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brassplyer brassplyer is offline
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On 02 Apr 2011, brassplyer wrote in
rec.audio.pro:

On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive
echoing "ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something.
Anyone know how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it
on other songs as well.


I think it's a woodblock with a ton of reverb.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On 4/2/2011 8:30 AM, brassplyer wrote:
On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.



This was discussed at length in the "Whatever Works" forum at
Prosoundweb. Terry Manning, one of the moderators, had the advantage of
a copy of the 16 track master.
An archive search will get you there.

Kevin Gallimore
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?



"axolotl" wrote in message
...
On 4/2/2011 8:30 AM, brassplyer wrote:
On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.



This was discussed at length in the "Whatever Works" forum at Prosoundweb.
Terry Manning, one of the moderators, had the advantage of a copy of the
16 track master.
An archive search will get you there.

Kevin Gallimore



Shame you couldn't be bothered to post a link.

I've just spent ages trying to find it and have given up.



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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On 4/2/2011 7:22 PM, Gareth Magennis wrote:


"axolotl" wrote in message
...
On 4/2/2011 8:30 AM, brassplyer wrote:
On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.



This was discussed at length in the "Whatever Works" forum at
Prosoundweb. Terry Manning, one of the moderators, had the advantage
of a copy of the 16 track master.
An archive search will get you there.

Kevin Gallimore



Shame you couldn't be bothered to post a link.

I've just spent ages trying to find it and have given up.



We aim to please.

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/259729/0/?srch=marvin+gaye+mercy#msg_259729


Kevin Gallimore



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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On 02 Apr 2011, "Gareth Magennis"
wrote in rec.audio.pro:

Shame you couldn't be bothered to post a link.

I've just spent ages trying to find it and have given up.


I flopped around for a while and eventually found the forum (I
think)...

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/f/34/0/

I have a multi-track version of this song that I acquired somewhere on
the 'net. This sound isn't on it!

I still think it's a wood block.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?



"axolotl" wrote in message
...
On 4/2/2011 7:22 PM, Gareth Magennis wrote:


"axolotl" wrote in message
...
On 4/2/2011 8:30 AM, brassplyer wrote:
On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.


This was discussed at length in the "Whatever Works" forum at
Prosoundweb. Terry Manning, one of the moderators, had the advantage
of a copy of the 16 track master.
An archive search will get you there.

Kevin Gallimore



Shame you couldn't be bothered to post a link.

I've just spent ages trying to find it and have given up.



We aim to please.

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/259729/0/?srch=marvin+gaye+mercy#msg_259729


Kevin Gallimore



Thank you Kevin. :-)

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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Apr 2, 5:53*pm, axolotl wrote:

This was discussed at length in the "Whatever Works" forum at
Prosoundweb. Terry Manning, one of the moderators, had the advantage of
a copy of the 16 track master.
An archive search will get you there.



I finally found the thread after much hunting around, I didn't see
where anyone gave a definitive answer as to what the sound was, lots
of speculation - wood block, muted cowbell, a "Chamberlin" sound.

So I still don't know the definitive answer to the question however I
did A) become aware of what's obviously an excellent recording forum
and B) became aware of a gizmo - the Chamberlin tape loop machine -
that I hadn't been aware of before.

Thanks for the tip!


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On 4/2/2011 8:44 PM, brassplyer wrote:

I didn't see
where anyone gave a definitive answer as to what the sound was, lots
of speculation - wood block, muted cowbell, a "Chamberlin" sound.

So I still don't know the definitive answer to the question


There's only one way to find out for sure, and that's to
find someone who was on the session who has a good memory.
But if you're trying to approximate that sound, you can
certainly try all the suggestions that have been made.

--
"Today's production equipment is IT based and cannot be
operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although
it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge
of audio." - John Watkinson

http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com - useful and
interesting audio stuff
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Apr 2, 9:13*pm, Mike Rivers wrote:


There's only one way to find out for sure, and that's to
find someone who was on the session who has a good memory.
But if you're trying to approximate that sound, you can
certainly try all the suggestions that have been made.



Wasn't really looking to emulate it - though who knows maybe I might
someday. It's just a curiosity I've had for a while that I've been
meaning to ask about.


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

brassplyer wrote:
On Apr 2, 9:13 pm, Mike Rivers wrote:


There's only one way to find out for sure, and that's to
find someone who was on the session who has a good memory.
But if you're trying to approximate that sound, you can
certainly try all the suggestions that have been made.



Wasn't really looking to emulate it - though who knows maybe I might
someday. It's just a curiosity I've had for a while that I've been
meaning to ask about.


A woodblock, with a fairly distant microphone, and loads of plate echo
should come close.

--
Tciao for Now!

John.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Sat, 2 Apr 2011 05:30:44 -0700 (PDT), brassplyer
wrote:

On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.


I am not familiar off the top of my head with the sound you are
referring to, but it wouldn't be a vibraslap would it?

Google: vibraslap

and see if that makes the sound you seek.
Dave
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

Il 02/04/2011 14.30, brassplyer ha scritto:
On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.

do you mean the one acting as "snare" drum in the pattern?

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On Apr 3, 7:21*am, alex wrote:

do you mean the one acting as "snare" drum in the pattern?



Here, that haunting, echoing "ponk" sound. I've heard it described as
sounding like a racquetball caroming off a wall. Doesn't sound at all
like a snare.


http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/...Mercy_pong.mp3



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On Apr 3, 7:20*am, wrote:

Here's a good link to the vibraslap sound:

http://www.ehow.com/video_2371973_use-vibraslap.html



No, definitely not that.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

Il 03/04/2011 14.20, brassplyer ha scritto:
On Apr 3, 7:21 am, wrote:

do you mean the one acting as "snare" drum in the pattern?



Here, that haunting, echoing "ponk" sound. I've heard it described as
sounding like a racquetball caroming off a wall. Doesn't sound at all
like a snare.


http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/...Mercy_pong.mp3

i said the one that "act as a snare in the pattern", not that sound like
a snare.
Listening to the song appear to me that:
1) the "sound" is doubling the snare, but sometimes disappear leaving
the snare alone (at the beginning of the brass section part), or...
2) is just the big reverb (that seems to me a well produced gated spring
reverb) that sometimes disappear (probably because the snare hits being
too weak to open the gate?).
3) is something else controlled by the snare used as key. (like a gated
ambience mic heavily compressed?)

hope it helps...


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

brassplyer wrote:
On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.


After fiddling for a minute or two.

Start with a Microsoft Wavetable synth woodblock

Add a shedload of vocal plate reverb in Cubase.

It won't be how it was done in the studio, but it's fairly close.

In the studio, it would have been a proper woodblock, mic'd up a couple
of feet away, then fed in to the studio's plate reverb, with a bit of EQ
to modify the sound.

--
Tciao for Now!

John.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

brassplyer scribbled:

On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
"ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
as well.



I just happen to have a copy of the 16-track. Let's take a look (Listen?).
There's 4 tracks of drums/percussion. Track 1 is the kick, track 2 is the
rest of the kit, track 3 is congas, track 4 is woodblock (with some
alternate celeste in it).

Track 3 has a nice hi conga slap in it that corresponds to the snare. Stick
that thru a plate and there's your sound.

Incidentally, there's lots of electric guitar bleed, some bass bleed, and a
little bit of piano bleed on the conga track. Interesting stuff.

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On Apr 3, 10:03*am, "Don P." wrote:

I just happen to have a copy of the 16-track. Let's take a look (Listen?)..
There's 4 tracks of drums/percussion. Track 1 is the kick, track 2 is the
rest of the kit, track 3 is congas, track 4 is woodblock (with some
alternate celeste in it).

Track 3 has a nice hi conga slap in it that corresponds to the snare. Stick
that thru a plate and there's your sound.



Hmm... Given the pitch and overall timbre of the root sound I have a
hard time believing that's a conga. It definitely sounds like
something hard being struck rather than a drum head of any sort. Wood
block struck with something like a timpani mallet or something?

Of course if someone wants to demonstrate that sound can be reproduced
with a conga and the kind of fx available at the time I'm open to be
convinced.


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On 03 Apr 2011, "Don P." wrote in
rec.audio.pro:

I just happen to have a copy of the 16-track. Let's take a look
(Listen?). There's 4 tracks of drums/percussion. Track 1 is the
kick, track 2 is the rest of the kit, track 3 is congas, track 4
is woodblock (with some alternate celeste in it).

Track 3 has a nice hi conga slap in it that corresponds to the
snare. Stick that thru a plate and there's your sound.


I have that, too, but I don't think the conga track is what's making
the "racquetball"/ping sound. I can hear the conga track buried inside
the final mix - the ping sounds like a discreet track, and isn't
included in the 16-track version that's going around.
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Nil scribbled:

On 03 Apr 2011, "Don P." wrote in
rec.audio.pro:

I just happen to have a copy of the 16-track. Let's take a look
(Listen?). There's 4 tracks of drums/percussion. Track 1 is the
kick, track 2 is the rest of the kit, track 3 is congas, track 4
is woodblock (with some alternate celeste in it).

Track 3 has a nice hi conga slap in it that corresponds to the
snare. Stick that thru a plate and there's your sound.


I have that, too, but I don't think the conga track is what's making
the "racquetball"/ping sound. I can hear the conga track buried inside
the final mix - the ping sounds like a discreet track, and isn't
included in the 16-track version that's going around.


I went back and listened to both the multitrack and the final mix. I can
get close to what they did in the mix if I pan the conga track hard left,
EQ it really badly to bring out the high slap, and send it thru a plate.
Gotta keep turning the reverb send up and down on the conga slap to keep
the whole track from swimming, so they were most likely gating the reverb
send to only let the "ping" get through.

I thought it might have also been the woodblock, so I tried that, but its
pitch is higher than the ping, and it's not there in the beginning.

Mind you, my reverb return is stereo, and their plate is mono. (goes back
to return pan pots)

That sounds about right. Pan the reverb return slightly to the right.

The other problem is my plate reverb isn't a plate, but is a Behringer V-
Verb Pro (a.k.a. REV2496) plate. Tried it through a Lexicon "plate", but
that was really bright.

Or someone could have been playing something live during the mix. That
would have been easier than trying to isolate the single hit from the
track. Who knows?


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On 03 Apr 2011, "Don P." wrote in
rec.audio.pro:

I went back and listened to both the multitrack and the final mix.
I can get close to what they did in the mix if I pan the conga
track hard left, EQ it really badly to bring out the high slap,
and send it thru a plate. Gotta keep turning the reverb send up
and down on the conga slap to keep the whole track from swimming,
so they were most likely gating the reverb send to only let the
"ping" get through.


Thing is, though, that the conga track is quite busy - I think there
are at least two conga players playing simultaneously. I think it would
be difficult or impossible to EQ the track so that you couldn't hear
the other drum beats but the ones on 2 and 4, which are so forward in
the final mix. I think you'd still hear traces of the the other conga
hits, especially with that big bright reverb.

Maybe it is a high-pitched conga, since they obviously had them there
at the session. It could have added later.

Or someone could have been playing something live during the mix.
That would have been easier than trying to isolate the single hit
from the track. Who knows?


That's what I'm thinking.
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On Apr 3, 4:34*pm, "Don P." wrote:

I thought it might have also been the woodblock, so I tried that, but its
pitch is higher than the ping, and it's not there in the beginning.



Wood blocks come in various pitches.


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On Apr 3, 5:42*pm, brassplyer wrote:
On Apr 3, 4:34*pm, "Don P." wrote:

I thought it might have also been the woodblock, so I tried that, but its
pitch is higher than the ping, and it's not there in the beginning.


Wood blocks come in various pitches.


Either a conga tuned very high or a bongo - definitely something with
a head on it. If you've ever played hand percussion in a studio
environment, I think you'd agree immediately that this is a drum, and
not a wood block, temple block, cowbell or other. Another poster was
quite right - there is more than 1 Marvin Gaye with this very creative
"substution of a snare on the 2 and 4" used.

Went nuts for it when I first heard it in my late teens...like Voyage
to the Bottom of the Sea meets Motown.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

I'm a drummer/percussionist, and am having a devil of a time
answering your question. After listening several times, I really
can't say! Pretty clever, really. I tend to agree with other
posters that it could be a heavily processed conga or bongo slap.
Or it could be another kind of drum, maybe a dumbek. But that
is honestly just a guess -- it could be a household item.

brassplyer wrote:
: On Marvin Gaye's cut "Mercy Mercy Me" there's this repetitive echoing
: "ponk" that sort of sounds like a sonar ping or something. Anyone know
: how that sound was created? Seems I may have heard it on other songs
: as well.
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:20:01 -0700 (PDT), brassplyer
wrote:

On Apr 3, 7:21*am, alex wrote:

do you mean the one acting as "snare" drum in the pattern?



Here, that haunting, echoing "ponk" sound. I've heard it described as
sounding like a racquetball caroming off a wall. Doesn't sound at all
like a snare.


http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/...Mercy_pong.mp3


That's a cow bell. Sounds like it's miked with filtering and struck
with a yarn mallet rather then a wood stick.
Dave
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wrote in message
...
On Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:20:01 -0700 (PDT), brassplyer
wrote:

On Apr 3, 7:21 am, alex wrote:

do you mean the one acting as "snare" drum in the pattern?



Here, that haunting, echoing "ponk" sound. I've heard it described as
sounding like a racquetball caroming off a wall. Doesn't sound at all
like a snare.


http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/...Mercy_pong.mp3


That's a cow bell. Sounds like it's miked with filtering and struck
with a yarn mallet rather then a wood stick.
Dave


That's what I've been thinking. I had a producer client that used to use a
cloth glove. He stuck his gloved hand inside the cow bell to dampen the ring
or just pinched the edge depending on the effect he wanted.

Steve King


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Wed, 6 Apr 2011 18:43:03 -0500, "Steve King"
wrote:

wrote in message
.. .
On Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:20:01 -0700 (PDT), brassplyer
wrote:

On Apr 3, 7:21 am, alex wrote:

do you mean the one acting as "snare" drum in the pattern?


Here, that haunting, echoing "ponk" sound. I've heard it described as
sounding like a racquetball caroming off a wall. Doesn't sound at all
like a snare.


http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/...Mercy_pong.mp3


That's a cow bell. Sounds like it's miked with filtering and struck
with a yarn mallet rather then a wood stick.
Dave


That's what I've been thinking. I had a producer client that used to use a
cloth glove. He stuck his gloved hand inside the cow bell to dampen the ring
or just pinched the edge depending on the effect he wanted.

Steve King


I have listened to a couple of more times. It might also be a special
studio rig created by some tinkerer. I might be a cowbell bolted in
some way to a temple block. It does have a sort of woody sound to it
also, as well as the attack and decay of a cowbell stuck with a yarn
mallet. It's a very famous disco era sample however they did it.
Dave


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Sun, 03 Apr 2011 15:34:27 -0500, Don P. wrote:

snip
The other problem is my plate reverb isn't a plate, but is a Behringer
V- Verb Pro (a.k.a. REV2496) plate. Tried it through a Lexicon "plate",
but that was really bright.

Or someone could have been playing something live during the mix. That
would have been easier than trying to isolate the single hit from the
track. Who knows?


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.
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philicorda scribbled:


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Or just de-tune the plate :-)
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"philicorda" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 03 Apr 2011 15:34:27 -0500, Don P. wrote:

snip
The other problem is my plate reverb isn't a plate, but is a Behringer
V- Verb Pro (a.k.a. REV2496) plate. Tried it through a Lexicon "plate",
but that was really bright.

Or someone could have been playing something live during the mix. That
would have been easier than trying to isolate the single hit from the
track. Who knows?


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Did you have in mind any analogue EQs of the time that are capable of what
you describe?

Steve King


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"Don P." wrote in message
...
philicorda scribbled:


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Or just de-tune the plate :-)


The idea of detuning an EMT plate for a single effect just boggles my
mind;-)

Steve King


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Steve King wrote:
"philicorda" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 03 Apr 2011 15:34:27 -0500, Don P. wrote:

snip
The other problem is my plate reverb isn't a plate, but is a Behringer
V- Verb Pro (a.k.a. REV2496) plate. Tried it through a Lexicon "plate",
but that was really bright.

Or someone could have been playing something live during the mix. That
would have been easier than trying to isolate the single hit from the
track. Who knows?


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Did you have in mind any analogue EQs of the time that are capable of what
you describe?


That album was what, 1970?

If I had to do it today I'd use an Orban 622 which was a few years later.

When did the ITI come out?
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

Steve King wrote:
"Don P." wrote in message
...
philicorda scribbled:


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Or just de-tune the plate :-)


The idea of detuning an EMT plate for a single effect just boggles my
mind;-)


Just send the intern in to do it.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

"Scott Dorsey" wrote in message
...
Steve King wrote:
"philicorda" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 03 Apr 2011 15:34:27 -0500, Don P. wrote:

snip
The other problem is my plate reverb isn't a plate, but is a Behringer
V- Verb Pro (a.k.a. REV2496) plate. Tried it through a Lexicon "plate",
but that was really bright.

Or someone could have been playing something live during the mix. That
would have been easier than trying to isolate the single hit from the
track. Who knows?

The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Did you have in mind any analogue EQs of the time that are capable of what
you describe?


That album was what, 1970?

If I had to do it today I'd use an Orban 622 which was a few years later.

When did the ITI come out?
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


Could have been the ITI. Mix magazine has Massenburg using the EQ in 1967.
An EQ module was shown at AES in 1971. Interesting story he
http://mixonline.com/TECnology-Hall-...alizer-090106/

Steve King


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

"Scott Dorsey" wrote in message
...
Steve King wrote:
"Don P." wrote in message
...
philicorda scribbled:


The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return.
Put a band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type.
It doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Or just de-tune the plate :-)


The idea of detuning an EMT plate for a single effect just boggles my
mind;-)


Just send the intern in to do it.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


If the intern doesn't break a few clips it isn't tight enough.

Steve King


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philicorda[_9_] philicorda[_9_] is offline
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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

On Fri, 08 Apr 2011 10:28:45 -0500, Steve King wrote:

snip
The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return. Put a
band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type. It
doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Did you have in mind any analogue EQs of the time that are capable of
what you describe?


Things like the Moog 914 filter bank were around by that time.

What was more common is a passive high/low pass. I have seen in pictures
of old studios a passive high/low pass filter, in a rack with two big
knobs on the front. I can't remember which companies made them, but I
think they date back to the 50's. I don't think it was Pultec, but rather
folk like Eckmiller, Neumann or Siemens.



Steve King


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Default How did they create that sound on "Mercy Mercy Me"?

"philicorda" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 08 Apr 2011 10:28:45 -0500, Steve King wrote:

snip
The 'ping' sound was made by heavily eqing the reverb return. Put a
band pass after the reverb, preferably a steep synth filter type. It
doesn't really matter too much what the played sound source is.


Did you have in mind any analogue EQs of the time that are capable of
what you describe?


Things like the Moog 914 filter bank were around by that time.

What was more common is a passive high/low pass. I have seen in pictures
of old studios a passive high/low pass filter, in a rack with two big
knobs on the front. I can't remember which companies made them, but I
think they date back to the 50's. I don't think it was Pultec, but rather
folk like Eckmiller, Neumann or Siemens.


Pultec did make a high-low pass filter. Very popular through the 70s. So
did a few others.

Steve King


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