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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    Donor

    I was talking to DIF about this last night, and I think I may be on to something here. I thought I'd toss this out and let you guys rip it up. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Eddie can't find the Brown Sound, and that's what's taking so long. Most of the rumors suggest that the sound on the new album will be a throwback to the old days. But what if Eddie just can't find the tone?

    It's widely reported that he's looking to buy back at least some of his old guitars. They mention use on the tour, but I think it goes beyond that. Eddie feels like he needs them to get his old sound back.

    Can you imagine his frustration if I'm right? Trying everything he can to get the tone how it was, but just not being able to. Notice how hyper he seemed in that NAMM video? Perhaps he's been working himself to the bone, and just can't get it perfect enough for himself.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I, for one, disagree, and for a couple of reasons. As a player, I am aware that most of your tone comes from your hands, NOT your gear. Yes, a certain guitar, amp, or effect will alter your SOUND, but tone comes from within. Eddie knows this, and has mentioned it in many interviews. No matter what he's playing through, it still sounds like Ed. That's a benchmark of a great player. I can play one of Ed's guitars through his amp, and I sound just like me, playing Ed's guitar and Ed's amp. The old Ted Nugent story about him plugging into Ed's rig is a good example.

    Also, if he DID want to find his old sound, remember that he got his old baby Marshall restored, and even HE felt that the sound was 'back' in the amp. Therefore, if he wanted that sound, he could have it. Not to mention that he still has his original Frankenstein and MANY of his 'classic' guitars.

    Conversely, he has a LOT of time and effort put into his signature line of equipment. Why would he be furthering the R&D, not to mention production and sales of his signature lines if he wasn't behind the products any longer?

    Further, and perhaps the most compelling, is that over the years, Eddie has PROGRESSED as a player, writer, and all-around musician. To consciously take a major step backwards seems out of character for him. Yes, having a reunion of this sort may be the ONE situation where he WOULD step back, but to spend what may be almost a year and a half looking for an elusive sound seems rather foolhardy.

    I don't think the sound from any equipment (or lack thereof) would justify spending THAT much time trying to dig it up. The 'classic VH sound' is NOT just Ed's guitar. In fact, to really nail that sound would require a lot of seemingly foolish moves. For instance, Ed would image all to one side of the stereo field, the bass would be on vacation in B.F.E., Alex would need to go back to his old drums and tuning of the drums, Dave's voice would have to be the same as it was 20 years ago. etc etc etc The WRITING (and playing, of course)is what really makes classic VH what it was and is, more so than any sound. If you really think about it, for a band as big as VH, they have generally had some piss-poor production compared to the sonic treatment they always deserved. To go back and regain a sound he doesn't seem to be too fond of just wouldn't make sense.

    Let's assume, however, that he IS trying to do just that. They would have to record at Sunset Sound, use Ted and Donn,use a whole lot of OLD equipment, and hope for a lot of luck. They couldn't get his sound from the first record while making the second only a year later. Would it be any more plausible after 23 years? Also, if they were trying to do this, ANY producer with any balls would have said to him a LONG time ago, "Look Ed, enough is enough---let go of it already and just make some music."

    I just don't see it. I think the writing is what really matters, NOT the ever-elusive Loch Ness guitar sound. If such IS the case, then Ed would go down in music history as the most anal-retentive self-absorbed egomaniac ever. There is a whole band there that makes 'the sound'.

    This is a GREAT topic for discussion. I would also like to hear others from both sides of the coin give their opinions.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  3. #3
    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    09.26.07 @ 02:38 PM
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    Donor

    What I don't get is why Eddie had to change his guitar tone when Dave left. Maybe he thought he'd be working with Sammy for the rest of his career.
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

  4. #4
    On Fire
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    As a guitar player I think tone and sound are a combination of they type of amp, guitar, effects used, and of course the player him/herself.

    Ted Nugent playing through Eddie's rig I am sure would have given 'Ted Nugent' a different 'sound', but the actuall playing would certainly have 'sounded' like Ted Nugent.

    The ability to achieve good tone and/or sound as far as I am concerned has a great deal to do with the equipment used and I don't care what anyone says. Shity equipment = shity sound, believe me I have to deal with it everytime I pick up my guitar. However, if Eddie, or any guitar player on this board were to play through my crap their playing would sound like them, but not the actual sound. I hope I make sense here, cause in my own warped head it is clear.

    Now, as for the speculation of Eddie trying to replicate his earlier sound/tone. It would be a lifetime task and we could wait well into the next century. Too many variables that can affect what you hear. i.e. I changed my batteries in my effects peddles the other day and low and behold my amp actually sounded better to me. Eddie himself has said everything has always been the same when he records, just the position of the mic in front of the amp changes to achieve a different sound, or maybe the mic is a totally different one. Too many variables, hell even a damn pick can affect sound and tone.

    Sorry to ramble, but as a guitar player had to blurb out my speal. I know that for myself one day my amp sounds awsome, the next day I want to throw it out the damn window cause it sounds like shit, my band not thinking there is any difference at all.
    Life is something that happens when your planning something else.

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    I think Abe's post is great and I agree with it 100% [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
    I am awesome

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing!
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    10.09.12 @ 02:50 PM
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    At this stage I'd be willing to believe he'd not only lost his tone, but also his entire guitar collection, the odd limb and all touch with reality.
    Delusions of eloquence

  7. #7
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    01.11.08 @ 09:17 PM
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    Eddie will always sound like Eddie. Listen to Spanish Fly and Little Guitars(Intro). They sound like Eddie and are acoustic guitar instead of electric. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Eddie can't find the Brown Sound, and that's what's taking so long ?
    Hmm, good topic Mike L!
    AbeVanHalen the point isn´t about the live sound.
    The rise or fall of VH as a band will be the new CD !
    If the CD doesn´t kick ass they are done and will remain only as a nostalgia band.
    And on of the major impacts of the great sucsess with the first album was about
    the wild energy and the GREAT SOUND of the guitar !
    There are many interviews where Eddie points out that he hates the new digital sound.
    Eddie has control over the hole production in his studio 5150:
    playing - recording - editing - mixing
    But after that, there are 3 more stages before the new VH CD will be finished:
    mastering - burning ( class master ) - pressing
    So, maybe Eddie feels uncomfortable and wants even more control !?

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    07.14.10 @ 09:31 AM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dan Halen:
    What I don't get is why Eddie had to change his guitar tone when Dave left. Maybe he thought he'd be working with Sammy for the rest of his career.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Eddie's tone didn't change too much between 1984 and 5150. It did change alot though between OU812 and F.U.C.K. BUT, it was an awesome tone. Eddie's tone was ALWAYS awesome.......until VH3. Maybe because he wanted VH3 to be *different* than any other record????? Well, I mean, it was still a good tone. If I had that tone I'd be happy. But we're talking about EDDIE, and for him it sucked.

  10. #10
    Good Enough
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by noodeling:
    AbeVanHalen the point isn´t about the live sound.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I didn't say anything about live sound.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    Donor

    I just think that perhaps Eddie is feeling pressure to perform at his peak. I really don't think there's ever been that kind of pressure for him before. It's always been a question of band dynamics, and never of Ed's playing.

    Can you imagine the pressure that is on him to create some of the most vibrant music of his career? I think he's feeling it, and maybe is having some problems dealing with it.

    If the music isn't flowing like it once was, he's probably having a hell of a time admitting it. I think he's trying to buy back old equipment thinking that it'll bring the magic back; that it's the missing element.

    Have you ever tried to do something you could in your youth, and for some reason not been able to? Perfectionism can be a bitch sometimes.

  12. #12
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    01.11.08 @ 09:17 PM
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    I don't care just as long as we can hear it! Like I said, it'll sound like Eddie and be good no matter what.

  13. #13
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    MikeL, I think your latest comment may be on the right track. I think after years of getting by 'just being Eddie Van Halen' and not pushing the envelope may have taken its toll on his ego. Although he has claimed to have outgrown the whole 'guitar hero' status, I think it's deeply ingrained by now; people EXPECT a lot from him, and many felt that they haven't been getting his best playing since he began focusing on writing.

    Maybe Ed is trying to combine the best of both worlds: great songs AND ground-breaking heroic guitar. I know this will offend a lot of people, but that's a marriage that hasn't occurred very often in ANYONE's career. Eddie's 'best' playing often came in songs that weren't really all that great, and when the songs WERE great pieces of music, his guitar playing was more subordinated to the structure. The world knows he can play, and the world knows he can write. But I think what he may be trying to do is really be at the peak of both at the same time. After reading the interviews he did for VH3, I expected that combination then. However, I felt his writing was a little too far out there for most people to grasp, and I was NOT impressed much by the playing. (again, I'm sure many will disagree with me on that, but I thought his playing on 3 was sub-par for him)

    Of course, this is kind of off-topic since I am not making any mention of sound at all. However, it is ONE possible reason for the hold up-Ed may finally be 'practicing' instead of just playing, REALLY trying to be the best he possibly can. And as for age, well, Perlman has kept up his chops well into his elderly years on the violin--Ed's still a young pup compared to him.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  14. #14
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    Donor

    I think that way too much importance is being placed on Eddie trying to buy back one of his guitars. I'm sure that story is true, but I'm not convinced that there is that deep a reason for it.

    Not trying to change the topic, but I'm more inclined to wonder if Eddie is maybe having trouble writing music he is happy with that is compatible with where Dave's voice is at currently. Listening to DLR Band the other day, I was really struck by how weak Dave's voice was in places. And listening to a few bootlegs I've heard of Dave's last tour, there's no question in my mind that his range and power are greatly diminished. I know it's rock and roll, and the spirit is vitally important too, but I'm really inquisitive as to where Dave's voice is going to be on this new album.

    A lot is being made of whether Eddie is trying to regain his old sound. Maybe he is, but maybe the problem is that Eddie's old sound doesn't mesh with Dave's new sound. Anyway, just a thought. Great topic.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk
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    12.13.17 @ 08:37 PM
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    this is one of the best topics on this board in a long while! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    it is entirely possible this is one of the reasons for the delay. i don't think ed is hanving trouble finding his tone, i just think he wants this album to be over the top. ed was in "dark days" when they wrote fair warning and said he was in a "rut" when they wrote F.U.C.K. and those albums have some killer solos and riffs. if history repeats itself this album should be no different, with dave at the helm nonetheless.

    i think dave sparks a certain fire in ed, and a competitive one at that. they help each other be the best they can be at their respective jobs. whether ed is trying or not to get some of his old axes back, who knows.

    the sound on the last tour was awesome i thought, except ed's guitar sounded to "tinny" at times, not enough bottom. i have a peavey and have noticed it myself. the frequencies seem to be too much on the high end and it's hard to get a great "deep/crunch" sound. i think ed is trying to modify his peavey guitars a bit to resemble that old sound, cuz i doubt he will be able to play anything other than a peavey on stage.

    i think he knows the sound that his 5150 and wolfies put out do not suit dave's voice and a lot of their dropped half step settings on most songs.

    gotta remember though this is gonna be a massive tour and promoters are bidding on this thing right now, there's a lot of money being thrown around. and while all that is going on, it just gives ed and co. more time to change things up.

    i personally am looking for 11-13 tracks with maybe an instrumental thrown in, 50-60 minutes in length.

    but like glen said some time back, i'd love to hear as well, where they go with their sound after me wise magic....

    JMJ
    "you can't change JMJ, it's legendary"- Brett Norton 9/24/07

    "It's the "JMJ" everyone had grown to love, man! Time to blow the roof off this place!"
    -Zachenfoot 2/23/10

    "The links just look a little better with JMJ. Always has, always will." -Hurricane Halen 2/24/10

    "I'm doin' the victory dance. Told ya I'd be back. Tell me ya missed me. Say it like ya mean it" - Blood and Fire. =VH= 2012. Welcome back boys :headband:

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