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Author Topic: Ronda, Uke look so fine! -Ronda production breakdown video! (Now with link!)  (Read 983 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: May 18, 2020, 05:20:11 PM »

Whoops forgot to include the link at first!  Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0j481hXxjw

This is a video that discusses the arrangement, orchestration, and audio production details of Help Me Ronda off Today.  Special attention is paid to the ukulele.

Boffins - is this the first appearance of a Uke on a BBs record?

I hope you enjoy it!

To that end, I would really appreciate some feedback as to the sort of format of these programs.  Topic matter aside, are people finding them interesting?  Am I missing anything consistently that would make things more enjoyable to watch?  Is there a way I could execute things better?  I will continue to be me and be at the mercy of my meagre equipment, but I'd love some reaction to the sort of method I've adopted in discussing these tracks.  Thanks, friends.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 11:32:49 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 05:28:10 PM »

Awesome, can't wait to watch this!

I'm probably one of the few people who prefers Ronda to Rhonda.
And ditto, I prefer the original Be True To Your School to the remake single version.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2020, 05:32:24 PM »

Awesome, can't wait to watch this!

I'm probably one of the few people who prefers Ronda to Rhonda.
And ditto, I prefer the original Be True To Your School to the remake single version.

I love them both and I think there's a lot to be learned from the contrasts between them, as I will explore further when we get around to the Summer Days version as I work through the tracks.
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 01:50:11 AM »

Personally, I think your format is great. The recreations and breakdowns thereof always make me go back to the studio recordings and I pick up things I never had before even after numerous listens, and the history and gear talk is equally is always thorough and well thought out. This episode turned me onto the Lyle Ritz jazz ukulele album, which I had no idea existed! I think youíre doing just fine.

What specifically made you go with the baritone uke rather than a tenor?
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 02:36:46 AM »

Thanks for the video!

As for Ukuleles used in recording sessions during that time, I found this picture of Elvis during the sessions for the "Blue Hawaii"-soundtrack in '61.




The ukuleles were played by Bernie Lewis and Fred Tavares (according to this post on the FECC forum), and the sessions were held at Radio Recorders. Don't know if this helps with any background info. Obviously the ukes were used for the hawaiian theme.




Awesome, can't wait to watch this!

I'm probably one of the few people who prefers Ronda to Rhonda.
And ditto, I prefer the original Be True To Your School to the remake single version.


I agree with "Be true to...". The single is a great production, sure, but it just doesn't work for me. The album version is great.
I also like the lose feel of Ronda. It's more like Buster Brown's Fannie Mae on which "Ronda" is based. But the outro ruins the song for me. The single is definitely a better realized recording.

Fun fact: Around the same time, the Rolling Stones also used the Buster Brown song for one of their new releases: The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 05:44:59 AM »



[/quote]

...I also like the lose feel of Ronda. It's more like Buster Brown's Fannie Mae on which "Ronda" is based...

[/quote]

Yes, there are elements of Fannie Mae in Ronda, but there are features of other records from Lloyd Price, The Dixie Cups and The Silhouettes, among others, in there, too.
 
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 06:53:13 AM »

Thanks for the video!

As for Ukuleles used in recording sessions during that time, I found this picture of Elvis during the sessions for the "Blue Hawaii"-soundtrack in '61.




The ukuleles were played by Bernie Lewis and Fred Tavares (according to this post on the FECC forum), and the sessions were held at Radio Recorders. Don't know if this helps with any background info. Obviously the ukes were used for the hawaiian theme.


That's great actually!  Those are little ukes - probably sopranos.  Those have the benefit of sounding unequivocally like ukuleles. 
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2020, 06:59:29 AM »

Personally, I think your format is great. The recreations and breakdowns thereof always make me go back to the studio recordings and I pick up things I never had before even after numerous listens, and the history and gear talk is equally is always thorough and well thought out. This episode turned me onto the Lyle Ritz jazz ukulele album, which I had no idea existed! I think youíre doing just fine.

What specifically made you go with the baritone uke rather than a tenor?

Thanks.

I got a baritone more or less because, A) it's easier to make a larger instrument sound smaller than vice-versa, and until I can afford the whole uke family I'm gonna stick to owning just one size uke.  And B) Seeing that Barney Kessel used a baritone sort of solidified in my mind that that would have been a good all-around choice for a studio pro.

Regardless of all that, it could very well be a tenor size playing on Ronda -- I think it's pretty much impossible to tell.  It wasn't tuned reŽntrantly like a traditional tenor, but that doesn't mean Billy didn't tune it in some sort of transposed Chicago tuning.
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2020, 10:15:24 AM »

Thanks for the video!

I agree with "Be true to...". The single is a great production, sure, but it just doesn't work for me. The album version is great.
I also like the lose feel of Ronda. It's more like Buster Brown's Fannie Mae on which "Ronda" is based. But the outro ruins the song for me. The single is definitely a better realized recording.

Fun fact: Around the same time, the Rolling Stones also used the Buster Brown song for one of their new releases: The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man

I don't have my UM CDs handy to check, but do the session tapes for Ronda exist without those false fadeouts?

It really is a pretty annoying ending to the song, I agree!
I wonder if that was a Brian idea (probably), but what made him do it?

If they exist, I'm surprised there hasn't been an official archival release of that song minus those fade outs.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2020, 10:37:11 AM »

Thanks for the video!

I agree with "Be true to...". The single is a great production, sure, but it just doesn't work for me. The album version is great.
I also like the lose feel of Ronda. It's more like Buster Brown's Fannie Mae on which "Ronda" is based. But the outro ruins the song for me. The single is definitely a better realized recording.

Fun fact: Around the same time, the Rolling Stones also used the Buster Brown song for one of their new releases: The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man


I don't have my UM CDs handy to check, but do the session tapes for Ronda exist without those false fadeouts?

It really is a pretty annoying ending to the song, I agree!
I wonder if that was a Brian idea (probably), but what made him do it?

If they exist, I'm surprised there hasn't been an official archival release of that song minus those fade outs.

The session tape master take doesn't dade out at all -- that was done at the mix.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 10:39:16 AM by aeijtzsche » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2020, 09:08:11 PM »

Another great video, thanks!

I enjoy the presentation, with the direct spoken parts, visual aids and cat, and the useful text and photos superimposed, as needed. For the track breakdowns I find it straightforward and informative to see you manipulating the tracks on the fly. It reminds me of the Brian May video where he breaks down Bohemian Rhapsody, but in this case we can see the sound files onscreen. Your style is laid-back but academic, with self-deprecation showing that you're not taking things too seriously. It's polished but not fussy.
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2020, 04:29:19 PM »

Personally, I think your format is great. The recreations and breakdowns thereof always make me go back to the studio recordings and I pick up things I never had before even after numerous listens, and the history and gear talk is equally is always thorough and well thought out. This episode turned me onto the Lyle Ritz jazz ukulele album, which I had no idea existed! I think youíre doing just fine.

What specifically made you go with the baritone uke rather than a tenor?

Thanks.

I got a baritone more or less because, A) it's easier to make a larger instrument sound smaller than vice-versa, and until I can afford the whole uke family I'm gonna stick to owning just one size uke.  And B) Seeing that Barney Kessel used a baritone sort of solidified in my mind that that would have been a good all-around choice for a studio pro.

Regardless of all that, it could very well be a tenor size playing on Ronda -- I think it's pretty much impossible to tell.  It wasn't tuned reŽntrantly like a traditional tenor, but that doesn't mean Billy didn't tune it in some sort of transposed Chicago tuning.

Having gone back and listened to the session tapes myself, Iíd contend it IS actually a tenor with reentrant tuning... at the end of the second track on UM, Billy tunes the chord to the piano and you hear the top and bottom strings playing the same root note in the same octave
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2020, 05:08:53 PM »

Personally, I think your format is great. The recreations and breakdowns thereof always make me go back to the studio recordings and I pick up things I never had before even after numerous listens, and the history and gear talk is equally is always thorough and well thought out. This episode turned me onto the Lyle Ritz jazz ukulele album, which I had no idea existed! I think youíre doing just fine.

What specifically made you go with the baritone uke rather than a tenor?

Thanks.

I got a baritone more or less because, A) it's easier to make a larger instrument sound smaller than vice-versa, and until I can afford the whole uke family I'm gonna stick to owning just one size uke.  And B) Seeing that Barney Kessel used a baritone sort of solidified in my mind that that would have been a good all-around choice for a studio pro.

Regardless of all that, it could very well be a tenor size playing on Ronda -- I think it's pretty much impossible to tell.  It wasn't tuned reŽntrantly like a traditional tenor, but that doesn't mean Billy didn't tune it in some sort of transposed Chicago tuning.

Having gone back and listened to the session tapes myself, Iíd contend it IS actually a tenor with reentrant tuning... at the end of the second track on UM, Billy tunes the chord to the piano and you hear the top and bottom strings playing the same root note in the same octave

I'll grant you that possibility.   One day when I'm not destitute I'll get some more ukes and try them out and maybe redo the track if necessary.  I still think he might have just been playing a three-note chord and revisited the top string, but I could be wrong.

In any case, the baritone will, for now, be more versatile.  It kind of reminds me of myself -- not good at anything, sort of adequate at everything!  I'll revisit the whole question when I get to Rhonda on Summer Days and compare the two tracks.
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2020, 07:17:09 PM »

I'll grant you that possibility.   One day when I'm not destitute I'll get some more ukes and try them out and maybe redo the track if necessary.  I still think he might have just been playing a three-note chord and revisited the top string, but I could be wrong.

Couldíve been... though Iíd ask you, have you ever gone to tune one of your guitars and only checked some of the strings?

Either way, weíll never know 100% for sure, haha. P.s. Iíve been watching all of these videos multiple times each... itís a perfect distraction while I remain holed up in my house for another several months here in California. Much gratitude for putting them together! Cheers
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 08:24:16 PM »

For someone who seems to be "winging" it in front of the camera (no scripted commentary), I'd say it's pretty remarkable stuff. But no one wants "slick" here anyway, they just want knowledge and perspective. And that's exactly what we are getting here.

One thing that might be worth considering, should it seem appropriate and you can work it into subsequent presentations, is to use pertinent snippers from the UM material. Unless of course someone is going to come after you for doing so. (I think it makes zero sense to mess with anyone using in process backing tracks, but the world has been known to cater to strange priorities.)

If that's possible, we might gain a little documentary insight that will complement the very fine reconstructions that you're providing for us.

Looking forward to the comps between RONDA and RHONDA. And of course, I'm sure we'd all enjoy some epistemological excursions into the "deeper" meanings of Murry's rant...  Smokin

Thanks so much, JH! Stay well and I think your kitty wants to be given an Exec Producer credit!
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2020, 08:38:16 PM »

I'll grant you that possibility.   One day when I'm not destitute I'll get some more ukes and try them out and maybe redo the track if necessary.  I still think he might have just been playing a three-note chord and revisited the top string, but I could be wrong.

Couldíve been... though Iíd ask you, have you ever gone to tune one of your guitars and only checked some of the strings?

Either way, weíll never know 100% for sure, haha. P.s. Iíve been watching all of these videos multiple times each... itís a perfect distraction while I remain holed up in my house for another several months here in California. Much gratitude for putting them together! Cheers

I once took three hours to tune an acoustic 12-string guitar.  I hate guitars.  Not possible to truly put one into perfect tune.
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