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Mr_K

JPJ Bass Low In The Mix

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13 hours ago, chillumpuffer said:

 

Phil's bass is so lush in this. Will be firing up a few blunts at the weekend with this, oh so sweet Dead.

I went to this epic show!  Walked outside around 7:30 AM and there was Bill Graham helping to load out.  I walked up to him, shook his hand and said something I'd been wanting to say for years, "Thanks Bill!"...

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On 9/29/2020 at 12:16 AM, chillumpuffer said:

Which City is this date from Chef?

 

On 9/29/2020 at 7:45 AM, Bonzo_fan said:

Greek Theater in Berkeley.

Onetime I took this woman to a Dead show (Sept. 12, 1981) and we had such a good time, we've been dancing ever since!  Happy 39th Melanie!

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On 9/25/2020 at 7:40 PM, SteveZ98 said:

For the studio recordings, I assume his bass sounds however Jimmy wanted it to sound. If it was supposed to be up front like on Ramble On, it was. If it was supposed to be farther down in the mix, it was. Also, the low end of his bass was absent from the original records because it was difficult to encode deep bass on LPs. The grooves had to be so large that the needles would jump out, so the low end was cut as a matter of course to prevent that.

In concert, his bass would have had a tremendous impact, but the cassette decks on which most audience recordings and soundboards were made don't accurately capture it. The reason bands in the '70s initially started to play so loudly was because the PAs were inefficient and needed tons of power to produce bass that hit you in the chest. Doing that made the low end loud, so everything else had to be turned up to match it. (Eventually sheer volume became a bragging right, but it started out with an actual purpose.) And even if professional multi-tracks from live shows back then captured the power in Jonsey's bass, Jimmy isn't going to remaster them with killer low end like someone today would mix a rap album. He's just of a different era where that couldn't be done for so long that it's not part of his repertoire, even if it's easy to do today with digital technology. 

If that is the case regarding low end being cut for the vinyls. Why would it not hold that that the low end would be transferred to digital when that digitization happened, whenever it was, and would therefore now be present on all digital forms of playback (cd, stream) that come from those digital masters? Was the low end cut out of the original analog master tapes themselves? Or does all that low end still exist somewhere?

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, paplbojo said:

If that is the case regarding low end being cut for the vinyls. Why would it not hold that that the low end would be transferred to digital when that digitization happened, whenever it was, and would therefore now be present on all digital forms of playback (cd, stream) that come from those digital masters? Was the low end cut out of the original analog master tapes themselves? Or does all that low end still exist somewhere?

I'm not sure when it was cut. I assume it was done right before an album was sent to be pressed to vinyl, so the original multi-tracks probably still have the low end intact. My assumption is that because the formative years of Jimmy's musical career were during the LP era, he still takes the truncated low end as being the way recorded music should sound. And because of that, he didn't take advantage of one of the big benefits of digital technology, namely deep bass, when he remastered the Zep catalog. Of course all of that is just a guess on my part, but it seems to fit the work he's done recently on the Zep remasters.

Edited by SteveZ98

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9 hours ago, chef free said:

 

Onetime I took this woman to a Dead show (Sept. 12, 1981) and we had such a good time, we've been dancing ever since!  Happy 39th Melanie!

What a great story Chef. That Winterland show sounds and looks a blast. It must have been a surreal evening in  more ways? 

I will be listening to that over the weekend with some green and some Spanish Rioja. All the best to you and Melanie.

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Here is the more balanced and more complete version of Hampton 1971 but the bass is still rather prominent.

 

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12 hours ago, chillumpuffer said:

What a great story Chef. That Winterland show sounds and looks a blast. It must have been a surreal evening in  more ways? 

I will be listening to that over the weekend with some green and some Spanish Rioja. All the best to you and Melanie.

The Sept. 12, 1981 show was really great! Shakedown>Greatest Story opener, a sweet Bird Song and a China>Rider to end it! Second set starts with the afore mentioned Scarlet>Fire and features a Estimated>Eyes where Jerry goes off! We even got a SECOND ENCORE, the Dead did not do that...  Someone had just released a strong batch of LSD into the Bay Area, I've been to many 70's shows with a lot of people tripping but this was different.  The set break was silent!  No one could talk, everyone just sat there grinning! By the second set, the stage looked like a floating video screen surrounded by lightning, if we reached out our hands, lightning jumped from our fingers to the "screen"! Yeah, we were pretty high...

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17 hours ago, chef free said:

The Sept. 12, 1981 show was really great! Shakedown>Greatest Story opener, a sweet Bird Song and a China>Rider to end it! Second set starts with the afore mentioned Scarlet>Fire and features a Estimated>Eyes where Jerry goes off! We even got a SECOND ENCORE, the Dead did not do that...  Someone had just released a strong batch of LSD into the Bay Area, I've been to many 70's shows with a lot of people tripping but this was different.  The set break was silent!  No one could talk, everyone just sat there grinning! By the second set, the stage looked like a floating video screen surrounded by lightning, if we reached out our hands, lightning jumped from our fingers to the "screen"! Yeah, we were pretty high...

Lmao 😂👌

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On 9/28/2020 at 7:22 PM, chef free said:

Jerry and Phil "lead" the band most often so Phil is always mixed well.  Dead Heads were allowed to record shows so many of them had very sophisticated recording rigs, some featuring more than just two mics and even simple mixers.  Zeppelin fans had to sneak their stuff in and hope Peter Grant didn't spot them, the Dead let "family members" plug their decks right into the soundboard!

Look for good audience recordings, much of the bass you hear at a show is from the room its self...

 

PS check the Scarlet>Fire from Sept. 12, 1981!  Even though you know it's coming, they sneak right into Fire without you catching it!

 

I like this 👆 guy 

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Posted (edited)

Considering how most of this thread turned into a Grateful Dead slurpfest, I take it most people are fine with the level of bass in Led Zeppelin's music.

It reminds me of complaints about the mix of "Presence". People complaining about the bass on "Presence" are listening on ipods or something inferior. When I play "Presence" the bass vibrates the furniture.

Just how loud do you people want the bass to be? I don't want "jeep beats" in my Led Zeppelin. I don't want Led Zeppelin to sound like rap, where all the bass frequencies drown out the entire sonic spectrum.

Jimmy Page created Led Zeppelin with the intention of four members contributing equally to the sound. And that is what he achieved. Each member is heard clearly on the albums.

In concert, they did the best they could but they were at the mercy of the primitive P.A. systems available at that time and the horrid acoustics of most venues.

And a soundboard tape is not an accurate picture of what the audience heard.

This idea that Jimmy is purposely dialing down Jones is absurd.

Edited by Strider

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Strider said:

Considering how most of this thread turned into a Grateful Dead slurpfest, I take it most people are fine with the level of bass in Led Zeppelin's music.

It reminds me of complaints about the mix of "Presence". People complaining about the bass on "Presence" are listening on ipods or something inferior. When I play "Presence" the bass vibrates the furniture.

Just how loud do you people want the bass to be? I don't want "jeep beats" in my Led Zeppelin. I don't want Led Zeppelin to sound like rap, where all the bass frequencies drown out the entire sonic spectrum.

Jimmy Page created Led Zeppelin with the intention of four members contributing equally to the sound. And that is what he achieved. Each member is heard clearly on the albums.

In concert, they did the best they could but they were at the mercy of the primitive P.A. systems available at that time and the horrid acoustics of most venues.

And a soundboard tape is not an accurate picture of what the audience heard.

This idea that Jimmy is purposely dialing down Jones is absurd.

Agreed.

And with respect to Jones' volume vs. Lesh's volume, I think it could be more a result of Page playing, not being mixed, louder/more forcefully than Garcia and Weir and, more importantly, Bonham playing, not being mixed, much louder/more forcefully than Kreutzmann and Hart, as opposed to being a result of Lesh being turned up much higher for the Dead than Jones was for Zeppelin.  Having listened to multiple soundboards of my band's shows when we were still together, I can tell you that how forcefully (or not) you play your instrument can have a big impact on the final volume, regardless of how the sound man mixes it all.  Especially in the case of the drums.  The sound man would have to turn Bonham way down in order to have Jones jumping out of the mix the way Lesh does on a typical Dead soundboard.  And of course, the drums create a lot of volume of their own even without the mics and PA, so you can only "turn them down" so much.

Edited by Bonzo_fan

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And then there is this one, with one of the wickedest bass tones I ever heard.  It has a heaviness, a full/round sound, but also so much grit and bite.  Unreal.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 9/25/2020 at 4:05 PM, Mr_K said:

I'm listening to Scarlet Begonias/Fire On The Mountain, The Grateful Dead 1977, Cornell, a Betty Board Production.

I can't believe how clear Phil Lesh's bass is in the mix. It's wonderful.

The bass of JPJ was never so prominent for an entire show like Phil's.

There are a few exceptions, like the Alembic from a few songs in the 77 tour. But overall, from 69 to 80, the bass was never given a starring role for a whole set. In the monitors or the soundboard he's just not featured.

I think he deserved more. I always listen for his bass in the live recordings. I wish he was louder.

Any thoughts on the reason for this?

Thanks.

The biggest difference here is the reason for the recordings.  That informed the way they were recorded. 

Most of the Led Zeppelin "soundboard" tapes were so-called "reference" tapes, recorded without effects, just for the band to refer to.  They do not represent what was being played through the PA system and certainly not what the audience experienced.  When I saw LZ, there was PLENTY of bass!  Much of the bass you hear at a show comes from the room reinforcing the lowest frequencies.

On the other hand, Betty Cantor was making a cassette recording of the show to try to capture the sound of the show.  While still not "exactly what the audience heard" much closer than a Zeppelin "reference" tape.

As far as Page cutting the bass for records, I doubt that.  Recording bass was a lot harder in the "old days".  Notice how much bass is on recordings from the past 15 years or so? Even when the studio stuff was remastered for hi rez, there just wasn't enough low bass on the original recordings to turn up.  I'm sure Page got as much as he could...

Edited by chef free

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On 9/26/2020 at 9:36 AM, John M said:

Yes  indeed!  My favorite Scarlet/Fire is May 13, 1977 at the Rosemont Horizon.

Ooooh nice. Just love that 77 dead sound. To the archives!

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On 9/25/2020 at 7:05 PM, Mr_K said:

I'm listening to Scarlet Begonias/Fire On The Mountain, The Grateful Dead 1977, Cornell, a Betty Board Production.

I can't believe how clear Phil Lesh's bass is in the mix. It's wonderful.

The bass of JPJ was never so prominent for an entire show like Phil's.

There are a few exceptions, like the Alembic from a few songs in the 77 tour. But overall, from 69 to 80, the bass was never given a starring role for a whole set. In the monitors or the soundboard he's just not featured.

I think he deserved more. I always listen for his bass in the live recordings. I wish he was louder.

Any thoughts on the reason for this?

Thanks.

I agree. Then again, as someone noted, that's probably how Page wanted it. For sure, seeing Jones solo was my chance to truly enjoy ALL of his bass! As for Lesh--his sound is SO phenomenal in that Cornell '77 show. Especially Scarlet>Fire and the very next tune, Estimated Prophet. Then again, that whole show is so well recorded, like most from '77 spring. I also reckon Phil had a lot more overall audio input in the Dead than JPJ had in Zeppelin.

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