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Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
#3018051 12/01/19 05:41 PM
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Saw this interesting quote on the web from a guy named Jason Burns: "If I traveled back to 1973 and stole all of Jimmy Page’s gear, but left him with an AxeFX II, Led Zeppelin III would still be Led Zeppelin III.”

Now, I don't want this to turn into a debate about amp sims, because I've encountered only three opinions:

* They suck, will always suck, and only amps with tubes sound any good
* They're okay at present so I use them, and will probably be as good as tubes someday
* I prefer them to physical amps

I'm more interested about Burns's statement. Would LZ III be the same if Jimmy Page had gone into the studio with only an AxeFX II? If not, why not? Would it have been more adventurous? Less adventurous? Does the guitar sound matter in the grand scheme of things?

Hmmm.....

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Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3018053 12/01/19 06:03 PM
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Any one thing that changes can change everything, true?

As long as we are speculating, what would Led Zepplin have sounded like if they had gotten their original choice of John Entwhistle on bass and Keith Moon on drums? Please no comments comparing John to John or Keith to the other John, I am not rating talent, only making an observation in "what if" world.

To answer your question, if the only change had been using an amp sim instead of an unintentionally modified tube amp (it blew up and was repaired by a tech with available parts and "expedient circuitry"), I am thinking we would never really hear much difference. Jimmy Page's strongest skill by far was as a producer. He was a brilliant accompaniest and an inconsistent, often sloppy soloist.

A producer uses the tools at hand to realize their vision. So yeah, I think Zepp III would have been pretty much the same record. FWIW, Immigrant Song is far and away my favorite Zepp track...


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Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3018054 12/01/19 06:22 PM
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I think it would have negligible impact in the studio perhaps. I suppose the biggest question is what impact I feel any it would have on performance and how it would translate. I use amp sims and even live have had sound guys remark on how good they sounded out front. But that was chunking out rhythm. Even not playing guitar as my primary instrument, at stage volume I can tell that the strings feel different under my fingers and the playing changes with an amp vs a sim. That may be because I run direct through a wedge monitor. Maybe it would be different throu a cabinet but now we're essentially back to an amp. The component that tends to be missing with most sims is the interaction between the speaker cabinet coupled by air to the guitar strings and that feedback (not necessarily meaning the kind of feedback which is the ringing, but feedback in the sense of interaction) to the preamp circuit. It's the same reason why guitar players often play louder live than we would prefer. But that leaves the original question....with a player like Jimmy Page, would that have significant impact on him, or would he come up with the same parts and playing anyway?


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
J. Dan #3018064 12/01/19 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
The component that tends to be missing with most sims is the interaction between the speaker cabinet coupled by air to the guitar strings and that feedback (not necessarily meaning the kind of feedback which is the ringing, but feedback in the sense of interaction) to the preamp circuit. It's the same reason why guitar players often play louder live than we would prefer.


That's a very astute comment. Maybe this is why no one complained about re-amping - they got the feel from the amp, and the coupling with the strings, and that sound ended up being recorded direct. It's like when I do want the "ringing" feedback - I feed back through an amp, and the vibrating, sustained strings get recorded into the computer.

Quote
But that leaves the original question....with a player like Jimmy Page, would that have significant impact on him, or would he come up with the same parts and playing anyway?


All I can go by is my own experience. Listening back to the music I cut in the 60s and 70s with amps and tubes, I'm still the same player now, but using sims. I think that tonally, my sound is more varied, but the underlying person doing the playing is the same. I suspect that if Page had an AxeFX II and had been using it for a while before going into the studio, LZ III would still have all the spirit of LZ III, if not very similar sounds as well. It might also have let his sense of experimentation fly a little further...who knows.

Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3018074 12/01/19 09:43 PM
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So is the question “would Zep be less Zep with a fractional change to the guitar tone”? Maybe to about .00000001% of their listeners.

I don’t lose much sleep thinking about it. smile

Last edited by dboomer; 12/01/19 09:44 PM.
Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
J. Dan #3018084 12/02/19 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
I think it would have negligible impact in the studio perhaps. I suppose the biggest question is what impact I feel any it would have on performance and how it would translate. I use amp sims and even live have had sound guys remark on how good they sounded out front. But that was chunking out rhythm. Even not playing guitar as my primary instrument, at stage volume I can tell that the strings feel different under my fingers and the playing changes with an amp vs a sim. That may be because I run direct through a wedge monitor. Maybe it would be different throu a cabinet but now we're essentially back to an amp. The component that tends to be missing with most sims is the interaction between the speaker cabinet coupled by air to the guitar strings and that feedback (not necessarily meaning the kind of feedback which is the ringing, but feedback in the sense of interaction) to the preamp circuit.


^^ This. This is how I was going to respond, but you beat me to it. This would be a huge difference, although far less huge if he were playing in the room with the other guys as usual.



Quote
It's the same reason why guitar players often play louder live than we would prefer. But that leaves the original question....with a player like Jimmy Page, would that have significant impact on him, or would he come up with the same parts and playing anyway?


He's such a great producer, it's hard to know. With an amp sim, he might have changed the sound quite a bit. Or he may have dialed in the same sound. Or he might have noticed what you mentioned above and reacted to that.

Sorry I didn't ask him this.


[Linked Image from elevenshadows.com]

Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3018088 12/02/19 01:06 AM
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Now that I think about it.

"Would LZ III be the same if Jimmy Page had gone into the studio with only an AxeFX II?"

There wouldn't be any guitar on LZ III unless John Paul Jones played it, JP ONLY has an AxeFX II.

JP will need a computer and an interface to create audio. :- D

Computers as we know them did not exist yet and interfaces did not exist at all.




There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3018090 12/02/19 01:40 AM
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If they stopped playing live shows and just made records, it would probably work OK, maybe he might even get some inspiration from it. But amplifiers are part of the show, and no matter how good the monitors are, I doubt he'd get jacked up on stage enough to put on a great show. A good show maybe, but not a great show.

Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3018104 12/02/19 04:12 AM
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BTW, my last name is Elze....pronounced L Z and my daughter's art teacher in middle school was a huge Led Zep fan and called her LZ. And I'm in a progressive metal original band with 3 Dans, a Damone, a Dave, and a Richie, so we use initials. I'm LZ. Everytime you guys type "LZ" I think it's me. I wish.


"Dan Elze", btw. For those of you who haven't spent the last 15 years over on the KC, I started out Dan Duran because that was my stage name in a very successful 80s tribute. When I quit that, I was JUST Dan. Then J. Dan. Then last Halloween, J. Dead and I haven't changed it back. But in real life, I'm Dan Elze. Feel free to google me. Bands of note were That 80s Band, ClassX, Radio Star, Oh Brother, Klose Nuff, Contagious, etc. All St. Louis, MO. You will find me to be ugly and boring and old and bald and....well, a poster child for all the commercials for testosterone replacement. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Last edited by J. Dead; 12/02/19 04:16 AM.

Dan

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Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3019196 12/11/19 07:29 PM
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What is the original question really asking though? Is the question asking if Jimmy page would’ve taken advantage of all of the sonic alternatives in a Modeler compared to the relatively limited but excellent tones provided from his guitar and amp? Or is the question would have created the exact same sonic palette if given the opportunity?


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3019200 12/11/19 07:56 PM
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Sometimes I think think the existence of almost endless choices in software emulations drives people away from experimentation.

New sounds usually come on at a time, a bit of a branching off from previous sounds. But in the context of the times, the contrast is startling.

But when you can just do about anything at all - there's a paralysis lurking in those infinite possibilities.

If Page had amp sims, he might have been an endless twiddler of odd sounds - or he might have taken refuge from the screaming infinite by sticking to what's been done before -

but my instincts tell me things would have been different enough that LZIII would not have been our LZIII.

nat

Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Nowarezman #3019482 12/14/19 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Nowarezman
But when you can just do about anything at all - there's a paralysis lurking in those infinite possibilities.

At a seminar once, someone mentioned a piece of software they had bought with 600 kick drums, and how could they possibly choose the right one. My answer was "Try the first one. If you don't like it, try the second one. If you don't like that, try the third one. When you try one you like, STOP!!"

I told him I bet he wouldn't have to go past the first 20 to find one that worked. Was there something better in the other 580? Maybe. But if something works, and you're happy with it, why not just move on instead of living in FOMO?

Last edited by Anderton; 12/14/19 05:23 AM.
Re: Would Led Zeppelin III still be LZ III with an AxeFX?
Anderton #3019544 12/14/19 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Nowarezman
But when you can just do about anything at all - there's a paralysis lurking in those infinite possibilities.

At a seminar once, someone mentioned a piece of software they had bought with 600 kick drums, and how could they possibly choose the right one. My answer was "Try the first one. If you don't like it, try the second one. If you don't like that, try the third one. When you try one you like, STOP!!"

I told him I bet he wouldn't have to go past the first 20 to find one that worked. Was there something better in the other 580? Maybe. But if something works, and you're happy with it, why not just move on instead of living in FOMO?


You have to have that bit of confidence in our own ear to trust that the one you think you like is indeed "good". But I'm not disagreeing - there's nothing for it but to decide and move on in any event. Development will take place over time, with experience.

nat


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