How did Chet get this sound

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How did Chet get this sound

Postby amdyck » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:26 pm

I wish I could include the recordings for a better demonstration here. The tune I have in mind is "Siboney" (from 'The Other Chet Atkins). Chet gets a nice deep sound. He gets the same effect with his first recording of Vincent. Both of these tunes are done on the classic guitar. I have finally nailed both of these tunes and would be most happy to learn how he did it. Does anybody know what equipment he was using at the time of the recording ?
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby Norm » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:05 pm

Well, outside of being Chet Atkins and having Chet's hands, the microphone he used probably had a lot to do with it. He had an RCA 44 ribbon mic that Paul Yandell said he used a lot. Paul said that mic had a "big sound." This particular mic has a superb range on it and was a very popular mic back in the day. He also said Chet used a Neumann U47 on his classical and also Paul said Chet had a Neumann 67 which Paul said is one of the best mics ever made.

Chet had the best mics available for his use. That, and the second equipment factor, the actual placement of the mic during the recording, a critical thing, would have a lot to do with the process.

But you still need to be Chet Atkins to get that sound.
...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: How did Chet get this sound

Postby craigdobbins » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:37 pm

Norm is correct- the big thing is Chet himself, his hands, and his recording knowledge.

When Siboney was recorded, Chet was using the Estruch classical, which was a new guitar at that time. I don't know the mic he used, but in those days he was usually pictured with a Neumann mic at RCA, like a U67, so it was probably a Neumann condenser. Remember that he had Bill Porter as engineer at this time, one of the greats. Also, he would have been recording on 3 track tape at the most.

You probably mean Chet's second version of Vincent, from Me and My Guitar. The first was on electric, from Picks on the Hits. John Knowles would probably know which guitar Chet used here. I suspect it might be the Estruch again, using both a mic and the Prismatone pickup, but I don't know. I do know that Chet used Neumann KM84 mics to record his nylon string guitars by this time. This would have probably been recorded to 16 track, whether in Chet's home studio or RCA, and mixed to stereo.

Then, you factor in the EMT plate reverb (both at RCA and CA workshop), and things like eq, compression, and the mastering process for the record (vinyl)...

No real answers here, but a lot of info. Hope this helps.

Craig
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby craigdobbins » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:39 pm

Oh, and maybe John will post about how Chet placed the mic and used reverb.

Craig
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby John McClellan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:24 pm

Bill Porter used Telefunken microphones on Chet on many of those sessions...Bill told me this.


John
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby craigdobbins » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:27 pm

Thanks John! I was hoping you would chime in on Bill Porter.
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby John Knowles » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:23 pm

Lots of good info here. I moved to Nashville around the time Chet recorded "Vincent" on a classical for "Me and My Guitar." He was playing a Haile around that time but I'm not sure which guitar he used to record Vincent. Chet often mixed a mic and pickup to get the sound you hear on the recording.

On that same album, Chet recorded me on my Kohno classical for "My Little Waltz." He used a small-diaphragm, Neumann (KM84) mic about 18" out from the twelfth fret. I could just reach out and touch it. He set me up facing the wall so there was not too much room sound in the mic. We recorded a second track with an inexpensive, Mexican classical using the same setup. I think Chet ended up using the Mexican in the mix. He was looking for a sound that would sit well with the DelVecchio. This was the first time I recorded with Chet… and my first Nashville session.

When we recorded my Sittin' Back Pickin' album, he used a similar setup except he recorded the EMT plate reverb as we went instead of adding it in the mix. He told me he was using one mic on me since the guitar is mono and the room (plate) is stereo. Also, he wanted me to hear the reverb in the headphones the way it would sound in the final.

I learned so many little things working with Chet. He always explained what he was doing as we went along so I could apply the ideas… and so I could share what he showed me.

John
Last edited by John Knowles on Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby craigdobbins » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:17 pm

Glad "the Johns" contributed here!
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby zohanx747 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:14 am

You probably mean Chet's second version of Vincent, from Me and My Guitar. The first was on electric, from Picks on the Hits. John Knowles would probably know which guitar Chet used here. I suspect it might be the Estruch again, using both a mic and the Prismatone pickup, but I don't know. I do know that Chet used Neumann KM84 mics to record his nylon string guitars by this time. This would have probably been recorded to 16 track, whether in Chet's home studio or RCA, and mixed to stereo.
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Re: How did Chet get this sound

Postby bill raymond » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:19 pm

I believe the Telefunken mics were Neumann U47s distributed worldwide under the Telefunken brand name.
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