can someone explain what the "brown sound is"

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Simon Gee, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Simon Gee

    Simon Gee Member

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    I found a weird explanation about EVH trying to emulate the sound the drummers snare (wtf?). And using reduced voltages etc..

    the new swart night light attenuator has a light-bulb based compression circuit thingy that talks about giving a bit of the brown sound... but i have no idea what it was. Thought it might be the sound of those brown fender amps. but I'm thinking it isnt that. Is there a classic example of what the brown sound is?

    thanks

    (excuse my misplaced quotation mark, i can't edit the title!)
     
  2. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    Put simply, it's EVH's guitar sound on Van Halen I.
     
  3. FeloniousBishop

    FeloniousBishop Member

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    I believe the origin of the word is from "brownout," which is when the line voltage goes lower.

    Your incandescent light attenuator would do that by dropping voltage across itself the higher the instantaneous current, which is a form of compression.
     
  4. tonesurfer

    tonesurfer Senior Member

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    Just an adjective VH came up to describe his early sound (captured on VH1). Wouldn't try to analyze it more than that.

    There's a few amp makers that have been able to replicate that tone recently if you're interested.
     
  5. kevinhifi

    kevinhifi Member

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    I always thought it was a sound that made you poop your pants. Guess I was wrong.
     
  6. Simon Gee

    Simon Gee Member

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    Yeh, it has that connotation to me too. And then there's the brown note. I
    just googled that, and that's definitely closer to the mark.

    I don't really want the sound, just wondered what it meant. Thanks!
     
  7. ggwwbb

    ggwwbb Member

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    LMAO!!!!
     
  8. Randaddy

    Randaddy Member

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    Listen to that first note in "Drop Dead Legs".

    That's the "brown sound".
     
  9. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

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    From this site its GAS in your pants
     
  10. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane Silver Supporting Member

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    Eddie's 100W Marshall wired to the dining room dimmer switch (removed from the wall). Dim the power down to about 85 VAC and play. The amp would some awesome for about a month, then it would blow.
     
  11. kevinhifi

    kevinhifi Member

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    What a great sound. What a great song!
     
  12. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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  13. Simon Gee

    Simon Gee Member

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    thanks for all that info. i wonder how he thought to try lowering the voltage...
     
  14. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    I agree plus I love the sound in the opening riff of House of Pain
     
  15. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    It's just a pronounced set of frequencies that allow an amp to cut through just about anything. The Marshall 1974x has it as well as the 1959hw. It's very useful when working with thick mixes. I'll see if I can get my friend to elaborate... he knows the exact hz involved.
     
  16. Phoebe

    Phoebe Senior Member

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    Correct. Low line voltage = "brownout" conditions.
     
  17. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    I thought it was his tone on Unchained and Mean Street from Fair Warning.
     
  18. Randaddy

    Randaddy Member

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    I believe it is more general than that and includes most all of his early stuff, although it may be more noticable in some songs more than others.
     
  19. SUBmariner

    SUBmariner Member

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    And on that (brown) note, why did Ed's tone go from "fab" to "crap" when Dave left and Sam came onboard?

    Inquiring minds want to know . . .
     
  20. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    The first Sammy album was done at Ed's just finished home studio.
     

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