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Benmont - Don't do me like that


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While I agree w/ Moe, there is still something interesting going on with the organ sound.

Most noticeable in the verse after the bridge. Starting around 1:40 (version on Damn The Torpedoes). It sounds like more than the standard B3 & Leslie sound. Like a ring mod w/ heavy tremolo (fast) effect. Am I hearing things? I hope "the voices" in my head are not back. I ignore that effect when I play it. I personally don't like the effect as it reminds me of some sound I heard at the circus as a kid. :crazy:

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While I agree w/ Moe, there is still something interesting going on with the organ sound.

Most noticeable in the verse after the bridge. Starting around 1:40 (version on Damn The Torpedoes). It sounds like more than the standard B3 & Leslie sound. Like a ring mod w/ heavy tremolo (fast) effect. Am I hearing things? I hope "the voices" in my head are not back. I ignore that effect when I play it. I personally don't like the effect as it reminds me of some sound I heard at the circus as a kid. :crazy:

 

You may have the displeasure of hearing it from your C3 someday. I'm not positive since I've never played a Hammond in this state, but my pet theory on that final verse is that the organ used on that song had a malfunctioning vibrato scanner, resulting in the dreaded "motorboating" when V/C are engaged.

 

Just google Hammond organ vibrato motorboating and you'll find some relevant info.

 

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Yeah, I don't particularly like the sound, but I love that it's there. A nice reminder that even on records that legendary and cleanly produced, they were still dealing with the same cantankerous gear us mere mortals use. The way I like to imagine it, Benmont was the first in a long line of rockers to come through that particular studio to actually bother turning on the C/V.
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I've heard what you described in that song, and always figured he had somehow messed with the pulley settings on the Leslie, or done some other strange modification to the Leslie motor/s, but the beating frequency is suuuper fast, so it made me doubt that theory. Interesting to know that's scanner vibrato 'motor-boating'.

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dink dink dink dink dink

 

:D

 

(I think the "broken" Hammond makes for a cool sound here. But it sounds fine with a maintained Hammond, too.

 

[video:youtube]8UCdbGvemVg

 

[video:youtube]qZwwqlpD3lI

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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It's been a long time since I've played my old M3, but it had a very similar sound to what's being discussed here. In my case, it wasn't a scanner problem. It sounded like a tonewheel was somehow faulty. I remember asking about it on the Hammond Zone years ago, and IIRC, other members said a tonewheel or tonewheels was/were to blame. I don't know for sure; I'm no Hammond tech. Maybe I could fire up the thing and give it another listen.
Stuff and things.
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Sounds like a normal Hammond to me (no motor-boating or bad tonewheels). I think the effect you're hearing is from mic'ing both sides of the Leslie horn (ie, the mics are 180 degrees from each other) and then summing that to mono.

 

The upper horn in a real Leslie only emits sound from one side of the horn (the other is there for balance). So if you had mics on both the front and the back and summed those mics to mono, it would sound like the Leslie is spinning twice as fast, right?

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Yeah, it's definitely got that 180 degree mic pair thing going on, but that doesn't fully explain it. You can hear the "effect" in question most clearly on the high whole note open 6ths from 1:48-1:57, and you can definitely hear the Leslie spinning up to tremolo near the end of that passage. And all of that sounds distinct from the famous intro from 0:08-0:17 - my theory there is that the C/V wasn't used in that section.

 

I've never heard a motorboating Hammond in person though, so it's just a theory.

 

There aren't too many records I would get this obsessed with. :-)

 

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I think someone needs to setup a real Leslie and some mics and try to duplicate the sound exactly to see if it can be done. :D

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I still think i'm right. If you slowed down the multitrack tape during the take, Upon regular speed playback you would get the higher pitch, the faster tremelo and the overdrive from the leslie would be a bit phase smeared sounding a little like the ring modulator.

 

 

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Moe, in the linked video, you can most clearly hear the sound we're talking about in the ascending open 6ths Benmont plays from 1:50-1:59, last four bars of the last verse. There's a sort of choppy quality to the sound, and then you distinctly hear the Leslie spin up from chorale to tremolo in the last bar before the chorus. The sound quality's not very good on that clip - headphones might help.

 

A Hammond-ignorant guitar player buddy of mine always figured Benmont was doing a tremolo on piano in that section, which is kind of what it sounds like.

 

Kas, I always heard that distinctive Hammond tone on the original studio recording as a combination of high drawbars and some aggressive low cut EQ. Also, this review of the Damn the Torpedoes Classic Albums DVD seems to indicate that Jimmy Iovine had a strong bias towards getting full-band live takes, which (along with Benmont's basic philosophy as a player) makes it seem doubtful he would have tolerated any mucking about with Beatles-esque tape speed trickery.

 

http://www.retroblog.net/2010/08/06/tom-petty-classic-albums-damn-the-torpedoes-dvd-review/

 

On a side note, I'm going to go order that DVD right now. I can't believe I hadn't heard about it already. I must have watched the one they made for Aja a dozen times now and I don't even own it.

 

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It's clearly not "motor boating". If you've ever heard a bad vibrato scanner, or one that needed to be zapped, it is way more obvious than what is heard on the cut.

 

I think I'm with B3er on this one. Sounds more like a mic placement thing than a bad vibrato scanner.

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