What Albums Have a Great "Amp in the Room" Sound?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by scout2112, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    The whole idea of making records one or two instruments at a time has always sounded foreign to me.

    I was lucky enough to be in a band circa 1999 that attracted enough interest that someone stepped forward and paid for us to record an album of originals. Pro studio in Nashville (Franklin) and pro engineers and a pro producer. It was the real deal.

    I immediately clashed with the process, and it continued through the entire sessions. Recording scratch this, and scratch that, and click track this and that and fixing this part of this and that, and doing endless over dubs. I was like “We’ve been playing these songs like for two years now. Just let us play them.”

    At one point some dude showed up to the studio... a stranger to the band. Producer introduces him as a top call drummer, and says that he’s going to give a few passes at the drums with a click track. What an insult to our drummer.

    “Just let us be who we are” I kept saying. There was a final project, but nobody was satisfied with it, and it flopped.
     
  2. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Son Volt, Okema and the Melody of Riot.
    Jayhawks, Tomorrow the Green Grass.

    Obscure, I know. But the amplifier sounds were precisely what sticks in my head when I hear them. Both are guilty of "that studio sound" but the guitar sounds come through very well.
     
  4. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone TDPRI Member

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    James Gang Rides Again
     
  5. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    100% agree on the Muddy / Chess stuff, have to throw in all the great everybody on Arhoolie just because that's exactly the way it was recorded, guitar in a room, also Robert Johnson. For a contemporary record I nominate "Bring the Family" by John Hiatt, recorded live off the floor in like two days. Him, Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner and Nick Lowe and it sounds like they're playing in your living room.
     
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  6. ab2012

    ab2012 Tele-Holic

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  7. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    and when 99% of the jam-session guys call it -it ends up too fast, wrong rhythm, and overloaded with over-driven TS9 guitar.

    They just don't know. Never listened, never learned. Never learned how to NOT play all over everything.
     
  8. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Pixies "Surfer Rosa"
    Nirvana "In Utero"
    or anything done by Steve Albini, he always manages to capture a sense of a real space on his recordings.

    Neil Young "Ragged Glory", or anything recorded at Neil's ranch.
     
  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Especially the harp players. And they ALL cite Little Walter as a big influence but - they only mean when he’s playing a solo.

    The guy was positively understated when comping sometimes. Not constantly in your face like soooo many harmonica players today.
     
  10. Heathfinn

    Heathfinn Tele-Meister

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  11. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    This:

    Machine_Head_album_cover.jpg
     
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  12. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you think that's flat-sounding, listen to his production on 'Locked In' by Wishbone Ash. The story goes that Martin Turner was in tears after hearing the playback.
     
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  13. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The song Slave (remastered) on The Rolling Stones 1981 album Tattoo You.
    Through a good sound system of course.
     
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  14. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    My favorite type of guitar sound on an album – when it sounds like your stereo speaker is the actual guitar amp. I don't know if it takes much on the producer's part, it's probably just pan the guitar to one side, turn it up loud and completely dry.

    Neil Young – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

    1st Aerosmith album

    The Stooges – Fun House

    Someone said Exile On Main Street, but to me that's just the opposite... a big muddy mess. Sounds good that way too though.
     
  15. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That’s a very sad state of affairs but one I’ve heard about and indeed experienced before, but I won’t bore you with the whole thing. Suffice it to say that everyone knows best but the band.

    f that.
     
  16. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Not a great example of the OP, but this bears mention for maybe no other reason then to keep the folklore alive:

    Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions.

    Primarily recorded live in a Toronto church with all the band members crowded around a circle into a single microphone. If an instrument was too loud, they moved it further back. Too quiet, schooch up a bit. Occasionally they'd be interrupted by guided tours of the church. Nice example of guerrilla recording.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  17. scout2112

    scout2112 Tele-Holic

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    Yes! Tattoo You is a great example... the whole record is an amazing feat of studio engineering. So much "space" I'm still trying to be able to get the tone on Start Me Up on my rig.
     
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  18. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Paper ships on a paper sea...
     
  19. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    Matthew Sweet's 'Girlfriend' album. After enduring that 80's overdose of gated reverb and overprocessed everything, this whole LP was like a breath of fresh air. Real room sounds. (Not to mention loads of Richard Lloyd and Robert Quine.)

     
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  20. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    What I look for in a good recording is not for it to bring the band into my living room, that would be ludicrous. I want the recording to take me to where they are, to transport me to another location.
     
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