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GV Welcomes RM! | PART 4 | Your Questions Answered! | Roger Mayer x Guitar Village

Adam Leaver: April 21, 2023
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In our fourth and final instalment of “Guitar Village Welcomes,” Roger answers some of the less technical questions curated by our friend and YouTube content creator Millstap.

Full Transcript

okay so I’ve been asked by you and uh the other people have written in to I I’ll get I’ll give you an introduction and some some of a as non-technical uh idea or the insight into what it takes to make um or the selection process involved in making really first class audio equipment and and valves and so on and so forth the point is when it when it comes to production many many people believe and mistakenly believe that they can go to a catalog and they can pick a number out and they can buy this particular part and it’s going to perform satisfactory right unfortunately that is not the case almost every all the time because if if you read the technical specification sheet very carefully what what what the specification sheet doesn’t tell you is almost invariably what you need to know because that is the art form in writing the specification sheet specification sheet on electronics is an art form and it is basically controlled by the sales department of the factory to sell their components to as many people as they can all right now when it comes to transistors the transistors are manufacturers basically you can think of it like a pizza um they they’ve got different ingredients or the same ingredients and they’re spread out of the pizza disc and the pizza disc or in this case a silicon disc is is fired up at different in different stages with different chemicals and different lithography added to form the transistor but when when it goes into the furnace and it goes through these different processes there is a huge difference between say the edge of the um the um silicon disc the middle of it and so on and so forth now as as they start to go into production with the Silicon manufacturer they they have a very St what is called a manufacturing yield curve right yeah which means that they start off with a new die which is like well yeah the basic uh formula for the transistor or the schematic then as they’ve made the first few they might only get five or five or six percent yields that are any good the rest of them junk yeah so then then they continuously refine the process but then what they they have to stop at a certain point when they’re manufacturing to decide now is the time where we can further select what we’ve produced into various uh different transistors which will give a different number to

transistor even though it has the same manufacturing die or so from a from a from a photo lithography or if you took a picture of it a microphone ago it would look the same but it’s not the same because it’s been manufactured differently or it’s in a different part of the wafer so yeah what you’ve got then is the selection process so even even with a um what you would think is a commonal garden audio transistor they come from a family of them which share a die or basic configuration of the transistor but you might get one die it might produce 20 or 30 distinct

um numbers yeah and and so some of the numbers would be selected for say low current High current low noise high voltage low voltage all kinds of different parameters that you would want to specify the transistor for you know maximum operating voltage minimum operating voltage selling and so forth but they carefully select all these out so what you’re left with is even in the case of say what would be a selected low noise transistor they make those in maybe four different bands they might say um for instance a bc549 then it’ll be a 549a 549b 549c now they might the only thing they they might quote as being different between the the four selections of this one number right and remember there’s also a bc548 which is slightly different than so it goes on and on but the hfe of of of the transistors might vary from the cheapest variation would be the one that say varies from 20 to 450. big spread over 25 to 1. yeah then they then they have another one that goes from um maybe I don’t know it goes up to 120 then they go 250 and then they go another one that goes 250 to 450. so you see the as a selection process goes on and depending upon the production yield so the price changes right so the actual selection of a transistor you’re going to use is not it’s not as simple as it looks yeah yeah uh it’s very very complicated and when when you’re buying when you’re buying manufacturing when you’re Manufacturing in quantity you’re buying you know uh a lot of one type you know you you need consistency so that any anything you take out of a box of 5 000 you can use you know you can’t you can’t buy the cheapest one because you wouldn’t be you wouldn’t have a consistency in performance of the product you’re manufacturing so that’s you know that’s that’s the way it goes so there with silicon transistors this improves maybe like um it started to get very very reliable around the mid 70s right because in 1968 and in that period when silicon transistors became like sort of readily available uh that was at the beginning of the Space Race you know space to race to the moon and Apollo and all that stuff so they TI and Motorola and a few companies in America they were the only people that actually really made good silicon transistors now when I worked for the government back in in the early 60s 63 64. the good transistors right cost uh equivalent of like over a week’s wages for one wow that’s how expensive they were yeah and then then the price came way down you know uh a germanium transistor made by these these mktosis was made by new New Market which is not a big manufacturer it’s a small manufacturer in England really uh it wasn’t like you know Phillips or you know Motorola or TI or general electric or or RCA Raytheon or some some semi big no they were small but but the quality of their chances is very hugely they were not clever you know in terms of from a manufacturing standpoint and they were expensive and the the other thing also about the uh Germania processes or the problem with them was they had a huge temperature uh variation so the chances to varied in performance with temperature greatly it wasn’t stable like Silicon so yeah I mean you know there’s no me you just kind of say oh well I’ve got an MKT 275 or whatever it is and it’s going to sound right now that’s a load of rubbish wow so so what you’re saying is then without understanding the processes of making transistors yeah from yeah in depth yeah if you’re going to get consistency if you want to build panels and you have to understand this information yeah in order to be able to produce something yeah you wouldn’t even on a smallish scale you wouldn’t even know what you’re buying well so I didn’t realize it was that that vast I always assume you buy something out the box if it’s electrics there’s a tolerance and that’s it no no not at all it’s it it’s an absolute Minefield you know I mean it’s it’s a bit a bit like today if you wanted to buy a replacement um a valve or tube you know very difficult to even know where to buy one from and and to know what to ask for and how it’s going to be categorized that you know I mean I mean there’s a lot of horse trading going on out there there’s a lot of rubbish all right um okay so someone’s asked uh were you the inventor of the first Distortion fuzz pedal Jimmy Page used uh uh that that wasn’t made by Gibson you mean yes the uh the first time that wasn’t used yes yes how I was okay um how much of a factor were the long coiled cables and getting the signature warm yet glassy top end that Jimmy had uh uh basically uh that’s that’s a myth that should be fully understood first of all any cable that goes from A to B has a capacitance between the hot lead and the shield yeah and the more capacitance the cable has the less top end you get yes so the shorter the lead the brighter it’s gonna sound simple all right um next in the pedal section then were there additional buffer stages used in tandem with the fuzz face if so were they before or after the fuzz I would use in the studio with Jimmy various other electronic stages before uh uh a distortion box to not only affect the way the Distortion box is being driven because you might want to drive the Distortion box with um uh what should we say a lower impedance which the buffer provides which makes for a different tone from the Distortion box so it becomes in another way it becomes a valuable tool in the way the the Distortion box is driven um yeah but in the studio we often used uh split path signal processing which which would have meant that we had a DI box and we had other other boxes feeding say more than one amplifier as well so you would need a buffer to successfully interface between the various electronics that were in the studio so yeah buffers and and transparent buffers become very very important in in studio in fact you know the latest box that we produce um our direct box you know that we make I mean that’s been been you know the accolades from the top guys as best one they’ve ever heard you know I mean my friends of mine are down in Rockfield now and they they’ve got supposedly the you know the best of what Rockford’s got but they always Roger Maya direct boxes in the recording in the studio yes they’ve got to use that you know absolutely it’s a valuable tool to use as buffer it’s not it it’s by no means a solution to creating a tone but it helps but of course in the studio the the the the the the the other thing that people forget and they say if you’ve got a variable power supply and you’ve got you know a good person by then you can play along with the voltage that your actual Distortion box is running and that changes the sound of them yeah Keith Richards is always cited for doing that isn’t he using a an old battery and like a fuzz box to get that uh that’s a really gnarly sound yeah because I mean you know why wouldn’t you change the voltage if you could just to see the way it sounds absolutely because because when you’re actually designing a box and there again you you you have pardon me you have to pick a a starting point right which which is in a way is determined by your um your your power supply right or the battery or your power source rather and then that determines the initial bias Point all right and then of course you can vary the bias point of of of of the Distortion Box by using a different power supply or different voltage power supply now in keeping we have got a lot of fuzz questions here um do you know what fuzz face uh Jimmy’s uh Jimmy used at Woodstock it’s the red one with white knobs and has it ever been remade we’ll never go fair enough um many many people of course have claimed to have it but they’re again at the time is I I would think what the actual first boxes that Jimmy had remained that were working were ones that were just that were around and that survived ones that stood the test of time exactly um okay this is one actually because modern guitars were always told if you’re going to run a fuzz pedal it’s the first thing in your chain then you go into the wall someone’s asked why did Jimmy go from the wild pedal into the fuzzer not the other way around well because the fact of the matter is there there is a difference because if you if you feed a white so let’s start it this way if if the actual distortion pedal is producing from what you might uh imagine is a virtual Square way for instance from a simplistic standpoint when you when you put that into a variable filter such as a wire pedal it only have so much effect because it’s got so much compression and it’s all been squared off you can’t do you know the actual harmonics that the square wave contains is only going to be affected in a certain way by the wire pedal right and now we flip it around the other way when you when you have the wire pedal up front it does two things the when a guitar plugs into a wire pedal even you know we talked about you know a bog standard box or or you know even if it was a you know a crybaby back then you know the uh you know the Italian one whatever it doesn’t matter which one the actual input impedance of the altered fuzz balls I mean sorry the the input impedance of the wall pedal even in bypass was enough to load the guitar down quite significantly really I mean the input impedance of like um a regular wall pedal is only about 100K if that so that is that’s going to take off an awful lot of treble from the uh from the guitar and therefore when you then when you get that wire sound that’s sweeping obviously you know up up you know from the 400 Peak up to the 2.2 KP on a wire pedal and you put that into Distortion that’s going to change the way the Distortion box works because the Distortion box in itself might have some Equalization up front and myosome Equalization in the middle stages and on the end so it it you you you actually have a greater effect by having the wire pedal up front of a first box then you would the other way around bye City okay now someone’s asked about the Octavia um if your Octavia was built mainly for the studio how did you make a unit that would work well with his stage rig the point was back in the early days we didn’t use the Octavia or the wedge-shaped Octavia which only use of very special occasions because we didn’t have many of them and they were extraordinarily expensive to build and they would be considered like prototypes and the fact fact of the matter is that you couldn’t go to a store and make them because I had to personally make them and and I was very busy busy making my recording studio equipment and basically that’s that’s the reason you know they’re not they’re very valuable and they they can’t be replaced that easily but this but there’s no there’s there’s no problem using one of the ones I built in this studio that were on stage because when you hit the Octavia and you’re playing live I mean the crowd like visibly goes back when they hear that sound so I mean there’s there’s no difference in the sound well you’re going to make a record yeah you have to make sure that that particular sound was maybe not quite as aggressive as you might use when you were playing live because you you know it’s going through the recording process and uh it’s going to be perceived in a in a different environment when you’re listening absolutely um did you ever modify any of Jimmy’s univibes if so what did you do to them well but back in the day the univive came along quite quite late in the day right I don’t think when it first came out the problem with the uni Rod once again was number one it didn’t have any regulated power supply in the universe so it worked straight off the mains it was it was originally kind of designed to uh not for guitar it was designed for um some kind of organ business you know yes but so forth so that was that was the major problem so even if you had one of the a universal pedal that you liked on Monday it wouldn’t sound the same the next day because the temperature had changed and the voltage is at changed yes because those particular devices are um they are a filter that is very uh that has to be controlled and uh you know set up to to work you know with within a set voltage you can’t you just can’t you know it’s got to be dead stable it’s not going to work from day to day and then all the light cells that you’ve got within them then also have to be uh matched so the size of you buying two of them the same are very small you an effect but not necessarily gray you know so that was the problem Oh interesting so they had a bit of variation um did you ever have to build a custom Wawa for Jimmy or just modify stock ones I never back in the day we used to put other electrons in front of the wall bar so uh I never got down to actually designing a brand new wall printers circuit car because it was not that particularly interested in it but because I could also take what would be sort of as a standard one and add other components around the circuit to tune it to a a specific sound that Jimmy might like so we wouldn’t have to do much with the um you could keep the same kind of coil yeah so you can play around with it with it with it with a circuit around it extensively to tune it differently absolutely um we’re just the the last few questions I have on panels we’re going to kind of move away from Jimmy and more your own paddles before we do um I was going to ask you about some of your kind of amp in a box your amp Sims oh yeah yeah that came up I don’t know when we started them about what 2014 or something like that they came they came about because people where people were playing live they they were they wanted an alternative there were two Alternatives one was to play straight into the desk so the super 57 amp Plus uh but see it’s got the same EQ and the same type of distortion trial Distortion which is wave shaped very similar to our 456 wave shaping that we use today and you know it gives you a very accurate sound straight into the desk yeah without and it’s analog uh there’s no um there’s no algorithm involved in it so there’s no Jitter there’s no this like that it it gives you a very very good sound into the desk of what a 50 57 amplifier might sound like now I started playing around with that by using actually uh back in the day I I made the some of my early direct boxes that were made in the 80s used you know 12×7 shoes in a rack mounted box and we used the first few stages of the um Fender super style with the same kind of EQ yeah to make a direct box that played into the recording desk but that lacked those boxes well they have a great sounding direct boxes that lacked the wave shaping that the amp plus uh introduced and now that that takes it up to another level so if someone was playing live on stage they could have um offender super you know behind them their guitar goes into the app plus split the guitar and then goes off to the PA so now suddenly not only have you got 200 watt or 100 watt super Trend you’ve got like three kilowatt out front that sounds better than as you marked it up you see very very important it’s it it’s a very direct sound um well yeah I mean you can put you can put your signal chain and the pedal pedals in front of it but what it gives you it gives you that directness which really when it’s mixed in with it with a PA it gives you a lot of penetration into the audience so it’s good it’s better than that it’s it’s a superior way of getting the sound into the PA that has you um try to you know a straightforward direct box and so forth you know no it’s better yeah okay and that’s that’s that’s one of them so I made that one and then I made the Marshall M59 version of The Martian one and one of the most popular ones that we use one is the is the ampic this is the base one yeah yeah that simulates an impact uh a base amplifier very good so that means a lower level you can get you can get the sound of the tubes in an ampic crunching and you can put you can blow it straight onto a tape you know so something for guitar sound bass players then yeah well you mustn’t forget the bass button yeah very important sometimes we do um okay sticking with your panels then uh uh are the newer pedal range in the smaller enclosures I.E Voodoo Blues Etc vastly different circuit wise and sound wise to the older Vision series with the slightly larger enclosures no not at all the only thing that I’ve done recently is to probably add slightly more uh we added a stage more of a power supply smoothing because the the um upon further investigation the the actual level of the some of the cheaper power supplies that people were using was getting pretty bad you know so it’s easy it had to smoother even more so they they hadn’t improved you know the uh the uh the power supply uh the people we’re using so someone has asked has the voodoo boost been discontinued and why no it’s never been discontinued not fair enough well that answers that nice and simple now bear with me on this this is quite a long question um I have one of the older Synergy series panels with the voodoo one on the high band and the voodoo boost on the low band so you can mix the two together but wasn’t ever sure about where to place that particular pedal in the chain as you say Distortion normally comes before chorusing and modulation effects and Echo delay Etc at last but as he says the voodoo boost should be used last in the chain and this pedal has both effects so would love to know more about that well the the idea of that particular series which was quite popular but never fully adopted because people never were obey or never understood the uh benefit of parallel past processing which we would have done in the studio automatically this pedal has has basically got two pedals in one that you can blend together to get different sounds you see if you’re using one parallel here and one there and you can blend them together you’re going to get more combination but that really assumes that you know what you’re doing often that you know what you’re going to want you see there are uh there will be no fixed uh recommendations because it would be entirely up to you I mean it’s like in the recording studio if if you’re using two amplifiers this is you which we used to use a lot but Jimmy recording you know the blend between the two how you can’t preconceive that and until you’re playing and then you have to make a decision at the same time which is what you’d have to do with the box that gives you that capability of parallel cross processing it’s up to you how how you twiddle the knobs because it’s two separate fuzz boxes really just mixed into one so so a bit of experimenting then see what works for you would you say well yeah I mean but that’s that would be true of of making a record wouldn’t it absolutely well that wraps us up nicely for pedals we have our last section and this is kind of quite a nice section really it’s a little bit more about your relationship with Jimmy and maybe some of the other musicians you worked with um what gear was important to Jimmy and did he have a cherished guitar or they all just torns to him

um you speak to it you speak to any guitar player and not just Jimmy I think at any one day or one period in time he’s going to have not necessarily a favorite guitar but he’s going to have a guitar that he plays more than another one and this this could be for for many reasons you know um convenience it happened to be in this flat or so on and so forth or whatever and uh he might want to he might have a Sentimental attachment to one particular guitar and he doesn’t want to ruin it or have it stolen or this and that you know I mean that that becomes a personal thing but when you when when you play professionally and uh you’re using a particular type of guitar professionally I mean yes you at any one point in time out of 10 Stratocaster that you’ve got I was sitting over there in a pole you’re going to end up playing one more than another one but when you’re playing live we had to take yeah Jimmy and I Jimmy take a couple of guitars up to the stage and I take three so maybe if we had the luxury of having five guitars beside us on the stage then which then we changed them as one went out soon on this and that or you know so it just because it just becomes you know I’ll be playing live are you recording are you doing this are you doing that this depends what you want if you’re in the studio then you’ve got a lot more time uh to to to consider very carefully your actual choice of guitar for a particular part of a song but when you’re playing live you you want to get toilets in tune it’s going to work absolutely you certainly do yeah um this is an unusual question actually did Jimmy have any hearing loss uh not to my knowledge no I mean we’ve only been 27 I guess uh well he’s been 27 and to be honest with you you know a marshall going flat out only produces about 115 DBS it’s not that loud it’s not it’s nowhere near as loud as some of the other previous players that we we’ve met who are pushing 130 DBS and I start blinking and you know it’s bloody uncomfortable you know um fair enough uh someone’s asked what were Jimmy’s goals with music goes with music he said yeah sorry that’s quite a kind of broad question I guess what did he want to achieve from music well me obviously well I mean I I have to do it from the outside he even though having the benefit of of knowing you uh the goals would be like yeah it was all about getting getting a great sound and producing a song that takes people on the journey we were very much on having the the tune being just more than a pop song we didn’t want to serve up a pop song with a a fixed uh what should we say uh water sound that didn’t change through it throughout the song so we would take the take advantage of all the technology and Echo and and stereo phasing and this and that to paint a picture from the beginning of the song to the end of the song so there’s no reason for just push the failures up and sit back and be lazy and say I’ll score his first scores and the actual soundscape would not change because that would be well basically boring I mean not very challenging yeah because Jimmy would never play the same way twice when he played live because why would you you know if you can play to that if you can play freeform to that well and you know it it’s like jazz and Miles you know you’re gonna you want to react to the audience react to the mood of the environment you’re in so that each before which becomes personal and different and yeah so that the goals for the music would obviously you know preferably to play in front of people or as many people as you can even when you’re recording of the right the right people to get some Vibe back you know you know um making records in my opinion right is not a one DNA process if it’s one person to see in a little room and he’s got no input from any other anybody else’s breathing I don’t know I’m so sure about that it becomes very paradoxical because people then become Their Own Worst anyway because they’ve got no they’ve got no one to play play off of and it also means that if you’ve got no people around you it’s very difficult to have the same amount of fun as you might have as if you had to correct people around you absolutely Jimmy if I went up to the flat with Jimmy to see him and it always has your guitar he always wants you to play with him he even though he had to play Upside Down it didn’t matter what it was I’ll play this play that let’s have some fun see it didn’t matter because as long as you’re having fun and you were interacting because what what you might think of as uh you know not being um why should we say it added but he gets something out of it you see you get something over because someone’s had the generosity to say oh yeah let’s have some fun see yeah God I beat a lot of people out there would be willing to give their right arm for a jam with Jimmy

the gym because it’s just playing you know he said remember people playing guitar it’s not like you know people think jamming is taking a song and then playing it that’s because you might know the Alderson is going to go so what you know that means that means that you actually learned how someone else played it yeah now we’re going to play it our way you know so I I don’t know it’s more it’s more fun if you if you don’t know what’s going to happen yeah definitely um what was Jimmy like personally was he did he ever get angry or was he quite a kinder well most of the time Jimmy was Jimmy Jimmy was like quiet quiet and love to have fun and this and that you know but at the same time as you don’t remember me he was a paratrooper yeah I mean anyone who was you know part of the Airborne and jumped out of an airplane you know he’s he’s no Bush up he’s no Powder Puff you know what I mean he could get upset yeah but I mean I normally know me quite quite you know and he’s obviously uh spent a lot of time in um the in over the black bands in the back whereas you know there’s a lot there’s a lot of tough types in those bands you know version on you know the street wise people aren’t they you know they’re not to be a mess with you know you know you know a lot you have to be around it when I can’t explain to you but you know

a lot of guns involved in you know Swag and you know just like you’ve seen in the films you know it’s just like that wow um did he ever tell any jokes was he that sort uh yeah in a way yeah yeah but not not yeah it tells stories that are funny yeah for sure do you have any you can share or not not really at all I can I can just pull out of a hat fair enough um uh someone would like to know actually about any crazy stories you might have had when you went on your US tour with him well we we’ve had I mean this is going back into like you know social media when you tell me we’ve we’ve we’ve had to we we’ve had to have the hotel door broken down on which Mitchell several times because you couldn’t make your mind yeah he had to call up the hotel and pay for a new daughter bust the door in and because he’s I don’t know he’s falling asleep or he’s taking some sleeping because Christ knows what happened you know but uh yeah things like that I mean other things you know certain things happen on the stage where the stage got stormed by people and it was like you know like like a well yeah I mean it’s people trying to steal stuff I I had to recover Jimmy once when he got he got pulled into the audience got his head and put it back on the stage oh then pretty crazy stuff like that yeah it was pretty Mayhem you know yeah with the crowds yeah again because he had no security really so you know pretty pretty crazy um I think this is actually kind of getting us towards the end of of Jimmy’s questions musically now so someone would like to know where do you think drugs help to inspire how he played the guitar and used his gear in it or his songwriting

that would be I mean I at a time of course you are you’re ideally in the uh you know the loving and the hippie Pals and this and that I don’t I think it would be another estimation to imagine that Jimmy uh fly a lot a lot on LSD because you can’t play it uh that well on NSD it’s a first start but I mean you know obviously people were smoking pot and and doing and doing a few things but no I don’t I don’t think I mean it obviously that cut that whole culture of all the club scene and back in the 60s in in in the hippie scene yeah I mean that obviously affected the way people play because of the whole environment was like that yes so do you think Jimmy had a distinction between kind of recreation time and working time um you know with with his uh you know drug taking he said Rick we used to drink more than than uh you know you see you can’t there’s certain things you can’t do at the same time he was smart enough to realize you know you’re not going to take a bunch of uh pills that are going to slow you down if you want to go and perform wire really yeah so you wouldn’t want to do that for instance so yeah there would be a selection of uh of your choice you know somebody wanted to smoke a joint yeah or a bit of hash I guess they did that but you can’t do too much of it because you can’t you can’t perform you you can’t you watch Jimmy playing it with that virtuosity you can’t imagine that it could have been that stone yes it wasn’t well do you think without um so kind of this this question is sort of tied in with the last question but um we kind of covered the drug section of this but um can we make music like that without drugs and Rebellion and do you think Jimmy could do it if he was alive today I’ll see I think that is a bit of a

it’s always an irrelevant question because who’s to say what you could do fair enough I mean I I wouldn’t I don’t know what other people do personally because you’d have to be around them and you know you know I’ve been around Bob Marley you know and they obviously spoke a fair bit of cancer but the point is they do it every day so the effect on them would be different than anybody else because well it becomes a lifestyle and also it wouldn’t be the same just just because you can if if you’re a fairly happy drinker or you’re used to it yeah I didn’t I mean I never said I never saw Jimmy get get up on stage four falling about with alcohol to be honest with you yeah there we go you go to a club and have a few drinks but you wouldn’t not to beat it you know no it would just naturally happen generally if he was out it’s not the thought like we do now go out on a Friday night and no see how much we can drink it was it wasn’t that you see yeah just just because you might about 10 10 Scotch whiskey scotch and whiskeys you know so what if you do that every day it’s no big deal you know it’s only it’s only half a bottle you know yeah um yeah I I think it’s too much of that Mage you know and uh you know to think that these people were absolutely it’s not like someone being on heroin that’s different yeah how come you haven’t written a book about all of your experiences with the best guitarist the world has ever known well I’ve been asked by many people and and the point my feeling is personally is that I wouldn’t want to write a book about like that would just be little anecdotes of what you know someone might want to do right I I I have no interest in that I you know I don’t want to happen on Friday when we went to fish and chips and the guy fell over and he smashed his teeth because he was drunk I know this crap I mean they they do the people want to write vacuous books you know they got no right I mean a lot of people have got well I mean they’ve got every right in the world to write any kind of book they want yeah for sure but at the same time you want to read it so but if it doesn’t live up to what I I might want to think why would I bother to do that I mean isn’t it much better to help people make great music and then sit back and then leave it there and say well look here you’ve got some nice tools there that’s up to you it would be like like a painter you know I consider myself as like um in a way like like a race car mechanic you know but except I helped build the racing car so uh yeah so if somebody if someone wants to win a race good call you can drive it you’ll win if you can’t you won it’s that simple so it has to be down to you it’s not down to the uh it’s not down to the equipment it’s not down to any of it it’s down to the actual the desire of the person using you and I’m more interested in helping those people you know in any way I can to for them to achieve their maximum potential for themselves from what they’re capable of doing not for me to tell them what to do but to you know open up the uh Avenues of what they could do you know I mean the same thing as people say well why your pedal is popular I said well quite simply it’s they’re only popular because when people plug them in they like the way people they like the way they sound yeah do I need to say anymore not really I mean you know I don’t I don’t need to tell people how good they are other people tell me how good they are it’s better to have it that way I think you know than the other way around I mean it was it’s like you you know and the store selling guitars you’ve got all these guitars up there fantastic guitars but can you play them so that’s the next thing you you you can serve up a great choice to people you can guide people and that’s all you can do isn’t it very true would Roger I really appreciate you coming down to answer the questions there were some really good ones in there as well I think you asked uh you’re sorry you answered them beautifully sir thank you very much always fun have something to say with when you were doing asking about the difference in the sound from the 60s and from now you you definitely you should talk about the fact that the way things were recorded oh yeah we should put that in there yes if you wanted to ask the question again yeah yeah yeah well I forgot that yeah and people yeah yeah that’s that’s yeah let’s do that yeah because thank you Connie yeah

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one uh one question that someone’s asked is what do you think of modern music and what made the music in the 60s so different before it’s time and since yes that’s a very interesting question because uh there are many factors that that you should consider number one uh we won’t we won’t go back too far but uh most records like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley and so forth they were recorded basically stereo you know with a couple of overdubs it wasn’t until maybe in 1964 or so or so on and so forth so four track tape recording it became in Vogue in fact um the early recordings done by The Beatles And Say Jimmy with uh are you experienced we’re all four track uh now stereo

radio had only just come into Vogue around 67 to 68. Bobby stereo records or albums had started being produced probably first by The Beach Boys you know 67 66 and so the Advent of stereo brought in a whole new wave of type of music um the way it was recorded also changed um primarily say from the the Motown era oh and and some of the the soul sessions up to 6869 in New York where they they were recorded with a lot of musicians in one room so you’ve got to accomplish it um performance from you know the Rhythm Section bass drums so on and so forth and piano all in one room which meant that it was very efficient to record because not not only could you get in a three-hour session you could get at least two songs done I included in the vocals you could also get a particular identifiable sound from a particular Studio because of the way it was recorded because of the arrangement of physical arrangement of the musicians in the studio so that kind of started to change around the 68 with the Beatles where they had more overdubbing and more the the the music wasn’t recorded quite in the same way of having more musicians together you know it was more fragmented where someone will come back on another day and over dubbing this and that of course the fact of the matter is when when you have that scenario where people think that they can you know put it right in the mix or put it right on another day then you lose the continuity of the performance that you can that that was captured in a lot of the early records um you must also remember too that the actual recording cost in 1968 recording at say Olympic Studios was 38 pound an hour in 1968 when a pint of beer cost 12p well so now you’re talking about 250 points of beer an hour to record yeah points about 650 now I think exactly so it was very very uh very very important to to to rock up at the session and and do it you know you’re not going to come out there and you cannot no one could afford at that kind of prices to mess around you’ve got to be professional you you’ve got to do it you know what I mean and the other thing was of course is that because everything was recorded onto tape back then you’ve got the uh the valuable fact uh because it’s recorded on tape it takes it imparts a certain quality to the recording which means that you you know the the large Peaks that occur all get you know compressed by the tape and the tape process and the tape processing it imparts a very warm sound to the actual recording now this has a has gone full circle because nowadays people are very dissatisfied with a lot of the digital sound right now I’m fortunate enough to have seen the Advent of CD players being introduced in the CD recordings the whole game in in in the New York recording scene and uh and the English scene too so that my take on it today was to reintroduce the to analyze the why the actual sound that you got when you record it on tape couldn’t be duplicated very well on digital without further processing and this came up with me developing maybe four years ago the 456 HD process which duplicates and wave shapes the waveform to import impart the same characteristics of recording had you had a using you know the best quality tape recorder back in the day and that’s been very successful you know we sold over 700 units of that and it’s been used on a lot of hit records so far by good artists you know adultery and Proclaimers money City preachers all kinds of people from different countries who are using it you know Royal Blood and I don’t know a bunch of people but the point is that people can hear the difference because why the people got upset was when someone heard a record from the uh you know they called it the Golden Age of Records when it was happening where it was The Isley Brothers where there was Stevie Wonder they were direct transfers from the master tapes onto CD no you have you have no problem if you’ve got a great mix on on a master tape and you record it to a CD but you do have a problem if you’re trying to record straight onto a Daw with without any form of uh wave shaping because the the actual dynamics that occur in in the natural acoustic environment when you try to record it digitally there’s some severe Peaks that you cannot let get through you can’t use a limit on it because it’s too fast you can’t do this you can there’s a lot of things you can’t do with digital which are all problems that were were apparent when people try to record digital back in the 1980s so I said most of the great recordings people often ended up recording on on tape first or mixing to mix into tape because they couldn’t get over that bridge of of the digital uh um conversion which was caused by the anti-aliasing filter I’ve written a few things about it but uh yeah it’s very interesting because people can hear the difference immediately yeah with that and that’s one of the problems that you’ve got now when when you listen to a lot of modern music

um they’ve got a there’s a top end on the modern music that almost sounds like cardboard very abrasive it’s not very Musical and and the other thing is of course is that um the the algorithms that they use on on plugins and so forth don’t really work because music right Always by definition is it’s not a symmetrical waveform uh bass drum for instance has obviously got a a peak in the bass drum and you hit the bass drum that’s significantly louder than the the than the rebound from the bass drum and this this is true of many many acoustic instruments so that the waveform of music is actually it’s called asymmetric it it’s not symmetrical like a sine wave and most of the algorithms rely upon uh the waveform being symmetrical and it’s not symmetrical and that’s a that’s another thing with bad music music is not symmetrical wayful that’s almost a definition of music it’s like every cycle of music is different than the one previously so there’s quite a few mathematical processes that you cannot apply that don’t work very well feedback and there’s quite a few of them that don’t really work that well so you’ve really got to know your mass and your physics to even be able to approach to to make a good recording because it’s not that easy if it was that easy everybody would just buy you know you know I don’t know it’s a cheap little mixer and it would also sound great it doesn’t there’s a reason for it and the reason reason requires quite a bit of uh looking into you know because it’s it’s all about you know getting it to sound right and my my advice to anyone when I listen to modern music and old-fashioned music is use use use an old-fashioned music that’s a reference and then you try and work out in your own head why does the stuff I record it don’t sound so good

looking at yourself you know it’s not the answer does not lie in a plug-in it does not line a bunch of uh uh half truths told by the sales bits of everyone who’s trying to unplug you something which is which is a bit of software so I mean you know have a listen to it that that’s what his records are considered legendary I mean I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with my maybe three records of the century you know I mean they did the Bob Marley Exodus was considered one and some of the Stevie Wonder was considered that and of course Jimmy you know so these records have stood the test of time and uh well obviously what we were doing and the the our approach to recording was well yeah stood the test of time if anyone’s doing anything any better I want to hear it you know serve it up to me tomorrow please you know bring it on you know don’t don’t tell me how good it is show me how good it is and that’s you know not uh don’t don’t apologize for your ineptness as being a modern


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