Big Country "bagpipe" guitar sound?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bwc3000, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. bwc3000

    bwc3000 Member

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    For years I've been trying to figure out how Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson got that sound on the early Big Country records. I know they're using a lot of delay and chorus on some songs, but I've never been able to figure out what's giving them that overly-saturated, bagpipe-like sound. An octave divider of some sort? Just curious if anyone knows!
    They've always been one of my favorite bands. It was great to see the rest of the band reuniting last year for some shows in honor of the band and Stuart's legacy. Hope they decide to come to the States one of these days!
     
  2. Panacea

    Panacea Member

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    I don't know what they used, but I heard a guy with an EBOW do that sound at a gig once. Maybe an Octave pedal would do?
     
  3. pear gage

    pear gage Member

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  4. Troy T. Blues

    Troy T. Blues Comstock Station

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  5. bwc3000

    bwc3000 Member

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    Thanks, guys...I hadn't thought of the Ebow...I forgot it has that octave-up setting.
    Good to see a response from Connecticut, too! I grew up in Oakville, just outside of Waterbury. When I'm visiting my folks this summer I'm hoping to hit one of my favorite guitar shops, Banko's in Ansonia...
     
    Troy T. Blues likes this.
  6. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."

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    Big Country did use Ebows, but not for the bagpipe sound you hear on "In A Big Country". It was clean drive, sustain, that 80's verb and a lot of layering.

    Here's a recent clip of BC's lead guitarist Bruce Watson playing "In A Big Country" with The Alarm.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4S2fHXHpjE


    They show closeups of Bruce playing the leads and there's no Ebow to be seen.

    Same with this clip of the original band at Glasgow Green in '90.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a6nuEFsLwA

    Here's another clip of them playing "Lost Patrol" during the classic early '80s period, which is when I saw them...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfdmFhFjKkA
     
  7. LouRossi

    LouRossi Member

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    MXR Pitch Transposer
     
  8. Jet Bycraft

    Jet Bycraft Member

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  9. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

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    Careful arranging ...and maybe a little pitch shifting!
     
  10. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep, arrangement, harmony and thematic phrasing
     
  11. isfahani

    isfahani Member

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    That and their orchestration...
     

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