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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: TheWonderfulHarpsichord on September 25, 2016, 12:38:09 PM



Title: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: TheWonderfulHarpsichord on September 25, 2016, 12:38:09 PM
So I have recently been trying to pick out each instrument in God Only Knows out of curiosity and to show the brilliance of Brian's arrangements.

I have been looking at various sessionographys and i'm beginning to notice many conflicting sources and credits. For example, I have seen a few sources that state that God Only Knows uses a string quartet (two violins, one viola, and one cello), and yet i have seen other sources that state a string octet is used (five violins, two violas, and one cello). I cannot tell which is true just by listening to the song alone. I have listened to the sessions and still cannot tell.

Another conflicting credit that I have also noticed is regarding the bass parts. I have seen sources that state their are two bass parts (a bass guitar and an upright bass) and other sources that that state there are three bass parts (two bass guitars and one upright bass). There is also the subject if overdubbing was used for the bass parts.

Now another debated topic for the instrument usage is the argument between whether an organ or harpsichord was used (or both). I heard Brian directly address the harpsichord in the sessions but that does not entirely rule out the possibility that both were used, as organ was also credited and yet harpsichord wasn't even though Brian directly addressed the harpsichord in the sessions.

An even more debated topic is the argument of the guitar part and if it was Carl playing it. Carl isn't credited on the sessions notes but that doesn't rule out him playing it due to the fact that the notes are known not to always credit everyone. Before i couldn't even hear the guitar part but then I finally noticed it at the beginning of the second verse. I don't know if this is true or not or where I even heard it but I remember hearing something about Bruce saying Carl was at the session playing 12-string directly plugged into the console, if anyone can find a source for this please let me know. I have listened to the sessions and I do hear another voice that sounds kinda like Brian which could be Carl, but the noodling on the session is jazz based, which i've never heard Carl do before, but I don't think that rules it out entirely since God Only Knows uses a lot of jazzy chords and i assume Carl could have been practicing, if it was him, but that's just an assumption.

I also hear Brian refer to a bass clarinet in the sessions and even see some sources state that their are two clarinets and a bass clarinet, however I cannot make any out in the song. Are there any specific points in the song where they are audible? Or are they burred in the mix?

Also regarding instruments burred in the mix, I also see a "saxophone" and baritone sax credited in the notes, again I can't make any out in the song and ask if there is any point in the song where they are specifically audible.

I know this topic is a bit of a can of worms but i'm really curious and if anyone could confirm any of these assumptions it would be much appreciated.  


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Mitchell on September 25, 2016, 03:10:09 PM
There's an alternate version with a sax solo, which may address your last point.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: c-man on September 25, 2016, 03:19:59 PM
Based on my extensive examination of the session tape and AFM contract, and input from a few others on this board, here is the conclusion I have come to:

Tack piano (w/strings taped): Don Randi
Harpsichord: Larry Knechtel
12-string electric rhythm guitar: Carol Kaye
Fender bass (w/tic-tac effect): Ray Pohlman
Upright bass: Lyle Ritz
Sleighbells & Drums: Hal Blaine
Plastic orange juice cups w/sticks: Jim Gordon
Tambourine: Terry Melcher
Accordions: Carl Fortina and Frank Marocco
French horn: Alan Robinson
Alto flutes & Flutes: Bill Green and Jim Horn
Clarinet: Jay Migliori     
Bass clarinet & Clarinet: Leonard Hartman
Violins: Sid Sharp (leader) and Leonard Malarsky
Viola: Darrel Terwilliger
Cello: Jesse Erlich

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: TheWonderfulHarpsichord on September 25, 2016, 04:11:50 PM
Based on my extensive examination of the session tape and AFM contract, and input from a few others on this board, here is the conclusion I have come to:

Tack piano (w/strings taped): Don Randi
Harpsichord: Larry Knechtel
12-string electric rhythm guitar: Carol Kaye
Fender bass (w/tic-tac effect): Ray Pohlman
Upright bass: Lyle Ritz
Sleighbells & Drums: Hal Blaine
Plastic orange juice cups w/sticks: Jim Gordon
Tambourine: Terry Melcher
Accordions: Carl Fortina and Frank Marocco
French horn: Alan Robinson
Alto flutes & Flutes: Bill Green and Jim Horn
Clarinet: Jay Migliori     
Bass clarinet & Clarinet: Leonard Hartman
Violins: Sid Sharp (leader) and Leonard Malarsky
Viola: Darrel Terwilliger
Cello: Jesse Erlich

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.


Thanks for the information. It's pretty cool how Terry played tambourine on this, never knew that.

I have read in Mark Dillion's "Fifty Sides of The Beach Boys" that he speculates that the man called "Tony" could be Tony Asher playing tambourine. Is there any evidence to support this?

I'm guessing by what you said that the saxophones didn't make the final cut or are burred in the mix. Also regarding the clarinets/bass clarinet, do you know of any specific point in the song where they are audible? I can hear them in the sessions but not in the final version, unless it's them playing along side the flutes or french horn.

Also thanks for clearing up the no over-dubs part. I don't know where the "3 bass parts" speculation has come from.   


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on September 25, 2016, 05:26:55 PM
The 3-bass deal comes from the fact that Carol Kaye remembers playing bass on the track, which, if true, which is not a given of course, would mean there were 3 basses because we know for a fact that Ray and Lyle played bass.

As far as auditory evidence for that, I've spent nigh upon 15 years trying to decide what I think I hear.  Sometimes I'm convinced I hear another Fender under there.  Sometimes I think I'm way off.  If there are three basses, that does leave the guitar question open.  Not really sure what to think about that either and frankly I'm tired of thinking about these things.

There is the bizarre question of why the string bass was split in some fashion and given its own track in addition to being audible on the same track as the general rhythm instruments.  That's another one I'm just tired of not having an answer for.

As far as wind combinations and harpsichord versus organ, or whatever--I think that they tried some different things.  I have wondered if having the Baldwin Electric Harpsichord on the GOK session in Love & Mercy was any indication that one was there in March of '66.  The think about GOK is that the reverb AND the tape slap is probably as heavy as Brian ever had it other than for over-the-top, obvious effects.  So everything sounds really out-of-body and artificial to some extent.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: c-man on September 25, 2016, 11:01:18 PM
Based on my extensive examination of the session tape and AFM contract, and input from a few others on this board, here is the conclusion I have come to:

Tack piano (w/strings taped): Don Randi
Harpsichord: Larry Knechtel
12-string electric rhythm guitar: Carol Kaye
Fender bass (w/tic-tac effect): Ray Pohlman
Upright bass: Lyle Ritz
Sleighbells & Drums: Hal Blaine
Plastic orange juice cups w/sticks: Jim Gordon
Tambourine: Terry Melcher
Accordions: Carl Fortina and Frank Marocco
French horn: Alan Robinson
Alto flutes & Flutes: Bill Green and Jim Horn
Clarinet: Jay Migliori     
Bass clarinet & Clarinet: Leonard Hartman
Violins: Sid Sharp (leader) and Leonard Malarsky
Viola: Darrel Terwilliger
Cello: Jesse Erlich

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.


Thanks for the information. It's pretty cool how Terry played tambourine on this, never knew that.

I have read in Mark Dillion's "Fifty Sides of The Beach Boys" that he speculates that the man called "Tony" could be Tony Asher playing tambourine. Is there any evidence to support this?

I'm guessing by what you said that the saxophones didn't make the final cut or are burred in the mix. Also regarding the clarinets/bass clarinet, do you know of any specific point in the song where they are audible? I can hear them in the sessions but not in the final version, unless it's them playing along side the flutes or french horn.

Also thanks for clearing up the no over-dubs part. I don't know where the "3 bass parts" speculation has come from.   

I don't recall Tony's name being mentioned on this session...Mark Dillon writes that the sleighbells are credited on the contract to a "Tony", but that's definitely not the case: there no annotation of either "Tony" or "sleighbells" on the "GOK" AFM contract. However, on the first session for "Good Vibrations",it seems that the two guys referred to on the session tape as Tony and Terry are playing sleighbells and tambourine...perhaps that's what Mark was thinking of. The sleighbells on "GOK", however, were definitely played by Hal - there's even discussion between him and Brian about whether he had enough time to set them down and pick up his drumsticks for the snare fills in the bridge.

I don't think there were any saxophones on the session, other than the discarded overdubbed sax solo (most likely played by Bill Green, considering how much he was payed compared to the other woodwind players)...the credits in the original Pet Sounds box set list saxophones for most of the tunes, but those woodwinds players were adept at saxophones, clarinets, and flutes, and I think the sessionographer just wrote down "saxophones" without taking the time to listen and discern that they were actually clarinets (there's a disclaimer in one of the various sessionographies which even states as much). On "GOK', I believe they play in tandem with the flutes, but I think you can best pick them out in the tag.

Knowing that Carol Kaye, Ray Pohlman, and Lyle Ritz all played the session led me to originally assume these three played Fender bass, Dano bass, and upright bass, respectively. But as aeitzsche had pointed out in an earlier thread, a close listen reveals only Fender bass (with the "tic-tac" tape slap effect) and upright bass. Dialog on the session tape proves beyond any doubt that it's Ray playing the Fender, and of course Lyle is playing the upright. Assuming the three-bass scenario led me to originally conclude that Carl must be playing the guitar, but as I later pointed out on this board, and as you mentioned above, the jazzy guitar doodling between takes points to a studio pro rather than Carl, and according to someone on this board, Terry Melcher had gone on record as saying Carl did not play on the session. If Bruce was recalling that he did, perhaps he was thinking of a different session (do we have a source for that Bruce quote)?

And, there is no organ on "GOK", or on "WIBN", for that matter, despite what you see in some of the sessionographies.

One final note: all of the various Pet Sounds sessionographies included with the various CD releases of that album over the years come with a disclaimer that the information within may not be 100% accurate, but is reliable only based on the information available at the time. I will make the same disclaimer in regards to my work! As new info surfaces, the sessionographies require updates...check out www.beachboysarchives.com, where this is gradually happening.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: c-man on September 26, 2016, 11:41:17 AM

There is the bizarre question of why the string bass was split in some fashion and given its own track in addition to being audible on the same track as the general rhythm instruments.  That's another one I'm just tired of not having an answer for.


The original "GOK" 4-track tape has horns, violins, and accordions on one track - drums, harpsichord, piano, guitar, and percussion on another - and bass by itself on a third (actually the second) track. The fourth track contains a mono mix of the other three tracks, as is sometimes the case with BW-produced 4-tracks of this era.

If they baffled off the upright bass and recorded it with a super-directional mic, that might account for no leakage from the other instruments...but if it was baffled, would it have still picked up on the mics of the other instruments? Maybe the baffle and directional mic combined were sufficient for keeping out the sounds of the other instruments, but the baffle wasn't enough to keep the low frequencies of the upright from leaking out into the microphones of the other instruments? The only other thing that would make sense would be if Brian had Lyle redo the upright as an overdub on its own track, which would still leave the original upright sound there as leakage onto the other tracks (a similar thing happened with the drums on the 1963 track "The Rocking Surfer" - Dennis' original drumming was replaced, yet it's still there as leakage on the remaining original tracks, along with Mike's saxophone). The only problem with that "GOK" bass theory would be that there would have had to be enough time left on the clock from the original 3.75 hour session (the standard three hours plus 45 minutes of overtime) after the other musicians were dismissed, otherwise we'd expect to see a higher pay rate for Lyle (outside of officially-designated AFM session "leader" Hal Blaine and contractor Jay Migliori, the only players on the "GOK" session payed a higher rate than the others were Leonard Hartman, Bill Green, and Jim Horn - and each of their names is accompanied by a notation that they played a "double" - and in Bill Green's case, he was paid even more, evidently for staying and adding the sax solo) - but we don't see that for Lyle.

A good, and probably unanswerable, question.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: DonnyL on September 26, 2016, 12:18:00 PM

There is the bizarre question of why the string bass was split in some fashion and given its own track in addition to being audible on the same track as the general rhythm instruments.  That's another one I'm just tired of not having an answer for.


The original "GOK" 4-track tape has horns, violins, and accordions on one track - drums, harpsichord, piano, guitar, and percussion on another - and bass by itself on a third (actually the second) track. The fourth track contains a mono mix of the other three tracks, as is sometimes the case with BW-produced 4-tracks of this era.

If they baffled off the upright bass and recorded it with a super-directional mic, that might account for no leakage from the other instruments...but if it was baffled, would it have still picked up on the mics of the other instruments? Maybe the baffle and directional mic combined were sufficient for keeping out the sounds of the other instruments, but the baffle wasn't enough to keep the low frequencies of the upright from leaking out into the microphones of the other instruments? The only other thing that would make sense would be if Brian had Lyle redo the upright as an overdub on its own track, which would still leave the original upright sound there as leakage onto the other tracks (a similar thing happened with the drums on the 1963 track "The Rocking Surfer" - Dennis' original drumming was replaced, yet it's still there as leakage on the remaining original tracks, along with Mike's saxophone). The only problem with that "GOK" bass theory would be that there would have had to be enough time left on the clock from the original 3.75 hour session (the standard three hours plus 45 minutes of overtime) after the other musicians were dismissed, otherwise we'd expect to see a higher pay rate for Lyle (outside of officially-designated AFM session "leader" Hal Blaine and contractor Jay Migliori, the only players on the "GOK" session payed a higher rate than the others were Leonard Hartman, Bill Green, and Jim Horn - and each of their names is accompanied by a notation that they played a "double" - and in Bill Green's case, he was paid even more, evidently for staying and adding the sax solo) - but we don't see that for Lyle.

A good, and probably unanswerable, question.

I think we've been through the ringer on this question a few times!

... I didn't know about the timeclock issue though ... do you think it's possible Lyle overdubbed the extra bass at a later date?

MAYBE the clue lies in the sax overdub. Why would they have recorded an ENTIRE band on on 2 tracks instead of 3, unless that third was to be reserved for an overdub?

Craig, do you know if the sax solo was overdubbed before or after vocal work began? Because if it were before, then a decent theory might be that the third track was reserved for the sax solo, and when Brian decided he didn't want to keep it, he may have wanted a deeper bass sound and added the upright overdub.

If the sax solo was done on the vocal tape (as an overdub on the 8-track master), then my best theory is that Brian wanted more isolation and wiggle room for that bass and it was done at the live session.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: metal flake paint on September 26, 2016, 03:47:01 PM

Assuming the three-bass scenario led me to originally conclude that Carl must be playing the guitar, but as I later pointed out on this board, and as you mentioned above, the jazzy guitar doodling between takes points to a studio pro rather than Carl, and according to someone on this board, Terry Melcher had gone on record as saying Carl did not play on the session. If Bruce was recalling that he did, perhaps he was thinking of a different session (do we have a source for that Bruce quote)?


In the September 1990 edition of Select magazine, Bruce makes the following observation about the GOK session:

"I was there!...Carl was in the booth playing 12-string cos there was no more room. And there were about six fiddles - we didn't call them strings, they were fiddles - and an electric bass and an acoustic bass and a keyboard and some percussion, and the guy who's playing the drums."


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: c-man on September 26, 2016, 05:04:01 PM

Assuming the three-bass scenario led me to originally conclude that Carl must be playing the guitar, but as I later pointed out on this board, and as you mentioned above, the jazzy guitar doodling between takes points to a studio pro rather than Carl, and according to someone on this board, Terry Melcher had gone on record as saying Carl did not play on the session. If Bruce was recalling that he did, perhaps he was thinking of a different session (do we have a source for that Bruce quote)?


In the September 1990 edition of Select magazine, Bruce makes the following observation about the GOK session:

"I was there!...Carl was in the booth playing 12-string cos there was no more room. And there were about six fiddles - we didn't call them strings, they were fiddles - and an electric bass and an acoustic bass and a keyboard and some percussion, and the guy who's playing the drums."

Hmm...well, maybe Carl and Carol BOTH played 12-string on this session (the way Carl and Jerry Cole both played 12-string on "California Girls", and Barney and Glen both played 12-string on some of the other Pet Sounds cuts). Carol definitely played 12-string electric on the second session of "Good Vibrations" (April 9th at Gold Star), and most likely on "I'm Waiting For The Day" (similar situation to "GOK" - apparently only two basses, definitely Ray on the Fender and Lyle on the upright, leaving Carol as the probable guitarist) and the basic track to "Caroline, No" (although she also overdubbed the Dano bass on that one).


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: c-man on September 26, 2016, 05:17:20 PM

There is the bizarre question of why the string bass was split in some fashion and given its own track in addition to being audible on the same track as the general rhythm instruments.  That's another one I'm just tired of not having an answer for.


The original "GOK" 4-track tape has horns, violins, and accordions on one track - drums, harpsichord, piano, guitar, and percussion on another - and bass by itself on a third (actually the second) track. The fourth track contains a mono mix of the other three tracks, as is sometimes the case with BW-produced 4-tracks of this era.

If they baffled off the upright bass and recorded it with a super-directional mic, that might account for no leakage from the other instruments...but if it was baffled, would it have still picked up on the mics of the other instruments? Maybe the baffle and directional mic combined were sufficient for keeping out the sounds of the other instruments, but the baffle wasn't enough to keep the low frequencies of the upright from leaking out into the microphones of the other instruments? The only other thing that would make sense would be if Brian had Lyle redo the upright as an overdub on its own track, which would still leave the original upright sound there as leakage onto the other tracks (a similar thing happened with the drums on the 1963 track "The Rocking Surfer" - Dennis' original drumming was replaced, yet it's still there as leakage on the remaining original tracks, along with Mike's saxophone). The only problem with that "GOK" bass theory would be that there would have had to be enough time left on the clock from the original 3.75 hour session (the standard three hours plus 45 minutes of overtime) after the other musicians were dismissed, otherwise we'd expect to see a higher pay rate for Lyle (outside of officially-designated AFM session "leader" Hal Blaine and contractor Jay Migliori, the only players on the "GOK" session payed a higher rate than the others were Leonard Hartman, Bill Green, and Jim Horn - and each of their names is accompanied by a notation that they played a "double" - and in Bill Green's case, he was paid even more, evidently for staying and adding the sax solo) - but we don't see that for Lyle.

A good, and probably unanswerable, question.

I think we've been through the ringer on this question a few times!

... I didn't know about the timeclock issue though ... do you think it's possible Lyle overdubbed the extra bass at a later date?

MAYBE the clue lies in the sax overdub. Why would they have recorded an ENTIRE band on on 2 tracks instead of 3, unless that third was to be reserved for an overdub?

Craig, do you know if the sax solo was overdubbed before or after vocal work began? Because if it were before, then a decent theory might be that the third track was reserved for the sax solo, and when Brian decided he didn't want to keep it, he may have wanted a deeper bass sound and added the upright overdub.

If the sax solo was done on the vocal tape (as an overdub on the 8-track master), then my best theory is that Brian wanted more isolation and wiggle room for that bass and it was done at the live session.

The sax solo was overdubbed to the 8-track master, prior to the vocal sessions...the Columbia Studios 8-track master bears the same date as that given for the Western Recorders basic tracking session (3/10)...if both dates are correct, Brian cut the basic track between midnight and 4:15am at Western, then at some point (either immediately afterward or later that day) hopped across the street to Columbia, apparently bringing Bill Green with him (or having him meet him there), and transferred the mono mix to 8-track, then overdubbed the sax. Interestingly, two versions of the sax solo were taped....one on Track 1, the second on Track 6, both later wiped and replaced with vocals - meaning the version with the sax solo on the box set exists only from a vintage rough mix).

So, I'd say your second theory is likely correct - similarly, the Fender bass on "Here Today" was delegated to its own discrete track, apparently to allow more flexibility in mixdown.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: DonnyL on September 26, 2016, 05:22:51 PM

There is the bizarre question of why the string bass was split in some fashion and given its own track in addition to being audible on the same track as the general rhythm instruments.  That's another one I'm just tired of not having an answer for.


The original "GOK" 4-track tape has horns, violins, and accordions on one track - drums, harpsichord, piano, guitar, and percussion on another - and bass by itself on a third (actually the second) track. The fourth track contains a mono mix of the other three tracks, as is sometimes the case with BW-produced 4-tracks of this era.

If they baffled off the upright bass and recorded it with a super-directional mic, that might account for no leakage from the other instruments...but if it was baffled, would it have still picked up on the mics of the other instruments? Maybe the baffle and directional mic combined were sufficient for keeping out the sounds of the other instruments, but the baffle wasn't enough to keep the low frequencies of the upright from leaking out into the microphones of the other instruments? The only other thing that would make sense would be if Brian had Lyle redo the upright as an overdub on its own track, which would still leave the original upright sound there as leakage onto the other tracks (a similar thing happened with the drums on the 1963 track "The Rocking Surfer" - Dennis' original drumming was replaced, yet it's still there as leakage on the remaining original tracks, along with Mike's saxophone). The only problem with that "GOK" bass theory would be that there would have had to be enough time left on the clock from the original 3.75 hour session (the standard three hours plus 45 minutes of overtime) after the other musicians were dismissed, otherwise we'd expect to see a higher pay rate for Lyle (outside of officially-designated AFM session "leader" Hal Blaine and contractor Jay Migliori, the only players on the "GOK" session payed a higher rate than the others were Leonard Hartman, Bill Green, and Jim Horn - and each of their names is accompanied by a notation that they played a "double" - and in Bill Green's case, he was paid even more, evidently for staying and adding the sax solo) - but we don't see that for Lyle.

A good, and probably unanswerable, question.

I think we've been through the ringer on this question a few times!

... I didn't know about the timeclock issue though ... do you think it's possible Lyle overdubbed the extra bass at a later date?

MAYBE the clue lies in the sax overdub. Why would they have recorded an ENTIRE band on on 2 tracks instead of 3, unless that third was to be reserved for an overdub?

Craig, do you know if the sax solo was overdubbed before or after vocal work began? Because if it were before, then a decent theory might be that the third track was reserved for the sax solo, and when Brian decided he didn't want to keep it, he may have wanted a deeper bass sound and added the upright overdub.

If the sax solo was done on the vocal tape (as an overdub on the 8-track master), then my best theory is that Brian wanted more isolation and wiggle room for that bass and it was done at the live session.

The sax solo was overdubbed to the 8-track master, prior to the vocal sessions...the Columbia Studios 8-track master bears the same date as that given for the Western Recorders basic tracking session (3/10)...if both dates are correct, Brian cut the basic track between midnight and 4:15am at Western, then at some point (either immediately afterward or later that day) hopped across the street to Columbia, apparently bringing Bill Green with him (or having him meet him there), and transferred the mono mix to 8-track, then overdubbed the sax. Interestingly, two versions of the sax solo were taped....one on Track 1, the second on Track 6, both later wiped and replaced with vocals - meaning the version with the sax solo on the box set exists only from a vintage rough mix).

So, I'd say your second theory is likely correct - similarly, the Fender bass on "Here Today" was delegated to its own discrete track, apparently to allow more flexibility in mixdown.

Ah makes sense, good info!

It seems so ODD to have all those instruments on two tracks, yet ONE OF TWO basses on it's own track! But who are we to question the master ...


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: TheWonderfulHarpsichord on September 26, 2016, 05:28:19 PM

Assuming the three-bass scenario led me to originally conclude that Carl must be playing the guitar, but as I later pointed out on this board, and as you mentioned above, the jazzy guitar doodling between takes points to a studio pro rather than Carl, and according to someone on this board, Terry Melcher had gone on record as saying Carl did not play on the session. If Bruce was recalling that he did, perhaps he was thinking of a different session (do we have a source for that Bruce quote)?


In the September 1990 edition of Select magazine, Bruce makes the following observation about the GOK session:

"I was there!...Carl was in the booth playing 12-string cos there was no more room. And there were about six fiddles - we didn't call them strings, they were fiddles - and an electric bass and an acoustic bass and a keyboard and some percussion, and the guy who's playing the drums."

Hmm...well, maybe Carl and Carol BOTH played 12-string on this session (the way Carl and Jerry Cole both played 12-string on "California Girls", and Barney and Glen both played 12-string on some of the other Pet Sounds cuts). Carol definitely played 12-string electric on the second session of "Good Vibrations" (April 9th at Gold Star), and most likely on "I'm Waiting For The Day" (similar situation to "GOK" - apparently only two basses, definitely Ray on the Fender and Lyle on the upright, leaving Carol as the probable guitarist) and the basic track to "Caroline, No" (although she also overdubbed the Dano bass on that one).









This is all very interesting. If Carl and Carol did indeed both play on the song then did they trade parts back and forth and switch out?

On Bruce's account he says "six fiddles". I had always assumed it was a string quartet and not 6 strings. I guess there is really no way to tell while just listening.

As for the Clarinets and Saxophones i've been trying ever so hard to hear, I recently thought I heard the bass clarinet playing along side the cello and perhaps the saxophones playing along side the accordians, most noticable at the end. Though, it could just be my ears playing tricks on me...

Also thanks for the Bruce quote, I couldn't remember where I had heard it from.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: TheWonderfulHarpsichord on September 26, 2016, 05:40:18 PM

Assuming the three-bass scenario led me to originally conclude that Carl must be playing the guitar, but as I later pointed out on this board, and as you mentioned above, the jazzy guitar doodling between takes points to a studio pro rather than Carl, and according to someone on this board, Terry Melcher had gone on record as saying Carl did not play on the session. If Bruce was recalling that he did, perhaps he was thinking of a different session (do we have a source for that Bruce quote)?


In the September 1990 edition of Select magazine, Bruce makes the following observation about the GOK session:

"I was there!...Carl was in the booth playing 12-string cos there was no more room. And there were about six fiddles - we didn't call them strings, they were fiddles - and an electric bass and an acoustic bass and a keyboard and some percussion, and the guy who's playing the drums."

Hmm...well, maybe Carl and Carol BOTH played 12-string on this session (the way Carl and Jerry Cole both played 12-string on "California Girls", and Barney and Glen both played 12-string on some of the other Pet Sounds cuts). Carol definitely played 12-string electric on the second session of "Good Vibrations" (April 9th at Gold Star), and most likely on "I'm Waiting For The Day" (similar situation to "GOK" - apparently only two basses, definitely Ray on the Fender and Lyle on the upright, leaving Carol as the probable guitarist) and the basic track to "Caroline, No" (although she also overdubbed the Dano bass on that one).


Also I thought I would bring these up. I have no idea if these are reliable sources or not. I am dedicated to get to the bottom of this!

http://www.surfermoon.com/essays/owncharts.html Carol

http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/carolkay.htm Carol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XByMda7YooI Isolated strings, horns, percussion, and bass

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCTVcNsJGX0

Again, I don't know if these are reliable





Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: metal flake paint on September 26, 2016, 09:50:22 PM

Also thanks for the Bruce quote, I couldn't remember where I had heard it from.

No worries! Thanks for the YouTube link, some great isolated mixes there!


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: CenturyDeprived on September 26, 2016, 11:21:50 PM
Based on my extensive examination of the session tape and AFM contract, and input from a few others on this board, here is the conclusion I have come to:

Tack piano (w/strings taped): Don Randi
Harpsichord: Larry Knechtel
12-string electric rhythm guitar: Carol Kaye
Fender bass (w/tic-tac effect): Ray Pohlman
Upright bass: Lyle Ritz
Sleighbells & Drums: Hal Blaine
Plastic orange juice cups w/sticks: Jim Gordon
Tambourine: Terry Melcher
Accordions: Carl Fortina and Frank Marocco
French horn: Alan Robinson
Alto flutes & Flutes: Bill Green and Jim Horn
Clarinet: Jay Migliori     
Bass clarinet & Clarinet: Leonard Hartman
Violins: Sid Sharp (leader) and Leonard Malarsky
Viola: Darrel Terwilliger
Cello: Jesse Erlich

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.


Thanks for the information. It's pretty cool how Terry played tambourine on this, never knew that.
 

You can also hear Terry singing on the song on the alternate version that has the brilliant a capella tag. He's the different-sounding voice at the end (listen closely) that is clearly not one of The Boys' familiar voices in the mix. I wonder if Terry was bummed that this version with him singing on it wasn't the released album version!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCq3npjR9Mg

Damn I love this alternate version.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on September 27, 2016, 07:48:58 PM
I am dedicated to get to the bottom of this!


You won't!!  :-D  But good luck!


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 12, 2021, 07:47:05 PM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 13, 2021, 09:52:24 AM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

It's just an auditory timbral illusion.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 13, 2021, 09:54:44 AM
And incidentally in the last 5 years I think we've pretty much got it all nailed down by now.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: sloopjohnb72 on August 13, 2021, 07:28:03 PM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 14, 2021, 08:46:09 AM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: WillJC on August 14, 2021, 09:59:00 AM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 14, 2021, 10:24:30 AM
If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

No free tracks would be a technical reason that there can't be an overdub.  Another one is that Al Robinson was not paid a double.  But those facts are notwithstanding the fact that there's not a second horn.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 14, 2021, 03:45:47 PM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 14, 2021, 04:39:11 PM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

It literally can't be.  It is not physically or metaphysically possible.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: terrei on August 16, 2021, 05:37:34 AM
You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

Sounds like the French horn is playing the call and response to a line played on strings and clarinet.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 16, 2021, 06:38:35 AM
You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

Sounds like the French horn is playing the call and response to a line played on strings and clarinet.

It's alto flutes. 


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Greg Parry on August 16, 2021, 08:35:25 AM
Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw)

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg)


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA)


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 16, 2021, 09:36:13 AM
Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw)

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg)


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA)

Those 5.1 stems have always been very useful -- and yes, earlier in the thread we discuss a little bit the oddness of giving the bass its own track, while it's not exactly quiet on the the rhythm track either.  It is great to hear Jay's Clarinet so clearly on the flourish!  And hearing everything dry is such a great indicator of how much magic goes into producing a track.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 16, 2021, 09:42:09 AM
Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw)

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg)


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA)

Those 5.1 stems have always been very useful -- and yes, earlier in the thread we discuss a little bit the oddness of giving the bass its own track, while it's not exactly quiet on the the rhythm track either.  It is great to hear Jay's Clarinet so clearly on the flourish!  And hearing everything dry is such a great indicator of how much magic goes into producing a track.

Assuming that that bass track is the input from just one mic, it's pretty a pretty remarkable document.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Greg Parry on August 16, 2021, 09:47:34 AM
For Pet Sounds' 60th, they really need to just release the multitracks.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 16, 2021, 09:54:09 AM
For Pet Sounds' 60th, they really need to just release the multitracks.

Well, I couldn't agree more, and if any album has the cachet to justify doing such an invasive release, it's probably Pet Sounds, whose production values have been lauded pretty much since it came out.  It fits the narrative and is not really that much a of a leap beyond the track and vocal only mixes.  Plus, it's really about the only new way to put the material out at this point.

And I can think of a few select discrete multis that they could use, if they didn't want to do a big multitrack dump, that would illustrate very enlightening new things.  This bass track is one of them.  The dry track from Caroline, No is another.  Pretty much all the horn-only tracks would be eye-opening because you'd again, hear more how things sounded to the players in the room.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: WillJC on August 17, 2021, 03:23:28 AM
Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw)

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg)


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA)

Those isolations are great!


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 17, 2021, 05:47:31 PM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

It literally can't be.  It is not physically or metaphysically possible.

Listening again to the end of take 19 where they mess up the tag, the horn does indeed keep playing the same line over and over again. So I was wrong. Amazing how all that reverb can deceive the ears.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 17, 2021, 05:53:47 PM
The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

Ah, that's what I must be hearing, why it sounds a little different each round. Thanks for the audio files.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 17, 2021, 06:23:03 PM
There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

It literally can't be.  It is not physically or metaphysically possible.

Listening again to the end of take 19 where they mess up the tag, the horn does indeed keep playing the same line over and over again. So I was wrong. Amazing how all that reverb can deceive the ears.

This track is one of the most reverb and tape-slap drenched of them all -- I think the isolated bass track really shows that these things didn't produce themselves -- and it also shows how many decisions Chuck and Brian had to make at the outset to make it all turn out right.

No overdubs, it's all done at at once, mixed on the fly.  Pretty remarkable.  This track also goes to show the power of mixing with mic proximity, an art that is utterly lost now.  It's satanically difficult to work out the woodwind line up in part because the clarinets are way back from their mic, so the flutes get the majority of the coverage from that mic, and thus also get the reverb.  But you can also hear on that bass track how the bass mic is getting a lot of horn.  So it's almost like some of these sources are miked in stereo, in a sort of indirect way.  It adds depth and thank goodness we can hear the clarinet so well on that isolation or I never would have been able to put money on what it's playing there.  Still wouldn't!


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 18, 2021, 10:52:54 AM
The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg)

I was really curious what the room mic leakage would sound like bathed in chamber reverb and multi-tap delay (yes, I know, a lot of the instruments shouldn't be on that delay, but we don't have the luxury), so I tried it:

https://sndup.net/85jz

Pretty close to the finished product, almost completely transforming the dry sound.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: RingoStarr39 on August 18, 2021, 04:35:10 PM
It delights me to no end listening to these isolated tracks. Particularly with Pet Sounds era backing tracks since so much is revealed on the bass and horn tracks that's normally completely buried or barely even picked up by the mics at all.

I Just Wasn't Made for These Times immediately comes to mind since you can actually hear what the piano's playing. I still can't quite tell with certainty the difference between the piano and harpsichord, though I think I have an idea.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Rebel on August 21, 2021, 11:13:05 AM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 21, 2021, 11:27:35 AM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 21, 2021, 12:32:21 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  

Didn't Hal also say - and I think I've heard other session players mention it too - that they'd get these orange drink containers from the studio vending machines that were more like cardboard milk containers?

I remember having a similar discussion some time ago, and I don't recall if any photos of these orange drink containers that were apparently so popular with the musicians have ever shown up. If anything you see more of the regular glass soda bottles at the sides of various musicians in the photos.

Besides, of course, Brian and the egg nog at Western. ;D


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 21, 2021, 12:42:56 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  

Didn't Hal also say - and I think I've heard other session players mention it too - that they'd get these orange drink containers from the studio vending machines that were more like cardboard milk containers?

I remember having a similar discussion some time ago, and I don't recall if any photos of these orange drink containers that were apparently so popular with the musicians have ever shown up. If anything you see more of the regular glass soda bottles at the sides of various musicians in the photos.

Besides, of course, Brian and the egg nog at Western. ;D

I think you went down the drink container rabbit hole, too Craig, but I sure as heck spent a very strange couple of months learning about the history of aseptic containers for potable beverage liquids in pursuit of figuring out what those damned things were.

Impossible really to know for sure, but there are two pretty solid facts:

1.  Aseptic plastic drink containers were not commercially available until the late 60s - about 68.  Some commercial applications apparently could hold potable beverage in plastics before that, but certainly you couldn't get a plastic bottle from a store.

2.  Vending machines generally sold beverages either in glass bottles or dropped a Dixie cup and dispensed liquid therein.

So all we can really state categorically is that they weren't plastic bottles.  I think if you are willing to spend a couple box on a pack of 12oz dixie cups and experiment with them (I bought about $50 worth of cups of various manufacture to test a wide range) with various sticks (again, I found regular drumsticks actually work fine, though I auditioned a number of mallets and percussion strikers) you'll find that you get that clop sound.  And of course, you have to either imagine it, or add some reverb and tape slap to really realize the effect.

Anyway, plenty of evidence of paper cups in relation to Hal,

to wit:

(https://www.drummerworld.com/drummerworld/halblainesammydavisjr400.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DyuevrrW0AEZuLM.jpg)


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 21, 2021, 01:11:52 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  

Didn't Hal also say - and I think I've heard other session players mention it too - that they'd get these orange drink containers from the studio vending machines that were more like cardboard milk containers?

I remember having a similar discussion some time ago, and I don't recall if any photos of these orange drink containers that were apparently so popular with the musicians have ever shown up. If anything you see more of the regular glass soda bottles at the sides of various musicians in the photos.

Besides, of course, Brian and the egg nog at Western. ;D

I think you went down the drink container rabbit hole, too Craig, but I sure as heck spent a very strange couple of months learning about the history of aseptic containers for potable beverage liquids in pursuit of figuring out what those damned things were.

Impossible really to know for sure, but there are two pretty solid facts:

1.  Aseptic plastic drink containers were not commercially available until the late 60s - about 68.  Some commercial applications apparently could hold potable beverage in plastics before that, but certainly you couldn't get a plastic bottle from a store.

2.  Vending machines generally sold beverages either in glass bottles or dropped a Dixie cup and dispensed liquid therein.

So all we can really state categorically is that they weren't plastic bottles.  I think if you are willing to spend a couple box on a pack of 12oz dixie cups and experiment with them (I bought about $50 worth of cups of various manufacture to test a wide range) with various sticks (again, I found regular drumsticks actually work fine, though I auditioned a number of mallets and percussion strikers) you'll find that you get that clop sound.  And of course, you have to either imagine it, or add some reverb and tape slap to really realize the effect.

Anyway, plenty of evidence of paper cups in relation to Hal,

to wit:

(https://www.drummerworld.com/drummerworld/halblainesammydavisjr400.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DyuevrrW0AEZuLM.jpg)

Yes indeed! I remember some of those details, and I did go down that rabbit hole too. Along with the similar search for bagged potato chip brands in SoCal in 1965-66... ;D

I didn't mean plastic though, but rather the cardboard milk carton type of packaging - I know those were in chilled vending machines by the 60's, as there were milk machines that dropped those cartons alongside the dairy's orange drink or other offerings. So when Hal mentioned orange drink, that's what triggered my thoughts because we know those existed in the milk cartons too. 

The cups as seen in the Hal photo were also used probably more often for coffee from the "hot" vending machines, and we know those musicians drank gallons of the stuff back then. I don't recall as many machines dropping a cold drink poured into a cup as much as they did the cold drinks in cartons.

But yes, if the sound can be replicated using one of those cups, we used to call them "Dixie Cups" as a generic term, that's the shortest line to an answer. It was Hal's comment about "orange juice" that led to so many more possibilities, especially when you factor in those orange drinks Hal and others said they'd drink often, and those came in milk cartons in the older machines. I remember seeing them locally in the 80's


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 21, 2021, 06:03:30 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 21, 2021, 06:11:37 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.

I'll do a demonstration sometime.  It's surprising that a paper cap can do it, but it is pretty much dead on.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 21, 2021, 07:26:11 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.

I'll do a demonstration sometime.  It's surprising that a paper cap can do it, but it is pretty much dead on.

I think the plastic orange juice cup thing is probably just a bad recollection then. Like how Billy Strange doesn't even remember the Sloop John B overdub session right (from the comment by his son Jerry Strange on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDvQHIJqoaA).


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 21, 2021, 07:36:31 PM
Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.

I'll do a demonstration sometime.  It's surprising that a paper cap can do it, but it is pretty much dead on.

I think the plastic orange juice cup thing is probably just a bad recollection then. Like how Billy Strange doesn't even remember the Sloop John B overdub session right (from the comment by his son Jerry Strange on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDvQHIJqoaA).

Yeah, it's just some random attempt at recollection Hal did the best to remember after many years away from the session.  I have no doubt that Hal used plastic cups and bottles when they hit the market.  A lot of those little details have just been accepted instead of challenged or at least investigated.  I'm skeptical about the coke cans stories, too, for example.

As for the Sloop story, I pointed out some problems I had with the received wisdom in this thread a couple years ago: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,26763.0.html (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,26763.0.html)


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 21, 2021, 09:27:55 PM
But in the case of Billy Strange and the Sloop overdub, Billy himself did remember exactly what happened and told the story to Guitar Player magazine in 1993, which can be seen at that link. It was Billy's son who contradicted the story details and claimed his dad didn't remember, while anyone who read the magazine article from 93 will see exactly what Billy remembered and recounted. Sometimes the most practical or pragmatic approach to these questions is the correct answer, in this case it's Billy telling his story of that exact session in detail which his son claims he didn't remember. Huge red flag, right there.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 06:53:57 AM
But in the case of Billy Strange and the Sloop overdub, Billy himself did remember exactly what happened and told the story to Guitar Player magazine in 1993, which can be seen at that link. It was Billy's son who contradicted the story details and claimed his dad didn't remember, while anyone who read the magazine article from 93 will see exactly what Billy remembered and recounted. Sometimes the most practical or pragmatic approach to these questions is the correct answer, in this case it's Billy telling his story of that exact session in detail which his son claims he didn't remember. Huge red flag, right there.

Yes, but why privilege Billy's memory over his son's?  Even in '93 it's still 30 years post hoc.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 06:58:57 AM
And also, again, my point is not that it didn't happen that way.  Only that it might not have happened exactly that way, and that the guitar might have been a different guitar, and that the circumstances might have been a little different.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 07:04:38 AM
Here's a slightly different telling of it from Billy:  https://youtu.be/jghWshehIuk?t=141 (https://youtu.be/jghWshehIuk?t=141)

Here it's the same story except he recalls it being a Gibson, and says nothing about it being an overdub.

The most troubling thing about this story is still the assertion that he didn't have a 12-string and that nobody did.  If you take the part about it being the overdub session away, it would sound a little more likely, but of course, if you say "no one" had a 12-string then, and Brian had to get Billy a 12-string, he would've had to get a 12-string for Jerry Cole also.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 07:27:53 AM
Here's a slightly different telling of it from Billy:  https://youtu.be/jghWshehIuk?t=141 (https://youtu.be/jghWshehIuk?t=141)

Here it's the same story except he recalls it being a Gibson, and says nothing about it being an overdub.

The most troubling thing about this story is still the assertion that he didn't have a 12-string and that nobody did.  If you take the part about it being the overdub session away, it would sound a little more likely, but of course, if you say "no one" had a 12-string then, and Brian had to get Billy a 12-string, he would've had to get a 12-string for Jerry Cole also.

But of course, we know Jerry Cole likely owned a 12-string as early as March and April 1965 for Let Him Run Wild and California Girls.  I recently found an interesting comment from Al Casey that I think is slightly off, but contains some interesting truth:

Al Casey: "... [I had] a 1961 Guild Starfire that was converted to an electric 12-string...I didn't like the sound [of Rickenebackers], so I had this Guild sitting in my closet.  The interesting thing is that after I had that done Lou Morell and Carol Kaye liked my guitar so well they went out and bought new Guild Starfires and had them converted ... six months laster there was a Guild Starfire 12-string."

I think that Carol had her Guild T-100 (Not really a starfire) converted well before Casey came to town, but nevertheless, it is interesting how guitarists were converting before the manufacturers caught up.

To tie it back to GOK -- GOK ends up being one of the few songs that we likely know exactly what electric 12-string is on the track, because Carol is known to have used her Guild for all her electric 12 work.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 22, 2021, 10:48:32 AM
But in the case of Billy Strange and the Sloop overdub, Billy himself did remember exactly what happened and told the story to Guitar Player magazine in 1993, which can be seen at that link. It was Billy's son who contradicted the story details and claimed his dad didn't remember, while anyone who read the magazine article from 93 will see exactly what Billy remembered and recounted. Sometimes the most practical or pragmatic approach to these questions is the correct answer, in this case it's Billy telling his story of that exact session in detail which his son claims he didn't remember. Huge red flag, right there.

Yes, but why privilege Billy's memory over his son's?  Even in '93 it's still 30 years post hoc.

If the question is do I weigh Billy Strange's account of what happened over his son's, I would say yes. The memorable events tend to remain vivid, and the question I asked in the previous thread is still what I'd ask now, why would Billy speak in such specific detail about this if his son's comments that Billy didn't remember it are to be believed? Do these guys remember playing random sessions from 1965, or do they remember the ones where something out of the ordinary happened? I'd lean toward the latter, and in this case Billy walked out with cash, new gear, and a strong memory of playing on what became a legendary track. His son would have been around 10 when this happened, if this were testimony in a court case, whose account would be weighted more than the other? My opinion, it would be the primary subject versus an eyewitness who was a minor at the time.

I wouldn't think Billy would have made up those details if he didn't remember it.

As far as guitar brands and types, I give more of a pass on those things. What I would like to know is how does one transform a 6 string neck and headstock into a 12 string. That, to me, seems mechanically impossible so I would like to see photos and descriptions of how that was done.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 10:58:01 AM
(https://acornhouse.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/4931aa01-279b-4129-8314-7cd082c88d41.jpeg)

(https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/tommy-tedesco-playing-guitar-with-carol-kaye-playing-guitar-in-a-los-picture-id98276958?s=2048x2048)

(https://scontent.fdet1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.18172-8/279733_200702899978605_8150612_o.jpg?_nc_cat=103&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=973b4a&_nc_ohc=_UiFwGeoEQcAX9s5LV5&_nc_ht=scontent.fdet1-1.fna&oh=69aa162561504ea767629a6cebb66b2e&oe=61470160)

In the case of Carol's conversion, it looks more or less like Milt Owen just kinda refilled the original tuner holes and then stuffed 12 in there.  Unfortunately I don't have my Sound Explosion book with me which has some better photos of the instrument.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 22, 2021, 11:09:00 AM
My issue is the standard headstock on those instruments is not long enough to fit 6 pegs to a side, as it was only designed for 3 to a side. That instrument neck does not look like a modified 6 string factory neck. If anything I'd think they could put a 12 string acoustic neck into a 6 string body but even then the scale and measurements would be all out of whack.

One of those things where it looks like something other than what was described.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 11:17:50 AM
Since the headstock still has a Guild decal, I'm assuming it's at least partially the original headstock.  I'm aware of some other conversions where the tech has extended the original headstock rather than replaced it.

Quote
One of those things where it looks like something other than what was described.

I'm a little confused as to what you're getting at?  Do you think that both Al Casey and Carol are misremembering that they got their guitars converted and that the guitar seen in these photos is...what, faked?


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 11:23:08 AM
For context on Carol's side, here's what she's had to say about it over the years:

From her facebook:

"I also had a custom elec. 12-string guitar made out of an ordinary Guild T-100D 6-string elec. guitar (by repairman ace Milt Owen - he replaced pickups at my request, and fitted in the extra 6 strings on the headstock - it was a thin neck and played good). "

"The Guild CE-100D 6-string elec. guitar that Milt Owen switched over to be an elec. 12-string guitar too had some hot pickups - I had him put in hot pickups too for potent biting elec. 12-string sounds. This was before elec. 12-string guitars were manufactured. And that's the sounds of the elec. 12-string guitar you hear on the Sonny & Cher records and some other recordings too."

From vintage guitar:

"I turned a Guild electric into a 12-string electric before they ever made electric 12-strings for studio work."





Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 22, 2021, 12:32:06 PM
I'm just saying from a mechanical perspective, the modifications described do not seem to match what would be physically possible. The headstock of a 3 on the side 6 string cannot accommodate 6 tuning pegs. And there wouldn't be enough strength to hold the tension of 12 strings if you glued an extension to the top of a headstock. Not saying it didn't happen but I'm challenging how it was done, as mechanically it doesn't add up.

Maybe a guitar luthier could offer a more professional opinion, because to me it seems like they could have more easily and durably modded a 12 string neck to fit onto that 6 string body. Easiest solution in my opinion.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 22, 2021, 01:08:48 PM
I don't think it's as troublesome as you think it is.  I'm not a luthier but I have seen skilled guitar technicians reattach an entire headstock snapped off a neck, and there are plenty of videos on youtube about how to do that or how to extend or expand existing headstocks for various reasons.  The headstock on my Guild Starfire VI is fairly roomy -- I think could accommodate 4 a side on there without issue, and you can clearly see that the pegs are crammed in there pretty tight on Carol's guitar, so it would not be a very big deal to add just enough to accommodate two more per side.



Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 23, 2021, 06:25:10 PM
(https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--u3nxRYnp--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_620,q_90,w_620/v1506370172/cexa4odmjrqrgb3so0yj.jpg)

(https://guitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Guild-3-696x1043.jpg)

(https://guitars.azureedge.net/aza/user/gear/1961-guild-t-100-sunburst-46XAsCP.jpg?maxheight=500&maxwidth=500)

(https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--PaWDO68m--/f_auto,t_large/v1620946996/wzmofmm8u1sma39wsbg0.jpg)

That's the headstock of a 1961 T-100D on top, a 1962 T-100D with Waverly tuning machines next, an early 60's T-100, and a '63 Starfire on the bottom.

I hope those images come through!

That's part of the mechanical issue I was wondering about before. Besides the structural issues of a headstock being able to handle the added tension of a 12-string, because that's a major weakness in Gibson 12-strings that have a tendency to crack like Carl Wilson's did repeatedly, I'm just curious how they managed to fit all those tuning machines onto the back of a standard Guild neck no matter which brand they used. Once you drill the holes, you still have the size of the actual tuning machines to fit in. And also how to maintain the structural integrity of the instrument, not to mention how to accommodate all the strings on a standard neck width and still have the spacing correct enough.

Again, not saying it wasn't done by drilling extra holes, etc, but I'm definitely very intrigued by how it was accomplished, and I'm sure other guitar luthiers would be as well. To me the shortest distance between the request and the finished job would be to drop an existing 12-string neck onto a 6 string body and shave it down at the heel to fit, along with the obvious mods to the bridge and pickups.

But I'm seriously intrigued how they fit 12 tuning pegs onto that headstock, any of those shown above, given the spacing necessary and the size of those tuning machines.



Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 23, 2021, 07:08:50 PM
Pictures came through great.

I think it looks like Milt used Gibson tuners for Carol's conversion, which have a little smaller footprint than some other tuners, but it would certainly still be a very tight fit even with an extension.  I know that a lot of people that have done extensions or repairs will often add some sort of volute to reinforce the headstock/neck join--I feel like there's a photo of the back of the guitar in that Sound Explosion book that is at my other home now, that may show whether Milt added some voluting back there.

I think doing an extension would ultimately be easier than putting a new neck in -- Guild hollowbodies are all set-neck instruments, and of course Guild would not have had an electric 12-string neck sitting around because they didn't manufacture them.  Plus, the way Carol references it makes it sound like it was the original neck.  Perhaps Milt was able to use a Guild acoustic 12 headstock on the existing neck which come to think of it seems like the easiest all-around option. 

See https://reverb.com/item/11837117-gibson-sg-standard-12-string-with-hsc-2013-white?utm_campaign=Trogly&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=partnerstack (https://reverb.com/item/11837117-gibson-sg-standard-12-string-with-hsc-2013-white?utm_campaign=Trogly&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=partnerstack) for an example of a guitar that has had its original 6-string headstock replaced with a 12, supported with a volute.



Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 23, 2021, 07:16:35 PM
(https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--nHycPz2X--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_620,q_90,w_620/v1525033312/ekhliopjulept8w9qokk.jpg)

(https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--OC9Lmcdy--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_620,q_90,w_620/v1525033163/fp6wgtiug8pteg6d54fs.jpg)

Yes! That one, with the tuning pegs linked together as a set of 6. But on that Gibson, look at how long that headstock is - Much longer than a standard SG. It has to be to accommodate those pegs and keep the spacing correct.

I think replacing the Guild 6-string headstock with a 12-string headstock might be the easiest way to do it, like the guy who did that SG you linked to above. Maybe not the whole neck, but just the headstock. But then would the stock neck width of a Starfire or a T-100 be wide enough for 12 strings?

I'm just fascinated by how this was done! Like I said in earlier posts, it doesn't seem possible, surely not practical, but there are the photos as evidence.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 24, 2021, 07:12:51 AM
It seems like Carol did not hold on to the instrument, which is a shame.  I have no idea what became of Al Casey's stuff after he died, other than the Elvis guitar, which keeps going to auction every so often.  Maybe Carol's guild will turn up someday.  I check reverb for T-100 and CE-100 12-strings every week just in case it were to go up there.  I'm trying to get in touch with Ray Pohlman's family to make sure they hold on to Ray's bass -- these things should be kept track of!

I think if the SG neck is wide enough, a Starfire neck would be fine.  Carol notes that the neck "played good" in any case.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 24, 2021, 07:16:35 AM
Incidentally, for those who care about such things, here is what Carol's guitar looked like pre-conversion:

https://reverb.com/item/42867182-1965-guild-t-100d-hollowbody-electric-blonde-clean-and-all-original (https://reverb.com/item/42867182-1965-guild-t-100d-hollowbody-electric-blonde-clean-and-all-original)

(https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--SJF8GBoE--/f_auto,t_large/v1628183368/csxkq3tjpgzqwywr9foh.jpg)

In addition to the 12-string conversion, Carol notes that Milt Owen put in some humbuckers for "potent, biting sounds" -- sounds you can hear on I'm Waiting for the Day and God Only Knows!


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 24, 2021, 06:30:10 PM
Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY)

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: c-man on August 28, 2021, 08:32:58 AM
Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY)

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 28, 2021, 05:30:15 PM
Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY)

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...

Who can know?


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: thebaron on August 30, 2021, 11:05:02 AM
Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY)

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...

Who can know?

It seems like it would have been less expensive than other studios too, so he wouldn't get bugged so much about spending 3 hours plus overtime on just one backing track.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on August 30, 2021, 12:02:01 PM
Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY)

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...

Who can know?

It seems like it would have been less expensive than other studios too, so he wouldn't get bugged so much about spending 3 hours plus overtime on just one backing track.

I can't imagine there would be any substantive cost differential between 2 and 3.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: kwan_dk on December 09, 2021, 08:27:17 AM
This may not seem relevant to the topic of this thread as such,... but here goes anyway.

These past days I've enjoyed the new christmas album from Danish indie-pop & folk act Hymns from Nineveh and noticed that the guy behind the band singled out Gon Only Knows as the inspiration behind the production on the song 'Mariasangen' off the album. He basically says in a recent interview that he's always viewed GOK as a christmas song in spirit since it's inclusion in the final scene of Love Actually and that he therefore decided to use it as a sort of sonic inspiration for the sound and feel of this (quite good) song. I think it's very easy to hear the inspiration,... not in melody or vocals but in the way he's decided on instrumentation: https://youtu.be/pO-P41OjlSQ


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: PickupExcitations on January 20, 2022, 08:00:04 AM
Based on my extensive examination of the session tape and AFM contract, and input from a few others on this board, here is the conclusion I have come to:

Tack piano (w/strings taped): Don Randi
Harpsichord: Larry Knechtel
12-string electric rhythm guitar: Carol Kaye
Fender bass (w/tic-tac effect): Ray Pohlman
Upright bass: Lyle Ritz
Sleighbells & Drums: Hal Blaine
Plastic orange juice cups w/sticks: Jim Gordon
Tambourine: Terry Melcher
Accordions: Carl Fortina and Frank Marocco
French horn: Alan Robinson
Alto flutes & Flutes: Bill Green and Jim Horn
Clarinet: Jay Migliori     
Bass clarinet & Clarinet: Leonard Hartman
Violins: Sid Sharp (leader) and Leonard Malarsky
Viola: Darrel Terwilliger
Cello: Jesse Erlich

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.


Sorry I don’t understand the “tag was spliced in from a separate take” part. You mean the tag of the backing track was spliced, or just the vocals? (Or the backing track and the vocals?)


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on January 20, 2022, 10:00:37 AM
The backing track.  They used take 20 for the bulk of the backing track, but the tag of that take was deemed subpar, Brian then had the band do a pickup starting at the tag (he might have rejiggered some instrumentation for it) which I think was two takes.  Then he edited the body of take 20 with the tag pickup piece to create the full backing track, and then all that was mixed to mono in preparation for the vocal sessions.


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: PickupExcitations on January 21, 2022, 06:51:10 AM
The backing track.  They used take 20 for the bulk of the backing track, but the tag of that take was deemed subpar, Brian then had the band do a pickup starting at the tag (he might have rejiggered some instrumentation for it) which I think was two takes.  Then he edited the body of take 20 with the tag pickup piece to create the full backing track, and then all that was mixed to mono in preparation for the vocal sessions.

Wow, thanks. It appeared that Brian used the splicing technique quite a lot even before the recording of “Good Vibrations”~


Title: Re: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits
Post by: Joshilyn Hoisington on January 21, 2022, 08:24:08 AM
The backing track.  They used take 20 for the bulk of the backing track, but the tag of that take was deemed subpar, Brian then had the band do a pickup starting at the tag (he might have rejiggered some instrumentation for it) which I think was two takes.  Then he edited the body of take 20 with the tag pickup piece to create the full backing track, and then all that was mixed to mono in preparation for the vocal sessions.

Wow, thanks. It appeared that Brian used the splicing technique quite a lot even before the recording of “Good Vibrations”~

Certainly -- as did everyone else.  It's a nice easy way to combine the best parts of different takes, very common from the very birth of magnetic tape recordings.