joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Anything non-technical you want to talk about, talk it over and have beer ...

joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby tabbycat » 17 Feb 2015, 04:46

am currently reading john repsch's 'the legendary joe meek: the telstar man' which has some interesting footnotes about his kit and innovations, taken from interviews with those he worked with throughout his career.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Legendary-J ... 1901447200

also found an excellent article on his gear by barry cleveland (author of 'joe meek's bold techniques') from electronic musician online mag reprinted from 2002. it quotes quite a few of the repsch footnotes and fills in a bit more detail.
http://www.emusician.com/interviews/137 ... orld/46154
http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Meeks-Bold-Te ... 0615736009

have been wondering about compressors and looking at basic jobs like mictester's 'really cheap compressor'...
"Do you remember the old-fashioned way of doing bass compression? It used an LDR across the volume control illuminated by an incandescent lamp across the speaker terminals! It was a simple method back in the 60s.... This compressor is almost that simple!"
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8581&hilit=really+cheap+compressor#p91480
does this give what could be called a 'vintage compresssion' sound? it seems to be much appreciated here which is a good sign.

it has made me wonder (as some fsb member's memories may go back to those days, a precious resource) are there any designs for basic old-school (late 1950s eaarly 1960s) compressors/phasers/reverb/echo you are familiar with that could be attempted using commonly available components, to replicate the vintage 'charm' of the sounds produced by the sort of kit meek would have been playing with? the echo would be tape, the notes above say he made a spring reverb out of an old electric fire, but the compressor and phaser would have been ciruit-based.
i've scoured the internet for any schematics that relate directly to joe's magical black boxes but there seems little about.
maybe it was all junked or recycled by meek himself before it ever got documented. am sure it was all disposable 'means-to-an-end' at the time. he was looking forward not back.

"MEEK'S BLACK BOXES
Meek built several pieces of gear that eventually became known as the black boxes, the most famous of which was a spring-reverb unit. Meek reportedly constructed the reverb unit from a broken HMV-manufactured fan heater during late 1958 or early 1959. He kept the unit taped up and carried it with him so that no one could examine it and discover how it worked. Meek put the unit through several revisions as he experimented with different types of springs and perfected the electronics.
While at Lansdowne, Meek also built a compressor/limiter based on Langevin designs and circuitry and a black-box equalizer based on the Pultec model (see Fig. B). Nigel Woodward, who now owns the unit, describes Meek's equalizer as “probably the warmest,smoothest, most transparent equalizer ever made.”
from http://www.emusician.com/interviews/137 ... orld/46154

i've seen the 'joemeek' range of bits and bobs (equalisers, etc) currently sold using his name as a brand, and my impression (being no expert) is that the range seems to run along the intangible and vague 'inspired-by' and 'influenced by' line. the stuff seems to satisfy those who buy it (am not knocking it) but isn't a meek heritage venture.

am very into low-fi tech, vintage tech and 'any-means-to-an-end-if-it-sounds-right-tech', so would like to know more re the tricks and toys of those early days of recording and sound engineering.

anyway, i thought i would post the multiple links i found (in case they interest anyone here) and throw the question around the cafe in case anyone has any thoughts, opinions, ideas...

joe meek interview below is him describing his kit and a typical day at his studios.


Link

the moontrekkers - night of the vampire


Link
"be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h. lawrence).
"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" (francis bacon).
"ni dieu ni maître" (anarchist slogan).
User avatar
tabbycat
Cap Cooler
 
Posts: 519
Joined: 03 Jul 2011, 01:09
Location: i could tell you but i'd have to kill you.
Has thanked: 227 times
Have thanks: 63 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby tabbycat » 17 Feb 2015, 06:14

this is a longer interview (30 minutes in three 10 minutes parts) than the one posted above featuring more detail about his kit. meek goes into most kit detail in part 2 from around 6m30s...

part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sd0DPGA2rw
part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHcqna8fSPU
part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-dgnuumhz8
"be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h. lawrence).
"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" (francis bacon).
"ni dieu ni maître" (anarchist slogan).
User avatar
tabbycat
Cap Cooler
 
Posts: 519
Joined: 03 Jul 2011, 01:09
Location: i could tell you but i'd have to kill you.
Has thanked: 227 times
Have thanks: 63 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby uncleboko » 17 Feb 2015, 09:02

The compression on some of Meek's records sounds hideous, but not Lord Sutch's singles.
uncleboko
Resistor Ronker
 
Posts: 437
Joined: 25 Mar 2008, 21:19
Has thanked: 50 times
Have thanks: 18 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby toneman » 17 Feb 2015, 17:05

be sure to check out the movie:
telstar: the joe meeks story

google and U can find the complete movie for DL.

8)
Tone-to-the-Bone
User avatar
toneman
Resistor Ronker
 
Posts: 270
Joined: 17 Jul 2007, 14:05
Location: sacatomatoes, Kali4nia
Has thanked: 85 times
Have thanks: 19 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby deafbutpicky » 17 Feb 2015, 19:14

thanks for the good read/listen tabby
I'm using capacitors to replace my guitar effects and give more clarity to the sound.
deafbutpicky
 
Posts: 49
Joined: 03 Jun 2011, 11:07
Location: germany
Has thanked: 25 times
Have thanks: 20 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby uncleboko » 17 Feb 2015, 19:50

uncleboko
Resistor Ronker
 
Posts: 437
Joined: 25 Mar 2008, 21:19
Has thanked: 50 times
Have thanks: 18 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby DrNomis » 18 Feb 2015, 09:51

Joe Meek is an interesting character, there's a book I want to order online which looks at his recording techniques, I want to get the book so I can apply some of his techniques to my recordings since I've gone back to uni to finish the VET course in music I started last year, I pulled out of the course due to health issues but decided to go back to uni this year as I was feeling a lot better, might see if I can get the book ordered tonight.... :thumbsup


The thing about Joe Meek's recordings was that they tended to jump out of the speakers while you listened to them, I think he was ahead of his time, definitely a true pioneer..... :thumbsup
Genius is not all about 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration - sometimes the solution is staring you right in the face.-Frequencycentral.
User avatar
DrNomis
Old Solderhand
 
Posts: 6856
Joined: 16 Jul 2009, 05:56
Location: Darwin,Northern Territory Australia
Has thanked: 123 times
Have thanks: 384 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby tabbycat » 25 Feb 2015, 01:35

"he had invented a thing no larger than a cotton bobbin, which had two wires coming out of it and if you put the sound through these two wires, somehow or other it came out of the loudspeakers with a delightful echo; and it was wired up so he could get all sorts of remarkable sounds"
(marcel rodd of saga records talking about pre-fame joe meeks, c1960).
from john repsch 'the legendary joe meek, the telstar man' (pub. cherry red books).

curiouser and curiouser...

this is the best documentary i've seen on joe meek. in four parts. get it while it's still up.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... PTvQ4JOmpV
part one and two have been nobbled by yt so you can only watch them in certain countries, probably lapland and madagascar, but if you use encryption or post links into one of those hide-my-country sites you can watch them all. great doc.

telstar film definitely worth the entrance fee.

has anyone out there seen 'the life and death of joe meek' yet? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436782/
it's been previewed in various forms here and there, film festivals etc. seems to be one of those kickstarter things that has dragged on forever in various guises of not-finished-yet. am looking forward to finally seeing it when.

and finally, the weather forecast...

"when the mists are rising
and the rain is falling
and the wind is blowing cold across the moor... (whoooooohh-oooooohhh-oooooohhhhh...)"


Link
"be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h. lawrence).
"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" (francis bacon).
"ni dieu ni maître" (anarchist slogan).
User avatar
tabbycat
Cap Cooler
 
Posts: 519
Joined: 03 Jul 2011, 01:09
Location: i could tell you but i'd have to kill you.
Has thanked: 227 times
Have thanks: 63 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby Masuto » 05 Mar 2015, 08:01

Hi there.. As you might expect i have two of the original, smaller cases, joemeek compressors, made in uk at the end of the past century.they are not bad at all, but i found out that on guitar i can get that really evil 60es far out compression using a janglebox. Check it out/build it. You wont be disappointed.
I am a fan of Meek's. I love his work with Heinz... Amazing sounds.
User avatar
Masuto
Breadboard Brother
 
Posts: 101
Joined: 08 Jan 2013, 13:19
Location: Venezia, Eataly
Has thanked: 42 times
Have thanks: 5 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby uncleboko » 05 Mar 2015, 08:44

Masuto wrote:Hi there.. As you might expect i have two of the original, smaller cases, joemeek compressors, made in uk at the end of the past century.they are not bad at all, but i found out that on guitar i can get that really evil 60es far out compression using a janglebox. Check it out/build it. You wont be disappointed.
I am a fan of Meek's. I love his work with Heinz... Amazing sounds.


Especially with a very young Ritchie Blackmore!
uncleboko
Resistor Ronker
 
Posts: 437
Joined: 25 Mar 2008, 21:19
Has thanked: 50 times
Have thanks: 18 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby Masuto » 06 Mar 2015, 00:15

I am also partial to the blue rondos' Baby I Go Fo You's guitar solo.. It was a Meek production wasnt it
User avatar
Masuto
Breadboard Brother
 
Posts: 101
Joined: 08 Jan 2013, 13:19
Location: Venezia, Eataly
Has thanked: 42 times
Have thanks: 5 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby tabbycat » 06 Mar 2015, 10:18

Masuto wrote:Hi there.. As you might expect i have two of the original, smaller cases, joemeek compressors, made in uk at the end of the past century.they are not bad at all, but i found out that on guitar i can get that really evil 60es far out compression using a janglebox. Check it out/build it. You wont be disappointed.
I am a fan of Meek's. I love his work with Heinz... Amazing sounds.

many thanks for the heads up on the janglebox, masuto. sounds sweet in clips. and mark has a vero layout at guitar fx. unfortunately don't have nte996 or ca3080 ic to hand, but will look into getting some in just for that.

am pretty certain the blue rondo is a meek production, though i don't think it's ritchie blackmore on guitar as is often said.

meek is so good for atmosphere. he is to the early sixties what martin hannett was to the late seventies and early eighties. they covered a lot of the same ground. isolating instruments during recording, highly innovative and original use of delay and echo, pushing the technology forward (meek designed and built his own units, hannett was involved in the devlopment of ams delays), being a bit mad and obssessive re creating and collecting sounds, trying to work outside the traditional confines and dictates of industry practice, drugs, guns...

at this point it is probably worth saying that meek (who wasn't in a good place emotionally or psychologically at the time), were he around now, would almost certainly have conceded that he handled the landlady thing 'fairly badly'. to put it mildy. had he survived i think he would have suffered an insurmountable trauma when he actually realised what he had done and would have never recovered. i've read a lot about him and everyone says he could be temperamental, and that he didn't always handle the pressures he put upon himself well, but i have not read anyone who ever said they thought he was an evil person by nature.

but (back on topic) in so many important respects, hannett is like the son of meek.
hannett on recording http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI-w7LjSNi4
hannett the character http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bTjJ0maPx4

'johnny remember me' above is probably my favourite of meek's. so much 'wuthering heights' overblown melodrama. it's like a film or a whole novel in a three minute song. a masterwork. meek was a genius fully deserving of the title.
"be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h. lawrence).
"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" (francis bacon).
"ni dieu ni maître" (anarchist slogan).
User avatar
tabbycat
Cap Cooler
 
Posts: 519
Joined: 03 Jul 2011, 01:09
Location: i could tell you but i'd have to kill you.
Has thanked: 227 times
Have thanks: 63 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby Masuto » 06 Mar 2015, 22:54

I bagged a nice stock of original, rca ca3080 if you need a couple.
User avatar
Masuto
Breadboard Brother
 
Posts: 101
Joined: 08 Jan 2013, 13:19
Location: Venezia, Eataly
Has thanked: 42 times
Have thanks: 5 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby tabbycat » 08 Mar 2015, 07:51

Masuto wrote:I bagged a nice stock of original, rca ca3080 if you need a couple.


many thanks, masuto. nice stock. i have a few more fuzzes i want to build before i get to compressors, but when i'm ready i may well take you up on that offer. a ben presto spero...
"be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h. lawrence).
"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" (francis bacon).
"ni dieu ni maître" (anarchist slogan).
User avatar
tabbycat
Cap Cooler
 
Posts: 519
Joined: 03 Jul 2011, 01:09
Location: i could tell you but i'd have to kill you.
Has thanked: 227 times
Have thanks: 63 times

Re: joe meek's kit, old-school compressors, equalisers, etc.

Postby tabbycat » 08 Mar 2015, 08:01

an excellent read i found recently. for those of you who may not have the time or inclination (yet) to indulge in the two joe meek biographies.

a 12,000 word account of the joe meek story by john mccready that originally appeared (in much shorter edited form) in mojo magazine. enjoy...

http://www.johnmccready.co.uk/joe_meek.htm
"be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h. lawrence).
"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" (francis bacon).
"ni dieu ni maître" (anarchist slogan).
User avatar
tabbycat
Cap Cooler
 
Posts: 519
Joined: 03 Jul 2011, 01:09
Location: i could tell you but i'd have to kill you.
Has thanked: 227 times
Have thanks: 63 times


Return to Freestomp Café!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cbriere and 7 guests