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Eddie Kramer on pedals.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MGR, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. MGR

    MGR Banned

    Jan 18, 2015
    Bronx, NY
    Just was emailed this article from Reverb with the legendary Eddie Kramer. He has a lot of really great things to say in it, but his take on pedals really spoke to me personally as I'm always fighting between lots of pedals on my board or a simple, no nonsense board. I know I can have two boards, but as a person who listens to people with proven wisdom and experience, these quotes really made me rethink what I want out of my personal tone.

    "Are guitar players, or musicians in general, over processing their sound?

    Yeah. Yes, they are. Do I love just a guitar straight into an amp? You bet. One or two, three pedals, fantastic. I think the over-usage of pedals sort of masks the music. Yeah, it’s fun, it’s cool, it’s interesting, nice tone colors. But I’m a little bit, shall we say, prejudiced in terms of the purity of how things should sound or could sound without the intervention of a pedal board.

    "Is over processing compensating for something else?

    There’s a bunch of guys who do the pedal board so bloody well and their music is still cool, so you can’t really make that accusation. But correspondingly, there are a bunch of guys who rely sort of heavily on the bloody pedal board and it sounds a little bit cheesy. If a band walks in and they’ve got a gazillion pedals on their pedal board, I say, “Guys, bypass everything. Let me hear you play straight through the amp. Let me just see what you’re doing. Oh, OK. Well, that sounds nice. Maybe we just add a little bit of this, and a touch of that. And all of a sudden, the sound is purer and heavier, fatter and in your face; and the message doesn’t get degraded."
  2. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Meh. People should use whatever they want.
  3. MGR

    MGR Banned

    Jan 18, 2015
    Bronx, NY
    Somehow I had a feeling that response was coming. Of course people should use what they want. The point I was trying to make, however, was that if a legendary producer with 50 years of producing the biggest acts in rock says something about pedals, it does behoove us to listen. I've noticed a few threads recently with the general tone of "I'm cutting back" or "Thinning the herd," so I figured I'd post this as a positive motivating force for those who are doing that. Hey, if you wanna use 500 pedals to make your ambient noise rock, have at it. Just don't get pissed when no one cares to listen past the first 10 seconds of some dude alone in his bedroom making his "art."

    Just as a personal aside Nshuman, I'd appreciate if you put me on your ignore list. Between you and Mosfed, there is a hell of a lot of negativity in your responses on my posts. It is very possible a lot of other people feel as you do about my posts, but no one is rude enough to be so blatantly condescending. Especially your little snip about me being the "resident demo expert" the other day. All that did was cause me to remove all my demos from soundcloud. Demos which a lot of people told me helped them out in deciding on a pedal. I will do the courtesy of putting you on my ignore list right now. Is there really a point to any bickering?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    vegas532 and AndyLES like this.
  4. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada

    WOW dude. Every single time. No rage against hipsters this time?
  5. MGR

    MGR Banned

    Jan 18, 2015
    Bronx, NY
    Please refer to the 2nd paragraph of my post above.
    JaseyT likes this.
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    It's because you go around attacking other people's art and music. Listen, there's A LOT of music out there. Every human society makes music. From Ghanaian high life to Himalayan throat singing, Javanese gamalan, reggae, rap, country, noise, grind, rock, metal. You're making a value judgment about something that means something to someone. Do I listen to all those musics? No. Do I go tearing them down because I'm being prejudiced, judgmental, and ethnocentric? Hell no.

    You basically act a snob and then wonder why people don't agree with your every opinion. Was it @nshuman fault you overreacted to the demo comment by deleting your demos? No, it was your fault. You went into that dudes thread and acted like what that OP did wasn't meaningful to someone. Not cool.
  7. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Don't worry, you are on my ignore list as of now.
  8. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Does this post count as trolling the effects forum since it basically says you shouldn't use effects? If you want to use less pedals because of this article then do it. My opinion is if I'm paying for the studio, legendary or not, the engineers job is to press record.
  9. rjovin

    rjovin Supporting Member

    May 27, 2011
    tampa, fl
    Very well said.
    I will add that i do like when a producer adds input but if they start insisting then it's game over. I don't care how big a name they have.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  10. XXL

    XXL calm seas dont make skilled sailors Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2007
    Its always been this way.. Some people can pull off a big pedal board and not be "cheesy." Some folks just cant. Nothing new here, its what it always comes down to in just about everything in life. Balance.
  11. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    The H9 counts for way more than 1 pedal. That's at least 2 pedals.

    I wish I could find a gif for the Simpsons "Too much, take it back" line right now...
    blindrabbit and Somnambulance like this.
  12. So let me get this straight. When you are giving feedback to people, they should listen to you, but when people are giving feedback to you, they are being blatantly condescending? I'm confused.

    Anyway, IMO if the hypothetical band in question comes in with all the equipment they need to make their sound and play their songs, only to have you rip it apart, then whose album is it being made - yours or theirs? Can we just stop for a moment and imagine Jimi Hendrix walking into a studio and being told to get rid of his crazy fuzz and wah and vibe pedals, and be more "pure"? What about The Who being asked to turn down and stop having less distortion on their signal? Maybe The Beatles shouldn't have laid down so many tracks, why couldn't they have just gone direct to tape?

    The people who push music forwards and into new realms and possibilities are the ones who take risks and do things differently, along with those who embrace the ones making the changes and support them.

    If you personally choose to hold yourself back, that's fine, but you don't need to impose that upon others, which is exactly what that hypothetical producer role you envision yourself in is doing.
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    People are their own worst editors, and one of the jobs of a producer is to say "that's great lads but now let's try another way." A producer is not just a recording technician pressing the cue button; a producer is someone who shapes the entire recording. If bands did not need that service so near-universally, nobody would talk about the production or the producer because it would just be some dude who pressed record.
    AndyLES, guitarflinger, Ewo and 12 others like this.
  14. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    Eddie should have laid off the "pan" knob in some Jimi's recordings- ruined some of them he did.
  15. ngh


    Feb 6, 2013
    brooklyn, ny

    have at it!
  16. Agreed. However, whether we are talking about music or writing or other forms of creative expression, the job of the editor or producer is to, well, edit/produce/polish or whatever you want to call it. If the underlying message or energy or gist of what the person or band is trying to accomplish, than it is a failure of the producer. The good producers and editors are often able to do their work without it even seeming as though they were there, but the message is more coherent going out than it was coming in. I think it is fair to say that there is a continuum here, and at some point these producers and editors are at risk of crossing it and turning themselves into authors.
  17. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Oh internet, you wonderful beast
    blindrabbit and Somnambulance like this.
  18. twistd

    twistd Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    I think it was someone else commenting on your demos and I did not think they were being sarcastic. The demos were useful.
    Somnambulance likes this.
  19. SpasticTastic


    Dec 22, 2012
    Don't give a poopie what Eddie Kramer thinks. I'll use whatever fits the mix for whatever I'm playing. If a distortion pedal, compressor, or chorus is needed to spice up the sound, I'll use it.
  20. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    It's an interesting thing with Kramer considering his most well known work was probably with Jimi Hendrix who was always trying to push boundaries by altering his sound.

    For that matter I'm pretty sure Kramer collaborated with Digitech on a pedal or two trying to get some of Jimi's tones in a stompbox.

    Even if he's moved that way over the years he wasn't always a purist and I think it's oversimplifying his point to paint him with that broad stroke. To his point, you should be able to strip a song down to its basic elements and it should still be compelling. It's one reason my most successful band ages ago would try to do every song we wrote acoustically, either live or in practice. Just to distill it down to it's core.

    That said, there are plenty of songs I dig that are fundamentally driven by effects usage. They could get stripped down and I'd still enjoy them, but they are clearly enhanced and not diminished by the addition of pedals.

    For instance, "Knights" by Minus the Bear (IMO) is much better with the effects than without


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