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bass tone on Laughing (If I Could Only Remember My Name)

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by elwood, Mar 27, 2006.


  1. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Anyone have any light on how to get the bass tone on this song? (the version from the David Crosby album). Don't have the album, so I don't even know if if was Casady or Lesh or who played this track, or if I'm even hearing the bass clearly, with all the guitar work going on, but it's really full bottom with a percussive element- something extra that almost sounds like a P but not exactly. So much for my descriptive ability. I just really like it. Can anyone help me out?
    thanks-
     
  2. mixonline.com

    Great album...Hope this helps.
     
  3. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Great info, mucho thanks!

    This confirms my worst fears about the gear, though. Expensive & experimental.:bawl:
     
  4. You're welcome.

    I think you could get around some of the issues though...Play with a plectrum into a signal splitter, then biamped to high and low output...And technically, the instrument used isn't an Alembic, but either an EB3 or a Starfire with Alembic electronics.

    Probably doable...1970 tech, well within reach of the average ratepayer.

    ;)
     
  5. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Possibly a Lakie hollowbody with a dark star, since they were modeled after the Starfire pickup mods mentioned in your link.

    The electronics would be problematic, though, since that's not available from Alembic (and if it were, they'd be pretty pricey). I'd have to say Lesh/The Dead were the biggest rock gearheads of all time. I saw them in RFK stadium in ~1972 where they had stacks and stacks of individual speakers (this maybe was the wall of sound?) and I seem to remember counting 26 cabinets in the tallest stacks. 70s tech or not, it is the clearest loud sound reproduction I've ever heard in my life.
     
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Even people who would want to diss the Dead, would have to give props to them for concert sound development, and instrument development. They had a hell of a lot of forward thinkers hanging around!
     
  7. Yeah, if you went with the quadrophonic option that Alembic provided for Phil, things would get complicated...The amp equation might have just gotten simpler, though:

    That may narrow down the power and output end of things, since American Beauty and IICORMN were being tracked at the same time...Maybe if you throw a SF - 2 Super Filter into the chain...

    Ah, the Wall of Sound, a.k.a. 'my home stereo'. ;)

    I would have hated to be 'third roadie from the right' humping that system along the highways and byways.
     
  8. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    They were definitely the bleeding edge. I remember the buzz about Alembic, and I didn't play bass then, and was on the other side of the country. I heard rumours to the effect the Dead didn't make money on touring because of the equipment costs, etc. associated with their setup. I can't imagine what it took to roady all that gear.
     
  9. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Yeah, that was some serious work. I’m sure I was hearing the Wall of Sound. Also, I had no idea at the time, but it had to be the quadrophonic system on bass. BTW, The best I can remember, now that I think about it, the RFK concert (Allman Bros./Dead) was around June ’73 or '74. I have no idea what bass was being used then. The set list was essentially the same as the Europe ’72 album.

    Maybe the biamping is what gave the upper register aspect to the tone on Laughing its distinction.

    The SF-2 looks really interesting. Wonder if anyone on the board here has ever owned one.
     
  10. [​IMG]

    From Wikipedia

    The big picture, Vancouver, BC 1974

    By '74 Phil had his first Alembic, I believe it was the Osage Orange, but hardcore Deadheads feel free to correct me if wrong.
     
  11. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Thirty some years down the road, my recollection on the numbers in the WOS is fuzzed somewhat, but man, that's still incredibly impressive.

    Wow- that dudepit thread is a cornucopia of obscure info about Lesh's basses. Anybody with even a passing interest would probably get a kick out of reading it.

    I remember the 2-day- William and Mary Dead concert mentioned in the thread, but didn't see it- I lived in that area most of my life.
    edit- I checked the deadbase and the concert I saw was in June '73. The one in the dudepit thread was Sept '73. Interesting, as Wiki was quoting '74 as the year of the WOS. I can't imagine what would have been left out of the system I saw:
     

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