Spirit in the Sky Fuzz

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by krisharmony, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. krisharmony

    krisharmony Member

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    So what pedal does this? I know some of you hate these threads but I don't care cause I think this sound is awesome. I listened to a lot of Sun Face clips and I didn't think any got close to it. Here's a reminder...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ET8zhjeYMs&feature=related

    Love that sound.
     
  2. Philly Fuzz

    Philly Fuzz Supporting Member

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    Well, I don't know what Greenbaum originally used for that recording, but i'm pretty confident that the Analog Man Peppermint Fuzz could get you pretty darn close.

    Great pedal, I still kick myself for selling it (needed money). I will definitely get another one when finances allow.
     
  3. krisharmony

    krisharmony Member

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    Did you get that kindof sputtering sound with it?

    I think NG used a homemade fuzz of some sort.
     
  4. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    I don't think that Norman played the part...I think it was a session guy with a Les Paul and some fuzz-
     
  5. Philly Fuzz

    Philly Fuzz Supporting Member

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    Definitely gets the sputtering sound! The bias knob actually allows you to smooth out (to an extent) or increase the sputtering. It can get real raw, blown speaker sounding.

    Maybe some others will second this or have other opinions, but I really think you'll like the Peppermint Fuzz if you like that Spirit in the Sky sound even if it doesn't exactly nail it....
     
  6. socal63

    socal63 Member

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    Norman plays the main re-occuring riff throughout the song (i think he had a nickname back in the late 60's of "the fuzz king"), his lead guitarist (at the time) does the soloing on the song along with the les paul toggle on/off lick. norman had a friend of his install a fuzz circuit into his telecaster, hes made mention that he thought this person might have built it himself. if you look at the video on youtube closely you can see some knobs on his teles pickguard near the lower horn. theres a fair chance the fuzz is actually a slightly modified jordan bosstone.

    the reason there is so much speculation and not to many facts is that norman didnt know what actually was put in his tele, the tele was stolen during touring in support of the song/album after its recording, and i believe norman either lost track of his friend over the years or hes deceased.

    its one of my 3 favorite guitar tones every recorded. :hiP
     
  7. woof*

    woof* Member

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    from wiki:
    Greenbaum recorded his first solo album with Jacobsen for Reprise Records. The song's arrangement came together in the studio in San Francisco where lead guitarist Russell DaShiell, bass player, Doug Killmer and drummer Norman Mayall worked with Greenbaum. According to one source[3] , Greenbaum himself used a Fender Telecaster with a fuzz box built into the body to generate the song's characteristic guitar sound. However, elsewhere guitarist Russell DaShiell[4] explained how the tone was created:
    "I actually played the lead guitar parts on Spirit, using a 61-62 SG Les Paul, a 68 Marshall Plexi 100w half stack and a home-made overdrive box in front of the Marshall. Regarding the 'beep beeps' as I call them, when the producer asked me to play some fills in between the verses, as a joke I said how about something spacey like this and I did the pickup switch/string bending thing. I saw him stand up in the control booth and he said "that's it! let's record that!" so we did. (There was no slide involved, just my fingers, and I used the bridge humbucker and the pickup switch). The fuzz part is Norman with a built-in overdrive circuit built into his Tele pickguard."
    "I've been asked a lot over the years how I did the 'beep beep' guitar parts on Spirit, so for any guitar players out there who would like to learn how, try the following: Using a 2-pickup Gibson, set the neck pickup volume to zero, bridge pickup volume to max, with the pickup switch in the middle position (with Gibson wiring this gives you silence in the middle position). Do a string bend, picking the B & E strings together with one hit, just ahead of the beat, then use the pickup switch to kick in the bridge pickup in triplets (6 per bar) as you let the B string bend down two frets."
    "I mainly used two positions on Spirit, which is in the key of A. For the low position, fret a stationary C note (8th fret) on the E string while bending the B string up to an A note for your starting-position, then pick the two strings together once while the guitar is silent and work the pickup switch as you let the A note bend downwards to a G. For the high position, do the same thing at the 15th fret holding a stationary high G note on the E string while bending down from E to D on the B string."
    "I must give credit to Jimi Hendrix as my inspiration for this technique (as well as for the double-string riffs I did at the beginning of the Spirit solo tail section). I saw him perform live in a small club in Madison, Wisconsin and loved the way he used his Strat pickup switch to create staccato feedback on songs like Voodoo Child. The difference is, on a Gibson you can start from silence and create the on/off effect, which worked well with the downward string bending thing I did on Spirit."[5]

    so who knows?
     
  8. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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    Monsterpiece Angry Dick 2000
     
  9. CryBaby

    CryBaby Member

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    I have an old Morley Power Wah/Fuzz.

    [​IMG]

    I think that with Your guitar's tone rolled off, You might get close with one of those.
     
  10. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog Member

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  11. jb1911

    jb1911 Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking.:RoCkIn
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Interesting info in this thread. I too always have loved all the guitar sounds in that song.

    I recently found an old (my first) fuzz I had from the 70's. It was "point-to-point" wired (the leads of all components into a big ball of electronics) little red fuzz box, no strompwitch but a slider on-off...I tried it out and oh my god....Instant "Spirit in the sky" with the guitar vol up, and cleaned up better than any fuzz I have with guitar vol down.

    I started trying to see about rehousing with a footswitch, but rethought and decided if I use it on my board I'm just gonna use a looper for it. Don't want to touch it.

    That said (as it wasn't much help) I think the Fuzz Factory can get that sound. I also think maybe one of the MI fuzzes (either the GI Fuzz or the Neo) might be able to do it.
     
  13. krisharmony

    krisharmony Member

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    I really like this one. That's actually the only setting I cared for on this video but then again I figure if I'm going to get a Spirit in the Sky fuzz it's probably going to be a one trick pony anyway.
     
  14. Dave

    Dave Gold Supporting Member

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    The MI Audio Neo will do it. Dialing the bias control down makes it sputtery/splatty.
     
  15. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Ahhh. Wondered about that.

    Great info on a great song in this thread!
     
  16. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Senior Member

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    From: norman@sonic.net
    Subject: Re: Spirit in the Sky
    Date: February 23, 2008 3:51:20 PM EST
    To: grooveyrecords@earthlink.net

    Thanks for writing.
    The fuzz guitar wasn't tuned down.
    The fuzz itself was a custom built one, not available commercially, but I am working on it.
    The wah wah was just on lead and I really can't tell you how he did his riffs, as they were his. I played the fuzz.
    As odd as it may seem, I am sworn to secrecy by the producer in terms of sharing any details of the mix. He owns it, he gives the orders.
    Sorry about that.
    I suggest just keep trying with the equipment you have. I understand that there are amps that have modeling and emulate many others, such as a Fender G DEC 30. Try it out at a store first.
    Good luck.

    Norman Greenbaum
     
  17. krisharmony

    krisharmony Member

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    That's awesome.
     
  18. DonneR

    DonneR Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah much like Mark Knopfler on 'Money for Nothin', overhearing a couple workers watchin a TV... more in the third person....
     
  19. DonneR

    DonneR Gold Supporting Member

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    I nailed this tone a few years ago with a Pignose preamp out into a Pro Reverb - same sputter pattern, same sustain/EQ

    the Pignose was invented in 1969

    Spirit was recorded in 1969

    Ive always wondered if a proto Pignose was under that pickguard

    the pignose runs on batteries like a fuzz and the fuzz changes depending on the strength of the batteries......

    also if the 'fuzz' was under the guard it may have been wired directly to the pickup before hitting the controls, like Garcias pickup>rack. guitar controls set up ......a more immiediate attack


    anyway I have wanted to rebox the pignose circuit into a floor box and call it 'Pig Guts' ..... :RoCkIn
     
  20. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    Since there weren't that many types of fuzz circuits around back then, I would think a good Fuzz Face or Vox Tonebender would do the trick. The Plex is probably just as important to the final result.

    It certainly was a killer tone.
     

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