology into software, that you could buy for a PC for $12.95. Surf's up and Sunflower do sound quite interesting through this plugin though, with the default settings anyway.

And this is my last problem with the whole thing. I don't understand what this device or process or whatever it is is supposed to be doing. It's a spatializer isn't it? What makes it different to other spatializers? I've got quite a good understanding of wave physics theory, can you refer me to the patents numbers so I can research what is actually going on?

So I'm afraid I remain of the opinion that it is a scam, Mr Desper.





Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 28, 2006, 07:52:58 AM
A Scam??!!! To get Sunflower and Surf's Up the way they were meant to be heard by the producers and engineer for a little fee of twenty dollars for all of Mr. Desper's time and efforts? I'll tell you what's a scam, and that's the record company refusing to sell the correct CD/LP for all these years. I personally can't wait to get my copy, and I am extremely grateful to Mr. Desper for allowing us to get this for only $20, as opposed to having to pay for the $1000+ 360 surround unit in order to hear the albums correctly.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on January 28, 2006, 08:05:54 AM
Mr. Desper:

Would you have any idea how much postage I should put on the self-addressed stamped envelope that you would use to send the 2 CDs back to me?  (I live in New York.)

Just want to make sure I put enough on the SASE!

Thanks.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on January 28, 2006, 09:07:44 AM
In regards to my comments I made on the device, I was referring to the 360Surround device. I've got no idea what your analog box looks like. But that domestic 360Surround thing looked really ropey. It was advertised on your site as being of a high quality build with high quality connectors, but it looked like a piece of junk to me. That's my opinion. As I said in my original post, I've never heard the thing, so it may be amazing for all I know. But it didn't look high quality to me.

That is one of the most ignorant things i've read in a long, long time.  A sound device LOOKS like junk...so without hearing it, you assume it doesn't work.

I'm speechless. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 28, 2006, 09:16:38 AM
Replace your jaw and read it again Susan. I quite clearly say that it may sound amazing but it looked like a piece of junk. I was commenting on the fact that the blurb on the website said it was of a high quality build with high quality connectors, but it did not look it fromt he picture. You did in fact quote that whole piece of text.

I know I'm not going to win any friends by criticising the actions of a Beach Boys engineering legend, but you could at least do me the decency of reading what I actually wrote :)

In regards to my comments I made on the device, I was referring to the 360Surround device. I've got no idea what your analog box looks like. But that domestic 360Surround thing looked really ropey. It was advertised on your site as being of a high quality build with high quality connectors, but it looked like a piece of junk to me. That's my opinion. As I said in my original post, I've never heard the thing, so it may be amazing for all I know. But it didn't look high quality to me.

That is one of the most ignorant things i've read in a long, long time.  A sound device LOOKS like junk...so without hearing it, you assume it doesn't work.

I'm speechless. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 28, 2006, 09:37:46 AM
hey my oldsmobile 88 looks like a piece of junk but it takes me from point a to point b. so why lower your expectations on a product that has to do with aural senses by just looking at it? have you ever seen a UA LA-2A? Its an ugly clunky huge box with two big knobs...yet its highly used and regarded in the audio industry as one of the best pre amps out there. So, I think Susan read it right the first time around....you developed an opinion on something by just looking at it...don't judge a book by its cover.

As for the $20 fee, I'm sure if you were to sit down and calculate how much Mr. Desper's time is valued by the hour, $20 would barely cover the time for him to sit down, burn you a cd, put it in a package, and send it back to you. So cut him some slack, he wants to help BB fans get true engineered sounds from the albums he worked on.

If you're having a problem on affording the $20, maybe we can start a drive? :shrug


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on January 28, 2006, 10:21:36 AM
I read it, Robert.  What astounds me is your assumption of how well the thing works based on a photgraph of it.  It is a SOUND DEVICE.  One must actually HEAR IT before one can make a judgement on how it works.

This isn't my fight...i just think you should hear what the device does before you denegrate it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 28, 2006, 10:50:36 AM
I was just stating what was obvious from looking at the picture, and that was explicit in the original thread and the post here. The claim the device was a high quality well built audio device was hard to justify when you looked at the little box with silver male phono's sticking out of it.

I said all along it may sound fantastic in spite of that, but the picture did little to convince me.


I read it, Robert.  What astounds me is your assumption of how well the thing works based on a photgraph of it.  It is a SOUND DEVICE.  One must actually HEAR IT before one can make a judgement on how it works.

This isn't my fight...i just think you should hear what the device does before you denegrate it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 28, 2006, 10:55:25 AM
As I mentioned in my original post on this thread, the amount Mr Desper charges for his time is irrelevent. It's like say, ok, I'm going to rob a car to order for you, but as I'm normally a car dealer, I'll charge you the rate I work for that on top of the cost of the car. It makes no odds, I do not think Mr Desper has the right to do it. I have another issue with the basic premise of sending out a disc for money, but I will wait for Mr Desper to respond before I address it.

(snip)
As for the $20 fee, I'm sure if you were to sit down and calculate how much Mr. Desper's time is valued by the hour, $20 would barely cover the time for him to sit down, burn you a cd, put it in a package, and send it back to you. So cut him some slack, he wants to help BB fans get true engineered sounds from the albums he worked on.

If you're having a problem on affording the $20, maybe we can start a drive? :shrug



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 11:09:51 AM
Ok, it seems that you guys are referring to my response to a thread on www.BrianWilson.com. Originally I couldn't be bothered to argue the toss on this, but seeing as I'm being referred to by name, I might as well put it direct to the man.

First of all Mr Desper, I think the stuff you did with the Beach Boys was awesome. In the current era when engineering aspires for plainness and invention within the confines of accepted boundaries, those who ignore and innovate beyond those boundaries are in short supply. Thank you for your kind words.

However, I can not see any way in which you can justify charging $20 for the act of simply copying a disc. I agree.  A simple copy should be done for free. This is not a simple copy.  Read the information on the site. >>> http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/CopyServiceInfo/ I understand that you feel that you have a right to do this under the terms of the Home Recording Act. At best you may have the right to recover basic media and copying costs, but there is no way you have the right to recover costs against previous commercial development. This is not a commercial business. I'm providing this service for Beach Boy fans as an educational discovery. This is a chance to hear what we've all been talking about for years and years, but what the actual commercial market has failed to address. That is clearly outside the bounds of the Home Recording Act. Like many things in Law, interpertation is sometimes varied. However in this case we are not taling about large numbers. I doubt that there will be more than fifty takers of my offer. I think Bootlegs are much more of a problem. Nevertheless, if I continue to get feedback such as yours, I will end the offer.  It's more of a labor of love than anything.  Frankly, I've got more on my plate than I can handle, but as I said before, I not only have a history with the group, I'm also a fan. I believe my fellow Beach Boy fans would enjoy and find of interest hearing these recordings the way I listen to them. I can't transport all the fans to my livingroom, but I can make a copy of their CD that will reproduce on their system to a great degree as closer to what Carl and I heard durning mixdown. Again, this is purly an educational exercise. I also fail to understand how, if you have built multi-million businesses around it and have all these valuable patents on the technology, why you would need to recover costs for development from this scheme. I built a business on my patented invention. We're talking here about mastering techniques that I use. It's apples and fruitcakes. You're way out of your league on this one. I'm retired from the recording business. I'm still a BB fan and the albums I recorded still interest me -- and some of the folks that are still fellow fans.  You have no right to recover costs on a technology you have developed on the back of master recordings owned by someone else. You are correct. But I'm not making copies of master recordings. I'm just copying a fan's CD from my digital player to analog to some processing devices and back to a digital CD cutter.  The way you talk it would seem that anyone playing a CD on their computer and applying EQ or dynamic compression schemes (MP3) has no right to do this either.  You know, you could also accept a fan's CD in the mail and make a copy of it in some modified way that you believe is better and send it back to them. I don't think the record companies care if people add bass, treble, mid-range, compression, or other changes to their product as long as the product is bought and paid for so the record company gets their due profit and the artist gets their due royalties.  Do you know it is illegal to play a CD on the radio?  Why do they get away with it.  Because it creates a market for the music.  It use to be that the record companies thought that digital was going to ruin them. All the file sharing and such.  But CD sales are up -- the reason, it's created a new market -- a market that the big companies are recognising as a source of income.

You may charge $200 an hour for work, but this is not professional work you are doing, and again if it was then it would be clearly outside the boundaries of the Home Recording Act. I said my time was worth 200/hr, not that I'm charging that amount.  What is your time worth? Everyone's time is worth something.  I base mine on annual income divided by normal work hours in a given year. In other words, my time has a decent value and I have a reputation in this industry. There is value there. To give away my time is to devalue it and the service I'm providing to my fellow fans. You give the impression that you are just dedicated to the music and the fans hearing it in the way you feel as the engineer, is the best way to hear it. That is correct. Yet if it was purely a labour of love, you not be charging $20 for it. The love is free.  It's the labor that takes time and time is money.

Non of that adds up to me.  I hope I am changing your outlook.

In regards to my comments I made on the device, I was referring to the 360Surround device. I've got no idea what your analog box looks like. But that domestic 360Surround thing looked really ropey. It was advertised on your site as being of a high quality build with high quality connectors, but it looked like a piece of junk to me. That's my opinion. As I said in my original post, I've never heard the thing, so it may be amazing for all I know. But it didn't look high quality to me.  I made the 360Surround device only for Beach Boy fans.  I made it as cheap as I could without compromising quality of sound to a large degree.  Yea you could say it looks dopy -- it was not intended for the commercial market. It's built in a PVC tube with seals on each end. It looks dopy all right, but the fans don't care.  You put it out of sight when you hook it up. The advertisment does not mention connectors, which are standard nickel plated copper. Gold connetors would push the price up and not improve the sound.  Remember the 360Surround device was made for fans only and in limited quantity. They can only afford too much. I wanted to reach as many as I could.  But I have my standards too.  I put the building money into good internal components. Capcitors were audio grade panasonic types or polyisters selected for low disapation factors, all resistors were 1% film types, the power supply was a requlated type, the circuit board met NASA specs.  All this gave specifications (derived by an independent testing laboratiory) of Frequency Response +/- 0.01dB from 5Hz to 50Hz; THD of .016% at 20dB beyond the normal operational level; noise of -108dBu from 20Hz to 20kHz. These are specifications that exceed those of a CD or DVD.

I'll tell you a funny story.  A friend of mine whos family lives in Lebanon decided to take a 360Surround unit to his brother who is a Beach Boy fan.  But when I got to customs they confiscated the unit because it looked like a bomb!  And it does look somewhat like a firecracker, I'd say. In the end I mailed one to him.  So the looks are sort of dopy -- but the sound is not.
 

Regards the possibility of modeling the device in software: As I understand it from elsewhere in this thread, you have already produced a digital hardware version of the professional device. I would be really surprised if it was not possible to emulate the functions of such a device in software. It can only be a matter of processing power if it is difficult. Well thank you for your engineering insight.  My team of engineers wrote software that sold in the millions of licenses that mimiced the workings of the origninal patented analog device.  It was OK for the mass market. I think the analog version sounds better and I have gone on to improve it far beyond what is out there.  However the market is very small for such improvements so they live in my lab at the moment. Seeing as many filters such as Dolby Pro Logic and SQ are possible to recreate in software, I find it hard to believe that a technology encoded into a record in the early 1970's could not be decoded in software in 2006. I suggest you put down your calculator and listen to some good old LPs on fine equipment.  You just don't know how good music can sound. Dolby in digial sounds different than Dolby in analog. I feel for you guys of the digital generation. You think a sampled piano instrument is the same sound as an acoustic piano.   There needn't be any costs involved in developing such a decoder, its the sort of project the open source community would pounce upon. Here we go again with all this free talk.  You're the kind of engineer I've been looking for -- one that works for free. What a value your time is!  Again it's not about developing algorythms. Yes it is. And you have to listen in real time.  That is, you can't speed up the process. The chances are you could probably emulate the device component by component if need be. However, I think it would probably be easy to write the algorythms within the community.  Why don't you do that for the community then?

I understand that you have valuable patents on the work and opening up such technology would potentially devalue that technology. But, it just seems silly that you have this technology that you say is so fantastic, but it is not available to anyone, unless they have your handmade device. No what I said was that I have offered the keys to unlock the trapped version that is encoded within the CD but the record companies prefer to stay with what they have.  I think the diehard fan would like to hear the alternate version and I'm offering them the chance to compare as an educational exercise. Exploited commercially the software route could make your patents really deliver profits for you. If you sold that software for $20, I would probably buy it, if I was convinced that there was any real benefit to using it. In fact if there was a product available for $12.95 that plugged in to winamp, I'd be right up for it.  You have no idea how the market works.  You can download anything you want and use it.  However, If you want the guy who originally recorded these albums to make a copy of them and optimize the sound of them in his fasion, then here's your chance.  

Do you think the product at http://store.yahoo.net/spatializer-estore/spatstreamfo.html could do that? That is the company that owns your patents isn't it? It must be a totally different technology, because, as you said before, it would be very difficult to translate your technology into software, that you could buy for a PC for $12.95. Surf's up and Sunflower do sound quite interesting through this plugin though, with the default settings anyway. In this CD copy offer, we are looking for more than PC sound through plugin that downloads for next to nothing.  Don't get me as past Beach Boy recording engineer mixed up with me as founder of Spatializer.

And this is my last problem with the whole thing. I don't understand what this device or process or whatever it is is supposed to be doing. It's a spatializer isn't it? What makes it different to other spatializers? I've got quite a good understanding of wave physics theory, can you refer me to the patents numbers so I can research what is actually going on?  Mastering is not a device nor a process, it's an art form.  You're too mixed up with numbers to understand the concept of art, me thinks.   

So I'm afraid I remain of the opinion that it is a scam, Mr Desper.  Not one 360Surround device has been return to me for refund. 40 million chips have been sold. Many more millions of licenses have been issued to manufactures by the company.  It's not a scam.  Nor is my copy idea.  So please, keep your money and your standard copy. Your level of enjoyment is not what this offer is aimed to please.  ~swd






Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on January 28, 2006, 11:45:55 AM
Mr. Desper:

I know you're a bit distracted right now dealing with Mr. Wheeler's (unfounded) tirades, but if it's at all possible, I'd really appreciate it if you could reply to my query on page 13.

(By the way, I'm planning on sending you the Friends/20/20 two-fer as well as Sunflower/Surf's Up.)

Oh, one last question--do I also need to send blank discs to make the copies, or do you provide those?

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 28, 2006, 12:11:24 PM
Mr Desper,

Ok, thank for your detailed reply. If your 360Surround device really was the business, then I commend you on your independant style of invention and production. I will say that I said "ropey" and not "dopy".

Your reply prompts some further questions, and prehaps some further probing on questions that I feel remain inadequately addressed.

I had already read the webpage that desribes the procedure. The question I feel I have to ask is, are you effectively remastering each disc from scratch through you system? Are you not holding an iso and just reburning it? And does that actually require manual mastering, or is that something you can leave running in the background? Even if you are treating each disc individually, I suspect that you have the same legal standing, being it in or against your interest.

I feel there is a difference between copying from your cd to your own computer. That is covered within the Home Recording Act, and is fair use.

As I understand it, in America, when a cd is played on the radio, one of the two major mechanical music licensing companies act to recover fees from airplay and pass it on to the licence owners. So those dudes get paid. To the best of my knowledge it is not illegal to play a cd on the radio. There maybe restrictions against this marked on the disc itself, but by andlarge they are not applicable, andas the vast majority of records held by radio station are promos, and most stuff is held digitally off disc anyway, it is not an issue. Also, record companies are by and large one hundred percent behind their recordings being played on the radio, because it shifts more records.

By the way, in the UK at least, over the last two years cd sales have been way way way down.

I find your reasoning over you rates for this service to be a little confusing. You say you've retired from the business, but you need to protect your rates, but at the same time, its still not really clear how much work you are doing on this. Are you really remastering the same record over and over again everytime you get an order?

Both the formats I referred to, Dolby Pro Logic and SQ were actually analog. I've got a healthy set of decent vinyl that I've hunted down over the last few years. I am familiar with the analog sound. I think Dobly Digital AC3 is a pretty aweful format. i know the differnce between a digital piano and a real piano, and I'd take a real piano any time. You made some assumptions about what I think, Mr Desper. I don't remember bringing numbers into it either.

I'm interested in how the software availible on the Spatializer website differs from the hardware version. I know your hardware analog version is heavily refined, but would it be worth me buying the winamp pluging anyway, as it theoretically based on the same technology, or is it really not worth the bother?

The real problem is, sometimes you talk like you are mastering, and sometimes like you are copying. So what exactly are you doing? Are you copying or mastering? I was quite suprised when you said that I don't understand becasue "mastering is an artform" because generally, this whole process has been describesd as "copying" or "transfering" through your device. All of a sudden mastering comes into it. It is very easy to get confused.

Even if you are carrying out a full remastering of every disc from scratch, I doubt the legal basis in taking money for it. At the end of the day comes night, and my whole involvemnt in this discuss came from somebody posting a message regarding your service, to which I replied "thats sound illegal to me". Even if you have gone to great lengths to remain with in the law, I think you're on seriously shakey ground. Even if you think it is not a scam, (and if your shares still have any value then I doubt you need that sort of money) the chances are, even when working on such a small scale, a legal authority would not view in such a way.

As  I said originally, I think your work with the Beach Boys was awesome, and I know you had major contributions to the  Spring album as well. If you really are doing it as a labour of love, then fairplay, but it is vey unfortunate that you are charging money for the service, as I seriosuly doubt the legality. On the surface, unfortunately it appears as crass profiteering on past glories.



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on January 28, 2006, 12:23:13 PM
Mr. Wheeler....are you trying to ruin this for everyone? Mr. Desper's input on this board is valued by every member who posts here, and these posts of yours and your buddies on the blueboard and your posts here are extremely disrespectful and rude. I know many people here wouldn't like it if Mr. Desper decided never to post here again after this sickening display of disrespect.

Mr. Desper, this Smiley Smile poster is on your side.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 28, 2006, 12:29:02 PM
If the legality of the service bothers you, call the cops, man.  Let the authorities decide.  Otherwise, please leave us alone.  I figure I should owe Steve a lot more than 25 bucks, I've probably learned more from what he's used his time to describe on the Boards than I did from a college I paid 40,000 dollars to attend.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on January 28, 2006, 12:31:06 PM
For the record, I did invite Mr. Wheeler to post in this thread because I didn't think it was fair for him to criticize the service on the blueboard when he had an opportunity to discuss it with Mr. Desper here.

That said, I think the positions have been established, and whether either of the two of them feels it necessary to continue, that's up to them. I'd rather discuss something else, and I can say I GREATLY value the technical and historical insight Mr. Desper has provided here.  Maybe everyone can just go their separate ways again.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on January 28, 2006, 12:33:32 PM
Luther, for the record, you have much more integrity than Mr. Wheeler.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 01:02:36 PM
Hi Stephen,

My dad picked up a Sunflower LP, Brother Records/Reprise Records 6382, RS 6382, printed in Canada. I was just wondering if this was "as good as" the US LP release which you have said is the best way to hear the album. Do you know if LPs printed in Canada use the same masters as the US ones, in general?
 As I recall, Canada did not have LP pressing plants for EMI product.  They just took the actual LP from American presses.  So the Canadian copy would be the same as American releases.  You can check the matrix number to see if your copy is from the original run or a later run.  Look at the land between the label and the last grooves. In the land will be some writing by hand; perhaps 31008  scratched with a stylus. RS-6382 is the earlist matrix ID I know of. Also look for the Arisan logo.  It looks like an oval and letter "A" combined.  

Your other question about sending blanks is a good one.  I should make that clear in the offer.  As you may know, CD cutters seem to work better with some brands of blanks than others.  I've found the brand that works best for my cutter and I'll be using that one.  How much are they anyway?  All of seven cents or so?
 ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on January 28, 2006, 01:22:47 PM
Your other question about sending blanks is a good one.  I should make that clear in the offer.  As you may know, CD cutters seem to work better with some brands of blanks than others.  I've found the brand that works best for my cutter and I'll be using that one.  How much are they anyway?  All of seven cents or so?[/b]  ~swd


So that means YOU provide the blanks, right?  I don't have to include them?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 04:24:44 PM
Before I answer Mr. Wheeler, let us try to keep this impersonal.  I think Mr. Wheeler is doing a good job at that.  It's nothing personal between Wheeler and myself in this discussion. His input is valued by me.  Thanks. 
Mr Desper,

Ok, thank for your detailed reply. If your 360Surround device really was the business, then I commend you on your independant style of invention and production. Thanks. I will say that I said "ropey" and not "dopy". I wondered about the word.

Your reply prompts some further questions, and prehaps some further probing on questions that I feel remain inadequately addressed.

I had already read the webpage that desribes the procedure. The question I feel I have to ask is, are you effectively remastering each disc from scratch through you system? Are you not holding an iso and just reburning it? And does that actually require manual mastering, or is that something you can leave running in the background? Even if you are treating each disc individually, I suspect that you have the same legal standing, being it in or against your interest. The only difference between me making a copy for someone, and asking them to compensate me for my time, and this offer is the postal service. I suspect that the legal standing is up to interpertaion, usually done in a court of law. If someone like BRI objects, then I quite. But as you can see from the comments here on this board, it would be a bad PR move for them with the fans. Besides we are talking such small numbers here.  Perhaps the best thing is to just have each fan call me and we discuss terms privately. Forget the Internet. To me the bottom line of the legal argument is, did I take some income away from The Beach Boys or the record company?  I don't see how I did by requiring proof that the person to whom the copy will be sent supply an original CD that they bought.  My copy doesn't replace another copy they would have bought. They don't want another regular copy so they are not going out and buying one. What they want is the copy improved by me.  Actually, if they do not have the required twofer at this time but want me to make an "improved" copy for them, they would need to go and buy the CD.  That would actually increase the income to the record company.  So it's a good thing for the record company, the fan and me.  Don't you agree? 
I feel there is a difference between copying from your cd to your own computer. That is covered within the Home Recording Act, and is fair use.  Don't confuse distribution and coping. I am not distributing anything.  I am making a one for one copy. ( see subchapeter C 1003 (a) of Copyright Law of The United States of America
and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap10.html))  Read it yourself.

I would also cite Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

"Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered will include the following:

* the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."
 

This re-mastered copy is for educational comment, historical comparison, and critical judgement. It is not for my profit. My charge is for a service, not a product -- and believe me, there is no profit being realized by me . . . that's for certain. My time is worth more to me than making copies of CD's for people. But as a fan, I want my fellow fans to hear and comment. So how is this done?  By making a copy.  How else? 

Suggest you read this very interesting article entitled:   Copying music to CD: the right, the wrong, and the law - CD-recordable devices, copyright law - includes related articles on the Recording Industry Association of America and the fair use doctrine (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FXG/is_n2_v11/ai_20179371)


As I understand it, in America, when a cd is played on the radio, one of the two major mechanical music licensing companies act to recover fees from airplay and pass it on to the licence owners. So those dudes get paid. To the best of my knowledge it is not illegal to play a cd on the radio. There maybe restrictions against this marked on the disc itself, but by andlarge they are not applicable, andas the vast majority of records held by radio station are promos, and most stuff is held digitally off disc anyway, it is not an issue. Also, record companies are by and large one hundred percent behind their recordings being played on the radio, because it shifts more records.

By the way, in the UK at least, over the last two years cd sales have been way way way down. AND LP sales are way, way, way up!

I find your reasoning over you rates for this service to be a little confusing. You say you've retired from the business, but you need to protect your rates, but at the same time, its still not really clear how much work you are doing on this. Are you really remastering the same record over and over again everytime you get an order?  If, as a fan, you want to accept the terms of my offer, then do so.  If you don't, then move on. No one is holding a gun to your head.

Both the formats I referred to, Dolby Pro Logic and SQ were actually analog. I've got a healthy set of decent vinyl that I've hunted down over the last few years. I am familiar with the analog sound. I think Dobly Digital AC3 is a pretty aweful format. i know the differnce between a digital piano and a real piano, and I'd take a real piano any time. You made some assumptions about what I think, Mr Desper. I don't remember bringing numbers into it either. Glad to know you are analog aware.  Good man!

I'm interested in how the software availible on the Spatializer website differs from the hardware version. I know your hardware analog version is heavily refined, but would it be worth me buying the winamp pluging anyway, as it theoretically based on the same technology, or is it really not worth the bother?  That you will have to decide for yourself. It depends on your standards of excellence.  I had a falling out with the company over some of the software versions of my invention. I did not approve of the sound. But they went ahead and released what they thought would sell.  I sold most of my interest at that point. I prefer the early analog chips we made, but have move so far ahead from those early patents that I don't even call what I'm now doing anything like Spatilaizer(R).   

The real problem is, sometimes you talk like you are mastering, and sometimes like you are copying. So what exactly are you doing? Are you copying or mastering? I was quite suprised when you said that I don't understand becasue "mastering is an artform" because generally, this whole process has been describesd as "copying" or "transfering" through your device. All of a sudden mastering comes into it. It is very easy to get confused.  I guess it could be confusing to someone who does not have insight into the industry. I apologize.  Mastering is a selected form of making a copy. The copy is a transfer from one form to another.  The mastering industry came about during LP times. An LP is a mechanical means of signal storage as opposed to the magnetic storage of tape.  Record production first goes to tape and then to the LP.  Mastering engineers had to make the tape product work for the mechanical product. As time passed, mastering also included conforming one song to another so that there was a consistent "sound signature" to the CD or LP and also consistent with other CD or LP releases.  Also true for cassettes which are mastered seperately.  Now days most of mastering is the final sound signature to make the CD sound good on many playback systems of the real world. This is highly specialized and is not an act of engineering as much as an art form. Take your CD to ten mastering houses and you will get ten different sounding CDs.  It's art.  ====  A copy is a duplicate of an original.  You try to make one resemble the other.  So, I am not making a straight or duplicate copy as much as a re-mastered copy.  I'm not mastering because I'm not working with the pre-master, master tapes. I'm taking an alreeady mastered CD and modifying it.  I would call that "re-mastering" for lack of a better term.  OR, I'm making a copy with some modifications.  It's all kind of nebulous, but I think we all understand each other. 
Even if you are carrying out a full remastering of every disc from scratch, I doubt the legal basis in taking money for it. At the end of the day comes night, and my whole involvemnt in this discuss came from somebody posting a message regarding your service, to which I replied "thats sound illegal to me". Even if you have gone to great lengths to remain with in the law, I think you're on seriously shakey ground. Maybe, but I want the fans to hear what should have been released, even if I get called on the carpet. Even if you think it is not a scam, (and if your shares still have any value then I doubt you need that sort of money) the chances are, even when working on such a small scale, a legal authority would not view in such a way. Undoubtedly. What is with you and this scam issue?  If I offer to return your money if you don't like the copy, what kind of scam is that?  Do you think I don't have faith in what I'm doing and believe the fans are stupid? Believe me, it's a challange to please them. They have high standards. And, who knows, they may reject my ideas altogether and this whole exercise is a bust.  There's always an "if" in l i f e. 

As  I said originally, I think your work with the Beach Boys was awesome, and I know you had major contributions to the  Spring album as well. If you really are doing it as a labour of love, then fairplay, but it is vey unfortunate that you are charging money for the service, as I seriosuly doubt the legality. On the surface, unfortunately it appears as crass profiteering on past glories.  Thanks for your observation.  On the surface maybe to the uninformed.  Crass?  re: unfeeling, uncouth, crude. To the contray, the whole reason is to bring to the real Beach Boy fan a touch of sound he/she has been denighed by the, shall we say, crass record companies who should have know better, in my opinion. Profeteering?  That would be offering at an unrealistic price, say $100 per song.  As far as I'm concerned, the service charge is for my expertise, which has value. Although you have said some nice things about my past engineering work, you now seem to feel that my expertise is worth little.  I'm not giving my experience away for free. That's the way it is. Take it or leave it.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 04:28:44 PM
So that means YOU provide the blanks, right?  I don't have to include them?
Right. You supply a self-addressed return envelope with stamps and your CD.  You get in return your CD and a copy.  I supply the blanks.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 04:47:54 PM
COMMENT TO ALL --

Note that my offer is "coming in February"

At this point in time there has been so much confusion raised of issues unresolved, that I thiink I'll retract my offer pending more research on my part. I wish to take more time to consider some of the points raised by others.

Thanks for your continuing interest.  Somehow, someday, we will get this done my fellow fans. But for now, no one wins.


Good Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper   

 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: R on January 28, 2006, 05:20:13 PM
Stephen - Thank you for your input on this (and other) boards.

 Unfortunately, the way of the internet seems to be "there's always one"

Thanks again for spending some time here, WE really appreciate it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SurferGirl7 on January 28, 2006, 05:24:05 PM
I am glad that Mr. Wheeler is not running you off the board Mr. Desper. I don't know much about the technical stuff you talk about, but I have read this thread everytime someone posts. This thread is by far my all time favorite. I learn something everytime I have read anything in here.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: cortez on January 28, 2006, 05:43:09 PM
Thanks Stephen
 Your remarks and input are invaluable. I do hope you are able to complete the offer. But if you can't at least this episode may spur someone in the bb's camp to consider a release of Sunflower and Surf's Up that is closer to the original intent.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on January 28, 2006, 09:51:46 PM
Happy now, Mr. Wheeler?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 09:54:46 PM
:)
Now throughout this piece, I've tried to make the photos fit the format a little better, but I don't know how.  So you will just have to put up with the oversized pictures. Sorry about that. To see all of the photos in larger size, just click on the thumbnail photo and it will get larger.  It's not my ego that is making them so big, it's my computer skills or non-skills. 
Nevertheless, let's continue . . .

===========================================

Way back almost forty years ago, I worked with the guys when they looked like this > (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.1c80db9c6a.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/1c80db9c6a.jpg)  We were all a lot younger then, but still professional about the production of music.  Move the big photo over to see Dennis.  This is the touring Beach Boys of the day.  Brian stayed at home so this promo photo does not include him.  But he was there at the studio.

 I had been working at MGM when the opportunity came to me for the Beach Boy job.  I was also a young guy, but don't let my frail frame fool you.  I was a roady too and lifting equipment twice a day.  I've never been muscular, but I am strong. 
(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.d25f7078d0.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/d25f7078d0.jpg)And about those glasses.  I have always needed thick lenes.  Back then they were heavy.  I tried rimless glasses, half-rims, light weight, wire and other types, but I was always hitting things in my work and breaking the frames.  I'd hit mic booms, or run into something while up on rigging, or under a stage stringing cables for a show.  One day I ask Brian how he liked those big horn rim glasses he had and he said they were strong frames.  I decided to get me some.  Those are what you see.  They were good for my work, but hid my face.

These photos were taken at the mixdown for "Do It Again" at Capitol Records tower.  I believe that was an 8-track session. The way I record could have expanded that to twelve or so inputs.

I like all the notes in my shirt pocket.  What a nerd!  Actually, I was mixing and getting ready for a tour. The papers are notes of To-Do things.     

I wonder where that head of hair went to?  It was thick back then. Needs combing. Those side burns are so thick it makes me look like I'm wearing a wig! 

(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.e9be0c6153.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/e9be0c6153.jpg)

What am I doing here?  That's the monitor section of this console.  Must be adjusting echo return or something like that. 

(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.839f4cd47c.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/839f4cd47c.jpg)  See that little dome thing, that's the talk-back mic. Those are the four AUX returns and routing switches below the mic. The two big knobs are for monitor volume and studio volume at playback.  Note to you computer nerds of today, back then we called speakers, monitors.  Still do of course.

Right above the sliders you can just see the EQ knobs and the switches under the knobs. The switches were levers that selected frequency and the knob, dB amount of boost or cut.  You had five frequency bands at +/- 12 dB.   

This is my serious look. Must be time for a take.  If you move the big photo around you wlll see out-of-focus 2-Track Ampex 440s on one side and a 4-Track 3M machine on the other side.    (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.82aa35273a.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/82aa35273a.jpg) I usually ran two master machines at the same time to avoid the safety copy from being one generation down. That may be Don Henderson's sholder next to me.  He was a Capitol staff engineer who was quite the whiz with editing scissors.

 (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.531e6ecc10.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/531e6ecc10.jpg)I think Don is getting some levels here.  My attention is on the "Do It Again" drum sound machine. We may have just gotten it set up at this time. 

So here's a good shot of the Phillips Ambisonic Unit. That's what it was oringinally designed to be used for.   

(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.2185658c77.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/2185658c77.jpg) If you're looking on the big photo, you will need to slide it over to see the unit.  I imported this unit with some question by management as to "why?"  But soon they were amazed at what it did and ordered a second unit for backup.  It was very expensive.  As you can see the unit has a tape loop that runs at 30 IPS. The guide wheels and heads were all mounted on a very flat machined plate. Each guide and head was attached to a bracket that had alignment pins that fit into the backing plate. Each head and guide wheel could be attached to the plate with one allen screw.  It looks like I have an allen wrench in my hand, so must have been moving the heads into place for the "Do It Again" drum effect.  The heads could be spaced anywhere around the loop.  The erase head was at the top of the loop. The record head and four playback heads were movable. The four little black knobs were the mixer for the playback heads. the other knobs were for EQ and regeneration of the signals to other heads or such.  Now you may wonder what's so special about this.  Back then the only tape delay was from a tape recorder -- 7.5 or 15 IPS.  Maybe a little slower or faster if you used a VSO.  There were no digital delays. This unit could give you a delay of less than 5 milliseconds.  It could spread out a mono signal. It could double a vocal. We used it on the road to double the live sound.  No one else could do that! For "Do It Again" the four Playback heads were close together with no regeneration. Thus one snare slap would repete five times but blend together for that drum sound you hear on the song.  By the way, I used the unit on the road and reproduced the same "Do It Again" drum sound at live performances -- real time! 

So here we are at the mix time. (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.652e83f2a8.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/652e83f2a8.jpg) Watching the levels. You can see that some of the I/O modules are narrow and some wide.  This is what is called a mixed format console.  At this time Capitol was phasing out consoles that used the big gain knobs. Some of the older union engineers did not like the sliders and so consoles had some I/O modules with knobs and some with sliders.  A mixed group.  If the engineer wanted to use knobs to ride gain (because that's the way he did it) then the knobs were there for him -- maybe six knobs and the rest sliders.  At the time, sliders were something new.  Old timer's resented them. But as channels grew in number, the console had to contain them and the way to make the I/O module smaller was to use sliders.  No automation here. That was years away.  The buttons at the top are channel assignment buttons. They were very colorful.  I don't think anything is going on at the moment -- must have been a posed shot.  I see the meters are not dancing. 

Here is another shot of about the same thing. (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.95d40d4f83.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/95d40d4f83.jpg)

So we got the mix done and you all know the story about the stereo master falling off the deck of my Corvette on the way somewhere. I found this old photo of that infamous car taken somewhat later during the time of Surf's Up at the first house I bought in LA.  Still the same car so thought I'd include a shot. By the time of Surf's Up everyone had grown a beard and longer hair -- bell bottoms, etc.
(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.aa1b17f659.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/aa1b17f659.jpg)

I found this shot of the back of the mixing booth at the house. (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.e2a2dde49e.jpg) You can see the 3M 16-Track.  That's David Ispas looking on.  He built the big monitor enclosure described in my book.  Now in this shot the hair is about the length at the time of "Sunflower."  Also you can see the ID tape lengths hanging in front of the tape machine.  These were placed over and above the I/O modules to identify what was where for each song.  That's an acoustic wall at the back. Not much room. 

Hope you all had some fun with taking this little trip back to those times.  Sorry I don't have any photos with the guys in the studio, but this was a mixdown and usually they were not around all that much. Brian and Carl would be hanging, but usually came in for playbacks. Later in the day Carl or Brian would get into it more.   

If you want to copy any of these photos and print them for a collection, be my guest.  I think the image hosting I use will keep them here for 60 days. Then they are gone. I think the best way to get a print is to call up "properties" and copy over the image to WORD. Then size it there and make your print.  I tried it and it worked for me.   

Oh Yes, there's one more I want to post here. (http://img5.picsplace.to/img5/18/thumbs/BB_Promo_Shot__2.JPG) It's been on Ebay selling for several hundred dollars.  Talk about a scam.  This photo is not signed by the group personally as the Ebay ad says, it was a double print of image and signature.  I have a whole box full of these things.  Print it out for your own collection.

That brings us to the present.  Here is what I look like now at 64. Thinning gray hair, but no horn rims.

<img src="http://img7.picsplace.to/img7/8/thumbs/Steve_Desper_Portrait_043.JPG" alt="Image Hosting by PicsPlace.to" > (http://img7.picsplace.to/img7/8/Steve_Desper_Portrait_043.JPG)

Good Listening,
~Stephen W. Desper

===================
===================
===================

These photos would not enlarge so here are the big photos.

(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/e2a2dde49e.jpg) (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

and

(http://img5.picsplace.to/img5/18/BB_Promo_Shot__2.JPG)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 09:58:45 PM
Happy now, Mr. Wheeler?
  It's not him, it was what someone said over at the blueboard about digital copies of what I am proposing ending up on Ebay.  I don't like bootlegs as it corrupts the industry and robs the artist of his dues.  The poster made a good point that I wish to take under advisement and discuss with my lawyers.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on January 28, 2006, 10:01:23 PM
Happy now, Mr. Wheeler?
  It's not him, it was what someone said over at the blueboard about digital copies of what I am proposing ending up on Ebay.  I don't like bootlegs as it corrupts the industry and robs the artist of his dues.  The poster made a good point that I wish to take under advisement and discuss with my lawyers.  ~swd

I see.  I stand corrected.

Sorry--I'm just very disappointed.  I was going to send out my CDs to you on Monday.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 28, 2006, 10:08:04 PM
Happy now, Mr. Wheeler?
  It's not him, it was what someone said over at the blueboard about digital copies of what I am proposing ending up on Ebay.  I don't like bootlegs as it corrupts the industry and robs the artist of his dues.  The poster made a good point that I wish to take under advisement and discuss with my lawyers.  ~swd

I see.  I stand corrected.

Sorry--I'm just very disappointed.  I was going to send out my CDs to you on Monday.

Yes, I'm disaappointed too.  There has to be some way to do this for the select few who wish to hear.  I just need to find the way without hurting the artist or myself in the process.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 29, 2006, 03:42:50 AM
Those pictures and commentary are just wonderful.  Thank you so much.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 29, 2006, 05:02:06 AM
That's mighty gentlemanly of you to say so. I don't think it is a personal thing either. I don't know you personally, so how could it be personal :). My reaction was my honest reaction and impression gained from your webpage.

It is obvious that you make some great and informative posts here, and I wouldn't want that to stop for a moment. I came here to post as my name came up, and as I read a post from yourself that said I would be welcome to post. I'm sure that you appreciate that I wouldn't post a toned down or sanitized version of my opinion.

All the best

Rob Wheeler

Before I answer Mr. Wheeler, let us try to keep this impersonal.  I think Mr. Wheeler is doing a good job at that.  It's nothing personal between Wheeler and myself in this discussion. His input is valued by me.  Thanks.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on January 29, 2006, 06:17:10 AM
Hi Mr. Desper, thanks so much for sharing the above wonderful photos.  There's a  photo in David Leaf's book, "The Beach Boys and the California Myth", of Brian, yourself, and some other individuals in the control room of some large studio that I'm hoping you can identify for us.  Also, maybe you can ID the others in the photo.  If you have the book, it's on page 74.  If not, I guess I'll have to try and post it!

Thanks,
C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 29, 2006, 07:42:31 AM
Great pictures and words. Thank you very much for those.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on January 29, 2006, 07:55:19 AM
Mr. Desper,
Surely it's not your problem if copies of the decoded Sunflower and Surf's Up end up on Ebay? Ebay are normally quite quick at ending illegal or bootleg auctions.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: andy on January 29, 2006, 08:12:49 AM
Awesome pictures. Thank you


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SurferGirl7 on January 29, 2006, 08:57:30 AM
Cool pic's Mr. Desper. Like the info. that came with them too.  :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on January 29, 2006, 12:34:18 PM
Mr. Desper,
Surely it's not your problem if copies of the decoded Sunflower and Surf's Up end up on Ebay? Ebay are normally quite quick at ending illegal or bootleg auctions.


I was thinking the same thing.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 29, 2006, 04:42:49 PM
Here are some stills from AB, hopefully it's ok to post them.  All of the Beach Boys studio.
Just through the door looking in to the studio
(http://www.someoneliving.com/Beachboys.jpg)
Steve at the consoles with an EV re-15 as the talkback mic...
(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys2.jpg)
Al playing Carl's(?) Tele thru a Fender Amp.
(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys3.jpg)
Bruce at the Rhodes, Brian's awesome Baldwin Theater Organ in the background
(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys4.jpg)
The Boys around the U67 in Omni?
(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys5.jpg)
Mike doing a jig in front of his seperate RCA 77
(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys6.jpg)
Into the control room
(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys7.jpg)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Matinee Idyll on January 29, 2006, 04:59:45 PM
Wow, I ain't seen much of the boys in the studio...  Some of them there pics send shivers up me spine...

Thanks aeij and Steve... much appreciated.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on January 29, 2006, 05:46:27 PM
Those are all screenshots from the video for Time To Get Alone from the American Band documentary. Matinee, you haven't seen that? If not, do.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 29, 2006, 05:51:27 PM
I've always wondered from that same session, who put the dog over Al's shoulder while he was recording.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on January 29, 2006, 06:18:50 PM
Those are all screenshots from the video for Time To Get Alone from the American Band documentary. Matinee, you haven't seen that? If not, do.

American Band (a CHEAP DVD by the way) and Endless Harmony are the cornerstone of any BB fan's video collection.  American Band has the better footage (even if the editing stinks) but EH is a more complete story.


Mr. Desper -- I would love to hear any commentary on what I would assume is an alternate mix of Time to Get Alone played while this footage is shown.  The rising vocals are far more prominent on the choruses and I think I may prefer it that way.  Did you do this or was it done after the fact by others (assuming you have this video)?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Matinee Idyll on January 29, 2006, 06:30:47 PM
Wow, no, I ain't seen the doco... The DVD ain't available here, Endless Harmony is though, that's a good DVD.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on January 29, 2006, 06:34:51 PM
If you have any way of watching Region 1, here it is on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006SFJC/qid=1138588381/sr=1-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-3699602-3129456?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=130

And you also get the famous Brian Wilson doc.  I have noticed it is more likely for someone outside of the US to handle region 1 than for someone like me to do, say region 2 (and what region is Australia anyway?).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Matinee Idyll on January 29, 2006, 06:37:14 PM
We is Region 4, along with all of southern asia...

Aie, I remember when IJWMFTT premiered on SBS here, I was a little tacker... It scared the f*** out of me.  I was crying for most of the duration...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 29, 2006, 08:05:31 PM
Quote from: aeijtzsche link=topic=5.msg11198#msg11198 date=1138581769}
[b
DESPER -- I don't know how much info I can add here.[/b]
Here are some stills from AB, hopefully it's ok to post them.  All of the Beach Boys studio.
DESPER -- Looks like Ricky Fatar (Flame) with his back to us in the white shirt. Bruce is looking at the camera. Carl has a red shirt on. And Alan in the strips. Mike is looking over Alan's head.   
Just through the door looking in to the studio
(http://www.someoneliving.com/Beachboys.jpg)
Steve at the consoles with an EV re-15 as the talkback mic...
DESPER -- Ricky Fatar looks on.  3M Tape Machine in BG.
Looks as if I'm riding gain as was my preference over manually doing it I used the limiters
for smoothing but my hand on the knob to stress the emotion.
I also use to bring up the ends of vocal notes, sometimes as much
as 10dB so that the ending of words or lines could be heard later on as the mix developed.

(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys2.jpg)
Al playing Carl's(?) Tele thru a Fender Amp.
DESPER -- Looks like Dennis, shirtless and in shorts, is rolling a joint -- or something in a plastic bag.
Sound baffles in background

(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys3.jpg)
Bruce at the Rhodes, Brian's awesome Baldwin Theater Organ in the background
DESPER -- Looks like Bruce's finished salad on the Rhodes.

(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys4.jpg)
The Boys around the U67 in Omni?
DESPER -- Bruce looking at Brian in the flowerd shirt. Carl's head just sceen at the right.
When mike sang higher parts he moved to the group's mic.

(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys5.jpg)
Mike doing a jig in front of his seperate RCA 77
DESPER -- The studio looks jammed up with equipment.  Must have been getting ready or
finishing up with sideman session, otherwise the studio was much more accommodating.

(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys6.jpg)
Into the control room
DESPER -- me and Alan. The control room was 2/3's room and 1/3'ed monitor enclosure.
Not a big control room but still had great & true sound. The studio had a 13 foot ceiling. You can
see a beam inside the studio which actually went up 12 inches beyond what is visable. Hanging
down between the beams are "clouds" or acoustic absorbers suspended from the ceiling. Looking
on up into the studio was actually looking up through the window to the mezzanine level beyond the wall.
As you may know, the control room use to be a sewing room only entered by a
hidden door behind a "built-in" shelf at the right side of the fireplace. We took out the shelves
on the left of the fireplace and made that window.
The door and stairway leading up to the control room were to the right of the fireplace.
If you look to the left of the window you can see how thick the walls were in this old house. 
Maybe 12 inches solid.

(http://www.someoneliving.com/beachboys7.jpg)

Thanks for the memories!!  ~swd

==============================================


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 29, 2006, 08:19:14 PM

Mr. Desper -- I would love to hear any commentary on what I would assume is an alternate mix of Time to Get Alone played while this footage is shown.  The rising vocals are far more prominent on the choruses and I think I may prefer it that way.  Did you do this or was it done after the fact by others (assuming you have this video)?
Quote
I don't have the video so cannot speak to that sound track.  I did the alternate mix for myself that is on other CD's.  The mix I did for my own enjoyment was never intended for release until Alan Boyd included it in his compilation. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on January 30, 2006, 12:43:16 AM
All the 'mixes' in AB were done by the people involved in the project. I think some of them were inadvertant.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 30, 2006, 06:58:15 AM
I can't view the photos that Mr. Desper posted. Is anyone else having trouble with that?

Otherwise, cool stuff. What an interesting weekend I missed!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 30, 2006, 08:27:30 AM
I can't view the photos that Mr. Desper posted. Is anyone else having trouble with that?

Otherwise, cool stuff. What an interesting weekend I missed!

MICHAEL -- I posted most all those photos on freeimagehosting.net.  I looked at my account and all the codes are there but it says the image is not.  According to this site, they hold images for 60 days.  I don't have time to research what happened.  I just wish you could put an image on smileysmile.com directly.  If you could I'd post a lot more stuff, but it's such a hassel to post an image I don't do it often -- and then you see what happens. 

If someone has any suggestions about this proceedure I'm open to hearing it as other posters don't seem to have such hassels.

Since this website has disconnected me without notice on several occasions, this time I assembled that posting in WORD and copied it over to Smileysmile.com for posting.  All the wording and codes are still there. No sense in re-posting since freeimagehosting.net is where the problem is. But, I could upload the images again some time to another service and go from there.

The other strange thing is that the last three images are stored on another image service, picsplace.to.  Two of those images are gone also, but the photo of me remains.  ?? go figure ??
~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 30, 2006, 08:30:45 AM
ALSO MICHAEL -- Did you notice that some of the Avatars on this site are not coming up?  I don't think that has to do with my postings, but maybe it does somehow.  You know, analog audio is my thing, not digital algorithms. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 30, 2006, 08:47:51 AM
I can't view the photos that Mr. Desper posted. Is anyone else having trouble with that?

Otherwise, cool stuff. What an interesting weekend I missed!

MICHAEL -- I posted most all those photos on freeimagehosting.net.  I looked at my account and all the codes are there but it says the image is not.  According to this site, they hold images for 60 days.  I don't have time to research what happened.  I just wish you could put an image on smileysmile.com directly.  If you could I'd post a lot more stuff, but it's such a hassel to post an image I don't do it often -- and then you see what happens. 

If someone has any suggestions about this proceedure I'm open to hearing it as other posters don't seem to have such hassels.

Since this website has disconnected me without notice on several occasions, this time I assembled that posting in WORD and copied it over to Smileysmile.com for posting.  All the wording and codes are still there. No sense in re-posting since freeimagehosting.net is where the problem is. But, I could upload the images again some time to another service and go from there.

The other strange thing is that the last three images are stored on another image service, picsplace.to.  Two of those images are gone also, but the photo of me remains.  ?? go figure ??
~swd 

I would guess that the reason the images aren't showing up is that you've exceeded your allotted bandwidth. You run into that problem a lot with the free image hosting sites, especially when you post the pictures directly on a message board. Sometimes you can avoid that by just posting links to the pictures instead of the actual pictures. I like to use a website called www.thefilehut.com for hosting files, pictures, etc. It gives you unlimited bandwidth, I believe, and it's free. You just have to make an account there, which takes about ten seconds, and it's pretty self-explanatory on how to upload pictures and such. One problem I've had with the site, ohwever, is that sometimes when I go to login, it doesn't recognize my username and I'll have to register again with the same username (like I said, it takes less than a minute, so it's not that big of a hassle).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 30, 2006, 08:49:36 AM
I can see the avatars on this site, the small 'signed' image of the boys, the photo of you (and when I click it, it goes to the large version), and the large 'signed' image of the boys. The photos you linked within the document are listed as jpg files, but when I click on them, I get a "Hosted by FreeImageHosting.net Hosting Service" message but no photo. Perhaps the alloted bandwidth usage has been exhausted. I haven't used the Free Image Hosting myself, so I'm not sure how it works.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 30, 2006, 09:45:10 AM
I can see all of the images in Stephen's post.

Some of the avatars are disappearing because people chose to use temporary hosting of the picture, usually at freeweb whatever.  They don't store pictures forever.

Registering again under the same exact username should be impossible, unless the username was deleted.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 30, 2006, 09:49:34 AM
Another cause of missing avatars is Mitchell's:  the url is http://www.comiclist.com/smileysmile/images/avatars/1877004138436794b27a13f.jpg.  That url no longer exists, as the old smiley smile board doesn't live there anymore.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 30, 2006, 10:13:41 AM
Whoa, you're right. My avatar is gone!

Chuck, could you make a spot for Mr. Desper to post his photos? Or would that be too much of a drain on bandwidth. It'd be nice to encourage his posting awesome photos.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 30, 2006, 11:03:34 AM
I'll see what I can do.  I think we are dope on bandwidth and storage, so I'm certain I can work something out.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 30, 2006, 11:08:10 AM
COMMENT TO MICHAEL -- I wrote the image people an email asking them to re-instate the photos and I guess they did as I see my account is back to displaying the photos.  You should be able to see them on this site now.  Your avatar does not come up for me however.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on January 30, 2006, 11:16:49 AM
The avatar problem is because Chuck removed the files from the server (it used to be linked from the old board). I can see the photos now, however. Thank you!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 30, 2006, 11:30:45 AM
I can see the photos as well. I went ahead and saved them to my computer. Thanks so much!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 30, 2006, 12:08:10 PM
I can see the photos as well. I went ahead and saved them to my computer. Thanks so much!
I'm no computer wizzzzz, but saving them to your computer may only save the address to the file on the image hosting service and not the actual image itself. So be aware of that. Others here know more about this, so please advise. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 30, 2006, 12:45:17 PM
I'm pretty sure it saves the actual picture and not the address to the host for it.

................................

Mr Desper,

At times i'll have a lot of trouble with my self-confidence while recording a song. I do believe I have decent enough equipment to attain decent recordings so I can assume it's just my perceptions of the recording not being "as good" as it "could be". I'm wondering if you've ever been dissatisfied with any recordings you've done? Also were there ever a time when any Beach Boy, or the whole group together felt that something could've been recorded better, sung better, or played better?

I've read about Brian disliking his voice on "Let Him Run Wild", and he being ticked off about the chorus in "California Girls" sung slightly off beat, but i'm more interested in the days of which you spent with the group.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Robert Wheeler on January 30, 2006, 03:19:09 PM
Mr Desper,

Seeing as the analouge/digital debate came up in our discussion, I wonder if you would be interested in having a look at www.sa3.com . I first came across these guys a few years ago, and they really seem to be on to something. They claim to have new technolgy based on a new type of wave theory, and from what they are delivering it seems very possible to me.

There are a lot of things in wave theory that are perfectly explain, but one or two, such as the result of double slit refraction experiments that have never been explained. I've always felt there is a fundemental misunderstanding in the realtivity of waves and the properties of different waves, and that there may be a better physical explanation for some things, and that their might be logical roots to all sounds... and anyway check it out. The a-b samples on there are pretty cool.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike slattery on January 31, 2006, 05:23:19 AM


Hi Stephen

I've got a bit of a 'how long is a bit of string' type question, which is:  how many different vocal parts can be happening at once and still allow the human ear to discern each part without it all becoming a big mush of sound..?

stacked harmonies wouldn't count, it has to be one different part for each voice, so 5 part harmony would indeed count, but 5 part harmony with eaxch part doubled would not

thanks

Mike





Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 31, 2006, 08:24:53 AM
COMMENT TO ALL --

Got a call from Alan Jardine last night.  In the course of our conversation I told him I wanted to clear up some confusion in my mind about Sail On Sailer.  I said I had this vocal only tape of many songs and the vocal only of SOS certainly sounds like Carl singing to the backing track we did at the house studio during the Surf's Up days.  So I asked, was Blondie singing lead in the "Holland" release meaning that it was recorded again in Holland.  So Al said that it was Blondie but that song was not recorded in Holland.  It was done at Village Recorders when they returned from Holland, which accounts for the better production values heard in SOS over the stuff they recorded in the megshift (his words) setup they had in Holland.  He and I both stated how Blondie had pulled off such a Carl-like sounding vocal, even to the pronunciation of the words.  But he assured me it was Blondie.  Some of the tracks were from before but the lead was re-sung.  So, that ends that debate -- at least in my head.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jaco on January 31, 2006, 12:50:24 PM
For those who wanna know: I've found out that the tune Sail On Sailor is in perfect pitch, like f.e. A=440
As history tells it , I believe it was the only song completely recorded in the USA, unlike the rest, in Holland.

All the other songs of the album are slightly lower in pitch ( I cannot play along with it, on a normal tuned piano)




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on January 31, 2006, 05:17:18 PM
Steven this has been discussed a few times before and speculated on, but can you offer any insights as to why Brian didn't sing lead on "A Day In The Life of a Tree"?  Most of us figure that it was just too personal and sad for him to want to go anywhere near it.  I'd be really curious to hear any thoughts you may have.  Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 01, 2006, 02:33:37 AM
He and I both stated how Blondie had pulled off such a Carl-like sounding vocal, even to the pronunciation of the words.  But he assured me it was Blondie.  Some of the tracks were from before but the lead was re-sung.  So, that ends that debate -- at least in my head.[/b]  ~swd

Mr. Desper,

Have you closely compared your vocal only track and the Holland "Sail On Sailor" track? I have a hard time hearing "Carl" in the official release, to me it sounds unmistakingly like a Blondie lead. Furthermore, if you were out of the picture when the Blondie lead was recorded after the band returned from Holland, how could you have access to a vocals only mix?

Surely, it's way possible that 1. I don't know squat about Carl's and Blondie's voices and 2. You werent working with the Beach Boys anymore but you could have been given the vocals only mix of Sail on Sailor by Carl as a gift in 1973.

I apologize If I'm bothering you with a subject that's already closed.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on February 01, 2006, 04:16:45 AM
Hi Mr Desper,

I got two questions which I hope haven't been asked before.
First, I know many BBs-fans who ould like to know if that "sex sound" on the coda to "All I want to do" from 20/20 was a fake or real. Normally I would say "fake", but ith Dennis nothing seems so sure I believe...
And second, how came that you and the BBs used this radically different sound on Sunflower compared to the album before (20/20) ? Sunflower sounds like from another world compared to the "old class"-sound of 20/20. Had it anything to do with the change to Warner?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 01, 2006, 05:22:28 AM
(knowing that the sounds at the end of that track are real, I can't wait for Desper's stories on THAT one...)

 ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike slattery on February 01, 2006, 09:08:53 AM


its absolutely real

(knowing that the sounds at the end of that track are real, I can't wait for Desper's stories on THAT one...)

 ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Roger Ryan on February 01, 2006, 09:16:31 AM
He and I both stated how Blondie had pulled off such a Carl-like sounding vocal, even to the pronunciation of the words.  But he assured me it was Blondie.  Some of the tracks were from before but the lead was re-sung.  So, that ends that debate -- at least in my head.[/b]  ~swd

Mr. Desper,

Have you closely compared your vocal only track and the Holland "Sail On Sailor" track? I have a hard time hearing "Carl" in the official release, to me it sounds unmistakingly like a Blondie lead. Furthermore, if you were out of the picture when the Blondie lead was recorded after the band returned from Holland, how could you have access to a vocals only mix?

Surely, it's way possible that 1. I don't know squat about Carl's and Blondie's voices and 2. You werent working with the Beach Boys anymore but you could have been given the vocals only mix of Sail on Sailor by Carl as a gift in 1973.

I apologize If I'm bothering you with a subject that's already closed.


Thanks Mr. Desper for following-up with Al about the SOS session. Keep that tape safe; it would make a great addition to a rarieties collection some day.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on February 01, 2006, 04:46:25 PM
Andrew Doe confirmed it was real in his book. I'll quote...

Quote
The non-musical fade, as you would expect from a Dennis wilson production, is, according to engineer Desper, precisely what is sounds like.

But, yeah, I want the story too...  ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 01, 2006, 08:25:05 PM
I think it MAY have been mentioned somewhere in one of the archives...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 02, 2006, 12:58:19 AM
Hi Mr Desper,

I got two questions which I hope haven't been asked before.
First, I know many BBs-fans who ould like to know if that "sex sound" on the coda to "All I want to do" from 20/20 was a fake or real. Normally I would say "fake", but ith Dennis nothing seems so sure I believe...
And second, how came that you and the BBs used this radically different sound on Sunflower compared to the album before (20/20) ? Sunflower sounds like from another world compared to the "old class"-sound of 20/20. Had it anything to do with the change to Warner?

The story is told in details in one of those two links, probably the former:

http://surfermoon.com/essays/desperarchive.html

http://comiclist.com/smileysmile/viewtopic.php?t=8960


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 02, 2006, 02:25:59 AM
Looks like Chuck deleted the old thread?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 02, 2006, 02:55:04 AM
BTW, the petition was delivered to Brother Records and Capital Records on January 24.  Post office even gave me a signed confirmation for each.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 02, 2006, 02:56:59 AM
Looks like Chuck deleted the old thread?

Chuck is working on making Stephen's messages available ASAP.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 02, 2006, 03:14:51 AM
Quote
BTW, the petition was delivered to Brother Records and Capital Records on January 24.  Post office even gave me a signed confirmation for each.

That's cool news.

Quote
Chuck is working on making Stephen's messages available ASAP.

I figured you'd, er...Chuck would, have saved the thread.  I just like whatever figure of speech it is where you say a statement that you know is false and put a question mark after it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 02, 2006, 08:33:27 AM
What I see in my head is super spectacular.  A Stephen Desper Search Engine.  A Digital Desper.  His words, broken down by category, all easily found by the Pico search engine.  I'm open to suggestions for the categories.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 02, 2006, 09:09:49 AM
How about:

General (like the "Life" post)
Stories
Song Details
Recording Details

I'm sure there are more, but I'd have to look through the threads for ideas.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 02, 2006, 09:54:44 AM
Desperpedia



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 02, 2006, 03:59:38 PM
Mitchell - you forgot "Lessons."  He's certainly dispensed plenty...and at a mighty high level.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 07:11:26 PM
Mr Desper,

Seeing as the analouge/digital debate came up in our discussion, I wonder if you would be interested in having a look at www.sa3.com .  The a-b samples on there are pretty cool.


I read the artical with interest.  Thank you for pointing it out.  Some of the adverbs and discriptive adjectives used to discribed his results also would discribe the results I'm getting with my analog processing.  I did not listen to samples as I don't see what me telling him my cell phone telephone number as registration requirements has to do with downloading a sample of his work. All I know is, many things that you would think can only be done digitally are actually doable in analog with more musical sound.  But who knows.  Anyway it was interesting to read about.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 07:19:16 PM


Hi Stephen

I've got a bit of a 'how long is a bit of string' type question, which is:  how many different vocal parts can be happening at once and still allow the human ear to discern each part without it all becoming a big mush of sound..?

stacked harmonies wouldn't count, it has to be one different part for each voice, so 5 part harmony would indeed count, but 5 part harmony with eaxch part doubled would not.
All I know is that with training a human being can keep track of five dissimular thought patterns.  A crow can keep track of three.  A dog one or two.  If you add harmony to the mix I suppose you could keep track of five parts.  I know in mixing I can keep track of four easy.  I use to mix sound and run the lights.  The mix was in real time and the light cues had to be given early.  So part of my brain was in realtime and part was operating in future time.  I got use to it after a while.  A TV producer must do the same -- call shots before the action and also keep his thought on what is actually happening.  Generally I would say that after five part harmony or five of anything, you tend to let it blur or run together.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 07:30:14 PM
I'm pretty sure it saves the actual picture and not the address to the host for it.

................................

Mr Desper,

At times i'll have a lot of trouble with my self-confidence while recording a song. I do believe I have decent enough equipment to attain decent recordings so I can assume it's just my perceptions of the recording not being "as good" as it "could be". I'm wondering if you've ever been dissatisfied with any recordings you've done? Also were there ever a time when any Beach Boy, or the whole group together felt that something could've been recorded better, sung better, or played better?

I've read about Brian disliking his voice on "Let Him Run Wild", and he being ticked off about the chorus in "California Girls" sung slightly off beat, but i'm more interested in the days of which you spent with the group.
Isn't that the driving force behind progress?  Our dissatisfaction with the present?  Of course who hasn't been displeased with their performance -- that is why there is a "backspace" key on your keyboard, a rewind key on your tape recorder, and an eraser at the end of your pencil.  We all strive to do better than we did the last time -- we push ourselves. Take one, Take two, Take three, Take four, Take five.  Who gets it on the first take?  Very few.  Then there is LIVE.  No rewind at a concert or for that matter in life.

Perhaps this is an occation to reprint something I wrote to someone else a time ago about this topic:

FROM  THE ESSAY ARCHIVES:

Engineering and the Art of Life, by Stephen Desper

Comment to Bob Hanes & Mitchell -

Thank you for taking the time to send your kind words.

Upon further reflection, I'll tell you what works for me. Maybe it will give you a few more pointers.

I learned early on not to say no. If you think you might be able to do some task when asked, say YES. Opportunity only comes knocking as long as it is not turned away.

Several examples from my past. When a student in High School my coach, knowing me not to be much of an athlete, asked me if I could make the football field sound system better for Friday night school games. Now I had never actually installed a PA system before, but I knew about them, how they worked, and a few basics - so I said YES. I got to work in the school library doing research, went to the downtown library for more in-depth knowledge. I went on weekends and after school. I wrote (via a manual typewriter) to manufactures and got spec sheets and helpful tips or "how to do it yourself" material from certain manufactures. I assembled a parts list. I got some of my fellow nerds to help me with labor. I submitted a proposal to the coach and won approval to buy what I needed. We worked after school and installed everything - it worked great and pleased all concerned. Why? Because I said YES, dug in and applied myself. Remained Positive. Ask for help when I did not understand something. And, of course, had a wise teacher/coach.

When my parents built a house in Florida we wanted a Hi-Fi system in the house. I wanted to build a (then) new stereo system - not many of those were known at the time. They said YES and I said YES. They gave me a budget and I built all the components from kits - Heathkits and Dynaco Kits. Thus saving money to spend on better speakers. That was over 40 years ago, and that all-tube system is still working and sounding as good as anything today. Plays records, reel-to-reel tapes and I later added a CD player. Today the equipment is considered "vintage" and some components are fetching thousands of dollars. Again I wrote to manufactures and read lots of articles on Hi-Fi. I had to work hard to do it right but the investment in time paid off with many years of good music reproduction for our family.

When I entered the Army into a motion picture making unit of the Signal Corps, I chance came along for me to operate a movie sound recorder. I had never seen one in person; only in books. The Captain asked me if I could operate the unit and I said YES. During a smoke break I reviewed the manual. I, more or less, bulls--ted my way along, but I did make it work. For the next three years of duty I traveled around Europe making movies for Uncle Sam. I took advantage of the opportunity when it was presented.

While working as a lowly tape machine operator at MGM the opportunity came along one summer to help with a sound system for some group called The Beach Boys. I knew little about them or their music. I liked classical. I was about a far away from Surf Music as you could get. But I said YES. I bought some of their records and did a crash listening session one weekend. I found I liked the music. I went on tour. One day the opportunity came for me to mix a concert. I said YES. I had never done that before but I took advantage of the opportunity. Soon I was asked if I could design a half-million dollar touring system. I had never done anything like that since that simple system in High School. But I said YES. Again I researched and studied all I could find out about this area, found an equipment builder (Quad-Eight) who also, of all the ones I interviewed for the job was the only one that kept saying YES. They got the contract. One day Carl asked me if I thought I could handle a recording session. I said YES even though I had never run a mixing board before. When opportunity knocks like this, you best not say no or you will never get anywhere. With Carl's help I did OK. OK enough to be called again and again. I remember not knowing what the hell everyone meant by this term "ping-ponging." I was desperate to find out but afraid to ask such a basic question. Finally a few days later, I overheard some discussion and figured it out. Wow that was close, but I got the answer just in time. Things work out to those who believe.

More recently I needed a lot of capital to start a company to manufacture my invention. Big money. Someone said, lets borrow it from the public - let's go public on NASDAQ. I thought, me? A corporate executive? But I said OK and we did start the company and made money for us and for some investors. Like anything in the stock market some investors lose to the ones that make profit so there are always winners and losers, but many people in on the ground floor made millions of dollars - and the invention went on to be sell 40 million chips.

So first of all don't doubt yourself or your ability. A famous architect was once asked what was the most difficult part of designing a building. His response - getting the contract. So when the contract is presented, take it! If there is any change you believe you can pull it off - say YES. Expect hard work. Then do the hard work. This idea that you can excel to great heights in some profession without hard work is a Hollywood movie script. It only happens in your dreams. Life is hard.

Never stop learning. Don't become complacent. Technology, knowledge, and developments move along at an incredible pace. Keep up with your knowledge. Build on what you know with what you can know. As they say, the more you learn the more you find out you need to learn more. Therefore it is important to...

Follow your bliss. Get into a field of work that you enjoy. Otherwise you will spend all your life waiting to retire away from a job you hate. That's a stupid way to life your life, so whatever you like to do - do it. I did, and I know that if I ever had to "go to work" I'd rather die. My work has been like play all the time. Not because it's the entertainment business. The same principle holds true for any endeavor. Every profession, cooking, cleaning, medical, teaching, candlestick making - all have their experts, people on top of the situation.

Don't be afraid to ask for help and guidance. You will be surprise how willing people are to help. If you don't understand something, ask your fellow student, teacher, manager, fellow worker, or friends for help. Humble yourself. Be proud of work but not boisterous. Always respect the other fellow's point of view - even if you don't understand or agree. On the other side of the coin, always help when asked. It is most rewarding. Remember we are all in this thing we call "life" together. Most of us are just keeping our heads above the water.

Therefore, be kind to people. You never know how many problems the next guy may be dealing with. A few kind words will go a long way to ease the other person's load. Smile at people and smile back at those who smile. Don't be too quick to admonish or criticize. Be gentle if you need to correct.

If you are wronged, forgive and forget. Holding grudges gets you nowhere.

And above all, express gratitude. Be thankful for what you have and express that gratitude to God in prayer, to your teachers, to your parents, to your friends, and to yourself. Keep a constant mental vigil that you do not become victim to excessive complaining or envy of the other person's possessions or position. Be grateful for what you have. As the truism says, I once complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no legs. Try to see as many God-like qualities in all those you meet and in the things you create as you can.

It has worked for me. Hope this helps, ~Stephen W. Desper




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 07:34:29 PM
For those who wanna know: I've found out that the tune Sail On Sailor is in perfect pitch, like f.e. A=440
As history tells it , I believe it was the only song completely recorded in the USA, unlike the rest, in Holland.

All the other songs of the album are slightly lower in pitch ( I cannot play along with it, on a normal tuned piano)
Undoubtedly the pitch change is due to the electricity frequency standards between Europe and USA.  Especially if voltage convertors were used by Mofet at the studio in Holland. Also there is a difference in international A frequency used in studios for tuning the piano and in concert work.  But I think it was probubly something to do with the mains frequency. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 07:53:11 PM
Steven this has been discussed a few times before and speculated on, but can you offer any insights as to why Brian didn't sing lead on "A Day In The Life of a Tree"?  Most of us figure that it was just too personal and sad for him to want to go anywhere near it.  I'd be really curious to hear any thoughts you may have.  Thanks!
No he was not sad.  Rather he was very into the song.  His production meetings concerning 'tree were some of the most intensive and meaningful of any.  He had his ideas about the song and what he wanted it to evoke in the llstener.  All the guys tried to sing parts of it including  Brian, but he was looking for something else -- some other feel.  He even had his upstairs maid try out for the lead. When Jack reluctently tried out the part at Brian's insistance, Brian felt the amature, shaky and untrained vocal Jack sang was more in keeping with the theme of the song, so he continued to work with Jack all through the song.  Van Dike happened by one day and also got pulled into singing.  You can read more about this song in my book and in the archives.  I wrote extensivily about this song on Susan's old thread, but her webmaster trashed over 150 pages of comments by me.  I've still got them but they are in some code form (that excaped a virus) that I don't know how to undue.  So all those pages are locked in a file waiting on the day that I learn how to decode them. I wrote a lot when my memory was sharper.   ~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 07:55:53 PM
He and I both stated how Blondie had pulled off such a Carl-like sounding vocal, even to the pronunciation of the words.  But he assured me it was Blondie.  Some of the tracks were from before but the lead was re-sung.  So, that ends that debate -- at least in my head.[/b]  ~swd

Mr. Desper,

Have you closely compared your vocal only track and the Holland "Sail On Sailor" track? I have a hard time hearing "Carl" in the official release, to me it sounds unmistakingly like a Blondie lead. Furthermore, if you were out of the picture when the Blondie lead was recorded after the band returned from Holland, how could you have access to a vocals only mix?

Surely, it's way possible that 1. I don't know squat about Carl's and Blondie's voices and 2. You werent working with the Beach Boys anymore but you could have been given the vocals only mix of Sail on Sailor by Carl as a gift in 1973.

I apologize If I'm bothering you with a subject that's already closed.
I've done all that.  I even played the tracks for some of the people who post here.  It remains a puzzle.  The tape is from before Holland. I guess Blondie just emulated Carls original lead after the fact. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 02, 2006, 07:57:53 PM
Great, great stuff Stephen.
Are there any really cool Al Jardine anecdotes you could share offhand? No one seems to talk about him much, and he seems like a pretty cool head to me.
Thanks in advance!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on February 02, 2006, 08:22:30 PM

Isn't that the driving force behind progress?  Our dissatisfaction with the present?  Of course who hasn't been displeased with their performance -- that is why there is a "backspace" key on your keyboard, a rewind key on your tape recorder, and an eraser at the end of your pencil.  We all strive to do better than we did the last time -- we push ourselves. Take one, Take two, Take three, Take four, Take five.  Who gets it on the first take?  Very few.  Then there is LIVE.  No rewind at a concert or for that matter in life.





Thank you for the reply. I've read the essay you posted many times as well and it has been a great source of inspiration to me.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on February 02, 2006, 08:43:48 PM
Thank you very much for the reply Steven!  Very interesting that Brian really thought Jack's voice was best for the song...I can hear his production touch all over it but I really thought the weight of the song was the reason he didn't sing it.  Tree is one of my favorites so I appreciate the info!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 08:53:44 PM
Hi Mr Desper,

I got two questions which I hope haven't been asked before.
First, I know many BBs-fans who ould like to know if that "sex sound" on the coda to "All I want to do" from 20/20 was a fake or real. Normally I would say "fake", but ith Dennis nothing seems so sure I believe...
And second, how came that you and the BBs used this radically different sound on Sunflower compared to the album before (20/20) ? Sunflower sounds like from another world compared to the "old class"-sound of 20/20. Had it anything to do with the change to Warner?

20/20 was cut in various studio around the world.  Starting with Sunflower, was cut in one studio at the house where I had complete control and much time.  Thus two production values can be heard.

I wrote a complete story about the f--k sound at the ending of All I Want To Do. That writing was one of those lost from Susan's old website.  So I'll retell the story -- AND YOU GUYS OWE ME ONE!  :D

I still have the isolated 1/4 stereo 15 IPS segment of that part.  Do it again is about a repeat climax!  All I Wanna Do is about . . . Dennis liked sex, what can I say.

One afternoon, if I remember correctly -- yes, that's right because I remember it was still daylight outside -- we were adding some parts to the song, Do It Again.  We were booked into Capitol studio one or two. Don't remember which one but they are both very large rooms and Sanatra amoung others have recorded whole albums in that studio.  The control room has a large window that looks out into the studio but the control room is not as spacious as others. We were booked into this large studio because it was the only one available that day.  I think all we were doing was adding a guitar part.  It was Denny's session and he and I were the only ones there -- along with the token Capitol union engineer. We finished sweetening the song with the guitar but had some time left on our booking.  Dennis had an idea for the end of All I Wanna Do (or maybe he was just horny). He pulled me off to the side and told me what he had in mind. Now the equipment doors -- double sound doors -- opened to the parking lot or street outside the Capitol tower from this studio, so you could get to the street and bypass the normal security guards at the entance to the tower.  So Dennis' idea was that he wanted to add some sex sounds to the end of 'wanna do and fade out with them.  (Sounds like a ploy to get some afternoon delight huh?)  So as Dennis slipped out the equipment doors I began to arrange for his plan.  There were plenty of hookers (this is pre-AIDS) a block away on Hollywood Blvd and further down on the Sunset strip from the tower -- an easy walk in the afternoon California sun.  So off he went.  In the meantime I mounted the multi-track for 'wanna do. Then I got a large violiin raiser that was about two feet off the floor and six feet by eight feet, carpeted, and put it in the center of the studio.  I got several acoustic padding blankets and spread them over the riser to give some softness to the carpet.  I moved two Neuman U67 condenser mics, mounted on long booms, positioned to hover over the riser.  I moved the mikes horizontal or parallell to the floor and about 30 inches above the riser.  I got two sets of headphones. Then I got another violin riser and upended it so that it was blocking the view from the control room of the "action" riser.  In about half an hour the door cracked open and in came Dennis with a girl -- nice looking too!!  Obviously they had come to some pre-arrangement because they both were undressing as I moved back into the control room.  So from now on I'm running the session blind.  We decided to just play the song over the headphones from the beginning and record from the top. To later edit out the best sounds and then wild-track them back into the song at the end.  So I ask Dennis to give me some levels.  He groaned for me. OK. We started the song, and he started his task.  All in time to the beat.  That was the whole idea -- or hole idea --  :)  As the song progressed, so did Dennis' action and responses.  What a ham!  Fairly soon, I noticed that visitors were stopping by the control room.  Soon there were many executives at this Beach Boy session -- word was spreading quickly throughout the tower. The song ended and I ask the common question of the performer, "Was that good for you?"  Trying to maintain a somewhat professional composure, Dennis said it was, especially the last part.  I replied, ya it seemed to get more animated toward the end. To which he said that he wanted to overdub a second pass.  So before I could get the tape backed up Dennis and friend were already starting. This time he heard the song with his first take coming back into the headphone mix to give a little encouragement to the second passes performance. As soon as the music started he got right into the beat -- drummer you know! Again played the entire song until reaching the end, this time he was satisfied.  After some hasty dressing, Dennis came out from around the riser.  The girl did not stay and left the way she came -- came into the studio that is.  Actually I think she was a little embarressed as I asked her to sign a release -- didn't want a lawsuit later.  Then Dennis came into the control room to a round of applause -- dirty old men -- and we listened to a mix with both tracks included -- isolating just the f--k tracks from time to time.  I don't think you get to hear this type of activity in an acoustic enviornment with Neuman's capturing every nuance of detail in real up close sound stereo, very often.  It was quite a thing to hear and it was all on two seperate stereo tracks.  Then we found the parts he liked and edited it to the right length.  Wild tracking it into the multi-track reqired that you start the seperate tracks at just the right time so the beats line up.  It took a few tries but we got it and you hear it at the end of All I Want To Do as Dennis really is Doing It Again. 

Good Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper   
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 02, 2006, 09:06:28 PM
Thank you very much for the reply Steven!  Very interesting that Brian really thought Jack's voice was best for the song...I can hear his production touch all over it but I really thought the weight of the song was the reason he didn't sing it.  Tree is one of my favorites so I appreciate the info!
I agree. I think 'tree is very undervalued by most -- I guess because it has no BB voices.  It was like a little story production for Brian. In fact that is how we outlined the production of the song, using storyboards for each segment.  I wish someone would put animation to it.  Brian was quite enviornmentally concerned when he wrote it. While everyone was discussing the loss of forests, aged oak trees, and the needless consuption of paper for so many things, Brian took the position of the tree itself and told this story from the tree's perspective. How imaginative!  We must have talked two hours about his feelings for the various parts of the song and what he wanted the sound of the song to convay.  If you read about it in my book you will understand more.  And, by the way, it was a very expensive song to produce.  Several special instruments were rented at great costs.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 02, 2006, 09:36:14 PM
http://smileysmile.net/, click on "Desper"

It's the beginning of a long process, enjoy the evolution.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: LaurieBiagini on February 02, 2006, 10:33:15 PM
Thank-you for the "Do It Again" story, Stephen.  :D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike thornton on February 02, 2006, 11:02:53 PM
as a musician who never tires of people commenting on my work, good or bad,  ;) i must say stephen that you're a true original and a vibrant asset to the human community.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 03, 2006, 03:13:29 AM
I've read this story before, and it always makes me laugh.  As an English teacher, i must compliment you on your use of detail, Stephen - Neuman U67 condensor mics, not just "microphones!"
;-)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on February 03, 2006, 04:11:01 AM
Yeah, thanks Mr Desper. You really got into detail. I didn't expect this, but I'm very grateful for that.
And you're right, we owe you one.....


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Roger Ryan on February 03, 2006, 06:31:04 AM
Thanks Mr. Desper - that was certainly the full "widescreen - surround sound" version of the special Dennis session story! Just for accuracy's sake (and so some don't think that Dennis' sexual escapades involved hammers and saws!), this session was for the tag to "All I Want To Do", not "Do It Again" (despite Dennis' repeat performance).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 03, 2006, 06:42:41 AM
Thanks Mr. Desper - that was certainly the full "widescreen - surround sound" version of the special Dennis session story! Just for accuracy's sake (and so some don't think that Dennis' sexual escapades involved hammers and saws!), this session was for the tag to "All I Want To Do", not "Do It Again" (despite Dennis' repeat performance).
Literary License?  or my mental awareness at two in the morning.  I've got to stop those early morning postings.  Made approprate changes -- thanks. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 03, 2006, 08:02:27 AM
Thanks Mr. Desper - that was certainly the full "widescreen - surround sound" version of the special Dennis session story! Just for accuracy's sake (and so some don't think that Dennis' sexual escapades involved hammers and saws!), this session was for the tag to "All I Want To Do", not "Do It Again" (despite Dennis' repeat performance).

ive been listening to Do it Again all morning and wondering where the hell the 'lovin' was...i was thinkin dennis must have been into a dominatrix or something, haha


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on February 03, 2006, 10:06:56 AM
Stephen,
  Click on this:  http://www.martylog.com/films/   
  Marty White DID animate "Tree" and did a remarkable job as well.
 Or,go on the "Day In The Life Of A Tree short film" on the
  General Topic Thread.
Happy viewing & listening!!  You'll love it Steve.
Bri


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 03, 2006, 10:25:52 AM
<<ive been listening to Do it Again all morning and wondering where the hell the 'lovin' was...i was thinkin dennis must have been into a dominatrix or something, haha>>

I think it's really "All I Want To Do", from the same album...
listen to the fadeout...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on February 03, 2006, 03:53:49 PM
Thanks Mr. Desper - that was certainly the full "widescreen - surround sound" version of the special Dennis session story! Just for accuracy's sake (and so some don't think that Dennis' sexual escapades involved hammers and saws!), this session was for the tag to "All I Want To Do", not "Do It Again" (despite Dennis' repeat performance).

ive been listening to Do it Again all morning and wondering where the hell the 'lovin' was...i was thinkin dennis must have been into a dominatrix or something, haha

Haha!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on February 03, 2006, 04:10:33 PM
Actually, you can hear someone yelp during the Workshop sequence at 2:18..


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 03, 2006, 04:35:22 PM
Actually, you can hear someone yelp during the Workshop sequence at 2:18..

That was my first clue! lol...but then after Roger Ryan's post I got to listen to the real deal ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 05, 2006, 03:42:39 PM
Thanks to Dan Lega for supplying them, and Andrew Gladwin for posting them, we've got more Desper archives over at Cabinessence.net: 
http://www.surfermoon.com/essays/desperarchive2.html


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on February 06, 2006, 08:21:13 PM
Quote
st for accuracy's sake (and so some don't think that Dennis' sexual escapades involved hammers and saws!)

Yikes...what if it HAD?  :o


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 07, 2006, 07:22:21 AM
Thanks to Dan Lega for supplying them, and Andrew Gladwin for posting them, we've got more Desper archives over at Cabinessence.net: 
http://www.surfermoon.com/essays/desperarchive2.html


It's not much that I had to offer, but I guess every little bit helps.  You'll find the new posts are near the end of the archive, in November 2002, and then the very last couple of posts, which are in December.


Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on February 07, 2006, 10:33:29 AM
Steven, there is a debate over in the "who sang what thread" about the end of "A Day in the Life of a Tree" that your opinion would weigh greatly on...who is singing "oh lord I lay me down" during the tag with Van Dyke?  I know the first time it is sung by Jack Rieley before the rest of the tag vocals come in.  We are split between it being Al or Brian.  Do you happen to remember this particular detail?  Thanks for the help Steven (and for that awesome "Do It Again" story!).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 07, 2006, 10:48:47 AM
Quote from: Stephen W. Desper
No it's Brian. Al was up north when we recorded this part. The lyric was more due to the influence of Jack R. than
anyone. ~swd

That's what he had to say about this subject.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 07, 2006, 01:40:23 PM
Steven, there is a debate over in the "who sang what thread" about the end of "A Day in the Life of a Tree" that your opinion would weigh greatly on...who is singing "oh lord I lay me down" during the tag with Van Dyke?

I don't know why there should be any debate.  This is all covered in my book  Why don't you obtain a copy and learn THE FACTS!  There is NO OPINION about who sang what. This is not a fairy tail world we live in. ~swd

RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS  by Stephen W. Desper (http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/bookorderinginfo)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 07, 2006, 02:04:59 PM
shameless plug ;)

Stephen,

Don't hate me if this was asked before, but was 'Our Prayer' re-recorded for 20/20? Or did they use any tracks from SMiLE? The reason I ask is because there are a few harmonies I can hear that I havent heard in the SMiLE recordings nor are they present in the 2004 version.

thanks
-J


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on February 07, 2006, 03:12:55 PM
shameless plug ;)

Stephen,

Don't hate me if this was asked before, but was 'Our Prayer' re-recorded for 20/20? Or did they use any tracks from SMiLE? The reason I ask is because there are a few harmonies I can hear that I havent heard in the SMiLE recordings nor are they present in the 2004 version.

thanks
-J

Maybe I can help you, if you don't mind. Dennis and Carl went back to the studio and overdubbed a little on the original Smile-track.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 07, 2006, 03:36:04 PM
Ok cool, so then its a complete new mix down as well?

how many tracks is Our Prayer, anyway?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 07, 2006, 04:07:53 PM
shameless plug ;)

Stephen,

Don't hate me if this was asked before, but was 'Our Prayer' re-recorded for 20/20? Or did they use any tracks from SMiLE? The reason I ask is because there are a few harmonies I can hear that I havent heard in the SMiLE recordings nor are they present in the 2004 version.

thanks
-J

Forgive me but I don't understand this question.  SMiLE was recorded long after 20/20. The, so called, smile sessions were not called such until much later - an invention of the press. Our Prayer was recorded at Columbia Studios, shelved for several years, pulled and sweetened by Carl and group for 20/20.  It was also technically enhanced for release in stereo on 20/20.  Some tracks were doubled using the Phillips unit, some were added to by the group, but for the most part it was basically the original recording.  What was used for SMiLE would be better asked of Mark Linett. ~swd  


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 07, 2006, 04:09:18 PM
Ok cool, so then its a complete new mix down as well?

how many tracks is Our Prayer, anyway?

An eight-track recording, but twelve at mixdown. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 07, 2006, 04:33:50 PM
Quote
The, so called, smile sessions were not called such until much later - an invention of the press.

He wasn't conducting sessions for an album provisionally entitled SMiLE?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on February 07, 2006, 06:22:36 PM
Mr. Desper, Carl's lead vocal on Cabinessence....does that date from 1966 or from 1968 when Carl went back to the track for the 20/20 album?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 07, 2006, 06:37:08 PM
Quote
The, so called, smile sessions were not called such until much later - an invention of the press.

He wasn't conducting sessions for an album provisionally entitled SMiLE?
You all refer to all sessions about or with the songs that eventually appeared on the newly released album called SMiLE as from an album that was never made but was going to be made called SMiLE.  I always refer to them as "so-called smile" songs or sessions because at the time those songs were recorded, an album called smile was never refered to nor were those songs refered to as being part of a smile project.  It wasn't until later that that group of songs was collected into what is now called "the smile sessions." That is when the mystic started.  You may find the postings in the archives of interest starting with and continuing thereafter the post by Susan of Livingstons's essay at Feb 25, 2002 -- 9:44 pm.  http://surfermoon.com/essays/desperarchive.html  (http://surfermoon.com/essays/desperarchive.html)[/b]   ~swd  


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 07, 2006, 06:40:02 PM
Mr. Desper, Carl's lead vocal on Cabinessence....does that date from 1966 or from 1968 when Carl went back to the track for the 20/20 album?
It is so far back for me to remember.  I think it is from earlier, but not certain.  My log book from those sessions may tell, but it's packed away.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 07, 2006, 06:59:53 PM
Mr. Desper, I mean no disrespect, but I don't understand your comment on the Smile project.  According to multiple contemporary articles preserved in Look Listen Vibrate Smile! there were press releases discussing the project and calling it "Smile".  In addition, there were album covers printed that have the title "Smile" all over them.  I can see your point about the myth for sure, but isn't it a bit extreme to say that Brian was recording tracks with no concept of an album to be made called "Smile"?  That would be a major revision to the canon as we fans have had it to the point of rendering a whole book and movie documentary incorrect.

Again, no disrespect, but that is a heavy thing to say.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: RobtheNobleSurfer on February 07, 2006, 07:22:35 PM
[
Quote
quote author=Jeff Mason link=topic=5.msg14773#msg14773 date=1139367593]
Mr. Desper, I mean no disrespect, but I don't understand your comment on the Smile project.  According to multiple contemporary articles preserved in Look Listen Vibrate Smile! there were press releases discussing the project and calling it "Smile".  In addition, there were album covers printed that have the title "Smile" all over them.
 

Not to mention said album covers had an early track listing.

(http://www.killcreek.com/MC/images/7419f.jpg)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 07, 2006, 10:09:39 PM
Mr. Desper, I mean no disrespect, but I don't understand your comment on the Smile project.  According to multiple contemporary articles preserved in Look Listen Vibrate Smile! there were press releases discussing the project and calling it "Smile".  In addition, there were album covers printed that have the title "Smile" all over them.  I can see your point about the myth for sure, but isn't it a bit extreme to say that Brian was recording tracks with no concept of an album to be made called "Smile"?  That would be a major revision to the canon as we fans have had it to the point of rendering a whole book and movie documentary incorrect.

Again, no disrespect, but that is a heavy thing to say.

No disrespect taken.

The earliest reference to a "smile" album name I can find is 1979 in a quote from Mike Love.  Brian did not meet Parks until Feb of 1967. Good Vibs had been recorded right after Pet Sounds.  Hero's and Villians was begun in 1961 as were tidbits of other songs. Sometimes these are referred to as "The Elements" or "Pocket Symphony." I don't think Brian's concept of an album called "Smile" was in his head until some time after the songs that are now included in SMiLE or the proposed SMILE was conceptualized.  However, everyone after 1980 speaks of recordings of that time as though they were part of the album called SMILE for sake of understanding, usually referring to it as "Smile-era."  It's something that the record company started as did the general press.

In the following post from yours Jeff Mason is showing an album cover called SMILE that was the subject of a bootleg album release consisting of collected songs available at the time and edited togehter into what was thought might be "the smile collection."  The front artwork is from late 1967, but the back of the album, containing song titles, is not of that vintage and does not even show a photo of Brian with his group. Please don't get this all confused as part of any official "to be" release.

Here are some quotes from Brian, but he does not refer to Smile, only "the next album."

"Our next album will be better than 'Pet Sounds'. It will be an improvement over 'Sounds' as that was over 'Summer Days'."
– Brian Wilson

“This LP will include ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Heroes and Villains’ and ten other tracks. I’ve written them all in collaboration with Van Dyke Parks, who’s been a studio organist in Los Angeles for ages-he also records on his own.”
-Brian Wilson (“Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile” Domenic Priore, editor. 1988) 

“It makes Pet Sounds stink—that’s how good it is”
– Dennis Wilson (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979) 

“The album will include lots of humour-some musical and some spoken. It won’t be like a comedy LP-there won’t be any spoken tracks as such-but someone might say something in between verses.”
-Brian Wilson (“Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile” Domenic Priore, editor. 1988)

So what I'm saying is that these sessions were not referred to as Smile sessions by those involved with them at that time.  The reference to Smile came later.  I believe it was Brian and Parks that thought up the name "Smile" to replace an earlier reference name or "working title" of Dumb Angle.  This was the album title or concept for an album title Brian had when he started working in 1961 on what was to become SMiLE in 1967 and was completed in 2005. I don't think this is in disagreement with anything that has been printed before -- although you may have not seen it.

You should find the SMiLE article in Sound On Sound Magazine (http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Oct04/articles/smile.htm) one of the best details about Smile around.

Another good artile called The Smile Sessions by D. Leone (http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/watw/02-09/smile.shtml) is also a good read.

In any event,  here's the man and his smile! 

(http://www.coreylevitan.com/interviews/images/BrianWilson-4/brian3.jpg)


~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 07, 2006, 11:41:56 PM
Quote
Brian did not meet Parks until Feb of 1967.

They had written all the SMiLE tracks before 1967. Including H&V, Surf's Up, Cabinessence etc. They met at a party in 1966 through mutual friends David Crosby and Terry Melcher.

The SMiLE cover that Jeff showed was printed up by Capitol in 1966 as a finished album sleeve. At least 50, 000 were printed. Samples of this cover exist, along with the booklet printed for the cover.

Stores had display pieces for the album that Capitol distributed.

There is a Capitol promo ad from 1966 trumpeting the impending SMiLE release in January 1967.

Countless contemporary articles talk about the impending album, calling it by name. A lengthy piece by Jules Siegel entitled "Goodbye Surfing Hello God" chronicles the history of the album in 1967. Derek Taylor talked about it. Paul Williams, same. The book "Look Listen Vibrate SMiLE!" compiled by Dominic Priore collates all this material.

Mike stated in several live shows about SMile finally being released soon, on the Brother label in the early 70's. Check that on the track of Wonderful/Don't Worry Bill on the Endless Harmony CD.

All these facts can be very easily checked and are of public record.

I mean no disrespect, but I find these statements you have made about the SMiLE project to be almost bizarre in their complete ignorance (NOT saying you are ignorant) of what we fans know to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 12:46:07 AM
I am getting hacked account vibes here.
If so, sorry Stephen.
In fact, dollars to donuts:
http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=589.0


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 12:52:45 AM
AND here (see post by mike8902):
http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=25.240


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on February 08, 2006, 01:04:35 AM
Gosh, if it's not a hacked account.. it's just really weird..


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:15:52 AM
Well, rereading the last few pages of posts, I am getting a weird feeling about this.
If I have said anything amiss, I apologise.
I'll leave it to everyone to sort this out.
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 01:19:48 AM
Picture of Brian flashing his new choppers. "The man and his smile". Nothing sinister there.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:21:45 AM
*edit*


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on February 08, 2006, 01:29:17 AM
Wait, are you saying that he's been a fake all along?!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:34:51 AM
No, but there seems to be a change in style and spelling after the board changeover.
Check it out for yourselves, guys.
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:43:26 AM
*edit*


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 01:46:07 AM
No, but there seems to be a change in style and spelling after the board changeover.
Check it out for yourselves, guys.
Do you think Desper would have got  Do It Again/All I Want To Do mixed up?
Or done the Sunflower CD thing?

The CD thing was linked to Steve's site, where there was documentation and stuff, so it would have havd to be a double hack.

Easy way to settle it - Steve's email is under his avatar. Someone ask him.  ;D [Researcher's Golden Rule #42c - do it the easy way first]


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:48:06 AM
Hmmm, this is weird.
Really weird.
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:50:50 AM
Just sent an email to Desper.
Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on February 08, 2006, 01:52:07 AM
First post here (12-25-05):

Quote
Thank you again for all you have done with this posting board.  I know it takes a lot of hard and long hours to make it happen. I'm certain I speak for all posters in expressing our gratitude for and apprecition of your efforts that continue the interest in Beach Boy history and bring to us the ability to express ideas about Beach Boy events of this day.

Last post by the REAL Desper (from the archive):
December 14, 2005.
One scan of the last posts by the real Desper and a comparison to the above post tells the whole story.
We've been hoodwinked. MASSIVELY.


I don't see what you mean here.. are you referring to the change in writing style?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:54:57 AM
Yep.
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 01:55:22 AM
Hmmm, this is weird.
Really weird.
Desper may have done the Sunflower thing on his site for real, but there's no way these posts since the changeover are real. No way. IMO.

Maybe... it's really Alan.  :o


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 01:58:34 AM
*edit*


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andreas on February 08, 2006, 01:59:19 AM
I might be way off here....but if you check Desper's posts on this board, there was a change of style on February 2.


http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?action=profile;u=2;sa=showPosts
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 02:05:26 AM
The hooker story, FWIW, is almost exactly what he told me in the studio in question, March 1985. I've never published that much detail and there's bits there only he would know.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 02:09:41 AM
Well, in case I have been terribly wrong, I have edited my old posts.
I hope I am wrong, and if so, forgive me all.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 02:13:55 AM
The hooker story, FWIW, is almost exactly what he told me in the studio in question, March 1985. I've never published that much detail and there's bits there only he would know.

Quote
I wrote a complete story about the f--k sound at the ending of All I Want To Do. That writing was one of those lost from Susan's old website.

Or was it?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on February 08, 2006, 02:24:47 AM
What about all those studio pictures? What date was that?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 08, 2006, 02:27:05 AM
Ahhhh. Forgot that.
I suppose Andreas is correct, then.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 08, 2006, 03:14:13 AM
Perhaps the Digital Desper (http://smileysmile.net/desper.html) has taken over.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 08, 2006, 03:26:50 AM
Same story, kids...in fact, i believe that i wrote a day or two ago, "Nice to see this story again."  If i didn't type it, i sure thought it...i've known that story from Stephen's original telling several years ago.

Some of you aren't old enough to know this, but trust me: memories of events that occurred 40 years ago tend to blur.  You young-uns have to cut us old folks some slack sometimes...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on February 08, 2006, 03:41:43 AM
 :o That´s about the weirdest thing I have ever read. Either it´s a hacker, or Mr Desper´s memory just went completly nuts. I´m very curious how this will evolve.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 08, 2006, 03:44:16 AM
Did it ever occur to you that the Beach Boys and particularly Brian weren't so keen about talking about Smile by name around Stephen, since it had negative feelings for all of them?  They were probably trying to put it behind them.  Of course, you wonder what Carl called it when he tried to assemble a Smile in 1971...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on February 08, 2006, 03:52:06 AM
It´s just insane to say that there wasn´t an album called SMiLE, when in fact Capitol made THOUSANDS of LP-covers with this title on it. And Brian and Van Dyke didn´t meet each other until 1967?!?!?


 >:( Is this the Twilight Zone or what?!?!?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Evenreven on February 08, 2006, 04:22:06 AM
Perhaps the Digital Desper (http://smileysmile.net/desper.html) has taken over.
Perhaps.  ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: al on February 08, 2006, 05:31:41 AM
Hacker. Pretty easy to work out who it could be - who has previous form om the BB?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Day Tripper on February 08, 2006, 05:49:42 AM
  On the second link Steve reffered to an article about Smile (http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/watw/02-09/smile.shtml) . In that article it says Brian met Van Dyke in Feb 1966. Isn't it possible that he just made a simple mistake when typing, when he said 1967?  I like to call the new Smile, BWPS because they have 2 completely different sounds and vibes. I prefer to hear recordings of songs right after they have been written because the energy and creative mood are at its peak. I'm curious what Brian was into (musically and books he was reading) when he was writing Smile. It's such a departure from anything he had done til then.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 08, 2006, 05:53:05 AM
I would think that except in context he is saying that since Brian didn't meet VDP until 2.67 they could not have collaborated on Smile until after the sessions for some indeterminate album were over.

Something's up there -- I don't see many defensible facts in Desper's reply to my initial question.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 08, 2006, 05:55:01 AM
I'd like to point out, as fascinating a conspiracy as it seems, if someone has hacked Stephen's account, they've been so clever as to use the same internet provider.  

Deep breath everyone, and Stephen, or whomever you may be, thanks for posting.   :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 06:11:23 AM
Stephen,

The "sweetning" by Carl and Dennis made a huge difference, especially the stereo mix that you did for it. the 20/20 version of "Our Prayer" sounds so much fuller and rich...I can't believe its 12 tracks though! And yes, originally I was talking about the 'smile-sessions' recorded in the 60's, not Brian's 2004 version.

two more questions:
what synths did you guys have in hand when recording 20/20? for example, what made the white noise sound in the beginning of 'Never Learn Not to Love"?  its very 'spacey' and cool for lack of a better term.

Also, I know its been a while, but how many instruments do you think were used for Bruce's 'The Nearest Faraway Place'? To me (not including the guitar playing) it sounds like it was done all with just one keyboard synth...

cool, thanks
j$


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andreas on February 08, 2006, 06:14:06 AM
I think it was the real Mr. Desper. You have to remember, he is an engineer and a true expert in this area, but he is not a historian.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 08, 2006, 06:30:02 AM
what synths did you guys have in hand when recording 20/20? for example, what made the white noise sound in the beginning of 'Never Learn Not to Love"?  its very 'spacey' and cool for lack of a better term.

The start of Never Learn Not To Love is a cymbal crash, slowed down, played in reverse, if I recall correctly.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Sir Rob on February 08, 2006, 06:35:55 AM
I think it was the real Mr. Desper. You have to remember, he is an engineer and a true expert in this area, but he is not a historian.

Hmmm...you don't need to exactly be a historian to choke on your cornflakes reading some of that stuff. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 06:54:14 AM
COMMENT TO ALL --

Yes it was a typo. (Those late night postings again.)  Brian & Parks met in Feb. 1966, not '67.  That does not change the gist of my statement:

"So what I'm saying is that these sessions were not referred to as Smile sessions by those involved with them at that time.  The reference to Smile came later.  I believe it was Brian and Parks that thought up the name "Smile" to replace an earlier reference name or "working title" of Dumb Angle.  This was the album title or concept for an album title Brian had when he started working in 1961 on what was to become SMiLE in 1967 1966 and was completed in 2005. I don't think this is in disagreement with anything that has been printed before . . ."

Maybe my personal perspective is not in alignment with the public historical perspective as told by "historians," but then it is not a second-hand accounting either.

I would add that many of the tidbits I worked with to build on with Carl's direction, as Brian was unavailable, came from the so-called Smile-era. As far as I'm concerned these were pre-smile or before 1966.

When I was engineering for the most part no one referred to the old Smile concept songs as part of a Smile album amoung themselves. Maybe to the public when pressed, but in a working atmosphere they were just independent songs or song parts Brian was working on, had completed or abandon.  At the time Smile was a concept, not an album.

Please don't mis-construe what I said.  I DID NOT say that Smile did not exist as an album concept.  I am saying that the present SMiLE release is a 2005 colaboration by Brian & Parks based on some songs and some song parts that were around since 1961.  Six years after 1961 the idea of Smile came into fruition; thirty-nine years later the reality of SMiLE was released.  

Just because 50,000 record jackets were printed does not an album make.  Record jackets are printed months before release dates as are press stories and publication hype.  Brian changed his mind at the last minute, so Smile remained a concept.

~swd    


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 06:55:34 AM
what synths did you guys have in hand when recording 20/20? for example, what made the white noise sound in the beginning of 'Never Learn Not to Love"?  its very 'spacey' and cool for lack of a better term.

The start of Never Learn Not To Love is a cymbal crash, slowed down, played in reverse, if I recall correctly.
Correct. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 06:57:56 AM

Hmmm...you don't need to exactly be a historian to choke on your cornflakes reading some of that stuff. 

What does that mean?  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 06:59:26 AM
what synths did you guys have in hand when recording 20/20? for example, what made the white noise sound in the beginning of 'Never Learn Not to Love"?  its very 'spacey' and cool for lack of a better term.

The start of Never Learn Not To Love is a cymbal crash, slowed down, played in reverse, if I recall correctly.

thats sexy. the fact that it was slowed down is what tricked my ear to think it was a synth...when I reverse a crash I just keep it at the same speed which gives me a quick white noise, never thought about slowing it down...

but theres something to it...just gives it a haunting feel to the sound...theres nothing else layered into it?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 08, 2006, 07:00:43 AM
OK, so you are basically saying the same thing we all are.  It just sounded like you were saying that the term "Smile" was never used in 1966 to describe the work that Brian was undertaking and only after the fact were the sessions labelled "Smile".  Since the album was never finished, it is true to say that Smile was a concept (with many tracks created to try to achieve that concept) and not an album.  Different verbage but the same basic gist.  That's cool.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 08, 2006, 07:11:25 AM

Hmmm...you don't need to exactly be a historian to choke on your cornflakes reading some of that stuff. 

What does that mean?  ~swd

Depending upon how many cornflakes he was eating at the time, it may mean we have one less board member. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 07:19:47 AM

Hmmm...you don't need to exactly be a historian to choke on your cornflakes reading some of that stuff. 

What does that mean?  ~swd

Depending upon how many cornflakes he was eating at the time, it may mean we have one less board member. 
I don't understand the cornflakes reference.  What does that mean?  Is cornflakes a slang term?  In Florida is could mean "corny."  In California it could mean "flaky."  Is my age showing or what?   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 08, 2006, 07:28:44 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 07:31:01 AM
what synths did you guys have in hand when recording 20/20? for example, what made the white noise sound in the beginning of 'Never Learn Not to Love"?  its very 'spacey' and cool for lack of a better term.

The start of Never Learn Not To Love is a cymbal crash, slowed down, played in reverse, if I recall correctly.

thats sexy. the fact that it was slowed down is what tricked my ear to think it was a synth...when I reverse a crash I just keep it at the same speed which gives me a quick white noise, never thought about slowing it down...

but theres something to it...just gives it a haunting feel to the sound...theres nothing else layered into it?

To be more exact:  The sound is of a cymbal crash or a crash cymbal being beaten into full excitation with a cotton mallet and left to decay. It was recorded using Dolby A-type (professional version) and unresolved.  That gave the slowed down decay of the crash extra emphasis to the high harmonics so it did not sound dull. I also road gain or turned up the volume of the microphone as the sound decayed to stretch it out.  Also there was a normal speed crash or decay of a highly excited cymbal added on top of the slowed-down version to give more high harmonic identification to the sound as the song enters. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 07:34:55 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 07:36:03 AM
Also there was a normal speed crash or decay of a highly excited cymbal added on top of the slowed-down version to give more high harmonic identification to the sound as the song enters. ~swd

I think thats it! Now, if I may ask what is 'Dolby A-type' is it the actual reel-to-reel machine or is it the type of tape you were using? and what does it mean that it was recorded unresolved? (sorry if this is a dumb question, never seen that terminology)

So you turned up the gain as the crash was decaying live? This is the same effect the beatles did for the last note they played on the piano in the song 'A Day in the Life'...cool little coincidence :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Sir Rob on February 08, 2006, 07:45:59 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd

Charles is right - I did mean choking on one's cornflakes with astonishment but in connection with what you were saying about Smile rather than any reference to Dennis.   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 07:51:56 AM


I think thats it! Now, if I may ask what is 'Dolby A-type' is it the actual reel-to-reel machine or is it the type of tape you were using? and what does it mean that it was recorded unresolved? (sorry if this is a dumb question, never seen that terminology)

Here is a photo of the Professional Dolby A-type used in studios of that time.

(http://www.dolby.com/images/about/who_we_are/i1_31b_A301.jpg)

Two were needed for stereo.  It is a noise reduction device that upon recording compresses high frequencies and stresses them as they are recorded.  In playback of the Dolby encoding, the decoding reverses the stress of highs and re-instates the dynamics of the top end.  If you don't resolve the encoding it sounds more top-end and elongated due to the applied compression.  Sometimes you use these studio devices in ways than they were otherwise designed to be used to get a sound. 

That was 1966 or so.  Today Dolby type B is used in cassette recording and is on a chip.  (http://www.dolby.com/images/about/who_we_are/i1_31b_btypeIC.jpg) Back then it was the size of two large boxes. In professional use, Dolby A-type has been replace by Dolby SR. 
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 07:53:31 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd

Charles is right - I did mean choking on one's cornflakes with astonishment but in connection with what you were saying about Smile rather than any reference to Dennis.   
OK.   Well, I hope we have all the SMiLE and Smile confusion resolved now.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Sir Rob on February 08, 2006, 08:01:17 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd

Charles is right - I did mean choking on one's cornflakes with astonishment but in connection with what you were saying about Smile rather than any reference to Dennis.   
OK.   Well, I hope we have all the SMiLE and Smile confusion resolved now.  ~swd

Well, I might be missing something here (as I have not been following the thread right through but glancing back after observing the unfolding controversy) but you said: "The earliest reference to a "smile" album name I can find is 1979 in a quote from Mike Love. "  But that Smile album sleeve is from, you say, 1967 (others say 1966).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 08:03:44 AM
Stephen,

So basically anything you recorded that was from the mid-high range you would run through the Dolby-A? As an insert? (Microphone -> Pre-Amp - Dolby-A -> Tape) or would you record everything and then send it to the Dolby-A machine and back? Is the encoding recorded on tape? Ive always seen the DOLBY brand on different equipment but I never really understood what it did (except provide 'hi-fi stereo' :x)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 08:36:23 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd

Charles is right - I did mean choking on one's cornflakes with astonishment but in connection with what you were saying about Smile rather than any reference to Dennis.   
OK.   Well, I hope we have all the SMiLE and Smile confusion resolved now.  ~swd

Well, I might be missing something here (as I have not been following the thread right through but glancing back after observing the unfolding controversy) but you said: "The earliest reference to a "smile" album name I can find is 1979 in a quote from Mike Love. "  But that Smile album sleeve is from, you say, 1967 (others say 1966).
The reference to Mike Love was to show how little Smile was talked about in the press.  It was a dead album by then.  Suggest you go back and read the entire thread if you want to understand how it unfolded.  I think the confusion is cleared up now -- I hope.  I have said nothing new, just in a different way. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Sir Rob on February 08, 2006, 08:47:10 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd

Charles is right - I did mean choking on one's cornflakes with astonishment but in connection with what you were saying about Smile rather than any reference to Dennis.   
OK.   Well, I hope we have all the SMiLE and Smile confusion resolved now.  ~swd

Well, I might be missing something here (as I have not been following the thread right through but glancing back after observing the unfolding controversy) but you said: "The earliest reference to a "smile" album name I can find is 1979 in a quote from Mike Love. "  But that Smile album sleeve is from, you say, 1967 (others say 1966).
The reference to Mike Love was to show how little Smile was talked about in the press.  It was a dead album by then.  Suggest you go back and read the entire thread if you want to understand how it unfolded.  I think the confusion is cleared up now -- I hope.  I have said nothing new, just in a different way. ~swd

OK - I take your meaning there.  Thanks for clarifying.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 08:58:09 AM
Stephen,

So basically anything you recorded that was from the mid-high range you would run through the Dolby-A? As an insert? (Microphone -> Pre-Amp - Dolby-A -> Tape) or would you record everything and then send it to the Dolby-A machine and back? Is the encoding recorded on tape? Ive always seen the DOLBY brand on different equipment but I never really understood what it did (except provide 'hi-fi stereo' :x)


F.Y.I.
How Dolby Noise Reduction Works (http://www.answers.com/topic/dolby-noise-reduction-system?method=22)

~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 09:30:36 AM
I think cornflakes in this case refers to the breakfast cereal.  As in, reading something astonishing while eating and choking on the food you are eating because you are, well, astonished.
Oh, I see.  There are many stories about Dennis I will take to my grave that would cause you to upheave your cornflakes in astonishment. So his antics at Capitol were just the tip of the iceburg.   ~swd

Charles is right - I did mean choking on one's cornflakes with astonishment but in connection with what you were saying about Smile rather than any reference to Dennis.   
OK.   Well, I hope we have all the SMiLE and Smile confusion resolved now.  ~swd

Well, I might be missing something here (as I have not been following the thread right through but glancing back after observing the unfolding controversy) but you said: "The earliest reference to a "smile" album name I can find is 1979 in a quote from Mike Love. "  But that Smile album sleeve is from, you say, 1967 (others say 1966).
The reference to Mike Love was to show how little Smile was talked about in the press.  It was a dead album by then.  Suggest you go back and read the entire thread if you want to understand how it unfolded.  I think the confusion is cleared up now -- I hope.  I have said nothing new, just in a different way. ~swd

OK - I take your meaning there.  Thanks for clarifying.

Melody Maker  March 1972 - Carl talked in some detail about what was going to be on the Smile album that was set to be released that fall


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 08, 2006, 12:04:11 PM

Melody Maker  March 1972 - Carl talked in some detail about what was going to be on the Smile album that was set to be released that fall


Is there any way of seeing that article? Is it available online, by any chance? I'd love to read it!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 12:20:51 PM
NME w/e 27 May 1967: Bruce, interviewed in the dressing room - "I've got some tapes at home of the new tracks to be on the Smile LP"

Disc & Music Echo (I think) w/e 18 February: Brian "I want to keep as much of Smile a surprise as possible".

The Carl thing in 1972 is on p,128 of Look ! Listen ! Vibrate ! Smile!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 12:48:09 PM
COMMENT TO ALL --

I did not say there were NO press mentions of a Smile project, I said they were far and few between.  You can dig them up but the point is you must dig to find them.  The Smile name is not in every interview of those times.  I doubt you will find anything before '66.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 12:56:57 PM
COMMENT TO ALL --

I did not say there were NO press mentions of a Smile project, I said they were far and few between.  You can dig them up but the point is you must dig to find them.  The Smile name is not in every interview of those times.  I doubt you will find anything before '66.
  ~swd

I agree with you entirely on that - because Smile was a 1966 project.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 12:59:20 PM

"So what I'm saying is that these sessions were not referred to as Smile sessions by those involved with them at that time.  The reference to Smile came later.
   

And with this I'm done on the subject.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 08, 2006, 01:34:55 PM

The Carl thing in 1972 is on p,128 of Look ! Listen ! Vibrate ! Smile!


Excellent!  I have that book!

Thanks, Andrew!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 01:56:51 PM

"So what I'm saying is that these sessions were not referred to as Smile sessions by those involved with them at that time.  The reference to Smile came later.
   

And with this I'm done on the subject.
Me too -- I hope we can move on.  I've visited your website bellagio 10452 (http://www.btinternet.com/~bellagio/) and found many interesting things. Some useful items cannot be found elsewhere.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 01:58:06 PM
Stephen,

Did you engineer any of Bruce's tracks and if so can you answer my question about The nearest Faraway place...it got lost a couple of pages ago with the whole 'smile' fiasco ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 08, 2006, 03:13:49 PM

"So what I'm saying is that these sessions were not referred to as Smile sessions by those involved with them at that time.  The reference to Smile came later.
   

And with this I'm done on the subject.
Me too -- I hope we can move on.  I've visited your website bellagio 10452 (http://www.btinternet.com/~bellagio/) and found many interesting things. Some useful items cannot be found elsewhere.   ~swd

Kind words are always appreciated, just as additions and corrections are always welcomed - especially from someone who was there. The whole Spring period is still a very gray area.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 04:12:41 PM
Stephen,
Also, I know its been a while, but how many instruments do you think were used for Bruce's 'The Nearest Faraway Place'? To me (not including the guitar playing) it sounds like it was done all with just one keyboard synth...
I thought you were joking with this question.  First, sampling forty years ago?  NOT!  Second, suggest you listen real hard.  Amid others you should hear a Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, Bass Guitar, Tuned Timbale, Timbale return, Violin section, Viola section, Cellos, Harp, Vibs, and a Celista. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 08, 2006, 04:13:21 PM
The whole Spring period is still a very gray area.

Hint hint...!
;-)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 04:24:15 PM
Comment to aeijtzsche --

Still looking for a snare drum? 

Check out this DW snare  >>> http://www.dwdrums.com/may/acousticeq.htm

A drum made for the microphone.  Look at the videos.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on February 08, 2006, 04:29:32 PM
Mr. Desper, what recollections do you have on the track Student Demonstration Time, if any?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 08, 2006, 04:38:53 PM
Read the book, man.

Steve, very interesting Snare drum.  Looks neat.  I am still in the market for a good one, (and a tape machine, a good compressor, a good monitoring system [which I may ask you about at some point], a boeing 747...you know, you always want more stuff.)  but I changed heads on my current one to the Remo "rennaisance" model, and it's made a pretty good difference, night and day really.  But I need a wood snare.  And a million dollars, and a Benz...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 05:12:00 PM
Stephen,
Also, I know its been a while, but how many instruments do you think were used for Bruce's 'The Nearest Faraway Place'? To me (not including the guitar playing) it sounds like it was done all with just one keyboard synth...
I thought you were joking with this question.  First, sampling forty years ago?  NOT!  Second, suggest you listen real hard.  Amid others you should hear a Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, Bass Guitar, Tuned Timbale, Timbale return, Violin section, Viola section, Cellos, Harp, Vibs, and a Celista. ~swd

seriously, I hear all these instruments, but I swear it sounds like he did it all in one sitting on one of those neat all-in-one keyboards...obviously the technology back then isn't as good as it is now..but you catch my drift.

good stuff


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 05:19:30 PM
Read the book, man.

Steve, very interesting Snare drum.  Looks neat.  I am still in the market for a good one, (and a tape machine, a good compressor, a good monitoring system [which I may ask you about at some point], a boeing 747...you know, you always want more stuff.)  but I changed heads on my current one to the Remo "rennaisance" model, and it's made a pretty good difference, night and day really.  But I need a wood snare.  And a million dollars, and a Benz...

What A Deal !!!   >>> http://www.aircraftbargains.com/ad/ad350.asp  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 05:25:40 PM
Stephen,
Also, I know its been a while, but how many instruments do you think were used for Bruce's 'The Nearest Faraway Place'? To me (not including the guitar playing) it sounds like it was done all with just one keyboard synth...
I thought you were joking with this question.  First, sampling forty years ago?  NOT!  Second, suggest you listen real hard.  Amid others you should hear a Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, Bass Guitar, Tuned Timbale, Timbale return, Violin section, Viola section, Cellos, Harp, Vibs, and a Celista. ~swd

seriously, I hear all these instruments, but I swear it sounds like he did it all in one sitting on one of those neat all-in-one keyboards...obviously the technology back then isn't as good as it is now..but you catch my drift.

good stuff
No, the technology back then was just as good as now, except that now who wants to afford an orchesta for a pop album when the samples are in the software?  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 08, 2006, 05:36:51 PM
No, the technology back then was just as good as now, except that now who wants to afford an orchesta for a pop album when the samples are in the software?  ~swd

I would...give me the real and the organic every single time!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on February 08, 2006, 05:39:03 PM
No, the technology back then was just as good as now, except that now who wants to afford an orchesta for a pop album when the samples are in the software?  ~swd

I would...give me the real and the organic every single time!

I agree ! Real instruments are the best imho


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on February 08, 2006, 06:08:49 PM
There's something to be said for a group of musicians playing together, rather than one man at his keyboard being each person individually.

Not even talking sound, talking about feel.

Something I lose in every recording, being one person.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on February 08, 2006, 06:32:20 PM
I agree.. one time I recorded a track which I had intended to be this massive production; by the time I added two guitars, bass, ocarina, maracas, and backwards breathing wind effects, it sounded so cold and empty (not ideal for a love song).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on February 08, 2006, 06:36:37 PM
I agree.. one time I recorded a track which I had intended to be this massive production; by the time I added two guitars, bass, ocarina, maracas, and backwards breathing wind effects, it sounded so cold and empty (not ideal for a love song).

I know that feeling all too much. I plan out my productions with such grand ideas, which would actually be quite nice if I had the lead of an orchestra of people. But, through the excessive overdubbing to attain the results, all feeling just flies out the window.

I'm thinking about just recording as myself and the one instrument I choose for the song.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 07:33:09 PM
Stephen,
Also, I know its been a while, but how many instruments do you think were used for Bruce's 'The Nearest Faraway Place'? To me (not including the guitar playing) it sounds like it was done all with just one keyboard synth...
I thought you were joking with this question.  First, sampling forty years ago?  NOT!  Second, suggest you listen real hard.  Amid others you should hear a Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, Bass Guitar, Tuned Timbale, Timbale return, Violin section, Viola section, Cellos, Harp, Vibs, and a Celista. ~swd

seriously, I hear all these instruments, but I swear it sounds like he did it all in one sitting on one of those neat all-in-one keyboards...obviously the technology back then isn't as good as it is now..but you catch my drift.

good stuff
No, the technology back then was just as good as now, except that now who wants to afford an orchesta for a pop album when the samples are in the software?  ~swd

I dont know...synth technology has gone a long way with pads/strings/other instruments...but I agree with you guys...Ill take the real deal over anything else any day...

Its just that one darn song that sounds weird to me...reminds me of Bruce's 'Endless Harmony' tune...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 08, 2006, 08:36:33 PM
It would be nice if we could just pop in next door and record a song or two in the hall:

(http://www.joseph-marx.org/images/Wuppertal--April-2003.jpg)

But that's a pie-in-the-sky wish . . .

So here you go . . .

PUNK ROCK ORCHESTRA RECORDING SESSION AT SKYWALKER RANCH (http://digfotos.com/gallery/album35)

Take a look at these players (78 photos). Not your average orchestra look.

Then here are some session photos from real instrumentation.

TSUNAMI ORCHESTRA (http://www.nco-gb.org.uk/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Tsunami)

~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 08, 2006, 08:42:30 PM
hahaha, good stuff, stephen, good stuff...



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bean Bag on February 09, 2006, 06:32:58 PM
Yeah, you know...some of my most favorite recordings (that I've done) are the ones that have no fake reverb.  I'm always recording in a dinky carpeted room, etc...so everything's dry and in your face...but hey...that's what I was given.  It's hard to resist the tech...but if and when I do, it's just so much more character in every bite!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 09, 2006, 06:58:46 PM
Yeah, you know...some of my most favorite recordings (that I've done) are the ones that have no fake reverb.  I'm always recording in a dinky carpeted room, etc...so everything's dry and in your face...but hey...that's what I was given.  It's hard to resist the tech...but if and when I do, it's just so much more character in every bite!!
"recording in a dinky carpeted room"  Why not try a room mic -- a stereo room mic?  OR  take your finished mix and play it back in your "dinky carpeded room" using a couple of mics to pickup the room sound and mix it in with the "dry and in your face" sound.  OR make a deal with whomever you live with to use a larger room for a "one-time" playback in that room to get a larger room sound.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: absinthe_boy on February 10, 2006, 03:52:27 AM
Some of the chicks in that orchestra are HOT!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike8902 on February 10, 2006, 11:36:43 AM
What the hell is wrong with you losers? I'm not a hacker and I'm not posing as steve desper. Check the fucking IP addresses if you want. You nerds have no lives at all. I wasn't stirring up trouble I was just expressing my hatred of smiley smile. You people can't listen to  the other side of the argument so you just acuse.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 10, 2006, 11:52:37 AM
BYE!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on February 10, 2006, 04:05:07 PM
Steve the Despmeiser general,
Simulating natural stereo. How?
Say I've got a mono source - a lead guitar line. Normally I would put the dry guitar line panned over to one channel and put a reverbed version of it in the other. It's gives a kinda unusual effect, not natural at all really. You've mentioned processing mono sources into stereo before using comb filtering, echo and such like. Can you give me detailed, practical way to make a mono source into a "natural" sounding stereo THING?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 10, 2006, 08:14:34 PM
Mr. Desper:

Quick question: Did you do the engineering on the song "San Miguel"?

I have it courtesy of the "Good Vibrations" box set, and it's a great song.



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 10, 2006, 09:57:58 PM
OFF TOPIC, BUT FUN CONCEPT:

>>> with sound >>> http://www.industrial-technology-and-witchcraft.de/movs/roundabout.mov


Thanks to David Kelley


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 10, 2006, 10:37:04 PM
Steve the Despmeiser general,
Simulating natural stereo. How?
Say I've got a mono source - a lead guitar line. Normally I would put the dry guitar line panned over to one channel and put a reverbed version of it in the other. It's gives a kinda unusual effect, not natural at all really. You've mentioned processing mono sources into stereo before using comb filtering, echo and such like. Can you give me detailed, practical way to make a mono source into a "natural" sounding stereo THING?


(1)  Since its a lead guitar line, and I assume you want a BIG sound -- wall to wall -- the first thing that comes to mind is to take a mono feed of the recorded guitar track and feed it back into your recording room, be that a studio or a bedroom.  Take the mono signal and feed it back into a speaker/amp in the room.  Split the same signal and feed that second signal into a short delay line of 10 milliseconds or so, and then into a second amp/speaker in the same room.  Seperate the two amp/speakers several feet.  Next setup two or three microphones in the room -- not right at the amp/speakers, but out in the room six to ten feet from the two amp/speakers.  Try different positions and arrangments of the mics and speakers.  Record the two microphones onto two tracks which you pan hard left and right.  Next blend this "room sound" back with the original "direct" guitar track panned center until you get the blend you like. It's called "re-amping" and it works.

(2)  If you are using computer generated reveb, suggest you use a setting of stereo reverb for "small room" or "living room" and NOT do the left-direct / right-echo thing.  Rather, just use a tight reverb in stereo, blended with the direct guitar sound.   

(3)  Of course you can use a comb filter, but if you don't have one, try ----- take the mono guitar signal and split it.  Feed each side into a 1/2 or 1/3 octave graphic equalizer. Set the band selectors so that all even's of one EQ and all the odd's of the other EQ are fully up and down -- so as to resemble a comb in which the sliders of the EQ's are in alternate boost and cut.  Then take one EQ to the left and one to the right.  That will spread the sound out.  You can add "small room" reverb to that also.

All the above are mono compatible.  Hope that helps.
   ~swd 

 

 

 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 10, 2006, 10:38:12 PM
Mr. Desper:

Quick question: Did you do the engineering on the song "San Miguel"?

I have it courtesy of the "Good Vibrations" box set, and it's a great song.


Yes. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 11, 2006, 01:48:57 PM
Mr. Desper:

Quick question: Did you do the engineering on the song "San Miguel"?

I have it courtesy of the "Good Vibrations" box set, and it's a great song.


Yes. ~swd


Thanks for the response, Mr. D!

One more related question: since "San Miguel" wasn't commercially released until WAY after it was recorded, do you know if it ever made it to proper final mix stage? 

The reason I ask is because the sound quality is so different from the Sunflower tracks that are included in the box set.  The Sunflower tracks sound so full, lush, and dynamic, just as they do on the Sunflower/Surf's Up 2-fer CD, but "San Miguel" sounds a little murky and limited, almost like it wasn't fully mastered, or perhaps REmastered for the CD format.

Am I off-base on this?

I'd love to make my own version of "Sunflower" on CD, dropping "Tears in the Morning" and replacing it with "San Miguel," but the difference in sound quality is so vast that it's jarring.

Thanks again for your generous time!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 11, 2006, 07:46:12 PM
[
The reason I ask is because the sound quality is so different from the Sunflower tracks that are included in the box set.  The Sunflower tracks sound so full, lush, and dynamic, just as they do on the Sunflower/Surf's Up 2-fer CD, but "San Miguel" sounds a little murky and limited, almost like it wasn't fully mastered, or perhaps REmastered for the CD format.
I did several mixes with Al, Mike, and Carl and some others in general.  All were considered the "final mix" at the time, then someone would want to do another mix. Then that mix was considered the final mix and on to the shelf it would go.  So I don't know what mix was used on the box set.  It could be that Linett mixed it again.  I just don't know.  As to the difference in sound, it was a very early recording compared to Sunflower. Recorded around town in different studios at various times. I don't think much attention was paid to the stereo-ness of it when it was recorded -- at least to the extent we were giving spatial quality by the time Sunflower rolled around. I don't remember mastering the song.  I remember cutting many acetates of, so-called, final mixes, but not a real mastering session where the matrix lacquer would be shipped to a pressing plant and final pressing samples would be evaluated. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on February 12, 2006, 02:15:15 AM
Hi Steve,
It'd be great if you could give us an analysis of some of the unreleased tracks recorded in that period.
My first request would be "Wouldn't it be nice to live again" by Dennis. It is legendary amonst us fans, as it has never been bootlegged. I've heard a cover version of it, and can only imagine the recorded version being overwhemingly lush and emotional.
Any details would greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 12, 2006, 04:20:41 PM
COMMENT -- I posted some photos at another thread. ~swd

>>>  http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=713.105


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on February 13, 2006, 08:41:55 AM
Hi Steve,
   Just wondering if you ever got to watch the "Day In the Life..." video that I posted in Reply #292 back on Pg. 20?
Brian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 13, 2006, 09:20:48 AM
Hi Steve,
   Just wondering if you ever got to watch the "Day In the Life..." video that I posted in Reply #292 back on Pg. 20?
Brian
Yes I did listen to 'Tree at >>> http://www.martylog.com/films/tree.mpg

Looks like he put a lot of time into it.  Too bad the sound is off balance.  It's not my concept of the song, but at least he took the trouble of making a video on the theme of 'Tree, which is more that anyone has done before.  So on that note alone he gets high marks. Trouble is, I get more imagery from just listening to the song than from watching and listening.  In other words, the animation limits my imagination rather than stimulating it. Thanks for the "heads-up."
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on February 13, 2006, 09:56:38 AM
Isn't that always the case!
When ever you read a book the visual in your mind is always better than when you see it as a movie.
Brian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on February 14, 2006, 12:12:17 PM
Hi Stephen,

Can you tell me what songs Mike played the Moog ribbon controller on onstage, how long he used this instrument, and where it might be right now?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 14, 2006, 06:08:35 PM
Hi Stephen,

Can you tell me what songs Mike played the Moog ribbon controller on onstage, how long he used this instrument, and where it might be right now?
Read back, this was answered before -- with pictures too. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on February 14, 2006, 06:26:37 PM
Hi Stephen,

Can you tell me what songs Mike played the Moog ribbon controller on onstage, how long he used this instrument, and where it might be right now?
Read back, this was answered before -- with pictures too. ~swd
Thanks, but - I think I found the thread you're referring to, and none of my questions are answered in it


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 14, 2006, 06:42:50 PM
I think it was on the old board, so it should be archived now or soon on Chuck's main site.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 14, 2006, 06:47:13 PM
Either way, it was only used for GV to my knowledge, probably through the early 70s, but that's just a guess. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 14, 2006, 06:50:10 PM
Nope.  It was also used for Student Demonstration Time live, and I just got some great video (thanks, Chance!) of the band in 1972, the GV in London set, that has Mike with the ribbon controller on camera doing the Tannerin line in Wild Honey (the version that KILLS with Blondie on leads).  Mike also used it for Wild Honey in 1967 concerts, and I would not be surprised to see it trotted out along the way on other tracks.

This isn't even counting Dennis using the Moog with a keyboard controller either.

The Moog setup is very obvious in the Whiskey 1970 photos.  No way that they go to so much trouble setting that up and only use it on one song...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 14, 2006, 06:56:08 PM
I figured if I spewed some completely wrong information somebody would be more likely to correct me than someone taking initiative themselves.   ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 14, 2006, 06:58:09 PM
Well, if you check your timestamps, you will see how close they are.  I had written one reply then it said that there was a response while I was typing -- so I edited it to respond to you.  In other words, I WAS going to reply anyway...

 :P

 ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on February 14, 2006, 07:00:37 PM
I've read that it was used on California Girls, too.  Also, I was under the impression it could be used independent of the synthesizer setup


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 14, 2006, 07:04:05 PM
Trying to think of songs I know that use the Moog in keyboard form live...

Funky Pretty DEFINITELY did.  Plainly obvious.  I think that Don't Go Near the Water did as well.  Maybe Feel Flows but the version I have makes it hard to tell.  Also, I don't know whether at any given time Dennis or Daryl or someone else is playing it when I hear it (trying to sort out live keyboards in the early 70's can be a pain, since Carl too occasionally played electric piano, and Bruce wasn't the only organist, though I liked his organ playing best).


Another interesting thing to note from that video I saw.  It has a (poorly aged) full unedited version of GV in Central Park from 1971, and it shows just how badly edited the American Band footage was.  Carl said "do you want to hear an oldie?" before "I Get Around", and Bruce is on bass for Okie From Muskogee.  But there is a version of It's About Time that just soars.  Someone has GOT to release these two shows on DVD before the videotape decays to no repair.

Mr. Desper, were you mixing at either of these shows?  One was Central Park 1971 for ABC, and one was London in 1972 for the BBC.  The latter had Ricky and Blondie and guest Elton John.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 14, 2006, 07:05:16 PM
I've read that it was used on California Girls, too.  Also, I was under the impression it could be used independent of the synthesizer setup

Well, SOMETHING has to control it to produce the sounds -- either the ribbon, or a keyboard, or something; otherwise you get random noise.  All synths have some type of controller, and the controller has no purpose outside of the synth.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on February 14, 2006, 07:08:36 PM
What I meant to say was, I didn't think the modular system was the sound source for the ribbon controller[/color]


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 14, 2006, 07:12:12 PM
One more ribbon controller note -- check out the In Concert album, either vinyl or 2000 CD (the Caribou only had the pix on the longbox).  Mike is clearly pictured on the back of the album playing the ribbon controller.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 14, 2006, 08:27:36 PM

Mr. Desper, were you mixing at either of these shows?  One was Central Park 1971 for ABC, and one was London in 1972 for the BBC.  The latter had Ricky and Blondie and guest Elton John.
Yes and No.  The house mix is usually not the video or film mix.  The way it works is that the vocal and a few featured instrument microphones go into a spittter box.  This box is full of high-quality microphone transformers that split out several feeds for each microphone. The feeds are all electrically isolated (via the transformer) from each other to prevent grounding problems between one system and the other and thus generate hum.  The mixer for the film will take these feeds plus the overall house feed.  The reason for seperate mixes is that the audience is seeing the entire group all the time and needs a good balance of the entire act on stage.  However, the film viewer will not be seeing the group most of the time. There will be closeups of people and instruments.  If there's a closeup of Carl, the sound for the film will need to be higher -- disproportionalately higher -- than the general mix to compensate for the full shot of Carl singing.  Maybe it's a two-shot to Bruce and Al around one mic.  Then that will need to come up in the mix to compliment the picture, even if it's a background part and makes no sense musically.  Or a closeup of a keyboard will require that keyboard sound to come up in the mix.  A drum shot will need boosting as the drummer hits a snare or something. So as house mixer, I have no idea what the film director is doing.  His sound person is either looking at a monitor while he mixes or is taking it all down on a multi-track to be mixed later in a studio.  There may even be some sweetening of the sound after-the-fact.  The last show I re-mixed in this way was with Beach Boy Family and Friends at Sony Pictures in 5.1 Surround.  I did mix for the house, but ran a 40-track recorder capturing every microphone signal without processing. Later after the eight camera footages were assembled, the 40 tracks of sound were mixed TO PICTURE.  As things came up on screen the sound would be elevated to match what the viewer was seeing to what they were hearing.  I remember one shot that was a traveling shot from one end of the stage to the other over a period of 30 seconds.  As the camera moved past each member of the band, I had to boost that instrument.  Thank goodness for automated sliders!  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 15, 2006, 06:31:43 AM
What ever happened to this video?  We've got a live CD of Al Jardine's Family & Friends from Vegas, but we certainly don't have any video of a full concert.  It's a shame this hasn't been released.  Where exactly was it filmed?  Were all three women on stage for this show -- Carnie, Wendy, and Owen Eliot?


Love and merci,  Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 15, 2006, 07:54:12 AM
I found this:

Updated 10/4/2001
THIS IS AN OFFICIAL OFFER TO OBTAIN A NUMBERED COPY OF THE ALAN JARDINE,FAMILY & FRIENDS SHRINE AUDITORIUM CONCERT OF 1998 , from Stephen Desper.

http://members.tripod.com/~Records2/OctNovDec2001.html


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 15, 2006, 12:18:54 PM
Charles, how in the world did you dig that up?!   :D   (You must have been one of the 40 people to get one, otherwise I don't see how you could have remembered that offer!)

It's a shame the offer wasn't for a full concert, that would be a super nice video to have.


Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 15, 2006, 07:15:19 PM
Charles, how in the world did you dig that up?!   :D   (You must have been one of the 40 people to get one, otherwise I don't see how you could have remembered that offer!)

It's a shame the offer wasn't for a full concert, that would be a super nice video to have.


Love and merci,   Dan Lega

I don't know about the Vegas CD lineup but I can tell you about the former show.

After the 9-11 attack happened, I asked Alan if I could release two songs from the 45 minuite set his group Beach Boys Family and Friends performed at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles for a hospital benefit.  That show featured several artists, a 100 piece symphony orchestra and Alan's group.  It was filmed using 8 cameras and recorded on 40 tracks.  This was edited to a full DVD version of segments from the complete concert.  Alan owns the rights to his performance, but the association that presented the event only paid for two songs to be edited from 8 cameras down to a program and mixed at Sony Pictures in 5.1 Surround and Dolby ProLogic.  Those two songs were included in the DVD (now out of print) and on the Cassette I offered. The DVD was mostly sold in China. I obtained permission from the sponsor to release Alan's performance on a video cassette, the purpose of which was to raise money for the Red Cross 9-11 fund.  We raised around $2,000 by selling a limited number of signed and numbered copies of this part of the concert. It was mostly offered on Susan's old website of Cabinessence.com. The show was a first-class performance with two of Brian's daughters, Carnie and Wendy, plus Owen Elliot, and two of Alan's son's Adam and Matt.  Ed Carter on guitar, Billy Hinsche at the keys, and other members of the old Beach Boy band. With six people on the front line doing the vocals and a big band behind them the sound and performance were excellent. Maybe someday I'll release a general copy of the show, but for now those who bought and contributed to the cause have collector copies. Alan has the rights to his entire performance, but the costs of editing and assembling a mix can be enourmous. So any further chances of seeing any of that show are really up to Al Jardine.
  ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 15, 2006, 07:48:44 PM
Charles, how in the world did you dig that up?!   :D   (You must have been one of the 40 people to get one, otherwise I don't see how you could have remembered that offer!)

Google, Dan.  Dan, Google.  :)

I wish I had this DVD.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 15, 2006, 07:50:04 PM
So any further chances of seeing any of that show are really up to Al Jardine. [/b]  ~swd   

Is it time to start another petition?  :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 16, 2006, 02:43:49 AM
I dunno.  I"m not sure that Alan strikes me as the petition-responding type...
;-)

I remember when these VHSs were offered, and i remember being too broke to get one...like the Two-Lane Blacktop DVD, i should have put the rent off and gotten one!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 16, 2006, 04:57:29 AM
I've got one...it definitely features "God Only Knows".  Can't remember "Rhonda" specifically, but that doesn't mean it isn't there...I'm sure it is, if it says so.  Curiously, I remember seeing somewhere that "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was included, but I really don't think it was.

Guess I'll have to fight my laziness and actually check it out (something I haven't done since I got it). 

Related note...anyone else see BBFF on "Regis & Kathy Lee" that fall of '98?  I believe that was their only appearance with The Captain (I do not see him at all on the Steve Desper/Shrine Bowl
video).   I think they did "I Can Hear Music", "Darlin'", and "Fun Fun Fun".   Good performances. 

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 16, 2006, 06:54:33 AM
I've got one...it definitely features "God Only Knows".  Can't remember "Rhonda" specifically, but that doesn't mean it isn't there...I'm sure it is, if it says so.  Curiously, I remember seeing somewhere that "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was included, but I really don't think it was.

Guess I'll have to fight my laziness and actually check it out (something I haven't done since I got it). 

Related note...anyone else see BBFF on "Regis & Kathy Lee" that fall of '98?  I believe that was their only appearance with The Captain (I do not see him at all on the Steve Desper/Shrine Bowl
video).   I think they did "I Can Hear Music", "Darlin'", and "Fun Fun Fun".   Good performances. 

C-Man
In the beginning Daryl Dragon was in the band and musical director.  He did all the arrangements. He rehearsed the band at Rumbo and Al rehearsed the singers at another studio, I can't remember which one -- one in Hollywood.  They rehearsed for two weeks before moving on to full rehearsals at one of those band practice studios that have big stages and sound systems for rehearsing.  Stage and blocking rehearsals lasted another week. But The Captain became increasingly disenchanted toward the end of rehearsal with all the fooling around and light hearted joking that goes on when you put so many personalities together. He has a rather serious, down-to-business nature. Then too he and the tour manager did not see eye to eye on much of anything (me too for that matter) and being that Daryl had other sources of income and projects waiting to complete, decided to leave.  Billy took over as musical director and did a masterful job for the duration. 

I don't think the master tapes and videos are in Alan's posession.  I believe they are either at Sony Pictures or, more likely in China at the sponcer's headquarters. He does not own the tapes, only the rights to what is on the tapes -- and then only the right to use what's on the tapes for his own releases. The sponser has full rights.  Somewhere I have a recording of the entire concert.  Maybe I'll make a copy on my new CD Burner.


(http://www.strangebusiness.com/images/content/113744.jpg) 

~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 17, 2006, 11:19:35 AM
Is Daryl Dragon still married to Toni Tenille?

Just curious.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 17, 2006, 11:21:47 AM
Yes, indeed.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 17, 2006, 11:34:08 AM
Wow!  Good for them!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 17, 2006, 02:36:42 PM
Is Daryl Dragon still married to Toni Tenille?

Just curious.

They are quite happy together for 31 years in 2006. Currently living in Las Vegas where they do shows and Daryl is involved in creation of commercial soundtracks.

Captain & Tennille (http://www.captainandtennille.net/)

The ever beautiful and talented Toni Tinnille (http://www.tonitennille.net/)   


~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on February 17, 2006, 03:15:10 PM
they're not in Washoe Valley anymore?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 17, 2006, 03:25:28 PM
I saw that Rumbo was sold.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 17, 2006, 03:50:44 PM
they're not in Washoe Valley anymore?
I believe they've moved to Vages frm Reno several years ago, but ask her yourself.

"Toni Tennille can be contacted through this web site at www.tonitennille.net"  -- from the webpage.
 

OR For e-mail correspondence, write to:
"Dear Captain & Tennille.."  at >>> mailto:ToniDarylFans@aol.com

~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 17, 2006, 08:53:21 PM
Stephen, I have NEVER seen any photos of the Beach Boys on tour with Toni.  You wouldn't happen to have any, would you?  And which tour was she on?  Did she sing any vocals?  Do anything in the studio?

I cringed when I read Mike Love's complaint against Al Jardine -- part of it made reference to using women on a Beach Boys-related show.  As if Toni Tenille had never been with the band...

EDIT:  A Captain and Tenille Christmas CD in 2006?  That will be something to look forward to!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 17, 2006, 09:47:44 PM
I cringed when I read Mike Love's complaint against Al Jardine -- part of it made reference to using women on a Beach Boys-related show.  As if Toni Tenille had never been with the band...

And Mike didn't seem to have a problem having women dressed in bikinis and cheerleader outfits dancing around him on stage at Beach Boys shows in the 90's. As long as the women didn't *sing* at his BB's shows, he was fine with having them on stage.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 18, 2006, 05:20:18 AM
Stephen, I have NEVER seen any photos of the Beach Boys on tour with Toni.  You wouldn't happen to have any, would you?  And which tour was she on?  Did she sing any vocals?  Do anything in the studio?


Jeff -
Toni played piano and sometimes sang backup with the Boys on the two tours they did following their return from Holland:  August-September and November-December, 1972.   She is on the recently booted Thanksgiving night show from Carnegie Hall (and also a couple of live cuts on "Endless Harmony Soundtrack").  She did NOT perform on their May-June '72 European tour, despite what someone (OK, me) once said.  There is one published photo that I am aware of:  page 150 of David Leaf's book (original 1978 edition), lower right hand corner (sharing a mic with Carl).  Plus, a certain fan sent me a few colored shots taken from the audience on those two tours, including a couple of Toni close ups (sorry, can't share them without his permission). 

Studio-wise, probably Toni's only contribution to a BBs record is singing on "Everyone's In Love With You". She did join Carl, Bruce and Billy for the backups on Elton's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", and sang with Bruce & co. on Pink Floyd's "The Wall".  Which you probably already know, but I'm including for the benefit of anyone who might not. 

C-Man   :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 18, 2006, 05:23:33 AM
I almost forgot - Captain & Tenille were on "Entertainment Tonight" recently (or was it "Access Hollywood"?), mostly talking about how happy they still are being married (GOOD for them!).  Daryl was asked where the name "Captain" came from, so he mentioned the Beach Boys connection. 

The interviewer asked Daryl about his omni-present shades, which he removed to reveal a rather swollen eyeball, the result of s degenerative disease that I think he said he'd recently had surgery for.

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 21, 2006, 09:50:55 AM
The interviewer asked Daryl about his omni-present shades, which he removed to reveal a rather swollen eyeball, the result of s degenerative disease that I think he said he'd recently had surgery for.
C-Man
Daryl has eyes that are somewhat larger than you would expect. I think they are handsome, but he has always been self-conscious about them and used dark glasses in public.  Once in a while you see him without the glasses. Maybe this is some solution.

(http://www.historyforsale.com/productimages/thumbnails/183769.jpg)

He is quite a fellow.  Very Very Smart.  He gained my respect in the studio right away.  Fantastic at the keyboard.  Can play any song in any style.  I've watched him transpose from key to key in mid-stream.  Just call out the key and he can play completely written out chord sheets in any key. 

The old MOOG's had DC controlled keyboards.  One day Bruce, Daryl and I were in the studio doing some MOOG things.  Bruce and I were challanging Daryl to play some very hard things so I wondered if he could take, what I thought would be the ultimate challenge.  I took the MOOG keyboard and inverted the keys.  That is, starting at the left were the highest notes on down to the right for the lowest notes.  Completelly reversed.  As you know the keyboard has black and white notes that are the half-note steps.  Now when you invert the keyboard, the gaps between the white and black notes, being irregular, does not translate in the flipover. In fact nothing makes any sense.  I did the keyboard flp and Bruce tried his hand -- total failure.  Then Darly tried and I knew why they call him "Capt. Keyboard."  He could play any sheet music on the first pass WITH THE KEYBOARD INVERTED !!  It was an absolutly insane accomplishment.  He said it was all mathamatics to him -- like the key changes.  But still, I've never seen anything like that demonstration since. 

His wife is equally talented.  I've recorded her and she usually does all singing on the first take.  Once in a great while you will need a second take, but not much.  She is a fabulous studio singer.  No punch-in's are required. 

They are both lovely people and a pleasure to be with.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 21, 2006, 09:56:34 AM
Steve, a few of us were discussing Daryl's bass contributions on Sunflower and Surf's Up.  He was trained as a srting bassist at one point in his life, High School or College, I don't remember.

Anyhow, do you remember how much bass Daryl did contribute?  I'm still trying to get a feel for who contributed what.

And on that subject, if you missed it, here is a cool pic thanks to Mark H:

(http://img125.imageshack.us/img125/1438/carldaryell7us.jpg)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 21, 2006, 11:42:30 AM
Anyhow, do you remember how much bass Daryl did contribute?
Daryl, Bruce, Brian, Al and Carl all play bass guitar. They're all good at it.  As to who did what, you never know.   ~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: nosticker on February 21, 2006, 11:50:50 AM
Steve, a few of us were discussing Daryl's bass contributions on Sunflower and Surf's Up.  He was trained as a srting bassist at one point in his life, High School or College, I don't remember.

Anyhow, do you remember how much bass Daryl did contribute?  I'm still trying to get a feel for who contributed what.

And on that subject, if you missed it, here is a cool pic thanks to Mark H:

(http://img125.imageshack.us/img125/1438/carldaryell7us.jpg)

aeijtzsche,
You think that Daryl's bass looks less like a Jazz and more like a Mustang?  Sorry to hijack.


Dan




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 21, 2006, 11:57:34 AM
Quote
aeijtzsche,
You think that Daryl's bass looks less like a Jazz and more like a Mustang?  Sorry to hijack.

I've been thinking about that, actually.  I don't know how big of a guy Daryl is, but he just dwarfs the neck of that bass.  If Steve or somebody who has met The Captain can confirm that he was a huge man, then it could be a P or J, but it could very well be a mustang.

Quote
Daryl, Bruce, Brian, Al and Carl all play bass guitar. They're all good at it.

I've always thought it kind of funny that the Beach Boys never really had a bassist.  They just kept using keyboardists who could play bass.  Brian, Bruce, and Daryl are all thought of as pianists, Carl and Al as guitarists...but they all left a deep bass-playing impression on me.  (I'm primarily a bassist, in case anybody's keeping track.

Quote
As to who did what, you never know.

Much to my insomnia's delight.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 22, 2006, 06:14:32 AM
Quote
I don't know how big of a guy Daryl is, but he just dwarfs the neck of that bass.  If Steve or somebody who has met The Captain can confirm that he was a huge man, then it could be a P or J, but it could very well be a mustang.

Daryl's build is of normal size -- like Carl or Bruce.  Consider that the BB bass lines are sometime a blend of bass guitar and keyboard. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 22, 2006, 12:34:47 PM
I'd bet the bass is a Mustang then.

Quote
Consider that the BB bass lines are sometime a blend of bass guitar and keyboard.

Stephen, not being a person of means, I've had to settle for this little digital "analog modeling" synthesizer.  It's really pretty functional, there are two oscillators that can be combined, both feature 6 different wave forms and have decent filtering functions.

My question is, do you have a favourite way of creating a nice bass sound with a synth?  You don't have to get into the super-technical, or answer at all for that matter...  but I really admire the tone of the Moog bass on Long Promised Road or Disney Girls, and would love to know how you went about getting those sounds.  I recall on the old board you mentioned that you spent at least a couple of hours getting the precise sound for Long Promised Road on the Moog, getting just the right overtones and solid fundamental.

On my little synth, I've found that I can get a nice deep tone with a standard sine wave, but it lacks any kind of punch.  If I add in something a little stonger, a sawtooth or square waveform, it gets too buzzy.



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 22, 2006, 12:36:53 PM
Definitely love the sound of the moog on LPR...great question dude!



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 23, 2006, 02:58:33 PM
Someone once asked me if I knew how many seperate things a human could keep track of.  I said about five was the limit. 

You may find more of an answer in Zipf's Law (http://www.cut-the-knot.org/do_you_know/zipfLaw.shtml) which you can read about by clicking on the name. 

I came upon this relavent statement concerning dolphins. Zipf's Law was the key.
~swd

Laurance Doyle is an Astronomer with the SETI Institute  (part of interview)

"What have you discovered about dolphins?
There’s a linguistic rule called Zipf’s Law which enables us to identify if something is a language based on the distribution of the frequency of occurrences of different sounds, letters, or words. In the English language, a “space” is the most frequent character, then the letter “e,” then “t,” then “a,” then all the way to the “q,” which is the least frequent character. If it’s a language -- any language -- the plot will show a 45° slope. So, we recorded dolphins and found out that the dolphin whistle vocalizations are consistent with the linguistic distribution of humans. We’re not getting at meaning yet, but the consistency of the sounds proves that dolphins communicate through language. We also found that baby dolphins verbalize in the same way as human babies. Baby babbling starts out near a horizontal line. As babies start getting language specific, they drop hundreds of sounds and start repeating certain sounds over and over again. “Mama” sounds occur more than any other sounds in English at this point. This makes their plot move from a horizontal, past the 45°, closer to a vertical line. As they become adults, their sounds plot at 45 degrees. We found that dolphins produce the same evolution of their whistle communications systems (although faster because dolphins mature at about 12 months): baby dolphins babble; adolescent dolphins then start repeating the same whistles over and over more often; and adult dolphins produce frequencies of occurrence of whistles that match Zipf’s Law. Information theory also applies: when dolphins are young, they don’t transmit whistles in a complex fashion as the adult dolphins do; they use a lot of repetition too. But the more adult they become, the more information complexity is transmitted: they have more syntactical structure and are not using just a single whistle so much. So we ask ourselves why they have developed a “language.” One probable answer is for survival. So far, we haven’t been able to measure how complex their whistle communications can get. But there are people from the Canary Islands -- on Gomera Island -- who have a well developed whistle language, over 2000 years old, used to send messages over deep valleys. So now, we can compare human whistles to dolphin whistles. We’ve also worked with ground squirrels, squirrel monkeys, and want to work with elephants soon."

Full article at >>> http://www.biblewise.com/living/guest_month.htm 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 23, 2006, 03:19:52 PM
I've always thought Dolphins are our intellectual superiors.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 23, 2006, 05:21:45 PM
I've always thought Dolphins are our intellectual superiors.
Some recearchers say they get board with us because they think faster than we do. Researchers speed up instructions given to Dolphins because their thinking speed is so much faster.  At any rate, we both like surfing music.  :) ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 23, 2006, 06:05:58 PM
So long and thanks for all the fish!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 23, 2006, 06:10:00 PM
So long and thanks for all the fish!
Mike Love likes fish. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 23, 2006, 06:16:19 PM
haha... do you have any funny "food stories" about the band? Like, Brian ordering a ton of pizza and gorging on it, or something like that? We all know Brian loves steak and birthday cake...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 23, 2006, 06:34:51 PM
haha... do you have any funny "food stories" about the band? Like, Brian ordering a ton of pizza and gorging on it, or something like that? We all know Brian loves steak and birthday cake...
One night on tour in some mid-western part of the USA that, at that time in history did not like men with long hair, it was late after the performance and we could not get service at the local cafes.  So it was arranged that we got a large box of hambugers from the local McDonald's delivered to the band and crew "trapped" in a long and narrow dinning room in the motel we were staying at.  The room was about the length of three cars and about as narrow as a parking space.  There were several tables placed end to end and this box of at least a hundred hambugers was brought in.  It was late and everyone was stoked from the show's energy.  Dennis started it!  After everyone had their fill of meat, he throw the first buger and then we had an all-out food war!!  Buns, meat patties, pickels and lettice were thrown again and again from one end of the room to the other.  The French frys were like little pellets and the meat patties were the heavy artillery.  Lots of laughing and slipping on the spilled katchup followed.  I think the morning-after bill from the hotel was several hundred dollars for cleaning fees. I know my clothes were a mess . . .    ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 23, 2006, 06:37:18 PM
Steve, there is a scene in the American Band video where Dennis is sitting in a plane (presumably flying into Europe for the 1969 tour).  He asks "Steve" to pass him a chocolate ball.  "Steve" throws it at his head.  This man is off camera unseen.  Any chance that's you...?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 23, 2006, 06:49:46 PM
Steve, there is a scene in the American Band video where Dennis is sitting in a plane (presumably flying into Europe for the 1969 tour).  He asks "Steve" to pass him a chocolate ball.  "Steve" throws it at his head.  This man is off camera unseen.  Any chance that's you...?
It could be.  Dennis and I were great friends and did stuff like that all the time.  When we were on tour and needed to rent cars to transport the many people around the area, if Dennis could rent a car for himself -- watch out !!  He would play bumper-cars with the rentals.  He would ram you in traffic, while waiting on a traffic light to change or something like that -- on the way to the concert hall.  Dennis and I were rather physical at times with each other -- that is -- not hitting or expressing madness, but rather playing around by throwing water or liquid onto each other in fun, or getting into snowball fights.  You know, grown up kid stuff.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 23, 2006, 06:51:27 PM
Good stuff!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 23, 2006, 08:45:15 PM
Very cool story about the dolphins and Zipf's Law, Steve - thank you.  On top of everything else, you always have something interesting to teach us.  Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 06:16:10 AM
Stephen.

I have an important question.

Why...for the sake of humanity...did you let the Beach Boys put 'Student Demostration Time' on Surf's Up? I mean I know they have the final say in their tracklisting, but couldnt you have 'accidentally' burned the master reel?

Thanks for your consideration in this matter
your friend
-J$


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on February 24, 2006, 07:11:06 AM
Stephen.

I have an important question.

Why...for the sake of humanity...did you let the Beach Boys put 'Student Demostration Time' on Surf's Up? I mean I know they have the final say in their tracklisting, but couldnt you have 'accidentally' burned the master reel?

Stephen - thank you for NOT burning the master reel!!  This is a GREAT rocker, the likes of which the BBs didn't show very often.  I'm VERY glad for this proof that they could rock out!

Sincerely,
Susan


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 07:30:26 AM
Whoa whoa whoa!

The Beach Boys have produced PLENTY of awesome rockin music...SDT is NOT one of them! :)

But, alas, everyone has different taste :)



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on February 24, 2006, 07:44:53 AM
Stephen.

I have an important question.

Why...for the sake of humanity...did you let the Beach Boys put 'Student Demostration Time' on Surf's Up? I mean I know they have the final say in their tracklisting, but couldnt you have 'accidentally' burned the master reel?

Stephen - thank you for NOT burning the master reel!!  This is a GREAT rocker, the likes of which the BBs didn't show very often.  I'm VERY glad for this proof that they could rock out!

Sincerely,
Susan

I agree totally !!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: TV Forces on February 24, 2006, 08:42:02 AM
Stephen - thank you for NOT burning the master reel!!  This is a GREAT rocker, the likes of which the BBs didn't show very often.  I'm VERY glad for this proof that they could rock out!

I'm with my man amosario on this one.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 24, 2006, 09:13:54 AM
Stephen.

I have an important question.

Why...for the sake of humanity...did you let the Beach Boys put 'Student Demostration Time' on Surf's Up? I mean I know they have the final say in their tracklisting, but couldnt you have 'accidentally' burned the master reel?

Thanks for your consideration in this matter
your friend
-J$

I commented on this in my book.  The world was a different place then.  Vietnam war in full gear.  You think the body count is high now?  How about several thousand a week.  Passions were running high, for and against the war, but the stakes were much higher.  Protests happened everywhere, even at Beach Boy concerts.  Carl was tagged to go into the army. Students were being killed on their collage campus' for protesting (and by American soldiers). This is serious stuff!  Although the group's sentiment was anti-war, they did not take a political stand at their concerts.  However, many in the crowd did with signs and chants, even with the ever present armed police monitors.  Michael's song is about keeping your cool when you demonstrate as a student. Listen to the words.  When the record was released this song was very appropos.  Kent State was in the news. Tensions were high.
(http://static.flickr.com/31/51310451_74074190e7_m.jpg)Michael was moved to make a verbal comment about what was happening at the moment, in this song.  And like the fashions of the day, time moves along and things change. Like bellbottom pants and long hair, the song seems, in the light of today, not to quite fit into our views of things, to be   There are no riots in the streets -- THERE IS NOT DRAFT and soldiers are not dying at a rate of hundred's per day. Beach Boy concerts are not being turned into political statements by their patrons.  Yet the song is part of that album, and always will be. At the time of release it made more sense, so take it in context. Look at old movies of the 40's and 50's. Do you discount their excellence because everyone is smoking in them?  Times change.  King Soloman (of the Bible) had many wives, yet we consider him a wise leader and ponder his words to this day. Customs change too. 
(http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/MoreImages/ParisStudentRiot.jpg)Student Demonstration Time was set in a collage campus assembly field surrounded by stately buildings. Michael took the part of a demonstration organizer giving a lecture to a crowd about "keeping cool" during riots.  You can hear the sirens in the background, and sometimes in your face, reminding us of how involved the issues were.  Michael felt that he could use his influence as a "rock personality" to temper the attitude of some of the youth toward uncivil behavor -- especially by performing the song at key times in concerts -- by delivering this message in a song. 

Rather than putting down the song or skipping over it when you play Surf's Up, try doing a little research into the period of the music.  Do a word search for Kent State and People's park. 
(http://www.dailymail.com/static/specialsections/lookingback/images/lb0402x.jpg)Maybe look at some old news reels.  Try to imagine the smell of tear gas at a rock concert or close your eyes when you listen to SDT and hear the shouting of fans going on all about you with a sense of danger that you could be caught up in a riot and beaten with a police club. Learn to appreciate the song for what it says and tries to do.  I don't thing a surf song or balled is the right medium to convay the thought that Mike had with this song.  I think if you consider the context more you will learn to actually like the song.
 ~swd        


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 24, 2006, 09:17:58 AM
Stephen, I have a question -- could you review the 1974-76 thread and make any comments you feel able to make without violating relationships?  Something to the effect of "yes, there was a split between Carl/Dennis vs Mike/Al earlier than 1977" would suffice.  I know that you probably can't say much if anything, but if tension existed I would think you would have seen it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 09:20:44 AM
Cool post, Stephen. My point has more to do with the music rather than the lyrics and message... Don't get me wrong, I think its fine and dandy that Mike wants to spread a little political love...I have nothing against it. I just cant stand that dreadful song (musically)...and so that you know, my original post was to take light hearted. I wasnt trying to be mean spirited or anything ;)

And yes, Ive listened to SDT a numerous amount of times, I just let it play now everytime I have Surf's Up on :)

take care


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 24, 2006, 09:31:30 AM
Cool post, Stephen. My point has more to do with the music rather than the lyrics and message... Don't get me wrong, I think its fine and dandy that Mike wants to spread a little political love...I have nothing against it. I just cant stand that dreadful song (musically)...and so that you know, my original post was to take light hearted. I wasnt trying to be mean spirited or anything ;)

And yes, Ive listened to SDT a numerous amount of times, I just let it play now everytime I have Surf's Up on :)

take care

  Fair enough ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 24, 2006, 10:04:18 AM
Stephen, I have a question -- could you review the 1974-76 thread and make any comments you feel able to make without violating relationships?  Something to the effect of "yes, there was a split between Carl/Dennis vs Mike/Al earlier than 1977" would suffice.  I know that you probably can't say much if anything, but if tension existed I would think you would have seen it.
Please refine your question. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 24, 2006, 10:15:54 AM
Is it true to say that a rift developed between Carl and Dennis on one side and Mike and Al on the other side over a conflicting vision of the band's direction and potential? That is to say, that Dennis and Carl wanted to continue pushing forward along the lines of the Holland/Surf's Up direction while Mike and Al were content to sell records and give people what they wanted, and pursuing an image of the band as it existed in 1964?  I won't begin to speculate on what Brian thought of all of this.  Some of us see this as a critical dynamic in the band's history, while others think that Carl and Dennis were just as happy to do music like 15 Big Ones and give up the focus of the music as it had developed in the early 70's.  If you feel comfortable commenting on the interaction of the band members in laying out the band's vision, that would be awesome.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 12:23:59 PM
Quote
I just cant stand that dreadful song (musically)

Do you have something against the classic blues chord progression?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 24, 2006, 12:29:21 PM
Stephen.

I have an important question.

Why...for the sake of humanity...did you let the Beach Boys put 'Student Demostration Time' on Surf's Up? I mean I know they have the final say in their tracklisting, but couldnt you have 'accidentally' burned the master reel?

Thanks for your consideration in this matter
your friend
-J$


You're a dick.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Fantastico! on February 24, 2006, 12:43:54 PM
Stephen.

I have an important question.

Why...for the sake of humanity...did you let the Beach Boys put 'Student Demostration Time' on Surf's Up? I mean I know they have the final say in their tracklisting, but couldnt you have 'accidentally' burned the master reel?

Thanks for your consideration in this matter
your friend
-J$



You're a dick.

yes, and a funny one at that!!!  Come on, that's FUNNY!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 02:28:58 PM
Quote
I just cant stand that dreadful song (musically)

Do you have something against the classic blues chord progression?

I liked it the first time around, it is necessary to be used again and again and again and again and again?



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 02:31:54 PM
Quote
I liked it the first time around, it is necessary to be used again and again and again and again and again?

So I take it you don't like any western music post 1870?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 02:34:33 PM
That's a cute generalization, but this isnt a LOST episode so quit digging so deep.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 04:08:20 PM
Believe it or not, I've managed to avoid seeing even a second of an episode of Lost.  It's on past my bedtime.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 24, 2006, 04:17:29 PM
Josh has a point there -- if you complain about a song because it uses the "same old blues progression", you really are complaining about much of 50's/60's pop/rock at a minimum.  I could see you squirm at some of the lamer lyrics, but the track itself words aside is a great rocker.  In my dream world, they scrap the new lyrics and just do Cell Block #9 like they did live (which was AWESOME) and make a classic album track.  But as it is it still is a lot of fun.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 04:19:45 PM
Excuse me, I made a mistake. I originally thought he asked if I have something against Cellblock #9, not a 'classic blues chord progression', unless he was infact being specific. Either way, just because I dont like one song doesnt mean I dislike a chord progression. Don't be ridiculous.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 04:33:22 PM
I'm just trying to get at what you dislike about the song, because I don't think I've ever heard somebody call it out based not on the lyrics, but on the track.  I'd like some specificity.  I've always considered the song pretty airtight from a purely musical standpoint.  At least within a Beach Boys context.  For me, it's a bit of a treat to hear Carl play in that style.  It's fun for me to hear his progression from surf licks at the age of 15 to a confident studio pro.  You can hear the thought and effort behind getting Mike's voice to sound like it's bouncing off of walls in an acoustically live outdoor space.  How many vocals had been processed to sound like that at that point?  To be honest, it's not something I'd listen to or like if I wasn't emotionally invested in the performers, but in the case of the Beach Boys, I think it's a really pretty game effort in a style that they hadn't really attempted much.  That's really what it comes down to.  I mean, sure, you're either going to like it or you're not.  Who knows why?  But calling it "dreadful", particularly directly to somebody who invested a lot of time in getting the track to sound a certain way seems a little much.

Stephen, I've never understood the violent fan reaction to this song.  I feel bad that you have to defend it.  I don't know if it's simply Mike's involvement that turns the anti-Mike people off to it immediately or what, but I for one cherish the recording.  Of course, I'm an unabashed Mike-lover, but even so when I listen to the track my mind is transported somewhere else.  Not a tense student demonstration, or Vietnam, but to a cool place in Bel Air where a bunch of cool people are recording music.  Apologies for the sappiness of all of that.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on February 24, 2006, 04:38:41 PM
The only thing that really bothers me is the VOLUME of the track. To my ears anyway, the song sounds louder than the rest of the tracks on the Sunflower/Surf's Up two-fer. After "Disney Girls" fades, it's kind of jarring. Maybe it's supposed to be that way...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 04:39:34 PM
Stephen's investment in the song is purely with sound engineering. Does the track sound great? Absolutely! Also, im not an Mike Love-Hater. I don't hate on anyone or anything, was Cell Block #9 a cool song? Sure, but does it have to be remade for a political driven song? Not in my opinion.

My original post wasn't to be taken completely serious, it was just a lil gag for fun. Also, the correlation of disliking a song based on a basic blues chord progression and not liking anything base on that progression, is ridiculous.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 24, 2006, 04:41:23 PM
It's not ridiculous based upon the way you worded your post, which said that it was the use itself of the progression that was your issue.  That's how we all are reading it at least.

That song is awesome for the chance for Carl to stretch out and PLAY.  He never got enough opportunity to do that and most people, BB fans included, don't know how good a player he was.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 04:42:50 PM
Quote
Stephen's investment in the song is purely with sound engineering. Does the track sound great? Absolutely! Also, im not an Mike Love-Hater. I don't hate on anyone or anything, was Cell Block #9 a cool song? Sure, but does it have to be remade for a political driven song? Not in my opinion.

So what is it that you have against the song?  What does the purpose of the remake matter if you're not concerned with the lyrical content?  I really am interested in your opinion here, I'm not trying to make points or criticize.

Quote
it's kind of jarring. Maybe it's supposed to be that way...

Most riots are, I guess.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 04:44:41 PM
Quote
That song is awesome for the chance for Carl to stretch out and PLAY.  He never got enough opportunity to do that and most people, BB fans included, don't know how good a player he was.

Carl was the best kind of guitarist.  The kind that never lets on exactly how good they are.  I mean, it's a nice mystery.  I have no idea if Carl could shred, but I do know that he had something in reserve that I'm not privy to.  And I like that.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 24, 2006, 04:47:35 PM
Quote
My point has more to do with the music rather than the lyrics and message... Don't get me wrong, I think its fine and dandy that Mike wants to spread a little political love...I have nothing against it. I just cant stand that dreadful song (musically)...and so that you know, my original post was to take light hearted. I wasnt trying to be mean spirited or anything Wink

Perhaps I should have been more specific and have written 'cellblock number 9'...I never said I had anything against the riff or progression.

aeijtzsche: Maybe its the combination of the lyrics and song? I dont know, I liked the idea someone mention if they were to just remake the original cellblock #9, and as I said before, Im all for Mike dropping some political-love but the combination of that, this song, the sirens, and everything that composes this song, just doesnt sound good to me.

I am allowed to dislike -A- Beach Boy song, right? 8)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 24, 2006, 04:49:02 PM
That makes sense -- if you don't like the original riot, you wouldn't like the remake either.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 24, 2006, 04:51:26 PM
Quote
I am allowed to dislike -A- Beach Boy song, right?

Only if you can verbalize why you dislike the song using extremely specific language calling from a vocabulary involving the physiological, psychological, neurological, musical, and acoustical disciplines.



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 24, 2006, 05:27:59 PM
The only thing that really bothers me is the VOLUME of the track. To my ears anyway, the song sounds louder than the rest of the tracks on the Sunflower/Surf's Up two-fer. After "Disney Girls" fades, it's kind of jarring. Maybe it's supposed to be that way...
IT's called virtural loudness or apparent volume and is covered in my book on this song. Yes it was done on purpose and for a purpose.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 25, 2006, 07:48:02 AM
Quote
That song is awesome for the chance for Carl to stretch out and PLAY.  He never got enough opportunity to do that and most people, BB fans included, don't know how good a player he was.

Carl was the best kind of guitarist.  The kind that never lets on exactly how good they are.  I mean, it's a nice mystery.  I have no idea if Carl could shred, but I do know that he had something in reserve that I'm not privy to.  And I like that.

I've heard that in the last decade or so of his life, when he was living in Colorado, Carl would often sit in with blues bands at a local club.  That's something we're not privy to!

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Cam Mott on February 25, 2006, 09:49:34 AM
I agree with Stephen, some of us appreciate it from a certain life experience.

Stephen, I wondered if you remember if it was Mike who brought the song Cell Block #9 to the table or was it someone else's [Brian, Carl, Al, Dennis, Bruce] idea to use the song [Cell Block #9] and they then asked Mike to write relevant lyrics?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 25, 2006, 10:21:26 AM
I agree with Stephen, some of us appreciate it from a certain life experience.

Stephen, I wondered if you remember if it was Mike who brought the song Cell Block #9 to the table or was it someone else's [Brian, Carl, Al, Dennis, Bruce] idea to use the song [Cell Block #9] and they then asked Mike to write relevant lyrics?

For all we know, it coulda been Jack Rieley's idea...sounds like it, although he probably would've wanted to write the lyrics himself it was.  But who knows...he might've suggested it, and Mike might've said "Ooh, I'll write 'em!".

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 25, 2006, 02:40:56 PM


For all we know, it coulda been Jack Rieley's idea...

C-Man


For all we know it could have been the Man in the Moon's idea... 

        ...but from everything I've read it was all Mike Love's idea.



By the way, I absolutely love the song. 


So take that, H.  It's not only you "Heavenly, So-much-better-than-us, MiKe Love lovers" who love the song. 


And, heck, I love the song even though I don't find much to say musically about these simple blues progressions.  Some of the more popular progressions are fun to listen to in certain instances.  But when there are hundreds, nay thousands, of songs based on the exact same few simple chord progressions (which usually come with the exact same melody) it doesn't mean every one of those thousands of  minor variations are great.  In fact, in may case, I get bored very quickly with just a few iterations of these forms.  In fact, I don't care that much for "Cell Block #9", but I do love "Student Demostration Time".  It probably has to do with the great production of the song, the lyrics, which I find clever, and perhaps the fact that I grew up in that era and I heard the song soon after it came out.


Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 25, 2006, 03:16:57 PM
I agree with Stephen, some of us appreciate it from a certain life experience.

Stephen, I wondered if you remember if it was Mike who brought the song Cell Block #9 to the table or was it someone else's [Brian, Carl, Al, Dennis, Bruce] idea to use the song [Cell Block #9] and they then asked Mike to write relevant lyrics?
I think it was Mike.  My mind plays tricks with me -- it was so long ago -- but I seem to remember an enthusiastic Mike Love in lyrical discussions with Carl while on the road about CB9. Mostly about how it would be presented as a performance song. I can't help but find visions in my head of Carl and Mike working on arrangements and pacing. That would change from time to time depending on the band members and available instrumentation and talent. The more I think about it the more I see Mike leading the way to what would happen on stage. But it was a long time ago. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 25, 2006, 03:22:15 PM

. . . and perhaps the fact that I grew up in that era and I heard the song soon after it came out.
If you were demonstrating at the time or caught in a riot it would mean that much more. The BB (and myself) have been pushed and shoved on several occations just trying to get out of a bad situation (relating to war demos).  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on February 25, 2006, 03:23:26 PM
The Beach Boys had been playing Riot in concert (at Big Sur it was preserved on tape) so that must have given Mike and/or Jack the idea to rewrite it - it was a rare vocal showcase for him during this time of everyone in the band (except Mike) writing songs and then taking the lead vocal on their songs.

Count me in the "they should have left it as Riot" group - I like the production and the music, but the lyrics are Mike at his most cringeworthy IMO.  Brian hated it - he never bought into the Jack Riely concept of the Beach Boys as a topical political group, although you have to give Jack credit - his ideas worked to bring the band back into the public eye and into the good graces of Rolling Stone.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 26, 2006, 07:07:24 AM


       Here's what Jack Rieley had to say about the "Surf's Up" album and "Student Demonstration Time" in October of 1996...

--------------------------


Meanwhile, Carl Wilson and I began to write. Long Promised Road began to
be created. Then came the seed for Feel Flows.  Til I Die became a must.
Tree was born.  Love, Jardine and Johnston began to get testy about it
all.  There was a long meeting during which they tried to force me to
march into Mo's office and sell him on Loop.  I refused and Brian
Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson backed me up.  Love, sensing that
I might be on to something by rejecting the string-o-hits crap as out of
date, suddenly came up with Student Demonstration Time, which had Carl
and I blushing with embarassment and which thoroughly disgusted Dennis.
Then Jardine demanded that his Feet song go on the album. Johnston got
Tears. When Carl and I compiled the album running order, most versions
had the Wilson songs on one side and the jive on the other.  It was
uncool, so we changed to the running order you know.


-----------------------------




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 26, 2006, 08:05:58 AM
Love, sensing that
I might be on to something by rejecting the string-o-hits crap as out of
date, suddenly came up with Student Demonstration Time, which had Carl
and I blushing with embarassment and which thoroughly disgusted Dennis.

It's great that Carl and Dennis are featured so prominently in SDT. That's team playing at its best.  ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 09:10:54 AM
Quote
Johnston got Tears.

Again?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 10:44:04 AM
Hey, Stephen, I was going through some stuff this afternoon when I happened across this track:

http://www.someoneliving.com/forgivetwotrack.mp3

Obviously, you're under no obligation to listen to it, but I'm pretty sure it was the first serious recording I did after you started giving me all sorts of tips, so if nothing else you can know your passed-on knowledge is being put to use.  I did everything on it myself, the only thing I didn't do is write the song.  It's supposed to be a conversation between a guy and a girl, which is why I inexplicably change vocal registers at times.  The higher voice is to be replaced by a female at some point.

If anybody else who hasn't heard it before listens and is interested, here is a little rundown of some of the elements of the track.

Drums recorded in my foyer, MXL 993s overhead in spaced pair, SM57 on snare, AKG D112 on kick.

Bass:  Fender Precision through 12" guitar amp played with pick, mic-ed with a single Shure 545 on-axis with the speaker, right against the grille.  I don't believe I took it DI, but if I did it was combined to a mono signal, then later that signal was split and one side was slighly detuned.  I tried doubling the line manually with my Fender Mustang, which is a great sound, but it wasn't working for this song.

The acoustic guitars and mandolins were all done with heavy CTDTing, XY formation.  I believe the intro has two 12-sting acoustics, one six string, and two mandolin parts.

The electric guitar was recorded through the Carvin 12" speaker-ed guitar amp, slightly distorted.  I had a 57 right up close and the 545 about 15 feet back and out where it could pick up some foyer sound.

The piano was recorded in stereo with two Rode NT-1As, and a Shure 546.  Some articficial reverb was added to pad out the sound.

The trumpets were treated as if two trumpeters were present, playing together into one mic, then doubling the first pass.  So I actually recorded each pass in stereo using CTDT, then combined that into mono, then repeated the process.  The mono signals were panned out left and right.

The strings were the most difficult and painstaking to do.  I set up the MXL 993 Small Diaphragm mics in a spaced formation, then set up four chairs underneath, did four stereo passes, then did four more passes in stereo to double the "quartet."  Sadly, I'm not that good at violin, so it's a little out of tune at times.

The vocals were really straightforward.  I did the "male" vocals into my Ribbin mic, the "Female" into my Rode NT-1A.  I comb-filtered the mono signal into stereo for the "verses", double-tracked and panned out the "choruses", and double-tracked the "jazzier" "bridges" but kept both passes down the middle.  I also added a slapback "tape" echo sound to those to make it sound a little denser and "retro".

Thanks for your great tips, Steve.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: petsite on February 26, 2006, 08:18:52 PM
Hey Stephen.  I asked this in the Alan Boyd Thread. I should have asked you first as you were the engineer. Here is my question:

Since the LAST CAPITOL ALBUM reel says saftey copy on it, was a copy sent to Capitol? The reason I ask is that if Cotonfields and The Lord's Prayer are DUOPHONIC, wouldn't that have been done by Cap and not at Brother Studios?

Thanks,

Bob Flory

Alan's response

I don't know if Capitol ever received the LAST CAPITOL ALBUM from The Beach Boys.  The Beach Boys still have the original master - or what's left of it (several tracks were snagged from that reel for inclusion on master reels for SUNFLOWER and THE SECOND WARNER BROTHERS ALBUM).  I have no idea how or where (or why) those duophonic remasters were done, to tell the truth.

Alan Boyd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jaco on February 27, 2006, 03:37:06 AM
Quote
http://www.someoneliving.com/forgivetwotrack.mp3  (http://www.someoneliving.com/forgivetwotrack.mp3) (Recorded by aeijtzsche)

I like it alot... the experimentations, surprise after surprise, on first listening... until 2:07... maybe a 'magical' instrumental surprise-bridge kind of thing, as an insert? (my suggestion)
Great tune anyhow!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 27, 2006, 04:52:01 AM


       Here's what Jack Rieley had to say about the "Surf's Up" album and "Student Demonstration Time" in October of 1996...

--------------------------


Meanwhile, Carl Wilson and I began to write. Long Promised Road began to
be created. Then came the seed for Feel Flows.  Til I Die became a must.
Tree was born.  Love, Jardine and Johnston began to get testy about it
all.  There was a long meeting during which they tried to force me to
march into Mo's office and sell him on Loop.  I refused and Brian
Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson backed me up.  Love, sensing that
I might be on to something by rejecting the string-o-hits crap as out of
date, suddenly came up with Student Demonstration Time, which had Carl
and I blushing with embarassment and which thoroughly disgusted Dennis.
Then Jardine demanded that his Feet song go on the album. Johnston got
Tears. When Carl and I compiled the album running order, most versions
had the Wilson songs on one side and the jive on the other.  It was
uncool, so we changed to the running order you know.


-----------------------------




I wouldn't trust anything Rieley says...

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 27, 2006, 06:33:02 AM

I wouldn't trust anything Rieley says...

C-Man



      I, myself, find Jack Rieley totally believable.  Do you want to give us a reason why you think he's lying?


          Love and merci,  Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on February 27, 2006, 06:45:05 AM

I wouldn't trust anything Rieley says...

C-Man



      I, myself, find Jack Rieley totally believable.  Do you want to give us a reason why you think he's lying?


          Love and merci,  Dan Lega

I guess C-Man has some lies in mind that Riley told the BBs so they hire him. But maybe this isn't the right thread to talk about that...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 27, 2006, 09:46:03 AM
Just a random question that I don't recall seeing answered before:

Who played the Jew's harp on Cotton Fields (Single Version)? Also, do you have any tips for avoiding the 'clinking' when recording a Jew's harp (some clinking is heard in Cotton Fields, unfortunately)?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 27, 2006, 10:31:17 AM

I wouldn't trust anything Rieley says...

C-Man



      I, myself, find Jack Rieley totally believable.  Do you want to give us a reason why you think he's lying?


          Love and merci,  Dan Lega

I guess C-Man has some lies in mind that Riley told the BBs so they hire him. But maybe this isn't the right thread to talk about that...

That's one reason...there are others I won't mention here.  But one I will mention here is this: 
Alan had steadfastly refused over the years to release "Loop de Loop" in its original form, even in 1993 when fans were begging for it to be included on the box set, because he said it wasn't finished.  He finally sanctioned its release in 1998, but only after it was finished to his satisfaction.  Why should we believe he was pushing for its release in the early '70s just because Jack Rieley says so, when we know he was refusing to release it a few years later?   

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 27, 2006, 11:53:41 AM
A final mix of Loop de Loop was made in 1969, but curiously the track wasn't featured in any of those Add Some Music/Sunflower track lists rejected by Warner. And when Surf's Up was finally released, Al had two tracks in it, but no "Loop de Loop" to be seen.  :-\


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on February 27, 2006, 12:35:13 PM

Alan had steadfastly refused over the years to release "Loop de Loop" in its original form, even in 1993 when fans were begging for it to be included on the box set, because he said it wasn't finished.  He finally sanctioned its release in 1998, but only after it was finished to his satisfaction.  Why should we believe he was pushing for its release in the early '70s just because Jack Rieley says so, when we know he was refusing to release it a few years later?   

C-Man



A final mix of Loop de Loop was made in 1969, but curiously the track wasn't featured in any of those Add Some Music/Sunflower track lists rejected by Warner. And when Surf's Up was finally released, Al had two tracks in it, but no "Loop de Loop" to be seen.  :-\


"Loop De Loop" was originally on "Landlocked" which was rejected by Warners.  The early version I've heard sounds like a final mix to me.  So Jack Rieley could easily be telling the truth here.  It just seems way beyond ridiculous to say you wouldn't believe a single thing Jack Rieley says.  Why would he be lying?  Do you think he's getting paid by Brian, and maybe Dennis' and Carl's heirs to say some bad things about Mike Love and Al Jardine?  I happen to totally love "Loop De Loop", too, and think Jack Rieley was crazy not to like the song.  But that doesn't mean I don't believe what the guy has to say.

        Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Roger Ryan on February 27, 2006, 12:38:31 PM
I suppose it's possible that Al would have re-recorded the lead for "Loop De Loop" and remixed the track if it was seriously being considered for "Surf's Up". Since it wasn't, he left it "unfinished" until '98.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 01:31:31 PM
Hey Stephen.  I asked this in the Alan Boyd Thread. I should have asked you first as you were the engineer. Here is my question:

Since the LAST CAPITOL ALBUM reel says saftey copy on it, was a copy sent to Capitol? The reason I ask is that if Cotonfields and The Lord's Prayer are DUOPHONIC, wouldn't that have been done by Cap and not at Brother Studios?

Thanks,

Bob Flory

Alan's response

I don't know if Capitol ever received the LAST CAPITOL ALBUM from The Beach Boys.  The Beach Boys still have the original master - or what's left of it (several tracks were snagged from that reel for inclusion on master reels for SUNFLOWER and THE SECOND WARNER BROTHERS ALBUM).  I have no idea how or where (or why) those duophonic remasters were done, to tell the truth.

Alan Boyd

I'm not certain what you are asking.  Cotton Fields and The Lord's Prayer were both released in true stereophonic sound on 20/20

If they show up as duophonic on any, so called, safety copy it is not by my hand.  For them to be in that format, the stereo masters would need to be reduced to mono and then re-constituted into fake stereo.  What sense would there be to that, unless a mixup in the label. Best to listen to the tape rather than trust the writing on the box.

There are two types of safety copies.  The original mix safety and the EQed matrix safety.  The latter being used to make more LP stampers without the need to re-master from the original mix tape.  In either case, the two songs would be in true stereo.

20/20 was matered at the Capitol tower and not at an independent mastering house.  So safety copies would have been done in-house and not "sent over," from some outside source as you state. You can find the mastering engineer's mark on the leadout field of the LP.  It looks like asterisk (*) mark.     

Not sure if that answers your question or not.
  ~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 01:46:11 PM
Stephen --

To clarify, there is a tape reel labeled "LAST CAPITOL ALBUM" that is NOT 20/20 but an ancestor of Sunflower (if it ever was a real album, which is debatable).  That is where the duo tracks are, including the Cotton Fields single (not the 20/20 version) and the Lord's Prayer, neither of which were on 20/20.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 01:48:03 PM
COMMENTS --

Jack helped Brian re-discover his creative self and got him out of the bed thing and back into a productive work schedule. If that took some co-writing, then it did.  But what happened is that Jack got so involved that Mike and Al lead by Bruce became aware that Jack was taking too much control of production decisions, moving from adviser to controller.  Some caution flags were up with the group.  Jack's writing was also cutting into royalty payments or future writer's royaltys -- and you know, money incomes can cause some friction.  Jack is a very layed-back person with little need to make up stories or twist the events of the day.  But remember, it is his point of view.  Bruce's perspective would be different as would mine.  When Jack became a singer of Brian's songs, I think that was the last straw for many in the group. Then Holland or going to Holland was Jack's idea, which as you know, was questioned by many in the group as a good idea. So, after the fact, can you trust Jack's opinions in an interview?  I think you can if you give due thought to his thoughts being experssed within his limited framework of information about those times.  In other words, there my be some distortion to what he says, but it's not intentional.
 ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 27, 2006, 01:48:10 PM
"Loop De Loop" was originally on "Landlocked" which was rejected by Warners.  The early version I've heard sounds like a final mix to me.

There was never a "Landlocked" album rejected by Warner:
http://www.btinternet.com/~bellagio/unreleased.html

Quote from: Dan Lega
So Jack Rieley could easily be telling the truth here.  It just seems way beyond ridiculous to say you wouldn't believe a single thing Jack Rieley says.

Who's saying he's a liar? I, at least, am talking about facts as I know them, which can help us to have the full picture.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 01:55:28 PM
Quote
I think you can if you give due thought to his thoughts being experssed within his limited framework of information about those times.  In other words, there my be some distortion to what he says, but it's not intentional. ~swd

Life would be much easier if everybody had the same perspective.  But probably less interesting.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 01:56:55 PM
Stephen --

To clarify, there is a tape reel labeled "LAST CAPITOL ALBUM" that is NOT 20/20 but an ancestor of Sunflower (if it ever was a real album, which is debatable).  That is where the duo tracks are, including the Cotton Fields single (not the 20/20 version) and the Lord's Prayer, neither of which were on 20/20.
Is it in my handwriting?  

Our Prayer is in stereo.  Cottonfields in mono (or duophonic) would have been a Capitol move.

I have a copy of The Lord's Prayer that I mixed for myself (as a gift to my Mom on Mother's day) and that is mixed in true stereo (alla Desper style). So somewhere there is a mix in stereo.  It may be on a seperate reel. Otherwise The Lord's Prayer was early enough to be mixed by Capitol in mono and then converted to duophonic.
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Alan Boyd on February 27, 2006, 01:57:23 PM
Just for the record - here's the lineup of THE LAST CAPITOL ALBUM

1.  COTTON FIELDS single version - duophonic
2.  LOOP DE LOOP - pulled to "Second Warner Brothers Album" reel
3.  ALL I WANNA DO - pulled to "Sunflower" master reel
4.  GOT TO KNOW THE WOMAN - alternate mono mix
5.  WHEN GIRLS GET TOGETHER - backing track, no vocals
6.  BREAK AWAY
7.  SAN MIGUEL - pulled to "Second Warner Brothers Album" reel
8.  CELEBRATE THE NEWS
9.  DIERDRE - pulled to "Sunflower" master reel
10. THE LORD’S PRAYER - duophonic
11. FOREVER - pulled to "Sunflower" master reel

Alan


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 02:05:05 PM
"Loop De Loop" was originally on "Landlocked" which was rejected by Warners.  The early version I've heard sounds like a final mix to me.

There was never a "Landlocked" album rejected by Warner:
http://www.btinternet.com/~bellagio/unreleased.html



The name "Landlocked" is a name you fans have created.  We never called it that.  I have the so-called, "Landlocked" LP in my collection.  It is called "Second Warner LP"  on the cover and disc label. It was never pressed, but remains as a one-of-a-kind acetate. The songs and running order is well documented.  Loop-de-Loop was mixed and finished at that time. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 02:06:03 PM
Stephen --

To clarify, there is a tape reel labeled "LAST CAPITOL ALBUM" that is NOT 20/20 but an ancestor of Sunflower (if it ever was a real album, which is debatable).  That is where the duo tracks are, including the Cotton Fields single (not the 20/20 version) and the Lord's Prayer, neither of which were on 20/20.
Is it in my handwriting?  



No, actually it was this:
Quote
Cotton Fields and The Lord's Prayer were both released in true stereophonic sound on 20/20.  

So I assume you didn't know about the other reel, since neither of the versions in question were released on 20/20 (the version of Cotton Fields in question is Al's and the 20/20 version is Brian's)

 ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Alan Boyd on February 27, 2006, 02:09:39 PM
Incidentally- there's no indication that the reel labeled as THE LAST CAPITOL ALBUM was ever delivered to Capitol.. or was even mastered, for that matter.  The safety copy appears to be just that - a reference copy for listening purposes only.  That project may have been shelved when Capitol released the LIVE IN LONDON LP.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 02:11:20 PM
Stephen --

To clarify, there is a tape reel labeled "LAST CAPITOL ALBUM" that is NOT 20/20 but an ancestor of Sunflower (if it ever was a real album, which is debatable).  That is where the duo tracks are, including the Cotton Fields single (not the 20/20 version) and the Lord's Prayer, neither of which were on 20/20.
Is it in my handwriting?  


No, actually it was this:
Quote
Cotton Fields and The Lord's Prayer were both released in true stereophonic sound on 20/20.  

So I assume you didn't know about the other reel, since neither of the versions in question were released on 20/20 (the version of Cotton Fields in question is Al's and the 20/20 version is Brian's)

 ;)
I think only Alan Jardine can keep track of all the versions he did of that song.  There must be at least eight that were started and five that made it to having BG's added, then maybe three made it to mixdown and all were eventually rejected by Alan J. until the finished version in '98 -- but even today he wants to re-call or re-due something or other on the track. This comes up from time to time in converstation. That is Alan's nature.  ~swd

PS  The single version may be an earlier variation or mix whereas the LP version had some tracks replaced. You just can't hear the difference in performance but Alan can.  Spectulation on my part.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 27, 2006, 04:08:28 PM

"Loop De Loop" was originally on "Landlocked" which was rejected by Warners.  The early version I've heard sounds like a final mix to me.  So Jack Rieley could easily be telling the truth here.  It just seems way beyond ridiculous to say you wouldn't believe a single thing Jack Rieley says.  Why would he be lying?  Do you think he's getting paid by Brian, and maybe Dennis' and Carl's heirs to say some bad things about Mike Love and Al Jardine?  I happen to totally love "Loop De Loop", too, and think Jack Rieley was crazy not to like the song.  But that doesn't mean I don't believe what the guy has to say.

        Love and merci,   Dan Lega

I did not say "I don't believe a single thing Jack Rieley says"...what I said was "I wouldn't rustanything he says"...which means, just because he says it, doesn't mean I'm going to take it as gospel.  Because, as Steve pointed out, Rieley has his "perspective", which in my opinion has been colored by a bias against the Mike-Alan-Bruce axis.  I haven't seen any evidence that "Loop" (or the entire so-called "Landlocked", aka "Second Warner Bros. Album"), was actually submitted to Warners.  Last I heard, the general consensus was that it was a reel of completed or nearly-completed songs for consideration, but not an official album (despite what is written on the reel), and was never submitted for approval or rejection....and of course, Steve can and should correct me if I'm wrong here.  To my knowledge, everytime over the years that Al was asked about "Loop"'s release, he always replied that it wasn't finished....of course, he could've finished it rather quickly back then, but the point is, "Loop" doesn't show up on any of the proposed track lists for the first two Warner Bros. albums that I'm aware of...only the "Second Warner Bros. Album" reel, which from all indications, wasn't even that.  BTW, "Landlocked" is reported to have been the working title of the "Surf's Up" album, which became "Surf's Up" only when the inclusion of that pivotal song was secured, and also reportedly at the suggestion of Van Dyke Parks. 

BTW, I prefer the original 1969 mix of "Loop de Loop" also. 

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: petsite on February 27, 2006, 04:28:09 PM
Sorry Stephen that my question wasn't as clearly worded as it should have been.

A reel marked as "Safety Copy Of The Last Capitol Album" resides in the BB tape vault.  The track listing is as follows:

1.  COTTON FIELDS single version - duophonic
2.  LOOP DE LOOP - pulled to "Second Warner Brothers Album" reel
3.  ALL I WANNA DO - pulled to "Sunflower" master reel
4.  GOT TO KNOW THE WOMAN - alternate mono mix
5.  WHEN GIRLS GET TOGETHER - backing track, no vocals
6.  BREAK AWAY
7.  SAN MIGUEL - pulled to "Second Warner Brothers Album" reel
8.  CELEBRATE THE NEWS
9.  DIERDRE - pulled to "Sunflower" master reel
10. THE LORD’S PRAYER - duophonic
11. FOREVER - pulled to "Sunflower" master reel

Since the date of either the assembly or the copying is marked as  June 19, 1970 on the tape box, I was wondering if

     A.) This was something you assembled with the group for release.
     B.) Considering the fact that duophonic mixes of Cottonfields and The Lord's Prayer are used, might their have been
           some Capitol engineers involved?

Thanks again. Sorry about the vaugeness of my original post.

Bob Flory



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 04:42:59 PM
I'm pretty sure both of those questions were answered.  Above, Steve says he never assembled anything like that for release and that he certainly didn't apply duophonic processing to the mono mixes.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 05:24:07 PM
Comment to C-Man -- I haven't seen any evidence that "Loop" (or the entire so-called "Landlocked", aka "Second Warner Bros. Album"), was actually submitted to Warners.  Last I heard, the general consensus was that it was a reel of completed or nearly-completed songs for consideration, but not an official album (despite what is written on the reel), and was never submitted for approval or rejection....and of course, Steve can and should correct me if I'm wrong here.  Sorry, you have been incorrectly informed.  Record executives do not usually listen to reels of tape.  They listen to LP's in their offices. They don't get into production nuances. They relate to saleable product, i.e., LP records. They want to hear the finished product only. Such was the case with Warner executives especially Mo Ostin, Warner Bros. president.  The group took the finished Warner album over to Mo Ostin's office on an acetate (for all I know the very one in my collection) and sat there as he listened. He told them he was concerned that the songs were too weak. He admonished them that they could do better and wanted them to return to the studio and put their collective nose to the grindstone.  I remember vividly how they, The Beach Boys, were when coming back to the studio after being wrung out by none other than Mo Ostin.  That was the turning point -- the do or die -- point for them.  They were in debt, their leader sick in his head, months into their two-albums-per-18 month contract with W7, concert attendends down and each facing personal financial problems. You bet Warner heard what was to be their big offering under contract. You bet it was submitted -- and rejected, big time.  To my knowledge, everytime over the years that Al was asked about "Loop"'s release, he always replied that it wasn't finished....of course, he could've finished it rather quickly back then, WAIT A MINUTE here!!  Who the hell are you to tell Alan Jardine that "he could have finished his song just like that?"  I think that is a very bad judgement call for you to make.  but the point is, "Loop" doesn't show up on any of the proposed track lists for the first two Warner Bros. albums that I'm aware of...only the "Second Warner Bros. Album" reel, which from all indications, wasn't even that. What Crap!!  BTW, "Landlocked" is reported to have been the working title of the "Surf's Up" album, which became "Surf's Up" only when the inclusion of that pivotal song was secured, and also reportedly at the suggestion of Van Dyke Parks.  Wrong again. The reports are just plain WRONG!  VDP had little if anything to do with the album of Surf's Up. Look at the dates of the artwork for the album cover and insert. Those concepts predate all this nonsense. ~swd 

BTW, I prefer the original 1969 mix of "Loop de Loop" also. 

C-Man
Quote


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 05:34:42 PM
Something about this all hit me on the way home.  Stephen, you were making stereophonic masterpieces left and right in 1969, and I have to think that mono was nowhere in your line of thinking.  However, the single version of Cotton Fields produced by Al was released only as a mono single with duophonic versions sneaking up left and right.  It did not get a true stereo release until Mark Linett mixed it into stereo for the Hawthorne CA release.  Maybe you have answered this, and if so forgive the asking again -- but why was the single mono only and why wasn't there a true stereo mix made in 1969?  After all, Brian's version was earlier and it was true stereo.  Did you make a mix that got lost or unused?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 27, 2006, 06:01:44 PM
Comment to C-Man -- I haven't seen any evidence that "Loop" (or the entire so-called "Landlocked", aka "Second Warner Bros. Album"), was actually submitted to Warners.  Last I heard, the general consensus was that it was a reel of completed or nearly-completed songs for consideration, but not an official album (despite what is written on the reel), and was never submitted for approval or rejection....and of course, Steve can and should correct me if I'm wrong here.  Sorry, you have been incorrectly informed.  Record executives do not usually listen to reels of tape.  They listen to LP's in their offices. They don't get into production nuances. They relate to saleable product, i.e., LP records. They want to hear the finished product only. Such was the case with Warner executives especially Mo Ostin, Warner Bros. president.  The group took the finished Warner album over to Mo Ostin's office on an acetate (for all I know the very one in my collection) and sat there as he listened. He told them he was concerned that the songs were too weak. He admonished them that they could do better and wanted them to return to the studio and put their collective nose to the grindstone.  I remember vividly how they, The Beach Boys, were when coming back to the studio after being wrung out by none other than Mo Ostin.  That was the turning point -- the do or die -- point for them.  They were in debt, their leader sick in his head, months into their two-albums-per-18 month contract with W7, concert attendends down and each facing personal financial problems. You bet Warner heard what was to be their big offering under contract. You bet it was submitted -- and rejected, big time.  To my knowledge, everytime over the years that Al was asked about "Loop"'s release, he always replied that it wasn't finished....of course, he could've finished it rather quickly back then, WAIT A MINUTE here!!  Who the hell are you to tell Alan Jardine that "he could have finished his song just like that?"  I think that is a very bad judgement call for you to make.  but the point is, "Loop" doesn't show up on any of the proposed track lists for the first two Warner Bros. albums that I'm aware of...only the "Second Warner Bros. Album" reel, which from all indications, wasn't even that. What Crap!!  BTW, "Landlocked" is reported to have been the working title of the "Surf's Up" album, which became "Surf's Up" only when the inclusion of that pivotal song was secured, and also reportedly at the suggestion of Van Dyke Parks.  Wrong again. The reports are just plain WRONG!  VDP had little if anything to do with the album of Surf's Up. Look at the dates of the artwork for the album cover and insert. Those concepts predate all this nonsense. ~swd 

BTW, I prefer the original 1969 mix of "Loop de Loop" also. 

C-Man
Quote

My apologies.  I stand corrected.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 06:07:37 PM
Something about this all hit me on the way home.  Stephen, you were making stereophonic masterpieces left and right in 1969, and I have to think that mono was nowhere in your line of thinking.  However, the single version of Cotton Fields produced by Al was released only as a mono single with duophonic versions sneaking up left and right.  It did not get a true stereo release until Mark Linett mixed it into stereo for the Hawthorne CA release.  Maybe you have answered this, and if so forgive the asking again -- but why was the single mono only and why wasn't there a true stereo mix made in 1969?  After all, Brian's version was earlier and it was true stereo.  Did you make a mix that got lost or unused?
I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone or something.  I DID mix and it WAS released in true stereophonic sound -- that is, amplitude left and right panning and phase related dual-channel information . . . NOT Duophonic.  I am certainly not going to sit here and be told that I did not mix the song in stereo and that Mark Linett was the first to do it.  First of all that is not his style, to redo something for the sake of redoing it.  He remains true to the original, and the original mix I did is stereo. If you listen to the LP or the CD you can hear that!  I'm not that bad an engineer so as to have my stereo mixes sound like fake stereo.  So to say that, "It did not get a true stereo release until Mark Linett mixed it into stereo for the Hawthorne CA release." just shows me that some people should listen to the music rather than read incorrect history books or CD jackets.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 06:16:34 PM
Stephen --

No offense, but if you could point me to the place where a true stereo mix was ever released in 1969/70, I would be much obliged.  Every version I have heard is mono or duo, and this is from the liners from Hawthorne CA: 

"This version of Cotton Fields is presented here for the first time in true stereo".

That is a quote from Alan Boyd, who frequents this board.  The quote is regarding the single mix as done by Al 8/15/69 according to the book.  So I am not trying to be difficult -- I am simply unaware that any mix made by you was ever released in stereo.  You may well have done one but it never got released that I can find.  And if the version on Hawthorne was done by you and not Mark Linett, you got no credit for it.  So I am just trying to figure out what's going on here, because someone's facts are wrong on this thread, and it's at the level of "those who know".  I am just a peon fan who's confused....

EDIT -- this is the mixing credit for Hawthorne:  Engineered and Mixed by Mark Linett except the Little Girl I Once Knew (alternate) mixed by Chuck Britz.  You are listed as original engineer but the credit implies that Mark remixed Cotton Fields.

EDIT 2 -- Someone has suggested to me that perhaps Stephen, you are thinking of the mix on the 20/20 album produced by Brian?  And that you might not know that there are two released versions that are totally different?  The single version of Cotton Fields was produced by Al and recorded at Sunset Sound, and possibly you weren't the engineer for that one and are unaware of its existence?  Just a possible thought.  I am so confused....   :(


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 27, 2006, 06:38:18 PM
  Because, as Steve pointed out, Rieley has his "perspective", which in my opinion has been colored by a bias against the Mike-Alan-Bruce axis. 



That axis was *really* helpful to Al in the long run, wasn't it? ;)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 06:38:57 PM
Jeff, I seem to recall that other 45s around the end of the decade were still mono mixes, due to demand probably.  I think Friends/Little Bird had single mono mixes done, Do it Again, Bluebirds, perhaps even Breakaway.  So the Cotton Fields 45 would have just been the last 45 that was exclusively mono before the stereo age truly took over.

Since Cottonfields was already on 20/20, it was probably more a matter of not having an avenue to put out the stereo version.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 06:41:10 PM
Jeff, I seem to recall that other 45s around the end of the decade were still mono mixes, due to demand probably.  I think Friends/Little Bird had single mono mixes done, Do it Again, Bluebirds, perhaps even Breakaway.  So the Cotton Fields 45 would have just been the last 45 that was exclusively mono before the stereo age truly took over.

Since Cottonfields was already on 20/20, it was probably more a matter of not having an avenue to put out the stereo version.

What about the original UK copy of Sunflower that had a duo version?  Comps over the years?  Why not use a Desper mix (or credit him if you did) on Hawthorne?  This just isn't making sense....


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Alan Boyd on February 27, 2006, 06:47:34 PM
Actually, we're talking aboput two completely different versions of Cotton Fields here, which may be the source of some confusion.

The first version was produced by Brian and Alan (according to the sleeve notes) and mixed in stereo by Steve.  This was done in late 1968, and this version of COTTON FIELDS was the first song on side two of the 20/20 album.

Some months later in August of 1969 (several months after 20/20 was released) Al took the touring band - and Red Rhodes - into Sunset Sound, where they laid down a 16 track master on a brand new basic track, officially produced by Al, which was faster, a little rougher, a little more rowdy than the quieter arrangement that Brian had come up with a year earlier.  Later, the 16 tracks were reduced down to a new 8 track tape, and vocals and additional overdubs were added.  Track sheets indicate these may have been done at Wally Heider.

On or around 9/30/1969, this new recording was mixed to mono at Capitol, "8 to 1 Remix" and three mono mixes were left at Capitol, ostensibly for release as The Beach Boys' new (and/or last) single for Capitol Records.  One of the three was chosen by somebody, and the song was eventually released as a single in 1970 and it immediately became a smash hit everywhere but here at home.

(That original 1/4" master with three mono mixes of the song is still at Capitol, by the way... the unused mixes include a cute "count-in" by little Matt Jardine)

Otherwise, this second version of COTTON FIELDS was never intended to be included on an album, although EMI - which had distribution rights in Europe for the first two Brother Records albums on their Stateside label - saw fit to add the song to their initial release of SUNFLOWER, and somebody at Stateside took a mono single master, made it duophonic (yecch) and it appeared as the first song on side one of the European Stateside Records SUNFLOWER.

We've never located a vintage stereo mix of this second version of COTTON FIELDS, either in Capitol's vaults or The Beach Boys' collection.  But the production and vocals were so good on that record that when it came time to do HAWTHORNE we figured this would be a chance for folks to hear the song in a "new light" and so Mark went back to the final single version 8 track and the result is there for all to hear...
















Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 06:53:17 PM
Would have have been the first Beach Boys track tracked directly to 16-track? 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 06:56:43 PM
Thanks for the history ALAN.  I'm glad we are now out to the Twilight Zone. Actually I've heard all the mixes over at Red Barn -- if you are looking for them they're in that back tape room with the amplifier racks and also in the closet under the stairway in the coffee lounge.  I think the poster forgot to quote the album correctly unless it says "first time in stereo." That would be incorrect for the song.  For that version yes, but not for the song.  I mean, just listen.  ~swd  


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: RobtheNobleSurfer on February 27, 2006, 06:57:12 PM
Thank you Alan for clearing this up.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 07:03:51 PM
Stephen, I knew all along that the 20/20 version was in stereo.  I thought I had made my intent clear by saying "single version".  If I have caused confusion I duly apologize.  I intended to be clear and respectful and I hope that much at least was apparent.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 07:07:05 PM
Stephen, I knew all along that the 20/20 version was in stereo.  I thought I had made my intent clear by saying "single version".  If I have caused confusion I duly apologize.  I intended to be clear and respectful and I hope that much at least was apparent.
No you didn't cause confusion except when you or someone said it was "the first time" in stereo.  That caused me confusion.  It was a nice little bit of conversation ----- and we got Mr. Boyd to comment.

HI ALAN !!
  ~swd

PS  Alan J. thought that mixing in mono would give a stronger sound to the 45 single.  From Alan Boyd's comments you can see that there are five finished versions of this song and there are more unfinished versions too.  Even today, Alan Jardine is thinking of doing Cottonfields again in yet another version.  It's some kind of obsession he has. He even ran it by me on guitar -- as a folk song, no less.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 27, 2006, 07:14:33 PM
Stephen, it's been reported in several places that the so-called "Landlocked" (I know that's an after-the-fact attribution) 12-song reel was merely a collection of recent recordings for review, not an intended release in that form and order. That's how Jack Rieley referred to it, and how Carl referred to it when he played three tracks from it on American radio.
Are you saying, definitively, that the acetate that starts with Loop De Loop and ends with Lookin' At Tomorrow was prepared for release by you, Carl and the BB's?
I find there to be some confusion in this thread between the first 2 assembled and rejected lineups of Sunflower and the "2nd Reprise" reel.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 27, 2006, 08:07:05 PM
Stephen, it's been reported in several places that the so-called "Landlocked" (I know that's an after-the-fact attribution) 12-song reel was merely a collection of recent recordings for review, not an intended release in that form and order. That's how Jack Rieley referred to it, and how Carl referred to it when he played three tracks from it on American radio.
Are you saying, definitively, that the acetate that starts with Loop De Loop and ends with Lookin' At Tomorrow was prepared for release by you, Carl and the BB's?
I find there to be some confusion in this thread between the first 2 assembled and rejected lineups of Sunflower and the "2nd Reprise" reel.
I said what I know from my involvment. The group labored over the tune order and it was decided that the cut order on the acetate was the offering. The issue was not the order. The issue was the strength of the songs. Mo thought they could do better for the label.  He was disappointed in the group and would not accept their work at that time. Changing the tune order was not the solution.  Better songs and production was what he demanded.  Carl may have softened what was otherwise a rather powerful putdown by a rather powerful figure in the recording arts. When they went to W7 the contract for the first album was overdue and their advances were overdrawn.  It was not a work-in-progress review. Mo Ostin has better things to do with his time than to micro-manage a surfing band.  The bottom line is -- and the Beach Boys know that -- the higher power in this game is the buying public.  NOT the listening public; the buying public is king.  The performer must depend on the distributor (the record company) to reach the buying public.  No buy, no income -- simple as that.  Warner's was not, nor could not, re-cycle Beach Boy music.  They bought the band and new, as yet recorded, material. Advances for that material were already passing from the record company into the pockets of the group -- and Mo Ostin had every right to demand the very best from this new (to Warner's) group. They went feeling confident about their album and came back with their tails between their legs.  Why?  Because without the record company they could not reach the buying public. Serious stuff!!  Now that's how it seemed to happen from my perspective which I think is fairly close to the source. When Carl told me how the meeting when down, he did go out of his way to tell me that Mo thought the recording was first-class as was the production value.  It was that he thought the public acceptance of what he heard would not yield the record sales he wanted.  "Go back and do better," he said.  How this was all told to the fan base or general public by the band members or others is another story.  If it was me I'd downplay the whole thing too. But just because you read that so and so said this and that does not mean it is the truth.  After all, we all read that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at one time, too. I don't mean to rewrite history here, just relate history as I experienced it. ~swd       


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 27, 2006, 08:10:39 PM
OK, I understand what you're saying. Thanks for the info.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Alan Boyd on February 27, 2006, 08:25:41 PM
Hi Steve!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: petsite on February 27, 2006, 10:00:10 PM
Hey Stephan, I am sorry to have blundered so badly on my inquiry about CottonFields in duophonic sound. I meant the version recorded by Alan Jardine at Sunset Sound.  From what Alan Boyd now says, the duophonic version could have come from Capitol when it was processed into duophonic for the Stateside release of Sunflower.

I feel like such an ass. Again, sorry for the mix-up.

I had interviewed Brad Elliott for my website PETSITE about 5 years ago about his assembly of the 1983 LP "Rarities" for Capitol.  He had this to say about the tape he found in Capitol's vaults:

BE: The tape inventory sent us to an odd reel stored separately from the mono single masters. When I pulled it out, it was a tape that had three or four different mixes of Cotton Fields -- all the single version, but all slightly different. The first mix on the tape was the one used as the single, while the other mixes included the sound of a child speaking (somewhat like the "Hi" at the beginning of The Trader). I remember there was one mix where the child's voice preceded the beginning of the actual song, and I think there were two mixes where the child's voice was mixed into the song at different points. Since the original single version had never been released on a U.S. album at that time, I chose to go with the mix used on the single. In retrospect, I wish I'd used one of the other mixes, simply because it would have been different.

Always interesting stuff. Again sorry about the confusion.

Bob


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 27, 2006, 11:16:41 PM
Jeff, I seem to recall that other 45s around the end of the decade were still mono mixes, due to demand probably.  I think Friends/Little Bird had single mono mixes done, Do it Again, Bluebirds, perhaps even Breakaway.  So the Cotton Fields 45 would have just been the last 45 that was exclusively mono before the stereo age truly took over.

A side, yes... but the two versions of "Susie C", respectively the B sides to "Add Some Music" & "Child Of Winter" (1970 & 1974, almost 1975) were both mono. I think...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andreas on February 27, 2006, 11:35:03 PM
There are still some issues that I find confusing. All these points were discussed several times now, and I am sorry to bring them up again, but I see conflicting information and I am not sure what is the definitive answer.

No disprespect intended to anyone.

1. Cotton Fields, single version produced by Al. Mr. Desper has written on the old thread that he mixed the single version in stereo and that the single used a fold-down of that mix. This was a misunderstanding, correct? The single version was mixed at Capitol, only to mono, and without Desper's involvement?

2. Loop De Loop, 1969 version. Mr. Desper has written on the old thread that he did not mix any version back then and that the song was not finished until 1998. Correct or incorrect?

3. Friends, the song. Mr. Desper has written on the old thread that he did not do any mono mix of that song, and that the single used a fold-down of his stereo mix. Correct or incorrect?

4. Breakaway. It was suggested by aejitzsche that there was a mono single mix. To the best of my knowledge, this was a stereo single, and no mono mix exists (unless it was folded down in other countries). Correct or incorrect?

5. Bluebirds Over The Mountain. Apparently, there is a true mono single mix. Who mixed that?

6. Susie Cincinnati. Was there a dedicated mono mix?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 28, 2006, 04:24:01 AM
Jeff, I seem to recall that other 45s around the end of the decade were still mono mixes, due to demand probably.  I think Friends/Little Bird had single mono mixes done, Do it Again, Bluebirds, perhaps even Breakaway.  So the Cotton Fields 45 would have just been the last 45 that was exclusively mono before the stereo age truly took over.

A side, yes... but the two versions of "Susie C", respectively the B sides to "Add Some Music" & "Child Of Winter" (1970 & 1974, almost 1975) were both mono. I think...

The first version definitely was.  Interesting, and that combined with Stephen's response answers my original question -- Al wanted mono mixes for the extra punch, and that is probably why a stereo mix was never done.  Sounds like Al had Stephen mix it that way on purpose.  Of course, a stereo mix of Susie had to be done for 15BO and that's why we got that one.

Andreas, the original singles mixes were used in GHV2.  Only I Can Hear Music and BreakAway were in stereo.  This means, A side at least (don't know about B sides), Friends and Bluebirds received true mono mixes.  No documentation as to who made the mixes.  As far as Do It Again, Stephen has told that story before anyway. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 28, 2006, 06:01:36 AM
There are still some issues that I find confusing. All these points were discussed several times now, and I am sorry to bring them up again, but I see conflicting information and I am not sure what is the definitive answer.

No disprespect intended to anyone.

1. Cotton Fields, single version produced by Al. Mr. Desper has written on the old thread that he mixed the single version in stereo and that the single used a fold-down of that mix. This was a misunderstanding, correct? The single version was mixed at Capitol, only to mono, and without Desper's involvement? I made a mono folddown of the Al/Brian version for Alan.  He decided to re-do the entire song as a side project on his own.  We were busy in the studio and/or with other stuff.

2. Loop De Loop, 1969 version. Mr. Desper has written on the old thread that he did not mix any version back then and that the song was not finished until 1998. Correct or incorrect? Incorrect, I guess.  Final mix was not until '98 so the word "any" is not correctly used. Should have said did not mix any final version. There were plenty of mixes. I have the acetates to prove that. But a mix does not become final until it is released or accepted by the record company. However there were mixes approved by Alan -- then disapproved the next day.  With Alan you never get a definite answer as the guy just cannot make up his mind.

3. Friends, the song. Mr. Desper has written on the old thread that he did not do any mono mix of that song, and that the single used a fold-down of his stereo mix. Correct or incorrect?  I mixed in stereo. Jimmy Lockart could have pulled a single mono mix.  I don't remember.

4. Breakaway. It was suggested by aejitzsche that there was a mono single mix. To the best of my knowledge, this was a stereo single, and no mono mix exists (unless it was folded down in other countries). Correct or incorrect?  I mixed in stereo, but Brian has mixed versions in mono. Don't know what is in the vault.

5. Bluebirds Over The Mountain. Apparently, there is a true mono single mix. Who mixed that?  I can't remember if I did or not. Everything was mixed at one time in stereo. I could have pulled a mono mix. I doubt anyone else would since the multi-tracks were under my care, but it was a long time ago.    

6. Susie Cincinnati. Was there a dedicated mono mix? I can't remember if I did or not.  Everything was mixed at one time in stereo.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 28, 2006, 06:11:35 AM
Jeff, I seem to recall that other 45s around the end of the decade were still mono mixes, due to demand probably.  I think Friends/Little Bird had single mono mixes done, Do it Again, Bluebirds, perhaps even Breakaway.  So the Cotton Fields 45 would have just been the last 45 that was exclusively mono before the stereo age truly took over.

A side, yes... but the two versions of "Susie C", respectively the B sides to "Add Some Music" & "Child Of Winter" (1970 & 1974, almost 1975) were both mono. I think...

The first version definitely was.  Interesting, and that combined with Stephen's response answers my original question -- Al wanted mono mixes for the extra punch, and that is probably why a stereo mix was never done.  Sounds like Al had Stephen mix it that way on purpose. At the time, Alan was most familiar with mono production. Of course, a stereo mix of Susie had to be done for 15BO and that's why we got that one.  Susie was recorded for stereo and mixed in stereo. If a mono mix exists it is undoubedly a folddown.

Andreas, the original singles mixes were used in GHV2.  Only I Can Hear Music and BreakAway were in stereo.  This means, A side at least (don't know about B sides), Friends and Bluebirds received true mono mixes.  No documentation as to who made the mixes.  As far as Do It Again, Stephen has told that story before anyway.  Jimmy Lockart did mono mixes for Brian all the time.  I did stereo mixes as did he.  The finals were in stereo. Friends' songs were not recorded with stereo in mind but could be mixed that way. Starting with 20/20 the production values all had stereo in mind as the end product.  
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andreas on February 28, 2006, 07:44:31 AM
Thank you. That clears most things up. So we don't really know if the Friends single received a dedicated mix or just a mono fold-down.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 07:54:41 AM
Steve, Mr. Alan Boyd posted the tracksheets for the two 8-track tapes that recorded "All I Wanna Do" on his thread:

1st generation
All I Wanna Do

1 - left drums
2 - guitar
3 - Right drums
4 - piano
5 - bass
6 - Roxi
7 - Doubled Roxi
8 - Out of Tune Roxi

2nd generation ?
1 - L Stereo
2 - Fuzz
3 - R stereo
4 - Mike
5 - L OD stereo
6 - Double BG (gtar - trump - Ztar and Ztar OD crossed off)
7 - Right OD stereo
8 - Du Duits


Do you know what a "Roxi" is?  I really think it's a pretty amazing mix considering it's from 8-track.  I imagine the mixdown would have been quite involved.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 28, 2006, 08:01:55 AM
Thank you. That clears most things up. So we don't really know if the Friends single received a dedicated mix or just a mono fold-down.

I gave it a listen today -- it doesn't sound like a folddown. But you are right, we are in the dark without documentation.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 08:08:36 AM
From AGD's esteemed "Bellagio" site:

Quote
The mono mix - a true mono mix, not collapsed stereo - of the "Friends" single is available on 20 More Good Vibrations - The Greatest Hits Volume 2.
 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on February 28, 2006, 09:23:15 AM
Susie Cincinatti is a dedicated mono mix - I have it on the flip of Add Some Music and the sound effects come in and out at different parts of the song.

Friends and Little Bird received mono mixes - the mixing session tapes are on the boot Goodbye Surfing Hello God.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 28, 2006, 10:34:37 AM
Do you know what a "Roxi" is? 

"Roxi", I would imagine, is the RMI Rock-si-chord electronic keyboard. 
Check out this website, and go to the link "The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly":

http://www.alphabeck.co.uk/hoep/epianos.html


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 10:38:18 AM
That would make a lot of sense, particularly as the RMI is labeled as such on the 'Til I Die tracksheet.  I was trying to think of phonetic homonyms, but couldn't. 

OK, so that brings up another question:  Is "Piano" as listed on the tracksheet an acoustic piano?

Also, "Ztar"?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 28, 2006, 10:47:06 AM
Also, "Ztar"?

I've always been intrigued by the twangy, electric (or "coral") sitar sound in the verses of that song, so my guess is it is whatever produced that sound. 

BTW, this song/production is probably the one "unknown" BBs track I would play to someone who only knows the hits.  One of their best recordings ever, in my opinion.

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 10:49:50 AM
Quote
I've always been intrigued by the twangy, electric (or "coral") sitar sound in the verses of that song, so my guess is it is whatever produced that sound.

Then what sound is represented by track two on gen one, "guitar"?

Quote
One of their best recordings ever, in my opinion.

Absolutely.  You did good, Steve.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 28, 2006, 10:56:37 AM
We've had this discussion on the board a lot and I dont wanna bring it up again and the search on here kinda sucks. So, that being said, who did the falsetto parts for 'Be Here In the Mornin'?

Thanks :X


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 28, 2006, 11:03:39 AM
Quote
I've always been intrigued by the twangy, electric (or "coral") sitar sound in the verses of that song, so my guess is it is whatever produced that sound.

Then what sound is represented by track two on gen one, "guitar"?

Quote
One of their best recordings ever, in my opinion.

Absolutely.  You did good, Steve.

Agree with that, esp with the Moog wash.  As far as that sound goes, it sounds like a processed Carl guitar lead to me -- that is Carl's style.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 11:23:37 AM
Quote
who did the falsetto parts for 'Be Here In the Mornin'?

Al.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 28, 2006, 11:27:02 AM
Just a random question that I don't recall seeing answered before:

Who played the Jew's harp on Cotton Fields (Single Version)? Also, do you have any tips for avoiding the 'clinking' when recording a Jew's harp (some clinking is heard in Cotton Fields, unfortunately)?

This got lost in the shuffle...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on February 28, 2006, 11:46:46 AM
Quote
who did the falsetto parts for 'Be Here In the Mornin'?

Al.

You know, I sent you a PM asking that cos I figured you'd remember, but your inbox is full :(


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 11:56:52 AM
I think PMs are glitched out right now.  Nobody's seem to work.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 28, 2006, 11:58:58 AM
Maybe Charles disabled them...?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on February 28, 2006, 01:40:43 PM
Al did the falsetto parts but they were speeded up - that's not his natural falsetto.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 28, 2006, 01:42:39 PM
Maybe Charles disabled them...?

Should be working now.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 01:47:12 PM
Quote
Al did the falsetto parts but they were speeded up - that's not his natural falsetto.

Yeah it is.  See Loop De Loop, et al.  It's not even that high.  Just a comfortable tessitura.  Al sang just as high in mixed voice on Cotton Fields.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on February 28, 2006, 06:56:29 PM
I was referring to Stephen speeding up the vocal on that track, as he has related (on this thread somewhere I believe).  Maybe he could have gotten that high on his own but he didn't on that track - the vocal was altered.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 07:10:41 PM
I disagree, and I don't recall Stephen mentioning speeding that vocal up.  Again, compare the timbre of Al's voice on this to his performance on Loop De Loop.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on March 01, 2006, 02:28:27 PM
This is what Stephen originally posted for Be Here in the Morning:
000-006.... Start of Song, Brian humming

006-021.... Speeded up Brian Lead Vocal

025-033.... Normal Speed Brian Lead Vocal/Brian Doubles Lead/Brian OD, ah-ha/Group ooo's

035-043.... Brian Lead Vocal/Brian Doubles Lead/Brian OD, ah-ha

047-102.... Speeded up Brian Lead Vocal, then Brian and Alan

105 -124.... Brian Lead recorded through Leslie rotating speaker/Brian OD, ah-ha/Group ooo's

127-137.... Organ vamp

138-147.... Dennis, humming

148-201.... Brian Lead Vocal/Brian Doubled Lead Vocal

201-end.... Dennis, humming


This song was recorded on a Scully or Ampex, think it was Scully. Anyway, the capstan shaft rotates and a rubber puck pushes the tape against the spinning capstan and pulls the tape through, past the recording heads, onto the take-up reel. If you roll a layer (or two) of masking tape onto the capstan -- wrapping it around the shaft -- this effectively makes the diameter larger and since the speed remains the same, pulls the tape slower through the machine. Then remove the tape wrap and play the tape. Anything recorded is slightly higher in pitch. So if you can't reach a note -- do the wrap thing and, presto, instant singing range increase! ~swd

Then he amended it to correct the lead vocal as being Alan:

BE HERE IN THE MORNING

000-006.... Start of Song, Brian humming

006-021.... Alan singing very high Lead Vocal

025-033.... Carl Lead Vocal/Brian Doubles Part, ah-ha/Group ooo's/Murry Wilson (father) sings very last low note. A note that mike could not reach.

035-043.... Carl Lead Vocal/Brian Doubles Part, ah-ha

047-102.... Alan singing high Lead Vocal, then Brian and Alan

105 -124.... Brian Lead recorded through Leslie rotating speaker/Brian OD, ah-ha/Group ooo's

127-137.... Organ vamp

138-147.... Dennis, humming

148-201.... Carl Lead Vocal/Brian Doubles Part

201-end.... Dennis, humming

I assumed that just because it was Alan, not Brian, that did not invalidate his previous explanation of how he sped the lead vocal up.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 01, 2006, 04:16:12 PM
COMMENNT --

At one time or another I as well as Chuck Britz have played with the speed of vocal recording for every member of the group -- for what it's worth.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on March 01, 2006, 08:43:22 PM
Hi Stephen,

Did Mike ever verbalize why he started growing his beard long circa 1969?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on March 02, 2006, 03:46:45 AM
Mike never wanted a beard. He shaved two times a day, but his hair grew way too fast.  8)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bubba Ho-Tep on March 02, 2006, 09:06:49 AM
Mr. Desper,

Elsewhere on the board we were inquiring about the photoshoot for the Stack-O-Tracks album cover and wondered if you recollected anything about it. There are 2 sets of pictures in existence of the Boys surrounding a stack of tape boxes. They have different outfits on in each set, thus leading to the assumption that they were shot on different days. We thought that Brian looked particularly troubled in some of the photos. Do you remember when these shots were done and did you participate in rounding up the tapes? Any anecdote you may have about it would be helpful.

Thanks.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 03, 2006, 05:40:00 AM
Mr. Desper,
Do you remember when these shots were done for 20/20 and did you participate in rounding up the tapes? Any anecdote you may have about it would be helpful.
Thanks.
The 20/20 cover was handled by Capitol's art department.  I was not involved. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 03, 2006, 05:45:06 AM
Hi Stephen,

Did Mike ever verbalize why he started growing his beard long circa 1969?
He once made a comment that he wanted to emulate Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. That was when the beard and the robe came along.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on March 03, 2006, 06:03:58 AM
Hi Stephen,
any plans to write another book on 20/20 and Friends in the style of your "Recording the Beach Boys"? Love that one...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on March 03, 2006, 02:30:07 PM
Hi Stephen,

Did Mike ever verbalize why he started growing his beard long circa 1969?
He once made a comment that he wanted to emulate Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. That was when the beard and the robe came along.  ~swd
Thanks for the answer!  There are lots of photos and film of Mike wearing the robe onstage during the May/June 1969 tour of Europe.  Do you recall if Mike wore the robe onstage Stateside as well?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 03, 2006, 04:28:30 PM
Hi Stephen,

Did Mike ever verbalize why he started growing his beard long circa 1969?
He once made a comment that he wanted to emulate Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. That was when the beard and the robe came along.  ~swd
Thanks for the answer!  There are lots of photos and film of Mike wearing the robe onstage during the May/June 1969 tour of Europe.  Do you recall if Mike wore the robe onstage Stateside as well?
[/quote]Many times. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on March 04, 2006, 12:50:02 AM
I remember reading that the Beach Boys once brought a Baldwin electric harpsichord on tour with them as well as a piano tuning guy whose sole duty was to tune the harpsichord.  Can you vouch for the veracity of this tale?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 05, 2006, 06:25:37 PM
I remember reading that the Beach Boys once brought a Baldwin electric harpsichord on tour with them as well as a piano tuning guy whose sole duty was to tune the harpsichord.  Can you vouch for the veracity of this tale?
The black and red "electric" Baldwin harpsichord I know of never went on tour.  The parts it plays are not that important for a road show. If it ever did before my time, harpsichords are simple to tune -- you could do it in 10 minutes with a wrench and pitchpipe. I use to tune the one at the studio. Since every town and certainly every concert hall has an "on-call" tuner guy it would be dumb to have one travel with a group.  Even concert pianists don't go to that extreme -- not even Sir Elton.  To my knowledge it's a tale all right pee wee!   ;)  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on March 06, 2006, 12:17:53 PM
Hi Stephen, I was wondering if you'd like to talk about your favourite "moment" with the Beach Boys, in terms of something you recorded in the studio with them. What I mean is, your favourite sound or recorded event or anything of that nature... maybe your favourite achieved effect and how you did it, or something... (For example,  a lot of people love the "deep and wide" section of Time to Get Alone).


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on March 06, 2006, 12:20:28 PM
I remember reading that the Beach Boys once brought a Baldwin electric harpsichord on tour with them as well as a piano tuning guy whose sole duty was to tune the harpsichord.  Can you vouch for the veracity of this tale?
The black and red "electric" Baldwin harpsichord I know of never went on tour.  The parts it plays are not that important for a road show. If it ever did before my time, harpsichords are simple to tune -- you could do it in 10 minutes with a wrench and pitchpipe. I use to tune the one at the studio. Since every town and certainly every concert hall has an "on-call" tuner guy it would be dumb to have one travel with a group.  Even concert pianists don't go to that extreme -- not even Sir Elton.  To my knowledge it's a tale all right pee wee!   ;)  ~swd
What songs can we hear that particular instrument on?  Time To Get Alone, perhaps?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: sloopjasonb on March 08, 2006, 04:51:13 PM
Hi Stephen... I was wondering if you had any advice on recording vocal harmonies... i totally dig the ones you recorded for the Beach Boys... especially the add some music harmonies... I am working with my group The Explorers Club on recording some harmonies and we were wondering if we should double track them or not?  maybe a "fake" double tracking would work (thats how it sounds to me on stuff like with me tonight from Smiley Smile) ... any tips you have on recording some vocal harmonies would be great...

feel free to give us a listen --- www.myspace.com/explorersclub -- very bb influenced for sure.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 08, 2006, 05:21:19 PM
Stephen,

Are any of the songs in Friends pitched up/down at all?

Thanks!
-J


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on March 09, 2006, 01:26:12 PM
Stephen, I have a quick question which may have been asked of you at some point.
 
During the Friends album, there are several oddities buried beneath the music. Certain noises which would usually be carefully removed from a recording. Such noises are often thought to be detrimental to the overall listen of a song, a belief which believes them to be of the work of lazyness and apathy. I strongly disagree with that notion, and suggest that all of those little noises which throughout the Friends album are yet more examples of real human life happening beyond the music. Computer technology I suppose has made it an easy process to remove glitches and such (Of course...not for Our Prayer on BWPS) but I feel that the aspect of minor mistake and fumbling should be left in. Were these little blips noticed by yourself and the Beach Boys upon recording and mixing? If so, were there major attempts to remove such noises, or were they left in for any reason on purpose?

Once again, sorry if it has been asked. One day I assume we'll run out of things to ask anyway, that'll be time to leave.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 09, 2006, 01:35:56 PM
Not to bring you down or anything Steve, but would you mind clarifying for me how involved you were on Friends?  If you could ballpark a percentage, or something.  You've often spoke of how Jimmy was still employed as the "lead engineer" but often sidelined with illness.  Did you find that your coverage for Jim increased as time went on or was it really just a case by case basis, regardless of the chronology of the album-making?  Do you feel like you worked on Friends enough to get a specific credit on the back along with Mr. Lockert, or was Diane's catch-all thank you to the Beach Boys musician friends enough for you?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 09, 2006, 01:41:41 PM
I still dont hear this glitch in Our Prayer (BWPS) that everyones talkin about...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on March 09, 2006, 03:13:19 PM
I still dont hear this glitch in Our Prayer (BWPS) that everyones talkin about...

Press play.

Boom. You already missed it.

It's quiet but noticable.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 09, 2006, 03:30:59 PM
:shrug


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 09, 2006, 03:45:23 PM
Not to bring you down or anything Steve, but would you mind clarifying for me how involved you were on Friends?  If you could ballpark a percentage, or something.  You've often spoke of how Jimmy was still employed as the "lead engineer" but often sidelined with illness.  Did you find that your coverage for Jim increased as time went on or was it really just a case by case basis, regardless of the chronology of the album-making?  Do you feel like you worked on Friends enough to get a specific credit on the back along with Mr. Lockert, or was Diane's catch-all thank you to the Beach Boys musician friends enough for you?

Have you read this?

http://smileysmile.net/desper/friends.html


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on March 09, 2006, 03:47:59 PM
:shrug


It's not before it starts, but while the first note is sung. Listen closely, with head phones.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 09, 2006, 04:00:32 PM
This is the second time I tried to listen to Our Prayer really loud through headphones, and I still dont hear anything...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 09, 2006, 04:08:03 PM
Yeah, I had read that, and rereading it now I guess that answers part of my question.  I'd still like to know if Steve felt like he deserved specific credit according to his input, and also if there was a chronological progression, or if it was just completely hit and miss when Jim was out.

In case anybody is too lazy to click on the link, these are the songs Steve worked on on Friends:

Friends
Little Bird
Anna Lee, The Healer
Be Here in the Mornin'
Wake the World

And to clarify, you said it was just the vocal sessions for those songs, Steve?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on March 10, 2006, 12:09:07 AM
Quote
This is the second time I tried to listen to Our Prayer really loud through headphones, and I still dont hear anything...

You're better off that way...I'd recommend not listening for it anymore, and hope that you never notice!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on March 10, 2006, 03:40:12 AM
Maybe I confuse some things, but isn´t there a second edition/pressing of SMiLE, without that sound at the beginning? Maybe you have that version.

Anway, please stop searching for it, because once you heard it, it will annoy you every single time.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 10, 2006, 09:51:02 AM
:lol

Probably. If someone can rip just that one piece and put it up as an mp3 I'd greatly appreciate it. Its bugging me that I have no idea what people are talkin about.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on March 10, 2006, 12:01:37 PM
amosario, I really like your Brian-quote. Do you know when he said it? And why?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 10, 2006, 12:08:31 PM
from the infamous 30  minute 'Help Me, Rhonda' session, said it to his father.

favorite quote, ever...it's useful sometimes too :p


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: JRauch on March 10, 2006, 12:16:36 PM
Thanks


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 10, 2006, 06:21:21 PM
The Stephen Desper Search Engine now has all available messages from 2002 and 2004, and Stephen's messages from 2005 are now being added to the database.  I'm now using a b2evolution blog, which will make it easier to find messages by topic or keyword, and it will make it much easier for me to add messages.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: DUMB ANGEL on March 11, 2006, 09:41:39 AM
Can you please tell me the names of the albums you had a hand in?   Thank You.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on March 11, 2006, 10:03:43 AM
I'm pretty sure it was Smiley Smile - Surf's Up.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 11, 2006, 12:17:41 PM
Quote
I'm pretty sure it was Smiley Smile - Surf's Up.

He was the full-time, official chief engineer for Stack-o-Tracks through Surf's Up, and served as Road mixer before that...and it was in that capacity, I believe that he filled in for the chronically ill Jimmy Lockert over Smiley, Wild Honey, and Friends, as described in the post that Chuck has linked to above.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 11, 2006, 07:34:23 PM
Stephen, I found this while Googling today.  It's a post from 2001 from a somewhat foul mouthed young man who says he met you.  One thing he said kind of stood out to me:

he told me that there is a finished smile in the posession of justyn wilson

Do you remember this, and if so, what does it (or did it) mean precisely?

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/smileing/message/1623?viscount=100


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 11, 2006, 07:35:25 PM
Quote
I'm pretty sure it was Smiley Smile - Surf's Up.

He was the full-time, official chief engineer for Stack-o-Tracks through Surf's Up, and served as Road mixer before that...and it was in that capacity, I believe that he filled in for the chronically ill Jimmy Lockert over Smiley, Wild Honey, and Friends, as described in the post that Chuck has linked to above.

I encourage all to browse the messages, check out the categories, and search by keyword at:

http://smileysmile.net/desperblog/index.php


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on March 11, 2006, 10:25:06 PM
I don't believe a word of it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mark Kidd on March 12, 2006, 09:41:48 PM
I have tried to make sure I've read the entire thread, and thought I would mention an idea that occured to me regarding the service Stephen was offering to process CD releases for fans. It may be too late now, but have you considered picking up a few used copies (amazon.com is good for finding BB CD releases for $6-8) and just building in the price of these, the blanks, and whatever you think is fair for your time into the offer? That way everyone can be certain they are receiving a legitimate copy of the original CD release as well as your processed version.

I certainly would be interested in this.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 14, 2006, 07:19:07 AM
COMMENT --

Charles LePage, in his typical loving way, sent me an email concerned that I had not posted for a few weeks.  Thank you for your concerns, my friend :hug.

I am dealing with some health issues at this time.  I am told it will be several more weeks before things improve. :violin In the intrum, the pain nulling drugs put me in la-la land  :spin -- which I don't like, reality is much better -- making it very hard to run a computer :smash (someone else is typing this) or to think in a sensible way ??? ? ? ?  I think it best that I not answer any questions in my current state of mind. I might write something that was not correct.  

I have a backlog of book orders to process and a CD copy order to return, which I'll try to get to soon.  Please bear with me. 

Medication will improve my condition :beer, but it will take time.  Thank you for your understanding and . . .

Good Listening,
  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on March 14, 2006, 07:27:40 AM
Great to see you're in high spirits, Stephen! :thumbsup

We look forward to your knowledge and audio wisdom in the near future.

Feel better! :thewilsons


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 14, 2006, 07:27:53 AM
That has to be most effective use of smileys I've ever seen here.

Stephen, prayers will be made asking for your swift recovery.  And thanks to the friend who is typing for you.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on March 14, 2006, 09:13:28 AM
I appreciate knowing that you're still around, Steve. Get well soon!  :banana


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on March 14, 2006, 09:45:23 AM
A speedy recovery to you, Stephen!  Your input on this board is treasured by all of us Beach Boy freaks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on March 14, 2006, 09:57:56 AM
Get well soon Stephen.Your wisdom always makes me want to say "YES"!!!!!  LOL
A speedy recovery my Friend.
Big Bri


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Emdeeh on March 14, 2006, 06:40:33 PM
Wishing you a swift recovery, Stephen!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on March 14, 2006, 07:30:50 PM
Add my wishes for a speedy recovery to the pile, my friend; this place isn't the same without your heart and your soul.  Hurry back.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bubba Ho-Tep on March 15, 2006, 08:41:30 AM
I hope you have a swift and thorough recover, Mr. Desper!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 15, 2006, 12:28:05 PM
Get well soon and take it easy, Steve.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on March 15, 2006, 02:58:57 PM
All the best, Steve !!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on March 16, 2006, 08:50:17 AM
I do hope you get well soon, Steve.

C-Man


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 16, 2006, 09:31:42 AM
Stephen, when you feel better and start posting again, I was wondering if you give more information on the following:

Virtual Sound Processor-11(VSP-11) 1.02 (http://www.download.com/Virtual-Sound-Processor-11-VSP-11-/3000-2167-10120704.html?part=winmp&subj=dl&tag=feed&jump=winmp)

Will it work with Windows XP Service Pack 2?

How does it compare to something like this:

iQfx 3.0 (http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Audio/Audio-Plugins/iQfx.shtml)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 16, 2006, 06:15:07 PM
Stephen, when you feel better and start posting again, I was wondering if you give more information on the following:

Virtual Sound Processor-11(VSP-11) 1.02 (http://www.download.com/Virtual-Sound-Processor-11-VSP-11-/3000-2167-10120704.html?part=winmp&subj=dl&tag=feed&jump=winmp)

Will it work with Windows XP Service Pack 2?

How does it compare to something like this:

iQfx 3.0 (http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Audio/Audio-Plugins/iQfx.shtml)

Thank you everyone for all your concerns.  It touches my heart to know I've got some real friends on the other end of this thread.   ~Steve

COMMENT TO CHARLES LePAGE --

This is a sour point with me.  My original invention was quite unique in the way it operated. It was never understood by the electronic engineers who thought it could be converted to digital without much processing power.  What you can download from Spatializer, QSound, or SRS are all basically the same function (only using different trade names) -- none of which do to the signal what my original patented invention did. When the programmers went in the wrong direction (as far as I was concerned)  it prompted me to sell my shares and options in SPAZ to move to Florida and regroup.  Now all those companies are going under or close to it, because their products have gone generic, that is, the public does not make a distinction between them. All the generic programs are phychoacoustic in operation. My approach takes the neurological route which is not often understood by sound engineers -- rather by medical doctors.

As to using the generics, that is something you could experiment with.  They will give you some kick, but not the true effect.  Don't waste your money buying from Spatializer or QSound.  Just use WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER as the program to play a CD from your computer and turn on the SRS "WOW effect" for spatial enhancement and TreBass to give a false bottom end, if you like that sort of thing.  In my computer I can compare the 360Surround matrix device against WOW while playing Sunflower.

What I hear is a lot of distortion on the vocals when using WOW and none using the matrix.  But you will get some spread. You will also notice that you can hear the digital processing as it is applied to the sound with WOW. Matrix is analog only. You need to see how much distortion you can tolorate against the effect you want.  I would turn TruBass completly off.  WOW at less then halfway up.  I think it goes to mono at the extreme left. Adjust to your liking. Don't believe the other brands will do any better or worse.

If you wish to listen over a larger sound system, take the headphone output from your computer speakers, or the line output from your sound card and input it into your stereo AUX inputs. 

If you don't have Media Player, you can download it for free from http://www.microsoft.com. 
~swd  (still on the mend)  


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 16, 2006, 06:42:04 PM
Thanks Steve.  I am always looking for something to improve the overall sound output of my PC.  The Qsound plugin for RealPlayer that I bought years ago works only for Realplayer.  I will try what you have suggested in Windows Media Player, though of course, that will only work for it.   I'm looking for something that will improve the sound I get while using Rhapsody. (http://rhapsody.com/)

You should be getting your rest, but since you answered, here's one more question:  are you considering developing PC software that would do what you wanted your original invention to do?

(still on the mend)  -- well, ignore my questions and get better.   :P


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: dennyfan on March 17, 2006, 05:10:48 AM
Stephen,

I just logged on and saw the post about your heath.  Just want to send my regards - I hope you're feeling better and will be back to full health soon


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 17, 2006, 06:43:36 AM
Thanks Steve.  I am always looking for something to improve the overall sound output of my PC.  The Qsound plugin for RealPlayer that I bought years ago works only for Realplayer.  I will try what you have suggested in Windows Media Player, though of course, that will only work for it.   I'm looking for something that will improve the sound I get while using Rhapsody. (http://rhapsody.com/)

You should be getting your rest, but since you answered, here's one more question:  are you considering developing PC software that would do what you wanted your original invention to do?

(still on the mend)  -- well, ignore my questions and get better.   :P

I'm an analog guy.  Analog still has the highest resolution which is what it takes to give realistic spatial impression. The 360 matrix could easily be connected to a computer to do it all.  If you have one, try it.

On the professional scene I did develope software for use in CD mastering.  I made ten units.  They sold for $10,000 each.  Most are now in use in Japanese mastering houses.  One is in Canada. I suppose the price would drop some if revisited today.

Look into options on your soundcard software.  You may find something there that will "improve" your PC sound.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on March 17, 2006, 07:31:29 AM
Stephen.
Hope you fell better soon.
Can you explain what precisely/in lay terms what the Spatializer actually does to the muisc? As in, filters, phase shifting, band-pass filters tec...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 17, 2006, 09:49:13 AM
Look into options on your soundcard software.  You may find something there that will "improve" your PC sound. [/b]  ~swd

Perhaps a new soundcard is in order:

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic Sound Card  (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=208&product=14066)

Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic Review (http://hardware.gamespot.com/Story-ST-22364-2730-16-16-x)

My guess is, how the sound card "improves" the output is similiar or the same as the software you described.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 17, 2006, 12:13:49 PM
Quote
Can you explain what precisely/in lay terms what the Spatializer actually does to the muisc? As in, filters, phase shifting, band-pass filters tec...

I'm guessing that's proprietary information.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 17, 2006, 05:05:33 PM
Stephen.
Hope you fell better soon.
Can you explain what precisely/in lay terms what the Spatializer actually does to the muisc? As in, filters, phase shifting, band-pass filters tec...
SEE, That's what I mean.  You're giving me the same problems that the electronic engineers did at my own company. You want filters, phase shifting, band-pass, etc. while I'm working with, labeled line codes, discharge patterns, adaptive receptor slopes, frequency and population codes, hemisphere transitions, temporal autocorrelation, etc. -- terms not used in the audio world. To my thinking you are dealing with signal pathways to understand music -- and that's not where music is cognized. Copper wire, paper cones, and silicon impurities only represent the positional changes of moving air molecules -- there's no Brian Wilson ballad in resistor. Signal does not even begin to be sonic event until the forth level of neurological activity and auditory configurations of primitive music begin to emerge above level ten.  Music and sound is all in the mind.  Reproduction of music production is a total illusion.  It's not natural to hear two undulating speaker cones. There is no inbuilt, inherited, or conditioned model in our physiological history to which the mind can relate.  Where in nature is 2.0 or 5.1?  It's all an illusion.  An illusion that finds substance in the mind, not on a circuit board.  Yes, the topology of a circuit can be changed to mimic a physical effect, but if you want to really make stereo work, you've got to do it on the brain's level, i.e, use the brain as it works, and it does not work like an electronic circuit. 
My pain medication is making me ramble, sorry.
~swd         


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 17, 2006, 05:49:00 PM
Look into options on your soundcard software.  You may find something there that will "improve" your PC sound. [/b]  ~swd

Perhaps a new soundcard is in order:

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic Sound Card  (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=208&product=14066)

Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic Review (http://hardware.gamespot.com/Story-ST-22364-2730-16-16-x)

My guess is, how the sound card "improves" the output is similiar or the same as the software you described.
COMMENT TO CHARLES --

If you really want to improve the sound of your PC (at least in streaming audio) you've got to start with the source.  Check out http://www.bluebeat.com or "digital done right at BLUE BEAT."  Your Rhapsody service downloads at 128k -- and then you want to band-aid some program to make it better?   Try Blue Beat downloads, at a huge 320k, to your secure MP3 -- that's real CD quality without the compression artifacts. 

Lots of music on BlueBeat and the best streaming sound around.  The installation of the player is a drag 'cause it complex and takes two or three re-boots, but the sound is super.  If you are an audiophile, BlueBeat's the stream! 
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 17, 2006, 05:59:49 PM
Vocalization gone mobile

MUST HEAR !!!   

>>>  http://esp.realcities.com/a/hBD1UdcAPnpi4APtV1IAQIJw8.APnpi4TW/gmsv1042


~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 17, 2006, 07:14:53 PM
Quote
Where in nature is 2.0 or 5.1?

Is nature Infinity.Infinity?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on March 17, 2006, 08:52:55 PM
I love this thread.  Even when i don't understand it, i love it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 17, 2006, 09:23:58 PM
Quote
Where in nature is 2.0 or 5.1?

Is nature Infinity.Infinity?
No. Natural sounds are almost exclusively real point sources (more like single-speaker mono). They are certainly not virtual points in space. From an attacking pride of lions to an entertaining pipe organ, all sources of sound are sigular sonic events.  Did you view the video I just posted?  That choir is a collection of many indivdual vibrating membranes, not two undulating layers of tissue at the extremes of the choir.  The human brain evolved to serve us in the perception of the acoustic reality in which we survive and find life experience. For 40 million years mankind has been perceiving spatial dimension assuming that almost every sound event is the source of the location of that sound event. For the last 40 years we have been playing around with stereophonic reproduction and virtual imaging. Which way do you think the brain has developed to experience?  Believe me, the methodology the human auditory system uses for creatring and presenting acoustic reality to our indivdual internal conception of the real world is not complimentary to two- three- or five-channels of surround sound. Since we are dealing with a total illusion here, we can use the brain's own techniques to append the illusion so it conforms to a more natural model -- a model the brain can make more sense of.  ~swd        


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 18, 2006, 06:52:58 PM
If you really want to improve the sound of your PC (at least in streaming audio) you've got to start with the source.  Check out http://www.bluebeat.com or "digital done right at BLUE BEAT."  Your Rhapsody service downloads at 128k -- and then you want to band-aid some program to make it better?   Try Blue Beat downloads, at a huge 320k, to your secure MP3 -- that's real CD quality without the compression artifacts.

Am I an audiophile?  I suspect I may be not.  I've created an account on Bluebeat and I imagine, at 320k, the music will sound better.  Compared to 128k, it has to, though I don't know, once I'm actually able to hear music on Bluebeat, I'll notice the difference, given my 40 year old set of ears.  In the end, Rhapsody appears to offer more choices of bands and albums, plus I won't ever see this message while using it:

Cslepage's Music...is in progress.
A crate must contain at least three hours of music to be playable and shared with others.


Rhapsody lets me listen to one song without choosing three hours of music.

To use an example, I drive a Honda CRV.  I would have loved to buy a new one with a rocking stereo, but budget concerns led me to buy a used one without a CD player.  Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to get a quality CD player installed, I spent about $30 and have a Walkman with a car-listening kit.  A band aid, yes, but inexpensive and convenient.  There will always be a market for something like Rhapsody that, at ten bucks a month, allows you to listen to wide variety of artists and songs, as much as you want.  Yes, the bit rate is not quite CD quality, but when I've played songs from Rhapsody, or made CDs from Rhapsody, I've yet to find someone who has said it isn't CD quality.  But there again, most people are not audiophiles.

I also have a MP3 collection that for the most part is less than 320k.  Nothing but a band aid is going to make them sound better.

When you use Bluebeat, do you use the Windows Media Player SRS effects?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 18, 2006, 09:45:31 PM

I've yet to find someone who has said it isn't CD quality.  But there again, most people are not audiophiles.

I also have a MP3 collection that for the most part is less than 320k.  Nothing but a band aid is going to make them sound better.

When you use Bluebeat, do you use the Windows Media Player SRS effects?


No, I use 360Surround Matrix. 

Your feedback is exactly why I've drifted away from the music business.  People are going backwards.  They don't care about fidelity, just cheap playlists.  It's quantity, not quality. I have found that I like the audiophile end of the business. It's the only place where music aficionados actually sit in darkened rooms and do one thing -- Good Listening,
~swd 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 18, 2006, 10:02:38 PM
I imagine there have always been those that have had less interest in fidelity than others. 

I care about fidelity.  However, I have limited access to the hardware and music that is of the finest fidelity.  I have to make do with what I can get my hands on.  Thus, the band aids.

I remember the days when I spent time in that darkened room you speak of.  Too many other things going on, and a growing inability to tolerate headphones as I get older, keep me out of that room for the most part.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mark Kidd on March 18, 2006, 10:18:19 PM
MP3s are convenient and still the only digital format other than CDA that my discman plays, but that's only because it's gained ubiquity in the market. Even for lossly compression, MP3 is pretty weak sauce. The codec itself has been band-aided so it's more flexible than it used to be, but with the bandwith and storage space we have now something losess like FLAC is easy and maintains true fidelity to the bits on the CD.

FLAC is just one lossless codec, but it's a forerunner among the current options: http://flac.sourceforge.net/


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 19, 2006, 12:58:10 PM
I have FLACS as well.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 19, 2006, 02:11:01 PM
I imagine there have always been those that have had less interest in fidelity than others. 

I care about fidelity.  However, I have limited access to the hardware and music that is of the finest fidelity.  I have to make do with what I can get my hands on.  Thus, the band aids.

I remember the days when I spent time in that darkened room you speak of.  Too many other things going on, and a growing inability to tolerate headphones as I get older, keep me out of that room for the most part.

COMMENT TO CHARLES --
I am fortunate to have some good equipment around me.  What I'm saying is that you would think that in 40 years we would have improved sound reproduction many fold.  The CD player brought what a $1,000 LP turntable could produce to the average guy for $100. But most people still want 1000 tunes on their cellphone for playback while on the run.  Well, OK, there's lots of music in the archives to load up on.  Digital cable was to bring us better looking TV pictures, but instead it delivers more channels of crappy shows with the same limited resolution.  I know it's all going to change someday, but the FCC keeps delaying the date. Here's the bottom line:

I can assemble a good two-channel stereo sound system from Circuit City for around two grand.  That's a CD player, Amplifier/Receiver and two - fresh from Japan - speakers on stands. Use Monster cable hookup wire and interconnects. Buy 10 CD's for $150; and listen. 

I can go on ebay and buy a vintage (1960) Fisher C-500 tube receiver, a used Thornes or AR turntable and Shure cartridge, and a couple of old JBL, Bozak, EV, AR, Tannoy, Warfdale or whatever American/British speakers and elevate them on some milk crates. Use lamp cord and cheap interconnects.  Buy 300 LP's for $150 from a used clothing store; and listen.

Guess which music system will give me the most musical experience and be the cheapest investment. 

On the over hand, there are people who spend hundred's of thousand's of dollars and are never satisfied.

Take the time to travel into Audiophile Land by clicking here >>>  http://www.exoticaudio.org/index.html  (http://www.exoticaudio.org/index.html). Take the time and visit at least five pages. It's an amazing market.  Very diverse. 

I'm just saying that for all the time that has past, all the research that's been done, and all the effort which has gone into the capturing of sound, you would think we would have come further along with the fidelity part.
  ~swd     


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 19, 2006, 02:23:52 PM
Digital cable was to bring us better looking TV pictures, but instead it delivers more channels of crappy shows with the same limited resolution.  I know it's all going to change someday, but the FCC keeps delaying the date.     

Digital cable is sold as something wonderful, but all it is designed to do, as I understand it, is allow cable companies to deliver more channels to their customers.   It isn't meant to improve the quality of resolution one bit.  I could very well be wrong. 

Read this:  Cable operators use digital technology to compress video signals, allowing more than one program service to be carried in the bandwidth space normally required for one analog program service.  http://www.ncta.com/Docs/PageContent.cfm?pageID=91

They go on to say Digital television also allows cable operators and program networks to offer high-definition television.  We get some HD channels where I live, and they are wonder to view.  Just not much to choose from.

I think I've babbled enough about musical fidelity. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 19, 2006, 04:16:23 PM
Digital cable was to bring us better looking TV pictures, but instead it delivers more channels of crappy shows with the same limited resolution.  I know it's all going to change someday, but the FCC keeps delaying the date.     

Digital cable is sold as something wonderful, but all it is designed to do, as I understand it, is allow cable companies to deliver more channels to their customers.   It isn't meant to improve the quality of resolution one bit.  I could very well be wrong. 

Read this:  Cable operators use digital technology to compress video signals, allowing more than one program service to be carried in the bandwidth space normally required for one analog program service.  http://www.ncta.com/Docs/PageContent.cfm?pageID=91

They go on to say Digital television also allows cable operators and program networks to offer high-definition television.  We get some HD channels where I live, and they are wonder to view.  Just not much to choose from.

I think I've babbled enough about musical fidelity. 
Analog television in this country is to be phased out in 2007 -- been extended to 2011.  After that, all analog (regular) TV's will not receive a signal. Every transmitter will be digital ony. A converter to keep your old TV's going will cost about $100 per set.

I think this medication I'm on makes me depressed about the future -- or at least somewhat sour. 

Guess I need a dose of uplifting Beach Boy surf music !!
   ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike thornton on March 19, 2006, 05:38:49 PM
stephen, it's all about quality. i have maybe 30 cd's (even then i play mostly just one cd, that being mason william's phonograph record-my "be my baby"). i have far more vinyl, perhaps 75 and they are mostly classical. i find that vintage stereo gear is the most satisfying. i have those wharfedale speakers that you mention (1969), a denon tt with a shure cartridge (early 80's), and a kenwood kr-9940 (mid 70's). my equip sounds almost as good as some off the charts expensive audiophile stuff. but it all pales in comparison to my vintage yamaha plain jane acoustic that i write with. you'd think with the advances in "fidelity" reproduction that we'd be really close. but, i haven't heard it.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mark Kidd on March 19, 2006, 07:29:50 PM
I have FLACS as well.

Sorry if I was making an assumption there. I was glancing at this thread at the same time as I was showing one of my friends how to install a flac codec for the first time.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 20, 2006, 02:49:30 AM
I have FLACS as well.

Sorry if I was making an assumption there. I was glancing at this thread at the same time as I was showing one of my friends how to install a flac codec for the first time.

No harm, no foul.  I've saved songs from CDs as flacs when possible. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 20, 2006, 07:47:04 PM
PICTURES FOR aeijtzsche --  

Capitol Records' early Ampex recorders

(http://recordist.com/ampex/jpg/cap200-2.jpg)

(http://recordist.com/ampex/jpg/cap200-1.jpg)


I know you like the history of recording.

Do you know who ROSS SNYDER is?

(http://recordist.com/ampex/jpg/atr-002.jpg) 

How does that man in the yellow coat tie-in with The Beach Boys?


ROSS SNYDER is the inventer of Multi-Track recording, or as it used to be called "sel-sync" recording.

His first model went to Les Paul -- called "the octopus"

(http://mixonline.com/mag/510ampexles.jpg)   

That's right.  Without his idea, popular music would be no where. 

It all had to start somewhere.  Travel back to those early days of recording and enjoy a little history lesson.
 
The following Link is to a series of fascinating interviews that will take you back to the very beginnings of recording as we know it today.  Hear accounts of making the first multi-track recorder, the first practical demonstration of stereophonic sound to the audio professionals, the first public showcase of stereophonic sound.  I think you will find all this history, as told by the very people who made it, most interesting.
  
ROSS SNYDER REMEMBERS (past Ampex product developer) (http://recordist.com/ampex/mp3/index.html)

~swd
 

PS ========================================


First Video Recorder made by AMPEX

(http://www.oldradio.com/archives/hardware/TV/Ampex/Ampex-VR1000C.jpg)[/b]


Now they are incorporated into pocket telephones!!   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: absinthe_boy on March 21, 2006, 04:21:54 AM


I'm just saying that for all the time that has past, all the research that's been done, and all the effort which has gone into the capturing of sound, you would think we would have come further along with the fidelity part. [/b]  ~swd     

That rings a bell with me. You'd really think that audio gear would get better...in fact, like most technologically related consumer items it has merely become cheaper and more convenient for Joe Public to use.

I run a 1991 Systemdek IIx900 turntable through a 1978 Harman/Kardon high current reciever...home made speakers (fashioned from Castle Kendle II enclosures) connected using solid core mains cable.....that system beats the crap out of virtually anything else I have heard.

But...even better for the wallet...when I lived in the states I built up a system  using a Marantz 6210 turntable from a yard sale ($10 for TT, $60 for a new stylus, $15 for a new belt) a nice Nikko reciever ($20 from yard sale) and a pair of Realistic speakers from back when Radio Shack knew what they were doing ($10 from a thrift store).....$125 all in and it made people's jaws drop when the listened.


Now....my dad is deciding to have a late-life crisis and go on a spending spree. I'm helping him build a new hi-fi system.....and am glad to see Harman/Kardon still do stereo recievers with the high current design (+/- 42 amps internal current). But I gave him my old Onkyo cassette deck (circa 1988) thinking I'd buy a new one.....got a nice looking Yamaha with play trim which will help it play back tapes I recorded on my defunkt Nakamichi (non-standard bias)...but it is so flimsy! Can't imagine it lasting 18 years...

Best magnetic reproducer I have? The old Akai open reel...

Consumer electronics don't get better....they get cheaper, easier to use...pandering to the masses...why else would the cassette have ever become more popular than open reel? Its impossible to make them sound as good...but those reels take up space and people can't be bothered to thread them...much like cameras I'd touch very little currently on the market. Oh, there's good stuff out there (Pro-Ject turntables) but there's so much crap to wade through too...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: absinthe_boy on March 21, 2006, 04:28:54 AM
Digital television.....I was told by a BBC engineer around a decade ago that the TV companies were anxious to go digital, not because of the increased quality but the fact that they could cram more channels in the same sized cable...with reduced quality (compared to a good analogue signal) that people would still find acceptable.

Having about 200 digital channels available to me (UK digital cable) I find the variation in quality is vast.


Title: A question for Stephen Desper?
Post by: MBE on March 23, 2006, 11:09:59 PM
You have stated that the late 60s-early 70s was not a happy time of Brian's life. I would like to clarify that with you. Out of these three scenarios what is the closest to the truth about him then.
A. Consistently depressed with no real change
B. Gradually more depressed
C. Had good periods and bad periods.
I hope I don't sound cold the way I put this but I figured it would make answering the question a bit easier.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on March 28, 2006, 10:29:11 AM
Hi Steven...I was just flipping through my copy of "Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile!" by Dom Priore and found something quite interesting that pertained to you...there was an article in there that Dom himself responded to, intending to clear up common Smile myths that the initial article had suggested.  One of the points Dom made said that you had told him that there was a finished tape of the Elements suite in a vault somewhere (sorry I don't have the book on me for a direct quote at the moment).  What is up with this?  Seems like it may be more unfounded assuptions by Priore but I was curious to see if you knew anything about it.

By the way those pictures you posted were really cool! 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 29, 2006, 12:21:15 PM
Stephen, some recordings of BB concerts from Nov. 1967 have recently been "unofficially" released.  Do you recall if you would have had anything to do with them being recorded from way back when?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 31, 2006, 07:37:15 PM
Steve gave me his passcode and ask me to post this here. I hope I'm doing it right.

Steve has been in the hospital and is now convalescing.  We expect him to be healed in about four to six weeks. He has Shingles, a very painful and energy draining condition. He is not able to use his computer during convalescing.

He also ask me to tell any of you who may have recently sent orders for his book to expect shipment when he is better. He is sorry for the delay.

His condition took him by surprise, and came on quickly. He is doing OK but very tired. Pain pills keep the pain down but it is not a good time.

Shingles has to run its course. There is no other treatment.

Thank you,  DMK


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on March 31, 2006, 07:45:03 PM
My father had reoccurring shingles.  They are painful, and as you said, you have to let them run their course.

As always, he has our prayers and hopes for a swift recovery.

If there's anything he wants or needs, please let us know.  Ditto for his mom, whom I believe he takes care of.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on April 09, 2006, 07:54:09 PM
Get well soon, Mr. Desper.

You're insight to all of our questions is so greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: punkinhead on April 19, 2006, 05:23:55 AM
Mr. Desper,

I don't know if you've anwsered this yet or it's been discussed, but in the Friends' sessions, did Murry Wilson sing bass vocals for Be here in the Morning? did he do anything else around this era?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on April 19, 2006, 12:12:07 PM
Steve has already addressed this; in fact he called Al to confirm that Murry did indeed sing the lowest note a couple of times during the song you mention.  If both Steve and Al remember it, I'm pretty sure it's true.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: punkinhead on April 19, 2006, 06:19:42 PM
oh, i believe it to, i was just trying to prove it to some others


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on April 19, 2006, 07:19:02 PM
Tell those people to use the Desperpedia on this site.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on April 20, 2006, 04:49:52 AM
Plus, Carl mentioned in back in '82 to Geoffrey Himes:  "My Dad sang the deep note on 'Be Here In The Mornin'".  The full intervew is published in the second "newly expanded" edition of "Back to the Beach", edited by Kingsley Abbott.  According to the Badman book, Mike was still in India at this time, so the Boys needed a bass singer...

Craig



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: roll plymouth rock on May 01, 2006, 02:41:33 PM
Dear Mr Desper,

I work at a museum called that Cantos Music Foundation (www.cantos.ca) that has a collection of rare pianos + synths. The question I have is in regards to a promotional poster we have at the museum from Mellotron that lists the Beach Boys as a band that uses Mellotrons in their recordings. It didn't suprise me to see them on that list, but I really have no idea what songs they might have used a Mellotron on and I was wondering if you knew what tracks featured the Mellotron on them.

Kind regards,
Barnaby Bennett


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on May 01, 2006, 05:05:11 PM
You should get his book. It tells which tracks on Sunflower and Surf's Up have Mellotron.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on May 12, 2006, 11:40:11 AM
Any news on Mr Despers disease? Is he doin' ok?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Malc on May 30, 2006, 12:26:37 PM
I know somewhere in my files I have Stephen recalling how the in-joke 'technical notes' to the "Surf's Up" album came about - the so-called "U2 Boat Mike" and the "DC456-1414" (apparently the direct line to the White House) ... has anyone ANY idea where it IS in print ? I've searched high and low thru my books, ESQ back issues, and on this site, but can't find it ! Or can anybody recall exactly how the notes came about ...
Thanks
 :-\


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on May 30, 2006, 06:20:24 PM
I believe it's mentioned in his book Recording the Beach Boys.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on June 27, 2006, 05:20:03 PM
Any word on Desper's condition?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: doc smiley on August 18, 2006, 05:22:35 AM
hopefully when Steve gets better we can hear what he thinks about "The Flame" being released on CD without his input..
I am assuming that he wouldn't have had any input in this release because its sourced from vinyl and without the bonus tracks.... :P


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on August 27, 2006, 08:52:55 AM

Fellow Fans:

I''m doing better, but remain in bed a great deal of the day. The pain is still intense, but I can get to my computer for a short period each day and will try to answer or comment on any topic you wish to address. Don't expect speedy responses from me yet. Wanted to get back into the swing of it as part of therapy.

I'll comment on the new (?) Flame CD release in a few days.

Good Listening,
~Stephen W. Desper




Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on August 27, 2006, 08:57:04 AM
Great to see you back Stephen! You've been missed around here. Im glad to read that youre doing better...heres to a speedy complete recovery! :3dglasses



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on August 27, 2006, 12:46:56 PM
Great to see you back. All the best wishes to you Mr Desper !


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on August 27, 2006, 02:07:12 PM
I'll add my voice to those wishing you a speedy and complete recovery, Stephen; lose that pain, man!!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: nosticker on August 27, 2006, 03:19:28 PM
I was just perusing your Recording The Beach Boys book yesterday.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery!



Dan


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on August 28, 2006, 05:15:50 AM
Good to see you're doing better, Stephen. 
Here's hoping the "doing better" increases expotentially every day.

Craig


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on August 28, 2006, 05:37:25 AM
Great to have you back Stephen.I hope you're feeling better my friend.
I'm looking forward to your indepth comments once again.
God Bless that you're back!
Brian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on August 28, 2006, 06:33:00 AM
Welcome back Stephen!  I'm glad to read you are feeling at least a little better.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike slattery on August 29, 2006, 08:24:54 AM
hello Stephen - glad to hear you're feeling better!

Mike


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on August 29, 2006, 01:43:49 PM
I wish you a speedy recovery, Mr. Desper!  Glad to see you posting again!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Emdeeh on August 29, 2006, 07:48:03 PM
Glad to see you posting again, Stephen! I hope each day brings you closer to a full recovery.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on August 30, 2006, 12:53:54 PM
Welcome back, Steve!  As a recent surgical patient, I can understand some of the frustrations of recovering from health problems.  I really hope you continue to feel better daily!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mitchell on August 31, 2006, 02:42:41 PM
I was just thinking about you the other day (and the question I had has slipped my mind), so I am very happy to hear that you're on the road to recovery! Best wishes!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 07, 2006, 06:53:29 PM
I was just thinking about you the other day (and the question I had has slipped my mind), so I am very happy to hear that you're on the road to recovery! Best wishes!

Well Michell,  when you think of the question let me know.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thanks to everyone who have been so loving in wishing me the best of health.  I love you all !!  and hope for you . . . 

Good Listening,  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Daniel S. on September 11, 2006, 11:47:20 AM
Hey Stephen,

hope you feel better soon.

By the way, in the future are you still going to sell Quadrophonic versions of the Surf's Up/Sunflower twofer? I wanted to mail you my cd twofer so I could get a Quadrophonic version from you.  ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 20, 2006, 11:14:51 PM
Hey Stephen,

hope you feel better soon.

By the way, in the future are you still going to sell Quadrophonic versions of the Surf's Up/Sunflower twofer? I wanted to mail you my cd twofer so I could get a Quadrophonic version from you.  ;D

Comment to Melville -- and to everyone interested

I have withdrawn the matrixed copy service versions.  And by the way it's not quadraphonic, it's virtual surround.

I'm going back to where I left off before getting sick.

I've been considering just sending anyone a copy of both albums, run through the matrix, free for the asking.  I say, I've been considering this idea.  Any of you lawyer types out there wish to comment I would appreciate your insight.  In light of the fact that an English company (FALLOUT FOCD2006) recently released a needle-drop copy of the first Carl Wilson produced FLAME album with a little high-end EQ added for seeming clearity, with no one making any fuss over this action -- it seems that the only way fans are going to hear some of this stuff the way it was meant to be heard is through simple copies of CD's.  What I'd like information from any of you legally informed fans is what are the real-life consequences to, well, just sending copies to your friends of versions you like.  No money involved.  Just modified copies made for educational and recreational uses to be exchanged amoung friends.  Is not this type of thing provided for within the copyright law? These are not digital to digital copies.  These would be digital to analog to digital copies.  The Home Recording Act seems to only be concerned with digital copies made directly one to the other. Of course, someone setting up shop and making direct digital copies of commercial CD's would be compromising the income of the record company and denying royalty payments to the artist.  But if say, Melvile would call me up and we compare notes on recording techniques, and to facilitate our discussion one of us decides to send the other an example of what we are talking about, purely for educational purposes, is not this allowed . . . or tolorated. I mean, if Fallout Records can make money by copying LP records -- even copying the LP jacket, surely a couple of friends who are mutual fans can exchange their own copies between them for the purpose of educating or providing examples of the subject of a discussion -- on a friendly bases, of course.  I would say that's within the practical rights given to the person buying the CD.  Doesn't the Home Recording Act have that provision in it. What do you (anyone) think? Yes, I know you can't make copies for your friends if you are making the copy so that your friend does not need to buy the same product.  This is the intent of the Home Recording Act -- to prevent the loss of income to the record company.  But then that is not what would be going on here.  This would be a copy for the purpose of example -- and the copy would not be a true copy -- it would be a copy containing the modification to the sound that is the subject of the discussion two people are having about a technique -- absolutely for educational and informative reasons.  You can talk about sound all day long, but if you wish to put your point across, it is necessary to hear what the technique under discussion sounds like.  So the purpose of the copy -- modified to give example, not a true copy -- would be for instructional or informational purposes only.  Any persons who are fans engaging in such discussions would certainly not be interested in ripping off their favorite artists anyway, and would own their own copies of the songs under discussion.  Give me some feedback, please. 
Good Listening, ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: matt-zeus on September 21, 2006, 02:55:32 AM
Hi Steve,
It sounds like a great idea. Everyone here will already own the original versions of these CDs and is probably far more interested in owning proper versions of albums than copies (well I myself am). So the record company is not being fleeced.
As a lot of people on this board are musicians and are interested in recording and all the extras that come with it (and I count myself in as being quite interested in sound and its techinicalities), then any recordings which showcase interesting or innovative techniques will be of much interest.
Sorry if this doesn't come across too eloquent!
I'm basically saying, I agree! :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on September 21, 2006, 05:45:45 AM
Hi Steve,
   I have to agree with Matt-zeus.Most of us here are muscians and would like to hear the correct versions of SF/SU.
It would be strictly for OUR ears only.I don't see any legal issues considering we're sending you our CD's in exchange for another.
Hope you're feeling better Stephen.
I'm ready to send my CD when you give the OK.
Cheers,
Brian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on September 21, 2006, 06:15:30 AM
Steve,

Have you ever been contacted by BRI/Sony to work on a Boxed Set (something like the Pet Sounds boxed set) for Sunflower and Surf's Up?

It'd be great if they released a set with the original recordings, matrix recordings, and sessions/outtakes.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on September 21, 2006, 08:30:27 AM
     Steve, I think you're on legally solid ground with your plan.  However, that doesn't mean you can't be sued.  Whoever sues you might not win -- but you may have to spend an awful lot of money to win.  And that would be akin to losing.

     Here are my suggestions, either...  1)  Call BRI and ask them if they would be averse to your plan to distribute the discs to your small but rabid audience who have already spent hundreds, if not thousands on Beach Boy products,  (which includes paying for concerts, T-shirts, as well as CD's and DVD's.)   2)  Go ahead and just do it, and if someone or BRI asks you to stop or face a lawsuit, then just stop and hopefully no harm done.  3)  To minimize your involvement, say you will only give out a few copies, (10 or 20 or so,) and that's final, and hope that the people you gave copies to will make copies for others who are interested.


         Hope you're feeling better these days!     

                  Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: John Manning on September 21, 2006, 10:44:21 AM
I'm not  a musician (other than occasional forays on the Irish tin whistle!) but I do appreciate quality sound and would love to hear these albums as they were intended.

Nor am I a legal expert.

I  do hope this all comes about though.  If there's nothing could be done officially  then maybe,  Dan's suggestion of passing on copies of a few copies could be more formally developed along the lines of the smileproject CD - ie, an informal distribution tree?

That said, I'd gladly wait (a while) for an "authorised" version first.






With bonus tracks!  :-)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dr. Tim on September 21, 2006, 01:06:44 PM
This stuff changes all the time so I'd just say there's the legal answer and the practical answer.

The legal answer you probably don't want:  in the eyes of some show-biz law absolutists, making any copy of any copyrighted recording is a no-no.  At a seminar I heard one guy even try to argue for outlawing the common practice of "car tapes" or "car copies" of CDs as infringements, though he grudgingly admitted no one else was willing to go that far on that one.  Who would you prosecute?

Now the practical answer:  as long as you're not advertising it or calling attention or getting in anyone's face or replicating the packaging or charging any money, it may not be 100% legal or illegal (you call it "educational", that might work), but it's less likely anyone would step on you.  If they do you just back off and go away.  Asking BRI's permission, ironically, may not be a good idea.  You think the group might not care what their fans do so much and would say "fine" but you'll never hear from them.  Instead you'll hear from the suits in charge who are hard-asses, which is their job.  Their default mode is to say "no" then look to see that you've obeyed.

There was the Negativland case a few years back where the Island record label stomped all over Negativland for sampling 20 seconds of a U2 song, and went absolutely berserko, all the while U2 itself publicly stated they didn't have a problem with it.

In Europe it's easier for not-so-old recordings to end up in the public domain so that may be why the Flame LP got "reissued" like it did.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on September 21, 2006, 02:34:16 PM
Mr. Desper, glad to see your back and doing okay. I think I've got a solution here that would free you from any legal troubles. What if the virtual surround sound versions of SF and SU *just happened* to be stored on your personal computer (as lossless WAV, FLAC, or SHN files, of course), and *just happened* to get leaked, via a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, such as Soulseek, *unbeknownst* to yourself, into the hands of the general public. Do you cach my drift?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: doc smiley on September 21, 2006, 02:50:40 PM
sadly,
this all sounds real bad for those of us wanting to hear a proper version of "The Flame" and a release of the second Flame record sessions...
Blondie Chaplin isn't hard to track down these days ( www.blondiechaplin.net ) so maybe, with his permission we can get a better version of "The Flame" cd out there for the fans.. I wouldn't think that fallout records has sold that many yet.. and a real fan of the "Flame" boys (and Beach Boys for that matter) would likely want your version anyways.. being a proper remaster with (hopefully) much bonus material.. maybe even on Blondies current label??

pondering??


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on September 21, 2006, 09:33:10 PM
Quick question for Mr. Desper:

Are you still selling copies of your book RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS?

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 21, 2006, 09:40:53 PM
Quick question for Mr. Desper:

Are you still selling copies of your book RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS?

Thanks!
Yes Glenn, but follow directions on the book site or email me at askswd@webtv.net for book ordering information. I changed things a little. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on September 21, 2006, 10:14:13 PM
Quick question for Mr. Desper:

Are you still selling copies of your book RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS?

Thanks!
Yes Glenn, but follow directions on the book site or email me at askswd@webtv.net for book ordering information. I changed things a little. ~swd


Thanks!  Can you post a link to the site?  I had it bookmarked, but the link seems to have expired.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 21, 2006, 11:06:51 PM
Comments to All:

Thanks for your outlooks on my quey.

The FLAME album is not public domain -- not in the least. So the Fallout Records offering is a bootleg by any other color. What makes me mad is that BRI doesn't seem to give a damn one way or the other, while still not releasing the second bunch of songs that are all mixed and ready to be compiled into a CD. If they don't care about the loss of money from this latest bootleg release of the first album and don't seem to be interested in making additional money on the release of the second CD, then why are they keeping Carl Wilson's, The Flame, and my own hard work on the second album from the fans who deserve to hear the songs that the group did oh so many years ago. I mean, I would like to see them released in a properly mastered CD before I die.  What a sad commentary that one of the Flame members and the producer did not live long enough to see this work released.  What the f--k is BRI's game plan? Anyone got any insight into how they operate? Do we all have to be under six feet of dirt before the second Flame album can be issued? The classy thing that should have been done would have been to issue a "tribute" album when Carl passed on, but a little late for that now. Nevertheless, it's the fans of the old Flame group and those BB fans that appreciate Carl's production techniques that deserve to hear what's still not released. It's About Time -- is not just a song title.

As to exchanging examples of recording techniques of the two BB albums -- Joe asked about BRI or Capitol approaching me.  No, it's the other way around -- I've approached them, but no one is interested.  So, to me it's now a matter of academic, which I believe the Home Recording Act allows for.  Let me go off and find that for you. 

click here for link to Home Audio Recording Act >>>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Home_Recording_Act

I'll copy Wikipedia's comment that I believe makes the practice of making copies for educational proposes OK.

"The act failed to define "noncommercial use by a consumer" however "In short, the reported legislation [Section 1008] would clearly establish that consumers cannot be sued for making analog or digital audio copies for private noncommercial use." (House Report No. 102-780(I), August 4, 1992)"

Non-commercial use would mean to me that as long as no one makes money with these copies, making them for personal use is OK.

You can read further under the NO RECORDING THEFT Act section, but the more I read, the more unclear it becomes.  I think the RIAA people are way out on a limb with NRT.

The actual Home Audio Recording Act can be read at >>> http://www.virtualrecordings.com/ahra.htm

Note that most all provisions of this act deal with digital copies. I'm not interested in one-to-one digital copies.  I'm interested in analog to digital copes, and the copies are not even true copies.  That is, the copy is not the same as the original.  It is modified with respect to various aspects of its presentation sound field and sound stage.  This act does not address this issue.

Before, when I was offering to make copies of CD's sent to me, one lawyer worred that the copy I made would find its way to become a bootleg version that could then be sold on ebay -- or many copies sold on ebay -- and this would somehow become the subject of a lawsuit back to me since I was the source of the original copy.  So I withdrew my offer.  But I have been studying this issue for several months now and I just can't see the problem if the copy is made for educational reasons. I'm not making a true copy.

The Home Recording Act also fails to address the fact that, technically, any time you play a CD by way of a computer CD player, the computer first makes a copy of the content of the CD within RealPlayer or Windows MediaPlayer and then makes the playback from that file. So if you cannot make a copy legally, anyone playing from their computer is already in violation of the act.  To me it makes the act rather weak.

I would like some more input from you guys before I propose another plan . . .  but we are getting close.


~swd







Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 21, 2006, 11:19:57 PM
Quote
Thanks!  Can you post a link to the site?  I had it bookmarked, but the link seems to have expired.

http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/BookOrderingInfo/index.html


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike slattery on September 22, 2006, 03:26:38 AM


hello Stephen

here's a technical question - it involves having a quick listen to the track 'Far' at my Myspace acount if that's ok

www.myspace.com/mikeslattery - its the default song (low quality to keep filesize down)


here's my problem:  the first lot of lead vocals sound slightly out of tune to me (the section where the lead vocal comes in

ie the first lot of 'oooh I'm gonna miss you')

having listened to an older version without the Ohmboyz delay effects I think the vocals are ok and its the wash of effects

that is making them sound out, especially when a chord change comes but the wash from the last section in a different chord

continues, if that makes sense

did you ever have this problem,and if so how did you get out of it..?

many thanks

Mike


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 22, 2006, 06:04:19 AM
Here's my problem:  the first lot of lead vocals sound slightly out of tune to me (the section where the lead vocal comes in . . . did you ever have this problem,and if so how did you get out of it..?

COMMENT TO MIKE:
None of the vocals have offending intonation probems to my ears. I can hear what you are talking about, but I think you are too close to the production.  Put it aside for a week and then listen with fresh ears. 

In order to correct any slight tonal violations I would try reducing the amount of (or eliiminating) the way the trail end of the echo effect turns into a sawtooth waveform or gets treblie (high frequency emphasis).  If you can, try to make the re-entry of the original sound back into the echo loop to first go through a low-pass filter (cut off of highs).  When the singer says the word "miss," the "s" sound gets put into the loop and, frankly, is not musical sounding.  Nice effect, but no musical merit is added by having it there. Further on the word "gona" the "o" of that word gets caught in the loop also.  I think that is the offensive "virtual" vocal you may be hearing.  I still think it all relates back to this sawtooth sound in the echo effect.  I did not hear any of the "answer" background vocals sounding out-of-tune.

If we ever had that kind of problem, it would have been solved by re-singing the track. 

All three songs had good production values. I enjoyed listening to them with my morning coffee, especially "code."   

Hope that helps,
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike slattery on September 22, 2006, 07:31:20 AM
Here's my problem:  the first lot of lead vocals sound slightly out of tune to me (the section where the lead vocal comes in . . . did you ever have this problem,and if so how did you get out of it..?

COMMENT TO MIKE:
None of the vocals have offending intonation probems to my ears. I can hear what you are talking about, but I think you are too close to the production.  Put it aside for a week and then listen with fresh ears. 

In order to correct any slight tonal violations I would try reducing the amount of (or eliiminating) the way the trail end of the echo effect turns into a sawtooth waveform or gets treblie (high frequency emphasis).  If you can, try to make the re-entry of the original sound back into the echo loop to first go through a low-pass filter (cut off of highs).  When the singer says the word "miss," the "s" sound gets put into the loop and, frankly, is not musical sounding.  Nice effect, but no musical merit is added by having it there. Further on the word "gona" the "o" of that word gets caught in the loop also.  I think that is the offensive "virtual" vocal you may be hearing.  I still think it all relates back to this sawtooth sound in the echo effect.  I did not hear any of the "answer" background vocals sounding out-of-tune.

If we ever had that kind of problem, it would have been solved by re-singing the track. 

All three songs had good production values. I enjoyed listening to them with my morning coffee, especially "code."   

Hope that helps,
  ~swd


Hi Stephen
Thank you very much for taking the time to listen and comment, I really appreciate it.

'Far' is not finally mixed yet and your comments are very helpful.

Thanks also for your comment regarding the production values - I produced all 3 tracks at Artisan Audio in Moseley, Birmingham UK.  Engineering by the guys at the studio.  I would classify these as polished demos.

I have over 60 songs in various stages and am recording as fast as I can go - I have 10 prety much fully produced, the next ten will be more stripped down and hopefully wil take a lot less time - these have taken me years!

many thanks

Mike







Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on September 22, 2006, 08:30:32 AM
     Stephen, as I said before I think "technically" you are on sound legal ground.  And as I said, that doesn't mean you can't be sued.  But I think the most likely case would be that they give you time to "cease and desist" before they filed a lawsuit against you. 

     I also think your best bet to limit any culpability is to just give out a few copies.  If they do get upset and try to sue, then you'll have less liability because you only made a few copies for academic purposes.  And if you do only give out a few copies I think the online Beach Boy group is pretty friendly and will gladly redistribute the disc to other folk.  If anyone who gets one of the discs promises to make three copies and send it out free to other folk, who then agree to send out three free discs, etc., etc., then the disc will get around very quickly I think. 

     Also, maybe some of us can check Ebay everyday to see if anyone is selling your disc.  If so, then we can easily contact Ebay and tell them that listing is a bootleg and Ebay will take it down.  This will keep you from any liability in that instance.  Take care, Steve!

        Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on September 22, 2006, 10:55:05 AM
Hi Stephen,

It's great to have you back and I hope you're feeling better.  I have a couple of engineering-related questions based on experiences I had recording this past summer . . .

1.  In your opinion, to what degree of responsibility and how prepared should an engineer be to answer the question, "was that flat?"

2.  On my way home from the studio after mixing, I glanced at the tape box containing my 1/2" and was surprised to see "30 ips" written in the "speed" section of the label.  I suppose I should have noticed something when I was told we would need an extra $30 worth of 1/2" tape to mix four songs, but I had a lot of things to think about at the time.  The bottom line is, I wasn't given an option beforehand - and I definitely would have chosen 15 ips if I had the opportunity to.  I haven't made a stink about it because we didn't have time to do good mixes of everything (one day for four songs) and it's just a demo.  It probably goes w/o saying that the engineer should have asked me.  So, I guess my question is, how much of a difference does it make?  I was later told that it's the studio's philosophy to mix at 30 ips in order to reduce noise and to EQ in more gain to the low frequencies upon playback to make up for the loss.  I'm thinking that maybe I want the "noise," and that the recordings now have a degree of fidelity higher than I desired - they perhaps sound "cleaner" than I wanted.  Is it all in my head?  I'm not very technical or experienced, which is why i'm asking you . . . 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on September 22, 2006, 02:46:25 PM
     Steve, I also meant to ask you if you had talked to Alan Boyd lately.  You know he's trying to set up a Beach Boys Store where he'll be selling rare recordings both over the internet and by CD, right?  I would imagine he would love to have all the Flames material be a part of the "merchandise" available at the site.   Or has he said that such a release will not be possible on that site, too?


        Love and merci,    Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on September 22, 2006, 03:56:59 PM
Stephen, since you're back and listening to stuff, did you ever see this post I made?  It was first posted right about when you fell ill.  Hopefully you might enjoy listening to the song, as it's recording was entirely inspired by you.


The Original post:

Quote
Hey, Stephen, I was going through some stuff this afternoon when I happened across this track:

http://www.someoneliving.com/forgivetwotrack.mp3

Obviously, you're under no obligation to listen to it, but I'm pretty sure it was the first serious recording I did after you started giving me all sorts of tips, so if nothing else you can know your passed-on knowledge is being put to use.  I did everything on it myself, the only thing I didn't do is write the song.  It's supposed to be a conversation between a guy and a girl, which is why I inexplicably change vocal registers at times.  The higher voice is to be replaced by a female at some point.

If anybody else who hasn't heard it before listens and is interested, here is a little rundown of some of the elements of the track.

Drums recorded in my foyer, MXL 993s overhead in spaced pair, SM57 on snare, AKG D112 on kick.

Bass:  Fender Precision through 12" guitar amp played with pick, mic-ed with a single Shure 545 on-axis with the speaker, right against the grille.  I don't believe I took it DI, but if I did it was combined to a mono signal, then later that signal was split and one side was slighly detuned.  I tried doubling the line manually with my Fender Mustang, which is a great sound, but it wasn't working for this song.

The acoustic guitars and mandolins were all done with heavy CTDTing, XY formation.  I believe the intro has two 12-sting acoustics, one six string, and two mandolin parts.

The electric guitar was recorded through the Carvin 12" speaker-ed guitar amp, slightly distorted.  I had a 57 right up close and the 545 about 15 feet back and out where it could pick up some foyer sound.

The piano was recorded in stereo with two Rode NT-1As, and a Shure 546.  Some articficial reverb was added to pad out the sound.

The trumpets were treated as if two trumpeters were present, playing together into one mic, then doubling the first pass.  So I actually recorded each pass in stereo using CTDT, then combined that into mono, then repeated the process.  The mono signals were panned out left and right.

The strings were the most difficult and painstaking to do.  I set up the MXL 993 Small Diaphragm mics in a spaced formation, then set up four chairs underneath, did four stereo passes, then did four more passes in stereo to double the "quartet."  Sadly, I'm not that good at violin, so it's a little out of tune at times.

The vocals were really straightforward.  I did the "male" vocals into my Ribbin mic, the "Female" into my Rode NT-1A.  I comb-filtered the mono signal into stereo for the "verses", double-tracked and panned out the "choruses", and double-tracked the "jazzier" "bridges" but kept both passes down the middle.  I also added a slapback "tape" echo sound to those to make it sound a little denser and "retro".

Thanks for your great tips, Steve.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 22, 2006, 06:00:55 PM
     Stephen, as I said before I think "technically" you are on sound legal ground.  And as I said, that doesn't mean you can't be sued.  But I think the most likely case would be that they give you time to "cease and desist" before they filed a lawsuit against you. 

 

COMMENT TO DAN:

Most appreciative of your comments.  I've been down that "you have to defend yourself if you are sued" road and know how expensive it can be.  However, I was just thinking of NOT offering any kind of disc on this or any other format.  I was just going to give out my home phone number so that fans could call me and discuss some of the technical issues concerning the recording of SF and SU.  If those discussions over the phone lead to the need to exchange discs for analysis of technique, purely on an intellectual bases, then so be it. No money exchanged, only discs for educational understanding will be exchanged. That will be a condition reached by the fan who calls me, another fan, and that is that. If that fan then wishes to further enlighten other fans who happen to be his friends, that is his or her business.

Alan and I are in communication all the time.  I am currently working on a BB project for him that he has kindly given to me.  He knows my concerns and opinions about The Flame second CD issues.  I know he is trying to make that happen and support his efforts.  Believe me, that if he was not involved in an effort to make such a CD part of reality, I would be more aggressive at getting the songs into the hands of the fans. Both Alan and myself are hoping that the forces at BRI come to their senses soon. It is the fans that are suffering.  I don't understand what the problem is with BMI. I took a deal to them with a $10,000 promotional angle that would have issued all of Carl Wilson's productions with The Flame. BMI let it die.  I also took them a deal with a Hollywood Record Company that incluced a promotional value in the deal worth the value of the deal itself -- BMI could not get it togehter for six months and the sponsor pulled out.  So you tell me.

Now with the new bootleg THE FLAME issue by this English company, and BRI doing nothing about it -- what the hell, if they don't give a damn, why should l I be so straight with all the stuff I have in my liberary?  Am I to die first and then let all the tapes be sold into the market on ebay?  I would at least like to hear what you fans have to say. 

Brian and I are now 65.


Good Listening,

~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 22, 2006, 06:11:19 PM
COMMENT TO MIKE:

The songs I heard were the type of songs I like to listen to over a loop, so I did listen to them several times while watching the squirrels eating nuts and the birds at the feeder.  That my seem strange, but I found the music wonderful "support" to what I was viewing out the window. Your music entertained me and the production was very very good.  Keep going on your quest.
It is Good Listening, 
   ~Steve Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 22, 2006, 06:40:47 PM
Hi Stephen,

It's great to have you back and I hope you're feeling better.  I have a couple of engineering-related questions based on experiences I had recording this past summer . . .

1.  In your opinion, to what degree of responsibility and how prepared should an engineer be to answer the question, "was that flat?"

2.  On my way home from the studio after mixing, I glanced at the tape box containing my 1/2" and was surprised to see "30 ips" written in the "speed" section of the label.  I suppose I should have noticed something when I was told we would need an extra $30 worth of 1/2" tape to mix four songs, but I had a lot of things to think about at the time.  The bottom line is, I wasn't given an option beforehand - and I definitely would have chosen 15 ips if I had the opportunity to.  I haven't made a stink about it because we didn't have time to do good mixes of everything (one day for four songs) and it's just a demo.  It probably goes w/o saying that the engineer should have asked me.  So, I guess my question is, how much of a difference does it make?  I was later told that it's the studio's philosophy to mix at 30 ips in order to reduce noise and to EQ in more gain to the low frequencies upon playback to make up for the loss.  I'm thinking that maybe I want the "noise," and that the recordings now have a degree of fidelity higher than I desired - they perhaps sound "cleaner" than I wanted.  Is it all in my head?  I'm not very technical or experienced, which is why i'm asking you . . . 

COMMENT TO UNCOMFORTABLE SEAT LINK:

I can't answer your question "was that flat" because there is no such thing.  Please give me more details and I'll give the answer.

As the engineers evidently knew, 30 IPS will give less noise, but it does suffer from a resonance bumb. This bumb is not eliminated by EQ. So with EQ being used all you get is "almost flat." I think there is an ethical question in using 30 IPS as it costs twice as much in tape costs.  I stopped using it because I found the noise reduction was not worth it.  But that was in the day's of the LP. I ran the multi-track at 30 IPS and the two-track Master Tape at mixdown at 15 IPS.  I liked the sound I got.  Yes, the bass was not true at 30 IPS, but since this was the multi-track running at 30 IPS, any EQ problems could be corrected in the mixdown.  Runing the master at 15 IPS assured that corrections made durning the mix would be true to the master tape. 

In today's day of digital CD with almost no addible noise, there is something to be said for using 30 IPS and then correcting for the bass resonance bumb in mastering to CD.   

However, there still remains the ethical question of should they ask you first.  I would have.  But if you gave the engineer the freedom to do the best recording he could do for you, then I would not make an issue of it.  He made his decision and that is that.  Tape costs are little in comparison to the overall production costs. Given that you are mastering in 1/2 inch (2-track), then 30 IPS is not an unusual mastering speed.

I don't understand why you would not want the highest fidelity you could obtain.  That reasoning is outside of my objectives.  By your line of thinking, maybe you should consider using "your brother's battery operated cassettee recorder" for your next mastering session.  HA :) 

I think your engineer made the correct decision.  Just kindly ask him to consult with you next time. 

Best to you,
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on September 22, 2006, 08:04:44 PM
Thanks very much for your response.  I still would have preferred 15 ips at mixdown, though . . .   :)

In regards to the "was that flat" question, my recording experiences previous to this summer featured engineers advising me immediately if they heard any flat notes in terms of vocal performances.  As "producer" I know that it's ultimately my responsibility to catch those things, but my ears aren't super-good and it's an extra thing to worry about when i'm recording a vocal myself.   I worked with a couple of different engineers in the past months and neither of them would speak up, even when an obvious mistake was made.  I once asked one of them the "was that flat" question and he responded that since he wasn't familiar with the song, he wasn' sure.  Again, I don't think it's ultimately the engineer's responsibility . . . I was just wondering what you thought about this and would you offer such alerts when working w/the Beach Boys.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 22, 2006, 08:45:59 PM
Thanks very much for your response.  I still would have preferred 15 ips at mixdown, though . . .   :)

In regards to the "was that flat" question, 
COMMENT TO UNCOMFORABLE SEAT:

Then you should have made your preference for 15 IPS clear to the engineers.  It is usually an engineering decision, and not one the producer makes. If the producer has a preference, then it is the duty of the engineer to follow instructions, otherwise his duty is to what he thinks is best.

Since you are asking me about the role of the engineer in production, it's really up to the engineer now, isn't it?  You pay them to be engineers.  Telling you whether a vocal is flat or not is a matter of production, not engineering.  If you want your engineer(s) to also perform production duties, then alert them to that and pay them for doing those things. Some engineers may not feel comfortable in the role of producer -- after all, that is why they are engineers. They like the science of the sound. Some engineers have roles with some clients as engineers and with other clients as engineer/producer, so you need to be clear with your engineer as to his or her role.

If an engineer cuts you short on a take because you were off-key or off-timing, it may be that he feels he is saving you money on the clock since he knows you will not want that take.  But then some engineers are not sensitive to the artist's needs as he sings in the studio. Sometimes the engineer won't give the artist a change to run all the way through the proposed take. That can frustrate the artist and not contribute to a good session.  If you find the engineer is not giving you enough time (over-producing) tell him (teach him) what you need.  Or, tell him to let you do all the producing until you are finally into making significant takes.  Then tell him to start producing or at least cutting the takes if he decides the take could be better.  This will then save you money.

There are two groups of artists that use recording studios.  The experimenters and those that are prepared.  If the artist has rehearsed and rehearsed before coming into the studio -- knows exactly what and how they want to sing and play -- then the engineer can produce in the sense
that he can save this type of artist some money by stopping the tape for "technical" musical reasons.  The other group is where you find artists like Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. To them the studio is not a factory, rather a laboratory wherein all the recording tools are there to "play" with and create as you move through the session.  They come to the studio with a song idea and develop the song in the studio.  This is the expensive way, but if you can afford it, the most fun way and usually gives more reward in the end.  In this type of session the role of the engineer can be to, just engineer, and stay out of the artist's way when he is creating -- to only lend support on the engineering level.  But in contrast, many times the engineer can work with the artist so that the support from the engineer is more of a producer, sholdering the mondain production decisions so the artisit can think more openly without worrying about details.
 
I did tell each and every Beach Boy what I thought, not only about intonation within takes, but about parts added and even suggested some musical influences.  I felt I was paid for those services and, many times, they wanted my input.  We worked as a team in the studio. I acknowledged their extreme history of successful song writing, but they, in turn, recognised my expertise in engineering, but we all knew that the ultimate goal was to record a good song and possible hit song. I know that other engineers certainly "helped" Brian and the group to make good records whenever the need came up.  Chuch Britz was right in there with Brian -- all the way up to -- Mark Linett helping Brian again with his production decisions.

You would be surprised how many successful producers started out as engineers, not musicians. If you ask me, once you find an engineer you trust, lean on him and work with him to achieve your objectives. But remember that "producer," "engineer," or "musician" -- these are just words.  Look at what's going on in your session and be aware of where the real talent is.  A good producer is one that finds and nurtures that talent into a successful act.


~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on September 23, 2006, 10:16:37 AM
Hi Stephen - just wanted to let you know i'm very glad that you're feeling better and back in the swing of things!  Continued good health to you, friend!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Uncomfortable Seat on September 24, 2006, 09:06:41 AM
Thanks very much for your response.  I still would have preferred 15 ips at mixdown, though . . .   :)

In regards to the "was that flat" question, 
COMMENT TO UNCOMFORABLE SEAT:

Then you should have made your preference for 15 IPS clear to the engineers.  It is usually an engineering decision, and not one the producer makes. If the producer has a preference, then it is the duty of the engineer to follow instructions, otherwise his duty is to what he thinks is best.

Since you are asking me about the role of the engineer in production, it's really up to the engineer now, isn't it?  You pay them to be engineers.  Telling you whether a vocal is flat or not is a matter of production, not engineering.  If you want your engineer(s) to also perform production duties, then alert them to that and pay them for doing those things. Some engineers may not feel comfortable in the role of producer -- after all, that is why they are engineers. They like the science of the sound. Some engineers have roles with some clients as engineers and with other clients as engineer/producer, so you need to be clear with your engineer as to his or her role.

If an engineer cuts you short on a take because you were off-key or off-timing, it may be that he feels he is saving you money on the clock since he knows you will not want that take.  But then some engineers are not sensitive to the artist's needs as he sings in the studio. Sometimes the engineer won't give the artist a change to run all the way through the proposed take. That can frustrate the artist and not contribute to a good session.  If you find the engineer is not giving you enough time (over-producing) tell him (teach him) what you need.  Or, tell him to let you do all the producing until you are finally into making significant takes.  Then tell him to start producing or at least cutting the takes if he decides the take could be better.  This will then save you money.

There are two groups of artists that use recording studios.  The experimenters and those that are prepared.  If the artist has rehearsed and rehearsed before coming into the studio -- knows exactly what and how they want to sing and play -- then the engineer can produce in the sense
that he can save this type of artist some money by stopping the tape for "technical" musical reasons.  The other group is where you find artists like Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. To them the studio is not a factory, rather a laboratory wherein all the recording tools are there to "play" with and create as you move through the session.  They come to the studio with a song idea and develop the song in the studio.  This is the expensive way, but if you can afford it, the most fun way and usually gives more reward in the end.  In this type of session the role of the engineer can be to, just engineer, and stay out of the artist's way when he is creating -- to only lend support on the engineering level.  But in contrast, many times the engineer can work with the artist so that the support from the engineer is more of a producer, sholdering the mondain production decisions so the artisit can think more openly without worrying about details.
 
I did tell each and every Beach Boy what I thought, not only about intonation within takes, but about parts added and even suggested some musical influences.  I felt I was paid for those services and, many times, they wanted my input.  We worked as a team in the studio. I acknowledged their extreme history of successful song writing, but they, in turn, recognised my expertise in engineering, but we all knew that the ultimate goal was to record a good song and possible hit song. I know that other engineers certainly "helped" Brian and the group to make good records whenever the need came up.  Chuch Britz was right in there with Brian -- all the way up to -- Mark Linett helping Brian again with his production decisions.

You would be surprised how many successful producers started out as engineers, not musicians. If you ask me, once you find an engineer you trust, lean on him and work with him to achieve your objectives. But remember that "producer," "engineer," or "musician" -- these are just words.  Look at what's going on in your session and be aware of where the real talent is.  A good producer is one that finds and nurtures that talent into a successful act.


~swd   

edit - single post


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 24, 2006, 07:35:32 PM
test


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on September 25, 2006, 01:55:27 PM
test

Hopefully it's a multiple choice test, they're the only ones I'm good at.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 29, 2006, 07:58:22 PM
test

Hopefully it's a multiple choice test, they're the only ones I'm good at.

Yes, actually, it is a multiple choice test.

Ready?  Please start . . .

is it?

Testing One

or

Testing Two

or

Testing Three?

Please submit all feedback to the house monitoring system.

and Good Listening, ~swd




.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on September 29, 2006, 08:58:01 PM
Somebody's feeling better...
;-)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on October 20, 2006, 08:38:36 PM
Stephen Desper on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxaaU-SWHco


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on October 23, 2006, 06:48:04 PM
Stephen, several years ago you talked about HDTV on the ShutDown-ColumnatedRuins-Cabinessence board...and now it's here, as you reported.   Is it what you thought it would be?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Daniel S. on November 22, 2006, 11:54:26 PM
I'm not a musician so I don't know that much about playing or recording but I am music obsessed. Especially with Spector and Brian Wilson.

I was reading about Phil Spector's Wall of Sound technique, and I read that he used two echo chambers. One of the two echo chambers was filled with speakers and microphones. The speakers would be blasting the music the wrecking crew was playing in another studio room while the mics picked up the music reverberating off the walls, and then this sound was recorded to tape. I know Brian, like Spector, used multiples of instruments to create one sound, but Brian's recordings aren't as saturated or have as much echo as Spector's. So, did Brian use two echo chambers during his mid 60's heyday when he was trying to emulate the Wall of Sound? Also, Spector used two echo chambers at Goldstar but Brian did most of his recording at Western Recorders. Why? Why didn't Brian record at Goldstar? Were there two echo chambers at Western?

thanks Mr. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Daniel S. on November 23, 2006, 12:00:30 AM
Does anyone know if '(You're My) Soul And My Inspiration' was recorded at Goldstar? It's not a Spector production but it is the best Wall of Sound-alike I've heard. Spector almost lost his mind when it was released.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 23, 2006, 06:30:48 PM
Quote
So, did Brian use two echo chambers during his mid 60's heyday when he was trying to emulate the Wall of Sound?

Yes.  But Phil tended to simply use more total reverb than Brian.  It wasn't so much how many chambers, but how much of the signal was wet with reverb.

Quote
Also, Spector used two echo chambers at Goldstar but Brian did most of his recording at Western Recorders. Why?


Chuck Britz.

Quote
Why didn't Brian record at Goldstar?


He did record at Gold Star quite a bit.  Lots of Smile, two Pet Sounds cuts, and plenty of other occasions, particularly when involving his outside-the-Beach-Boys-productions.

Quote
Were there two echo chambers at Western?

I believe there were at least 4 chambers, possibly more as I think Western and United shared several.  Plus EMT plates which are also used all over Brian's records.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Daniel S. on November 23, 2006, 07:35:41 PM
Thanks for the info. What's an EMT plate?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 23, 2006, 10:31:11 PM
EMT plates are big rectangular metal plates suspended by springs that create reverb sounds when you hit it with sound.  Google it and I bet you can find some pictures and more technical info.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on November 24, 2006, 01:42:32 AM
Aeijtzsche,

Would the return signal of an echo chamber be recorded to a seperate track on a 4 track machine?

Also, how is your job going? What interesting things have you been listening to in the past few months?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Daniel S. on November 24, 2006, 10:24:06 AM
Did Brian's home studio have echo chambers?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 24, 2006, 02:39:08 PM
Quote
Aeijtzsche,

Would the return signal of an echo chamber be recorded to a seperate track on a 4 track machine?

Also, how is your job going? What interesting things have you been listening to in the past few months?

Most of the time the echo would just be routed back into the dry signal from the individual channel and then just bussed out with whatever else was going down that buss.  But it was possible to patch the reverb return to another channel, though it doesn't seem like Brian did that very often.

There are a few tracks that do sound like all the reverb returns were sent to their own track, but it's hard to tell. 

The job is going OK, but to be honest, I've been listening to very little music lately, and when I do, it's been non-Beach Boys.


Quote
Did Brian's home studio have echo chambers?

It had one, rigged up for stereo effects, as described in Mr. Desper's book, which you should probably own.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Daniel S. on November 24, 2006, 10:09:46 PM
Yeah, I'm going to buy Mr. Desper's book for Christmas.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: XY on November 28, 2006, 07:15:30 AM
Steve Desper on the road:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kb_bhHz0FU

(England, December 1968)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 01, 2006, 06:20:16 AM
Stephen, several years ago you talked about HDTV on the ShutDown-ColumnatedRuins-Cabinessence board...and now it's here, as you reported.   Is it what you thought it would be?
Yes.  I was speaking to the standards used and that topic has settled.  Now the big debate is over blu-ray disc versus HD-DVD.  Think the blu-ray is best and will win this war, but for now it's still a double release for many movies.  Remember Beta verses VHS?

More information >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 01, 2006, 07:03:20 AM

COMMENTS TO HEYWOOD FLOYD:
I'm not a musician so I don't know that much about playing or recording but I am music obsessed. Especially with Spector and Brian Wilson.  Since you are "obsessed" with the music, and since Brian Wilson is a RECORDING artist, suggest you learn more about RECORDING in order to appreciate the MUSIC.  Brian speaks to the music through the medium of RECORDING.  In other words, he is not a song writer, per say. He does not write a tune and then publish it on sheet music for others to realize. He realizes his own tunes by first RECORDING them. Thus, anyone obsessed with a recording artist should understand the artist's craft.  

I was reading about Phil Spector's Wall of Sound technique, and I read that he used two echo chambers. One of the two echo chambers was filled with speakers and microphones. The speakers would be blasting the music the wrecking crew was playing in another studio room while the mics picked up the music reverberating off the walls, and then this sound was recorded to tape. Well that's sort of how echo chamber's or reverb chamber's work. All reverb chambers contain one (mono) or two (stereo) microphones and loudspeakers. The signal fed to the chamber speakers comes directly from the musicians in a studio or from a track on the multi-track tape (after the musicians have recorded the track). The sound inside the chamber is very reverberant and is picked-up by the microphones inside the chamber and fed back to the recording console for mixing in with the original signal.  The ratio of dirct to reverb signal dictates how "thick" the echo will be.  Spector used more reverb to achieve his "wall of sound." I know Brian, like Spector, used multiples of instruments to create one sound, but Brian's recordings aren't as saturated or have as much echo as Spector's. So, did Brian use two echo chambers during his mid 60's heyday when he was trying to emulate the Wall of Sound? Brian never tried to emulate Spector. He was facinated by his so-called "sound," but was his own man. Spector would sometime feed the output of one chamber into a second chamber in an effort to gain more echo, but his "wall of sound" is really not a matter of how many chambers as much as how the ratio of direct to reverb is set. Also, Spector used two echo chambers at Goldstar but Brian did most of his recording at Western Recorders. In the very early days of stereo recording, some engineers were overly concerned with mono compatibility and used one chamber for the left and one for the right channel. Since the two chambers were completely seperated, there would be no mono compatibility issues. Brian stayed with mono longer than most recording artists and did not need the two chambers. Why? Some chambers have longer decays than others and compliment some instruments over others. Thus the use of two chambers. One for vocals and one for an effect or something.   Why didn't Brian record at Goldstar? Were there two echo chambers at Western? Brian recorded mostly at Western because Chuck Briz was a staff engineer at that facility. His desire to use Chuck far outweighed his need for two reverb chambers. Besides, Western has EMT plate units and reverb from a second chamber could be added at the time of mixdown. 
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 01, 2006, 07:36:00 AM
Thanks for the info. What's an EMT plate?

COMMENT TO HEYWOOD FLOYD:

Some time ago I posted a complete segment on the EMT plate. I could not find it in the desper-peda search engine. Here's a photo.
  

(http://www.getthatsound.com/General%20Assets/Images/emt2.jpg)  Size about 4 feet by 8 feet by one foot thick.

The EMT plate is a contraption that can replace the echo chamber and produce a simular sound reverberation effect. its advantage over an echo chamber is that it takes up much less real estate and can be located anywhere such as in a storage room, basement or attic.
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 01, 2006, 07:40:05 AM
Steve Desper on the road:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kb_bhHz0FU

(England, December 1968)

You guys are too much!!
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on December 01, 2006, 09:53:24 AM
Welcome back Stephen, you were missed! :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 01, 2006, 11:33:55 AM
Welcome back Stephen, you were missed! :)

Thanks.  I've been watching the thread, but no one was posting.  So, ask away people while you have the chance. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 01, 2006, 11:49:08 AM
COMMENT TO HEYWOOD FLOYD:

You would gain some insight into Brian's recording techniques and his on-the-fly development of reverb usage by listening to "Sessions Part 1" and "Part 2" from The Pet Sounds Sessions 30th Anniversary Collection issued by Capitol (#CS7243 B 37662 2 2) and produced by Brian Wilson.

Recommended >>> http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Sounds-Sessions-Beach-Boys/dp/B000002U4U

You can check out some of the session highlights at the above link.

~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on December 01, 2006, 12:06:28 PM
Sir Mr Desper your honour,

If you take a look a this site: http://myspace.com/steveisgood  (http://myspace.com/steveisgood) it should start playing a tune of mine. It was recorded using as many techniques as possible that I've learnt here off this here website, including re-mic'ing and other Desper stereo-isation tricks.  It's based around a sample of a Bobbie Gentry song but there are quite a few live instruments.
I would very much appreciate your thoughts on these tracks.
Ta,
Steve





Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Chris Brown on December 01, 2006, 01:04:51 PM
Not that my opinion counts as much as Mr. Desper's, but I dug it  :-D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on December 08, 2006, 09:45:11 PM
All of Stephen's comments on EMT plates (all the ones I could find so far, at least) can be read here:

http://www.smileysmile.net/desperblog/index.php?cat=49


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on December 10, 2006, 08:04:26 AM
Glad to see you back, Stephen - hope you're feeling 100% better!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on December 27, 2006, 01:50:49 AM
Dear Stephen hope all is well.

I have two questions for you.
Of all the lead vocals you recorded on Brian what was your favorite? Though he used it gradually less often,  I personally think his voice from 67-74 was still as pretty as ever.

My second question concerns the "vibes" version of "Til Die" included on the Endless Harmony soundtrack. The notes say you did for your own enjoyment, but seem to indicate that you submited it to them to the group as well. Did you formally submit for their use? I know it was included on a reel of songs you made for the group in late 1970 which falsely came to be known as Landlocked. I always assumed this was done just so they could hear your mix.

Thanks in advance for taking the time read this question, I know these events took place a very long time ago but anything that you recall will be very helpful.
Have a happy new year. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 31, 2006, 08:47:08 AM
Sir Mr Desper your honour,

If you take a look a this site: http://myspace.com/steveisgood  (http://myspace.com/steveisgood) it should start playing a tune of mine. It was recorded using as many techniques as possible that I've learnt here off this here website, including re-mic'ing and other Desper stereo-isation tricks.  It's based around a sample of a Bobbie Gentry song but there are quite a few live instruments.
I would very much appreciate your thoughts on these tracks.
Ta,
Steve

COMMENT TO ANGLIA:  I have listened to your tracks several times through and enjoyed them every time.  I listened through my big stereo system, doing a little "mastering" to the sound to my liking, and encourage you to keep writing and recording.  Whatever techniques you used in the making of your tracks, the technique served you well, or at least, served my ear well when listening.  With your permission I would like to copy the tracks onto a CD for my library. 

Good Listening,
~Stephen W. Desper






Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 31, 2006, 09:31:01 AM
Dear Stephen hope all is well.

I have two questions for you.
Of all the lead vocals you recorded on Brian what was your favorite? Living with a Heartache -- not Brian's voice but Carl's.  Though he used it gradually less often,  I personally think his voice from 67-74 was still as pretty as ever.

My second question concerns the "vibes" version of "Til Die" included on the Endless Harmony soundtrack. The notes say you did for your own enjoyment, but seem to indicate that you submited it to them to the group as well. Did you formally submit for their use? You make recording sound so ceremonial.  They went out for lunch or something like that and since the song was already mounted and a mix up, I put together what I thought was a structure that better showcased the harmonic beauty of Brian's writing. Somewhere thereafter I did play the track for Carl, but only in the interest of disclosure, not to sway him to change the structure that Brian intended. The next time I found myself at Artisan Mastering House cutting some rough mixes, I took my tape copy of that version and cut an acetate.   I know it was included on a reel of songs you made for the group in late 1970 which falsely came to be known as Landlocked. I always assumed this was done just so they could hear your mix. My structured version of Til I Die remained in my possession and library for many years. When Alan Boyd assumed the role of offical Beach Boy archivist, he came to my home one day and we got out every reel and disc I could find.  When I played the Til I Die I had made, he wanted to include it in an upcoming CD of rare or unreleased recordings he was working on at the time. I loaned him my master tape -- the result being included in the "Landlocked" album.   
Thanks in advance for taking the time read this question, I know these events took place a very long time ago but anything that you recall will be very helpful.
Have a happy new year.  Thank you, and best of the New Year to you and all fans.  For 2007 -- not to be off on a doom & gloom scenario -- I hope there are more questions posed that I may answer. Those of us who were directly involved in events of those past sessions and concerts are not getting any younger, so once your opportunity is departed, the answers will be second-hand.  Charles LePage has set-up a forum that will be refered to by generations to come, but its sum and substance is only motivated by the questions coming from the field, since none of us has-been players, or now-time players are authors who sit down and write without motivation. As you get older, you assume a sense of urgency about these things, so pardon me if I'm sounding a little odd.  But in a word, don't take things for granted.

Good Listening in 2007,
   ~Stephen W. Depser   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on December 31, 2006, 09:53:28 AM
Thanks Stephen, you have always been great with us fans and researchers and speaking for this board I know we are all glad you are here.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on December 31, 2006, 12:09:09 PM
Sir Mr Desper your honour,

If you take a look a this site: http://myspace.com/steveisgood  (http://myspace.com/steveisgood) it should start playing a tune of mine. It was recorded using as many techniques as possible that I've learnt here off this here website, including re-mic'ing and other Desper stereo-isation tricks.  It's based around a sample of a Bobbie Gentry song but there are quite a few live instruments.
I would very much appreciate your thoughts on these tracks.
Ta,
Steve

COMMENT TO ANGLIA:  I have listened to your tracks several times through and enjoyed them every time.  I listened through my big stereo system, doing a little "mastering" to the sound to my liking, and encourage you to keep writing and recording.  Whatever techniques you used in the making of your tracks, the technique served you well, or at least, served my ear well when listening.  With your permission I would like to copy the tracks onto a CD for my library. 

Good Listening,
~Stephen W. Desper





Thanks for the comments Mr. Desper.
Of course you have my have permission to copy the tracks onto a CD, but I would be happier if you were to use higher bit-rate versions than the ones on the website.  Can I send you some high quality mp3 versions or even WAV files instead?

I'd also be interested to know what kind of mastering you did.

Thanks,
Steve


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on January 04, 2007, 02:34:56 PM
Hi Steve, I hope you're well.

I have some questions for you about monitoring for my, as yet hypothetical, future studio...

I'd love to know your thought/opinions on the best way to go about creating a good monitoring system, on a budget, for tracking, mixing, possibly mastering, "all purpose" I suppose.  I imagine any "control room" that I would be using would not really be acoustically tuned, would probably be a bedroom or something, so I'd set it up on a temporary basis probably, to get the best environment I could.  Any recommendations about signal paths, amplifiers, bi-amping, etc, would be great.

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: webby on January 07, 2007, 12:38:59 AM
Hi Steve,

Do you remember why you all put the "Woodshop" sounds at the end of "Do It Again"?  From what I understand they were originally recorded to signify rebuilding during the Smile sessions (following "Fire")- did they have any significance at the end of "Do It Again" or was it just random?  (If it was random it is a happy accident because the lyrics to "Do It Again" are about rebuilding too.)

Also, just curious and you may have answered this before, are there more unreleased and unbooted things that we haven't heard yet?

I love this thread - I have a feeling that other people can come up with better questions than me ... so I hope they do so I can keep reading your replies!    Thanks for your time here!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 08, 2007, 05:55:29 PM
Stephen, someone posted a message at the Stephen Desper-pedia that you might want to take a look at:

http://www.smileysmile.net/desperblog/index.php/2005/10/02/title_198


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 09, 2007, 03:28:06 PM
Hi Steve,

Do you remember why you all put the "Woodshop" sounds at the end of "Do It Again"?  From what I understand they were originally recorded to signify rebuilding during the Smile sessions (following "Fire")- did they have any significance at the end of "Do It Again" or was it just random?  (If it was random it is a happy accident because the lyrics to "Do It Again" are about rebuilding too.) Actually I answered this in some detail in previous replys at this thread.  Maybe someone can find it and post it.  Simple answer is that Carl decided to put it there because at the time, it looked as if the Smile project was dead and that those sessions would not be released.  We just wanted to do something with the sounds and stuck it on the end. ~swd

Also, just curious and you may have answered this before, are there more unreleased and unbooted things that we haven't heard yet?  Yes.  Lots of stuff.  I'm currently working on a double CD's worth of songs at this time.  We shall see if BRI can become interested enough to release on that label. ~swd

I love this thread - I agree, it is one of the best! ~swd  I have a feeling that other people can come up with better questions than me ... so I hope they do so I can keep reading your replies!    Thanks for your time here!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 09, 2007, 03:31:04 PM
Hi Steve, I hope you're well.

I have some questions for you about monitoring for my, as yet hypothetical, future studio...

I'd love to know your thought/opinions on the best way to go about creating a good monitoring system, on a budget, for tracking, mixing, possibly mastering, "all purpose" I suppose.  I imagine any "control room" that I would be using would not really be acoustically tuned, would probably be a bedroom or something, so I'd set it up on a temporary basis probably, to get the best environment I could.  Any recommendations about signal paths, amplifiers, bi-amping, etc, would be great.  Stand By.  Working up a complete answer in my spare time.  Will post soon. ~swd

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on January 10, 2007, 10:43:22 AM
Wow, that'll be an interesting reply! Looking forward to it, Stephen.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on January 10, 2007, 08:48:59 PM
Hi Steve,

Do you remember why you all put the "Woodshop" sounds at the end of "Do It Again"?  From what I understand they were originally recorded to signify rebuilding during the Smile sessions (following "Fire")- did they have any significance at the end of "Do It Again" or was it just random?  (If it was random it is a happy accident because the lyrics to "Do It Again" are about rebuilding too.) Actually I answered this in some detail in previous replys at this thread.  Maybe someone can find it and post it.  Simple answer is that Carl decided to put it there because at the time, it looked as if the Smile project was dead and that those sessions would not be released.  We just wanted to do something with the sounds and stuck it on the end. ~swd


http://www.smileysmile.net/desperblog/index.php/2005/06/16/title_32

Comment to Bubba Ho-Tep – Dennis recorded his f--k session after the editing of “Do It Again” so it was not a nod to Dennis. (In retrospect, it may have been more appropriate to tack on the f--k session tape to “Do It Again” since he had me back the tape up for an overdub of the same action – doing it (her) again!) As to the woodshop cut: Actually Carl and I spent many hours listening to those “smile” session tapes and could not figure out what the hell to do with the construction sound effects. Finally one of us just tacked it on to the end of “Do It Again” only for the purpose of “getting the sound out to the fans” and justifying the cost of the session, which was on the books at Capitol, to Capitol as a bona fide session expense. Again I say, remember this is a business, the music business.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Ken.W on January 11, 2007, 05:50:34 AM
I'm currently working on a double CD's worth of songs at this time.  We shall see if BRI can become interested enough to release on that label.


Hi, Mr.Desper.

Is it possible that you could (at this juncture) whet our appetites with a few of the song titles for that project?

Best wishes,
Ken.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: webby on January 12, 2007, 01:47:52 AM
Steve thanks for the reply and Charles thanks for the repost.  Wow - a 2 disc set sounds soooo good!  Good luck Steve with that project.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mike slattery on January 14, 2007, 02:15:45 AM
hi Steve and guys
would anybody be interested in having a look at my website:  www.youarethemusic.net

Brian inspired tunes

its still in progress but any comments welcome as ever

all the best
Mike


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on January 16, 2007, 03:02:46 PM
Stephen - I know you've mentioned working on an early version of Sail On Sailor in the post Surf's Up period.  Which, if any,  of the So Tough - Carl and the Passions material did you work on before leaving your post as engineer for the albums?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on January 17, 2007, 05:20:18 AM
I'm not SWD, so apologies for treading on any toes: Dennis' two tracks on CATP were originally from his solo album sessions, and thus engineered by Steve. I think it shows.  :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dutchie on January 17, 2007, 10:45:30 AM


  I'm currently working on a double CD's worth of songs at this time.  We shall see if BRI can become interested enough to release on that label. ~swd[/size][/b]


any info about the 2cd you made. info about the songs. thanks in advance steve


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on January 18, 2007, 06:41:44 AM
Dear Mr. Desper,

First of all, since this is my first post on this thread, I wanted to express the respect and the admiration that I have for you and your work.

I've recently finished reading this tread: 77 pages of pleasure... And sometimes of frustration! Thanks to an optional subject in my studies (4 hours each week during a year, studying acoustics and many things about "sound" and music in general... It was fascinating) and to my personal readings, I've been able to understand the most important things, but when it gets very technical... I get very lost!  :-D

I'm also very interested in the 360Surround matrix device... Is there a way to get one, apart from going to the L.A. shop you've talked about? Thanks!  :)


Edit: and any news on the "virtual surround sound versions of Sunflower and Surf's Up" project? I'm not a legal expert, but based on what I've read, the way you wanted to do things seemed pretty legal to me.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: matt-zeus on January 18, 2007, 07:07:13 AM
Hi there Steve
I remember reading (this might be incorrect) that in the late 60s/early 70s whilst Brian had his home studio, that he would go in and record songs, playing and singing all the parts, and then after he'd finished get you to erase them. Is this true? If so, were they full songs or just fiddling around, were you ever tempted to have a sneaky copy for yourself?!!! :-D
On a technical note, I love your engineering and production work for the Beach Boys, it really makes the songs come alive. I was wondering if you have a minute could you possibly have a quick listen to a couple of my songs to assess them from a production/engineering level, I have a website at; www.myspace.com/brigadiermusic 
but to be honest the streaming sound quality isn't that great there so on
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=630530
it should sound better.
Thanks for your great posts Steve they are always very informative and entertaining!
Cheers
Matt


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: shelter on January 19, 2007, 06:03:22 AM
Yes.  Lots of stuff.  I'm currently working on a double CD's worth of songs at this time.  We shall see if BRI can become interested enough to release on that label. ~swd

What do you think are the odds of this being released?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason Penick on January 25, 2007, 12:11:15 AM
Hi Stephen!

Could you possibly give us a teaser and name some of the tracks that are on the 2 cd compilation that you're working on?  I'm sure I speak for many Beach Boys fan(atic)s when I say that I'd love to see this set become commercially available.  Thanks for fighting the good fight.

Jason Penick


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 04, 2007, 07:02:58 PM
Dear Mr. Desper,

First of all, since this is my first post on this thread, I wanted to express the respect and the admiration that I have for you and your work.

I've recently finished reading this tread: 77 pages of pleasure... And sometimes of frustration! Thanks to an optional subject in my studies (4 hours each week during a year, studying acoustics and many things about "sound" and music in general... It was fascinating) and to my personal readings, I've been able to understand the most important things, but when it gets very technical... I get very lost!  :-D

I'm also very interested in the 360Surround matrix device... Is there a way to get one, apart from going to the L.A. shop you've talked about? Thanks!  :)


Edit: and any news on the "virtual surround sound versions of Sunflower and Surf's Up" project? I'm not a legal expert, but based on what I've read, the way you wanted to do things seemed pretty legal to me.

COMMENT TO SLOOP JOHN B

To answer your questions in their order,  It's too bad you did not join earlier.  Before I wrote the 77 pages there were around 250 pages of technical comments about recording the Beach Boys in the early form called cabinessece.com. Those pages never made it over to this thread. I think someone has them in a file.  My copies were all lost because of a incomptent computer repair guy who ereased them.   That is when I decided to put many of those thoughts into my book. 

The matrix device was offered for many months to Beach Boy fans.  It is no long available because a commercial device using the topology and formulas of this device is now on the market.  Price is $1200 and it is not that much different  from that device offered as 360Surround, although the internal parts are high grade and it is adjustable.  The sound is almost identical.  Those folks who have one of these devices have a little jewel of a device. If you are interested in the audiophile product send me an email about the details.

I'm about ready to just give away discs made through the matrix, offered as educational examples to people who bought my book and other fans showing interest in the subject.  It becomes more of a study point because the record company does not issue any of these mixes in their final form.  Since no issues include the matrixed sound, to hear it is more of an educational point, or a point in the history of Beach Boy recording.  So I think I'm on safe ground with respect to the law.  The law allows for copeis of songs to be made if they illustrate a particular point about the recording, as a recording.
 

Good Listening ~Stephen W.Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on February 04, 2007, 07:10:34 PM


 I'm currently working on a double CD's worth of songs at this time.  We shall see if BRI can become interested enough to release on that label. ~swd[/size][/b]


any info about the 2cd you made. info about the songs. thanks in advance steve
  COMMET TO JERION and WEBBY
IT's a concert with all six Beach Boys on the stage.  I mixed the original.  It was never released. Maybe some day . . .
   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: XY on February 04, 2007, 10:15:28 PM
COMMET TO JERION and WEBBY
IT's a concert with all six Beach Boys on the stage.  I mixed the original.  It was never released. Maybe some day . . .
   ~swd

Sounds good! Was the support act The Flame?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: No. Fourteen on February 05, 2007, 07:05:09 AM
Wow, fantastic news!  I pray this gets some kind of release!

Mr Desper, do any of the songs performed feature Brian on lead vocals?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 05, 2007, 07:08:27 AM
If Steve mixed it and all six are on stage, it might be the 4/18/80 Spectrum show in Philadelphia.

Setlist was:

  1. California Girls
  2. Sloop John B
  3. Darlin'
  4. School Days
  5. In My Room
  6. Do It Again
  7. Little Deuce Coupe
  8. Keepin' The Summer Alive
  9. God Only Knows
10. Good Timin'
11. Some Of Your Love
12. Surfer Girl
13. Goin' On
14. Be True To Your School
15. Catch A Wave
16. Livin' With A Heartache
17. Lady Lynda
18. Disney Girls (Bruce solo)
19. Long Tall Texan
20. Help Me Rhonda
21. Wouldn't It Be Nice
22. Rock And Roll Music
23. I Get Around
24. Surfin' USA

Encore:
25. Good Vibrations
26. Barbara Ann
27. Fun Fun Fun


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on February 05, 2007, 08:47:37 AM
I believe Brian did vocals for Sloop John B and part of Surfer Girl (the first verse) on tour around this time.  When I saw them in D.C. without Carl Brian did God Only Knows.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 05, 2007, 10:47:25 AM
If Steve mixed it and all six are on stage, it might be the 4/18/80 Spectrum show in Philadelphia.


One problem with that...Dennis wasn't there. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 05, 2007, 11:10:40 AM
Errrrr... good point. Plus it's not long enough for two discs.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dutchie on February 06, 2007, 02:52:15 AM
I also believed to hear that steve left the boys around 73 because the boys didnt pay him constant. Steve correct me if i am wrong. Any info about this hidden concert ?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on February 06, 2007, 04:40:47 AM
I also believed to hear that steve left the boys around 73 because the boys didnt pay him constant. Steve correct me if i am wrong. Any info about this hidden concert ?

Well, Steve DID come back in '79/'80 to engineer "KTSA" and mix several of their concerts that were broadcast and/or filmed (the aforementioned April 1980 Philly radio show, Knebworth June '80, and Washington DC July '80, the second and third of which featured all six Boys...maybe the DC show is the one he's referring to?).  Well, I don't wanna speculate too much.  Steve will either have to answer this question or make us wait until the right time to find out.  Which means we may have to be patient for awhile.  In the meantime, it is fun to think about.  Personally, I hope it's the Whisky shows.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dutchie on February 06, 2007, 05:09:47 AM
ok C man, i learned something today. Thanks for the info


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on February 06, 2007, 02:57:58 PM
Jeroen,

Any idea where I can see that photo you have as your avatar, but at a larger size?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on February 07, 2007, 04:04:01 AM
COMMENT TO SLOOP JOHN B

To answer your questions in their order,  It's too bad you did not join earlier.  Before I wrote the 77 pages there were around 250 pages of technical comments about recording the Beach Boys in the early form called cabinessece.com. Those pages never made it over to this thread. I think someone has them in a file.  My copies were all lost because of a incomptent computer repair guy who ereased them.   That is when I decided to put many of those thoughts into my book. 

The matrix device was offered for many months to Beach Boy fans.  It is no long available because a commercial device using the topology and formulas of this device is now on the market.  Price is $1200 and it is not that much different  from that device offered as 360Surround, although the internal parts are high grade and it is adjustable.  The sound is almost identical.  Those folks who have one of these devices have a little jewel of a device. If you are interested in the audiophile product send me an email about the details.

I'm about ready to just give away discs made through the matrix, offered as educational examples to people who bought my book and other fans showing interest in the subject.  It becomes more of a study point because the record company does not issue any of these mixes in their final form.  Since no issues include the matrixed sound, to hear it is more of an educational point, or a point in the history of Beach Boy recording.  So I think I'm on safe ground with respect to the law.  The law allows for copies of songs to be made if they illustrate a particular point about the recording, as a recording.
 

Good Listening ~Stephen W.Desper

Thanks a lot for your answer!

I had already been considering getting a copy of your book, but now it seems that it's an essential buy!  :) About the 360Surround device, I may wait a little longer given the relatively high price...  :-\ But it's good to know that it's still available somewhere!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on February 07, 2007, 04:17:39 AM
TO GLENN GREENBERG

Jeroen,

Any idea where I can see that photo you have as your avatar, but at a larger size?

I've just posted a larger version of Jeroen's avatar in the BB/BW picture thread (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=1990.msg59141#msg59141 (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=1990.msg59141#msg59141))! 

:)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dutchie on February 07, 2007, 10:58:33 AM
 :-D you beat me to it. Glad you like it. Found it somewhere on the web.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: humanoidboogie on February 18, 2007, 08:48:39 AM
I'd like to order a copy of Mr. Desper's "Recording the Beach Boys" book, but I can't access the web site anymore. Anyone?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: PS on February 18, 2007, 10:23:25 AM
Stephen wrote to me in January that I had purchased the very last copy (#570) of the books that he had on hand, and that he has no immediate plans for reprinting.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: humanoidboogie on February 18, 2007, 11:23:03 AM
Stephen wrote to me in January that I had purchased the very last copy (#570) of the books that he had on hand, and that he has no immediate plans for reprinting.

Shoot (as our beloved Mike would've said)! Why, oh WHY didn't I buy it  earlier... Oh, well... Thanks for informing me.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mikeyj on February 28, 2007, 03:24:38 AM
Hi Mr. Desper. I posted this elswhere on the message board but someone recommend I ask you. I was wondering if you could answer my question. A friend of mine argued that Mike Love's bass vocals at the Child Is Father of The Man section at the tag of "Surf's Up" were heavily processed. When it comes to recording music etc... I'm not very musically inclined but my ear tells me that Mike Love is singing twice in this section (though I'm probably wrong). Anyway, my question is, are Mike Love's backing vocals on this section processed at all?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 02, 2007, 11:06:27 PM
He's definitely double tracked, and also compressed/limited. 


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on March 05, 2007, 04:17:12 PM
Stephen hope you have been well. Listened to a funny Halloween themed track Brian cut in 1970 called My Solution today. Sounded like a fun session, any memories of it?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 23, 2007, 05:39:01 AM
Hi Mr. Desper.  are Mike Love's backing vocals on this section processed at all?


COMMENT TO MIKEYJ:  Love is double tracked, but the voice limited by gain-riding, not a machine.  Gain-riding is keeping the dynamics under control by moving the slider yourself. I did this quite often with Mr. Love and on leads. Doing it manually extends the reach of a weak voice without compressing the loud singing.  Michael could hit very low notes with good tonation, but could only sing down low very softly. Sometimes it would take an increase of 20dB to reach his voice and bring it up to the other notes. A machiine could not do this and sound good, but a human can. Using a ribbon mic on Mike helped keep his resonance even, from low to high notes. The reason being that his recorded resonance was more from the microphone than the larynx and therefore was more even, no matter how loudly or softly he sang. Ribbon microphones have what is termed a "proximity effect" which gives a boost to the bass when you sing close to them. The resonance is quite musical and unlike an EQ boost. We used this effect to help bring out the natural resonance in Mike's voice. He learned how to use the effect and "played" the mic when recording.

GENERAL COMMENT:  You can get to the book site here http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/BookOrderingInfo/ (http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/BookOrderingInfo/) and leave a message concerning a third printing. Just follow instructions on page two.

Good Listening,
  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 23, 2007, 05:52:35 AM
If Steve mixed it and all six are on stage, it might be the 4/18/80 Spectrum show in Philadelphia.

COMMENT TO ANDREW:  I did indeed mix the show.  One of the last times all six Beach Boys were on stage performing at the same time. A good set for sure!  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mikeyj on March 23, 2007, 07:09:33 AM
Hi Mr. Desper.  are Mike Love's backing vocals on this section processed at all?


COMMENT TO MIKEYJ:  Love is double tracked, but the voice limited by gain-riding, not a machine.  Gain-riding is keeping the dynamics under control by moving the slider yourself. I did this quite often with Mr. Love and on leads. Doing it manually extends the reach of a weak voice without compressing the loud singing.  Michael could hit very low notes with good tonation, but could only sing down low very softly. Sometimes it would take an increase of 20dB to reach his voice and bring it up to the other notes. A machiine could not do this and sound good, but a human can. Using a ribbon mic on Mike helped keep his resonance even, from low to high notes. The reason being that his recorded resonance was more from the microphone than the larynx and therefore was more even, no matter how loudly or softly he sang. Ribbon microphones have what is termed a "proximity effect" which gives a boost to the bass when you sing close to them. The resonance is quite musical and unlike an EQ boost. We used this effect to help bring out the natural resonance in Mike's voice. He learned how to use the effect and "played" the mic when recording.

GENERAL COMMENT:  You can get to the book site here http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/BookOrderingInfo/ (http://community-2.webtv.net/askswd/BookOrderingInfo/) and leave a message concerning a third printing. Just follow instructions on page two.

Good Listening,
  ~Stephen W. Desper

Thanks so much for answering my question Mr. Desper, I can tell me friend now that he was wrong :) Also, Ive sent an email to you in reference to the third printing notice as I am very keen to get my hands on a copy of your book as those two albums are two of my favourites. Also, ive got another question, I was listening to the Sunflower album a while back and was listening really carefully to everything that was going on (at least trying to). And in "Got To Know The Woman" I heard somebody say "hey" at about 0:49. Do you know who that might be and whats the story of that? Thanks once again.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on March 23, 2007, 11:31:31 AM
Hi Steve,
You emailed me a while back with an offer to master some of my music. Does the offer still stand?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on March 24, 2007, 08:08:13 AM
I've posted this elsewhere around the boards, but heck...why not go right to the master?

Stephen, i've just scored a fostex vf80 8-track digital recorder, and i want to record my voice and my Martin guitar, mostly.  I have a Rode NT3, area/choral-type mic, and a Dean-Markley [dark-stained] pickup.  But i am almost positive i can get a better guitar sound with a microphone...and that i can get better vocals with a better/different microphone.

Thoughts?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 02, 2007, 05:16:19 PM
Hi Steve,
You emailed me a while back with an offer to master some of my music. Does the offer still stand?

COMMENT TO KING OF ANGLIA:  I forget what I said, but send me a CD of some of your work and I'll give it a shot. Certainly not going to master anything.  That requires a special studio.  I just meant that I'd pass your CD through some of my equipment to give you an idea of what may be possible.  Send the CD if you like. It may be some time before you get it back. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 02, 2007, 06:53:46 PM
I've posted this elsewhere around the boards, but heck...why not go right to the master?

Stephen, i've just scored a fostex vf80 8-track digital recorder, and i want to record my voice and my Martin guitar, mostly.  I have a Rode NT3, area/choral-type mic, and a Dean-Markley [dark-stained] pickup.  But i am almost positive i can get a better guitar sound with a microphone...and that i can get better vocals with a better/different microphone.

Thoughts?
COMMENT TO SUSAN:  Hello Susan my friend!  The key to understanding how to record the guitar is remembering that the instrument propagates sound from its entire body, the front, back, and sides.

Although most of the sound is from the "sound hole" the bridge also excites the body of the instrument, unless a solid body. This is called Coupling. Coupling simply refers to an interaction between two or more vibrating elements. First of all, on a guitar, the string is excited (plucked or picked) by your fingers, vibrating the bridge, which then goes on to vibrate the soundboard and the internal air cavity, then the back and sides and so on. If these these elements interact well, the whole system is said to be strongly coupled.

The body of the guitar acts so that the high pressure vibrations at the bridge are turned into low pressure vibrations of the surrounding air. This is a form of "impedance matching", in much the same way an electrical transformer raises or lowers a potential difference and is the main principle behind speaker cone design.

The higher frequency (pitch) sounds are produced by string interaction with the bridge and then the sound board, whereas the lower frequencies are essentially driven by the internal air cavity/sound hole and ribs/back coupling effects.

Coupling between parts depends on geometry, sound frequency and the materials used. these all interplay to make a super sounding acoustic guitar such as your Martin.

Using the sound hole pickup may be OK for concert work, but if you want the beauty of the sound to be captured, discard the pickup.

So now on to recording using your new eight-track, which I see as a four-track stereo recorder.

The Rode NT3 is a Hypercardioid which would not be my first or second choice if you came to me for a recording.  I would use two ribbon microphones or perhaps, two condenser microphones using the figure-8 pattern. Place one above the other 90 degrees offset. One microphone will be upsidedown. The ribbon is most suited for the guitar. Most all microphone designs have the lowest distortion figures with the figure-8 pattern, although this is not the reason here for using that pattern.  By the way, using two microphones in an offset double figure-8 array like this is completely mono compatible because both microphone elements occupy the same space at the same time,i.e., one mic is not at a distance from the other.

Using your stereo four-track recorder follow the guidlines on page 36 of my book for Common Time Domain Tracking.

Before we get started let me say that if you record the guitar in stereo and then back the tape up and record your singing in mono placing it in the center, you will get just that. An overall sound that says, I double tracked this. But if you want to have a sound that seems as if you are singing and playing at the same time -- although you may double track it, use the CTDT system.

First lay down stereo tracks of your guitar.  The microphones, in offset figure-8, should be about two or three feet (or more) from the guitar. You must be in a very quiet room. If you wish to bring out harmonics of the instrument, arrange for nearby large objects to reflect the sound from behind you, i.e., a screen, or bookcase, or some boxes.  If you are doing one pass of the guitar, sit in front of the two microphones.  If you wish to double the guitar, place two chairs side by side and sit in the left chair for the original track and in the right chair for the double. Both microphones are used at each pass.  Next, record your singing at around 18 inches to two feet from the microphones' center using a pop screen if you have one. If I remember, you are a rather loud singer so you may need one.  If you are double-ing your voice you may move SLIGHTLY to one side for the first pass and over slightly off-center for the second pass. Again, both microphones are recorded at each pass. Once the levels have been set for the guitar passes and then the vocal passes, the levels are not changed.

See what we have done. First we have captured the sound of the instrument in stereo, that is, we have captured almost all that the instruement can offer with respect to its various vibrating elements. We have allowed the instrument to breath. Second, we have made it seem that all the sound heard in the mix was recording at the same time, i.e., in the same time domain. All the acoustics captured in each pass are identical and sound as if two of you played and sang at the same time.  But we have given the guitar "room" to sound it's best by backing off the microphones.  Then when you sang you came closer, but did not loose the acoustics of the recording area. 

That is how I would do it.  If you only have the one Rode NT3, then use it for each pass and also for your voice.  But that is just three track mono and not a real acoustic recording, IMO.

Hope that helps,
  ~Good Listening, Stephen W. Desper



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on April 02, 2007, 07:00:47 PM
Mr. Desper, I don't want to sound corny or anything, but it is so fantastic that you share your knowledge with us around this site, you have no idea how much some of us appreciate it! As someone who fumbles with (mostly home) recording, your information ranges from interesting to invaluable. You're really almost unbelievable. Thanks.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 02, 2007, 09:54:20 PM
Hi Steve, I hope you're well.

I have some questions for you about monitoring for my, as yet hypothetical, future studio...

I'd love to know your thought/opinions on the best way to go about creating a good monitoring system, on a budget, for tracking, mixing, possibly mastering, "all purpose" I suppose.  I imagine any "control room" that I would be using would not really be acoustically tuned, would probably be a bedroom or something, so I'd set it up on a temporary basis probably, to get the best environment I could.  Any recommendations about signal paths, amplifiers, bi-amping, etc, would be great.

Thanks!
COMMENT TO AEIJTZSCHE:  I haven't forgotton your question. Plan to answer in the near future. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on April 02, 2007, 11:59:28 PM
No problem, Steve.  I know you've got a lot going on and you've always answered everything I've asked, so take as much time as you need.  Thanks for the update.  I'm really looking forward to learning some more.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on April 03, 2007, 02:30:51 AM
Hi Steve,
You emailed me a while back with an offer to master some of my music. Does the offer still stand?

COMMENT TO KING OF ANGLIA:  I forget what I said, but send me a CD of some of your work and I'll give it a shot. Certainly not going to master anything.  That requires a special studio.  I just meant that I'd pass your CD through some of my equipment to give you an idea of what may be possible.  Send the CD if you like. It may be some time before you get it back. ~swd

Okey dokey. Thanks.
Steve


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on April 04, 2007, 04:01:22 PM
Wow - thank, Steve!  This is certainly enough to get started with, and then some!

First to get some ribbon mics... :-/

I will report back as and when events warrant...in the meantime, my friend, be well.  And thanks for sharing your knowledge.  I'm with Luther; your generosity with your knowledge and time is very much appreciated.

S


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on April 04, 2007, 04:32:30 PM
Susan, you might feel better knowing that the price of Ribbon mics are going down, and the quality seems to be getting a little better.  There has been a resurgence of ribbons, and a bunch of companies are offering them now.  They are, of course, cheaper models mostly made in China, but I have been happy with my Nady RSM-2 which is about 200 dollars now, I think.

Of course, at some point in  my life, I would like to have 3 or 4 AEA ribbon mics, that recreate the RCA 44.  They are, of course, 4000 dollars...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on April 04, 2007, 04:43:46 PM
Yeah, Josh...i was just looking at prices, and nearly swallowed my tongue.  I'm afraid i may be saving up for those puppies...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on April 05, 2007, 04:28:51 AM
Susan, if you know of any mom and pop gear shops in your area. Check there, you can usually score a pretty sweet mic for very good prices. Its like they're just givin them away!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on April 06, 2007, 05:19:19 AM
Good idea, Joe.  Because Sam Ash doesn't seem to have any at all, and eBay's not cheap.  I'll see what i can find in smaller stores...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mikeyj on April 07, 2007, 11:49:25 PM
Hi Mr. Desper.

I have been reading "Dumb Angel: the life and music of Dennis Wilson" and I came across a quote from you in the book. On page 151 it states that you said "I like to tell people who ask me what it was like to record Brian Wilson that I have erased more BW tracks than most people have heard!" So I was just wondering, is there any tracks of Brian's that you ended up erasing that you remember really liking and thinking to yourself "what a great song"? If so what were the song(s) like?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Magic Transistor Radio on April 08, 2007, 06:35:28 PM
Mr Desper,
Did you work much with Jack Reilly? If so, what was he like to work with?

Forgive me if this has been discussed on here already, but I don't want to read through 81 pages to find out.



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on April 09, 2007, 03:04:19 PM
Hi Mr. Desper, I hope you're doing well!

On this topic (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,3743.0.html (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,3743.0.html)) we're having a discussion about the Baldwin theater organ that Brian had in 1967...

Would you happen to know what model it was? I think it was either a HT2 or a HT2R, but I'm not sure. I would go for a HT2R since it looks like it and that it was introduced in '67...

Thanks a lot!  :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 10, 2007, 05:06:52 PM
Hi Mr. Desper.

I have been reading "Dumb Angel: the life and music of Dennis Wilson" and I came across a quote from you in the book. On page 151 it states that you said "I like to tell people who ask me what it was like to record Brian Wilson that I have erased more BW tracks than most people have heard!" So I was just wondering, is there any tracks of Brian's that you ended up erasing that you remember really liking and thinking to yourself "what a great song"? If so what were the song(s) like?

COMMENT TO MIKEYJ: There is another reference in the Desper-Pedia made on 6-23-05 you may want to look up.  What I really meant by the statement is that due to multi-tracking, during which the tape is often rewound and recorded again and again, I could say what I said.

That is, Brian records a segment of a song. We rewind and playback. He wants to do it again. We record again ... thus erasing what was just recorded. And, the process starts again.  This may go in several times until he approves of his performance.  So while you may hear that one segment of the song, I have been erasing and re-recording it five to ten times.  Thus, erasing more Brian Wilson than most people have heard.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 10, 2007, 05:10:57 PM
Hi Mr. Desper.

I have been reading "Dumb Angel: the life and music of Dennis Wilson" and I came across a quote from you in the book. On page 151 it states that you said "I like to tell people who ask me what it was like to record Brian Wilson that I have erased more BW tracks than most people have heard!" So I was just wondering, is there any tracks of Brian's that you ended up erasing that you remember really liking and thinking to yourself "what a great song"? If so what were the song(s) like?

COMMENT TO MIKEYJ:  See Desper-Pedia post on 3-3-02  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 10, 2007, 05:48:43 PM
Hi Mr. Desper, I hope you're doing well!

On this topic (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,3743.0.html (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,3743.0.html)) we're having a discussion about the Baldwin theater organ that Brian had in 1967...

Would you happen to know what model it was? I think it was either a HT2 or a HT2R, but I'm not sure. I would go for a HT2R since it looks like it and that it was introduced in '67...

Thanks a lot!  :)


COMMENT TO SLOOPJOHNB:  As far as I know his Baldwin arrived new. I think Brian found it in a store and had it delivered to the studio.  Since it was new, your best bet is by date.  The HT2 was introduced in 1964; the HT2R in 1967; and the HT2RM in 1969. All were Solid State Transistor Divider type sound generators. The HT2 series had the stop specification of a theater organ, not a church organ.  It was available in Walnut or White with Gold Trim.  Brian liked the look as well as the sound of the instrument. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 10, 2007, 07:30:47 PM
Yeah, Josh...i was just looking at prices, and nearly swallowed my tongue.  I'm afraid i may be saving up for those puppies...
 

COMMENT TO SUSAN:  That's what recording studios are for.  If it is a demo you want, find a small studio that can do the X-Y setup with a pair of ribbons and make a date.  Here is a link that has samples of X-Y recordings and comments. The samples are at the bottom of the page.  Not guitars, sorry, but the drum kit is most telling, but the horns are good  too.
>>> http://www.cascademicrophones.com/cascade_FAT_HEAD_MP3.html (http://www.cascademicrophones.com/cascade_FAT_HEAD_MP3.html)

Susan, you might also consider the PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone) also called a Boundry Microphone.  It is a little out of the ordinary, but I've used them extensivly and find they always give an excellent performance.  Very natural.  For your use you would need a very quiet room in which to record. Audio-Technica Model AT849 will be a good one for you. I've always used two for stereo, but the AT849 stereo design, using an X-Y configuration, would be ideal.  I have even built my own PZM in the early days, so I understand how they work. Suggest you do a google on "boundry mics" and read up on how they work. They are another X-Y configuration version, but just as viable as the dual ribbon design.

At the following site you can read about it, download the spec sheet, and even hear a sample recording. >>>  http://www.coutant.org/at849.html (http://www.coutant.org/at849.html)

Considering you are buying two quality condenser mics, the price might be manageable for you. The AT849 microphone sells for $329.00 from these folks >>> http://www.crossroads-music.org/catalog/audio-technica_special_purpose_at849_stereo_condenser_boundary_microphone_3513106.htm (http://www.crossroads-music.org/catalog/audio-technica_special_purpose_at849_stereo_condenser_boundary_microphone_3513106.htm)

The lowest price I could find was $311 from this source >>>  http://www.worldmusicsupply.com/mics/specialty-microphones/Audio-Technica/AT849.asp (http://www.worldmusicsupply.com/mics/specialty-microphones/Audio-Technica/AT849.asp)  Not much lower, but it is a professional unit.

The factory Audio-Technica link is >>> http://www.audio-technica.com.cn/eng/model.php?s_id=4&m_id=136 (http://www.audio-technica.com.cn/eng/model.php?s_id=4&m_id=136)

I'm not sure how the boundry mic would work for your vocal.  You may need to use the mic you now own for a center fill, plus a little of the boundry stereo signal for the room sound.  Guess that's what mixing boards are for.

Give a call if you need to talk about it.
 

~Good Listening, Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on April 10, 2007, 08:33:44 PM
COMMENT TO AEIJTZSCHE:

Hey guy, I know how you like the old days.

Go to this site about the U47 >>> http://www.coutant.org/u47/index.html (http://www.coutant.org/u47/index.html)

Then click on "Hear Mr. Sinatra advising the band’s director during a recording session."  A trip back to Studio A at Capital.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on April 11, 2007, 02:00:55 AM
Your knowledge is priceless, Mr. Desper. Thanks again!  :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on April 11, 2007, 02:26:25 AM
Again, Stephen, i thank you for the time you put into your replies.  I will look into those mics, definitely.  Once school is out and life slows down.

I suspect that'll be around 2027...
;-)

In the meantime, i will take all of your comments under advisement and implement what i when i can, and if i come up with anything worth hearing in terms of the recording techniques, i'll let you guys know.

Thanks, Stephen.  Your generosity is awesome.

S


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: warnakey on April 22, 2007, 08:36:01 PM
Hi Steve,

I have a much more basic, non beach boys related question. I am a bit of an amateur song writer and recorder, but I go to college right now, so I don't really have any good equipment to record on. But I still have been recording songs on a webcam microphone. Anyway, I guess what I wanted to ask was if you could listen to some of these songs and let me know what you think, sound wise and song wise (you've produced a few good ones, I figure your opinion is in pretty high esteem!) and perhaps give some suggestions for getting better audio when you record for people like me.

Anyway, I uploaded 4 of them here: http://www.myspace.com/ericwarnckesmusic (http://www.myspace.com/ericwarnckesmusic), so if you can take some time to listen to these, could you let me know what you think? Thanks Steve.

- eric


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SMiLE-Holland on April 30, 2007, 10:39:02 AM
just checked the SmileySmile-calendar...and if that one's correct, then....

Congratulations on your 65th birthday!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on April 30, 2007, 03:31:03 PM
Happy birthday Mr. Desper! :wave


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on April 30, 2007, 03:57:05 PM
Happy Birthday Stephen!!! :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on April 30, 2007, 05:10:21 PM
Happy Birthday, and many happy returns!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 01, 2007, 10:16:30 PM
My oh my what a wonderful morning to open your birthday greetings to me.  Totally unexpected, but certainly made for a joyful day.

Thank you all so much for thinking of me and taking the time to send messages. 

This is a great website with equally great members.

Good Listening one and all,  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 02, 2007, 02:03:10 AM
May I also join the others in saying I hope your birthday is fantastic.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 02, 2007, 05:33:36 AM




On Feb 26, 2004 I sent my computer into the shop to fix a few problems. 

During the course of repair, an inexperienced attendant deleted all my

backup copies of what I had written on the Cabinessence.com board

before that date. There were over one-hundred pages.

question is:

Does anyone have copies of what I wrote on the Cabenessence.com board?

And willing to send a copy back to me?






Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Steve Mayo on May 02, 2007, 05:41:56 AM
not sure how much i have but in my hands now is an 11 page print out from 1/28/02 about you talking about 20/20 and "producer" credit within the band. you are more than welcome to a copy of this....


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Steve Mayo on May 02, 2007, 06:43:58 AM




On Feb 26, 2004 I sent my computer into the shop to fix a few problems. 

During the course of repair, an inexperienced attendant deleted all my

backup copies of what I had written on the Cabinessence.com board

before that date. There were over one-hundred pages.

question is:

Does anyone have copies of what I wrote on the Cabenessence.com board?

And willing to send a copy back to me?





here is a link to a lot of them.... http://surfermoon.com/

on the right side of the page you will see the link to some of your old posts... hope this helps and is what you are looking for...

and i also hope you had a great birthday!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Dan Lega on May 02, 2007, 08:50:05 AM

       Just to help you out even more, click on "Writings" (on either the right side or in the middle), and then look at the third column, titled "Net Sounds Archives" and your threads are the fourth and fifth ones shown.


               Happy Birthday!!!!             

 
                         Love and merci,   Dan Lega


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 02, 2007, 09:21:51 PM
You made me copies Steve so I can make duplicates. Email me at edermike@msn.com


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 05, 2007, 10:59:22 AM
COMMENT TO STEVE MAYO, DAN LEGA & MIKE EDER:

Thanks to you Steve, Dan, and Mike for your help and files.  I believe I have reconstructed all the postings I can handle for inclusion in the third printing, as noted in the following press release.  Again thinks for pointing me in the right direction. 
~SWD


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 05, 2007, 11:53:33 AM


:happydance FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

By overwhelming request, a soon to be completed, third printing of "RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS" by Stephen W. Desper will be available from any book store or over the Internet as a bound, soft cover, 6x9 publication. The new edition will be expanded to over 200 pages. It will include more on equipment plus a Q&A section based numerous questions posted on the smileysmile.net board. Many of the previous answers have been clearified and elaborated.

The publisher's release date is several months away. As of this writing SWD may still include appropriate answers to questions posted on the smileysmile.net SWD topic thread. No names are used in the book. 

All collectable signed issues are sold out. No further numbered copies will be sold.

As soon as the new edition is in print, ordering information will be posted here.
~






Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on May 05, 2007, 05:35:41 PM
This is great news. I am excited to buy this book!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on May 07, 2007, 10:09:32 AM
Excellent news Steve! This time I'm going to purchase it!
Procrastination get's you nowhere...... lol
Cheers,
Brian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 07, 2007, 04:55:00 PM
COMMENT TO STEVE MAYO, DAN LEGA & MIKE EDER:

Thanks to you Steve, Dan, and Mike for your help and files.  I believe I have reconstructed all the postings I can handle for inclusion in the third printing, as noted in the following press release.  Again thinks for pointing me in the right direction. 
~SWD

You are very welcome
Mike


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Steve Mayo on May 07, 2007, 07:36:37 PM
COMMENT TO STEVE MAYO, DAN LEGA & MIKE EDER:

Thanks to you Steve, Dan, and Mike for your help and files.  I believe I have reconstructed all the postings I can handle for inclusion in the third printing, as noted in the following press release.  Again thinks for pointing me in the right direction. 
~SWD

i also want to say you are welcome..and thank you for all your posts


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Glenn Greenberg on May 08, 2007, 08:38:32 AM
Great news, Mr. Desper!

I'm buying the book this time, for sure!

One question: will there be material from the previous printings that will be removed to make room for the new material?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 10:25:37 AM
Great news, Mr. Desper!

I'm buying the book this time, for sure!

One question: will there be material from the previous printings that will be removed to make room for the new material?
COMMENT to GLENN GREENBERG:  As of this date I am pushing 300 pages and still growing.  Nothing will be deleted from tho original manuscript. I'm covering all engineering and general topics which happened when I worked with them.  That includes events before and after the two albums of the original book. Like the first book, this expanded edition will not be a historical accounting or exposay of closet skeletons. There are plenty of those types of books out there -- take your pick. 

I am not a professional author who writes about engineering and the Beach Boys. I am an engineer. who did engineering for and created with the Beach Boys and is writing a book.  Big difference. My book is unique in that it is a direct accounting, through questions from fans, of what I did, witnessed, and explanations of applied engineering techniques of those days.

Most books about The Beach Boys are written by third party authors using interviews and data research.  My book is written by the very person who spent almost every hour of their collective work days with them during the period from Stack-of-Tracks to Holland.  Then again with Keepin ... Alive and other events.

The book will be a bound soft cover edition with a B&W cover to keep the costs down.  My aim is to make a very interesting book that will be of value to the buyer. The book covers one topic completely before moving on to the next, so you can read a little at a time if you are a busy person.

Actually the book is written. I'm in the editing stage now, but can still add Q&A posted here, if relevant. 

Thanks for asking,
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on May 08, 2007, 10:34:31 AM
Steve - the last edition focussed on Sunflower and Surf's Up - will this include notes on tracks you worked on from Smiley SMile through 20/20, and on Sunflower/Surf's Up outtakes like the "Landlocked" acetate, the "Last Capitol Album" et al?

I have the first edition - looking forward to more stuff!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on May 08, 2007, 10:39:39 AM
Stephen, one of my favorite unreleased songs (until Endless Harmony) was 'Sail Plane Song'...there isnt much info about it except the date that it was recorded. Did you engineer that session? I'd love to know more about it! Was it written on the spot? Who played what instrument? And most importantly, is that Brian on the lead? I've always assumed it was but not I'm thinking it might be Alan instead.

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on May 08, 2007, 10:50:41 AM
I think that is Brian. His falsetto was "whinier" than Al's. Compare the vocal on that to Loop De Loop. They do sound similar but Brian does have a very distinct tone to his voice that is unmistakeable.

I'll definitely be buying this edition...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on May 08, 2007, 12:13:03 PM
Wow Mr. Desper, you sure look and sound a lot like Billy.

:p


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 03:45:47 PM
Wow Mr. Desper, you sure look and sound a lot like Billy.

:p
COMMENT TO JOE:  I'd like to know what you meant by what you said.  Billy is another person who can write first hand accountings.  Is that what you meant?  My perspective is going to be different. Actually I did not see Billy much in the studio, only on the road. Hell of a musician. Beautiful person.

Wondering what you meant,
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 03:46:44 PM
Steve - the last edition focussed on Sunflower and Surf's Up - will this include notes on tracks you worked on from Smiley SMile through 20/20, and on Sunflower/Surf's Up outtakes like the "Landlocked" acetate, the "Last Capitol Album" et al?

I have the first edition - looking forward to more stuff!

NOTED!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on May 08, 2007, 04:05:20 PM
Quote
COMMENT TO JOE:  I'd like to know what you meant by what you said.  Billy is another person who can write first hand accountings.  Is that what you meant?  My perspective is going to be different. Actually I did not see Billy much in the studio, only on the road. Hell of a musician. Beautiful person.

:lol

Joe was referring to me, as I had answered the question for you.
-Billy Castillo


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on May 08, 2007, 05:39:23 PM
Mr. Desper, today I bought a new DVD from the fun (but varying in quality) series "Classic Albums," in which relevant people discuss or revisit the makings and impacts of classic albums in rock history. The one I bought today was Frank Zappa's Apostrophe and Overnite Sensation. I know you are credited as engineer on both. (I was hoping you'd have been interviewed on the DVD, actually.) I wonder if, as a favor since I am in the Zappa mood now, you had any particular memories to share of working with Mr. Zappa and his bands and crews.

Thanks.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 06:11:01 PM
Stephen, one of my favorite unreleased songs (until Endless Harmony) was 'Sail Plane Song'...there isnt much info about it except the date that it was recorded. Did you engineer that session? I'd love to know more about it! Was it written on the spot? Who played what instrument? And most importantly, is that Brian on the lead? I've always assumed it was but not I'm thinking it might be Alan instead.

Thanks!
COMMENT TO JOE:

Here is a example of an experimental recording done to explore a song to a point. Then the track is abandon as new ideas emerge from the playback. The band regroups it's thinking and starts over.  Alan really liked the song and had a vision where to take it as Brian and Carl wanted to move on to other songs and gave control over to Alan who changed the name, upped the tempo and so forth.

Brian is singing Lead  (TK) added end parts (OD)
Carl is playing the Bass Guitar (TK)
Alan is playing Rhythm Guitar (TK)
Brian on Acoustic Piano  (TK)
Carl playing added Guitar part on end of 3rd chorus (OD)  [open string sound]
Bruce on Organ --  1st verse, chorus, 2nd verse, chorus (TK)  [note he lags. not sure of part yet]
Brian on Organ -- 3rd verse, chorus to end (OD)
Brian on Drums (OD)  This is a rare instance to hear Brian beat the skins. He wanted to show where the drums were to be stressed. Remember this is a demo to the band.

Yes, I recorded and mixed the short demo called "Sail Plane Song."

Good Listening,
~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 06:14:45 PM
I think that is Brian. His falsetto was "whinier" than Al's. Compare the vocal on that to Loop De Loop. They do sound similar but Brian does have a very distinct tone to his voice that is unmistakeable.

I'll definitely be buying this edition...

COMMENT TO JARMIE'S DAD:  Speaking of Loop, who is the barker at the beginning ("Hurry, hurry, hurry")?  Do you know?  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 06:36:31 PM
Mr. Desper, I wonder if, as a favor since I am in the Zappa mood now, you had any particular memories to share of working with Mr. Zappa and his bands and crews.

Thanks.

COMMENT TO LUTHER:  This question has been ask before.  Here are some responses from 2002 posts.  Sorry I don't have time to respond further.    ~swd

11/25/02
 02:46:00 pm, by cslepage, 179 words, 33 views
Categories: concerts
REPLY TO TEXTUS's COMMENTS: Any possibility that the experience of doing those wonderful voices
made you more attuned to the higher-pitched instruments (violin,
soprano sax, top half of the vibraphone) than another mixer might have
been? That part of that show is one of the things that stood out for
me, anyway -- the fact that I could hear and actually understand
discrete instruments. Didn't even know the term until Zappa named his
third custom label Discrete...

I would say the reason you could hear and
actually understand discrete instruments would be attributed to the
362 individual mic and direct line sources we had on stage coming down
to the mixing board. Such individual (discrete) signal sources add to
the ability to hear details. ~SWD

REPLY TO TEXTUS's COMMENTS" Further, Ruth's vibraphone's metal bars
each had a transducer on them so, were each individually "miked" with
every note coming to a sub-mixer and then to the band mix in stereo.
The other instruments you mentioned also had individual pick-ups on
them all adding to the "up-front" sound of the band. ~SWD

Permalink • Trackback (0)
 01:50:00 pm, by cslepage, 58 words, 23 views
Categories: concerts
REPLY TO TEXTUS's COMMENTS: I was not a Zappa fan either until he asked me to mix for him. In fact, I had not heard much of his stuff until then. But, believe me, it only took one rehearsal session to hook me. Totally on the other side of music from surfing sounds, but fantastic stuff, nevertheless. ~SWD

Permalink • Trackback (0)
 01:25:00 pm, by cslepage, 530 words, 52 views
Categories: concerts
By Stephenwdesper (Stephenwdesper) on Monday, November 25, 2002 -
01:25 pm:

REPLY TO TEXTUS's COMMENTS: What a fantastic tour ("Does that mean you
mixed the 1973 tour?") that was to be the house mixer for all the US
and Australian tours with the such outstanding ("Ponty, Duke, the
Underwoods and the Fowlers") musicians. I still have all the show
mixing notes and music for the shows indicating mixing cues and gain
changes. There was never a moment to loose consentration -- an intence
show to mix, but the music was very rewarding. It was ten times more
demanding than anything the Beach Boys were doing on the road. We
brought out 362 lines from the stage, each representing a sound
source. Those went into preset sub-mixers before coming to the main
mixer. Sound checks could easily take two hours. Zappa demanded
nothing short of perfection from his band and from me. I learned how
to hear in the present time while mixing (or setting up changes) in
future time. Most of the time I was about ten beats ahead of the band,
ready to execute the changes on the be!
at.

Eien and Ruth Underwood were dear friends, very kind and just terrific
at their craft. George Duke was a star performer just waiting to
evolve. He too, a real gentleman and such skill. Jon Luke Ponty and
his blue violin could send you to another dimension, yet he also was
such a pleasure to work with. Fellow, was he the trumpet player or
drummer? Either way, those two were the routy ones of the bunch and
kept us all laughing.

Now Frank was serious and keen to every detail of his music and the
band arrangements. Those arrangements were played to the note with
jazz vamps at certain intervals to allow these gifted performers to
express their individuality. Frank was disciplined and expected his
musicians and technical staff to hold the line -- no fooling around.
Of course his Guitar performances were out-of-this-world. I have yet
to hear his equal. I have mixed Jimmy Hendrix at Monterey Pops
Festival, and would have to say that he came very close. I only hope
those two are now playing together in some sort of heavenly all-star
show.

Let me set the record stright here about Frank Zappa, in that while I
was with him, I never saw him use or advocate the use of drugs. He was
hooked on caffeine and drank coffee from morning to night. His public
persona sometimes paints him as a druged up, long-hair, hip pothead --
but nothing could be further from the truth. To this day I can say I
have never worked for a more honest, upright, gentelman. All the time
I worked for him, I, along with the band, had the utmost respect and
admiration for him as a person and his abilities as a
writer/performer.

I recorded every show on a pro-cassette recorder for my own record.
Some kid stole all the tapes from my house years later, and by the
time I retrieved them, he had used most of them to re-record disco
music from the radio. I still have a few complete shows left. The
sound is incredible.

Permalink • Trackback (0)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on May 08, 2007, 07:32:50 PM
Great comments. And I am sorry to have asked something you had answered--I thought I had gone through the archives but I guess not enough. Thank you again.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Sorry Entertainer ♯♫♩🐇 on May 08, 2007, 07:35:44 PM
Quote
COMMENT TO JAYMIE'S DAD:  Speaking of Loop, who is the barker at the beginning ("Hurry, hurry, hurry")?  Do you know?  ~swd

Wasn't that you? I think I remembered you saying something about having sung on several BB songs, buried way in the mix. Or I could be thinking of someone else, I dunno. I think this was on Susan's board.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 08, 2007, 08:10:50 PM
Quote
COMMENT TO JAYMIE'S DAD:  Speaking of Loop, who is the barker at the beginning ("Hurry, hurry, hurry")?  Do you know?  ~swd

Wasn't that you?
  My big claim to fame. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 08, 2007, 08:11:41 PM
Mr. Desper recorded that part. I think he did it in 1998 because the 1970 version I heard doesn't have him.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on May 09, 2007, 12:43:58 AM
Mr. Desper recorded that part. I think he did it in 1998 because the 1970 version I heard doesn't have him.

He did record that part in 1998:

Quote
By Stephenwdesper (Stephenwdesper) on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 10:11 am:

REPLY TO SUSAN's COMMENTS: Better than . . .
Carl and I had an understanding that I wanted to sing or play on every BB song in some way. I'm not a bad singer so at some point along the way one of them would run the board and recorder and I would go into the studio and sing with the guys. Just one line or phrase, buried deep in the mix -- but I could still say I sang on the song. This was all kind of an inside joke -- we had a lot of fun in those days!!

Alan even honoured that old tradition on "Loop de Loop" 29 years later. You know the carnavel barker line, "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Step right up ..." Well, that's me being a barker in the 21st century!

(...)

Happy Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper

(found in the cabinessence. net archives: http://cabinessence.net/essays.shtml (http://cabinessence.net/essays.shtml))


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on May 09, 2007, 05:00:41 AM
Wow, Thank you Mr. Desper! That's great to hear.

For the Billy comment, I was just nagging Billy Castillo ("Jaymie's Dad") because like he said, he answered the question for you. :lol

Thanks again!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on May 09, 2007, 05:52:00 AM
Mr. Desper,

It just hit me that I read about you working on Keepin the Summer Alive. What was your role on that project? What tracks did you record? Did you work with Dennis on other songs during that time period as well? How was working with the Beach Boys during this album different from the late 60's early 70s?

I hope all is well with you. :)
-Joe


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 09, 2007, 12:35:20 PM
Mr. Desper,

It just hit me that I read about you working on Keepin the Summer Alive. What was your role on that project? What tracks did you record? Did you work with Dennis on other songs during that time period as well? How was working with the Beach Boys during this album different from the late 60's early 70s?

I hope all is well with you. :)
-Joe

COMMENT TO JOE:  Joe I've commented on all this before and the information is redally available off the album.  I was the chief engineer and mixer. I recorded all tracks. Dennis visited the studio once, otherwise stayed on his boat. That was the start of his decline. Difference was the studio, of course, many more tracks -- 48 up from 16 -- with more things in the matrix, an automated board, Bruce as producer -- more ridged style, not living at the studio but driving there every day, not all the guys were there at the same time, lots more stacking, the use of more studio musicians, too many visitors in the control room all the time, made it noisy -- it was a very large room while at house studio only one or two visitors could even get in, more outboard equipment to use.  I would say, overall not as creative an environment as the house, also not as fun -- more like work. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jonas on May 09, 2007, 04:07:56 PM
And you can hear it in the album too! Thank you for your time. :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 18, 2007, 08:34:34 AM
CALLING MARK H.  

Do you remember posting a photo of what you believed to be the mixing board at Brian's home studio?
I responded that I thought it was over at Western Studios due to the tape machines in the background.

Could you re-post that photo or tell me where it may be posted on the Web, Please.

I wish to use your original question in my book, but need the photo for the question to make sense.

Thanks much.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Ian on May 22, 2007, 01:31:51 PM
Hi Sir, I was wondering if you recall traveling with the group on their short Pacific Northwest tour in January 1969? I have an article about the bands January 16 1969 app at the Memorial Arena in Victoria which mentions you by name.  To quote "This time the sound equipment (150,00 worth) managed to conquer the arena acoustics and a great deal of the credit for the show's success myust be given to Steve Desper, designer and operator of the sound system's complex, glowing control panel."  Was this new sound system designed by you at the group's request for the European tour the precvious December? Also Alan Boyd stated that the group recorded about 7 shows in the Summer of 1968 including Phoenix, Fargo, and Chicago- I take it that you accompanied them on this 68 tour? Any memories of those tours?
Thanks
Ian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: bluerincon1 on May 23, 2007, 09:07:59 PM
Dear Mr. Desper:

I hope you are feeling well.  I must say your book is an excellent read.  I'm truly sorry to ask, but I've checked on the message boards and couldn't find thiese answers:

I know around late 1971/early 1972 you left the Beach Boys' employment.  I have read that it was because you were not a follower of TM?  Is that true.

Obviously, at the time you left, the group was working on "Carl & The Passions - So Tough."  Were you there through the completion of the basic tracking?

Finally, being a Zappa fan, I was wondering how he hired you and how long you worked for him?


Thank you for your time.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 24, 2007, 12:09:53 AM
Hi Mr. Desper, I was wondering if you were with Zappa when Kin Vassy was with the group? I am a fan of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition of which he was a member.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 24, 2007, 06:44:51 AM
Hi Sir, I was wondering if you recall traveling with the group on their short Pacific Northwest tour in January 1969? I have an article about the bands January 16 1969 app at the Memorial Arena in Victoria which mentions you by name.  To quote "This time the sound equipment (150,00 worth) managed to conquer the arena acoustics and a great deal of the credit for the show's success myust be given to Steve Desper, designer and operator of the sound system's complex, glowing control panel."  Was this new sound system designed by you at the group's request for the European tour the precvious December? Also Alan Boyd stated that the group recorded about 7 shows in the Summer of 1968 including Phoenix, Fargo, and Chicago- I take it that you accompanied them on this 68 tour? Any memories of those tours?
Thanks
Ian

COMMENT TO IAN:  I'm not good with specific dates.  AEIJTZSCHE found the AES (Audio Engineering Society) paper I co-wrote on that system for the society.  The creation of that system predates the paper by about a year.  Maybe AEIJTZSCHE can recall the link to the paper and/or the exact date the system was built.  I did design the system, but there were several groundbreaking features of the system that (some contributed by others) made it stand out before others of that time.  It was a beautiful sight to behold in any theater. It could be configured to entertain up to 35,000 people -- and did.

Lots of memories. It was the best of times.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 24, 2007, 06:55:01 AM
Dear Mr. Desper:

I hope you are feeling well.  I must say your book is an excellent read.  I'm truly sorry to ask, but I've checked on the message boards and couldn't find thiese answers:

I know around late 1971/early 1972 you left the Beach Boys' employment.  I have read that it was because you were not a follower of TM?  Is that true.

Obviously, at the time you left, the group was working on "Carl & The Passions - So Tough."  Were you there through the completion of the basic tracking?

Finally, being a Zappa fan, I was wondering how he hired you and how long you worked for him?


Thank you for your time.

COMMENT TO  BLUERINCON1:  Mike wanted a TM'er on board. I refused to bow to a sand-script god.  It was their loss and Zappa's gain.

I left as they went to Holland. For CATP Carl wanted to work in a completely different atmosphere.

Didn't I just post about Zappa's band several pages back? 
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on May 24, 2007, 06:58:39 AM
Hi Mr. Desper, I was wondering if you were with Zappa when Kin Vassy was with the group? I am a fan of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition of which he was a member.

COMMENT TO MBE:  I think I just posted about the Zappa band several pages ago.  I'm sorry, I don't associate the name Kin Vassy with the band I knew when with Zappa.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 24, 2007, 06:08:01 PM
Thanks anyway, I think Kin was only there about six months.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on May 24, 2007, 10:56:28 PM
Quote
AEIJTZSCHE found the AES (Audio Engineering Society) paper I co-wrote on that system for the society.  The creation of that system predates the paper by about a year.  Maybe AEIJTZSCHE can recall the link to the paper and/or the exact date the system was built.  I did design the system, but there were several groundbreaking features of the system that (some contributed by others) made it stand out before others of that time.  It was a beautiful sight to behold in any theater.

The AES paper was dated sometime in 69 I'm pretty sure.  I will check for sure if someone wants to know.  The whole article is really great and shed a lot of light on the subject, and since it was all new at the time it was written, it comes across as being very fresh and the details are very specific and technical.

I won't circulate the paper, because I want the AES to make some money, but if you go to the AES site you can seach for "Desper" and it will come up.  It was very easy to find and costs something like 20 dollars.

If somebody had a very specific question about the article I'd certainly feel OK following up with that.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on May 25, 2007, 08:37:16 AM
This the one ?

"Design Innovations in a Portable Sound Reinforcement System
Volume 18 Number 6 pp. 667-670; December 1970

A professional portable sound reinforcement system is described which was designed to overcome the serious audio problems encountered when presenting touring rock music concerts in a wide variety of acoustic environments where controlled high-quality high-level sound reinforcement is essential, along with rapid system setup and removal.

Authors:   Desper, Stephen; Bennett, R. L."



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on May 31, 2007, 12:29:18 AM
I wanted to ask if there is any news of the Flame LP's being reissued? I hope vinyl will be done as companies like Sundazzed, Get Back, Nortan, and now again Rhino do great LP packages.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Magic Transistor Radio on June 19, 2007, 10:04:46 PM
I wanted to ask if there is any news of the Flame LP's being reissued? I hope vinyl will be done as companies like Sundazzed, Get Back, Nortan, and now again Rhino do great LP packages.

I just stumbled upon an unopened Flame LP. I have no idea if it is reissued or not. The year was not anywhere to be seen on the record.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on June 20, 2007, 12:50:03 AM
If it has a bar code it's the new vinyl version released last year. It sounds great actually.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Magic Transistor Radio on June 20, 2007, 10:08:10 PM
If it has a bar code it's the new vinyl version released last year. It sounds great actually.

And so it does.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on June 25, 2007, 10:34:23 AM
Has anybody saved that pic (in bigger resolution) of Stephen and his Corvette?

(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.aa1b17f659.jpg)

If yes I'd really appreciate if that person could repost it here! Thanks in advance  :)

EDIT The request has been fulfilled! ;D Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on July 22, 2007, 02:04:59 AM
Hi Mr. Desper,
are you involved in any way with Al Jardine's soloalbum?


Title: Adventures in Otho, IA
Post by: onkster on July 31, 2007, 09:02:26 AM
Mr. Desper:
Were you involved with the Spring/demo work done by Brian and Marilyn at Westminist'r Sound in Otho, IA?

And if so, were you at all involved with the recording of Westminist'r's song called "Sister Jane"?  The guy that runs that studio told me that somebody from the Beach Boys' camp did the arrangement on that record, and though it's anciently out-of-print, it's such a joy to hear.  I'd really love to hear more backstory on that, if you have any.

Thanks!


Title: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: joeytangel on August 04, 2007, 01:56:03 PM
How do I ask Mr. Desper questions about Dennis? Where do I post them? And how do I finally get my hands on his great Book!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on August 04, 2007, 08:53:14 PM
Post them here, Joey, but be sure to read - or at least skim - the archives and this thread so that you don't ask things that Stephen has already answered...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: dunhill on August 21, 2007, 11:01:48 PM
Hello Mr. Desper,

I recently purchased a pair of DPI Loudspeakers (Studio Series).  I can't find any information on them.  I am wondering if they are a product that was manufactured by Desper Products?

Thanks,

Charles


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Aegir on September 03, 2007, 06:22:26 PM
Mr. Desper (or anyone else for that matter), I'm sorry if this has been asked already, but could you suggest to me what would be the best products to buy for recording vocals, guitar, and piano directly onto a computer?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on September 19, 2007, 02:05:00 AM
Rumours are starting to circulate that The Flame] and the second album - thus far unreleased - are to be packaged and released together later this year.  Can anybody confirm this?  It would be GREAT news!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 06, 2007, 05:15:17 PM
Hello Mr. Desper,

I recently purchased a pair of DPI Loudspeakers (Studio Series).  I can't find any information on them.  I am wondering if they are a product that was manufactured by Desper Products?

Thanks,

Charles

DPI Speakers are not made by Desper Products, Inc.  DPI Speakers may be made by made by Digital Products International [ http://www.dpi-global.com (http://www.dpi-global.com) ]. You can find specifications for two DPI models at [ http://www.happ.com/amusement/jukebox/50998400.htm (http://www.happ.com/amusement/jukebox/50998400.htm) ].  I believe the Studio Series features an eight-inch and horn elements.  That's all I know. Hope this helps. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 06, 2007, 05:46:50 PM
Mr. Desper (or anyone else for that matter), I'm sorry if this has been asked already, but could you suggest to me what would be the best products to buy for recording vocals, guitar, and piano directly onto a computer?

You gave no budget for your selections, so the high-end of suggestions are two Royer R-122 ribbon mics or a Rode NT4 stereo X/Y model.  Just as microphones, there are many mic-pres from which to select. Resonable priced (under $500) are the Digital MPA or the DBX 371. More expensive (up to $6000) ... something like the Manley SLAM stereo limiters and mic-pres.  Lower budget selections would be the standby, Shure SM57 or SM58 and a TubeMPpsUSB into your computer.

Good Listening, ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 06, 2007, 05:48:53 PM
Rumours are starting to circulate that The Flame] and the second album - thus far unreleased - are to be packaged and released together later this year.  Can anybody confirm this?  It would be GREAT news!

I can make no comment ... yet. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 06, 2007, 05:51:10 PM
Hi Mr. Desper,
are you involved in any way with Al Jardine's soloalbum?

No. ~swd


Title: Re: Adventures in Otho, IA
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 06, 2007, 05:54:54 PM
Mr. Desper:
Were you involved with the Spring/demo work done by Brian and Marilyn at Westminist'r Sound in Otho, IA?

And if so, were you at all involved with the recording of Westminist'r's song called "Sister Jane"?  The guy that runs that studio told me that somebody from the Beach Boys' camp did the arrangement on that record, and though it's anciently out-of-print, it's such a joy to hear.  I'd really love to hear more backstory on that, if you have any.

Thanks!

I am not directly involved.  I recorded several songs with Spring that did not make it to the album. Sister Jane may be one of those, but after 40 years, I can't remember the details or the working names. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on November 07, 2007, 02:47:41 AM
I bet you it's David Sandler you did the Sister Jane recording.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on November 07, 2007, 02:54:04 AM
Rumours are starting to circulate that The Flame] and the second album - thus far unreleased - are to be packaged and released together later this year.  Can anybody confirm this?  It would be GREAT news!

I can make no comment ... yet. ~swd

All I can say is please let there be a vinyl version.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 09, 2008, 06:34:53 PM
Steve, I don't know if you still check the board from time to time.  If you do, I hope you're well.

I thought you might like to see some pictures I found from the new Dragon Brothers CD.

These are from their Myspace page:  http://www.myspace.com/thedragonsbfi (http://www.myspace.com/thedragonsbfi)

(http://a135.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/14/l_ce157b1a3f5ce96513076707e73268c6.jpg)

(http://a259.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/18/l_5a239659a616e0509c2cb18073dffe3a.jpg)

(http://a435.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/113/l_3257a36814e748718d4708b94b78c24a.jpg)

There are more pictures on their site, but Steve, I thought it might bring back memories to see those guys...

And of course, I have to ask if that drum mic setup on Dennis D. there would be similar to something you would have done at the time at "the House".  This was '69.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: scallions on April 16, 2008, 06:56:04 AM
 ???

Have you guys ever dealt with Stephen?

I emailed himm a few weeks asking him to sign some cd's.  He replyed a few days later saying he would.

I sent him 5 covers and now he wont answer my emails and his page is down.  Man I feel like crying.  I sent him the back inserts to the original Sunflower and Surf's up cd's (1990)

GRR!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Susan on April 16, 2008, 07:51:44 AM
Stephen is a straight-up guy.  You'll get your inserts.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: roll plymouth rock on May 01, 2008, 09:29:45 AM
Dear Mr. Desper,

Is there any chance you can share any memories you may have of working with Honk on their first LP and second, mainly unreleased LP (I think 3 tracks were used on the Epic follow-up)...thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: sunflower on July 01, 2008, 04:48:39 AM
What about the reprint of "recording the beach boys" is that still in the pipeline? :)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 02, 2008, 06:46:05 AM
???

Have you guys ever dealt with Stephen?

I emailed himm a few weeks asking him to sign some cd's.  He replyed a few days later saying he would.

I sent him 5 covers and now he wont answer my emails and his page is down.  Man I feel like crying.  I sent him the back inserts to the original Sunflower and Surf's up cd's (1990)

GRR!
Your covers are safe and will find their way to you soon.  As I told you on the phone,  they are now the subject of a legal action to the benefit of you and other fans.  Next time don't send a bootleg CD cover!  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 02, 2008, 06:55:59 AM
What about the reprint of "recording the beach boys" is that still in the pipeline? :)

You know I thought that by now the book would be finished and available.  I carry it around in my IBM think-pad and work on it when time permits.  Currently editing down from 850 to 649 pages.  Editing takes time.  More time than I thought. 649 pages is the largest size book you can publish with a soft cover -- trying to keep costs down. Don't want to publish two volumes so editing is the only option left. To answer your question, the book is very much in the pipeline.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 02, 2008, 07:19:27 AM
Dear Mr. Desper,

Is there any chance you can share any memories you may have of working with Honk on their first LP and second, mainly unreleased LP (I think 3 tracks were used on the Epic follow-up)...thanks!

Want a great group HONK was to record.  And you know I think they are still performing in one of the beach towns in southern California.  I found a re-issue of the album I recorded for them.  Same cover but the album has two LPs on it.  Tracks 13-20 are from the LP I recorded for HONK as is stated in the credits on this CD. Mastering was a little dull.  Add some highs with the playback.  I don't think the CD mastering engineer realized that the mix was for vinyl analog. Overall a good sound!   

HONK ---  HIPO Select - Mercury Records - B0003628-02

Find it at [ http://www.amazon.com/Honk-Expanded-Edition/dp/B000BPJ2G2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1215008088&sr=1-4 ] for around $40 -- Limited Edition.

When my time permits I can get some thoughts together and comment on those sessions. 

Good Listening,
  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SloopJohnB on July 02, 2008, 08:50:33 AM
To answer your question, the book is very much in the pipeline.   ~swd

Good to see you back Stephen. I'm really looking forward to this revised version of your book!  :-D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on July 02, 2008, 10:43:44 AM
What about the reprint of "recording the beach boys" is that still in the pipeline? :)

You know I thought that by now the book would be finished and available.  I carry it around in my IBM think-pad and work on it when time permits.  Currently editing down from 850 to 649 pages.  Editing takes time.  More time than I thought. 649 pages is the largest size book you can publish with a soft cover -- trying to keep costs down. Don't want to publish two volumes so editing is the only option left. To answer your question, the book is very much in the pipeline.   ~swd

Hi Stephen,

Great to see you posting again. I'm glad to hear that the expanded version is still in the pipeline.

For what its worth I, and I expect all the other board members and fans here, would be more than happy to have the extra 201 pages to read... Out of interest, what have you against publishing a two-vol update? I'm sure your reasons are sensible and sound, but for us fans I reckon we'd be happy to have the extra information at the expense of a more unwieldy, and possibly slightly more expensive, new edition.

Its good news indeed that an updated edition is on the way. All we need now is a new batch of Spatializer adaptors to be produced for those of who didn't manage to get hold of one to appreciate Sunflower in all its glory!

John


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on July 02, 2008, 06:12:26 PM
Very nice to hear from you, Steve.  Hope you're feeling better these days!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 04, 2008, 07:19:30 AM
For what its worth I, and I expect all the other board members and fans here, would be more than happy to have the extra 201 pages to read... Out of interest, what have you against publishing a two-vol update? I'm sure your reasons are sensible and sound, but for us fans I reckon we'd be happy to have the extra information at the expense of a more unwieldy, and possibly slightly more expensive, new edition.   - John

COMMENT TO JOHN:
Editing (at least my idea of) does not remove information, rather it compacts the same information by using better word useage. Sometimes I repeat myself and so that stuff gets removed. Other times substituting one word in place of several others can add clarity. What takes time is the shear amount of information to sort through. Even with the computer's "search edit" feature, it all takes time. Publisher tells me that two-volume versions of one title never sell better than one big book -- and to edit it down. If I were to publish a larger hardback version, I'm afraid the cost would exclude many fans from the information so have decided on a soft-back version.  If you include a good subject index that further limits the actual storyline number of pages. I have found I value a book more if it has a good index -- which takes even more time to accumulate -- so that also takes pages from the 649 size.  Anyway, I'm plugging away as fast as I can.
  ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: brother john on July 04, 2008, 08:28:35 AM

Thanks Stephen,

I quite see your point. Well, I look forward very much to news of its completion!

All the best,

John


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 04, 2008, 09:57:23 AM

Thanks Stephen,

I quite see your point. Well, I look forward very much to news of its completion!

All the best,

John
Thank you John and all who had nice words.  I'm not posting here (much) because I am spending time on the book. 

If you ask me a question I can still answer it, but the answer may well appear somewere in the book rather than in the form of a posting here.

Good Listening to you all & may God be with Alan J. and his Red Barn Studio as the California fires move into the Big Sur area,
  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on July 05, 2008, 01:21:38 AM
I remember how much you liked it up there. Give Al all of our best wishes.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 07, 2008, 06:15:16 PM
I was very disturbed to learn of this most recent development in Beach Boy history (comment follows):

FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

Capitol says recording quality at its Hollywood building is at risk
By Bob Pool
April 23, 2008

No! No-o-o-o! No-o-o-o-o-o! That plea from Hollywood is reverberating through Los Angeles City Hall as officials try to decide whether a 16-story tower should be built next to the landmark Capitol Records building.

A Marina del Rey developer hopes to construct 93 condominiums, 13,442 square feet of commercial and office space and a 242-space underground parking lot next to the landmark, 13-floor, record-shaped building.

But Capitol executives are trying to stop the multimillion-dollar project because of fears that pile-driving and excavation for the three-level underground garage will damage one-of-a-kind, below-ground echo chambers that are used for high-end recordings.

The developer has denied that the project would harm the reverberation equipment and has pledged to try to limit noise and vibration during construction.

The famed echo chambers were designed by guitarist Les Paul and have been used by recording artists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to Chris Botti, Natalie Cole – who just finished an album there – and Brian Wilson, who used them last week.

EMI Music North America, which operates Capitol Records, has appealed the city’s preliminary approval of the high-rise, which is proposed for the southwest corner of Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue. Until 2005 that was the site of the KFWB-AM (980) radio station.

“As a major employer in the Hollywood area, Capitol Records is extremely concerned about the viability of us being able to continue to run Capitol Studios in the face of the admittedly significant adverse impacts that will be caused by construction,” said Maureen B. Schultz, a senior vice president at the recording company.

In a letter to City Council members, Schultz explained that the echo chambers are on the east side of the record company headquarters at the corner of Vine and Yucca streets. They are buried 18 feet from the proposed excavation site.

“We are not anti-development, and understand and support that Hollywood is changing and new development is part of that change,” she said in the letter.

But “the sound in the studios is one that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. The echo chambers are as much a part of the Hollywood history as the Capitol Tower and the Hollywood sign.”

The eight concrete chambers, built 30 feet underground, vary in shape to give different sounds. A speaker pipes music into one end of each chamber and a microphone picks up the reverberation at the other end.

Capitol employees say their three recording studios are booked by artists who know the Vine Street echo effect is something that cannot be duplicated electronically or at any other studio.

Although it is not part of EMI’s appeal, record company workers and others in Hollywood also oppose the 16-floor tower because it would overshadow Capitol’s iconic building by three stories and block views of the landmark from the nearby Hollywood Freeway.

The Capitol tower was designed by architect Welton Becket and finished in 1956. It was the world’s first circular office building. Music fans immediately embraced its look, which resembled a stack of vinyl 45s on a record turntable. Its spire is said to blink out the name “Hollywood” in Morse code at night.

EMI’s appeal of the project is one of two that have been filed. A separate objection has been lodged by Hollywood resident Jim McQuiston, who has lived for 48 years across the street from the tower site. He objects to it on seismic grounds.

“It would affect me when it falls over on me,” McQuiston, a Caltech-trained engineer, said Tuesday. In papers filed with the city, he asserted that “the so-called Yucca strand of the Hollywood Fault poses an extreme hazard” to the condominium tower.

Developer David Jordan could not be reached for comment Tuesday. However, a lawyer representing the project dismissed McQuiston’s concerns.

“That seems, quite frankly, like an implausible scenario,” Dale Goldsmith said of the tower toppling in an earthquake. “His apartment building would collapse before this one would. It would be built in accordance of latest earthquake standards.”

As far as Capitol Records’ echo chambers are concerned, Goldsmith pledged that they will be safe during construction.

“We’re confident there won’t be any long-term damage,” he said. “We’re prepared to indemnify them. They have a right to be concerned, but their concerns are exaggerated.”

Steps will be taken to limit vibration and noise, he said. “There are a series of mitigation measures to be taken during construction. Muffling devices, dewatering techniques, taking noise-generating equipment as far away as possible from Capitol,” Goldsmith said.

An acoustical study done for Jordan by an Oakland firm acknowledged that “without the mitigation … ground-borne noise from construction activities may temporarily impact operation of the echo chambers.”

But it suggested that “digital signal processing and other digital audio recording techniques can simulate almost every echo chamber effect.”

Capitol officials plan to refute that when the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee reviews their appeal May 13. The entire council is expected to take up the issue May 27, committee Chairman Ed Reyes said Tuesday.

Digital reverberation can’t compare with a real echo chamber, Capitol recording experts say. That’s a claim they’ve shot down over and over and over again.  END

The sound of Capitol's chambers (especially #3) are all over most Beach Boy recordings.  Even if the song was mixed at Brian's House Studio, we would pre-record important reverberation on two tracks of the multi-track by going to Capitol and using their chambers for a reverb session.  THEY ARE THAT GOOD!  Electronic simulation can't come close.

If you live in this area and vote, you should call, write, or email the Los Angeles City Council and demand that the council recognise the significance of these historic rooms.  Not much time -- vote scheduled July 8, Tuesday, 2008.

LATEST NEWS:

Famous studio fears next-door noise
BY SOLVEJ SCHOU • ASSOCIATED PRESS • July 6, 2008

Post a CommentRecommend Print this page E-mail this article
Share this article: Del.icio.us Facebook Digg Reddit Newsvine What’s this?
LOS ANGELES -- Standing in the photo-lined hallway, you can almost hear the history.



 One picture shows Frank Sinatra crooning into a sleek, silver microphone, his fedora tipped back. In another, Nat King Cole sits in front of a music stand in a crisp, white V-neck sweater.

Both were taken only a few feet away, a half-century ago, in the wood and glass studios of Capitol Records' famed cylindrical tower in Hollywood -- familiar to tourists from around the globe as resembling a giant stack of vinyl records.

In this age of mp3s, digital home recording and compressed and condensed tunes, Capitol Studios remain a rare gem -- a legendary yet working homage to high-quality sound, from Sinatra to the Beach Boys to Tim McGraw.

"It's not a historical monument to itself, it's a contemporary studio," said engineer Jim Scott, who recently recorded Dido with a 30-piece orchestra at Capitol.

But the large, three-room facility and its fabled subterranean echo chambers -- whose sound, experts say, cannot be re-created -- may soon be picking up some bad vibrations from an adjacent 16-story condominium and office project, part of downtown Hollywood's ambitious revitalization effort.

Sound engineers fear that noise from the construction site, as well as from traffic that would eventually use the project's underground parking garage, will ruin the delicate aural qualities of the echo chambers.

A Los Angeles City Council committee recently denied an appeal by Capitol parent EMI Music North America and recommended approval of the project, contingent on a series of additional measures -- including construction walls and a foam barrier -- to mitigate potential sound issues. Capitol had worked out the measures with developer Second Street Ventures as a backup plan, though it still opposes the project.

"Capitol Records' executives are reluctant to keep open the recording studios and echo chambers if they run the risk of lawsuits from recording artists and their record labels," EMI's attorney John Whitaker said at the hearing.

David Jordon, co-owner of Second Street Ventures, said he felt confident that the measures would protect Capitol Studios' signature sound.

"We have no desire to create any negativity toward Capitol Records," he said. "Our design is to enhance and protect this iconic building and the area around it. From a personal standpoint, we wouldn't want that kind of liability."

Jordon maintains that his company is only looking to do loud excavation and demolition from 7 to 10 a.m. He also says there would be an emphasis on "open and constant communication" with Capitol, including an onsite attendant every day. Discussions continue regarding compensation to Capitol if recording sessions are affected, he said.

The full council is set to vote on the proposal Tuesday in a session that could attract the many music industry insiders who oppose the project -- from engineers to the Recording Academy.

"Those echo chambers at Capitol should not ever be lost. That sound cannot be reproduced," said engineer Geoff Emerick, who recorded the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Revolver."

Musician and producer Jon Brion, who has recorded Kanye West and Fiona Apple, said he was upset over the issue.

"There are very few specially built studios left, and the chambers are the thing that make it special," he said.

Sinatra recorded his seminal 1958 album "Only the Lonely" in the studios, using the echo chambers' reverb to enhance his voice. Other famed musicians who have recorded there since the tower's 1956 opening include Dean Martin, Natalie Cole, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Diana Krall and James Taylor. Green Day recorded most of its Grammy-winning 2004 album "American Idiot" there.

The Oscar, Emmy and Grammy orchestras also use the studios, which can hold up to 75 musicians, as do the television shows "American Idol" and "Lost."

Today, about 90% of the artists who record there rent the facilities independently and are not connected with Capitol/EMI.

"To steal a quote from (Paul McCartney engineer) Phil Ramone, 'People just play better here,' " said Greg Parkin, Capitol Studios and Mastering's senior director of operations.

Buried more than 25 feet below the Capitol tower's parking lot, the studios' trapezoidal-shaped echo chambers, built out of 10-inch thick concrete walls, were codesigned by famed sound innovator Les Paul, who pioneered the electric guitar and helped develop multitrack recording.

Artists sing or play into microphones in the studios and the sound is piped through wires in the walls down through a corridor and into the chambers. Speakers in the chambers bounce the sound to microphones on the other side, which pick up the music in stereo and then funnel it back to a mixing console in the studios. This provides a smooth delay of sound, or reverb, which can last up to five seconds. Underground isolation is necessary to establish purity of the sound.

"Loud noises are our enemy, that's just the nature of the business," Parkin said. "When you're doing a very delicate string date, any interference can be a problem."

He added that the chambers have never been replicated digitally -- and that's why artists still travel to Capitol from around the world.

"The Capitol Studios are part of Hollywood's history, part of the Beach Boys' history and part of my own history," Brian Wilson said in a letter to the Los Angeles City Council. "I can't emphasize enough how important it is that you do everything in your power to protect that history for generations of recording artists to come."
 

HERE ARE ADDITIONAL ARTICLES:   ~swd

Capital Records Echo chamber >>> [ http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=Capital+Records+Echo+chamber&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=news_result&resnum=4&ct=title ] 



Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: DonnyL on July 08, 2008, 11:18:56 AM
Hello Stephen,

I was wondering if can tell me what brand and forumlation of tapes you and the boys used in the 68-71 period?  My hunch would say Scotch 206 but I've also heard that BASF was used.

Thanks

Donny


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 08, 2008, 07:25:28 PM
Hello Stephen,

I was wondering if can tell me what brand and forumlation of tapes you and the boys used in the 68-71 period?  My hunch would say Scotch 206 but I've also heard that BASF was used.

Thanks

Donny

90 % of recordings used AGFA-Gevaert  PER 525 and PER 525 Stereo 
>>> [ http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/basftape/basftapes.html ]

10% of recordings used Scotch 206
>>> [ http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/3mtape/aorprod2.html ]


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: DonnyL on July 09, 2008, 09:29:16 AM
thanks, that's the info i needed


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Big Bri on July 09, 2008, 11:30:39 AM
Hi Stephen,
   Glad to see you back on here again.I was wondering if you're going to post a link on here when you're
finished with the up-dated book? I missed out on the first printing and would very much like to purchase
you're book when it's ready.

Thanks Steve,

Brian


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: DonnyL on July 09, 2008, 01:30:54 PM
I too am ready to purchase the new book as soon as you're taking pre-orders

Donny


Title: Re: Alternate TWOTS
Post by: 37!ws on July 15, 2008, 09:32:01 AM
I'm not sure if it's still there, but years ago there was a website advertising the Spatializer, and there was a sound file to demonstrate "before" and "after" the Spatializer effects. The sound file consisted of a brief snippet of an alternate, a capella (with full harmony) version of "The Warmth Of The Sun." It wasn't a remake; Brian's voice rang out clear as a bell...

Anybody (esp. Mr. Desper?) know the details behind this outtake?? (and perhaps how it eluded the, uhh....b00tleggers!)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 18, 2008, 07:30:02 AM
I too am ready to purchase the new book as soon as you're taking pre-orders

Donny

The Smiley Smile Message Board will be the first place I post when the book is finished.
No pre-paid orders.  When it's published, you can order.

Thanks for your support.
     ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: king of anglia on July 18, 2008, 07:44:02 AM
Mr. Desper Sir,
I've a question about recording if you've got the time answer:

Got a band; one guitar, one bass, one drums, one lead vocal, two backing vocals.

What would be the best way to record this band (loud 70s style rock) with this quite limited setup:

Smallish rehearsal room
16 Channel Mixer
Lots of SM58s
A couple of omnidirectional mics
8 track recording on a laptop

Thanks,
Steve


Title: Re: Alternate TWOTS
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 18, 2008, 08:28:05 AM
I'm not sure if it's still there, but years ago there was a website advertising the Spatializer, and there was a sound file to demonstrate "before" and "after" the Spatializer effects. The sound file consisted of a brief snippet of an alternate, a capella (with full harmony) version of "The Warmth Of The Sun." It wasn't a remake; Brian's voice rang out clear as a bell...

Anybody (esp. Mr. Desper?) know the details behind this outtake?? (and perhaps how it eluded the, uhh....b00tleggers!)

COMMENT TO 37!ws:
If I remember correctly, the snippit was taken from an Internet song sample of a CD offering (like Amazon), OR it could have been from a CD. The "without" sample was a direct copy and the "with" sample was made by passing the signal through an analog Spatializer(R).  The company was granted permission to use the sample as a courtesy to me.
  ~swd   


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on July 18, 2008, 08:41:53 AM
Mr. Desper Sir,
I've a question about recording if you've got the time answer:

Got a band; one guitar, one bass, one drums, one lead vocal, two backing vocals.

What would be the best way to record this band (loud 70s style rock) with this quite limited setup:

Smallish rehearsal room
16 Channel Mixer
Lots of SM58s
A couple of omnidirectional mics
8 track recording on a laptop

Thanks,
Steve


COMMENT TO KING OF ANGLIA LINK:

I'd be tempted to record bass and drums first, to get the best clear sound in your small room as you can. Then add, using close mics, all the other elements -- one at a time or in groups. You might consider doubling the "one" guitar when playing the rhythm guitar part and maybe even doubling the BGs. 

To insure dynamics of drums miked up close, be certain to keep your recording levels low. The indicators do not show the extreme signal a drum produces and will compress the sound unless you keep the levels well below zero.

If the band cannot perform without all the players playing at the same time ... look back in my postings for how to approach this problem.  But no matter how you mic everything, the small room sound will dominate, so best to do as suggested in first paragraph.


~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: NightHider on August 07, 2008, 07:09:51 AM
Hi Stephen -

Wondering if there was any headway being made in your lobby to have the two Flame albums released? 

Sure hope so...


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Custom Machine on August 11, 2008, 10:02:18 PM
Stephen –

I have a question concerning promo copy mixes that you did for The Beach Boys. 

A number of years ago I picked up a 45 RPM promotional copy of Add Some Music to Your Day b/w Susie Cincinnati and was quite surprised to find that both songs were mixed significantly differently than they were on the stock 45 rpm single, and in the case of Add Some Music, on the Sunflower album.

The stock copy 45 rpm single and album versions were in stereo, whereas the promo 45 was in mono, but a mono fold down of the stereo versions still sounds nothing like the promo versions.  For Add Some Music, the most prominent differences are that the promo version has significantly less bass, significantly boosted midrange emphasizing the vocals, and the guitar is mixed significantly louder.  Susie Cincinnati’s promo version also has significantly less bass, somewhat boosted midrange, and contains engine sound fx not found on the original 1970 45 rpm stock copy. 

As far as listening experience is concerned, the promo copies sound way too bass shy and midrange boosted to me, and I find the stock copies much more enjoyable to listen to.

So, my question is, were the promo mixes done differently for AM radio?  AM was definitely the more dominant popular and rock music format at the time, but since AM tends to sound tinny with accentuated midrange anyway, it doesn’t seem that there would be any advantage to boosting the mids on the promo copies.

Did you mix other Beach Boys promo singles differently than the stock copies?  I don’t have many promo copies, especially of the Beach Boys, but this is the only one I’ve come across where the promo is significantly different than the stock copy. 

Not too long after this Feb 1970 release, with the rise in the popularity of FM radio, I recall that most promo 45s contained just one song, in mono on one side, and stereo the other; for example that was the case with Cool Cool Water.   And, interestingly, in the summer of 1973, the single mono mix of Susie Cincinnati was released on the Warner Brothers loss leader Appetizers, with the same mix found on the promo single, but without the rolled off bass and somewhat boosted midrange.

Have any members of this board noticed different mixes, compared to the stock 45 rpm single, on other Beach Boys promo 45s?

Thanks for any info you can provide, Stephen.  I’m really looking forward to your forthcoming book.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on August 20, 2008, 09:37:17 PM
Stephen –

I have a question concerning promo copy mixes that you did for The Beach Boys. 

A number of years ago I picked up a 45 RPM promotional copy of Add Some Music to Your Day b/w Susie Cincinnati and was quite surprised to find that both songs were mixed significantly differently than they were on the stock 45 rpm single, and in the case of Add Some Music, on the Sunflower album.

The stock copy 45 rpm single and album versions were in stereo, whereas the promo 45 was in mono, but a mono fold down of the stereo versions still sounds nothing like the promo versions.  For Add Some Music, the most prominent differences are that the promo version has significantly less bass, significantly boosted midrange emphasizing the vocals, and the guitar is mixed significantly louder.  Susie Cincinnati’s promo version also has significantly less bass, somewhat boosted midrange, and contains engine sound fx not found on the original 1970 45 rpm stock copy. 

As far as listening experience is concerned, the promo copies sound way too bass shy and midrange boosted to me, and I find the stock copies much more enjoyable to listen to.

So, my question is, were the promo mixes done differently for AM radio?  AM was definitely the more dominant popular and rock music format at the time, but since AM tends to sound tinny with accentuated midrange anyway, it doesn’t seem that there would be any advantage to boosting the mids on the promo copies.

Did you mix other Beach Boys promo singles differently than the stock copies?  I don’t have many promo copies, especially of the Beach Boys, but this is the only one I’ve come across where the promo is significantly different than the stock copy. 

Not too long after this Feb 1970 release, with the rise in the popularity of FM radio, I recall that most promo 45s contained just one song, in mono on one side, and stereo the other; for example that was the case with Cool Cool Water.   And, interestingly, in the summer of 1973, the single mono mix of Susie Cincinnati was released on the Warner Brothers loss leader Appetizers, with the same mix found on the promo single, but without the rolled off bass and somewhat boosted midrange.

Have any members of this board noticed different mixes, compared to the stock 45 rpm single, on other Beach Boys promo 45s?

Thanks for any info you can provide, Stephen.  I’m really looking forward to your forthcoming book.


COMMENT TO CUSTOM MACHINE:  I can't make any specific comments about mixes as I simply cannot remember the details. As a general observation I would say that promotional copies or copies included in pre-release press kits may have been made from early mixes. They could also not be folddown (stereo to mono) but rather seperate mono mixes.  Mixes for AM radio that I had anything to do with would, in fact, have less bass in them so as not to excite the AM compressor.  This done to avoid the "pumping" of the vocals by the bass line.  It is also quite possible that promotional copies were assembled by in-house Capital or Warner engineers who boosted the vocal frequencies to feature the group over and above the band. I don't remember making seperate mixes for promotional use, so whatever copies you collected may have been created out of my mixes and never intended for public consumption. Once the master mix copy is delivered to the record label it is very hard to maintain any quality control. It was a constant battle for me. The record company can really do what thay damn well please once they have the master tapes.  As to 45's with the same song on both sides, but one in mono and one in stereo, this was at a time when the transition was being made from mono to stereo.  45 rpm record players were still around and could not track stereo, whereas other players could play 33, 45, and 78 rpm records in stereo. Therefore, some releases were made to accommodate all the formates a 45 disc might encounter.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on August 20, 2008, 09:44:33 PM
Hi Stephen -

Wondering if there was any headway being made in your lobby to have the two Flame albums released? 

Sure hope so...

COMMENT TO NIGHTHIDER:  I am sorry to report that we are again at another impasse with BRI management.  Your emails to BRI asking for this release to be forthcomming may be enough to get things moving again. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Mahalo on August 20, 2008, 10:22:31 PM
Yo Stephen...You Rule! Hope all is well, and much Thanx....from the Hudson Valley in New York......keep rockin'......... :rock


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: DonnyL on August 29, 2008, 11:55:47 AM
Mr Desper,

i have read through all of your posts (including the archives) and found it to be the most useful and educational reading that I have encountered regarding recording tecniques.

i do have a question that i don't believe has been addressed yet.  when you bounced or "ping-ponged" tracks, was it typically done to another machine or internally within the same machine?  was there any difference in this process whether you were working with 8 or 16 track machines?

i know that on many machines of this era, the sync head response was not as good as the repro head response.  i am wondering if this more limited fidelity may have contributed in part to the sonic character of the original recordings.  i was also thinking that you may have even built heads that could overcome

these potential issues. i have noticed in my own experience that making an internal bounce can actually help the individual tracks "gel" together a little bit more, even though there is a slight decrease in clarity and presence.

i am working on a recording and am trying to get the best sound possible using a limited number of tracks with extensive overdubs.  i typically bounce internally but am considering going to another machine instead, which somewhat limits flexibility during tracking (as i would need to make one larger mix instead of a variety of smaller submixes).

I also have another question: were you involved at all in editing the tapes for the WILD HONEY lp?  I notice the tape splices and was wondering what the process was for putting these edits together.  It sounds like they made a mix and then copied it to a different tape few times for certain sections.

thanks in advance for any insight,

donny


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Tune X on August 30, 2008, 10:09:28 AM
Hi Stephen,
Sorry if you've answered this before, but who sang the "A Children's Song" lyric at the end of Surf's Up in 1971? I've always assumed it was Brian. Badman's book mentions he arranged the final part, but doesn't say whether he actually sang that tag.

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: John on August 30, 2008, 01:05:27 PM
It's Al.


Title: QQ
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 09, 2008, 07:52:22 AM
Mr Desper,

When you bounced or "ping-ponged" tracks, was it typically done to another machine or internally within the same machine?

COMMENT:  I believe the term "to ping-pong a track" refers to the synchronistic combining of several tracks to one track within the same machine. This is done by using the recording head-stack as both a playback and record head.  Since the machine is designed with ping-ponging in mind, the electronics have separate EQ adjustments for playback from the reproduce head and playback from the record head.  These adjustments can render the frequency response curves to be the same for both heads. Yes, there may be a slight boost when using the recording head as playback head, but it is only a dB or less.  The difference in sound is hardly noticeable.  In addition, the tracks that you are combining in the ping-pong will be routed through the mixer with EQ being applied at the time of combining, so spectral modification is applied via the mixing board anyway.  The real question for me was, do I record using Dolby Noise Reduction on the multi-track or not.  This can become a real headache because all the tracks must be decoded to be combined and then re-encoded for the bounce.  Here is where the real degradation of the sound can occur since they must again be decoded for mixdown.   After a few tries, I found I got the best overall sound by recording the multi-track at 30 IPS without Noise Reduction, including all ping-pongs. Then I used Dolby Type A for the Master Tape at 15 IPS.  At 30 IPS the playback head EQ bump can reduce a rich bass sound to less then you expect at 15IPS, but the advantage is another 3 dB reduction in tape noise.  So I opted for less noise in the multi-track, including ping-pongs, and correcting the bass sound during mixdown -- mixdown being done with Dolby at 15IPS.  This kept the noise down for the Master Tape without changing the bass sound of the Master Tape.   

Was there any difference in this process whether you were working with 8 or 16 track machines?

COMMENT:  Not really, although the tape hiss was higher in the 16 or 24 track machine.

i know that on many machines of this era, the sync head response was not as good as the repro head response.  i am wondering if this more limited fidelity may have contributed in part to the sonic character of the original recordings. 

COMMENT:  Every element along the chain effects the fidelity, but as I said above, these professional machines are designed to overcome signal losses during ping-pongs.  The overall sonic character is really set in Mixdown and further in the Mastering of the final product.

i was also thinking that you may have even built heads that could overcome these potential issues. i have noticed in my own experience that making an internal bounce can actually help the individual tracks "gel" together a little bit more, even though there is a slight decrease in clarity and presence.

COMMENT:  A slight decrease in clarity can be overcome with a little high end boost and presence loss with mid-boost. I would think the "gel" you hear is just the nature of combining or mixing together.    
 
i am working on a recording and am trying to get the best sound possible using a limited number of tracks with extensive overdubs.  i typically bounce internally but am considering going to another machine instead, which somewhat limits flexibility during tracking (as i would need to make one larger mix instead of a variety of smaller submixes). 

COMMENT:  Not all tracks will need to be ping-ponged.  Usually it is vocals and a few instruments that need combining.  Recording from one machine to another may give a slightly lower noise factor for the tracks that are (in effect) not ping-ponged, but its negated by the noise which comes from re-recording all the other tracks.  When going from machine to machine you need to move all the tracks, and that is where the bass and especially the drums begin to loose their punch.  Combining only a few tracks within the same machine preserves the original drum and bass track sounds. So, ping-ponging within the same machine rather than copying from one machine to another actually makes for a better final sound.

Additional ping-ponging guidelines are:  (1) don't ping from adjacent pong tracks. That is, don't playback from tracks 1, 2 , and 3 to track 4.  The playback from track 3 will interfear with the recording on track 4. You need to skip at least one track. (2) Don't lead vocals on outside tracks.  The physical contact of the outside tracks (1 and 16) can cause the lead vocal to sound wavy if there is any physical damage to the edge of the multi-track tape itself. (3)  Usually the bass or kick drum are good candidates for recording on outside tracks (1 and 16).  Any physical damage or slight loss of tracking or contact with the heads at the edges of the 2" wide multi-track tape will not be heard. These are practical considerations. 
 
 

I also have another question: were you involved at all in editing the tapes for the WILD HONEY lp?  I notice the tape splices and was wondering what the process was for putting these edits together.  It sounds like they made a mix and then copied it to a different tape few times for certain sections.

COMMENT:  Yes on both the multi-track and master tapes to editing.  I used a tape block for edits.  Engineers at Capital Records used scissors and the eye as a guide for cutting.  Some edits were done at mixdowns at Capital where union rules require the union engineers to make the splices.  It was not beneath the Beach Boys to get one good chorus, copy it several times and then splice the copies into the master, in the interest of saving time. Thus one complete song could have copied sections.  



Good Listening,  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 09, 2008, 07:59:23 AM
Hi Stephen,
Sorry if you've answered this before, but who sang the "A Children's Song" lyric at the end of Surf's Up in 1971? I've always assumed it was Brian. Badman's book mentions he arranged the final part, but doesn't say whether he actually sang that tag.

Thanks!

COMMENT:  Well, if you had read my book, Recording The Beach Boys, you would find on page 44 a detailed recollection of that part of the sessions for Surfs Up and the story of how BRIAN added the Children's Song line to the end of the song.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on September 09, 2008, 08:04:04 AM
It's Al.
COMMENT:  Nope!  Alan was out of town the day that line was added.  You error only underscores why the Beach Boy singing group sounded so good when they sang together.  All the voices have characteristics which make it hard to distinguish one voice from another in many cases -- therefore the blend they got was without equal. ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: DonnyL on September 09, 2008, 10:47:00 AM
“ping-ponging within the same machine rather than copying from one machine to another actually makes for a better final sound.”
 
Thank you for your insight and tips … you’ve confirmed what I already suspected, that internal bouncing is probably the best option, all things considered.  since that’s how you got the greatest recorded sounds I know of, then that method sounds good to me, and I will continue to work in this manner.
 
I’ve learned the hard way to not combine adjacent tracks!  I would get a very strange, high-pitched squealing sound if the levels were just a little bit too loud and wondered what was going on.  After some trial and error, I realized that bouncing a track to the “track next door” causes this problem.
 
I will take your advice about bass and kick drum on the outside tracks … I usually place “less important” tracks here, like a subtle overdub part or a percussion track.  It does make more sense to put the “bassier” sounds there though, because a dropout or irregularity would be less noticeable.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on September 12, 2008, 12:06:43 AM
Brian and Al really could sound like each other from about 66-74. Thanks again Stephen.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on September 19, 2008, 12:20:30 PM
Steve, it's really nice to read your thoughts on recording again.  I've learned so much from you over the years, from your book and online.  I continue to record, I'm trying to finish up an album which I'd love to send to you when I'm done, if that ever happens.

It turns out that I'm figuring out some ping-pong kind of stuff, I've moved from computer/DAW recording to a 24-track digital machine.  I'm glad to get out from behind a computer screen.

But my "console" only really has 14 inputs.  So I've had to figure out how to get my final mixdown from 14 tracks instead of 24.  I've got it worked out pretty well.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on September 19, 2008, 01:50:55 PM
Actually, Steve. if you're up to it, I have one of my long, detailed questions I've been thinking about for a while.

I'd like some clarifications on the mixing process at Brian's house.

Now, you said in your book and also on here that much of the "stereo magic" in the recordings happened a mixdown.  And the tracksheets Alan has provided confirm that, in most cases, you only recorded maybe 30-40% of the instrumentation on any given song in true stereo, usually drums, piano, etc.

So, given you're ready to do a mix from the 16-track, you would set up all kinds of acoustic effects.

Here's important question #1:  Since you just had the one reverb chamber, I assume that you generally recorded the instruments dry, and then sent what you wanted reverberated to the chamber at mixdown, and that the chamber sent a stereo return back into the board?

I'm guessing that you would print the vocals with reverb at the time of recording vocals, right?

As for compression or limiting, is it also fair to guess that you did more of that at recording time, than at the mix?  I remember you mentioning somewhere that you had a few compressors at the time.

So, if you were limited in backing vocal tracks, you would limit Mike's bass vocal at the time, and print it to tape in with the rest of the backing vocals that went to maybe just one track?  And put the reverb on there, printed it, also?

Obviously each mix situation is different, but I was fascinated when you once said that often all 40-inputs of the 4 10-channel consoles would be used.  So I wonder what all you had going on.

I guess 16 would be used to take in the tape inputs, but that leaves 24 more inputs.  Stereo reverb return...comb filters...reamping to capture guitars in stereo.  Maybe a split signal on the bass to get some width...

Big question #2 is about something more specific:

All the tracksheets I've seen (And I've seen just about all the sunflower ones) indicate that you almost always gave drums two tracks.  Drums L and Drums R is how they're usually labeled.  Alan told me he could find no documentation of you ever doing a condensing bounce of more multi-track drums down to stereo.  In other words, you typically did a live mix of the drums to stereo.

From what I've seen in pictures, and in exchanging with some people (including you of course), and listening, it seems to me like your "typical" (inasmuch as there is such thing) set up was three mics, you've said an RCA 44 on kick and two 67s top in figure-8.

So, coming the the thrust of the question, when in "Disney Girls", for which we don't seem to have a tracksheet, you send the snare into the tape slap, was that a special set-up for that song involving presetting a snare mic and printing the effect on the stereo drum track?

Or were you able to use three tracks on that song, and process the snare at mixdown?


And on an aside question, from listening very carefully to some sunflower outtakes, I've noticed that on the stereo drum track, rather than put the kick in the center and send the top left and top right to the left and right, it sounds like often you would put a lot more of the kick in the same channel that had the top mic closest to the snare.  In some rough mixes of outtakes I've heard, whoever mixed it seems to have put the "kick and snare" track nearly centered, and then it's almost like the other track is just a floor tom track, panned out.


Whew, again, only answer this if you feel like it.  The fact that I care so much about this stuff should at least remind you how much I like your work!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on September 19, 2008, 04:22:30 PM
Amen!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: jh055 on October 13, 2008, 06:38:08 PM
Hi Folks, and Mr. Desper  if you're out there. I'm new to the world of message boards, so sorry if i don't follow the right protocals. Just discovered the existence of Stephen's book, (thats how i ended up here) and as a huge, huge fan of all things BB's particularly 67 through 77, am dying to read it. I am also a musician singer, with decades of home recording experience, so i am doubly interested in Stephens techniques. If i could learn ONE thing about how they recorded the vocals on Sunflower, it would be worth the price of the book.

So my question is, can someone point me to a link to purchase the book? I found and followed a few posted here, but they seem to be dead.

FWIW, my proudest home recording accomplishment is my take on Wind Chimes....Yes, I am a hardcore fan.

Thank you in advance, I look forward to sharing thoughts with all you fellow beautiful music lovers.

JH055


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: mikeyj on October 13, 2008, 06:47:58 PM
Hi Folks, and Mr. Desper  if you're out there. I'm new to the world of message boards, so sorry if i don't follow the right protocals. Just discovered the existence of Stephen's book, (thats how i ended up here) and as a huge, huge fan of all things BB's particularly 67 through 77, am dying to read it. I am also a musician singer, with decades of home recording experience, so i am doubly interested in Stephens techniques. If i could learn ONE thing about how they recorded the vocals on Sunflower, it would be worth the price of the book.

So my question is, can someone point me to a link to purchase the book? I found and followed a few posted here, but they seem to be dead.

FWIW, my proudest home recording accomplishment is my take on Wind Chimes....Yes, I am a hardcore fan.

Thank you in advance, I look forward to sharing thoughts with all you fellow beautiful music lovers.

JH055

Hi there jh055, welcome to the board :)

The first edition of Stephen's book is currently out of print. He's working on a new edition but as you may appreciate it takes a lot of time as he's doing it himself... but he said he's going to let us know when it becomes available.

Would love to hear your version of Wind Chimes some time as I just love that song!! Maybe you could share it in the "Smiley Smilers Who Make Music" section of the board?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: jh055 on October 16, 2008, 07:26:40 PM
Thanks Mikeyj, i tried to post my version of Wind Chimes in the "Smiley Smilers who make music" section.....I started a new thread (or post?) and attached the mp3 file, but i got an error saying there is a max file size of 192 kbs.  its not a huge file, but probably 3.5 mbs. If you know where i went wrong, let me know.

Thanks!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on October 16, 2008, 07:37:31 PM
Thanks Mikeyj, i tried to post my version of Wind Chimes in the "Smiley Smilers who make music" section.....I started a new thread (or post?) and attached the mp3 file, but i got an error saying there is a max file size of 192 kbs.  its not a huge file, but probably 3.5 mbs. If you know where i went wrong, let me know.

Thanks!
You may want to post it to a free file-sharing site (sendspace, yousendit, etc.) and then just post the link in that section. That works pretty well.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: jh055 on October 18, 2008, 05:55:27 AM
ok, let try this.   http://www.sendspace.com/file/gqdclg.  You guys are my guinea pigs as i learn this stuff. If i have done everything correctly, that link will lead you to my version of Wind Chimes on my newly created Sendspace acct. please let me know if it works. Or, if there is something more i need to do. I notice my link isn't underlined as a normal hyperlink would be.

jh055


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: SMiLE-Holland on October 18, 2008, 07:58:59 AM
works fine jh055. Nicely done btw.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 05, 2008, 04:58:11 PM
COMMENT TO AEIJTZSCHE:

Actually, Steve. if you're up to it, I have one of my long, detailed questions I've been thinking about for a while.

Please, please do not apologize for your interest and appreciation in my work or the final outcome of what ALL the Beach Boys and myself tried to structure in our recordings.

I'd like some clarifications on the mixing process at Brian's house.

This is part of history. Ask away. And ask again, if you wish, in more detail !

Now, you said in your book and also on here that much of the "stereo magic" in the recordings happened a mixdown.  And the tracksheets Alan has provided confirm that, in most cases, you only recorded maybe 30-40% of the instrumentation on any given song in true stereo, usually drums, piano, etc.

Stereo is an illusion. In fact, the whole of sound reproduction is an illusion. Be aware that what is going on in reality is two speaker cones moving in and out. The rest of what we experience is in our mind. The role of the engineer is to understand and apply the art of sonic manipulation through recording to effect an emotion response that reflects what the performer wishes the listener to experience. The magic is in the emotion, not the sound. 

So, given you're ready to do a mix from the 16-track, you would set up all kinds of acoustic effects.

Here's important question #1:  Since you just had the one reverb chamber, I assume that you generally recorded the instruments dry, and then sent what you wanted reverberated to the chamber at mixdown, and that the chamber sent a stereo return back into the board?

You describe a fairly standard procedure.  But I did not generally record things dry. I broke with tradition and recorded reverb or echo effects as part of the instrument track – just because there were only a few tracks.  At mixdown I could introduce simulated stereo for that mono track and give it a larger sound with the reverb effect being enlarged also.

Other tricks I used included:  (1) delays on some of the tracks going to the one chamber to acoustically separate the reverb effect from other reverb effects introduced without delays, (2) placing additional microphones in the same chamber being placed closer or farther from the original speakers and EQing those mics to give emphasis of certain instruments over others, (3) setting up a make shift reverb chamber in Brian’s bathroom and also in the steps going down from the hallway to the cellar, and on some songs (4) going to the Capitol Tower and recording vocal reverb on the multi-track using their chamber #2 or #4.
   

I'm guessing that you would print the vocals with reverb at the time of recording vocals, right?

Not usually as that would lock in too much of a critical element in the mix.  Or, some reverb was recorded, but not a lot. Then additional reverb or “sweetening reverb” would be added at mixdown.  

As for compression or limiting, is it also fair to guess that you did more of that at recording time, than at the mix?

I only recorded Mike using compression. Limiting on the group was mild and only used to check over-dynamics that might be lost or overpower the final mix.

I remember you mentioning somewhere that you had a few compressors at the time.

I had many limiters and compressors, but used only a few favorites that gave the most transparent results. For vocals I only used Universal Audio’s LA-3A or 1176. I never used any ratio higher than 2:1 or 4:1 with soft decays.  At mixdown I would rent additional limiters, as needed.

So, if you were limited in backing vocal tracks, you would limit Mike's bass vocal at the time, and print it to tape in with the rest of the backing vocals that went to maybe just one track?  And put the reverb on there, printed it, also?

Go back to the book on recording the Beach Boys. The details are in the book. I used Common Time Domain Tracking for many group vocals with some stacking but in CTDT. Other songs would not lend themselves to CTDT, so used stacking. But by the use of ping-ponging, the vocal tracks would be limited and compressed and mixed to two tracks no matter how many stacks or doubles were originally used.

Obviously each mix situation is different, but I was fascinated when you once said that often all 40-inputs of the 4 10-channel consoles would be used.  So I wonder what all you had going on.

I guess 16 would be used to take in the tape inputs, but that leaves 24 more inputs.  Stereo reverb return...comb filters...reamping to capture guitars in stereo.  Maybe a split signal on the bass to get some width...

Yes, I’m guilty of all of the above, but with lots and lots of re-amping going on. That is why any remixing today of those sessions which are on tape is not going to yield the same results. Re-amping was not known back then. I think I was one of the first to use it so much. During mixdown the studio was filled with little stations creating effects, not only for guitars, but other instruments and even sometimes the vocals.

Big question #2 is about something more specific:

All the tracksheets I've seen (And I've seen just about all the sunflower ones) indicate that you almost always gave drums two tracks.  Drums L and Drums R is how they're usually labeled.  Alan told me he could find no documentation of you ever doing a condensing bounce of more multi-track drums down to stereo.  In other words, you typically did a live mix of the drums to stereo.

I may have used more mics than three, sometimes even gating multiple mic arrangements, but never ping-ponged drums. You would loose too much snap doing that. Tracking sheets don’t document ping-pongs. So don’t go by them. I gave the drums two tracks so that the drums could be in stereo. I pre-mixed the drums to two tracks because I was secure in my mix and did not need to retain control of each drum until mixdown time.

From what I've seen in pictures, and in exchanging with some people (including you of course), and listening, it seems to me like your "typical" (inasmuch as there is such thing) set up was three mics, you've said an RCA 44 on kick and two 67s top in figure-8.

Depending on the song and the complexity of the basic tracking session, I could record drums using three or four mics, or use many mics and gate each. It depended on the flavor the producer wanted. However the drums were miked, it was the emotional impact the sound made that affected the final decision. A few times we would change from one technique to another just to get the sound or emotion the producer wished.

So, coming the the thrust of the question, when in "Disney Girls", for which we don't seem to have a tracksheet, you send the snare into the tape slap, was that a special set-up for that song involving presetting a snare mic and printing the effect on the stereo drum track?

Yes.

Or were you able to use three tracks on that song, and process the snare at mixdown?

No.

And on an aside question, from listening very carefully to some Sunflower outtakes, I've noticed that on the stereo drum track, rather than put the kick in the center and send the top left and top right to the left and right, it sounds like often you would put a lot more of the kick in the same channel that had the top mic closest to the snare.  In some rough mixes of outtakes I've heard, whoever mixed it )I mixed all so called “outtakes.”) seems to have put the "kick and snare" track nearly centered, and then it's almost like the other track is just a floor tom track, panned out.

OK, that is quite a question!  First of all, I don’t mix individual tracks or mics to make up the whole of the mix. Rather I find the more natural mix is obtained by playing with the leakage and using it to form a complete sound. To answer your question, the overall sound of the drums will be influenced by leakage from the bass guitar, lead licks (if on the basic), piano, etc.  I don’t care about individual tracks, I care about the overall emotional response. It’s not about the sound. It is about the emotional response … that is what sells the song. Forget about the kick or snare being in such and such a position. I don’t give a crap!  Emotion rules!  If the beat is pushed better by the snare in the center, fine. I mix for emotion, not sound or position. If the drums marry with the vocals when the drums sound hollow, then emotion rules and the hell with the sound. We are in the business of selling songs, not audiophile super sounding drum tracks.

I learned this from extensive house mixing. I found that I could make the concert show a success or a failure not by paying attention to the sound from the stage, but from the response of the audience.  When mixing on concert tours, I paid attention to how the audience was reacting. I looked at the audience more than I looked at the stage. I learned what “buttons” would cause a positive audience response. That is what good mixing is about to me. What turns on the listener is what makes up a good mix.

Listening requires two events, no matter a concert or a CD/LP. It requires (1) the performer/recording and (2) the listener/playback. Too often we forget about #2 and only give homage to #1.  This is why you never tire of listening to Sunflower. Each time it evokes an emotion from you, the listener. This is what makes for a great song on record/CD.
An engineer who lets the sound trump the emotion is not respecting what the performer is attempting to accomplish.

Making recordings is quite an art. What is required is the proper mix to fire the heart.


Whew, again, only answer this if you feel like it.  The fact that I care so much about this stuff should at least remind you how much I like your work!!

Thank you for your kind words. It was my esteem pleasure to work with the Beach Boys, all six of them.  I look back on those days as the eldorado of my recording career and only wish my  times with them could have continued forever.

Good Listening to you,   ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 05, 2008, 05:42:30 PM
Hi Folks, and Mr. Desper  if you're out there.  Yes, I am a hardcore fan.

Thank you in advance.

JH055

Welcome to The Smiley Smile Dot Net Message Board.  When my book is available, I'll be posting where to obtain it on this board first. In the meantime, if you are a hardcore fan, you found a wonderful place to visit.  Any questions for me will be answered here. And, as you can see, other people close to the Beach Boy organization also can be reached here.

Good listening, ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on November 05, 2008, 07:41:52 PM
Josh, thanks for asking all those questions, and Steve, thanks for answering them.  I await with baited breath the updated "Recording The Beach Boys by Stephen W. Desper".


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 06, 2008, 08:55:02 AM
Yep, thanks Steve.  I really do appreciate the time it takes to answer all that stuff.

I may have some technical follow ups later, but right away I wanted to expand on what you were saying about evoking the listener's emotional response.

I can't speak for other people, but from what I can figure out...I must be wired a little differently than most people, because my most emotional responses often have to do with details rather than the whole picture.

Maybe that's why it's hard for me to do a really great mix of my recordings.  I tend to focus on the details.  Like, when I listen to "This Whole World" or something, I immediately am turned on by David Cohen's guitar sound.  I almost forget the song.

There are even songs on Sunflower or Surf's Up (and other, non-Beach Boys records) that I don't really like, as songs, that much...but I will still listen over and over again because of some production thing.

I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from.  For you, Steve, all you have to do is close your eyes and you are taken back to the studio, with the Beach Boys.  But I was never there...and I know C-Man feels the same way, the way we get closer to this band that we love so much is by finding out details.

Since I can never be in the booth during the recording of Wouldn't It Be Nice, I want to find out everything I can, so I can put together some kind of approximation...picturing Carol and Ray and Hal out there, having a feel for where the mics were, etc, bring me a little closer to this dream.  (Until a photo from that session, or any Beach Boys instrumental tracking session shows up.)

And it's kind of the same thing when I ask you questions.  Yeah, I want to know what you did and I want to learn from you so I can make some kind of decent-sounding recordings.  But a lot of it is filling this, yes, emotional void that I have from not being able to experience a Beach Boys tracking session in person.

So, if I can set my mics up on my drums and think, that's kind of how it was when Steve recorded "This Whole World" it lets me feel closer to the Beach Boys and an era I can never be part of.

I hope you can understand that.

Thanks Steve!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jason on November 07, 2008, 01:26:18 PM
Mr. Desper, I would personally like to thank you for sharing your knowledge and stories about the Beach Boys with us all. We all appreciate it!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on November 09, 2008, 02:12:37 PM
COMMENT TO AEIJTZSCHE:

 :violin  What I do understand about you is that you are a hopelessly romantic engineer who was born too far ahead of his time . . . that you are more at home with splicing tape than cut & drag; original tracking than sampling; XLR connectors than USB ports; drum sticks than drum machines; frequency response than bit rates; and erasing tape than core dumps.

Me too!   ~SWD





Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: TdHabib on November 09, 2008, 04:08:39 PM
I have a small question for Mr. Desper: What are your memories of "Wouldn't it Be Nice to Live Again"? Was it one of your favorites?

Thanks...


Title: Rumbo Studio Question for Steve
Post by: c-man on November 27, 2008, 12:52:33 PM
I was googling for some info on Rumbo Studio (BTW, "The Captain" gets a thank you in the liners of the new Guns N' Roses album, which they were tracking there from 1998-2000 before moving the sessions to The Village Recorder), and I came across this from the StudioExpresso newsletter:

Rumbo is noted for its three great sounding rooms. The largest room studio A, suitable for a 30-40 piece orchestra, has 5 Isolation booths. Studio B, the mid size room with three Iso booths is the most popular for its drum sound and "vibe." Studio C is a great overdub room. Rumbo has a fourth room, currently leased monthly for writing and editing suitable for a Pro Tools studio. All three studios have their own lounge areas. There is parking in the front and rear with a half court basket ball court and patio in the rear.

Which made me curious...Steve, when you were tracking "Keepin' The Summer Alive" there for the Boys in '79/'80, which of the three rooms did you guys use?  And did you make use of the basketball court while there?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Lady on December 05, 2008, 08:38:32 AM
Mr. Desper,

How would you compare Carl’s style in the studio to Dennis’?

Thank you.


Title: Re: Rumbo Studio Question for Steve
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 19, 2008, 08:43:12 AM
I was googling for some info on Rumbo Studio . . . which made me curious. Steve, when you were tracking "Keepin' The Summer Alive" there for the Boys in '79/'80, which of the three rooms did you guys use?  And did you make use of the basketball court while there?

COMMENT TO C-MAN:  We used all three studios and mixeddown in "A" and "B." We tracked and sweetened in either studio depending on needs. We sweetened in "C" when sessions were simple and did not require the larger consoles of the other rooms.

Some of the sidemen played ball in the parking lot, but none of the boys.

By the way, there is a forth studio upstairs. It was part of the captain's :police: private apartment. Used by him for his late night work
.
  ~SWD


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 19, 2008, 08:46:04 AM
Mr. Desper,

How would you compare Carl’s style in the studio to Dennis’?

Thank you.


See pages 28 and 29 of my book.  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Lady on December 19, 2008, 02:52:46 PM
Thank you very much for your informative response.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on December 19, 2008, 04:58:47 PM
Thank you very much for your informative response.

You are most welcome Lady.  Sorry I could not quote from the book, but the publisher's policy is to refer any qustion posed by a fan to the page number wherein the question has already been answered.

The (production) style of each Beach Boy was quite different.  Carl was very detailed and studied whereas Dennis was  spontaineous and serendipity.
  ~swd


Title: Re: Rumbo Studio Question for Steve
Post by: c-man on December 20, 2008, 07:55:05 AM
I was googling for some info on Rumbo Studio . . . which made me curious. Steve, when you were tracking "Keepin' The Summer Alive" there for the Boys in '79/'80, which of the three rooms did you guys use?  And did you make use of the basketball court while there?

COMMENT TO C-MAN:  We used all three studios and mixeddown in "A" and "B." We tracked and sweetened in either studio depending on needs. We sweetened in "C" when sessions were simple and did not require the larger consoles of the other rooms.

Some of the sidemen played ball in the parking lot, but none of the boys.

By the way, there is a forth studio upstairs. It was part of the captain's :police: private apartment. Used by him for his late night work
.
  ~SWD

Thanks Stephen.  Will you be covering this period in your revised book as well as the late 60's-early 70's?


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: variable2 on December 20, 2008, 10:59:22 PM
I would love to hear some stories about Brian's involvement in the Spring stuff (i.e. Sweet Mountain, Tennessee Waltz), or any other stories Stephen might have about this time (early 70s).  It is a very intriguing, though seemingly sparse, time period for Brian.. musically, and production wise.  I love his work with synths during this time.  Any thoughts would be appreciated, Stephen.  And thank you for your wonderful insight and information!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: scallions on January 01, 2009, 05:38:32 PM
I can't wait for your new book!!!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: scallions on January 02, 2009, 03:53:19 PM
 :)

Stephen, thank you so much for sending me the stuff

you rule
shawn'


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on January 29, 2009, 06:39:42 AM
HEADS UP TO AEIKTZSCHE:

Knowing of your interest in older studio workings and analog techniques, I recommend that you rent the DVD of the Disney movie "WALL-E" by Pixar (Disney DVD 054361).  On the DVD, one of the extra features is called Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From The Sound Up.  It is a piece by the legendary sound designer Ben Burtt who shares some secrets of creating sound effects with stills and movies of recording sessions from the late 40's and 50's. Some shots of older analog equipment used to create effects as well as how it's done with today's digital programs. I think you will find this short of much interest -- besides it's a good movie.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 29, 2009, 08:07:50 AM
Great tip! Wall-E is an awesome movie, this is icing on the cake.

I'd also chime in here with a tip to read the current issue of Tape Op magazine which has a good interview with the Dragons, where they talk tech and studio gear more than I've heard before, and it includes some great photos including one of Daryl playing vibes with Ed Carter playing bass in their living room in 1966, with a U47 overhead...I'd like to have a U47 in my own living room, actually.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: punkinhead on January 31, 2009, 04:45:12 PM
Any ETA for the new book?   ;D


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 16, 2009, 05:03:21 PM
COMMENT to all:

I found this re-make of Kokomo and know everyone will want to hear and see it.  Perhaps it was posted earlier. If so, I apologise for reposting.

I think the soldiers who did this re-make did a marvelous job with excellent production values.  To be able to make a stereo sound track to video shots and edit the whole thing while serving in the US Army in a war zone makes me proud to have also served in the Signal Corp, US Army during my life.  It only underscores that if soldiers serving in that area have the time to make such productions, it's time for them to come back home!

ARMY BEACH BOYS >>> [ http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=53135016 ]

You can also find this video on RealTime with better video resolution by entering Army Beach Boys.

Good Listening
  ~Stephen W. Desper


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: the captain on March 16, 2009, 05:31:44 PM
Oh my gosh. That is hilarious. And to be honest, it makes me proud, sad, impressed and I don't even know what all else. Mostly, I hope those guys all get (or got) home safe.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 17, 2009, 06:01:23 AM
Oh my gosh. That is hilarious. And to be honest, it makes me proud, sad, impressed and I don't even know what all else. Mostly, I hope those guys all get (or got) home safe.

COMMENT TO LUTHER:

Further searching reveals that it was members of the Norwegian Army Telemark battalion who did the video -- but as we say in the field . . .  when the bullets are flying overhead, we're all in the same man's army.

When I first listened to this piece, I thought how much more liberal the US Army is now than when I served.  When I was in you would never have been allowed to make such political charged comments to the general public. Now that I know it was made by someone in an allied army -- from a country that has more personal freedom than the USA -- I can see how they got away with their commentary.
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Alex on March 18, 2009, 12:34:58 PM
That video has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now. The song they were miming to was recorded by radio DJ and parody artist Bob Rivers, also known for songs like "The Twelve Pains of Xmas", "What if God Smoked Cannabis?", "Cheney's Got A Gun", etc.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Rocker on March 18, 2009, 12:59:09 PM
Mr. Desper, if you don't mind, here's the first recording of my band.
We used "Garage band" and recorded the drums with one or two (I really can't remember) overheads and also each drum with an own mic. We overdubbed guitars, bass and percussions afterwards. But not all at once. If you got time and interest, what do you think about the mix and the sound? It kinda doesn't have the sound of a "professional" recording imo.

http://www.myspace.com/orangewhipband (http://www.myspace.com/orangewhipband)


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 19, 2009, 06:33:46 AM
That video has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now. The song they were miming to was recorded by radio DJ and parody artist Bob Rivers, also known for songs like "The Twelve Pains of Xmas", "What if God Smoked Cannabis?", "Cheney's Got A Gun", etc.

COMMENT TO ALEX:

Well, that explains a lot.  I knew if I put this out for comment from the fan base, someone would know more about this video than meets the eye.  Thank you Alex for your wisdom and explanation. 
~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Alex on March 19, 2009, 11:06:05 AM
That video has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now. The song they were miming to was recorded by radio DJ and parody artist Bob Rivers, also known for songs like "The Twelve Pains of Xmas", "What if God Smoked Cannabis?", "Cheney's Got A Gun", etc.

COMMENT TO ALEX:

Well, that explains a lot.  I knew if I put this out for comment from the fan base, someone would know more about this video than meets the eye.  Thank you Alex for your wisdom and explanation. 
~swd

Mr. Desper, this really has nothing to do with the "Kosovo" video, and is probably something 8000 other people have already said, I'll just go ahead and say it. I love your work on the Sunflower and Surf's Up albums. I never get tired of listening to them, and am continually blown away by the production, mix, sound, etc. of those two albums.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 19, 2009, 03:48:26 PM
That video has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now. The song they were miming to was recorded by radio DJ and parody artist Bob Rivers, also known for songs like "The Twelve Pains of Xmas", "What if God Smoked Cannabis?", "Cheney's Got A Gun", etc.

COMMENT TO ALEX:

Well, that explains a lot.  I knew if I put this out for comment from the fan base, someone would know more about this video than meets the eye.  Thank you Alex for your wisdom and explanation. 
~swd

Mr. Desper, this really has nothing to do with the "Kosovo" video, and is probably something 8000 other people have already said, I'll just go ahead and say it. I love your work on the Sunflower and Surf's Up albums. I never get tired of listening to them, and am continually blown away by the production, mix, sound, etc. of those two albums.

Thanks for your kind comments.  Working with such terrific talent as exemplified by the six Beach Boys of the time would make any engineer rally to the call.  We all played off of each other to make the albums you so much love.  But again, I'll take to heart your praise.   ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on March 21, 2009, 05:26:33 AM
I will have to check out the Wall-e special feature.  It sounds like a great watch.  I liked the movie quite a bit and gave the DVD to my sister for Christmas, but she lives in Japan so I can't borrow it from her.  I guess that's what Blockbuster is for.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 25, 2009, 02:31:02 PM
see next posting


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 25, 2009, 02:46:13 PM
COMMENT TO SAM_BFC:

I have been in this business long enough to see the reverb trend move back and forth several times.

Of course in the beginning there was no reverberation because the musicians clustered about those old acoustic horns to gather acoustic energy enough to move the needle back and forth in soft wax.  Then with the advent of electronics, tubes and mixing controls, records and radio used reverb as an effect, a sound effect. As time went on reverb became more of an embellishment or compliment to the original pickup. Studios were designed for the musician to hear within and the sound of the recordings made in these rooms was vibrant and alive sounding due to both the acoustics and the fact that all the musicians played all at once -- including the singer.

When I first started out working in a local Florida studio, it was soon redesigned by Bill Putnam. If you know your recording history you will know how much influence this heavyweight pioneer yielded. The studio he designed had polycylindrical diffusers running horizontal and vertical on opposite walls with a linoleum floor. The studio was live, yes, but the sound was even and balanced.

The next big step I heard in records was do to  the multi-track onslot and acoustic designs by Tom Hidley. His acoustic technique changed everything.  Musicians were separated into dry acoustic areas or cushioned rooms and heard each other over headphones. Of course the multi-track machine allowed for a high degree of separation and reverb was not recorded as a studio room sound, rather added from a reverb room, echo chamber or reverb plate. Thus giving the producer much greater control overall.

Today it seems we have a mixture. People are rediscovering how to play together in one acoustic space, on one hand. While on the other, total fabrication through sampling and reverb as a computer algorithm is the vogue.

Try this publication for more history and perspective:

Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900–1960.
By Peter Björnberg  ...   see  >>> [ http://ml.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/long/88/2/379 ]

Brief Passage from the above book, Music and Letters can be seen here  >>> [ http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/music_and_letters/v088/88.2bjornberg.pdf ]

You will also find a facinating reading in this publication from the UK.  I'll provide you with the link, but I don't know how to tell you how to open it.  I believe it's a PDF file. Hope you can figure it out as this is the best paper on the subject.  From `My Blue Heaven' to `Race with the Devil': echo, reverb and (dis)ordered space in early popular music recording here is an abstract from a seven page essay . . .

With the dramatically improving fidelity of electric sound recording in the 1920s, aural spatiality – traces of room ambience and reverberation – became a factor in record production. Drawing on prior radio broadcast practice, a split occurred whereby ‘fine’ orchestral musics were recorded with relatively high levels of ambient or atmospheric sound while dance music, popular songs, humorous recitations and other ‘low’ forms were generally recorded with little or no reverberation. Through the 1930s and 1940s, popular recording occasionally, though increasingly, made use of mechanically fabricated echo and reverb to present a kind of sonic pictorialism, especially on singing cowboy and popular ‘Hawaiian’ recordings. Hollywood film sound practice in this period employed similar sonic space-making devices to denote states of terror, mystical revelation and supernatural transformations. The coming of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s, with its characteristic big echo and reverb production sounds, may be seen as the radical recombining of these contradictory antecedents, effected in such a way as to allow (and promote) disordered, non-pictorial sound spatialities.

see  >>>  [ http://journals.cambridge.org/production/action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=196526 ]

A short History is here  >>> [ http://www.recordinginstitute.com/da154/ARP/chap3Sig/0308hist.html ] 

If you are a Bob Dylan fan, Keith Negus offers this insight into recording  >>> [  http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/content/events/s5negus.pdf ]       
 

~swd
Posted on: March 21, 200


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Sam_BFC on March 25, 2009, 02:57:01 PM
Stephen that is really fantastic...Thanks a lot!!


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 25, 2009, 03:34:27 PM
Stephen that is really fantastic...Thanks a lot!!

ADDITIONAL COMMENT TO SAM_BFC

Here is an additional link to Google Books on this excellent book on reverb history

ECHO and REVERB by Peter Doyle >>> [ http://books.google.com/books?id=IVvPn5YX3oQC&dq=From+'my+blue+heaven'+to+'race+with+the+devil':+echo,+reverb&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 ]
 


~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 26, 2009, 06:21:55 AM
Stephen that is really fantastic...Thanks a lot!!

COMMENT TO SAM_BFC

You are most welcome.  In helping you I learn also
.
  ~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Stephen W. Desper on March 26, 2009, 06:31:32 AM
COMMENT TO ALL FANS INTERESTED IN SOUND RECORDING HISTORY

HEADS UP TO AEIJTZSCHE and SAM_BFC

While finding links to books on reverb history I came across a book that I'm going to buy and thought you might like to own too.  Its title says it all,  Temples of Sound.

At the link below, you can click the preview tab and read quite a lot of history about early Beach Boy sessions. There are several photos of the guys; one from a 1961 vocal session.  From the preview it looks like this book is filled with photos of recording sessions that I know aeijtzsche would call eyecandy. 

TEMPLES OF SOUND >>>  [ http://books.google.com/books?id=hO-KQ4o_B2MC ]


~swd


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: c-man on March 26, 2009, 04:33:40 PM
COMMENT TO ALL FANS INTERESTED IN SOUND RECORDING HISTORY

HEADS UP TO AEIJTZSCHE and SAM_BFC

While finding links to books on reverb history I came across a book that I'm going to buy and thought you might like to own too.  Its title says it all,  Temples of Sound.

At the link below, you can click the preview tab and read quite a lot of history about early Beach Boy sessions. There are several photos of the guys; one from a 1961 vocal session.  From the preview it looks like this book is filled with photos of recording sessions that I know aeijtzsche would call eyecandy. 

TEMPLES OF SOUND >>>  [ http://books.google.com/books?id=hO-KQ4o_B2MC ]


~swd

I picked this book up a couple years ago, and it IS pretty cool.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: Jon Stebbins on March 27, 2009, 05:03:53 PM
COMMENT TO ALL FANS INTERESTED IN SOUND RECORDING HISTORY

HEADS UP TO AEIJTZSCHE and SAM_BFC

While finding links to books on reverb history I came across a book that I'm going to buy and thought you might like to own too.  Its title says it all,  Temples of Sound.

At the link below, you can click the preview tab and read quite a lot of history about early Beach Boy sessions. There are several photos of the guys; one from a 1961 vocal session.  From the preview it looks like this book is filled with photos of recording sessions that I know aeijtzsche would call eyecandy. 

TEMPLES OF SOUND >>>  [ http://books.google.com/books?id=hO-KQ4o_B2MC ]


~swd

I picked this book up a couple years ago, and it IS pretty cool.
A 1961 photo of the Beach Boys as a group exists? That would be the first one ever to surface.


Title: Re: The Stephen Desper Thread
Post by: MBE on March 27, 2009, 10:30:07 PM
It's from the 1962 Surfin Safari LP session. The book mislabels it. Cool picture though