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Stefan72 Profile
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Re: 2016-2018 Gear


Very very interesting information. Thank you.

I think he stopped using the GK-1 around the year 2000, 2001.
8/5/2018, 4:30 Link to this post Send Email to Stefan72   Send PM to Stefan72 Blog
 
mtb7 Profile
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Re: 2016-2018 Gear


What interests me is the interplay of the tape deck with the rest, and what the use is for the pedal he steps on from time to time on the drum riser.

Let me explain (BSB, shout out if you don't agree, you know quite a bit about tape decks): a preamp such as the AIWA introduces a lot of extra volume, and has probably only a very narrow sweet spot - under that sweet spot it sounds rubbish, above it destroys everything next in the chain. We're talking about a few millimeters on the dial - of course he could have modded that to have a bit more useable range, but it only works to a certain extent.
Now, if you get the tape deck into that sweet spot, the volume is drastically higher than when you don't have it engaged, it's quite a leap.
Because of this, I would tend to consider it an always-on thing, it creates quite a big unbalance if you turn it on and off depending on the moment, which would create issues mixing their sound. Now, he does step from time to time on that pedal, so I wonder what that may be, and all the ideas that were floated could be correct. Let me add one more, though: in the MIR video, you can clearly see him step on it just before the start of HS, right after the intro, which makes me wonder whether it has something to do with achieving a tone more suitable for slide playing.
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Desperateheart Profile
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Re: 2016-2018 Gear



Interesting theory but if you look at loreley footage, he clearly engages the footswitch (at second attempt!) before the middle solo, which on this occasion contained no slide guitar
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mtb7 Profile
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Re: 2016-2018 Gear


Yeah, not sure what that is (not even sure it's only one switch there), just trying to figure it out. One would need to go over the entire video and try to figure out when it changes.
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RatBatBlu Profile
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Re:


I was told (by a former tech of his) that the switch on the drum riser is an on/off button for the Aiwa.
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mtb7 Profile
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Re: 2016-2018 Gear


[sign in to see URL] would be curious if it was that indeed - because he has no huge tone or volume changes between parts with/without (which would happen to me big time if I went from having the amp only, and engaging a tape deck in-between), which would mean he has something else able to get him quite close to the tape deck without engaging it, which is something I am completely in the dark about, because he's never been associated with overdrive pedals, etc.
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BagShotBullets Profile
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Re: 2016-2018 Gear


MTB: heres what of tape decks I can say and mostly I've used original and modified AKAI 1721L decks as pre amps to derive my experience of them. They all share similar characteristics and can be made to work this way assuming they have a line-out or external output to reach your amp. The AKAI cant be used for echo, as they don't have a third head! Blackmore used the Yamaha rack mount for delays/reverbs for years now and probably still today. He does seem to have a "slap back reverb" thing going on most of the time. Equally he may have had some mods made to his in amp reverb. If you get the sweet spot on the amp/internal reverb the valves can really sing and add more sustain to the sound. As ever with Blackmore he's clever at blending things together to get a sound, as he also does with his Synth setup.

Bare in mind that the GK2 on his guitar is actually nothing more than another pickup(well 6 pickups actually one per string!) but it can be used to drive either the synth, or just as a normal pickup. In syth mode once the pitch-to-midi conversion happens in the synth module he can drive any midi sound module. As a normal pickup it has a thin sound alone, but it can be used to drive other pedals, as it can generate just a normal guitar signal. This means Blackmore has potentially 2 Bridge pickups with which he can blend different tones. This can be routed to a different amp setup and then blended with his normal guitar sound. Again tried it with my GR50 Guitar synth( quartal Brass is the GR50 patch he uses with tweak's!) and also just as another pickup driving a BOSS OC2 to another amp this gives a very Blackmore Octave unit sound.

Blackmore the Master Sound Blender!

Tape Decks
First start at the beginning. The Tape Deck is designed to simply reproduce what it hears via it's input. It should not colour the sound, just faithfully reproduce it as its a recording device!. So when you play guitar through the deck it gives a clear sound, very precise, well defined, with an edge to it.

The inputs are not intended for a guitar, so the impedances don't match. They are intended for either a MIC or PHONO. SO while it's a nice clean sound it has an edge to it. As you increase the input gain that edge becomes dirtier and once you've pushed it too far the Bass frequencies become quite muffled( on some live recordings of Blackmore you can hear that he has pushed it just a notch to far and his Bass notes go muddy too. At this point the amount of sustain is significant.

The amp is set to a clean/Crunch setting in the case of Blackmore's ENGL Sovereign 50 he has the Clean/Crunch switch in and so there is a yellow light on the panel. This setting gives potential for some drive but not full out distortion. Again on his amp he has separate and linked gain for Clean and Crunch and Lead, so the potential control is good. If the amp gain is too high then the sound becomes very muddy, so it's a balance between the gain on the deck and the gain on the amp to get the "sweet spot right". Blackmore will of course have this down to a fine art I'd guess by now!

So what might he be switching in or out:-

Tape Deck - not sure about the AIWA, but the AKIA has a switch to select either MIC or PHONO input. The MIC gives a clearer more balanced sound, the PHONO gives huge sustain, like virtually endless, but causes a small volume jump and the input gain needs reduced to avoid muddy sound. Its easy to modify these decks which have 2 inputs( for stereo recordings!) and 2 gain controls so that you link the inputs and make this switchable in MIC or PHONO mode, thus getting use of both sides of the pre-amp and hence simply set one as normal level and one as a small boost, again the balance is quite fine between each to avoid the muddy bass. Equally it's possible to modify these to make the switch between MIC/PHONO so that you get a huge sustain boost with a volume boost! Again on the AKAI this provides virtually unlimited sustain in PHONO position. Blackmore enjoys pretty decent sustain and drive without vast distortion or fuzz.

AMPS:-
He could be switching between amps, or bringing in another amp in the chain. He could be bypassing the AIWA and going straight to the amps. He could be switching from Clean/CRUNCH to just clean. It could be the AIWA isn't being used at all and is now just for decoration, though I've seen BN shows where he physically adjusts the AIWA during a solo ( youtube Russian clip of 16th Century Greensleeves from a while back he clearly does it!)

overall I think the tape deck is integral to his quite unique sound. without it he doesn't sound quite himself. The obvious problem for anyone guessing his sound is there is absolutely no way to tell if he has modified that AIWA and if so how and what's been done to it? The guy Bernd at BSM claims his pedal version of the AIWA gives the "Blackmore sound", but his pedal is the standard circuit from the internet build into a very expensive pedal. He hasn't had access to Blackmore's AIWA so doesn't know what mods were made to it, so basically his pedal is just a guess at it, as usual !

From my own tests with the AKIA desks and I've got 4 of them, some standard, some with switch modifications, I also have the ENGL Sovereign 50W amp as well, and its very clear that the decks do make a huge difference along the way to that sound. However the ENGL Sovereign 50W alone just straight in the front provides an amazing sound just by it's self. The bigger ENGL Sovereign 100W 2x12, as often seen hiding just off stage at many BN gigs( see Italian YouTube clips, it' there hiding just behind the drapes, just out the main lights at the back but can be seen sometimes in the light!) and as was used in the SIUA gigs is probably the closest to the Blackmore sound direct in the front of an amp, absolutely magic sound, unlimited sustain and the driven clean tone Blackmore uses.

All these solutions lack his rather odd EQ which is very apparent in the more recent shows. The very smooth bass tone. So I'd guess the AIWA EQ has been adjusted or there is more rack stuff hiding just off stage somewhere in there!
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Stratman70 Profile
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Re:


This really should be forever a sticky topic.
Most interesting!
BSB can you post some samples of your sound with the Akai tapedeck?
What puzzles me is that his 'tapedeck-era' has so many different sounds.
I divide them in three parts:
- 1974-1979 vintage sound
- 1980-1990 strong overdriven sound
- 1993-now modern sound
I like his sound he has from 1993 until now best. But it seems the most difficult to reproduce. On YT there are some clips of (Japanese) folks who really nail the Rising sound. But I haven't heard anyone sounding like he did on the CHOHW-, SIUA tour or his last Rainbow shows.
It must have something to do with the Roland pickup I guess.

I'm still curious about the grey pedal on his Engl amp. What can it be?

As I said, this really should be a sticky topic.
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mtb7 Profile
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Purple fan
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Re:


The grey pedal could very well still be a Boss EQ, I rememeber a pic in the past (BN) where he had a Boss GE7 sitting on top of an Engl. Now, the GE7 is kind of light brown, with the bass equivalent being grey (GEB7), but I guess it could be a question of stage lights.

Alternatively, the pedal version of the Decimator noise reduction is grey...

Last edited by mtb7, 8/5/2018, 19:16
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niji Profile
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Re: Re:


quote:

Stratman70 wrote:

This really should be forever a sticky topic.
Most interesting!
BSB can you post some samples of your sound with the Akai tapedeck?
What puzzles me is that his 'tapedeck-era' has so many different sounds.
I divide them in three parts:
- 1974-1979 vintage sound
- 1980-1990 strong overdriven sound
- 1993-now modern sound
I like his sound he has from 1993 until now best. But it seems the most difficult to reproduce. On YT there are some clips of (Japanese) folks who really nail the Rising sound. But I haven't heard anyone sounding like he did on the CHOHW-, SIUA tour or his last Rainbow shows.
It must have something to do with the Roland pickup I guess.

I'm still curious about the grey pedal on his Engl amp. What can it be?

As I said, this really should be a sticky topic.



Well, the tape deck is the only consistent factor during all these years.
Blackmore tried a lot of different pickups and changed guitars a lot during the 70s/80s. There were also other experiments with other gear.. In the 90s it seems like he was happy with the Lace Sensor pickups and his main guitars. Then he switched from Marshall to Engl amps. He also gradually started to use the guitar synth more and more.
However, the Aiwa has been repaired and rebuilt several times during all these years so I really wonder how much of it is stock?

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