Whiter shade of pale


Rayblewit

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What kind of keyboard was used by procal harum? I am trying to play 'whiter shade' to sound like the original. I think I have it close but not quite! I have tried all the different kinds of organ which my keyboard has avail to me. There are more than 30. The rock organ is the closest but it is not quire right and I can't quite get it right. Any clues?
 

happyrat1

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I think in Whiter Shade of Pale they used a Rock Organ Sound lightly pushed thru a Phaser Pedal. At least that's how it sounded to me.

Gary ;)
 
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It was Matthew Fisher on a "real" Hammond M-102. They did the original cut at Olympic Studios in London, but they must have hauled the thing around with them, as it was an integral part of their "signature" sound. Most ROMplers emulate the B3's, so you may have a problem hitting it right on the head, unless you have a sampler, but then you would need either samples or a sample source (aka an M-102).
 
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Looks like it's anybody's guess. The article I read pointed to, and had pics of, an M-102, but that was for the original cut at Olympic Studios. The article in Cowboy's link above mentions, and has pics of, a C3, and the Procol Harum official website talks about a B3. So, it looks like maybe they used whatever was handy, as long as it was a Hammond. That goes along with the article I read, which stated that they originally wanted a "Hammond" sound. Ray, I think for you, the most important things are the drawbar settings in that link from Cowboy, but the official website has another hint. Whenever possible, Matt kept his Leslie isolated offstage in a separate room or closet, and miked it to the sound board from there to keep its sound pristine and free from other stage sounds. So far, though, I have not seen any mention of external effects processing. Odd ! I'm like Gary. I would have thought there would be, at least, a little something, but then, would a guy who locks his Leslie away in a closet allow a sound guy to mess with his sound ?
 
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happyrat1

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It's possible that the phaser effect I mentioned was created with judicious use of a leslie speaker cabinet instead. Phase transformations are a signature effect of a leslie speaker.

Gary ;)
 

Rayblewit

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Firstly, thanks everyone for showing interest in my thread. The response is enlightening.

The article from cowboynq explains a lot. That sound was calculated and complicated. Something like kfc's secret recipe'.

Anyway, now I have resigned to the fact that I am being fastidious. I don't have a Hammond for a start. I don't have pedals or buttons to push. My yamaha has done all of the hard work and provided me with "rock organ 1" and "rock organ 2". The latter is pretty damn close to the original hammond sound by procal harum. I will settle for that and 99.9% happy.

Cheers
 
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Hey Ray !

I just had a brilliant thought a few minutes ago (duh !). Instead of looking up Shade of Pale, or Procol, or Hammond, I decided to go right to the horse's mouth, so to speak, and looked up Matthew Fisher in Wikipedia. I think you will find it interesting, especially the mention of his later solo albums. There's got to be some MP3's around somewhere for download, if you are really interested in emulating his sound. He actually owned that M-102 in the early years of Procol. The B3's and C3's must have come later. It sounds like he was a nut about Hammonds and Leslies, so he probably had a collection. BTW, what model of "Yammie" do you have ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Fisher


Gary

You are probably right about "natural" phasing. That article on the Procol website said he actually stuffed the mike into the top of the Leslie cabinet. I would never have thought to do that. I would have just set it up on a stand a few feet in front of the cabinet. Who knows what weird kind of sound phasing goes on in the top of a Leslie cabinet. That's probably also where that bit of overdrive came from. No doubt, the sound level in that cabinet was mechanically overdriving the mike a bit. This whole thing reminds me of my early years with my first electric guitar when we were all trying to emulate that Duane Eddy "twang". We found out years later that he fed his guitar into an amp/speaker that he put into an abandon 5000 gallon storage tank, then miked it back into the sound system from there. There was no way any FX box with amp/speaker modeling was going to nail that one. Go figure ! Kind of like Orson Welles' buddy unscrewing the lid of that mason jar that he was holding in the bowl of a commode to make the sound of the hatch opening on the UFO landing craft in War of the Worlds.
 
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Rayblewit

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Hi Ted,
My yammie is the PSRS650 . I am not a pro. I just play it for my own self indulgence. I just keep picking up songs and learn them and play them over and over trying different styles and giving myself challenges which in the end I am rewarded with the thrill of it sounding awesome! I think so anyway.

I don't intend to emulate or improve on whiter shade anymore. I know it would be impossible to be pitch perfect. But i am happy now with my end result. The references and links suggested by you guys have been interesting.

So now I move onto my next challenge . . . The doors original version of "Light my Fire"
 

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