god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

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#1 Tue, 2011-02-15 07:12
ihorsr
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god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

i was listening to 'god is more than love can ever be' - an amazing
album, worth a re-listen, in case you have not played it in a while -
and noted that the comments in 'earthly recordings' say that
overdubbing was used? i tried to figure out where, because the tracks
all sound very much live. the only places i though there may be
overdubs was at the ends of a couple of the tracks, where it sounds
like some reverb may have been added? or a small section tacked on
the end to somehow end the piece? am i missing something?

I-) ihor
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Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35
Michael S Khoury
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god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?


I always thought this was a trio record,
right?








ihor sunra <ihorsr@gmail.com>


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02/15/2011 10:12 AM


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Subject
[ Saturn ] god is more than love can
ever be - overdubs?








i was listening to 'god is more than love can ever
be' - an amazing

album, worth a re-listen, in case you have not played it in a while -

and noted that the comments in 'earthly recordings' say that

overdubbing was used?  i tried to figure out where, because the tracks

all sound very much live.  the only places i though there may be

overdubs was at the ends of a couple of the tracks, where it sounds

like some reverb may have been added?  or a small section tacked on

the end to somehow end the piece?  am i missing something?



I-)  ihor

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Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35
ihorsr
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Joined: 2010-12-14 08:05

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

> I always thought this was a trio record, right?

yes - the classic combo of piano, bass, and drums.

I-) ihor
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Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35
brcleve
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god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

yes, there are overdubs - but only on the opening track, "Days of Happiness". Basically they whole album is recorded the same, that is : live - with Sunny's piano, which is heavily compressed and in mono, dead center in the stereo spectrum of the mix, as is the bass; the drums are spread around the spectrum from left to right just as if you were sitting in front of them.

On "Days of Happiness" though, there is a 2nd overdubbed piano throughout the entire piece. It's only the upper end of the keyboard. It's also in mono, but it is panned hard into the left channel, and is around 3-4db lower than the main piano. There's a fair amount of plate reverb on it, which has been eq'd so that one of the upper piano notes rings out a bit with it when it hits; in fact, the reverb crossfades over into the right channel after the note is hit; this happens close to the end. Perhaps the engineer was riding the reverb a bit, as is what happens during the last few measures of "Blythe Spirit Dance". There's reverb on the piano throughout the album, but as you note it's higher at certain places. The level of the piano, along with the ratio of compression, is higher even still on the final, title track.

Hope this helps. You might try listening with headphones, as that will clarify the overdubs easily. It's a pretty cool effect. 

br cleve
 

Message: 5

Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 10:12:38 -0500

From: ihor sunra <ihorsr@gmail.com>

To: saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info

Subject: [ Saturn ] god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?




i was listening to 'god is more than love can ever be' - an amazing

album, worth a re-listen, in case you have not played it in a while -

and noted that the comments in 'earthly recordings' say that

overdubbing was used?  i tried to figure out where, because the tracks

all sound very much live.  the only places i though there may be

overdubs was at the ends of a couple of the tracks, where it sounds

like some reverb may have been added?  or a small section tacked on

the end to somehow end the piece?  am i missing something?



I-)  ihor



Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35
ihorsr
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Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-14 08:05

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

> yes, there are overdubs - but only on the opening track, "Days of
> Happiness". Basically they whole album is recorded the same, that is : live
> - with Sunny's piano, which is heavily compressed and in mono, dead center
> in the stereo spectrum of the mix, as is the bass; the drums are spread
> around the spectrum from left to right just as if you were sitting in front
> of them.

that is simly unbelievable! what a strange mix! you are correct, of
course - that is exactly how it sounds. but why such a mix?
>
> On "Days of Happiness" though, there is a 2nd overdubbed piano throughout
> the entire piece. It's only the upper end of the keyboard. It's also in
> mono, but it is panned hard into the left channel, and is around 3-4db lower
> than the main piano. There's a fair amount of plate reverb on it, which has
> been eq'd so that one of the upper piano notes rings out a bit with it when
> it hits; in fact, the reverb crossfades over into the right channel after
> the note is hit; this happens close to the end.

yes, yes - there it is. at first i thought i was hearing some leakage
of the piano into the hard left, but that IS the overdub. wow!

> Perhaps the engineer was
> riding the reverb a bit, as is what happens during the last few measures of
> "Blythe Spirit Dance". There's reverb on the piano throughout the album, but
> as you note it's higher at certain places. The level of the piano, along
> with the ratio of compression, is higher even still on the final, title
> track.

that is such a strange mix, especially considering it is a trio. if
you think of the classic trio mixes, like on most blue note albums,
this mix is way out there. the playing on here is extremely powerful
- so i wonder if it would be as impacting if the album was mixed
differently?

> Hope this helps. You might try listening with headphones, as that will
> clarify the overdubs easily. It's a pretty cool effect.

yes, it is a cool effect - that may very well be why that album sounds
so intense.

thanks, br cleve, for such a picturesque description! after reading
it, i played the album, and there it all was, just like you described
it - like a walking tour of the album. putting on the headphones
definitely brings out the mix, especially the drums, and the piano and
bass in the center, and the overdub.

okay, so am i the only one who thinks that on 'days of happiness', sun
ra is jamming on donovan's 'first there is a mountain'? it sounds
like it to me...

I-) ihor
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Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35 (Reply to #5)
3equals0-3equals1
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Joined: 2010-12-09 18:35

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

>okay, so am i the only one who thinks that on 'days of happiness', sun

ra is jamming on donovan's 'first there is a mountain'?  it sounds

like it to me...

I hadn't thought of that before you mentioned, but what I HAVE heard throughout 'days of happiness' is 'gone with the wind.'
"gone with the wind... just like a leaf that's blown away, gone with the wind... my romance has flown away..."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN7jDb9IQiI

I'll try to turn that into Donovan next time I listen.

-john


On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM, ihor sunra <ihorsr@gmail.com> wrote:
> yes, there are overdubs - but only on the opening track, "Days of

> Happiness". Basically they whole album is recorded the same, that is : live

> - with Sunny's piano, which is heavily compressed and in mono, dead center

> in the stereo spectrum of the mix, as is the bass; the drums are spread

> around the spectrum from left to right just as if you were sitting in front

> of them.


that is simly unbelievable!  what a strange mix!  you are correct, of

course - that is exactly how it sounds.  but why such a mix?

>

> On "Days of Happiness" though, there is a 2nd overdubbed piano throughout

> the entire piece. It's only the upper end of the keyboard. It's also in

> mono, but it is panned hard into the left channel, and is around 3-4db lower

> than the main piano. There's a fair amount of plate reverb on it, which has

> been eq'd so that one of the upper piano notes rings out a bit with it when

> it hits; in fact, the reverb crossfades over into the right channel after

> the note is hit; this happens close to the end.


yes, yes - there it is.  at first i thought i was hearing some leakage

of the piano into the hard left, but that IS the overdub.  wow!



> Perhaps the engineer was

> riding the reverb a bit, as is what happens during the last few measures of

> "Blythe Spirit Dance". There's reverb on the piano throughout the album, but

> as you note it's higher at certain places. The level of the piano, along

> with the ratio of compression, is higher even still on the final, title

> track.


that is such a strange mix, especially considering it is a trio.  if

you think of the classic trio mixes, like on most blue note albums,

this mix is way out there.  the playing on here is extremely powerful

- so i wonder if it would be as impacting if the album was mixed

differently?



> Hope this helps. You might try listening with headphones, as that will

> clarify the overdubs easily. It's a pretty cool effect.


yes, it is a cool effect - that may very well be why that album sounds

so intense.



thanks, br cleve, for such a picturesque description!  after reading

it, i played the album, and there it all was, just like you described

it - like a walking tour of the album.  putting on the headphones

definitely brings out the mix, especially the drums, and the piano and

bass in the center, and the overdub.



okay, so am i the only one who thinks that on 'days of happiness', sun

ra is jamming on donovan's 'first there is a mountain'?  it sounds

like it to me...



I-)  ihor

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Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35 (Reply to #6)
3equals0-3equals1
3equals0-3equals1's picture
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Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-09 18:35

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

>okay, so am i the only one who thinks that on 'days of happiness', sun

ra is jamming on donovan's 'first there is a mountain'?  it sounds

like it to me...

I hadn't thought of that before you mentioned, but what I HAVE heard throughout 'days of happiness' is 'gone with the wind.'
"gone with the wind... just like a leaf that's blown away, gone with the wind... my romance has flown away..."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN7jDb9IQiI

I'll try to turn that into Donovan next time I listen.

-john


On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM, ihor sunra <ihorsr@gmail.com> wrote:
> yes, there are overdubs - but only on the opening track, "Days of

> Happiness". Basically they whole album is recorded the same, that is : live

> - with Sunny's piano, which is heavily compressed and in mono, dead center

> in the stereo spectrum of the mix, as is the bass; the drums are spread

> around the spectrum from left to right just as if you were sitting in front

> of them.


that is simly unbelievable!  what a strange mix!  you are correct, of

course - that is exactly how it sounds.  but why such a mix?

>

> On "Days of Happiness" though, there is a 2nd overdubbed piano throughout

> the entire piece. It's only the upper end of the keyboard. It's also in

> mono, but it is panned hard into the left channel, and is around 3-4db lower

> than the main piano. There's a fair amount of plate reverb on it, which has

> been eq'd so that one of the upper piano notes rings out a bit with it when

> it hits; in fact, the reverb crossfades over into the right channel after

> the note is hit; this happens close to the end.


yes, yes - there it is.  at first i thought i was hearing some leakage

of the piano into the hard left, but that IS the overdub.  wow!



> Perhaps the engineer was

> riding the reverb a bit, as is what happens during the last few measures of

> "Blythe Spirit Dance". There's reverb on the piano throughout the album, but

> as you note it's higher at certain places. The level of the piano, along

> with the ratio of compression, is higher even still on the final, title

> track.


that is such a strange mix, especially considering it is a trio.  if

you think of the classic trio mixes, like on most blue note albums,

this mix is way out there.  the playing on here is extremely powerful

- so i wonder if it would be as impacting if the album was mixed

differently?



> Hope this helps. You might try listening with headphones, as that will

> clarify the overdubs easily. It's a pretty cool effect.


yes, it is a cool effect - that may very well be why that album sounds

so intense.



thanks, br cleve, for such a picturesque description!  after reading

it, i played the album, and there it all was, just like you described

it - like a walking tour of the album.  putting on the headphones

definitely brings out the mix, especially the drums, and the piano and

bass in the center, and the overdub.



okay, so am i the only one who thinks that on 'days of happiness', sun

ra is jamming on donovan's 'first there is a mountain'?  it sounds

like it to me...



I-)  ihor

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Saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info

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Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35
brcleve
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Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2011-01-11 07:43

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

It really is a very strange mix! I decided to listen to all of the 1979 recordings that were done at Varisty Studios in NYC, which resulted in 5 albums that year. The recordings are all very similar as far as mic placements and basic mix, but they are also all very different. I haven't checked "Sleeping Beauty" or "Strange Celestial Roads" with headphones yet, but "God...", "Omniverse" and "On Jupiter" all have the same drum setup -- although the drums are not mixed as loud as on "God is More...", but they are all recorded on what sounds like 6 tracks with no submix and discrete panning to each drum. The cymbals are always mixed higher than the snare and toms; sometime the kick is loud and sometimes it isn't. Oddly enough, the drums are mixed way down on "UFO", the funk track. Weird, although the electric bass is pushed up in the mix. The piano, which I'm guessing is a Yamaha grand from the tone of it, is essentially in mono, but on "God is more.." its super compressed. There's always a stereo reverb on it. But the bass on "God is..." is lost in the piano low end; it sounds like it's not even eq'd, whereas on the other albums its got great eq and very nice warm tube compression. 

I'm guessing it's the same engineer on all of this. Anyone ever see any engineering or mastering credits for these records?

Samarai, it is said in The Earthly Recordings, claims there are overdubs on a track on Omniverse, but I hear no evidence of that. I know what you're saying, ihor, about thinking the overdub on Days of Happiness was leakage, as I thought the same thing at first! But it's definitely an additional track. What a concept!

I think "God is More.." and "Omniverse" would make a nice pairing on a CD. ArtYard has done such a great job with the remastering on the other titles from this studio/year that I'd really like to put these titles on my wish list.

ihor, you cracked me up with that Donovan reference. I went back and listened and I admit i cold sing that song over the progression at points. "Oh Juanita, I call your name" :-) I don't think I would have thought of that, and now I'm gonna hear it every time. Ha!
 
br cleve

From: ihor sunra <ihorsr@gmail.com>

To: saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info

Subject: Re: [ Saturn ] god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?




> yes, there are overdubs - but only on the opening track, "Days of

> Happiness". Basically they whole album is recorded the same, that is : live

> - with Sunny's piano, which is heavily compressed and in mono, dead center

> in the stereo spectrum of the mix, as is the bass; the drums are spread

> around the spectrum from left to right just as if you were sitting in front

> of them.



that is simly unbelievable!  what a strange mix!  you are correct, of

course - that is exactly how it sounds.  but why such a mix?

>

> On "Days of Happiness" though, there is a 2nd overdubbed piano throughout

> the entire piece. It's only the upper end of the keyboard. It's also in

> mono, but it is panned hard into the left channel, and is around 3-4db lower

> than the main piano. There's a fair amount of plate reverb on it, which has

> been eq'd so that one of the upper piano notes rings out a bit with it when

> it hits; in fact, the reverb crossfades over into the right channel after

> the note is hit; this happens close to the end.



yes, yes - there it is.  at first i thought i was hearing some leakage

of the piano into the hard left, but that IS the overdub.  wow!



> Perhaps the engineer was

> riding the reverb a bit, as is what happens during the last few measures of

> "Blythe Spirit Dance". There's reverb on the piano throughout the album, but

> as you note it's higher at certain places. The level of the piano, along

> with the ratio of compression, is higher even still on the final, title

> track.



that is such a strange mix, especially considering it is a trio.  if

you think of the classic trio mixes, like on most blue note albums,

this mix is way out there.  the playing on here is extremely powerful

- so i wonder if it would be as impacting if the album was mixed

differently?



> Hope this helps. You might try listening with headphones, as that will

> clarify the overdubs easily. It's a pretty cool effect.



yes, it is a cool effect - that may very well be why that album sounds

so intense.



thanks, br cleve, for such a picturesque description!  after reading

it, i played the album, and there it all was, just like you described

it - like a walking tour of the album.  putting on the headphones

definitely brings out the mix, especially the drums, and the piano and

bass in the center, and the overdub.



okay, so am i the only one who thinks that on 'days of happiness', sun

ra is jamming on donovan's 'first there is a mountain'?  it sounds

like it to me...



I-)  ihor





------------------------------


Fri, 2011-02-18 16:35
ihorsr
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-14 08:05

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

> I hadn't thought of that before you mentioned, but
> what I HAVE heard throughout 'days of happiness'
> is 'gone with the wind.' "gone with the wind... just
> like a leaf that's blown away, gone with the
> wind... my romance has flown away..."
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN7jDb9IQiI

thanks for the link, john - i will give that a listen tonight and do a
compare. i guess i am not as familiar with that as with the donovan,
so i went with donovan.

> ihor, you cracked me up with that Donovan reference. I went back and
> listened and I admit i cold sing that song over the progression at points.
> "Oh Juanita, I call your name" :-) I don't think I would have thought of
> that, and now I'm gonna hear it every time. Ha!

:-) i forgot about that line, br cleve - now it is permanently
imprinted in my brain! :-)

thanks for the writeups about the mixes - i think i have some
listening scheduled for the weekend.

I-) ihor
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Sat, 2011-02-19 09:05
ihorsr
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Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-14 08:05

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?

> thanks for the writeups about the mixes - i think i have some
> listening scheduled for the weekend.

i did listen to 'gone with the wind' (the clips from youtube and sun
ra's version on 'over the rainbow' (i that twas the album?) and i have
to admit that i do not hear as much similarity with that song and with
'days of happiness'. i seem to find more similarity with 'first there
is a mountain' (...first there is a mountain, then there is no
mountain, then there is... ...caterpillar sheds its skin to find a
butterfly within...). to me, it is the rhythm of the piano playing
that seems to remind me of the donovan song. and some of the notes
seem to jump around that donovan melody. and no, i did not start
singing the 'oh, juanita...' line, endlessly. :-) i guess it is just
my personal listening experience that makes me hear that?

based on the write up by br cleve of the 1979 sessions, i did manage
to fit omniverse into the listening last night - there definitely is
something to be said for those albums. like br cleve said, gimtlceb
and omniverse do make a good pairing!

I-) ihor
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Sat, 2011-02-19 19:00
brcleve
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Joined: 2011-01-11 07:43

god is more than love can ever be - overdubs?



From: "Steven Fligelstone" <sfligelstone@o2.co.uk>



I've always (actually not always - it came as a surprise) understood that

Sleeping Beauty and Strange Celestial Road were cuts from one and the same

session - that has always underlined for me how much the sound on Sunny's

albums is down to the production - cos they sound pretty different to me!

You're right, Steve.....they are listed as being the same session, done at Variety in NYC in Nov '79. I was listening strictly from an engineering POV, that is - microphones etc and the overall mix, that is stereo spectrum and effects (there is a lot of similarity on these records on how the reverb is set up, for instance; lots of reverb return in the opposite channel than the instrument is in, that is say tenor sax in left channel and reverb/delay in right channel...that type of thing). There's a similar production style on all 5 of these. The real differences that you hear come down to the mastering. Rounder had more money than Saturn, for instance, and could spend more on the mastering engineer; it also was a different person than whoever did the Saturn LP's, or at least I'm guessing it is.

Mastering tools have become much more sophisticated over the years, which is why the ArtYard issue of Sleeping Beauty sounds so good (imho) because it's very well done using the better techniques and tools (analog and digital combined) we have available today.That said...... there's still a lot of shitty mastering out there in the world of records today! Fortunately....not these ones we're discussing.

On a related note, I picked up the reissue of 'Space Probe' today and have really enjoyed it. The bonus tracks from '63/64 are great. And finally having 'Dimensions In Time" and "Primitive" issued together as one piece, as originally recorded, is a really cool thing to have. Even if Sun Ra himself only wanted the last 2+ minutes available. Another fine restoration/mastering all around. As noted, track 8 should be Conversion of JP, not Conversation - unless someone has found evidence, like a tape box, to the contrary???

br cleve