Runboard.com
You're welcome.
Community logo


runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)


Page:  1  2  3  4  5  6 

 
mtb7 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 03-2013
Posts: 725
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


Well, Bernd has a regular column in the best known German guitar magazine where he goes over all sorts of pedals and describes circuits and mods, and he certainly has a very good grasp on the technical aspects of pedals and also the Blackmore sound in terms of how the output, the final result, should look like - frequencies, etc. Now, how you get to that is an entirely different matter, and you can actually achieve it with a different balance of the factors involved - and he provides only one element, a (actually many) pedal. You would then have to look at guitar, amp, other effects, cables, etc. - and on top you would then need to have both his style and technique. I guess it's either a lifelong challenge (and it's a moving target as well, because there are differences even between 2017 and 2018...) or a dream, but it's an interesting challenge.
In my limited experience, I have found I can get relatively in the ballpark with his more aggressive and bright tones (say MKIII, early Rainbow), but the later tones, as they become smoother but still retain a certain roar, are much harder to achieve.
17/5/2018, 6:03 Link to this post Send Email to mtb7   Send PM to mtb7 Blog
 
niji Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 1116
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


The Aiwa circuit is pretty straightforward.
There is nothing special about it. It’s a tape deck built to capture a sound without adding much colour to it.
But the tape deck has been repaired and rebuilt several times so it’s possible it’s been modded. Perhaps intentionally, or unintentionally (if the new parts have slightly different spec).I think the secret is in the combination of the guitar, tape deck and amp. It’s just the right combination.

As I read the interviews where he mentions the pedal I think the sound was there, but he needed the tape deck more for psychological reasons than for a special sound. (It’s been a major part of his setup for decades even when other parts changed.)

That said I think his current sound is the least interesting of all his tones he had.
The main principle is there but something is missing. It sounds dead and a bit artificial to my ears. Blackmore always has a quite clean sound with little distortion, but it was a hard and aggressive edge to it (as well as lots of sustain)That aggressive edge is missing even if he technically uses more overdrive these days.
17/5/2018, 6:29 Link to this post Send Email to niji   Send PM to niji
 
mtb7 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 03-2013
Posts: 725
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


I see where you are coming from, but that is totally a matter of taste - I like it much better than most of his really old sound, for example MKI, or even parts of the old MKII sound, particularly in the [sign in to see URL] find them very dated. But I agree that something is missing, and the way I see it, it has probably more to do with the picking dynamics than with the gear - he seems to attack the strings much less aggressively, which reflects in the sound because it is going to pick up these nuances in playing, it's not a high-gain sound.
17/5/2018, 6:58 Link to this post Send Email to mtb7   Send PM to mtb7 Blog
 
BagShotBullets Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 09-2009
Posts: 379
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


I have 4 AKAI decks, which I've bought over a short period. Before any where changed in any way, I used to play them as they were, as standard. Each one has different characteristics in terms of the tone and the amount of drive they produce. They have line-out, headphone-out, speaker-out all of which produce different sounds from the same guitar input. The AIWA has Line-out and maybe phone, but I'm not certain! Some of the AKAI's have more drive at less gain others have less, some more distorted than others and so on. I can only assume it has a lot to do with the age and degradation of the components over time, and possibly the conditions in which they were stored, garges being perhaps damp, attics cold etc. These are all around 35 years old and all bought 2nd hand and all different.

The old oil/paper caps in them may have dried out or be drying out hence the tonal / performance changes. One deck is a favourite as it seems to have "something" the others don't.

So I'd imagine with Blackmore something similar is/has happened to his AIWA's over time. Replacing the old components with new style, while the same value of components, may change the sound a lot. Also it would be easy for Blackmore to have had a few small tweaks made to his Tape Deck to adjust the EQ and make it better match the guitar pickups he uses and the AMPs he feeds from it. I don't believe anything would ever be modified with out taking account of the whole signal chain from end to end. He plays the same, but doesn't sound the same without the AIWA that seems clear, so it is key to the signal chain.

I think the issue for all these pedals that claim to give "the Blackmore sound" is that at best they are trying to emulate an entire signal chain, which simply fails, or they are founded on a sound which doesn't actually exist anyway. Any such as the AIWA simulators, which do not have the specific mods in Blackmore's AIWA, are emulations of a standard AIWA and not Blackmore's so are effectively pointless as such.

We rarely hear the sound ONLY from Blackmore's AMP, it's always that sound fed via a PA before we get to her it. The recorded tracks we hear which are "from the sound desk" also have that additional component called a "sound-desk" between what Blackmore sounds like and what we actually hear. As I'm sure people know a lot of tweaking can happen on a sound desk, either intentionally or otherwise which can greatly effect the final sound. We see Blackmore's AMPs mic'd up but in the case of the ENGL amps he uses they have a DI, so he could very easily be blending his Mic'd and DI sound together, adding EQ at the desk etc to produce a final sound. So no single pedal will emulate all that sort of stuff to give that sound.

17/5/2018, 14:05 Link to this post Send Email to BagShotBullets   Send PM to BagShotBullets
 
kashmir rock Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 06-2006
Posts: 203
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


BagShotBullets:

That was an interesting read and I'm not disagreeing with you either. But just because the stage setup is a bit complicated does not mean that the sound chain itself has to be. With Blackmore's Night it is not surprising he would have many different amps/guitars. Even that interview points out that Blackers is rather old school, so I'm going to stick to my personal idea that he likes stuff to be simple. And by simple I mean that his setup does not use crazy amounts of effects or complicated routing of the guitar signal, etc. like for example David Gilmour's. However just because it is "simple" or purist, does not mean that it is easy to replicate. I agree that a lot of his tone comes from his fingers but there is also a pretty significant part that comes from his unique combination of gear, most of which is present throughout the years. I would say right around the time he started Rainbow is where it became truly unique and forever set him apart from everyone else, though you could tell it was something special long before then.

As for Bernd, yes, I know of the interview you are talking about. Much of Bernd's info also comes from the now defunct Dawk forums. The AIWA situation is really frustrating to me. It is not like I want to copy Blackmore's tone 1:1, but there is just something special to it and me (and pretty much everyone else) just can not stop looking for it. I bet some have been looking for it pretty much all their life.

As for the sound desk/PA stuff, one only needs to listen to the Come Hell or High Water DVD and compare the sound there to the one on Live Across Europe CD. With that being said, I have had the opportunity to get blasted by Blackmore's ENGL directly on a couple Blackmore's Night shows and I was not any less impressed emoticon

EDIT: 35 year old decks need a recap for sure. I can not imagine those caps are good anymore no matter how well those decks were stored. I would get those replaced ASAP as they might start leaking and ruin those decks forever.

Niji:

"The main principle is there but something is missing. It sounds dead and a bit artificial to my ears"
I think what's missing is Blackmore's heart being in it. I think the sound is still great, he just doesn't put the effort in to really make his guitar shine. Or maybe he can't, seems to have some bad case of arthritis.

Last edited by kashmir rock, 17/5/2018, 20:23
17/5/2018, 20:17 Link to this post Send Email to kashmir rock   Send PM to kashmir rock
 
BagShotBullets Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 09-2009
Posts: 379
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


Kashmir: Equally it doesn't mean the setup is simple either. there is simply no way to know which it is and due to the difficulties and failure of many people who have tried to emulate it I'd suggest that there is something more complex going on than is obvious. I believe the playing style is entirely in Blackmore's fingers, but not the tone. I think that is a misconception. He will always play the way he plays( his style ) however the tone/sound we hear is driven by the equipment, which perhaps enhances his playing style. His style of playing doesn't change but his tone very definitely does.

If the tone was in his fingers, then he would sound the same on any instrument, with any amp or without any amp. Clearly this is not the case so the equipment plays a very large part.

His equipment setup may well as you say be simple, it equally may well be very complex. However it's fairly evident that the simple setup that appears on the stage belies what is inside it.

We have no idea if or how his AIWA is modified and if so to what extent, perhaps there is nothing AIWA inside that box at all and it's a custom build pre-amp in an AIWA box, Blackmore has enjoyed confusing people all his life ! We have no idea if his guitar has something inside it, and I don't mean the MTC made by Dawk and even if that MTC is there, then the product sold by Dawk is not the same as the version Blackmore has, if he has it/ever had it at all. His Amps look standard, but what changed have been made inside these amp, nobody knows, are the speakers in his ENGL combo the standard issues or something else, his cabling, may well be something a bit different( I once read he used video camera cable becuase it didn't lose signal over such a long length, did he ? Who knows! ) So many unknows that make an apprently simple setup complicated.

Again many have acquired the equipment they've seen Blackmore use and yet so far nobody has got "that sound" downperectly. Many if them, epscially some of the guys Japan copy play his style, play it note for note what he plays, yet still they don't sound quite right.

So the modifications are where the secret lies and I still think the AIWA is the important ingredient. Perhaps the AIWA contains the equivalent to a VOX AC30 pre-amp inside it. Easy to build, very easy to build. This would provide a buffer between the guitar and the first amp in the chain, so there would be virtually no noise issues and lots of drive available from a clear signal. The AIWA was a transistor and not a valve based product, so perhaps somewhere in there it's been modified to have a valve pre-amp. Easily done.

As ever who knows, but interesting to experiment and speculate on what is really going on there.

BN gigs are generally better for hearing Blackmore's electric sound/tone, though even those have changed over the period too. I think they started out with much more treble/presence on the amp and now it's much mellower and smoother. I've been to many BN gigs and the electric sound has always been good.
17/5/2018, 23:29 Link to this post Send Email to BagShotBullets   Send PM to BagShotBullets
 
Desperateheart Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 09-2013
Posts: 2128
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


Some interesting points again there guys, I’m not sure about this ‘not sounding like himself’ business on the Jackie Lynton recordings a bit echo is usually a feature of his sound too, which IIRC is missing at this show. More importantly as far as I can see, a key element of his sound is no bass, only minimal treble, and most importantly not too much gain. The copyists all use too much.
18/5/2018, 12:32 Link to this post Send Email to Desperateheart   Send PM to Desperateheart Blog
 
BagShotBullets Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 09-2009
Posts: 379
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


quote:

Desperateheart wrote:

Some interesting points again there guys, I’m not sure about this ‘not sounding like himself’ business on the Jackie Lynton recordings a bit echo is usually a feature of his sound too, which IIRC is missing at this show. More importantly as far as I can see, a key element of his sound is no bass, only minimal treble, and most importantly not too much gain. The copyists all use too much.



Have a listen to the song he played with Sweet in Tribute to Paul Kossof. Blackmore is using random gear, though perhaps his own guitar, but no tape deck and he sounds quite different. Same playing style, of course, but a different sound/tone.
18/5/2018, 14:49 Link to this post Send Email to BagShotBullets   Send PM to BagShotBullets
 
Desperateheart Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 09-2013
Posts: 2128
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


i will do, thank you. there's bootlegs where his sound is very flat, Wembley 3/3/87 comes to mind, but later shows of a similar recording quality where he sounds a lot better, there's no explaining this. a lot to do with the hall one is playing in at the time I should think.
18/5/2018, 15:14 Link to this post Send Email to Desperateheart   Send PM to Desperateheart Blog
 
kashmir rock Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Purple fan
Global user

Registered: 06-2006
Posts: 203
Reply | Quote
Re: 2016-2018 Gear


quote:

BagShotBullets wrote:

Kashmir: Equally it doesn't mean the setup is simple either. there is simply no way to know which it is and due to the difficulties and failure of many people who have tried to emulate it I'd suggest that there is something more complex going on than is obvious. I believe the playing style is entirely in Blackmore's fingers, but not the tone. I think that is a misconception. He will always play the way he plays( his style ) however the tone/sound we hear is driven by the equipment, which perhaps enhances his playing style. His style of playing doesn't change but his tone very definitely does.



I'm with you on this one, it's definitely more complicated than it appears or than Blackmore would let on, but it may have been archived by simple means. Simple, as in easy to replicate, once you know exactly how. Definitely agree his equipment plays a huge role, sound doesn't come from the fingers alone, else everyone would be playing Squire Strats through line6 amps.

Being in possession of a MTC myself I can definitely say, it is not the holy grail when it comes to the tone. It does make quiet the difference tone-wise but there is definitely something missing there. Maybe it is just a small piece of the puzzle or maybe it is not part of it at all. I fear we will never know.

quote:

Desperateheart wrote:
Some interesting points again there guys, I’m not sure about this ‘not sounding like himself’ business on the Jackie Lynton recordings a bit echo is usually a feature of his sound too, which IIRC is missing at this show. More importantly as far as I can see, a key element of his sound is no bass, only minimal treble, and most importantly not too much gain. The copyists all use too much.




Yeah, those guys really like to go all out on the treble/presence and gain. What is up with that? It is almost like a common theme among Blackmore-wannabees. Blackers tone is very clean and clear but has huge amounts of sustain. It is smooth but has a very defined edge. Totally unlike anything those guys produce.
18/5/2018, 17:49 Link to this post Send Email to kashmir rock   Send PM to kashmir rock
 


Reply

Page:  1  2  3  4  5  6 





You are not logged in (login)