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Author Topic: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread  (Read 10686 times)
Surfer Joe
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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2006, 02:40:54 PM »

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In slight defense of Carol, I can easily imagine how aggravating it is when personal memories- which can be very treacherous things- are contradicted by people who were toddlers at the time, or not born yet.

Oh, absolutely.  I thought I was very gentle in prodding her memory, but she felt otherwise.  I don't blame her at all.  It is pretty ridiculous for somebody who was 15 years from being born when GOK was recorded to say "But Ray was there!"  Of course, in a sense, I was at that session, as I have access to 40 minutes of session tape from it that Carol does not.

Still, to see that session with my own eyes... Mphfff.

That's why you just give her a very wide zone of tolerance- and I'm sure you did.  Of course you're right and you know it and history will ultimately record the correct- or best- answer.  I think you and I share a kind of respect and reverence for these people who participated in greatness.  It's not at all like Gene Landy claiming to have produced "Eve Of Destruction".

I see old episodes of "The Critic" or "Futurama", done just twelve and eight years ago, and sometimes I can't recall which sequences I laid out or storyboarded.  Forty to eighty hours of time spent on drawings, and now I can't always, for sure, tell you which ones I did.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2006, 06:50:03 PM »

Ho-Rob.  Shame I wasn't around to have Ray take me under his wing.  Thanks for that info Craig.  I know Mitch Holder but didn't know the Ho-Rob connection.

You're very welcome, I'm more than happy to be able to share and discuss information like this with other people who are interested in this type of discussion.

I have a few more tidbits of info on Howard Roberts and his students, but I'll have to get more of it together. I still think these students may hold more info than you'd find perhaps anywhere else.

Case in point: Guitar players should recognize the name "Wolf Marshall". He's the king of guitar transcriptions and book/video guitar instruction, from its absolute peak in the 80's until the present day. He was one of Howard Roberts' students and friends as well, and is one of the foremost experts on guitar history and playing techniques of famous players and famous recordings...

Well, anyway...Wolf Marshall has Howard Roberts' famous black guitar, the over-customized guitar Ho-Rob played most often in the studio, and the one heard on hundreds of recordings. I have a photo of him with the guitar - and I'm sure, like Mitch Holder, he might have a story or two to tell and perhaps a photo or two to share. Wink One thing he can do is tell exactly how to nail Ho-Rob's ultimate, unreal  jazz tone from his "...Dirty Guitar Player" album.

(PS I also saw the whereabouts of Al Casey's guitar, or what someone claimed was Casey's guitar which he used on some famous dates...but that's for another thread.)
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2006, 06:56:21 PM »

Craig, does that thingy to Ray's left kind of low next to the chair look like a mic to you?

And more importantly, what was with the all the bad 80's hair on the covers of some of my Wolf Marshall transcription magazines?
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2006, 08:20:06 PM »

Craig, does that thingy to Ray's left kind of low next to the chair look like a mic to you?

And more importantly, what was with the all the bad 80's hair on the covers of some of my Wolf Marshall transcription magazines?

It does look like a mic to me - I think I've seen that model before, but damned if I know what it's called. I think it may be an Altec of some kind - I'm sure Stephen would know if you point him this way!

It's curious that there seems to be an empty guitar chair, stand, and chair-doubling-as-amp-stand right where that mic would be. Whose seat was that I wonder?

And about Wolf Marshall and the 80's - I thought he was pure metal for the longest time, from his books and magazine appearances. That was what sold as an image I guess, so I'm sure it was no accident. So it was quite a surprise to find out the "rest of the story" about him, and how he was more of a jazz player who had studied with the greats like Roberts (and Kessel, too, I believe) and who used his amazing ear for music to make a very comfortable living!

You have to check out some of his writings on getting the classic tones on guitar - he's the source of how I knew Lennon used flatwounds on his acoustic to get all those unique acoustic tones on his White Album era tracks like "Across The Universe"...not that I'd borrow that same technique or anything... Wink
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
Jeff Mason
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2006, 08:37:20 PM »

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She didn't play guitar on any of the earlier stuff?

Not for the Beach Boys.  Yes for Brian, the Honeys, etc... but I'm pretty sure her entry into the Beach Boys catalog was with GtmB.

Carol claimed in the PS Sessions book that it was guitar on Fun Fun Fun, and that is one claim I never saw a reason to doubt.  (her playing SUSA as she claimed later?  No).  You have a specific reason for doubting that one, Josh?
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2006, 06:24:08 AM »

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You have a specific reason for doubting that one, Josh?

She's not on the contract.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2006, 08:57:36 AM »

http://www.coutant.org/bk5a.html

I think that's our mystery mic.  What do you think?
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2006, 09:39:02 AM »

http://www.coutant.org/bk5a.html

I think that's our mystery mic.  What do you think?

Good work! That sure looks like the same one, especially looking at the stand/mount. The session photo is a little blurry as you enlarge it, but I'd say that's the same mic. I wonder if that was placed there to capture some room sound, or whether that was meant for the empty chair/position to Ray's left? What's odd to me is how they have the guitar amps pointed directly at the metal music stands, and assuming they're mic'ed up directly in front...considering how many people cover metal music stands with towels or some type of material when recording vocals, for example, to avoid reflections it seems a little strange to have the speakers projecting right at those metal stands. But the results speak for themselves.

Now let's try to buy one of those RCA BK-5B's, shall we? Wink
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« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2006, 09:50:30 AM »

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I wonder if that was placed there to capture some room sound, or whether that was meant for the empty chair/position to Ray's left? What's odd to me is how they have the guitar amps pointed directly at the metal music stands, and assuming they're mic'ed up directly in front...considering how many people cover metal music stands with towels or some type of material when recording vocals, for example, to avoid reflections it seems a little strange to have the speakers projecting right at those metal stands. But the results speak for themselves.

To my perception, it seems like up until a certain point the recording culture was completely different than what it is now...duh, right?  But beyond the obvious things, I think there are certain things that were the "professional" standard in the 60s that would be looked at as amateurish, lo-fi, or "ghetto" by all but the poorest members of the audio recording community.

I mean, putting Amps on chairs so the player could monitor themselves seems like something I would do for my High School band rehearsals, not something a world-class recording studio would do.

But before headphones, it worked.  I've also seen amps sitting on pianos and organs behind the players at head height.

There doesn't seem to be the "prissy" attention to things like picking up reflections from music stands.  I think numerous people have commented on the extremely "casual" placement of mics at Brian's sessions, and I'm sure he wasn't alone.

I don't know, I'm just musing, I might be totally wrong.  I'm still trying to figure out how to describe things that maybe can't be described.

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Now let's try to buy one of those RCA BK-5B's, shall we? Wink

Let me take care of my 666 first... Huh
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2006, 10:09:24 AM »

I appreciate what you're saying and agree, sure, but part of me also says that the negative impact of sticking any mic between an amp like a Fender Bassman or a Vibroverb (amps which are still used and remain virtually unchanged, electronics-wise, almost 50 years later) and a metal music stand would be the same in 1965 as it would be in 2006. If you hit certain notes though that amp, you'd still get some unwanted reflections and all of that hitting the mic and affecting the sound, besides the possible rattle from the music stand.

But as I said, and you hinted at, you can't argue with the results. Then, it seemed to be more of a human process, both from the musician and the engineering staff. That one Sloop track just kills me, where Brian says something about the flutes, and the solution is how and where the musician(s) were standing in relation to the microphone rather than an electronics fix. Likewise, those accordians resonating on Wouldn't It Be Nice - that's purely organic, and you couldn't duplicate enough of the actual process working in harmony in that exact room under those exact conditions to capture the same effect.

So having those three guitarists sitting in a row like that - it goes to my concept of using guitars like a horn section, where the "first chair" of that guitar section would set the pace and the volume for his players, and they'd all blend in. And they were better able to blend in on their own to acheive that level of ensemble playing, leaving the engineer with not much more to do than put up a mic in the best place to capture that ensemble sound, like a horn section.  It's probably a hangover of the big-band scene all those folks came from, and just a different mindset of recording multiple guitar parts as a section rather than as pieces.

I'd be curious in todays modern recording - if you had two flute players playing a unison line, and something wasn't right, would the immediate instinct of the engineer be to reach for some type of electronic/digital soultion with the equipment, or try to reposition either the microphone or the musicians?

There may be part of the answer, I don't know.

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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2006, 10:23:02 AM »

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I'd be curious in todays modern recording - if you had two flute players playing a unison line, and something wasn't right, would the immediate instinct of the engineer be to reach for some type of electronic/digital soultion with the equipment, or try to reposition either the microphone or the musicians?


I don't think two musicians play at the same time anymore.  They'd just have the one flautist double the line, right?   Wink Huh Cry
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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2006, 10:25:37 AM »

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but part of me also says that the negative impact of sticking any mic between an amp like a Fender Bassman or a Vibroverb (amps which are still used and remain virtually unchanged, electronics-wise, almost 50 years later) and a metal music stand would be the same in 1965 as it would be in 2006.

So yeah, what we're both probably getting at is, why didn't the engineer care about that possibility, since the photographic evidence clearly shows, at least in this case, it wasn't a concern.

Craig, do you know if Howard was using Fender amps like most people for his 60s sessions, or was he using the Bensons he used for his solo jazz stuff?
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