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The inventor of the fuzz box passes away...


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While similar effects were used on older recs, they all derived from amp overloading or spkr damage.

I never before knew the identity of this cat.

It seems most appropriate that the inventor of the blatty fuzz box was named "Snoddy".

:facepalm:

 

Here's a diff version that features some comedic interplay between Robbins & the unidentified steel player (Bruno ?) who plays the solo here...(or should I say, there ?)...then.

For the short version tune in at 2:08.

[video:youtube]

 

There's another clip on YT that shows the same perf but w/diff camera angles & you can see the steel player readjusting the fuzz unit after the solo undoing the off-camera pre-solo adjustment here.

 

------------------------

This just in ! :rolleyes:

 

Not to muddy the waters but from http://www.bigmuffpage.com/The_Tonebender_Timeline.html comes this

"... 1962 - Gibson Fuzz-Tone released in the U.S.A. Sometime mid to late 1960 in Nashville, Tennessee, recording session engineer Glen Snoddy is in the studio when an early (not the first) example of electronic fuzz tone is created. A defective pre amp console causes the bass solo recorded for Marty Robbins song Don't Worry, to have a fuzzy sound. The distorted bass is kept for the final recording, and the song became a #1 country hit in 1962. Snoddy saved the console, determined what went wrong, and with friend Revis V. Hobbs (a fellow Tennesseean and engineer with the famous WSM Radio in Nashville) he created a 3-transistor circuit to replicate the bass guitar fuzz tone. Glen Snoddy states (in the book Fuzz and Feedback by Tony Bacon) : Later when I found out what it was, I set about trying to develop that sound using transistors. We fooled around with it and got the sound like we wanted. I drove up to Chicago and presented it to Mr. Berlin, the boss at the Gibson company, and he heard that it was something different. So they agreed to take it and put it out as a commercial product.

 

There were already many hand made fuzz boxes being used in studios at the time, but Gibson became the first to the market with a mass produced consumer fuzz circuit. Glenn Snoddy and Revis Hobbs are credited as the designers on the patent. The first production version of the Fuzz-Tone was built into Gibson bass guitars (first commercial use February 16, 1962), as that was the original intended use. Later in 1962 Gibson decided to release it in a stand-alone floor pedal form that other instruments could be plugged into, the Maestro Fuzz-Tone (FZ-1).

 

The FZ-1 is generally accepted as the first production fuzz pedal ever made, however the product was somewhat of a flop as far as sales were concerned. In general, most people were not impressed with it's farty sound, and lack of sustain created by the low powered 3v circuit. Gibson sold nearly all 5000 units produced the first year to dealers. Apparently most sat on shelves unsold, as Gibson sold only a few in 1963. However, people like Frank Zappa[*] were recording with them in 1963, and musicians were soon figuring out that the FZ-1 [*] sounded even more interesting with the electric guitar as it did with bass. There were dozens of not so well known American garage and surf band recordings made using them with the electric guitar in 1963 and 1964, in American states like Michigan, Texas, and California.

 

1962 - In America the Ventures use a fuzz box on their song 2000 Pound Bee. The fuzz box was a hand made effect, built in 1961 by Red Rhodes...

 

[*] Almost makes it look like they were named for Zappa, eh ? :D

d=halfnote
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Here's a little more info on Grady Martin to muddy the water on the Marty Robbins Don't Worry fuzz story from Wiki. Nokie Edwards is credited as the 1st to use a "fuzz box" on the Ventures' 2000 Pound Bee created by Orville Rhodes:

 

"1960s: fuzz, distortion, and introduction of commercial devices

 

See also: Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone and Boss Corporation

In 1961, Grady Martin scored a hit with a fuzzy tone caused by a faulty preamplifier that distorted his guitar playing on the Marty Robbins song "Don't Worry". Later that year Martin recorded an instrumental tune under his own name, using the same faulty preamp. The song, on the Decca label, was called "The Fuzz." Martin is generally credited as the discoverer of the "fuzz effect."

 

Shortly thereafter, the American instrumental rock band The Ventures asked their friend, session musician and electronics enthusiast Orville "Red" Rhodes for help recreating the Grady Martin "fuzz" sound. Rhodes offered The Ventures a fuzzbox he had made, which they used to record "2000 Pound Bee" in 1962. The best-known early commercial distortion circuit was the Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone, manufactured by Gibson, released in 1962." Wiki

 

:cool:

Take care, Larryz
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What or whichever came first, it reveals yet another audio anomaly that wasn't "meant to be" but yet still became a huge impact on modern music.

 

Like FEEDBACK! ;) I imagine "flanging" came about the same way.

 

And, as were both TEFLON and the MICROWAVE oven, also an important "accidental" invention. Certainly far better than blowing a perfectly good amp, or else POKING HOLES in the speaker diaphragm, which I've known at least ONE idiot that's done that.

 

So, RIP Mr. Snoddy, and thanks for helping save a lot of innocent amps. ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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What or whichever came first, it reveals yet another audio anomaly that wasn't "meant to be" but yet still became a huge impact on modern music.

Like FEEDBACK! ;) I imagine "flanging" came about the same way.

Whitefang

 

Flanging was devised in response to a request by John Lennon. He hated having to double his vocals & asked the staff at Abbey Road to figure out an electronic way to do it. Ken Scott came up with the idea of using a tape machine at high speed to make a very short delay, whilst holding a finger against the tape reel (the flange, in British English) to wobble the speed a bit. Later, Lennon asked again for that "flanging thing" & the term stuck. So flanging was intentional, rather than a case of equipment performing outside its intended specifications.

Scott Fraser
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I never realized til now that flanging & EMI's ADT were the same thing---thanks, Scott !

 

It's really just the delay times which are different. 2 to 6 milliseconds gets you in the flanging range, 10 to 20 msecs is generally chorus, & 30 or more msecs is audible as a distinct, slapback delay.

Scott Fraser
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:2thu::wave:

Chorus also has some time or volume cycles or some modulation,eh ?

 

LFO modulation of the delay time, same with flanging. With the longer delay in a chorus the modulation is heard as pitch variations. In flanging, the delay is so short it's closer to a phase shift, cancelling frequencies as it sweeps up & down. But it's all the same effect, just with different delay times.

Scott Fraser
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Flanging was devised in response to a request by John Lennon. He hated having to double his vocals & asked the staff at Abbey Road to figure out an electronic way to do it. Ken Scott came up with the idea of using a tape machine at high speed to make a very short delay, whilst holding a finger against the tape reel (the flange, in British English) to wobble the speed a bit. Later, Lennon asked again for that "flanging thing" & the term stuck. So flanging was intentional, rather than a case of equipment performing outside its intended specifications.

 

OK. I might be using an incorrect term......but.....

What IS the proper name for the effect used(if any remember) heavily in the STATUS QUO song "Pictures Of Matchstick Men"? And I've heard that effect used in other tunes over time. Like in the last minute or so of JIMI HENDRIX's "Bold As Love". I always thought THAT was called "flanging", and came about when something went "wonky" with long distance or overseas radio communications(shortwave and "ham" etc.) :idk

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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@Whitefang - You're not wrong. Here in the U.S., some engineers referred to the effect as "Tape Phasing". A great example is the track You Don't Love Me, Baby, from Super Session.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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As Scott mentioned, many of these effects are related, being variations or mixtures of time & pitch modulations.

Many of them are basically the same in sonic effect but defined by, as he mentioned, their specifics on an engineering level, e.g, phasing/chorusing/flanging/electronic tremolo.

Often similar effects can be achieved in more than 1 way. Further, our ears can mistake one sound effect for another, esp in the areas of very fast pitch & loudness changes.

 

There's also the factor, esp in the time range from the early/mid 1960s~current era, that many of these things were just being conceived & invented so that IDing specific effect on an old rec may not be precise & terms used by 1 person, esp general writers or even less-techie musos, can be a little mixed up.

d=halfnote
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Itchykoo Park is another example, the first I ever heard, of phasing.

Phase shifting is different from time delay based effects. The cancellation notches in phasing maintain the same numerical relationship as the LFO sweeps up & down. I.e. if there is 400Hz between notches, that is the same at the low end of the sweep range as at the high end. With flanging & chorusing, the notches maintain their relationship per octave. So if there are 3 notches per octave that means they are closer together, in terms of actual Hertz, at low frequencies than higher up. All of which is needlessly technical, but the point is that phasing & flanging are different, derived from different process, & thus sound different, though similar. It's murky because at any given frequency a time delay & a phase delay are the same thing, but over the whole spectrum they aren't. They are the same only at one frequency. Anyway, carry on. At least this tribute to the discoverer of fuzz hasn't devolved into a shouting match over whether fuzz, distortion, & overdrive are separate effects or just one & the same thing.

Scott Fraser
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Like in the last minute or so of JIMI HENDRIX's "Bold As Love". I always thought THAT was called "flanging", and came about when something went "wonky" with long distance or overseas radio communications(shortwave and "ham" etc.) :idk

Whitefang

 

I'd have to get out my copy of "Bold As Love" & listen again, but the sound I'm hearing in my memory is the mix being sent to a Leslie, which, being an electromechanical device, is much more complex (and rich, juicy & just plain fabulous) than electronic devices can easily reproduce. A Leslie provides amplitude, frequency & phase modulation, as well as creamy tube distortion, all under user control with the little 3 way toggle switch mounted next to the lower keyboard. Also used on Clapton's guitar in "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", the piano intro & outro to Pink Floyd's "Echoes", & others.

Shortwave radio waves bounce off the upper atmosphere & then bounce off the earth's surface, then up into the upper atmosphere again, etc. By the time they are received on the other side of the planet there may be multiple iterations of the signal arriving slightly out of phase, providing various frequency cancellations when added together.

Scott Fraser
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Thanks, all.

 

Now that someone's brought it up, I MAY have gotten "flanging" AND "phasing" confused. :blush: So, SORRY 'bout that, chiefs. :rolleyes:

 

But I too, will have to "dig up" my "Super Session" CD and give a listen. 'Bout overdue for one anyway. ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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