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Ted Templeman?
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  1. #1
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    Ted Templeman?

    Maybe this is a dumb question but- has anyone ever tried to interview Ted Templeman about recording VH?

    If he's given any substantive interview about it I don't know about it. I've seen some comments and like, off the cuff remarks referred to in things I've read. But obviously he knows everything there is to know and understand about the classic "brown sound," helped shape it as the final product we know of on record, if not help create it in actuality, and knows all the secrets, where all the bodies are buried. Anyone ever tried to tap his brain on this?

    IMHO some of what characterizes the brown sound on the first six albums has a lot to do with Studio 1 at Sunset Sound or whatever; the board (listen to Exile on Main Street), the reverb room (listen to Pet Sounds), Templeman's recording techniques- particularly for electric guitar and amps (listen to Montrose, Doobie Bros), and possibly other gear (Urei 1176LN Peak Limiter) whose usage was the result of Templeman's production.

    I guess pretty much everything I'm saying goes for Don Landee too, but I figure as en Ed ally to this point (as far as I know?), he's less likely to be doing some tell-all-revealing-of-magician's-secrets special for stuff done in the late 70's when they were all loaded anyway.





    TED TEMPLEMAN 2011.jpg


    15egw12.jpg
    Last edited by multo74; January 22nd, 2013 at 02:06 AM.
    "we sound like a goddamn rock band!"

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  2. #2
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    Here is the board they used...
    http://www.zxfrm.com/?p=1

    There isn't much VH recording info out there compared to many other big acts. Mix magazine has a column called "Classic Tracks" where they interview a producer and ask specifics about a particular song. They have many (no VH) intereting reads, and I always hope they will do a VH track.

    It seems like people will dissect minutiae about Ed's guitar gear, down to the wind count of his pickups, but don't really investigate the studio gear that had way more impact on his sound. The reverb chamber is a huge part of his sound, especially. The Urei 1176 too. The same kind of board ( a DeMedio Modified API) was used to record Aerosmith's "Rocks".
    Last edited by 1234over; January 22nd, 2013 at 02:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1234over View Post
    Here is the board they used...
    http://www.zxfrm.com/?p=1

    There isn't much VH recording info out there compared to many other big acts. Mix magazine has a column called "Classic Tracks" where they interview a producer and ask specifics about a particular song. They have many (no VH) intereting reads, and I always hope they will do a VH track.

    It seems like people will dissect minutiae about Ed's guitar gear, down to the wind count of his pickups, but don't really investigate the studio gear that had way more impact on his sound. The reverb chamber is a huge part of his sound, especially. The Urei 1176 too. The same kind of board ( a DeMedio Modified API) was used to record Aerosmith's "Rocks".
    Couldn't agree more 1234. hehe.

    Really what you have going on for many years now is a wild goose chase masquerading as quest for the holy grail.

    About 98% of the people who chase Ed's tone are under the impression that you replicate the sound on the albums with basically; guitar, pickup, amp, and a few simple effects, and maybe some of the kinds of things Ed did to achieve greater functionality in his live rig (amp slaving etc)

    The brown sound on the albums is a more developed, refined and enhanced animal than what you will hear on any VH bootleg from that era.The foundation of the sound is the plexi head, for sure, but what's also really obvious from listening to VH live circa 1978 is that Ed amp(s) never had the amount of saturated distortion present on VH1. A huge majority of Brown Sound tone chasers regard the first album's tone as the pinnacle, yet the sound on VH1 owes more to Templeman and the recording process than any other VH album-- in other words: it's more dissimilar to Ed's live sound from the same time period than are VH2 or WACF, although the sound on those albums also reveals the aspects characteristic to what you can deduce is Templeman's hand at work. It's referred to often in writings that Ed really did NOT like the sound on VH1, which is why it was a one-off deal. He must have insisted it be altered for the second album, resulting in the less saturated, starker, dryer (less or no reverb) tone you hear on VH2. Many of the amp modders like Bray, for instance, who makes an incredible sounding amp, try to emulate some of the compression sounds from recorded VH, i.e. attempting to replicate the recorded sound more so than the live one. It is speculated, but in much smaller circles relative to what you will find on the internet about the brown sound in general, that the "finish" on Ed's tone in the studio, and also the saturated, creamy distortion of Holy Grail VH1 is largely attributable to Urei 1176's.

    1234 is completely right. All the shit about a wind count on the pickups, using the old strings they don't manufacture anymore, slaving amps, even whether he was using Frankie or the Destroyer are actually way less relevant to the sound than the recording elements.

    Also, dovetailing on what 1234 said, VH1 would make the single greatest VH-1 (cable channel) Classic Albums episode ever! Especially if they made a two hour special of it!

    Ted! We need you! lol
    Last edited by multo74; January 22nd, 2013 at 03:34 PM.
    "we sound like a goddamn rock band!"

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    Exceptional posts, Multo!

    I, too, have often wondered why there is so little information on Ted & Donn's incredible input on the classic VH records.
    If Ted had written a book, i think i'd favor it more than anything by the actual members of the band.
    Ted is mysterious, and those albums are flat-out sonic masterpieces.
    The vibe, the energy, THE BROWN, that he captures, it's magical to me.

    He gets the most ferocious guitar tone out of Eddie.
    There are slight variances in tone on things like II, WACF, FW, etc., but they all share that one magical
    trait: Total brown.
    They all have that signature, vintage Eddie stamp.

    5150 didn't have it.
    OU812 lacked it.
    FUCK didn't have it (i know Ted contributed, but not that much, imo)
    Balance sounded like a Joe Satriani record.
    III sounded like an anemic Joe Satriani record.
    ADKOT is a good, solid rock tone, but NOT the vintage brown last heard on 1984.

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    To add something more, when i listen to live stuff from before they were signed, Ed's tone was not as saturated.
    It was kinda clean & 70's, with his hands muscling out most of that tone.
    You can hear the amp is cranked, yet it's still not VHI cranked.
    Ted & Donn took that foundation and jacked it up to this futuristic, though organic, tone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    Exceptional posts, Multo!

    I, too, have often wondered why there is so little information on Ted & Donn's incredible input on the classic VH records.
    If Ted had written a book, i think i'd favor it more than anything by the actual members of the band.
    Ted is mysterious, and those albums are flat-out sonic masterpieces.
    The vibe, the energy, THE BROWN, that he captures, it's magical to me.

    He gets the most ferocious guitar tone out of Eddie.
    There are slight variances in tone on things like II, WACF, FW, etc., but they all share that one magical
    trait: Total brown.
    They all have that signature, vintage Eddie stamp.

    5150 didn't have it.
    OU812 lacked it.
    FUCK didn't have it (i know Ted contributed, but not that much, imo)
    Balance sounded like a Joe Satriani record.
    III sounded like an anemic Joe Satriani record.
    ADKOT is a good, solid rock tone, but NOT the vintage brown last heard on 1984.
    Totally agree Unchained. It's great to see others who agree with this thinking.

    The tone starts in Ed's fingers, and to an extent it's there throughout the VH Catalog.

    When Ed's rips into the power chord intro to 'Sucker in a Three Piece,' which I believe might have actually been played through a Soldano, you immediately know it's Ed, and it's still definitely in the "brown sound" family, but the "real" brown sound is the first 6 albums (compare and contrast to similar section in "Fools.") 1984 is the first album that, while still maintaining the inherent brownness of Ed's tone and rig, does so with less than the full character that had been established as THE Brown Sound over the first 5-6 albums. 1984 is the first album not recorded at Sunset...first album where much of the recording was done intentionally while Templeman wasn't present. An interesting note is that Diver Down was recorded at Sunset, but in studio 2, whereas the previous albums had been done in studio 1. Sonically, Diver Down seems to me to a bit of a bridge between the first five albums and the next few that followed after, while certainly being closer in overall sound to those previous than to those subsequent.

    "Flat out sonic masterpieces" YES! These albums are jewels of all-time rock production.
    Last edited by multo74; January 22nd, 2013 at 03:31 PM.
    "we sound like a goddamn rock band!"

    --David Lee Roth, Stockholm, Sweden, 1984

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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    To add something more, when i listen to live stuff from before they were signed, Ed's tone was not as saturated.
    It was kinda clean & 70's, with his hands muscling out most of that tone.
    You can hear the amp is cranked, yet it's still not VHI cranked.
    Ted & Donn took that foundation and jacked it up to this futuristic, though organic, tone.
    For sure Unchained, this is the crux of the issue I'm raising.

    Hundreds of thousands can chase in infinity-- but you can't re-create VH1, or the immediately following with just a 68 Super lead, Echoplex, MXR M-117, Script logo phaser, 5 band Eq, etc etc. no matter what mods you do to the head, or don't do to it, or do it it, then undo to it.

    The head is at once the foundation of the tone, but also, a red herring in a way, as to how this sound was created. The glory worship to the head itself has misled many in their attempt to understand how the tone really was molded.
    "we sound like a goddamn rock band!"

    --David Lee Roth, Stockholm, Sweden, 1984

  8. #8
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    1984 still felt like the old tone to me, though it's not my favorite (WACF, FW are my tops, tonewise).
    But 1984 had that ratty jet-plane brown, the saturation & the articulation (listen to "Girl Gone bad.")
    You could hear Ed's fingers, the nuances...
    Those six records sounded like a blazing, hot amp combined with the right player.

    When we got to 5150 and Balance, it sounded all very effected to me.
    It didn't have that ratty/rawness anymore, it didn't sound organic and natural.
    I guess Ed's guitars (never liked those EBMM guitars for sound), his chain, amps, all made a difference.
    I guess this was his more "adult" tone.

    For me, while you can still hear it's Eddie, the tone became more stable and generic.

  9. #9
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    doing a little poking around this afternoon and I see some info saying that VH1 was recorded in studio 1 at Sunset and the following 5 at studio 2. So thats an interesting, slightly different understanding than I'd been holding. Lends more to the idea of exceptionalism sonically on VH1 vs the other albums.

    Would love to hear any other ideas or corrections to any of the stuff I'm offering here.

    I'm surely no expert.

    That's why I want the (mysterious) Ted to talk....
    "we sound like a goddamn rock band!"

    --David Lee Roth, Stockholm, Sweden, 1984

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by multo74 View Post
    For sure Unchained, this is the crux of the issue I'm raising.

    Hundreds of thousands can chase in infinity-- but you can't re-create VH1, or the immediately following with just a 68 Super lead, Echoplex, MXR M-117, Script logo phaser, 5 band Eq, etc etc. no matter what mods you do to the head, or don't do to it, or do it it, then undo to it.

    The head is at once the foundation of the tone, but also, a red herring in a way, as to how this sound was created. The glory worship to the head itself has misled many in their attempt to understand how the tone really was molded.
    I agree.

    People talk about the holy grail Plexi, but then you hear that amp on it's own, and it's not VHI.
    It's more a classic rock, buzzy, punchy kind of sound.
    A lot of people think "Ed's Plexi", and expect the tone to be the supersonic jet-plane heard on the
    first record.

    No doubt, a great amp in great hands, but you gotta work it.
    You've gotta crank it, then you have to tweak it, modify it, etc.

    What about that guy Jose A., that did work on Edward's early heads.
    He was another piece of that VH tone puzzle.

 

 

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