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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #152823  by strumminsix
 Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:37 pm
HeadSpace wrote:There IS something kind of comical (or perhaps ridiculous) about the fact that there are likely a dozen or more people on this board with nicer "Bobby" rigs than Bobby himself.
I know, right??
 #152824  by shadowboxer
 Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:05 pm
I can't tell if the snark on this thread is comic or not. It's a pedal board to hold pedals. It has the effects he uses. If you think the old 1995 setup produced a superior sound, I suggest you go back and listen to the tapes. There's a lot of implication in this thread and others here that money buys "better" sound. But then no one knocks Jerry for using Boss or MXR pedals or regular old Dimarzio pickups. Bob sounds fine these days, rock on.
 #152831  by lightningbolt
 Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:27 am
shadowboxer wrote:I can't tell if the snark on this thread is comic or not. It's a pedal board to hold pedals. It has the effects he uses. If you think the old 1995 setup produced a superior sound, I suggest you go back and listen to the tapes. There's a lot of implication in this thread and others here that money buys "better" sound. But then no one knocks Jerry for using Boss or MXR pedals or regular old Dimarzio pickups. Bob sounds fine these days, rock on.
+1

Not only does Bob sound fine...you can hear him loud and clear in the mix which was something that was always a problem for me. Especially when Healy was in charge of FOH.
 #152832  by Lephty
 Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:28 am
Lol...looks a whole lot like mine. I'd guess it's due to the fact that he's forever messing around w/ the pedal board, swapping out effects, changing their order, etc. That's certainly the case w/ my board, anyway.

And yes, Bobby sounded great this past weekend. Love that old coot.
 #152849  by brbadg
 Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:35 pm
I dont think he can be heard all that well in the mix.Especially with all that John Mayer overplaying.
(There's my snarky John Mayer comment of the day !)
I never really liked Bob's raspy distortion sound,but its cool to be able to buy a couple pedals and cop a little of his stuff.
 #153285  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:48 am
I think Weir's current rig is as good as it's been in decades, maybe ever. He went thru so many approaches over the years, much of it I really loved at the time and in the context, but now he's come full circle, back to REAL guitar amplifiers and REAL guitar speakers and REAL guitar pedals, very analog, very tubey. His guitars transmit via his wireless to his rack. From the recievers they route thru a switcher which sends them all thru our SMS Black Box so there's a tube right up front. This is all in the rack, hidden from view. Then from the rack the signal routes out to his pedalboard, which thankfully still hosts our Earth Drive which is a big part of his mild dirty sound he goes for. The rest of the rig makes perfect sense as guitarists love an easy way to experiment and swap in/out various pedals. It's so easy when it's a pedalboard like that. It may not look like the Dead's crew hard-wired it all NASA style like in the '80s. But the end result is a very natural, guitar type of tone. Sure, some pedals aren't perfectly aligned on the board for the OCD types, but they're high quality sound tools and they're very thoughtfully positioned in the audio chain. He also said he's playing without compression, only the dirt pedals and the tube amplifiers are providing that. I got to stand there with Bob at his rig at soundcheck with Dead & Co. as he messed around with the Earth Drive and other pedals. It was such a kick-ass, super sweet and sizzly tone. I think at this point it's up to the soundman to make it fit in the mix so the rest of us can enjoy it.

And on a side note, I can testify first hand that Bob is one of the nicest, warmest, funniest, brightest people I've ever met. He's the real deal.

Brad

www.sarnomusicsolutions.com
 #153287  by mkaufman
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:12 am
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:It was such a kick-ass, super sweet and sizzly tone. I think at this point it's up to the soundman to make it fit in the mix so the rest of us can enjoy it.
Brad - thanks for the insight.

Problem is that he's very hard to hear. I'd love to hear a soundboard with him high in the mix. Or better yet, isolated.

ace
 #153288  by tcsned
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:13 am
Thanks for the info, Brad! I sure have been happy to have my Earth Drive back in my pedalboard. My only regret is that I don't have two of them to have a low/high gain option without having to turn knobs. Bobby gets a lot of grief from folks but I have always dug his playing and his attitude towards music when he has spoken of it.
 #153289  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:47 am
One thing I can say for sure about Bob and his guitar sound is that, like any great, it's almost entirely in his hands. He has a style and approach that uses tons of palm-muting while picking and scraping the pick across a chord that has a percussive quality and allows him to restrain or release the chimey overtones and control what is quick and what is long. It's simply amazing to watch up close. Also, that little red dunlop jazz pick with a hole punched in the middle is part of his sound as well. It's a small pick, so there's a lot of finger skin taking part in the string contact and tonality. The hard part is to get into his brain, how to think that way rhythmically, the way he takes a huge groove and makes it 5x bigger by pulling against it, lifting UP on it, slamming DOWN on it, stretching it, driving it. He's a mad master genius of rhythm in ways most mortals can't even begin to comprehend.

B
 #153292  by strumminsix
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:56 am
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:One thing I can say for sure about Bob and his guitar sound is that, like any great, it's almost entirely in his hands. He has a style and approach that uses tons of palm-muting while picking and scraping the pick across a chord that has a percussive quality and allows him to restrain or release the chimey overtones and control what is quick and what is long. It's simply amazing to watch up close. Also, that little red dunlop jazz pick with a hole punched in the middle is part of his sound as well. It's a small pick, so there's a lot of finger skin taking part in the string contact and tonality. The hard part is to get into his brain, how to think that way rhythmically, the way he takes a huge groove and makes it 5x bigger by pulling against it, lifting UP on it, slamming DOWN on it, stretching it, driving it. He's a mad master genius of rhythm in ways most mortals can't even begin to comprehend.

B
THIS IS AWESOME!! Thanks!
 #153293  by TI4-1009
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:40 pm
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote: He's a mad master genius of rhythm in ways most mortals can't even begin to comprehend.
Yup. Something it took some of us (myself included) years (decades?) to get into our thick skulls. It's easy (and fun) to get distracted by the two gentlemen who flanked him for a long time, or to pick fun at his slide "development" or song selection, but all he really did was to anchor the whole monstrosity together. Provide the center, the glue, the connections, between/among the other four or five soloists. Not a task for us mere mortals. And without a net.

Thanks Brad!
 #153295  by hieronymous7
 Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:09 pm
I guess I was very lucky - I caught the Shoreline Dead & Co. show - I have heard people say they can't hear Bobby, that Oteil was muddy in the mix, that it was too quiet, that John Mayer sucks, etc. - but where I was sitting (in the shed, probably 10-15 rows in front of the lawn, stage right) - it sounded amazing! Oteil was bubbling around underneath, providing the groove that the slow tempos seem to mask, with the perfect high end to reveal the harmony he was outlining. I know John Mayer was a dick 5-6 years ago, but I thought his playing was great and his singing beautiful. And I could hear what Mr. Weir was doing, different sounds throughout the show, perfect in the mix, borne out by the mp3.

There was an aspect of this tour, too, where it was put together rather late in the game - for instance, only one night at Shoreline, because the place was already booked with Korn/Rob Zombie the night before and Weezer/Panic! at the Disco the following night. It seems like it was a band that grew together on the road - John Mayer said "To learn each others’ moves as people and musicians, so as to support each other on stage and off made every night a beautiful adventure." So I can see the pedalboards growing and developing throughout the tour too.

And thank you Brad for the insight into Mr. Bob Weir's playing and gear - my appreciation for his playing and approach has grown over the years of listening to recordings and watching videos - it was very cool to see him do it in person!
 #153374  by flyingheelhook
 Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:59 pm
I am crazily contemplating putting a Sarno Black Box in front of my Kemper and running the Earth Drive in the Effects Loop... after a few other investments... :lol:

but seriously, thanks for the insight Brad, I bet it was a huge thrill and very nice to see him using your products!!! :cool:
 #153431  by nopunin10dead
 Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:57 pm
+1 on the Shoreline sound. I was on the lawn, not far above the railing, close to a video screen. Otiel came through nicely, whereas last December at SF Civic I barely heard him. Bobby sounded fine, and John was a pleasure (OK, he overplayed a little). But watching one of the Alpine shows webcast, I saw closeups of all the techniques that John used. Quite an arsenal, including plenty of stuff that Jerry never did, but John made it fit nicely.

My only complaint is those s-l-o-w tempos!! But as I'm getting older I understand why (that; and scrambling lyrics, which I'm doing more of!). :lol:
 #153436  by TI4-1009
 Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:22 am
^
Great screen name! Welcome.