HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby Kris Naphtali » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:12 am

I have been thinking about buying a electric 6 string guitar and would like to know if a cheaper squire strat be alright for chops and mutes?
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BulletHtBSB/ This would be used in studio only recorded direct.

Would love to hear some opinions from guitarists.
Until That Day +++

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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby CassavaOuternational » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:45 pm

in my opinion, that should fit the bill -

i've never had a strat but it seems appropriate for funk and reggae, i think the squire is on russ d's equipment list. i have a squire bass and it's fine, nothing spectacular but it works

bass direct into the board is good, but i would recommend you play guitar through a small amp and mic it - any small practice amp should be fine

i play an epiphone sheraton through a fender blues junior (nice for reggae b/c it has reverb) - the fender pro junior is nice too
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby DC » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:57 am

I record electric guitar both mic and di. In that way you can achive a nice blend between the amp sound and direct sound.
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby dubroom » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:40 am

Dubfull Greetings,

This is definitely one of the most interesting reads of these last times, as far as I'm concerned at least. In fact I should be reviewing stuff at this moment but instead I was totally captured by what was written and so here I am writing a reply...

When the electric guitar was invented let's say, people were against it and said "music could not come out of a box". Then I experienced myself in the mid 1990's, after entering the online arena if you will with my computer-based Dub music, how this very same idea was present concerning my own works. However, I also saw the start of a movement about 10-15 years ago which I have come to call "Online (DUB) Reggae Artists", most of which will use "The Box" and many of which produce crucial music.

And now I hear that some of the producers I consider to be at least predecessors and therefore teachers are going in that same direction: I can only say that this doesn't suprise me at all. After all, a computer basically is a simulator of stuff that is "out of the box". You can make the computer think that it's a crucial studio in complete set-up, it's called using software. Which software? It's not the most important. What is the most important, is that you have inspiration.

Throughout the 15 or so years I've received countless requests for information about which software I use. It gives me the vibe that some folks seem to think that it's possible to "click-your-own-dub", to use a variation on a theme. I think that such a thing is just a prejudice, for I know very well that you don't "click-your-own-dubs" just as much as there is no such thing as a "autonome studio": you have to personally put stuff in there and only when that stuff is reasonable is when you can get started creating the Dubs or vocal tracks.

I am in total agreement when it comes to the appreciloving of Slimmah Sound: that material is so spiritual that it's a school example of my thesis. I've seen him live in action as well, he is what his music sounds like, without apology.

Personally, I've always used the concept of a "virtual studio band". My examples are the old Jamaican studio's where the house band played the riddims, after which the singers and engineers went further with the riddims. I think that it's important, especially for those that want "old skool" (not me), to realize that. Too many people think of Reggae tunes as "songs", and unfortunately there is many producers who think that Reggae should be created in the same way that Rock music or something like that is produced. So I think the first step to that "old skool" style is to start producing riddims rather then "compositions" or whatever the name of the game is.

I have no idea how to create the sound from the 80's or '70's, I think it's pretty useless too as what does all that do for the promotion and development of Reggae Music? I like to play music from that era, I also like to be inspired both in vibes and techniques from that time as well, but I have no illusions which go beyond the fact that I "simply" do my best and put all my creativity, talens and thoughts in the tunes I produce.

Got no idea if this actually helped anyone, but I need to write this reply still :)
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby Zefyko » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:23 am

On this month's Sound On Sound Magazine there's a great article about "Programming realistic drums".
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby ekss » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:14 am

Greetings Warriorsteppas!

I don't know if your still using Reason for your productions, if you do then you might like the units I've just released here.
You will find a synthesizer, a drum machine, a siren, drum synth and some effects there. They are all free for download. (Pay with a tweet or use the contact form at the bottom)
There's no sound samples but if you check out the tunes at ekss.se/vibes-from-the-80s you can hear them in use.

I also recommend you to download the "Analogue Rhythm Boxes v2.0" from http://www.diskodiktator.com/02-arkiv-refill.html
There you will find almost every known old school drum machine. For the King Jammy sound you will find great use of the Casio PT-68 in this refill. PT-68 got the same drum sound as the legendary Casio MT-40 keyboard, known from the sleng teng riddim. I've used the PT-68 preset on this tune if you'd like to hear it.

I think Reason is the perfect choice for producing digitally in an old fashioned way with the concept of rack units - exept you get better sound quality, a great sequencer and unlimited units. If you want to add audio recording you could use any DAW with rewire or just get Propellerheads Record (really great mixer in that one).

Good luck with your productions!

One love

/Erik

warriorsteppas wrote:Greetings,

I have recently used reasons and cubase software to produce dub music however, the hi-hats, snares, bass, horns, synths, percussion and drums don't relate to the style of reggae music i wish to produce.

The style I wish to produce is the old school non-commerical dancehall reggae music style featuring:
jammy's record label,
music works record label,
living room record label,
two friends sir record label,
vena record label,
live and learn label,
Virgo record label,
ruddy's music record label,
photograher record label,
redman international record label,
new name muzik record label
etc. mainly the JA productions!

can anyone help or direct or guide me on what software or equipment I need to make them style of tunes?
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby bellay » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:40 pm

Great topic :D! I wondered quite a few times they've recorded drums in jamaica 70's and 80s, on those roots tunes, the drums are basically so tight and dry(except those loads of spring reverb), almost like a machine, and I can't hear no room there...strange how overhead mics didn't pick up some other drum elemnts except cymbals. Tried to recreate that sound several times with samples and even bfd software but no way :S
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby mace » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:42 am

edit: ....has been settled.

give thanks
Last edited by mace on Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby CHRIS RIDDIM » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:19 am

Kris Naphtali wrote:I have been thinking about buying a electric 6 string guitar and would like to know if a cheaper squire strat be alright for chops and mutes?
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BulletHtBSB/ This would be used in studio only recorded direct.

Would love to hear some opinions from guitarists.


Strats are great, I like the shape (gibsons are too arse-heavy) and they are great guitars for lead work

One thing to think about is that 'whammy bar' on the bridge , it is attatched to springs in the back of the guitar behing the 'bridge' (metal bit where the strings attatch on the 'body'). Pulling that bar towards the guitar will bend ALL the strings down in pitch , pulling away will raise the pitch, this is often used on those pyrotchnic heavy metal guitar solos, others use it lightly on chords like Chris Issac's tune 'wicked game'. basically it makes the guitar note go 'out of tune' to the desired amount. It's for effect and can only be used sparingly, in reggae you will hardly ever use it, string bends will be fine for solos and lead playing, you dont need that bar, you can take it off (it unscrews) but the 'bridge' is still set on springs and not fixed.

One problem that can arise is when 'dampening' the strings with the edge of the right hand firmly on the bridge (try to get exactly in line with where the strings emerge on the bridge) while 'picking', that 'muted' , percussive click sound that Lynn Taitt got on the rocksteady stuff which became such a part of reggae. To get a nice 'muted' sound one has to use a lot of pressure to stop the strings 'ringing out' , this pressure on the 'bridge' can enough to 'bend' the strings as you play them making you out of tune. This is more pronounced when playing chords.

I would advise getting something witrh a fixed bridge and no bar like ......

Image

A 'compressor' (used correctly, fast attck and release) will also help get that percussive click on picked guitar lines

also , dont bother with playing all 6 strings on a chord for the 'off beat' skanks, use the top (thinnest) 4 strings only, barchords are for heavy rock
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby Inyaki » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:36 am

When it comes to chipping and picking, in my experience, the musician and the feel-technique-touch-panache is more important than the instrument.
A good reggae guitar player makes anything sound good. Even a battered 50 quid guitar conected to a washing mashine! :)
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby dougie conscious » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:38 pm

barchords are for heavy rock?
most reggae guitarists ive known or seen use bar chords,
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby CHRIS RIDDIM » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:20 pm

dougie conscious wrote:barchords are for heavy rock?
most reggae guitarists ive known or seen use bar chords,


I know mate, it's got to 'epidemic' levels. This is a serious issue that needs fixing so forgive me Dougie if I address my post to allcomers, some of the points go over very basic stuff so please don't think that is aimed at you, some readers will appreciate the very rudimentary info i have to share....

If one wants to do some heavy chug like metallica, of course you want those lower strings in the chord, some of those metal guys even have 7 string (with a low B) guitars so they can put a low '5th' note in ther barchords

Ska requires a full bodied, warm bar chord, to avoid any tinny, two-tone kind of vibe. ugh! Heavy strings would be ideal for ska

But reggae chords are light, thin, not dense slabs of chord, but light and delicate, like a piece of coral reef. The guitar stabs are like the the top of the pyramid , sat 'pon top' of the wedge of each piano stab. I think it was Malcolm Goldmaster who told me that metaphor (always suspected he was some kind of freemason). In fact the '4 finger chord' is the main reason that the illuiminati killed Bob, because he promoted the use of the uplifting '4 string chord' , rather than the satanic 'bar chord' that is designed to reconfigure the listener's DNA to resonate with "base reptillian desires".
This is why the agents of chaos conspire to thwart and sabotage my endeavours, because I champion the '4 string chord' which has the power to free humanity from the tyranny of babylon

When you drop those bottom 2 notes from the chord , one is no longer holding down 6 strings with 4 fingers. If only striking the top 4 (d.g.b.e) strings, one can use the END of each finger to fret the note, instantly giving more strength, more control over the ATTACK of each note (very important), that 'squeeze' one does with the left hand when playing the off beat 'stabs'/'skanks'/'chops'/'chips'/'pork scratchings' is so much easier. Try it now with no guitar, just mime playing a chord 'bob style' and compare with a 'bar chord'. That 'squeeze' when in 'bar' position strains the thumb. It also strains the wrist as one has to get the hand 'erect' at 90 degrees to the guitar neck , what a twisted position, with the '4 finger chord' position the elbow comes back and now the upper arm is straight down , no strain on back or shoulder. Now the thumb no longer has to provide the 'resistance' for the fingers to push against, the base of the hand is now where pressure is applied to the back of the guitar neck, the thumb now sits parralel with the neck , pointing at the headstock, or curled over, you can even fret notes on the bottom string with the thumb, Jimi Hendrix did this a lot, but his style was very individual and unorthodox.

mmmmmmm, luxurious!
Image

I still 'bar' when playing a minor chord but only have to cover the top 3 strings so can get it far more accurate, the 4th string is fretted with 3rd finger and that still leaves little finger 'roaming' to drop in occasional '6th' and '7th' notes. A bar chord is just the same 3 notes of the 'scale' repeated, the same 3 notes that the piano chord is playing and likely the bassline. the 'first' or 'root' note, the 'third' and the 'fifth' note of the scale. Piano players and guitarists will often add a little variation tinkle on the 7th note, even if the song is not playing a '7th chord', it just sounds nice. These are the extra notes that the illuminati don't want you to know about

That same minor chord is turned into a major by adding the 2nd finger on the 3rd string, I can still drop in the '7th'(now one fret higher, a stretch for pinky, it's a major 7th remember), but would rather 'pull off' from the '6th' (2 frets up from the bar, top string) for a 'tamoki wambesi' jingley effect. The 4 finger chord also makes it so much easier to chop and change between the 3 INVERSIONS (same 3 notes in different order. for A minor you can play A.C.E. or E.A.C. or C.E.A.) like the piano player does. Most classis melodies and licks in reggae are just inversions of these same 3 notes. Inversions are where it's at!

Overlooked because he is known as a vocalist but he is still the best 'Riddim guitar' in reggae.....
Image

Go on Bob, show them "how fi dweet!"

Image

See how it frees up his 'little finger so he can add the '7th' note as an occasional 'hammer on' or 'pull off'

Image
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby underated » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:29 pm

CHRIS RIDDIM wrote:
dougie conscious wrote:barchords are for heavy rock?
most reggae guitarists ive known or seen use bar chords,


I know mate, it's got to 'epidemic' levels. This is a serious issue that needs fixing so forgive me Dougie if I address my post to allcomers, some of the points go over very basic stuff so please don't think that is aimed at you, some readers will appreciate the very rudimentary info i have to share....

If one wants to do some heavy chug like metallica, of course you want those lower strings in the chord, some of those metal guys even have 7 string (with a low B) guitars so they can put a low '5th' note in ther barchords

Ska requires a full bodied, warm bar chord, to avoid any tinny, two-tone kind of vibe. ugh! Heavy strings would be ideal for ska

But reggae chords are light, thin, not dense slabs of chord, but light and delicate, like a piece of coral reef. The guitar stabs are like the the top of the pyramid , sat 'pon top' of the wedge of each piano stab. I think it was Malcolm Goldmaster who told me that metaphor (always suspected he was some kind of freemason). In fact the '4 finger chord' is the main reason that the illuiminati killed Bob, because he promoted the use of the uplifting '4 string chord' , rather than the satanic 'bar chord' that is designed to reconfigure the listener's DNA to resonate with "base reptillian desires".
This is why the agents of chaos conspire to thwart and sabotage my endeavours, because I champion the '4 string chord' which has the power to free humanity from the tyranny of babylon

When you drop those bottom 2 notes from the chord , one is no longer holding down 6 strings with 4 fingers. If only striking the top 4 (d.g.b.e) strings, one can use the END of each finger to fret the note, instantly giving more strength, more control over the ATTACK of each note (very important), that 'squeeze' one does with the left hand when playing the off beat 'stabs'/'skanks'/'chops'/'chips'/'pork scratchings' is so much easier. Try it now with no guitar, just mime playing a chord 'bob style' and compare with a 'bar chord'. That 'squeeze' when in 'bar' position strains the thumb. It also strains the wrist as one has to get the hand 'erect' at 90 degrees to the guitar neck , what a twisted position, with the '4 finger chord' position the elbow comes back and now the upper arm is straight down , no strain on back or shoulder. Now the thumb no longer has to provide the 'resistance' for the fingers to push against, the base of the hand is now where pressure is applied to the back of the guitar neck, the thumb now sits parralel with the neck , pointing at the headstock, or curled over, you can even fret notes on the bottom string with the thumb, Jimi Hendrix did this a lot, but his style was very individual and unorthodox.

mmmmmmm, luxurious!
Image

I still 'bar' when playing a minor chord but only have to cover the top 3 strings so can get it far more accurate, the 4th string is fretted with 3rd finger and that still leaves little finger 'roaming' to drop in occasional '6th' and '7th' notes. A bar chord is just the same 3 notes of the 'scale' repeated, the same 3 notes that the piano chord is playing and likely the bassline. the 'first' or 'root' note, the 'third' and the 'fifth' note of the scale. Piano players and guitarists will often add a little variation tinkle on the 7th note, even if the song is not playing a '7th chord', it just sounds nice. These are the extra notes that the illuminati don't want you to know about

That same minor chord is turned into a major by adding the 2nd finger on the 3rd string, I can still drop in the '7th'(now one fret higher, a stretch for pinky, it's a major 7th remember), but would rather 'pull off' from the '6th' (2 frets up from the bar, top string) for a 'tamoki wambesi' jingley effect. The 4 finger chord also makes it so much easier to chop and change between the 3 INVERSIONS (same 3 notes in different order. for A minor you can play A.C.E. or E.A.C. or C.E.A.) like the piano player does. Most classis melodies and licks in reggae are just inversions of these same 3 notes. Inversions are where it's at!

Overlooked because he is known as a vocalist but he is still the best 'Riddim guitar' in reggae.....
Image

Go on Bob, show them "how fi dweet!"

Image

See how it frees up his 'little finger so he can add the '7th' note as an occasional 'hammer on' or 'pull off'

Image


Wonderful post.

You have made some great points here.Some guitarists have trouble with full bar chords, hence the 'marley chords' . Use whatever works best though, i prefer 'marley chords' for jazzy type tracks,i always more or less use barre chords for reggae, the touch is everything though, so the sound could be played by using a few different methods.

Not that many people can play authentic reggae guitar, it is a genuine art form like blues, it can't be faked. Yes bob was a lovely riddim player, very gentle sounding, okay so he strummed an out of tune accustic guitar for most of his ideas, but when he used that strat / gibson, oh what a lovely tone & sound.
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby dougie conscious » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:44 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE3WaSETf8k

in this clip even thou it dont look barred it is hes just useing his thumb instead of his finger,
later on youll see him use the full bar chord,
a very good reggae guitarist once said they only play 4 strings cos they cant play 6? called it cheating lol
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Re: HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

Postby CHRIS RIDDIM » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:33 pm

dougie conscious wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE3WaSETf8k

in this clip even thou it dont look barred it is hes just useing his thumb instead of his finger,


He is clearly only playing 4 strings, you can see it atr the very start from the close up on the strum, also don't just look...... Listen, it sounds like only 4 strings. If you had even tried this shape, just mimed it like I suggested, you would realise how difficult it is to fret that bottom string with the thumb. It's 'possible' but not very useful if playinmg a 6 string chord as you would have to fret the A (5th) string aswell, with your thumb.

Go on, have a try. I said It's possible to fret that bottom string but Hendrix is the only man I know to have used that and he played like 3 guitarists in one body, constantly switching between chords, melodies, half an arpeggio, a very 'bitty' style and he was playing a right hand guitar, turned upside down (to be left handed)

Marley did not fret the bottom string with his thumb and he did not play 6 string chords

Anyway, who cares if Bob did it or not, I didn't discover this by watching him, I found this way myself. My first attempts to play 'reggae sounding' chords, I found a bar across the top 3 strings worked, then i found the a different inversion and had to look at books to work out that it was the same notes , and same notes as the piano chord.

The truth is many 'reggae' guitarists only strike 4 strings when playing but STILL they use the bar chord position, even if they are not striking the bottom 2 strings. They don't switch to 'marley' chords shape because they have not thought of it and don't like having to change thier style, and learn to do this another way, even if it will open up new possibilities like adding the odd '7th' notes and being able to play 3 different 'inversions' of every chord on the guitar.
I haven't found a pic online yet but I wager John Kpiaye who worked with Bovell playes 4 string chords.

dougie conscious wrote:later on youll see him use the full bar chord


Really? I dont think so , what time on the vid? It seems unlikely that he would switch shape. Possible that he switched to play a sustained chord later in the tune, at a 'turnaround' maybe.
If so that would verify that he is playing only 4 strings for the 'skank'/'chop'/'cutlet' and switched to play 6 strings (bar chord) once or twice in the tune as a 'refrain' from the 'off beat' skanks

dougie conscious wrote:a very good reggae guitarist once said they only play 4 strings cos they cant play 6? called it cheating


Care to put a name to that quote?
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