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  1. #1

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    The title says it all. I love his tone at that stage of his career. Short of buying the rack delay unit he was using, how would you approximate Pat's tone?

    I'm using a Flashback delay pedal set to a sort of a slapback time delay, but it doesn't sound right. Two delays at different time delays?
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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Wasn't he using a two of the early bucket brigade type digital delays, think they were MXR rack units. Each one was set to a different delay going to two amps.

    I think using two amps was/is big part of Pat's sound. Back in music school we used to call these our Metheny in a box, love this pedel (and I'm not a pedal person.)

    http://www.tcelectronic.com/scf-stereo-chorus-flanger/
    Last edited by docbop; 06-24-2014 at 11:33 AM.
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  4. #3

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    My secret is using subtle chorus pedal AFTER delay pedal in the FX chain.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 06-24-2014 at 04:51 AM.

  5. #4

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    I think he used two delays _and_ chorus. I remember when the album came out. I thought: brilliant playing; STRANGE tone for jazz. Today, I guess it's a tone that you either love or hate. Sco' had a tone that had that effect on people. His early tone strikes me as an effort to carve out a distinct territory for himself, which he did rather neatly. Today, IMO, it sounds pretty dated. Sco' you will notice, doesn't use this tone anymore.

    Kinda related to this, I think many young players react to 50s jazz guitar tone similarly. They think WTF? Why do all of those guys lay their amps face down on the floor and get that muffled sound? (Not what they did, but I suppose it sounds a bit like that to a 15 year old.)

    FWIW, it all was substantially less strange than Barney Kessel's tone on "Barney Kessel Plays Hair." (distorted electric 12-string guitar playing pop/jazz) BK was trying to rehab his career in the wake of the Beatles.

  6. #5

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    I thought Metheny hated chorus pedals.

    Here is his answer to what he used to get his sound from an interview in 99.

    I used an Acoustic 134 model amp for 20 years, from 1974 to 1994. That amp had the SOUND for me. Flat, kind of midrangy-bright but mellow and LOUD without any distortion. A hard combination of things to find in one place. Unfortunately, it was also really noisy and tended to break a lot. I paid a lot of dues keeping that guy around. During the Josh Redman tour, I could see I was finally gonna have to change and also I had the urge to get modern a little. I knew there were new things out there, so I started trying everything. I finally settled on the Digitech 2101 DSP guitar preamp. With it, I could get the SOUND and some cool bells and whistles too, mainly pre-programmability -- no more moving the "barely-hangin-on-the-134-front-panel" treble control exactly 2.3 centimeters to get the sitar on "Last Train Home" to sound right, then in the 1.7 seconds before the next tune starts, trying to get EXACTLY back to where it was, etc.
    Like the 134 always was, the output of the Digitech is run into 2 Lexicon Prime-Time digital delay lines, one on my left at 14 MS delay, one on my right at 26 MS delay. Each delay has a very slight "pitch bend" controlled by the VCO -- sine wave -- inside the Prime-Time. This is what gives it the "chorused" thing that I guess I would have to say I was the first to use extensively in jazz, and that seemed to have influenced a lot of other guys to do the same. Only thing, I HATE the way "chorus boxes" sound. My sound is mostly the "straight" 134/Digitech line, which is behind me with NO PITCH BEND, which gets blended IN THE AIR with the two DISCRETE delay pitch bends, which are much softer than the "straight" amp volume, to get a bigger sound. I HATE when I hear the "pitch bend" and the straight mixed together and coming out of the same speaker. It drives me crazy. You can then imagine that it's hard for me in a studio. Studios and records are STEREO, and I have THREE discrete sources -- "straight", delay left, and delay right. I don't feel like I've ever gotten it right on any record. I'm anxiously awaiting the coming days when we get to go back in and re-mix everything for everyone's home 6-track surround systems! I'll finally be able to get the guitar sound right!
    Also, I always have a slight 450-500 MS delay mixed in right off the guitar, too. If you hear it too much, it's too loud. It just lengthens the notes some.

  7. #6

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    I'd heard that as well--that Metheny insists it's not a chorus, and yet there is a pitch-bending aspect to the delayed signals. It's parsed pretty fine. It's not a chorus pedal clearly, but the effect essentially has a very slight pitch-bending blended in. It's like the whole rig together is effectively acting like a sophisticated chorus--isn't it? One original signal, plus two different pitch-bent signals blended in.

    I'm not completely clear on the difference, but that's how it seems to me. Gorgeous sound, however achieved.

    I agree with docbop: the two-amp thing is a big part of it. The space!

  8. #7

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    Do you have a POD HD300?

    Give the Metheny POD HD300 Customtone patch a try?
    Line 6 CustomTone
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    Do you have a POD HD300?
    No.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melodic Dreamer View Post
    I thought Metheny hated chorus pedals.

    Here is his answer to what he used to get his sound from an interview in 99.
    Three amps? Yikes. That explains it.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    My secret is using subtle chorus pedal AFTER delay pedal in the FX chain.
    I swapped those pedals and didn't notice a difference until I turned the delay up a bit and then it sounded ... oh ... a bit bouncier ... if that makes any sense. I think I'll leave them swapped for a bit and see how it goes.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I swapped those pedals and didn't notice a difference until I turned the delay up a bit and then it sounded ... oh ... a bit bouncier ... if that makes any sense. I think I'll leave them swapped for a bit and see how it goes.
    One thing to remember about Metheny is that he hadn’t evolved his classic chorus sound on ”Bright Size Life” yet. I read an article where he said that he began experimenting with digital delays around 1976. But his legendary chorus sound was first used one year later on ”Watercolors”, my favorite album with Metheny.

    When I listen to ”Bright Size Life” the sound feels much more reverb-ish than chorus-ish. On some tracks like ”Sirabhorn” and ”Midwestern Nights Dream” there are delay, but not that kind of chorused delay his known for today. Possibly Metheny recorded the whole album with a completely dry sound and just added heavy plate reverb afterwards.

    Summarized, I think that somebody who want to emulate the tone on ”Bright Size Life” should rather focus on heavy reverb than chorus in first place.

  13. #12

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    Bright Size Life I think perhaps Roland (or Cube JC clean) amp with the mids and treble pushed up a bit, and roundwound strings played in a larger room with little in the way of rugs/carpeting or curtains.
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  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    Bright Size Life I think perhaps Roland (or Cube JC clean) amp with the mids and treble pushed up a bit, and roundwound strings played in a larger room with little in the way of rugs/carpeting or curtains.
    That’s a good way to start. But I should have used 011 flatwounds instead of roundwounds. Flatwounds adds natural attack and compression to the sound, like in this case with Metheny’s tone on ”Bright Size Life”.

  15. #14

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    I think Bbmaj7#5#9 is correct. Metheny hadn't yet developed "his sound" on the BSL album. His 175 does, in fact, sound more like it's fed through a reverb-laden solid-state amp, than it does on Metheny's later albums--where the ping-pong delays/pitch-shifts are noticeable.

    You cannot argue with success, but I am finding that I prefer this early sound more.

  16. #15

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    I was a wannabe Metheny clone back during the BSL and Pat Metheny Group (white album era). I used two Roland amps run in stereo (GA-120s - basically jazz choruses) through an Ibanez UA 305 multi effect pedal that contained an analog delay. I did use the stereo chorus but at practically the lowest possible level. I used an ES 175 or, at times an Ibanez Howard Roberts and it worked well. Of course, I grew my hair long and shaggy, used tons of hair spray and wore blue and white sailor striped shirts... until my future wife smacked some sense into me and I cut my hair. Could never get the tone back after that.
    Last edited by Roberoo; 06-17-2019 at 05:20 PM.

  17. #16

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    I'm doomed. Wigs probably won't work, eh?
    Build bridges, not walls.

  18. #17

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    Wig chorus?

    How would you approximate Metheny's Bright Size Life tone?-siamain-jpg

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I'm doomed. Wigs probably won't work, eh?
    Problem I could never find a wig that copied Metheny's hair...strange that...

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C View Post
    Wig chorus?

    How would you approximate Metheny's Bright Size Life tone?-siamain-jpg
    No we determined earlier it isn't chorus.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  21. #20

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    Simple solution? What cosmic gumbo says, but with two different delays, long and short. A two-amp setup would be great, but who turns up to a jam with two amps?

  22. #21

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    Somewhere, Metheny mentioned a slight pitch shifting added to the delays, so I think: 2 amps, 2 delays, set a small amount apart (the figures are somewhere in interviews), add a slight detune, probably before the delays, then a concert hall reverb with a longer pre-delay, flat 11’s, tone knob set at 2 or 3, treble and mids up, bass down on solid state amp, 10” speakers, closed back cabs, medium gauge pick.

    Add some hair, big teeth and clean, midwestern genius (it’s the water) and you might kinda sound a bit like that amazing player/composer/innovator/collaborator alien. And that is correctly stated as the post Bright Size Life tone. Manfred Eicher probably had something to do with the spacious reverbs on BSL, no chorus or detune that I can hear on BSL.

    I haven’t found a pedal that does it all yet, but a multi effects pedal with settings for 2 separate delay modules in the chain, panned left and right at the 2 different settings, with a detune module before could theoretically do that, with stereo out to 2 amps, but you would have to mess with the settings a bit, probably panning the stereo reverbs hard left and right, as well. Fun project.
    It all works out in the end; if it's not working out, it's not the end.

  23. #22

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    Flat 11s?

    If we're going that far, maybe look at Metheney's completely idiosyncratic picking "technique" first. IIRC, something to do with his only being able to get super thin picks from his local store.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C View Post
    Flat 11s?

    If we're going that far, maybe look at Metheney's completely idiosyncratic picking "technique" first. IIRC, something to do with his only being able to get super thin picks from his local store.
    Yes, his picking technique is crucial. I think he’s that kind of guitar player that sounds the same, whatever gear he uses. Why I’ll choose flat 011s is because of the natural attack and compression they adds to the sound. Probably any other string gauges will be fine too, but flat 011s a good way to start.
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 06-20-2019 at 02:58 PM.
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  25. #24

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    Yeah, well that's like saying that you need to slap some 15s on to cop some Pat Martino vibe. Not happening, at least in my case. 12s or 13s are right for my hands, see what I mean?