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Tubby/Pablo gear?

 
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DiGiT



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

hello everyone...

i have a list of questions about how these legendary musicians made their sound. its mainly for my own curiosity. im trying to get together a list of plugins and actual instruments to play around with the dub sound. i know it might sound silly but i just love that music, i dont get tired of it! so simple yet so profound! its very soothing and enriching music.

anyway, heres my list of questions:

1) why is the king tubby dub sound so 'ancient' sounding when 1970s recording technology could make it sound cleaner with a wider frequency response? what sort of mixing/recording gear did king tubby use that it sounds so old and worn? am i hearing the effects of vinyl? an old dubplate pressing perhaps?

2) what spring reverb and/or eq unit was king tubby using on most of his dubs? you know, when he switches between different settings like a 3 position switch? was that a particular tape echo unit from the past--ala roland re-201 or univox something or other?

3) did he ever use a real metal plate reverb tank?

4) how do they get those strange metalic hi hats?

5) what manner of melodica did augustus pablo usually play? does it matter much? id love to get one and learn to play. ive looked and honer seems to be the popular one of old.

6) how closely was reggae music connected with detroit back in the motown days of the 50s 60s and 70s? did the two share session musicians? (sorry that wasnt a technical question lol!)

7) did lee perry really go mad with jealousy when bob marley showed up on the scene? (another non technical one haha!)

if anyone would like to, please tell me what you think the answers are. i truly appreciate your help. thank you!
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interruptor



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1138
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:52 pm    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

hi digit

we had discussion here about many of these topics.
so please browse the categories or use the search function.

some answers:

1) why is the king tubby dub sound so 'ancient' sounding when 1970s recording technology could make it sound cleaner with a wider frequency response?

simple: the producers in jamaica did their work on ridiculously low budgets. so they had to use equipment which was very dated already in the seventies. like the fisher spacexpander delay unit (a consumer model from the early sixties) which is one of the typical ingredients of king tubbys sound. also they were very good at finding workarounds and improvising with the little they had, thus coming up with techniques unknown to the rest of the world. king tubby actually built a lot of his equipment himself as he started his carreer as a radio repair man (hence the name "tubby" ==> radio tubes)


2) what spring reverb and/or eq unit was king tubby using on most of his dubs?

see above
regarding delay: it was a tape delay for sure. the model does not matter so much as the way he used it in the mix. we have discussed this elsewhere on the board. see this


3) did he ever use a real metal plate reverb tank?

I never heard anything like that. far too expensive for jamaica in the seventies i'd say.


4) how do they get those strange metalic hi hats?

don't know what you mean by metalic. hihats are made of metal right?
typical techniques for hihat were:
- doubling the beat using a delay
- dynamic eq-ing
- phasing


5) what manner of melodica did augustus pablo usually play?

see this

6) how closely was reggae music connected with detroit back in the motown days of the 50s 60s and 70s? did the two share session musicians?

i don't think so. it is the same few jamaican session musicians heard on most reggae records at the time.


7) did lee perry really go mad with jealousy when bob marley showed up on the scene? (another non technical one haha!)

perry produced and co-wrote many of the famous early marley songs. so marley owed a lot to him. i can imagine that perry was pissed when marley became an international superstar later and he did not get much royalties (if any at all..). at that time copyright issues were not handled properly in Jamaica.

cheers
Interruptor
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boofnpeng



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

Re Tubby`s sound, Tubby`s studio was not a regular recording studio, it was a mixing studio with facilities for voicing and some overdubbing. The main tracks were recorded elsewhere, like Dynamics or Federal recording studio`s, these studio`s were much better equipped, with either 8 or 16 track recorders, the engineers there would then be required to bounce down those tracks to a 4 track machine suitable for use at Tubby`s studio, that meant all drums to one track, all piano, organ, guitars to one track, all horns to one track, maybe all vocals to another (if vocals were also recorded at the studio). When taken to Tubby`s studio it would be treated again with his equipment, which may have been old but some of it, like the MCI board, was professional equipment in its day, sometimes the 4 track tape would have to be bounced down again for additional overdubs that the various producers might require, this might mean for instance that the basic riddim track was mixed in a dubwise fashion onto a 2 track, or 2 tracks of a next 4 track recorder, then someone like Pablo for example would play melodica, or glockespiel to that mix, maybe also some additional percussion or voicing would be done and then the whole lot mixed down again. The results of this, some fantastic recordings, but also due to the way it was done some limited dynamics, which to you may sound `ancient` but was just down to the procedure of recording.
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DiGiT



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:40 pm    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

hey thanks for all the info!

yeah its competely charming the way it sounds bounced down. i also love the slight pitch variation on some dub records, like an off center pressing or something...
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Neil C



Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Moonbase Alpha

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

I highly recommend the DVD 'Roots, Rock, Reggae'.

It will give you a very good idea of the sort of environment (cultural and studio) dub came from.

6) There is a soul influence in evidence in the vocals on some reggae/dub tracks - but I think it's just from what the artists/producers had heard, I don't know of any musicians in common.
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interruptor



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1138
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:00 am    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

6) that's definitely true neil! the whole idea of the vocal trio which is so popular in roots reggae and rock steady was inspired by US R&B records of the time.
the maytals with toots hibbert on the other hand show a strong influence from gospel music.
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DiGiT



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Tubby/Pablo gear? Reply with quote

cool... i have heard ska and dub records that start out with motown intros... cool ill check out that reggae dvd. thanks guys!
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