forth

Thom’s old “Knock-Off Strat” is an Ibanez Blazer

Thanks to Sean Walsh for identifying the instrument!

I suspect that the specific model is a the BL400BS, based on this Ibanez catalog. Thom seems to have peeled the stripe of stickers off of the headstock, unless Ibanez stopped using them on the guitar at some point.

It is one of Thom’s first guitars, and possibly his first electric. The Blazer series ran from 1980 to 1983, so Thom must have purchased the instrument when he was between 12 and 15 years old. Thom used the guitar for On A Friday demos as early as 1986, and with Headless Chickens when he was at university.

Thom also used an Ibanez Blazer during the recording of the Drill EP, and I suspect that it’s the same guitar repainted. I don’t know how much of the guitar made it onto the recordings, however, as Thom seems also to have used his then new black Telecaster during the sessions.

On A Friday.

Headless Chickens.

Radiohead - Drill EP.

 [Thom Yorke] [Radiohead] [on a friday] [Headless Chickens]
3 days ago
44 notes
NEW DIAGRAM of Jonny’s Guitar setup by Adam Cooper from GuitarGeek!
I served as a contributor for the diagram, directly offering advice on Jonny’s setup. It’s a great improvement on the older one; the signal chain is 100%!
I must admit that I disagree about the versions of the EHX Small Stone (Cooper chose a V4, whereas in 1997 Jonny used a V2) and Demeter Tremulator (Jonny uses the older prototype “The Tremulator”), but those are artistic decisions which I totally respect (similar to his decision to draw Jonny’s Tele in its current distinctive condition, rather than less worn and without the Honda Motorcycle sticker as it was in 1997). Plus, everything else is spot on, so I really can’t complain!
Overall, it’s a really great diagram, and it’ll give anyone an excellent understanding of how Jonny organizes his gear and how he uses it!

NEW DIAGRAM of Jonny’s Guitar setup by Adam Cooper from GuitarGeek!

I served as a contributor for the diagram, directly offering advice on Jonny’s setup. It’s a great improvement on the older one; the signal chain is 100%!

I must admit that I disagree about the versions of the EHX Small Stone (Cooper chose a V4, whereas in 1997 Jonny used a V2) and Demeter Tremulator (Jonny uses the older prototype “The Tremulator”), but those are artistic decisions which I totally respect (similar to his decision to draw Jonny’s Tele in its current distinctive condition, rather than less worn and without the Honda Motorcycle sticker as it was in 1997). Plus, everything else is spot on, so I really can’t complain!

Overall, it’s a really great diagram, and it’ll give anyone an excellent understanding of how Jonny organizes his gear and how he uses it!

 [Jonny Greenwood] [Radiohead]
5 days ago
99 notes

whitechocolatefarms said:

Sorry. I truly appreciate the explanation but im not really that music savy. The “sound” i was refering to was the one johny uses to make woman-like sounds. Like a woman singing. How would i go around doing that?

That’s ok!

As I mentioned, most of the waveforms are very simple. Jonny’s settings for There Will Be Blood were essentially just a sine wave into two speakers: one fairly neutral and one with reverberation. The speakers do have unique characterics, but a sine wave into some fancy speakers aren’t what makes the Martenot sound so human-like.

There’s a reason that Jonny goes to the Ondes Martenot, even when he has an enormous and highly sophisticated modular synthesizer worth tens of thousands of dollars. The control mechanisms of the Martenot, particularly the ruban, are what gives the Martenot its wonderful abilities.

Much of why the Martenot can sound like a woman singing is due to its ability to create very human-like glissando and vibrato. The right waveform and diffuseurs are definitely important – Nasillard simply isn’t going to sound much like a human, though it can sound somewhat like a bassoon – but the most important thing is absolute control over pitch which is given by the ruban.

To play something like the credits from Star Trek,* a controller with continuous pitch control is a necessity. Using a MIDI ribbon to control the pitch of a sine wave on a free softsynth, plus some short-decay digital reverb (Ambience is quite nice), would get you closer to that sound than anything with a keyboard. Short of building a ring controller or buying a French Connection or Therevox, it’s the best (only?) option that has a real change of capturing that sound. The friction of the membrane will limit your speed, which might slow down those fast glissando’s and could hamper vibrato a little, but even so a ribbon controller will definitely get you in the region of “person singing wordlessly.”

Technology isn’t the only consideration, though. Playing technique is important. Once you have a ring or ribbon controller, you will need to listen to singers and learn the subtleties of what they do, such that you can use the instrument to recreate those sounds.

____

*Just to be clear, that really is a woman singing, not a Martenot or Theremin, but it’s a great example of the type of thing that a Martenot can sound a lot like.

 [Ondes Martenot] [Advice]
1 week ago
3 notes
whitechocolatefarms: oh please can u just tell me if i can emulate the sound of an ondes martenot in a synth? iz got 2 knowwwww

What do you mean by the “sound” of an Ondes?

Do you mean the waveforms? If so, all of them are fairly easy to recreate, save perhaps for the octiviant. Onde (sine), Gambe (square), petit gambe (filtered square), Nasillard (pulse), Souffle (noise), and Creux (basically a triangle/sine with slight square wave distortion) are all, more or less, available on your average synthesizer.

The more unique diffuseurs (Palme and Métallique) would be hard to reproduce, but the Principal is a more usual speaker, and you could replace the Résonance with some well-set spring reverb.

But the sound of the isn’t just the waveforms and the diffuseurs. A huge part of it comes from its unique method of control - the ruban (ring), the touche d’intensité (button), and the clavier (a keyboard which can move from side to side to create vibrato). That is why something like the Soniccouture Ondes, which reproduces the “sounds” aspects of the Martenot, sounds pretty lackluster compared to the real thing.

Some clever ADSR can reproduce the the touche to a certain degree. Other options like mapping joystick controllers to master volume can be even better if used well, but those are less common. A volume pedal is certainly an option, and the Ondes actually does have pedal control for volume in passages which require both hands (for the keyboard). Volume pedals will lose you the extremely fast “attack” and “decay” of which the touche is capable, but since the Ondes is better known for what it can do with a slower attack, that ability of the touche might not be important to many for a reproduction.

While standard mod-wheel+LFO vibrato will sound pretty bad for a Martenot reproduction, mapping aftertouch to pitch (subtly) can allow for more natural sounding vibrato. This vibrato will be around only a single pitch at a time, which can work to reproduce the clavier, but it still does not approach the most famous part of the Martenot - the ruban.

The ruban allows one to play any pitch along its range, allowing not only for real, player controlled glissando between notes, but also for microtonal playing. While the latter may be less important to the average musician, the former is probably the most distinctive part of the Martenot’s sound.

Now, almost all synthesizers have a built in means of creating glissando – glide. This feature is capable of some unique and interesting sounds, but it has a character very much its own. Simply put, I’ve yet to hear glide sound anything like an Ondes Martenot, and the Soniccouture Ondes is a testament to that. With the waveforms and the diffuseurs perfectly duplicated, it still fails to sound much like the original instrument. The glissando created with the ruban is controlled entirely by the player. Its “envelope,” so to speak, is user generated, and it’s unique every time. Glide simply sounds robotic by comparison. Not a bad thing in absolute terms – glide definitely has its uses – but not Ondes either.

So while sampling and synthesis are able to perfectly recreate the sounds of the Ondes Martenot, the “sound” of the instrument remains unique - to ribbon controllers at least.

Of course, you could always try a MIDI ribbon controller, such as those by Doepfer or Eowave! It won’t be perfect, and the possibilities will be limited, but it’s sure nonetheless to make any synth sound a lot the a Martenot!

 [Ondes Martenot] [Advice]
1 week ago
7 notes
Anonymous: Is there any instructions to make your own ondes martenot control, I'd like to have own controller, but 1050 pounds for just a French Connetcion is too much for me

This is a very good guide, and includes info on the parts used and where to get them.

There’s also this one which is also quite good, but in Japanese (Part 2, Part 3).

Here is a good forum thread discussing DIY options for a ring controller, with contributions from the maker of the first guide.

Don’t be afraid to mix ideas from all of these places when building your own.

Outside of DIY, there’s also this option, made by a Japanese company called asaden, which comes to about $500.

Good luck!

 [Ondes Martenot] [Advice]
1 week ago
8 notes
Flea and “What the eyeballs did?”

Submitted by HJP881

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub2iclJ-AR4 

Actually that proofs that he does’nt use his fender bass for this song live, he used for practise. He uses that hofner violin bass.

Thank you for the submission! I think that you are indeed correct.

 [Flea] [What The Eyeballs Did] [submission]
1 week ago
5 notes
Jonny’s Ondes Musicales* settings for his performance of his Suite from There Will Be Blood tomorrow at the Roundhouse in London.
He’s only using the Onde waveform (Jonny’s favorite), which is simply a sine wave, and the D1 (Principal) and D2 (Résonance) diffuseurs. The Principal is a more usual loudspeaker, while the Résonance adds stretched strings which generate reverberation (though not exactly like a traditional spring reverb). Jonny seems to have used his Palme diffuseur on the original soundtrack, so it will be interesting to hear how this sounds in comparison. Since the Palme adds resonance, I would expect it to sound closer to a pure sine, though the other diffuseurs will add their own character.
*I refer to the new run of Dierstein-built Ondes Martenot as Ondes Musicales.

Jonny’s Ondes Musicales* settings for his performance of his Suite from There Will Be Blood tomorrow at the Roundhouse in London.

He’s only using the Onde waveform (Jonny’s favorite), which is simply a sine wave, and the D1 (Principal) and D2 (Résonance) diffuseurs. The Principal is a more usual loudspeaker, while the Résonance adds stretched strings which generate reverberation (though not exactly like a traditional spring reverb). Jonny seems to have used his Palme diffuseur on the original soundtrack, so it will be interesting to hear how this sounds in comparison. Since the Palme adds resonance, I would expect it to sound closer to a pure sine, though the other diffuseurs will add their own character.

*I refer to the new run of Dierstein-built Ondes Martenot as Ondes Musicales.

 [Jonny Greenwood] [There Will Be Blood] [Ondes Martenot]
2 weeks ago
16 notes
little-man-from-the-radio: What's Jonny doing on Talk Show Host to get his guitar to sound like that? I'm positive he's using the Small Stone but is he also using the DOD 440?

Jonny doesn’t play guitar at all on Talk Show Host. The filtered guitar sounds to which you refer are created by Ed, courtesy of his Lovetone Meatball. Like the DOD440, the Meatball is an envelope filter, but the Lovetone has a tone of its own and has many more features than the DOD. Ed’s guitar is distorted, though not heavily, which is what gives his guitar its biting character (an envelope filter on a clean guitar would be nearly as powerful a sound). Originally, he likely used his distorted Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Trem-O-Verb, since that was his main source of overdrive at the time.

Jonny does, however, use his EHX Small Stone in conjunction with a sampled strings sound for the track (possibly their Mellotron M400 for the recording).

 [Talk Show Host] [Ed O'Brien] [Jonny Greenwood] [Radiohead]
3 weeks ago
5 notes

From Fender’s Facebook - Ed’s visit to the Fender factory.

In the second picture, he’s holding an American Deluxe Telecaster Thinline in natural finish. Since he is on the factory floor, he may have just been trying a “freshly” completed guitar, rather than taking the guitar for potential future use with Radiohead.

 [Ed O'Brien] [Radiohead]
3 weeks ago
231 notes
NIGEL’s (not Jonny) Orpheum Amplifier

A huge thanks to Nigel Godrich himself, for his kind words and for letting us know the true owner of this amplifier!

Previously identified as Jonny’s, due to his use of the amp during a couple of the In Rainbows recording sessions, the Orpheum amplifier actually belongs to Nigel Godrich, who must have let Jonny use it for those sessions.

Nigel’s Twitter.

thekingofgear:

Thank you to Tim for finding out the true identity of the amplifier!

image

Here is a link to a forum post including pictures of an amp that looks identical to Jonny’s, and information about the Orpheum brand.

The amp, which was previously identified as an Omega amplifier, is actually an Orpheum amplifier. Though it looks almost exactly like an Omega amp, the logo on it is clearly Orpheum’s.

I suspect that the two amps are identical, Omega and Orpheum being the distributors for different countries (Omega for Japan and Orpheum for the US). Orpheum’s amps were made in Japan during the 1960’s. It is likely that either Omega was the name under which Orpheum sold amps in Japan, or Omega had some sort of deal with Orpheum such that they could sell the amps.

This particular Orpheum is an unusual 6AQ5-based amplifier. 6AQ5 is a specific type of vacuum tube, and the circuit is designed around that tube. Jonny’s Fender 5C1, for example, is based around a 6SJ7, while the Vox AC30 is EL84-based.

The person who posted those pictures on that forum also posted a video of them playing into the amp. You can listen to here.

 [Nigel Godrich] [Jonny Greenwood] [Radiohead]
3 weeks ago
41 notes