Help me identify this effect. Zappa, Derringer

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by stevieray, Aug 1, 2006.


  1. stevieray

    stevieray Member

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    I was digging some Zappa the other day and heard an effect that immediately triggered "Frankenstein" in my mind (the Edgar Winter tune, not the monster). I reviewed Frankenstein and it's definately close, if not the same effect.

    Check out these clips and tell me what you think. There's definately a wah in there, but it's not wah alone.

    Clip 1 (Frank Clip) is from the Zappa tune I was digging: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=4245399&q=hi

    Clip 2 (Franken Clip 1) is Rick Derringer's sweep picking solo from Frankenstein:http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=4260173&q=hi

    Clip 3 (Franken Clip 2) is actually Edgar Winter's synth, but it's a very similar effect, probably the thing that I was really remembering when I heard the Zappa tune: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=4260177&q=hi

    Anyway, I welcome your input on how to get this classic effect!

    Thanks,
    Brad
     
  2. vorvick

    vorvick Member

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    1) I don't know, but just for bump's sake,
    2) Fuzz wah + phaser?

    Who's in the know on this?
     
  3. boomchickaboom

    boomchickaboom Member

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    I'm gonna guess t's an eq boost and an evelope filter. Maybe not a wah at all. But frank used a bunch of stuff so that's just a guess.


    d
     
  4. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

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    I would think an envelope filter
     
  5. NB_Terry

    NB_Terry Member

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  6. raz

    raz Member

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    Zappa was partial to some Mu-Tron stuff, a Bi-Phase, IIRC and their Mu-Tron III Envelope Filter.

    I dunno, kinda sounds like a Bi-Phase to me.
     
  7. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    I think the Zappa clip is from "Roxy and Elsewhere", right? Lots of great FZ guitar solos on that album, especially "Penguin In Bondage".

    Dig that attitude, plus the unique rhythmic style, and also the inventive little melodies he sticks in there! Goosebumps. There's a lot to learn about rock guitar improvisation from listening to these gems FZ recorded during the 1970's. It's about a lot more than mere chops (which FZ certainly had in abundance back then). We should all endeavor to play a guitar solo that tells a story like that, with drama and conviction. God knows there are not very many of such high quality being played by rock bands in the early 21st century.
     
  8. doc

    doc Member

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    I think the Frankenstein drum solo was a keyboard triggered by drums using a vocoder.
     
  9. gtrguy17

    gtrguy17 Member

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    As Terry pointed out, it is a keyboard solo, though it can be transposed to guitar. (Dave Uhrich covered it on his release Fret-no-tized)

    Also, though Derringer co-produced that album, I'm pretty sure that Ronnie Montrose played the guitar tracks on that song - not Derringer.

    FWIW...
     
  10. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    It is from Roxy and Elsewhere, one of his best. Great solos by George Duke, battling drum solos between the 2 drummers (Chester Thomson and ?), Ruth Underwood (just keep your eye on her I think she's found the answer), a killer trombone solo, and ofcourse many from Frank. Plus it's a riot.

    Oh, I think it is an envelope follower. Synths of the day had that as a control parameter. The pedals were rare, or at least less available than wah wahs.
     
  11. gaspedals.net

    gaspedals.net Member

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    Sweep picking? - that would have been cool, and pre-Yngwie!

    Awesome zappa solo! Im pretty sure Minimoog and ARP both have external inputs which will feed the signal through the filters which is why you are hearing similarities. I played my guitar through my keyboardists moog years ago, cant remember exactly what it sounded like but I remember thinking, "thats f#$%ing awesome - now how do I shrink it down to a pedal?"

    Thats my guess:)[FONT=arial,helvetica,verdana][SIZE=-1]
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  12. Cussion

    Cussion Member

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    The DVD "A token of his extreme" features FZ playing lots of solos with wah-wah pedal.
    No envelope filter or phaser in use there I think.. only wah, echo and maybe some sort of booster.
     
  13. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    I don't think so. It's not a standard wah pedal with a tone control connected to a pedal. Listen to the top end of that wah sound. It's a very synthetic sound, at least to my ears. I well remember when this came out, trying to get that sound; At the time I had an SG with coil cutters, a Marshall 100 watt, like Frank used on this recording, but I could not find a wah wah pedal to duplicate that sound.
     
  14. aetschi

    aetschi Member

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    the fz-solo: dont forget roxy & elsewhere is a live album, but there are tons of overdubs added later (most of the ruth underwood stuff an many solos). so it will be hard to figure out what he really used. wah and mutron phaser seems to be in there... but the sound is very clear and percussive.
    on some other recordings (sleep dirt + grand wazoo i think) he used an acoustic guitar with wah (and probably some other gear) and the sound is quite similar... so who knows

    for the 2nd and 3rd clip i am quite sure that they were done on keyboards (the phrasing is not very guitar-like)
     
  15. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    I'm not aware of 'tons' of overdubs on Roxy and Elsewhere. I saw that tour and with that caliber of musicianship they were able to pull that material off -- I wouldn't say easily -- but certainly with conviction.
     
  16. aetschi

    aetschi Member

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    sure were those guys (and the girl) able to play that stuff perfectly and they did. but the recordings were not perfect enough for fz cause some of the complex instrumentation got lost in the mix (2 drumsets, all that crazy percussion/marimba/underwood stuff, keys, horns...). fz recorded nearly every show he played and put parts from different performances of the same song together, did overdubs and soundmixing to get a "version" of a song that was ok for him to release. that he did this patchworking on live-material is no secret and he talked several times about it in interviews. sometimes its even mentioned in the album credits. ;)
     
  17. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    I am aware that he recorded virtually every show, though I'm not sure he was flying in solos from other versions in 1974 . Remember, we were still years away from digital then (and polyphonic synths, even before the ARP String Ensemble!) and he would have had to manually sync 2 tape decks, not to mention the tempo discrepancy which there had to have been. Of course if anyone could do it, it would be him, but somehow I think it would have been so tedious that he would have simply cracked the whip for a better take, as he did on that album ("this one has to have all the right notes") I could be wrong. From time to time I did think some of the vocals could be overdubed, but solos? The bleed from the other mics would have given it away. Remember also that he had at least 2 horns on stage, the marimba 2 drum kits, plus at least 4-5 vocal mics open. The potential for bleed is a virtual certainty. I have listened to that album many times through headphones, and never detected that. If you know where the clues are, let me know.

    Do you also think there were overdubs on Live at the Filmore?
     
  18. stevieray

    stevieray Member

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    Thanks guys! Yeah, the Winter stuff is probably all keyboards, and you're right about Ronnie Montrose (I got that confused). Still, when I heard that Frank solo, it's the first thing that came to my mind. It's too bad we don't really know what he used. Dendog, I agree with very strongly. It's a little too synthetic to be a wah. But, it also doesn't seem to react like any envelope filter I've had the benefit of playing (and I LOVE envelope filters). I've owned the DOD440 and an absolutely gorgeous Maestro Filter Sample/Hold. This effect Frank is using is so freakin' synthy. It's rockin' my face off!
     
  19. aetschi

    aetschi Member

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    ok... its no prove but quite intresting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxy_&_Elsewhere
    http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/docs/Recording_Timetable.html

    i dont think there were overdubs on the fillmore east album...
     
  20. Shnook

    Shnook Supporting Member

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    Dweezil uses the DOD FX25B on the Zappa Plays Zappa tour to simulate that sound, so it'll get you close.

    As for FZ and overdubs. He much preferred his live solos over studio material. And some of the 'overdubs' on the Roxy CD is vocal material.
     

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