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When "Presence" came out, I think I was not alone in highly anticipating the chance to see the band do "NFBM" in concert.

In particular, one wondered how Jimmy would handle that massed army of guitars during the buzz-saw intro. Of course, by 1977 guitar effects had progressed to the point that Brian May could make it sound as if he were playing several guitars at once, so I figured Jimmy would have something up his sleeve.

Sure enough, come the 1977 tour and as Jimmy launches into the riff of NFBM, you could hear some kind of effect that he used that made it sound as if he were playing two guitars: one, a low grindy tone and another with a higher, buzzy tone.

Unfortunately, at some of those 77 shows, I didn't have a clear view of what Jimmy was doing; was he using his wahwah or did he hit a switch? I am guessing that maybe he was splitting his signal or something, kind of like what they would do with Plant's vocals to make it sound as if he was backing himself up.

Also, on some nights the effect worked better than others to the point that on some bootlegs you can't hear it at all.

So just what effect was Jimmy using to get that high/low grindy tone? And was there an alternate way Jimmy could have played that intro that would have achieved the same massed buzz-saw effect but been more reliable?

Was the effect created from the stage? Or was it the responsibility of the soundguy at the mixing desk?

Why did he abandon the effect after the 77 tour? From what I can tell on the 2003 DVD, Jimmy didn't use the effect at Knebworth and I haven't heard it on the few 80 shows I've listened to.

As usual, thanks in advance to anyone who can provide answers.

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I'm guessing it was some kind of pitch shifting device. It could have been the same effect device he employed during the Noise Solo; he gets some similar sounds on some of those. What's funny is there really isn't a sign of the phasing/flanging so prominent on the studio NFBM intro when done live...

He used quite a bit of delay effects in '77 as well; much moreso than before, with varied results.

EDIT: Bluecongo beat me to it...them old Eventide units got a lotta mileage back in the day!

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Thanks guys...ah yes, good ole Raymond from Scotland...I might have guessed he was in charge...even if he did have a tendency to tune Jimmy's guitars in Scottish :lol:

You know, I was so young then, 15 for the 77 tour, that I was so caught up in the actual experience and "WOW" of the concerts that it was hard enough for me to keep a list of what songs the band played. It is only now, years later, that I wished I had been more attentive to which guitar was plugged into which amp and how and at what time he used his effects(aside from the more obvious times like in No Quarter when he used his wahwah pedal or the laser pyramid during the bow solo).

Now that I think of it...during the "noise solo", there was quite a bit of high-pitched buzzing similar to NFBM...and thanks to you guys I now know it was the Eventide. I assume those units are relative antiques by now...does anybody still use them? Do they fetch a fancy price like some of those old crybaby wahwahs?

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