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Thread: Rick Suchow talks about Phil Lesh's fretless bass

  1. #21
    Read Blair Jackson's book about Grateful Dead gear through their career. A great piece of detailed investigation and writing.


    But until then, we had no monitors and only vocals went out through your Shure Vocalmaster or, earlier, a 50 watt Bogan PA amp someone stole from your high school.

  2. #22
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuska View Post
    Hello

    I wish you would clarify "The modern FOH concept"
    As far I know - the most famous Grateful Dead sound system was nothing like the PA we know - it was more like a monstrous backline - with each player having kilowatts of personal power + huge vocal-array in the middle - I have that in a book - try to find it in internet - here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_o...Grateful_Dead) - as it is written - there was no FOH mixing but rather band members controlling the balance - very interesting - and very impressive.
    It might have been their most famous but it only lasted a year because it was just too cumbersome for touring.
    And note the mention of Owsley Stanly being the inspiration for the concept, he was no slouch as a sound/recording engineer, having come up with a dual mono recording concept that's evident on Big Brother and the Holding Company's Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968:
    "Limited by the technology of 1968, Stanley admirably worked to perfect the sound produced by Big Brother during the performance. Unusual by today's standards, drums and vocals are transmitted on the left channel and lead guitar and bass on the right. The distinctive results are a raw sound depicting each instrument as a different individual entity.[6] Stage monitors had yet to be developed, so the musicians had to listen to the echo effect in the ballroom, the P.A., and amplifier sound to cue pitch. An occasional missed note, especially in the vocal harmonies, was the result. Still, the miscues don't hinder the production of an overall classic performance by the Holding Company.[3] Despite its imperfections, this style of recording features a distinct uncut sound that captures the true live experience of the performance. Stanley also insisted that no applause be dubbed into the recording.[7]"
    What's left out there is Owsley's intentional creation of a "true live center channel" created by the overlap sound field of properly positioned speakers.
    I'm here to tell you it works.

    As for the Dead, my understanding of the lore is that it was Dan Healy who was largely responsible for their "Front of House" mixing; when I saw 'em in '78 I think it was, his mixing console was actually in the center of the room, and the story was that he spent a long time at every gig positioning PA speakers (they were all over the room) for best sound and minimal phase interference.
    But my Dead history knowledge isn't as good as my Airplane knowledge and even that's beginning to get corrupted by age, so I'm open to corrections if I'm misunderstanding something.
    Last edited by adorshki; 06-10-2019 at 04:34 PM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  3. #23
    I know a cat whos band opened for the plane and he said the stage crew were very fussy about making sure everyone knew not to use the plane amps and dont step on this or that. I guess they had things precisely setup. Ill have to ask him if they ever opened for the Dead

  4. #24
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    I know a cat whos band opened for the plane and he said the stage crew were very fussy about making sure everyone knew not to use the plane amps and dont step on this or that. I guess they had things precisely setup. Ill have to ask him if they ever opened for the Dead
    I suspect the crew attitude would have been dependant on the era.
    I seem to recall at least one story of the crew being very susceptible to "coke bribery" during the late '70's and therefore less than conscientious in their care and protection of the equipment.
    Oh, in fact I think it was Owsley describing the atmosphere when he tried to rejoin after his prison stint.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

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