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Author Topic: Did Brian ever use a Mellotron?  (Read 19059 times)
John
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2008, 11:16:58 AM »

Could At My Window feature a Mellotron, on the flute setting? The flutes at the beginning still sound a little keyboardy to me.
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« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2008, 11:44:36 AM »

This topic has been discussed before, and most believe that any "mellotron-like" sounds you hear on BB recordings are most likely the Chamberlin or something else entirely.  The flutes on "At My Window" have been verified as being real flutes.  The intro to "All I Wanna Do" is a Fender Rhodes with Moog treatments.  "Country Air", "Add Some Music To Your Day", and possibly "Forever" probably use Chamberlin (in addition to real strings in some cases).  I am simply in awe of how talented and creative Desper and the Beach Boys were during this period ... to be able to get those unique sounds ... sounds that have never been replicated.  this will keep us guessing for decades. 

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TdHabib
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« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2008, 12:17:13 PM »

The intro to "All I Wanna Do" is a Fender Rhodes with Moog treatments. 
The entire sound of that record is incredible--one of the best uses of keyboards ever and one of the best productions of the era period. If Desper's reading this, that's a job truly well done.
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« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2008, 12:31:59 PM »

This might sound like a stupid question, but wasn't the Chamberlin company somehow involved with the Mellotron? I might be mistaken, but I thought the Chamerlin was the US version of the Mellotron.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2008, 01:18:07 PM »

Could At My Window feature a Mellotron, on the flute setting? The flutes at the beginning still sound a little keyboardy to me.

May I remind you that Steve Desper, who engineered Sunflower, has stated categorically in this thread that the band never, to his knowledge, used a Mellotron. The simplest answer, in the light of this evidence, is that the advert is wrong.
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newsrover222
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« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2008, 01:23:02 PM »

Did anyone ever notice that the distortion so often mentioned in Country Air is exactly the same as in Sagitarius's  Musty Dusty ? Both the same rented Chamberlin machine I'M SURE.
I think.......  
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 01:24:09 PM by newsrover222 » Logged
DonnyL
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« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2008, 01:46:25 PM »

Harry Chamberlin invented the tape sampler instrument.  He produced and marketed several versions (in very limited quantities) ... one of his employees took the concept to England in the mid-60s, looking for a distribution deal.  The salesman ended up essentially "stealing" the idea and producing the Mellotron with an small independent British company.  They eventually had to pay Chamberlin for use of his patent.  The Mellotron is basically a rip-off of the Chamberlin, in fact using the same taped samples in some early versions.  In my opinion, the Chamberlin is a superior instrument in construction and sound.
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roll plymouth rock
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« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2008, 02:17:21 PM »

Did anyone ever notice that the distortion so often mentioned in Country Air is exactly the same as in Sagitarius's  Musty Dusty ? Both the same rented Chamberlin machine I'M SURE.
I think....... 

Now that you point that out, very interesting! I love LA's sunshine pop strands...Musty Dusty was co-written by Tandyn Almer (of Along Comes Mary and Sail On Sailor co-write fame), a portion of Musty Dusty is also played backwards at the end of The Millennium's record (in Karmic Dream Sequence #1 I do believe)
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humanoidboogie
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2013, 12:48:59 AM »

What about those strings on "Winter Symphony"? That's definitely a Chamberlin, Mellotron, Optigan organ or something...
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2013, 01:16:40 AM »

Also, there is obviously a Mellotron or a Chamberlin on "Country Air". This is clearly heard in the stereo mix of the song. Plus, someone is playing a few stray notes on it at the start of the take so you can hear it in isolation. If that isn't a tape-based keyboard instrument, I'll eat this entire forum. Without salt.
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chris.metcalfe
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2013, 01:51:18 AM »

Blimey - my 6-year old thread resurrected.
Can I go back to 2007 please?  Cheesy
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« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2013, 02:33:27 AM »

Blimey - my 6-year old thread resurrected.
Can I go back to 2007 please?  Cheesy

Hope you don't mind me bumping your thread, but this is such an important topic.  Grin
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puni puni
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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2013, 06:17:48 PM »

In the documentary 'Mellodrama', BW appears for about five minutes. He doesn't mention that it was a Chamberlin, and says that he never recorded a Mellotron's strings alone, only to embellish real strings. He then plays an out-of-key version of California Girls on it (I can only guess his voice was in tune and the knobs on the unit were accidentally transposed) and quips that he hadn't played it in 35 years (seemed to have been filmed 2006/2007) and that it had brought him back a load of memories.

The doc also says that a "Mellotron/Chamberlin" was used on Add Some Music To Your Day and Country Air.
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« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2013, 07:12:40 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCabuis6t2w

1:36
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Pablo.
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« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2013, 08:59:36 PM »

What about those strings on "Winter Symphony"? That's definitely a Chamberlin, Mellotron, Optigan organ or something...
An ARP String Ensemble, IIRC
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Amazing Larry
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« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2013, 03:55:37 AM »

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,15495.0.html
This thread should answer some questions.
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humanoidboogie
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« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2013, 04:19:22 AM »

What about those strings on "Winter Symphony"? That's definitely a Chamberlin, Mellotron, Optigan organ or something...
An ARP String Ensemble, IIRC

You're probably right. I just thought it sounded a bit too "wobbly" for an ARP/Solina, but it would fit in with the equipment used during 15BO/Love You era.
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humanoidboogie
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« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2013, 04:20:04 AM »

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,15495.0.html
This thread should answer some questions.


Ah, thanks a lot for the link. Strange how I could miss that one...
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leggo of my ego
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« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2013, 12:04:42 PM »

Harry Chamberlin's samples were considered superior to anything Streetly Electronics (Mellotron) ever did on their own

There is no downside to the BB's having used the Chamberlin as opposed to it's rather shoddy "cousin".
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« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2013, 04:40:26 PM »

Some potentially new info:

I've corresponded with a fellow who recorded at Brother Studio circa '76, who mentioned there was a Mellotron there that was owned by Brian and not allowed to be touched. Of course, could be the Chamberlin ... he couldn't remember specifically.

A lot of sounds could be attributed to many other keyboards as well, as the group used just about every keyboard available at the time. In the home studio, they had a Baldwin Electric Haprischord, Chamberlin, RMI Rock-si-Chord, Fender Rhodes Celeste, Brian's Baldwin organ, and a Hammond as well.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 04:48:36 PM by DonnyL » Logged

monicker
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« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2013, 07:02:35 PM »

Fender Rhodes Celeste

Is that what Bruce plays on This Whole World?

Also, where is the Hammond heard in the home studio years?

Is the harpsichord on Time To Get Alone the electric one or is that an acoustic? It has such an odd sound to it. Even the way in which it's played sounds odd.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2013, 07:22:40 PM »

Is that what Bruce plays on This Whole World?

No, I don't think so. Sounds like a real celeste or glockenspiel to me. The Fender Rhodes Celeste is shown in the 'Time to Get Alone' sessions footage on American Band (Bruce is in fact playing it!). It's basically just a Fender Rhodes without the full range (I think 49 keys) ... they just called it 'Celeste' for some reason. I suspect it's the Rhodes used on 'The Nearest Faraway Place'. Denny is playing a full 73-key Rhodes in the 'Don't Go Near the Water' clip, but this may have been a prop for the clip.

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/silvertop/pianoceleste-front.jpg

Also, where is the Hammond heard in the home studio years?

I might be making an assumption here, or thinking of the later home studio recordings ... could be the Baldwin through a Leslie, but I feel like we don't hear the Baldwin much after '69-ish. They also had a Clavinet by '69.

Is the harpsichord on Time To Get Alone the electric one or is that an acoustic? It has such an odd sound to it. Even the way in which it's played sounds odd.

I think it's an acoustic harpsichord, maybe two. The Baldwin really sounds kind of more 'electric guitar'-like. I don't really know for sure that they recorded with the Baldwin, as I can't think of any examples, but I know they had one that they took on tour in late '67 or '68.
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Amazing Larry
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« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2013, 07:41:03 PM »

Is that what Bruce plays on This Whole World?

No, I don't think so. Sounds like a real celeste or glockenspiel to me. The Fender Rhodes Celeste is shown in the 'Time to Get Alone' sessions footage on American Band (Bruce is in fact playing it!). It's basically just a Fender Rhodes without the full range (I think 49 keys) ... they just called it 'Celeste' for some reason. I suspect it's the Rhodes used on 'The Nearest Faraway Place'. Denny is playing a full 73-key Rhodes in the 'Don't Go Near the Water' clip, but this may have been a prop for the clip.

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/silvertop/pianoceleste-front.jpg

Also, where is the Hammond heard in the home studio years?

I might be making an assumption here, or thinking of the later home studio recordings ... could be the Baldwin through a Leslie, but I feel like we don't hear the Baldwin much after '69-ish. They also had a Clavinet by '69.

Is the harpsichord on Time To Get Alone the electric one or is that an acoustic? It has such an odd sound to it. Even the way in which it's played sounds odd.

I think it's an acoustic harpsichord, maybe two. The Baldwin really sounds kind of more 'electric guitar'-like. I don't really know for sure that they recorded with the Baldwin, as I can't think of any examples, but I know they had one that they took on tour in late '67 or '68.
They were already using the Clavinet on Friends.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2013, 07:46:05 PM »

Is that what Bruce plays on This Whole World?

No, I don't think so. Sounds like a real celeste or glockenspiel to me. The Fender Rhodes Celeste is shown in the 'Time to Get Alone' sessions footage on American Band (Bruce is in fact playing it!). It's basically just a Fender Rhodes without the full range (I think 49 keys) ... they just called it 'Celeste' for some reason. I suspect it's the Rhodes used on 'The Nearest Faraway Place'. Denny is playing a full 73-key Rhodes in the 'Don't Go Near the Water' clip, but this may have been a prop for the clip.

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/silvertop/pianoceleste-front.jpg

Also, where is the Hammond heard in the home studio years?

I might be making an assumption here, or thinking of the later home studio recordings ... could be the Baldwin through a Leslie, but I feel like we don't hear the Baldwin much after '69-ish. They also had a Clavinet by '69.

Is the harpsichord on Time To Get Alone the electric one or is that an acoustic? It has such an odd sound to it. Even the way in which it's played sounds odd.

I think it's an acoustic harpsichord, maybe two. The Baldwin really sounds kind of more 'electric guitar'-like. I don't really know for sure that they recorded with the Baldwin, as I can't think of any examples, but I know they had one that they took on tour in late '67 or '68.
They were already using the Clavinet on Friends.

I don't believe so -- I think you're referring to the Rocksichord.
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Amazing Larry
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« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2013, 07:49:11 PM »

Is that what Bruce plays on This Whole World?

No, I don't think so. Sounds like a real celeste or glockenspiel to me. The Fender Rhodes Celeste is shown in the 'Time to Get Alone' sessions footage on American Band (Bruce is in fact playing it!). It's basically just a Fender Rhodes without the full range (I think 49 keys) ... they just called it 'Celeste' for some reason. I suspect it's the Rhodes used on 'The Nearest Faraway Place'. Denny is playing a full 73-key Rhodes in the 'Don't Go Near the Water' clip, but this may have been a prop for the clip.

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/silvertop/pianoceleste-front.jpg

Also, where is the Hammond heard in the home studio years?

I might be making an assumption here, or thinking of the later home studio recordings ... could be the Baldwin through a Leslie, but I feel like we don't hear the Baldwin much after '69-ish. They also had a Clavinet by '69.

Is the harpsichord on Time To Get Alone the electric one or is that an acoustic? It has such an odd sound to it. Even the way in which it's played sounds odd.

I think it's an acoustic harpsichord, maybe two. The Baldwin really sounds kind of more 'electric guitar'-like. I don't really know for sure that they recorded with the Baldwin, as I can't think of any examples, but I know they had one that they took on tour in late '67 or '68.
They were already using the Clavinet on Friends.

I don't believe so -- I think you're referring to the Rocksichord.
I'm pretty sure it's a clavinet. It's got a different tone than the Roxi stuff on the rest of the album. It's only on the song Friends and It's much more audible on the SOT stuff.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 07:51:10 PM by Discipline Daddy » Logged

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