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What Effect is on Superstition??


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6/25/1997 5:52 PM
CJ Landry
What Effect is on Superstition??
What is the effect used in the 70's song by Stevie Wonder, Superstition? Its at the very beginning of the song when the guitar starts. It sounds like a fuzz but then again it doesn't. Does anyone know? I heard it today on the radio and could not place what guitar effect sound that was.  
 
Christian
 
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6/25/1997 8:03 PM
Steve Morrison

It's been a long time since I actually heard the song, but I always thought the featured instrument was something like a Hohner Clavinet, rather than a guitar.
 
6/26/1997 12:50 AM
Bruce

I bet it is a Hohner too.  
I'm sure it is not any guitar or fuzz tone.
 
6/26/1997 7:49 AM
CJ Landry

OK, I am showing my ignorance here. A clavinet! Is this a piano type instrument or a stringed instrument?  
 
Christian
 
6/26/1997 8:52 AM
J Epstein

Analog synth, sorta a funky-sounding electric piano. It appears that Stevie has ALWAYS been among the first to use a new sound or piece of synth gear, I remember he was hip to the ARP, and the Prophet, right away.  
Clavinet is a great sound - and it is DEFINITELY the instrument in the intro to "Superstition."  
BTW, Stevie said he cowrote it with Jeff Beck, they were jamming and the riff evolved. Jeff Beck recorded it, too, with Beck, Bogert & Appice.  
-j
 
6/26/1997 11:45 AM
Mark Amundson

The sound effect Stevie Wonder's Superstition is a plain old Hohner Clavinet played by Steve himself. The clavinet has a piano-keyboard that has little rubber hammers attached that stike short strings inside to give a distinctive sound. The clavinet sounds can be extremely expressive based on how hard you play and you can use after-touch pressure to deaden notes.  
 
A real good piano player like stevie mastered the instrument and few can ever replicate that sound.  
 
Many famous artists still use clavinets in concert. Tom Scholtz of Boston is a recent example.  
 
(16 year old Blues Guitarist) Johnny Lang's title cut, "Lie to Me" uses the clavinet through a phase shifter for the song intro. A good rhythm guitar sound through strat is also noticable.  
 
Mark Amundson,
 

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