Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Tom Dowd Film on Sundance Channel


Recommended Posts



  • Replies 20
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Thanks for that, I only saw half of it (and it was really cool), now I can record the whole banana.

 

I'm starting to realize more than ever what a towering figure Tom Dowd was.

 

Of course certain ironies are to be expected - there are the heaps of praise for his incredible ear for tuning folowed by him listening to Layla and saying how great the slide work is on the outro.

 

What's up with that? the intonation discrepancies are EXTREME in that tune when the usually excellent Duane Allman is just stabbing around in the dark way up in the high register there.

Just a pinch between the geek and chum

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bejeeber:

...

 

What's up with that? the intonation discrepancies are EXTREME in that tune when the usually excellent Duane Allman is just stabbing around in the dark way up in the high register there.

whoa now :)

those sounds you hear Duane playin are certainlee atonal but totallee intentional from all i've read and what my ears hear.

s :cool:

AMPSSOUNDBETTERLOUDER
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have actually seen this discussed before, and there seem to be two very divided camps on the subject of the slide playing on the Layla outro, one not getting it(like me) and one loving it.

 

Might have to start a poll. :D

Just a pinch between the geek and chum

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I consider the whole Layla album to be a masterpiece. To each their own, but the feel and emotion of the end / coda section move me very deeply. Had I been in Tom's shoes, I doubt I would have changed it either. But yes, the intonation gets pretty bad at times.

 

Tom Dowd WAS a genius in so many ways. Getting to watch him recalling what it was like to work on some of those incredible Atlantic (and other) sessions, watching him interact with the various musicians throughout the film (in the studio and in various other places) you can just tell there was a lot of genuine love and respect there - going both ways. He certainly had a great way of interacting with and working with musicians.

 

I wish I'd had the opportunity to meet him, but I never did. Heck, I would have loved to be a runner or Second for him, just so I could have watched the man in action. I'm sure a month in the studio looking over his shoulder would have been like getting a Masters degree level education...

 

It's a great film, and I highly recommend it to anyone who digs music, and certainly to anyone who records or produces it. Each time I see it (and I have it on tape), I can't help but feel what a sad loss his passing was to the music world, and what an incredibly unique and talented person he was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just came across the movie today while channel surfing, and I really enjoyed it.

 

It's so rare that we get a glimpse of the folks behind the scenes, and Tom Dowd was one of the greats. His love for what he did, his enthusiasm, and his intelligence all shine through in this film.

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom Dowd was possibly THE most important person ever in modern recording. He is as much responsible for the use of multitrack as Les Paul is for conceiving it. It's one thing to develop a technological platform, and another altogether to develop a practical use for it. What an amazing guy.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

It's so rare that we get a glimpse of the folks behind the scenes,

And that's really the tragedy of MTV and VH1. I thought, when I heard the words "Behind the Music", we'd be seeing mini documentaries of recording processes and rehearsals, backstage tribulations and record company politics. I don't see how kids these days wouldn't eat that stuff up! I saw Pharrel recording a few tracks with Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake on MTV, and I was HYPNOTIZED. Watching the tiny bits of him working Pro Tools was a joy, not because I'm a particular fan of him or the genre, but because I NEVER get to see anyone use gear in the third person. MTV has missed an opportunity.

 

I've actually resorted, in the past few years, to watching instructional videos to get my fix (how sad is that?). Dave Weckl's advanced drum stuff is particularly entertaining.

 

I will take Phil's comment one step further. I wish I could be a second eng. for a day in all of your studios. That would be an education. Anyone want to take me up on it? I'll bring half a terabyte of samples. :D

 

Oh, and to veer back on topic, it was an incredible documentary...I wish it was another hour long. They should do one of Eddie Kramer...although not posthumously.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to see a really good "behind the music" DVD, get Aerosmith's "The making of Pump".

 

If I remember correctly they go into a lot of detail about the recording process on many levels including technical.

 

The other one I enjoy (because I'm a proghead) is Spock's Beard DVD "The making of V"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I just was able to finish watching the whole thing and I absolutely consider it a "must see".

 

I definitely admire how Tom Dowd was able to keep his mind and ears from slamming shut as music trends changed dramatically during his career. Sheesh, he went from recording Charle Parker to Cream, etc., and loved it all.

Just a pinch between the geek and chum

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

...Tom Dowd was one of the greats. His love for what he did, his enthusiasm, and his intelligence all shine through in this film.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

I think you're absolutely correct Geoff... his enthusiasm certainly was quite obvious when you watched and listend to Tom.... it didn't matter who the artist was, or what the genre was, if it was good music, Tom dug it... he was quite obviously a fan, and I think that is a essential quality for a good producer / engineer.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rent the DVD... there's a ton of extra interviews in the special features... this part is almost as good as the film.

 

Tom Dowd really communed with musicians -- like no one else ever did... which made him one of the greatest record producers ever. His work with regard to multitracking makes him one of the landmark, essential recording engineers as well.

 

I deeply love the so many of the records he made -- Layla and other great Clapton albums, Ray Charles, Aretha, Allman Brothers. That's the true test...

David Tobocman

www.edgewisemusic.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just caught the TV version on Sundance - very cool and inspirational - Tom Dowd really loved sounds and the technology to preserve musical events, we were blessed to have him amongst us :thu:

 

Thanks for the heads up about his biography.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw most of it today, he invented the fader in use on a mixer, made it a lot easier, PLUS he embraced digital recording, why............easier.........well sorta, after you read the big manuals.

 

Tears came to my eyes when they showed him with the oxygen connects to the nose, I knew then he was probably dead as I watched the closing of the film, he did live from 1925 to 2002, thats a long time and to be a pivotal human mechanism in this sillyness of recording music, thats a great person althogh not the longest life, but who cares about that during a meaningfull life!

 

A side note that when Phil Ramone had mentioned that musicians get bored easily, that is an insight that I can definitely relate to. No wonder so many players get into the recording process now! :idea:

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil did mention that musicians can get bored easily, but I think it equally important that we catch what he was saying there when he discusses the importance of being ready to catch it right away.

 

One important thing that I get when watching that film is the importance of musical interaction between people. While many people like to record themselves at home, and I definitely think that can be a good thing, there is still the potential to become too isolated; to lose out on that interaction. Toss in the simultaneous right brain / left brain activities required in a typical recording session, and you have yet more reason to get at least one other person involved who can serve as a musical sounding board, a coach, and someone to handle some of the technical side so that you can concentrate on performing. And from everything I've seen, Tom Dowd was a master at all of those things.

 

Going back to what Phil Ramone was saying, a good engineer should know what's planned for the session in advance, have everything set up and ready to go when everyone arrives, not take forever and wear the musicians out getting levels and tones, be ready to change direction on a moment's notice, anticipate what the producer needs at any given moment and oversee the entire technical end of things. He also needs to be able to translate the producer's and artist's artistic vision to the recording medium while keeping track of the artist's and producer's preferences insofar as tones, preferred takes, etc. I know this may seem self-serving since recording is my gig, and I'm not saying I'm great at all that or anything, but when you get someone really good handling all of that, and when s/he's a part of a great overall team, it can really be beneficial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...