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Author Topic: The Stephen Desper Thread  (Read 287219 times)
Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1850 on: August 02, 2016, 07:36:55 AM »

Mr. Desper,

I have greatly enjoyed watching your study videos since I first encountered them recently. It is captivating to read in detail how songs were constructed, arranged, and mixed. I have also loved listening to your remasters of tracks from Friends and Sunflower; with your notes, it feels like listening to these songs for the first time!
 As an amateur musician, it has been very educational reading the technical details of how different equipment was used and the process of mixing a song to make it just how you want it.

I recently heard the Beach Boys song 'My Solution', recorded on Halloween 1970. It is definitely one of their most unique, unconventional songs. Do you have any stories about the recording of this song? Was it considered for an album release, or was it more of a spur-of-the-moment, novelty song?
Thank you for all your effort in creating your study videos. I'm looking forward to your video on Surf's Up!

COMMENT TO Bardley:  My Solution was more a Spur-of-the-drug song than of-the-moment. Brian as a mad scientist, ŗ la Boris Karloff, certainly puts it in the novelty department. Sorry, no stories -- But the two photos on the YouTube video were taken in the house studio.

Thanks for the words of praise concerning the studio-videos. I'm glad to hear you are hearing parts you never heard to the point that the songs sound anew. For me it is not a matter of old vs new, rather wrong vs right.  It is really too bad that so many songs are mastered so poorly, and have been for years. I don't understand how a professional mastering engineer using the best equipment in the world can produce such mundane sounding results from master tapes, when an old guy, using standard copies with consumer grade equipment, in the corner of his den, can re-master songs and albums that get comments such as "it feels like listening to these songs for the first time!" from fans such as yourself. This either speaks to my expertise or their ineptitude, but in any case reflects poorly on past engineers' who don't feel music, but do like the feel of knobs and switches.
  ~swd
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mikeddonn
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« Reply #1851 on: August 07, 2016, 04:47:27 PM »

Hi Stephen,

I was wondering what is happening over at the Study Videos website?  None of the links work.

Cheers,

Mike.
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1852 on: August 08, 2016, 04:10:53 PM »

Hi Stephen,

I was wondering what is happening over at the Study Videos website?  None of the links work.

Cheers,

Mike.
\
COMMENT:  Thanks a million to you mikeddonn. I was on the phone all morning to get it working again. Seems there was an updating problem with ipage.com, the folks who make the website possible. By now it should be working as usual.

Again a big thinks for the heads-up.
~Stephen W. Desper
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Kid Presentable
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« Reply #1853 on: August 12, 2016, 05:01:27 PM »

Hello Stephen,

I have read through this entire thread and your study videos and it has fascinated me.  Thank you.  I have spent a ton of my adult life with a pesky musical hobby, between the practice space, on stage, and in studio settings.  I also have spent a ton of time gaining a deep understanding of the BBs.  Getting such an interesting glimpse into your personal and professional history with them has been very enjoyable and also educational.  It has certainly made me think differently about all aspects recording and live production.  This time, rather than asking a technical or quantitative question about some of the things you did, as many have already done so well, I wanted to ask a qualitative question.  In the years during and following Brian's withdrawal from being in charge of most things Beach Boy, what was more surprising or impressive to you- the large leap that Carl made or the large leap that Dennis made?  They are both interesting to me in different ways- Carl seemed to pick up an incredible amount of slack, so much more than anyone else, but he also seemed to have more ability to do so.  Dennis' background was somewhat limited, but I don't think anybody could have predicted how much he ended up adding to the band during that period.  You were there pretty much the whole time so I am curious if you have much to say about this.  Thanks, I will hang up and listen.

Kid Presentable
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 05:02:07 PM by Kid Presentable » Logged
DRM
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« Reply #1854 on: August 27, 2016, 07:42:49 AM »

'Til I Die (Alternate Mix by Sir Stephen Desper)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VyWJQCv6Oo 

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« Reply #1855 on: September 01, 2016, 07:30:20 PM »

Hey Stephen, I've been listening/watching through a bunch of your study videos again. Just wanted to thank you again for your work on both the music as well as the study videos. Very much looking forward to the Surf's Up feature!
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« Reply #1856 on: September 14, 2016, 10:57:48 AM »

Right now I'm enjoying the Surfing Hits. Actually, I heard a couple of jumps, one just after "lake pipes roar" when it misses a beat and the same at 26:15 in "Our Car Club". I do have old equipment but it happened several times in exactly the same two places, which is odd. (Maybe I've missed some vital information somewhere). Oh, and (Wally) Hider should be Heider in the introductory text.

That aside, I've been amazed by what I've heard. I must just as well throw my 2fers into the nearest drainage ditch!

A half-hour down, a half-hour to go (later tonight)...  

Thank you so much, sir.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 12:47:47 PM by john k » Logged

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)
Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1857 on: September 16, 2016, 11:39:25 AM »

Right now I'm enjoying the Surfing Hits. Actually, I heard a couple of jumps, one just after "lake pipes roar" when it misses a beat and the same at 26:15 in "Our Car Club". I do have old equipment but it happened several times in exactly the same two places, which is odd. (Maybe I've missed some vital information somewhere). Oh, and (Wally) Hider should be Heider in the introductory text.

That aside, I've been amazed by what I've heard. I must just as well throw my 2fers into the nearest drainage ditch!

A half-hour down, a half-hour to go (later tonight)...  

Thank you so much, sir.
COMMENT to john k:  Thanks for the head's up on problems.  We are checking into it now. Sometimes the jumps are the action of the server used by the listener, but nevertheless, we will see if it jumps after a re-rendering. ~swd
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jiggy22
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« Reply #1858 on: September 17, 2016, 08:20:24 PM »

Hey Stephen, I'm reading over "Recording the Beach Boys Part 1 - Sunflower" right now, and a couple questions came up to mind (please excuse me if these have already been asked in the past):

1). What was the groups' initial reaction to the poor sales of the Sunflower album? Were the reactions different for each member? At the time, was the group more concerned about commercial success or critical success? I'd imagine it was much more critical success, but I can imagine having an album place at #151 would put a damper on most musicians.

2). Apparently there was a demo or whatever recorded during the Sunflower sessions entitled "Symphony of Frogs". This could've just been a placeholder title for another song, or a potential track the group decided not to take any further, but I was wondering if there were any tape reels or session logs back then that referenced the title, or if all info we have on the track was all just pulled out of thin air one day. Regardless or whether or not such a song ever even existed, it still is a pretty damn cool title. It leaves fans wondering just exactly what such a song would even sound like.

3). I am constantly amazed and awed by the groups' recording of "My Solution". As I saw earlier in the thread, the song found its origins in the consumption of drugs, which hardly surprises me. Exactly what instruments were used on the track? How were the various sound effects put together? Was it mostly synth work? It has to be one of my favorite tracks the Beach Boys recorded during the '70s, it's a shame it hasn't been officially released yet!

4). Regarding the Keepin' the Summer Alive album, I've heard lots of good things about the outtakes "Surfer Suzie", "And I'll Always Love You", and "Boys and Girls". Obviously, the album could've used a bump in quality, and with only ten tracks on the final product, it confuses me why these tracks weren't included. Do you recall these tracks at all? What was the general feel of each of the three?

5). This one is much more personal than the previous four, but I recently began my freshman year of College. I'm planning on majoring in Music Technology to eventually pursue a career in Music Production/Sound Engineering. Knowing you're someone who has had many years of experience with both, what are some pros and cons of the profession you can give to someone like me?

Sorry if this was a lot for you to go through, but I really appreciate it Mr. Desper. You, along with many others, including Mark Linett, Alan Boyd, Sir George Martin, Phil Spector, Jan Berry, and Brian Wilson have really guided me in deciding what career I potentially want to follow in life. So thank you again for everything. Can't wait to read/hear the Surf's Up feature!
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Do happy happy happy Mission Pak singing sound!

My blog, where I post my original Beach Boys mixes and whatnot:
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mikeddonn
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« Reply #1859 on: November 03, 2016, 02:57:34 PM »

Hi Stephen,

I was wondering what is happening over at the Study Videos website?  None of the links work.

Cheers,

Mike.
\
COMMENT:  Thanks a million to you mikeddonn. I was on the phone all morning to get it working again. Seems there was an updating problem with ipage.com, the folks who make the website possible. By now it should be working as usual.

Again a big thinks for the heads-up.
~Stephen W. Desper

Stephen, I just saw this post!

You are very welcome!  All the thanks must go to you for your hard work with the Study Videos and with the group over the years.  Those were the best of times artistically and sonically.  The two went together hand in hand.  Both the group and yourself were trying new things and it was a perfect match.
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bluerincon1
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« Reply #1860 on: January 26, 2017, 09:46:33 PM »

Mr. Desper:

I am sure this has been asked on another thread, but I ead that Brian's home studio was taken out in early 1972 and was used to create the new Brother Studios in Santa Monica.  Was that around the time ou left the Beach Boys' employ?  I know that early 1972 was a period of change with the group with a new deal signed with Warner Bros., Bruce left, Blondie and Ricky joining and Jack Rieley planning their European travels for the summer.

It seems with all you did for them in the four years you worked for them, to leave is a little surprising.  Was it your decision, the band's, was it mutual consent.  Was it because you had another opportunity.  I know you have worked for Frank Zappa, but for how long.  Have you helped out or at least consult on the many reissues (and reissues of reissues) that have come out.

Every time I listen to the Beach Boys music that was released between 1968 and 1971, I thank you.  You as much as anyone helped them maximize their potential in those key years.  It's a shame that there wasn't the same amount of commercial (at least domestically) success.

Thank you for your work and taking the time to participate on this board.  As the group might say "Jai guru deva om"
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1861 on: January 27, 2017, 11:08:50 AM »

COMMENT to bluerincom1:


Mr. Desper:

I am sure this has been asked on another thread, but I ead that Brian's home studio was taken out in early 1972 Correct and was used to create the new Brother Studios in Santa Monica. Incorrect all details will be in part two of my book due out soon.  Was that around the time ou left the Beach Boys' employ?  I know that early 1972 was a period of change with the group with a new deal signed with Warner Bros., Bruce left, Blondie and Ricky joining and Jack Rieley planning their European travels for the summer. Again, it's all covered in part two.

It seems with all you did for them in the four years you worked for them, to leave is a little surprising. Covered in part two. Was it your decision, the band's, was it mutual consent.  Was it because you had another opportunity. Look for answers in part two.  I know you have worked for Frank Zappa, but for how long. As long as several international tours and two albums.  Have you helped out or at least consult on the many reissues (and reissues of reissues) that have come out. No.

Every time I listen to the Beach Boys music that was released between 1968 and 1971, I thank you. You are welcome. You as much as anyone helped them maximize their potential in those key years.  It's a shame that there wasn't the same amount of commercial (at least domestically) success. Many factors at work when you discuss commercial success.

Thank you for your work and taking the time to participate on this board.  As the group might say "Jai guru deva om" I have always thanked God for phase shift, not only in the audio spectrum, but in all manner of vibration. Without phase shift there would be no awareness of anything.

~swd
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 11:11:04 AM by Stephen W. Desper » Logged
Seagull Merlin
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« Reply #1862 on: January 27, 2017, 01:11:33 PM »

Mr. Desper pardon me if you have answered this before but is it possible to purchase a physical copy of your book anywhere? I'd love to have a paper copy to read through!

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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1863 on: January 28, 2017, 10:14:01 AM »

Mr. Desper pardon me if you have answered this before but is it possible to purchase a physical copy of your book anywhere? I'd love to have a paper copy to read through!
COMMENT to Seagull Merlin:  I published a hard copy about a decade ago, and then again with a second printing. Those were limited editions, signed and numbered copies, published by myself.  I lost money on each copy. After adding to the book, about doubling it in size, I decided not to make hard copies, rather to make the book available to everyone for free, but on-line.  Using your computer you can easily read the book. Otherwise, when the second part is out, I may consider publishing all three sections as a hard copy, but it will be pricey and undoubtedly by request only. 

~swd

http://swdstudyvideos.com

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Seagull Merlin
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« Reply #1864 on: January 28, 2017, 12:50:38 PM »

Okay thanks for letting me know!!  Cheesy
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DRM
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« Reply #1865 on: February 05, 2017, 05:13:45 AM »

"I have always thanked God for phase shift, not only in the audio spectrum, but in all manner of vibration. Without phase shift there would be no awareness of anything."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What a great statement. 

« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 05:14:20 AM by DRM » Logged
KingLouieLouie
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« Reply #1866 on: February 09, 2017, 04:40:14 PM »

Stephen:

How have you been?  I apologize if this has ever been discussed on here or covered by you elsewhere.  Were you present when Terry Jacks came in to produce the Beach Boys version of "Seasons In the Sun"?  If so, what are your recollections of that session(s)?  Thanks.
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« Reply #1867 on: February 20, 2017, 02:02:32 PM »

Mr. Desper,

Thank you for all your hard work putting together your Study Videos. I really enjoy hearing the stories of how songs were recorded, what equipment was used, and how the often densely-layered sounds were mixed. I look forward to watching your video on Surfís Up!

I have a question about Ecology, one of Dennis Wilsonís songs. I havenít heard that much concrete information about the song and I was hoping you could set the record straight. Iíve heard Ecology described as SMiLE-like, in that it was recorded in segments to be assembled later. I understand that you used some of Dennisí song segments for a presentation on quadraphonic recording. Were Ecology fragments used in that presentation, or was the music unrelated? Was the song meant for release on Dennis' first attempted solo record, or were the segments created solely for use in the presentation? I heard some fragments claimed to be from Ecology, but other listeners said the order was incorrect, some segments were missing, and parts didnít belong to the song at all. Was the song ever completed and, if so, how many segments did it have?

I ask all this because I listened to a fragment titled ĎAll of My Loveí and got chills from the wall of sound backing vocals. Thereís an undeniable energy and passion in his voice that really draws the listener in. I would love to hear this song officially released someday.
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DRM
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« Reply #1868 on: March 05, 2017, 11:48:58 AM »

I bought the hard to find Surf's Up cassette this past week.   Very much looking forward to its arrival.

Plus, this morning I watched...and listened to:  https://www.amazon.com/Beach-Boys-Endless-Harmony-VHS/dp/B00004RETS/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1488742556&sr=1-3

It was good to see interview segments featuring Sir Stephen Desper.

And praise for him from one of the Beach Boys.




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« Reply #1869 on: March 22, 2017, 06:07:41 PM »

Mr. Desper,

If you are still willing to answer questions about Manson, above you say the recording sessions were in the summer of '69 a few weeks before the murders. Most official narrative says they were in the summer of '68. I'm writing a piece for another blog on the subject of his various recording sessions and frankly, if it was the summer of '69 that would be rather significant (over there). Do you stand by summer of '69?

Thanks
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1870 on: March 26, 2017, 10:34:34 AM »

Mr. Desper,

If you are still willing to answer questions about Manson, above you say the recording sessions were in the summer of '69 a few weeks before the murders. Most official narrative says they were in the summer of '68. I'm writing a piece for another blog on the subject of his various recording sessions and frankly, if it was the summer of '69 that would be rather significant (over there). Do you stand by summer of '69?

Thanks

COMMENT to Dreath:  The Manson sessions were several weeks before the murders.  ~Stephen W. Desper
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Dreath
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« Reply #1871 on: March 27, 2017, 09:31:10 PM »

Thank you, Mr. Desper. Would you be willing to talk to me about this session?
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