Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

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Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Larry Lenhart » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:20 am

Just curious if Chet used an echoplex on the recording of that great version of Chinatown...what effects pedal would come close to that sound ? I know, tone is the hands, etc, etc, but just curious. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Norm » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:54 am

Chinatown was released in 1952. Ray Butts came out with his Echo-Sonic amp in 1954 and the Echoplex came along a few years after that.

Short answer, no, it's not Echoplex but probably one of his reel to reel decks he kept on hand to add echo. This was the best way because it eliminated the >pop< of the loop splice passing over the recording heads.

Any good guitar store can show you an array of pedals that do a great job of providing echo. I haven't looked at them live for quite a while but I would just find the one that ran the quietest. They're even making tape models like the old echoplex but you have maintenance issues there.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Pickin Palmer » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:35 am

I wonder if he was serious about using "elevator shafts" to produce echos? I'm listening to that recording right now - and, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to think it isn't a shaft's echo I'm listening to...

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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Norm » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:16 pm

That's possible considering the time period. In the days before studios were established they recorded in hotels and hotels certainly had elevators. Paul never mentioned Chet using them in his early days but that could be just a matter of the two never bringing it up in conversation. I would imagine the elevator shaft idea would work better for singers.

I'll stick with the deck idea because it gave him more control and less worry about unwanted background noise
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Steve Sanders » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:48 pm

Larry (fellow Okie), go to YouTube and check out a fellar named Matt Cowe. He has an excellent version of "Chinatown" and a whole bunch'a others you need to see and listen to. Even plays an orange Gretsch. One of the best Chet-pickers that keeps it more "Chet-ish" than most. And a real nice guy ta boot!! Plus he even sells tabs and backing track for some of his tunes and they are not expensive. He's over on the big island. Check'eem out!! Steve
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby LMark » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:20 pm

Chinatown was cut in a single take in June 1952 at one of the RCA Studios in NYC (see the booklet included in the album Chet Atkins: Legendary Performer, Vol. 1). You would think that all the necessary equipment for the latest effects would have been available on the spot in that setting. This book might shed more light on the technology available at the time: http://www.amazon.com/Studio-Stories-Gr ... 0879308176
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Larry Lenhart » Sun May 01, 2016 10:20 am

Thanks for all of the responses to this thread. I will definately check out Matt Cowe as you suggested, Steve.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Pickin Palmer » Sun May 01, 2016 10:50 am

Doc Pritcher just announced in that letter he just sent to all CAAS members that Matt Cowe will be coming to his first convention this July. That's awesome... (I hope he remembers to bring his elevator shaft!!! :D )

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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby Norm » Sun May 01, 2016 12:39 pm

LMark wrote:Chinatown was cut in a single take in June 1952 at one of the RCA Studios in NYC
LMark


The idea of using a reel to reel machine to make echo was no doubt well known. The New York studios may also have had "echo rooms" being smooth walled chambers containing a mic and a speaker driver. Chet had a room in his basement for that purpose. Capitol (in LA) had several of those and they worked pretty well.
But, again, to answer the original question the performance portable echo units like the Butts amp or Echoplex machines had not yet been invented in 1952. We'll probably never know exactly what was used on Chinatown but at least we can know what wasn't used.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Re: Was that an echoplex on Chinatown, my Chinatown

Postby DagerRande » Sun May 01, 2016 2:31 pm

Palmer, that's great that Matt is coming in July! I'm a fan of his technique! I'm looking forward to meeting him!
Rande Dager

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