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Re: old school Zappa fans in the house?

1/17/2001 3:40 AM
Mark Hammer Re: old school Zappa fans in the house?
I went to see Frank and the Mothers in 68, five times the same weekend that Woodstock was taking place (My dad saw the news and insisted "You're nNOT hitchhiking there!"). I interviewed Frank that weekend, and sauntered around stage. If there was any such effect in existence, it sure wasn't there. Frank had an SG, a wah of some kind, and a big Acoustic amp, and that seemed to be it.  
It's important to realize that whatever you hear on record from that period and afterwards is often the product of some snazzy studio tricks, including use of wierdly-miked Pignose amps with opening and closing cabinets.  
I'm sure there are a myriad of cult web-sites for Frank out there with more obsessively detailed info, but here is something from a post-humous article in GP from October 95:  
"Dweezil says Frank tweaked the original track (for Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar) with two MicMix Dynaflangers flanging in opposite directions axcross the audio spectrum. AS Frank told GP's Tom Mulhern in '83, the Dynaflangers could be set to follow the envelope of the high frequency decay, rather than the amplitude envelope for what he called a 'pillowy effect'. 'It just sounds thick as hell', Dweezil raves, 'You can also hear it on stuff like Beat it With Your Fist and Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression'....You'll hear, for instance, a really clean flanged guitar on one side, on the other side a Pignose, and in the middle a gargantuan delayed Marshall, all with different reverbs. That's all experimentation after the fact."  
Not sure if that's the sound, but it is certainly ONE or TWO of his sounds.
1/17/2001 4:24 AM

man, you saw the mothers in 68. Where? My eyes are watering with jealousy. If I had a time machine it sure would have been cool to see sly and the family stone and santana at woodstock, but you bet your ass I'd be seeing the mothers and the mc5!  
I dont think this effect was ever used on stage. Definitely not in 1968 or 69, out of all the availabel recordings from those tours (quite a bit) and from the video of the period, franks stage setup is pretty clearly a vox 846 and a tonebender2.  
There was lots of studio trickery going on, but this effect was used on so many recordings for so many records over the course of at least 4 or 5 years, that there is a good baseline to really judge what the thing is about.  

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