Rambler era Frisell tone

Pale Rider

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anyone know exactly what he was using here-
the compressor, delay, volume pedal, etc

really after the recorded tone...for research purposes only
live jam...
 

seiko

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Rambler-era GP Interview suggests he was using:

Gibson SG
Fender strat
MusicMan 112 RD amp.
Boss CS1 compressor
DeArmond volume pedal
MXR Distortion +
Yamaha analog delay
Electro-Harmonix 16-second delay unit for looping

At some point around then he switched to/added a RAT, TC Electronic compressor and Boss DD2. Not sure exactly when though...
 

cubistguitar

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Rambler was my all time favorite album for so long. It was something I found in the cut out bin at the mall and cherished for years. Thanks for the reminder of this very special sound. I never heard jazz like this, the use of the instruments in a circus like fashion and all the subtle ecm colors. Really this and the first Bass Desires, the Zorn from around this time, all knocks me out. The creativity of the New York downtown was at a real peak and this record just rocks.

SG into Music man with delay and eh looper sound right to me. good luck without his hands.
 

WailinGuy

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1,278
I have Rambler on vinyl. Time to get it out and dust off the turntable. (hope the belt is still good).

Bill Frisell is one of my very favorite guitarists. How does he do it?

I saw him perform live in Cambridge, MA in the early 90's. He had his back to my side of the room the whole time. Couldn't see his hands at all. Interesting juxtaposition of extraordinary talent and awkward shyness. He sure sounded great, though.
 

sahhas

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in the late 90s (according to his 1st technique vid-the guitar artistry of bill frisell), at some pt in the 90s he stopped using the compressor (said that w/ something else was basically canceling each other out....). when the guitar artistry vid came out he was using a rat, boss delay (for short repeats), digitech pds8000 (replaced his eh16ddl) & lexicon lx5 reverb (i think)....

no idea what amps he was using...
 

seiko

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in the late 90s (according to his 1st technique vid-the guitar artistry of bill frisell), at some pt in the 90s he stopped using the compressor (said that w/ something else was basically canceling each other out....). when the guitar artistry vid came out he was using a rat, boss delay (for short repeats), digitech pds8000 (replaced his eh16ddl) & lexicon lx5 reverb (i think)....

no idea what amps he was using...
Seems to me like any kind of clean BF-style Fendery tone should get you close.
 

cubistguitar

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5,846
On tours he often requests a Fender Twin or Music Man amp, and he gets what he gets. I know I saw him a couple of times in Atlanta and once he used 2 red knob twins, made em sound great. He added his special ingredients he had in a rack ( i think he was using the Jamman rack with footswitch to loop at that time) and set everything real clean and did the distorted tones with something he brought (rat maybe), but the gear did not nearly set the "mood" as much as his unbelievable technique and taste.

I do like the very squirrelly stuff from the earlier days, like the Ornette-ish "Rambler" theme and squalling leads, intricate sampled/resampled/repitched material he just used to spray like a guitar hydrant. He used to be a little edgy and a little wild, I just don't hear that from his more recent work. He is becoming our Americana jazz guitarist, wide open places he describes with his slow and rich tones. In other words BORING.
 

Pale Rider

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I'm not sure anyone should have a problem with Disfarmer.
it's beautiful.

Rambler just has this gorgeous edge of technique and effects blossoming into a signature sound

Thanks to all for the insights
 

WailinGuy

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1,278
Also... (the show I saw in Cambridge, MA) he was using a couple Mesa/Boogie combo amps. All his effects were half-rack units that sat on top of one of the amps. Nothing was on the floor. He controlled everything by turning around to face the amps and then twiddling knobs on the effects while holding a chord or a note.
 

ZepFuzz05

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A fairly lengthy and detailed interview regarding his setup, which has remained fairly constant, apart from some details he explains.

 
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That's nuts if it's a Dist+; really fuzzy!

I do like the very squirrelly stuff from the earlier days, like the Ornette-ish "Rambler" theme and squalling leads, intricate sampled/resampled/repitched material he just used to spray like a guitar hydrant. He used to be a little edgy and a little wild, I just don't hear that from his more recent work. He is becoming our Americana jazz guitarist, wide open places he describes with his slow and rich tones. In other words BORING.
Eh - I think a bunch of his 90s stuff is boring, but his more recent output has been a big step up compositionally/stylistically (History/Mystery in particular) - my .02.

The coolest non-Naked City stuff I've heard him do is on those 80s Paul Motian albums "Jack of Clubs" and "Story of Maryam." They're Rambler-era, but for whatever reason, he seemed to feel more comfortable cutting lose on other dudes' stuff - it isn't like the TYPE of material was all that different. :dunno
 

cubistguitar

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That's nuts if it's a Dist+; really fuzzy!



Eh - I think a bunch of his 90s stuff is boring, but his more recent output has been a big step up compositionally/stylistically (History/Mystery in particular) - my .02.

The coolest non-Naked City stuff I've heard him do is on those 80s Paul Motian albums "Jack of Clubs" and "Story of Maryam." They're Rambler-era, but for whatever reason, he seemed to feel more comfortable cutting lose on other dudes' stuff - it isn't like the TYPE of material was all that different. :dunno
I stand corrected, I went by the Bill Frisell web after my post and was excited by several of the projects there. But on the whole, as you mention, any fiery guitar is reserved for someone elses records he may guest on. I adore the Paul Motian trio with Joe Lovano, Bill, especially the unreal Time after Time , he is the most powerful improviser of his generation, but i don't feel his own tunes harness that power.

But I would be remiss if i did not mention that i consider him the best, period, most incredible guitarist ever. He can play real improvised chord melody in a style he creates as he plays the damn guitar, the best user of effects to achieve musical goals, blew my mind so much when i started out.
 

deeohgee

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For amazing tone and my favourite rendition of Rambler check out the version from "Going Back Home" by Ginger Baker Trio (Baker/Frisell/Charlie Haden). To me this is one of Frisell's best albums, you want fire?- the version of Ornette's "Ramblin'" sounds like Hendrix conjuring molten lava fireworks at the apocalypse.
 

sahhas

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yes, i will 2nd "disfarmer" is an amazing album. listened to it a bunch last week.

also am 1/2 way through the "solos" dvd--his sound (listening through headphones) is just so full and takes up space in such a unique way...
he is great. the solos disc has blown my mind a bit, being able to see him do this stuff......

yes, most of the stuff i've "seen" he generally uses some kind of clean fender amp live....
 

farwest1

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106
Re-upping this thread as I was searching for Frisell's setup on In Line and Rambler. Back in high school I discovered Frisell through Zorn's Naked City. Bought his Works album, and then each of his albums since. I was obsessed. How weird that he ended up moving to my hometown and still lives there. He used to swing by a restaurant called the Four Swallows and play a bit with the owner Mike (who has now passed away.)

His early albums had this beautiful horn/violin-like tone. I think it was some combination of compressor, volume pedal, very smooth distortion, and his peculiar way of bending notes slightly out of pitch as he held them. I've been trying to figure it out. I preferred his earlier stuff, which was just at the edge of wild.
 

p.j.

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5,129
Bill used gtr synth on Rambler as well as regular gtr. Bill, Adrian Belew, Pat Metheny and John Abercrombie were the only people using gtr synths that didn't sound horrible to my ears. Anyone who has heard the great Terje Rypdal on gtr synth has an idea of what I am talking about.

I love early, sg bridge pickup, volume pedal Bill best. He is still wonderful, though.
 




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